Character Castle 2.5
May 9, 2022 at 9:01 pm #150548
Arsene listened as the boy explained his plans.
“Let me stop you right there.” Arsene interrupted.
Holding up three fingers, Arsene started. “One: Arsene the insane, Arsene the crazy, Arsene the fool. At this point, unhinged is an accomplishment. Second: I’m the one who slipped our shares into your pocket. I did it all without a warrant, so shame on me.”
Taking an Ace of Hearts, Arsene started writing. “Third: I’m going to announce that Arsene Lupin is on this ship and is after the safe.”
The boy winced. “Wait, you’re going to TELL everyone you’re on this boat and trying to rob it?”
The boy stammered, attempting to explain that anyone in the right mind would not perform such an action. Thankfully, Arsene was not like most people. Most people would chicken out and miss the chance to act in front of an audience.
“B-b-but, who the devil would tell everyone his plans and then execute those plans? Are you nuts? You’d lose the element of surprise.”
Probably. When he finished his message, Arsene turned around, sitting in his chair like a mad scientist. On his face, there was an evil grin, as he announced. “I’ve already lost the element of surprise. Besides, where’s the fun in sneaking around?”
Rising, Arsene added. “I’m going for the safe.”
Everyone saw how the bandit, allegedly Arsene Lupin, had used an unknown power to vanish from sight. Nobody knew how the bandit came on, nobody considered it was the two patients from before. While none really believed Arsene was on the ship, they would be forced to accept that fact. Crorie knew that, as well as her brother, Rook. How, because they had found Arsene’s calling card, an Ace of Hearts.
Dear shipmates, I have taken interest in a safe, hidden within the ship. Normally, I’d leave other thieves alone to try and see if they can get it. Just kidding, I’d never miss a chance for competition, regardless of how pathetic it is. So, bandits, send all your resources and try to beat me. As for the ship, ready your detectives, catch me if you can.
Sincerely, Arsene Lupin.
Crorie and Rook sighed. Why were they not used to this? This has happened before. Hundreds of times, in fact. How was it that Arsene managed to surprise both of them every time.
Arsene slid through the vent, entering the safe room. There was no visible signs of security, which often caused the downfall of most thieves. Taking powder, Arsene threw it. Sure enough, there were clear, red lasers. If contact was made with them, it would trigger an alarm. Taking a grappling iron, Arsene fired. Connecting with a secure latching point, Arsene exploited the opportunity. Getting passed the laser security, Arsene landed on top of the safe. It was about as large as a refrigerator, being large and very bulky. It was going to be fun to move this thing. He could lift it, theoretically.
“Laser security would interfere with that plan.”
Arsene turned to see the source of the voice to be none other than Lady Crorie. As usual, she hid part of her face with her war fan, while her umbrella was in the other hand.
“Good evening, Lady Crorie,” Arsene greeted as he tried to hide his embarrassment, “I wasn’t expecting you.”
How in the world did Lady Crorie get on this boat?!!!!!!!!!!
Lady Crorie opened her umbrella, using the flight feature. She easily crossed the laser security, soon reaching Arsene. “We need to talk.”
Unknown to Arsene, someone else was operating during that night. However, the target was not an object, but rather a human being. Breaking in, he entered the room. His gray power armor, hid most of his features, only adding to his mystery. He was above six feet, with no other identifiable traits. Drawing his katana, the Muramasa, the man grabbed Alessio, covering his mouth.
“Meet me on the top deck of the ship. Come alone and come armed. If you alert anyone, Arsene Lupin will be dead before morning. Understood?”
The Alessio froze, not daring to speak. He nodded, providing a satisfying answer. Taking his leave, the man left, exiting through the window.
There are paladins of light and there are dark knights.May 16, 2022 at 6:54 pm #150616
“Let me stop you right there.” Arsene interrupted, and held up three fingers. “One: Arsene the insane, Arsene the crazy, Arsene the fool. At this point, unhinged is an accomplishment.”
…Is that supposed to be reassuring…?
Arsene’s idea of logic was as steady as a canoe in a tsunami, but Alessio just wanted to not die right now.
“Second: I’m the one who slipped our shares into your pocket. I did it all without a warrant, so shame on me.” He continued and Alessio wasn’t sure whether he was more disconcerted by the fact that Arsene thought that was reassuring or that he actually did feel slightly reassured. It was pathetic, but so was Alessio’s existence.
He still didn’t trust Arsene, he still felt it all too vividly to calm down. Maybe Arsene just wanted a pet, that was what the robber wanted from him?
Alessio couldn’t think straight at all. However suspicious he was he was just dizzy with relief that he’d escaped being whipped or beaten or held in isolation for this. Numbly, he fingered the wrinkles of the blanket, grateful for the warmth, trying to will his heartrate to slow.
“Third:” Arsene said, pulling out a curious card with a red A and matching hearts. “I’m going to announce that Arsene Lupin is on this ship and is after the safe.”
“That’s a joke right?” It wasn’t a joke. “Why would you do that?”
“Why not?” Arsene said, scribbling on the card in his hand.
“I don’t know, because it’s stupid.” Alessio answered, not completely grounded in the present yet. He furrowed his brow, trying to process too at once. Then abruptly it registered.
“You can’t seriously think…of course you can…you can’t seriously think at all” he blurted “The devil you’re still after that stupid safe, that’s a joke?”
It had to be a trick right. A distraction.
Arsene spun around in his in chair with a wicked grin
“I’ve already lost the element of surprise.” He said “Besides, where’s the fun in sneaking around?”
“I’m going for the safe.” Arsene announced. If Alessio hadn’t been in shock he would’ve tried to stop him, but he was already climbing another vent.
“Hey!” Alessio shouted after him “I’m still going to stop you!”
Arsene was already out of sight and there was nothing capable of getting Alessio to follow. Which didn’t improve his mood. But he still kept social distance from the vent like it had Covid. For a long second he glared at the opening, and sighed.
“I just want to know how you escaped the insane asylum,” He grumbled, loudly at the hole. “that way when we inevitably both land there I can implement that strategy…”
The vent didn’t answer.
Alessio considered hurling the blanket Arsene had more or less given him on the floor in frustration but…it was warm. And he was starved for any gesture of kindness so he neatly folded it with a very miffed expression and dropped it on the foot of the bed.
It’d do no good to try and beat him to the safe since he didn’t know where it was. And Arsene had already alerted everyone besides which he’d very nearly been killed last time he tried to do that. So…he’d need to stop Arsene when he came back. Aaaaand that would mean finding his bow which Arsene conveniently dropped when he dragged him unconscious to wherever he was now!?
His hands were still shaking.
He wondered where Nithel was, if he was safe at least. Part of him was irrationally anxious, like he might completely lose any friendship he might’ve had if Nithel wasn’t near. It was a stupid thought, he knew it was.
Where even were they…?
Suddenly, Alessio’s ears pricked at an imperceptibly noise, or shadow, or something. His sixth sense was telling him someone was there.
“Did you forget something,” Alessio asked over his shoulder “like a brai-?”
Air rushed against him as he reflexively ducked before his mind even caught up to the action. A steel hand grappled his wrist, yanking him backward. Alessio twisted his hand free, using his attacker’s arm to leverage a sharp kick at his face.
The man caught his foot.
Next thing he knew he was hurtling into the floor and he rolled to a crouch, to find the tip of his enemy’s blade between his eyes.
“Meet me on the top deck of the ship.” The man said “Come alone and come armed. If you alert anyone, Arsene Lupin will be dead before morning. Understood?”
Alessio froze, holding his breath. The point of the stranger’s katana was a hairbreadth away from his face touching a curl tossed over his eyebrow. For two seconds everything was still, like time was paralyzed.
Then the man vanished out the window like a lost shadow.
Alessio exhaled, stifling a shuddering sensation through his spine.
“What kind of idiot jumps out a window on a boat?” He called out, almost in a whisper, a lot softer than he meant to. “You know there’s only water outside?”
He didn’t like Arsene at all…mostly…sorta…But he didn’t want to see him die. He didn’t want to be responsible for his death like…Don’t. Images rush like nausea, a bloody red mess, screaming and begging until he was hoarse, but nobody saved them. If he’d been smart, he would’ve found a way to save them, but he wasn’t. He was just a scared kid unable to stop the hell breaking through.
Maybe it was guilt that motivated him to compulsively “save” people. Like that would make up for it all…
Alessio swallowed hard, wanting to kill every thought that brought him back to that day. But it wasn’t doing anything. He wanted to get away from it, he just didn’t want it to ever be possible again. No one should ever get close to him, he couldn’t be responsible for another person’s death.
‘Eaziziun Wahid, even if you had murdered someone, I would not leave you.’
It wasn’t his fault!?
He didn’t know.
Rules to staying alive and playing the game:
Rule 1. Play by the rules and you’re worse than dead.
Alessio slipped through the hull of the ship, mind rerunning every single word the man said. Leverage: Arsene’s life, that meant the villain had been spying them up and had a fair degree of knowledge about their motives. Carrying out a threat like that is a last resort if they don’t have some other leverage to use afterward.
Rule 2. Know what makes them weak, take what makes them strong.
Severe liability that he knew nothing about his attacker.
But not entirely true. He knew the man was unusually tall, had brute strength on his side and used a katana to fight. He also knew the man had been holding back his attacks; he wanted Alessio alive and he wanted to take him out quietly.
His mind was puzzling hard over two things in particular though; he said come armed, and meet him at the top deck of the ship.
Seemed crazy, most villain’s would say unarmed; maybe he was a mad thrillseeking maniac. Can’t be personal vendetta since Alessio’s only been in the world for all of maybe a day. He was great at making enemies but he didn’t think he was that great at it.
Maybe he had a power was the stronger from other people’s attacks…
And top deck of the ship. Seemed incongruous with the sneaking around approach. Top deck would be pretty public unless the stranger found a way to clear the area…which would be something to obverse how if he did.
Rule 3. Know your assets, bluff out of your liabilities.
Arsene was literate, unlike most of the population in Casumbra, and that would make communication easier.
Alessio was quick, he wasn’t incredibly strong but he was skilled. So he wouldn’t need to use a weapon necessarily in a fight. That might come in handy.
It didn’t seem like he had much else on his side, he knew nothing about this world and didn’t have anything or anyone he could turn to. If he could relocate his bow that’d be great. And his knife…Arsene disintegrated it.
My brother gave me that knife…
And his bow. It was custom-designed to look like his hero’s weapon; red-feathered bow of the legendary Thayer the vigilante. When he was nine, and still believed heroes saved people.
Rule 4. Help won’t save you even if it comes.
That was a proven rule for Alessio. Not that help ever came anyway. No matter how much you believed it would.
No one saves you. You have to save yourself.
Alessio relocated the broken vent Arsene dragged him through and, predictably, his bow was still there. Actually he was somewhat surprised no one had nabbed by then but grateful nonetheless.
What else did he have…?
Rule 5. Play by the rules until you don’t, and they’ll never expect it…
In an hour Alessio had arranged…something.
He’d recovered the blanket and drenched it in cooking oil, and while he was in the kitchen he stole a bag of flour (apologizing awkwardly under his breath every time he took something. But that didn’t stop him from stealing breakfast…or lunch…or whatever meal it was now…).
The flour wouldn’t be any good unless he managed to reach an abandoned hall.
The blanket was debatable.
The box of matches in his pocket were essential.
Lastly, he wrote a brief note to Arsene, something very passive-aggressive like:
If you happen to have the time to spare from grand larceny, it might benefit you to know that while you were absent an equally demented maniac paid his regards, with an apparent interest in acquainting your vital organs with his exquisite blade if all does fails to meet his pleasure.
Therefore, if I live, I would very much appreciate an explanation.
Postscript: I will still be returning your stolen goods.
After that, there wasn’t much else but to make his appointment with death.
He had questions, a lot of them. But to get them answered he needed to confront his enemy.
He planned to dodge most blows, only attempt attacks at pinpoint areas such as the eyes, cracks or joints in the armor. His best plan if it came to a fight was to lead him down into the ship’s hull. But that was a pretty bad plan.
To be a light to the world you must shine in the darkness.May 23, 2022 at 3:53 pm #150662
Arsene was very surprised at how Lady Crorie arrived. As she was here, Arsene could assume that Rook was onboard as well. The gentleman thief would need to be careful. He had come up with a backup plan, but he didn’t want Crorie to be in the way of his dramatic exit.
“Talk about what, Milady?” Arsene said with all the calmness he could muster.
As usual, Lady Crorie maintained an emotionless aura. She was never always like this. Saga and Lady Crorie met a long time ago, when they still lived with their parents. Lady Crorie, Rook, Sage, and Saga sometimes hung out back home. Back then, Lady Crorie was less blunt, and life was far simpler.
“Even if I were to join you, what then?” Lady Crorie inquired.
Arsene observed how there were crates in the room. Perhaps the proper term for the location was cargo hold and not safe room. The safe was surrounded by crates, which were at least a few yards away in each direction. When trouble arrived, Arsene could exploit them.
“To tell the truth Milady,” Arsene answered, “I don’t know. I just don’t feel comfortable leaving you with your father.”
Lady Crorie had not reacted at any point in the conversation. It was quite clear how very much she had changed. “You’re a thief, who has already made several enemies. How is going with you a better situation?”
“I simply don’t trust your father.” Which was true. “He frequently beats you and I’m worried it’s not going to stop there.”
Again, true. Arsene didn’t like how Lady Crorie’s father seemed to favor Rook, but abused his daughter. The thief had little patience for child abusers, mainly because most never seemed to possess any remorse for their actions.
With the same apathetic expression, Lady Crorie commented. “So what if he continues to beat me? Why would it matter?”
Seriously! “Because it is wrong for him to beat you to this extent.”
“Right and wrong doesn’t seem to stop you.” Lady Crorie countered.
Oh, no. Arsene looked beyond the laser security, discovering the men from before, who were now accompanied by four other people. Suddenly, Arsene acquired the urge to escape. But first, he wanted to toy around with his opponents.
Wearing a confident smirk, which often annoyed everyone, Arsene spoke. “Hi, boys.”
This was followed by the sound of guns cocking. There was going to be total chaos and Arsene was going to enjoy it.
“I don’t think you want to do that.” Arsene commented.
“Maybe we won’t,” one of them declared, “if you open the safe.”
Arsene looked at Lady Crorie, who continued to wear a blank face. While Lady Crorie was an expert in combat, perhaps even better than Arsene, he didn’t want to test her skill like this.
“Before you shoot me, I should let you know I don’t have all the keys. On top of that, I’ve got a magic trick.”
At the beginning of this adventure, Arsene didn’t plan on being accompanied by Lady Crorie. However, as things became more chaotic, the more of a thrill it would be. Being a thrill seeker, Arsene strongly desired competition.
Holding up an Ace of Diamonds, Arsene announced. “I’m going to vanish with the safe.”
Throwing the card, Arsene shouted. “Surprise!”
Due to Arsene’s reputation of being unpredictable at times, everyone (except Lady Crorie) cringed, until nothing happened. Letting out a semi-insane laughter, Arsene said. “Just a joke.”
Everyone sighed with relief.
It was a joke. Simply throwing a card would mean nothing in this situation. How stupid were people? That a suspense builder, climbing up to the climax.
But this one isn’t.
Pushing the detonator, Arsene donned a sinister smile. The floor around Arsene, Lady Crorie, and the safe had now exploded. Long before he entered the room, Arsene inputted bombs to create a controlled detonation. He calculated where the safe was and came with a preplanned exit strategy. Lady Crorie and potentially Rook arriving had been an unpredicted factor in the equation, which could have ruined Arsene’s plans. As of now, however, Arsene’s plan was succeeding.
While Arsene evaded detection, the alarms were initiated. After all, Arsene was putting on a performance. What was a performance, without an audience? He wanted everyone to be on the lookout for him. Now that he thought about it, the diamond shaped hole in the floor was a better signature, compared to an old fasion playing card.
There are paladins of light and there are dark knights.June 11, 2022 at 12:53 pm #150889
Sorry for the delay replying 😁
Alessio crept on the deck, wary for the slightest move.
He expected people there. At least a smattering.
But it’s empty.
With a slow, soft inhale Alessio rehearses everything in his mind again. This is where the man said to meet him, He had a plan to stay alive, he needed to know what his enemy’s motives were to take advantage of it. He didn’t have a lot of assets here, and no clue what he was doing, and…
Whatever. Just stop.
He twists that now-oily blanket tight around him arm. Box of matches from the kitchen, fastened under his surcoat, half cracked to snatch quickly, There’s a bag of flour, but he left it in the kitchen close to the hall, that’s where he’d need it.
His bow’s on his side but he carefully set it on a corner of the deck, to avoid the temptation to use it. If the villain wanted him to come armed it had to be to his advantage…Alessio wasn’t going to use his weapon and let it play into his hands…
Where is he…?
It’s ghostly quiet. So quiet he can almost hear his own stifled breathing. He knows it’s not actually audible, any more than the throbbing of his heart knocking inside his chest like a bouncy ball.
Devils, where is he?
Can’t mess this up. No one’s going to get killed because of him…He needed to stop his opponent, immediately.
Footsteps. Metallic on the floor of the deck.
It’s not going to happen this time!
The sound’s coming from behind him.
Nithel would protect him…
Right behind him, close enough he could feel the air displaced along the back of his spine. It wasn’t a flashback.
Alessio spun around face to face with charcoal dark outline of his enemy in the shadows. For all the world he looked like a demon spat out a black abyss, coal-black except for the glimmering slits of eyes through his mask.
“Run and Arsene’s dead.” The words reverberate like a taunt wire.
Alessio whips a kick at the man’s jawline, but only catches his arm. His enemy reacted fast, but the first blow was just a distraction. Alessio dropped to floor and swerved another kick at his opponent’s legs but he evaded just as fast, and backed a step. The motion doesn’t click, Alessio was open for a brief second.
So why didn’t he attack?
“Who are you, sir,” Alessio demanded in a low voice “and what do you want from me?”
Just say something.
A gloat or a threat…
…just start talking
If he could get any response he could gauge his enemy, delay him. Maybe gather some level of data that he needed so bad. He was still frozen in a crouch, eyes poised for the slightest movement that would warn him of a strike. The air in his lungs was dry, crisper with every inhale, like a token reminder of the adrenaline pounding – volatile and shaky – through his nerves.
But the man didn’t respond, didn’t move. Just leered silently like an invitation to attack first or die.
“Yeah, not answering is unfathomably polite.” Alessio snorted, even to his own ears sounding like a cornered animal trapped between fight and flee. Losing the ability to feel human again.
Noiselessly, Alessio straightened a little, bracing for another onslaught, his mind racing a million different strategies to get out alive.
“Fine, sir” he prodded “what if I don’t want to fight you?”
“I kill Arsene.” The man didn’t even hesitate.
Everyone knew it. He was too weak to save anyone who got too close, wasn’t he? Just the thought of it paralyzed his brain at its frayed seams, sweat inking between the creases in his palms.
“Yeah, how?” Alessio provoked just a little more, just to delay.
Without warning, the man was charged him with his katana like a night draekon. Every nerve taunted as instinct kicked in and he vaulted over his enemy, like he would any palace ledge in a pitch black to the curses of his father after he’d had a few.
As he feet collided with the floor’s surface a rush of air sent him springing half his body backwards before his enemy could bash his face in. Didn’t want to give ground, he planted his feet firm and dived to strike his opponent’s side. He caught the man’s sheath, jerked out in the nick of time.
Alessio caught eye contact with his would-be killer. Cold in a way that would’ve made him shiver if it wasn’t a sensation so familiar.
“You don’t have a weapon.” The villain observed, laced with just the edge of a threat. Alessio consciously didn’t look at the bow shoved to a corner as a contingency, and instead gave his most innocent and wide-eyed.
“My disarming mien and witty repartee don’t count?” He asked artlessly. A nice trick to help people think he was cute when he was like ten. It was just annoying now, which was even better.
He’d tensed for another attack, but the man did the last thing he expected. He drove his sword back into its sheath with a hungry slicking sound. What kind of fight or deceit was this? Not knowing was worse – a lot worse – than a fight.
“Do you want to kill me or not?” It was sort’ve a dare. Anything but the mystery.
His enemy didn’t respond but he slowly grasps his head, wincing through his mask. A black, misty mesh overwhelmed the man’s arm.
Alessio’s eyes widened slightly, watching the solid darkness slowly consume his body. He swore he wouldn’t flinch but he did, he retreated a step, palpating terror like needles diving under his skin.
His father went crazy – completely mad – from the windigo fever. It consumed a person inside and out until they rotted to shadow. Crept into to small dark spaces like vents and tunnels. He hated the suffocating sensation of drowning in pitch blackness, the idea of your own mind being that blackness…
“What do you want?” He forced himself not to let his voice tremble, but it did, ever so slightly. He didn’t want to go mad like his father, he didn’t want to get close to it. The black web permeated the man’s entire body now.
Alessio crouches defensively, hearing his own rattling breath. Don’t touch it…
In an instant the villain dived at him, ramming a dark-mist coated hand at his face. Alessio jerked to the side, and thrusted his elbow directly toward his opponent’s neck. Pain exploded through his ribs almost instantly and he bit back a yelp, skidding back.
For some reason his enemy coiled away, Alessio didn’t even care why. Shock and panic funneled through his veins like an electric wire as he grabbed his injured side black smoke sweeping between his fingers from the wound. He darted a glance at the man, then at the bow in the corner. Any move he made now he had to be fast enough. Everything spun dizzily, wildly. His hands, the nerves under his skin. It was all both numb and trembling hot and cold. He couldn’t afford to lose it now!!!!
It was fading, black sifting to grey around his side.
He watched the man’s eyes narrow toward his wound.
With a gasp, Alessio ducked as his enemy’s fist barely misses colliding with his chest. Another blow in breath-taking succession, then his opponent’s in the air and Alessio jinked out of the way as his fist impales a large dent in the steel floor.
Can’t stay on the defensive.
He was probably half the man’s weight, most of his attacks just wouldn’t have the force to knock him out. But Alessio was used to being outmatched.
Before he could think what a stupid plan this was he leapt on his opponent twisting his legs around his neck, both to keep his grip and to compress the jugular veins at exactly the point that could knock him out if he could just hold on. He threw his whole weight back to throw his enemy off his feet but in a second he slammed against the floor but he whipped a kick square in the man’s face.
Alessio landed in a crouch as his enemy recoiled back, just a moment.
He was fairly confident now he couldn’t kill him, so he wouldn’t really have to hold back.
With a snap he lit a match from his sleeve and ignited the blanket wrapped around his arm. Fire whipped and crackled over his skin as eager as scarred memories. Even if it wasn’t his fire it hissed through his veins, intoxicating and feral.
He leveled a deathly stare at the monstrous man.
“Come on!” He dared, alert to the slightest movement. His enemy aimed a blow for his legs and Alessio sprang over his head and hurled a blow directly at his face. A stab of pain barely registers and Alessio’s flung to ground. It didn’t matter though, he’d made contact with the man’s face, he could see red streaks across the villain’s burned mask right before blackness consumes the man’s arm.
Solidifying smoke twisted into sets of giant claws…Alessio ducked and rolled to the side as a black hand smashed through the floor a hair’s breadth away from him. He snatched his change to dive down the opening into the lower floor.
He lands on a table cramped with vegetables, meats and knives. His foot grazed a metallic pan as he skidded off the surface.
There’s a soft thud through the walls but it barely registers. The kitchen is filled with people screaming with alarm at his sudden entrance. But not half as frantic as they became when the table smashed to pieces, materializing a furious assassin. Alessio catches the airborne pan and whips it in front of him just as the villain’s fist collided with the makeshift shield, smashing it in. Then he pulled back another punch. By now everyone had dashed out but he could still hear them screaming.
Alessio wheeled to the side, narrowly missing another blow that destroyed an oven behind him, igniting the stovetop all through the large fractured shards.
So Alessio – being such the rational person he is – ducked behind the burning wreckage as a makeshift shield. Bags of flour plume powdery white through the disaster that is this once-kitchen. Fire from the demolished oven coiled around Alessio, protectively.
His enemy didn’t move, he just waited.
“What?!” Alessio demanded.
Alessio tensed as the man drew his sword with a crisp hiss of steel. Any second he had to be ready to dodge. With a silent oath, Alessio realized his bow was still on the top floor. He was weaponless…mostly.
Alessio darted a glance at the bag of flour.
Another hiss of steel. To his surprise, the villain returned the blade to its sheath and look at the kitchen door. Why-? He ripped the thrice-cursed door off!!!
With an involuntary curse, Alessio jerked out of the way, quick as a whip snatching the flour which burst across the room. It reminded him of the palace cook trying to whip up a quick meal without any helpers cleaning up after her.
White powder blurred the entire area but he could still lock eyes with his attacker. He smiled, and flicked a match awake.
The thing about flour is…it’s very flammable and combusts in split second bursts. The perfect self-contained explosion.
His enemy fell back and Alessio was delighted to still be alive. For exactly two seconds.
Wraith black blades materialize right under his feet. Yelping a curse, Alessio dodges to the side, and flips a stack of plates into his hand, hurling them with deadly speed and accuracy. (Would’ve been deadly…if it was a deadly weapon.)
But Alessio just need the diversion. He was gone before his enemy had time to look up.
He skidded down a corridor.
In moment he could hear his opponent stalking down the hall. Hidden, Alessio listened for the slightest noise, coming closer and closer. His breathing was audible, in sharp, hushed pants. He knew it would give him away, but he couldn’t hold his breath anymore, every choked inhale burned.
He couldn’t hear his enemy’s footsteps now, there was too much commotion. People running, security shouting for order.
So he was virtually blind, he couldn’t see or hear his enemy but he knew it was only a matter of time…
“Everyone head calmly to the bottom floor!” Cracked a metallic voice from somewhere “There is safety in numbers, everyone please remain calm, and head to the bottom floor! Security will deal with the issue, please remain calm!”
Yeah. I’m totally calm!!! This is me, being calm-! He repeated in his head so sarcastically he almost believed himself.
A loud slam cracked behind him and Alessio stifled a yelp, dropping further into the crowd. Consciously, he straightened, projecting as much confidence as he could afford to avoid being noticed straight off as someone hiding. It also made people get out of the way a little more.
‘When does doing what it takes to survive become a sin?’
Alessio dropped back the moment they made it to the next room, ducking his head deeper into the hood of his awkward cloths.
‘When it harms more than it helps.’
Being in a crowd made it safer for him not for them. He was just so scared of being alone with that. So tired of being scared.
He numbly wrapped his arms around his sides, just a little shaken. Fortunately, the black substance had faded from his wound, but it still hurt like only a punch in the gut can. Whatever, he was used to that, he could keep moving. He lost the crowd, crept down another out-of-the-way passage. There he dropped to the floor and considered his options.
‘What is the purpose of surviving?’
Devils if I know, Nithel!
He mechanically unwound the stupid blanket from his arm, still oily and smelling of smoke, but he wrapped it around himself all the same, more for comfort than warmth. Survival was getting to be waste, like what did he even have to keep alive for?
That wasn’t what Nithel had meant he was pretty sure.
Alessio banged the back of his head against the wall to focus. It didn’t really work though, everything in him was screaming to just give up, he didn’t have any reason to live. He was pathetic. He didn’t want to go crazy, maybe he already was. He couldn’t live with that, he was nothing but trouble.
Every choice he ever made got other people killed. Like Muqarrib-He wasn’t going there, now wasn’t the time to think about it. Never might be a good time to think about it but…He just needed to keep moving.
“Nithel would be upset if I died, so I better live five minutes longer.” Alessio grumbled, climbing to his feet.
To be a light to the world you must shine in the darkness.June 14, 2022 at 9:43 pm #150951
Personality: Defaults to a calm, emotionless persona. In reality, Hades possesses a passive anger, is aggressive and bears a low self-esteem. Strongly loathes needles and being touched by most people.
Appearance: White hair, gray eyes, a little above six feet, sturdy build, robotic left arm made of black technology.
Occupation: (former Ehrenvoll Knight) Currently employed to MetaCrescent, a private security company.
Race: Artificial: Nova.
Age: avatar appears to be a twelve-year-old.
Personality: cruel, sadistic, intentionally angers others. Somewhat obsessed with Hades.
Appearance: A gray holographic avatar of a twelve-year-old girl, who has medium length black hair.
World bio: Planet Omicron, which is located in the same orbit with Earth. It is the home of the Artificials, subhumans who evolved through man-made means (sci-fi world).
(four days ago)
Hades had met curious clients, but none had made him this uneasy. A man known as the Necromancer had approached him, desiring him to eliminate a boy named Alessio. He had rattled every sense of security Hades had. He knew everything about him, from the day he was born, to the train accident that ruined his life.
Somehow, the Necromancer also knew about the nanites in his body and how Persephone was attempting to take control of him through them. The conditions were simple; kill or capture Alessio and the Necromancer would remove Persephone, perhaps even eliminate her. He wouldn’t have that demon in his head.
With a gray coat and hood, which was decorated by a black westerner dragon, Hades wore a black and gray mask covering the top of his face. He wore a black gauntlets and boots, as well light but durable armor protecting the torso.
On his belt, there was the katana he inherited from his father, the Muramasa. The spine of the blade was red, while the edge was black. It was a sword that once was wielded with honor, now it felt more like a curse. It almost always created violence whenever it was drawn from its sheath.
“Oh well, he isn’t coming,” Persephone chimed with a deceivingly childish voice. “Looks like you’re stuck with me.”
“You’d wish can opener.”
Unlike Hades, Persephone relished this moment. “You really want me to die, even if it means killing some kid.”
“You’re just a computer with a side of crazy maniac. You don’t die, you get destroyed. Besides, I don’t have to kill him, just subdue him.”
Chuckling, Persephone commented. “Call me whatever you wish, but the fact Alessio isn’t here could ruin your plans.”
As much as Hades hated Persephone, she was right. He could easily have squawked for help or could be escaping. If so, this was a waste of time. When Hades was considering giving up on this scheme, the target came.
“Don’t even think of calling for help.” Hades bluntly stated.
Alessio swiftly sent a kick at Hades, only for the latter to block. As an Artificial, Hades had enhanced reactions, making blocking attacks rather easy. Much to Hades’ surprise, Alessio dropped to floor and swerved another kick at his opponent’s legs but he evaded just as fast. As Alessio was open, Hades could have chosen to strike him down, but refused to.
“Awe, you do like me.”
“I didn’t do it for you, b—h.” Hades coldly added. “If I have to kill him, he’s going to get a fighting chance.”
“Who are you, sir,” Alessio demanded in a low voice “and what do you want from me?”
Hades remained silent. What was this kid planning? His arm was wrapped with a blanket, while the other was uncovered. Was he holding back like Hades was?
“Yeah, not answering is unfathomably polite.” Alessio stated with obvious sarcasm.
Showing some signs of fear, Alessio straightened a little, evidently calculating his next move.
“Fine, sir” he prodded “what if I don’t want to fight you?”
“I believe you know the answer to that.” Hades answered.
“Yeah, how are you going to kill Arsene?” Alessio inquired.
Removing Muramasa from his belt, Hades attacked with the sheathed sword. Annoying him further, Alessio used the railing of the boat to position himself correctly, allowing him to jump over Hades. Predicting the trick, Hades quickly leapt around slicing with the scabbard. When Hades missed, Alessio attacked his side. Thankfully, Hades was quicker, blocking with the Muramasa.
Although it was brief, Hades made eye contact with his would-be-victim. The boy was afraid. It was the same look all of his victims had.
“This would be quicker if you just used the Muramasa.”
Speaking of which. “You don’t have a weapon.”
At this point, Hades just wanted to be able to ignore that d–n voice in his head. She always seemed to enjoy hurting people. Unfortunately, Alessio’s innocent and wide-eyed expression, which was just as aggravating as Persephone, didn’t help.
“My disarming mien and witty repartee don’t count?” The brat asked. Someone obviously didn’t beat the sarcasm out of him.
So, he was unarmed. Perfect. The reason Hades didn’t just slit Alessio’s throat while he was half asleep was because the former wished to give him a chance to win.
Persephone sighed “It’s taking a while for you to get to the exciting part of this.”
“Do you want to kill him
Hades clutched his forehead, with the usual agony setting in.
Instead of obeying, Persephone giggled. “Oh come on, you didn’t answer my question, pointless as it was. I know you want to kill that boy. Why, quite simple. By killing him, you hope to finally be rid of me.”
“Shut up.” Hades muttered.
“Can you deny it? Can you honestly say you don’t want to kill me? Besides, I want to see you turn into the killer.”
Angry and annoyed, Hades snapped. “Why won’t you just die?”
As if it responded to Hades’ frustration, the black stardust enclosed him. Agony spread through his body, burning and freezing at the same time.
“What do you want?” Alessio shakenly inquired.
Hades felt faint. The feeling wasn’t terrible, mainly due to the fact he was used to it, but it would grow.
“Finally, you activated it. I’m glad you did that, now get to the climax of this show.”
Aiming for the face, Hades rushed Alessio. Demonstrating impressive agility, Alessio jerked to the side, bashing his elbow into Hades’ neck. Now, Hades would show how bad of an idea that was. Instantly, Hades snatched his foe’s elbow, dealing punishment at his side. The shadowy stardust spread to Alessio, as it slowly sapped nutrients and minerals together. If Hades could retrieve those nutrients, he could amplify his healing rate.
Besides, the black technology was hurting him and making him feel lightheaded.
Directly, Hades targeted the fading energy. Missing with an uppercut strike, Hades nearly bashed his fist downward into Alessio. Just to throw salt into the wound, Alessio evaded, meaning the energy would fade soon.
Countering, Alessio latched onto Hades with his legs, maneuvering to exploit a weakness. Hastily, the child assassin attempted to halt Hades’ breathing, by gripping his throat. Retaliating, Hades bashed Alessio into a wall, but not before the pipsqueak sent a kick to his face. Landing safely, Alessio backed away, Hades doing the same. Alessio then pulled out a match.
Suddenly, Hades knew what Alessio was planning. “Oh H–l.”
Hades couldn’t clearly remember the rest of the fight. He had faint images of falling into another deck, due to usage of black technology. Much to Hades’ misfortune, Persephone heavily influenced his actions. Exhausted and ill from fighting both Persephone’s influence and Alessio, Hades found himself in a… kitchen? Was it a kitchen? It was kinda damage… and on fire. Observing his arms, Hades found his veins had turned black, slowly returning to their normal grayish color.
“Time to leave before I draw any further attention to myself.”
- This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by Ragnarok.
There are paladins of light and there are dark knights.June 15, 2022 at 4:40 pm #150955
Amnesia was enjoying this one group but the OTHER GROUP SEEMED STUCK IN A TIME CAPSULE.
No fun tormenting frozen characters.
*Proof* All of them, Sherlock, Nithel and (what was blind dude’s name?) land back in that room of mirrors from the last Character Castle. It’s an inbetween world, they can get back into the main storyline if they pick the right mirror.
If they pick the wrong one well…something bad happens I haven’t decided what 😝
There’s 3 big mirrors and each of them only reflects on member of the group and won’t reflect any of the other members. Other members who look into the mirror will see something completely different from their reflection.
Also, you can walk into the mirrors but you can’t walk back out.
Choose wisely. 🙂
To be a light to the world you must shine in the darkness.June 19, 2022 at 3:48 pm #150973
When Sherlock became a detective, he was entrusted with certain responsibilities. Maintain order, use discretion, and basically don’t do anything stupid. In every case (excluding cases involving Arsene), he succeeded living up to these expectations. However, this was a unique situation.
In front of Sherlock, there were three elaborate mirrors, all of which glowed and shined. The room seemed to be a cave or a tunnel, dimly lit. There were four silver colored pillars, but a lack of other rooms or hallways.
Notably, there was green ivory mirror, which stood in the middle. It was made with the standard glass, although it was full of scratches and cracks.
Accept your unforgiveness and vengefulness.
Next, there was a red framed mirror, with black glass seemingly hiding the darkest of secrets. In the red frame, there was a message. Although he was uncomfortable with the mirror, Sherlock looked it over.
Accept your anger and wrath.
Sherlock recognized the material, immediately puzzled by it. “Obsidian? How did my idiot kidnaper get his hands on this stuff?”
Being well educated, Sherlock knew obsidian was volcanic glass formed through natural means. To have obtain this substance would require going to the site of a volcanic eruption. It would take thousands of years for the black crystal to form. For reasons he was unaware of, observing the mirror gave Sherlock a headache. He became nauseous simply by looking at it.
“I don’t like this thing.”
Lastly, the third mirror had glass made with blue beryl gems. Its frame was gold, with words imbedded in it. Although it felt like a horrible idea, Sherlock read the inscription to himself.
Accept your greed and selfishness.
There was more, but Sherlock immediately heard voices announcing the sentence in his head. They sounded neither male or female, rather being ghost-like and ominous. It was the same voice from this so-called Amnesia.
“Failure to accept your fatal flaws shall end in death. Touch the mirrors and begin your trials.”
Just to test these weirdo mirrors, Sherlock took a rock, before throwing at the mirror. Noiselessly, it passed through.
“I didn’t even hear it hit anything.”
“So,” Oh no, not these morons. “Who wants to go first?”
Turning around, Sherlock glared furiously at the men from before. The blindfolded fool and the dummy from the bank.
“This can’t be happening.”
“All must enter or all must die. Chose your trials.”
(Vote on which mirror the characters enter)
There are paladins of light and there are dark knights.June 20, 2022 at 4:47 pm #150989
Sooo…I’ma gonna drop this character in coz he’ll really develop Alessio’s backstory and that side plot with assassination attempt Hades did and also be in this group so everyone can be active on one side if the other’s inactive…
Anyway…this character has a very interesting headspace, I haven’t really successfully pulled it off before yet so…forgive any inconsistencies/clunky writing in advance? XD
No one knew his name anymore, no one knew what he looked like.
You see, the Necromancer wore a black veil over his face, fluttering almost translucent folds cast all around his head like a void of blackness. And perhaps that was the intent, for he was a master of terrifying appearances.
No one had even seen his skin uncovered, he wore stripes of black cloths like ornamental bandages all around his body. Some said he hid his every body because it was crusted in burns, licked by flame.
Some said that, but no one knew the truth.
No. The only person who knew anything about him personally was his only child, Nathair. But no one came near him because they all heard about the massacre, and no one wanted to be a part of that legacy…
As soon as Nathair heard the news he swore he’d make an end of his father.
All his work to keep Alessio alive and out of the Necromancer’s reach this long and he’d just found another way to get at him. Because, of course, that boy that stupid, naïve soft-hearted boy he’d never take orders from the Surreala Guild. There wasn’t any way to control him, or make it safe to test that weapon, so the Necromancer wanted him dead.
Nathair had watched the boy grow up, he’d always be a child to him on some level. Hadn’t had a single chance, that boy, not in the world he grew in, not with the idealistic notions he never lost.
Call it a soft spot, maybe a weakness, but he was attached to the boy and no one – least of all his ghoul’s hide excuse for a father – was going to touch him this time.
He didn’t have everything of a plan yet, but that was ok because the moment he walked out the great hall he was in a completely different place completely outside the palace and completely foreign even to him.
There were three different people there; one blind, one with obvious anger issues and one with a strangely contemplative look. He glanced over the pillars around, the cave structure…could he be in one of those dimension-holes. Someone could’ve cast a spell or set up reader around the door or something…not terribly unlikely.
Probably, he should’ve felt panicked, cornered, or something.
He just felt oddly detached from the whole situation, aware that his fingers were tingling like they always did when he itched to fidget with something. That was the closest thing to a nervous habit he had, maybe it was just a habit he kept up when he was bored or thinking hard as well. He didn’t know, he just didn’t feel usually.
“Failure to accept your fatal flaws shall end in death. Touch the mirrors and begin your trials.”
Nathair always kept a set of dice in his pocket, to think. He fingered them absently because the monotonous motion was soothing.
The one man threw a rock into the mirror and it passes through of course.
A dimension hole. Interesting.
“So,” Nathair said, rather testing the atmosphere. “Who wants to go first?”
The man who threw the rock whirled around to glare at him and then everyone was staring at him. Nathair fidgeted more with the dice in his pocket.
“I mean, I certainly don’t – want to, that is.”
“All must enter or all must die. Chose your trials.” Cracked a voice from somewhere obscure.
“But I guess that can’t be helped…” Nathair finished, and glanced around at everyone there, and smiled in a friendly but rather uncertain way.
It was obvious they’d all have to work together apparently for now and that they were not going to get an explanation unless the other’s already knew something, but it wasn’t likely he’d get that information unless he could fit in with the group first.
In any case, scratch diplomatic appointments for this evening sooo…this might be an improvement.
At least it wouldn’t be as boring…
Physical traits: Very pale, almost albino, glassy blue eyes, tends to wear colorless greys and whites
Personality traits: Open but also reserved, always calculating, constantly has mixed motives,
To be a light to the world you must shine in the darkness.June 23, 2022 at 7:30 pm #151156Kimmi@kimlikesart
Nithel was just… so done. With all of it. He put two fingers on his forehead and stared at the three mirrors.
Accept your unforgiveness and vengefulness.
Accept your anger and wrath.
Accept your greed and selfishness.
The last caused no fear in him. None at all.
The second did… as he thought of times in battle where uncontrollable rage had filled him. At the children the Adenites were murdering. At the women they were ravaging. All the villages and crops destroyed. He thought of his own family, and ached for them, hoping they were alright.
Nithel rubbed those fingers on his eyes, now. I was created to save lives, not take them. So much guilt. But at the same time? The killing, the war… it was necessary to stop it. But, even though he knew it was necessary… images still wouldn’t leave him.
The first mirror? The only one he truly struggled to forgive was himself. And where the mirror scared him? He was ready to enter it, any of them.
“To go through any would only be what we deserve.” He glanced from man to man, wondering if they would be coming against everything, every man had done, together. Wondering where Alessio was. “I can go first. To whichever you all decide.”
But what if he’d already accepted his anger and unforgiveness? And what if they were things he shouldn’t.
Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.June 23, 2022 at 8:57 pm #151163Catholic Creed@hannahrenner
“Failure to accept your fatal flaws shall end in death. Touch the mirrors and begin your trials.”
Uhhhhhh … what made the mirror’s special?
How are mirrors related to fatal flaws?
“So, who wants to go first?” comes a strange voice I hadn’t heard yet – yet being defined as ‘since I fell through the first hole in reality.’
See punks, this is why you don’t fall through holes in reality. This is why you don’t fall through holes in reality.
This is why you don’t fall through holes in reality!
“This can’t be happening.”
Aaaaaaand that would be the punk that tried to run me over with his car.
I switch Umberuin to my other hand and flick a nob under the center leather handle. It’s ready if I need it – trials ya’know punk?
I am soooo tired. I never got to sleep last night. I’ve been hunted by Shads. I’ve been shot at – before and after falling through a hole in reality. Which is also going on the list! I have glass in my foot.
And. Now. I have to deal with THIS. This son of a shad!
I sit down and pull off my boot, hoping to get the glass out. And maybe stop the bleeding with … something.
My pack is at my camp. With my first aid kit.
“I mean, I certainly don’t – want to, that is.” The stranger continues rambling.
And fidgeting with something, I guess. I can feel and hear it. Click, click, click, like the cubes of wood that Search sometimes rolls around over the table when she’s bored. “But I guess that can’t be helped…”
I won’t bore you with the details of picking out a knife of glass from between your foot bones. Suffice to say, my hands are slick with blood by the end of it, but the glass is out of my foot.
Now, I need to find out how to bandage it and then find out what mirrors have to do with fatal flaws.
“All must enter or all must die. Chose your trials.”
“To go through any would only be what we deserve.” Oh. That’s the punk that actually tried to help me. Wonder what he thought he was gonna get out of it.
No. Shut up. Some people actually want to help others! I mean, look at Search!
“I can go first. To whichever you all decide.”
Uhhhhh. What? Decide what? By what criteria…
There’s writing isn’t there?
“Ya’know what. I’m just gonna go with the one nearest me.” I say, stretching out my leg. I probably need stitches, but I ain’t got nothing to do that with. “Once I fix my foot.”
If I can fix my foot.
Don’t trip. If you trip, you die. They’ll get you then.
I tighten my grip on Umberuin and consider my options …
… which are all reliant on the people around me.
I’m gonna die aren’t I?
When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.June 24, 2022 at 4:07 pm #151189Kimmi@kimlikesart
The blind man was trying to get the strange substance out of one of his feet. Nithel’s own feet still burned from all the sharp dust in them, but the man had a large sliver. Like a piece of metal. And he was bleeding quite a bit.
“Ya’know what. I’m just gonna go with the one nearest me.” He said and stretched out his leg, more blood leaked from the wound. “Once I fix my foot.”
Nithel, after glancing at the others, approached carefully. “How do you intend to do that?” His voice was soft, but not a whisper. Steady and full. Nithel pulled his shirt off, revealing scars and scabs the blind man couldn’t see. Nithel looked down at him, staying a yard away, and eyeing him warily. “If we come upon something like a needle and thread, I could sew your wound.”
Nithel squatted, then fell back on his bum. His feet thanked him for the relief, and a sigh escaped his lips. But he didn’t pause, and began to rip his old shirt, turning the bottom half into a long strip of cloth. His words were quieter as he worked, eyes down, but facing the blind man. “There are three mirrors. Each labeled differently- ‘Accept your unforgiveness and vengefulness’, ‘Accept your anger and wrath’, and ‘Accept your greed and selfishness’. I can describe the mirrors for you, if you wish.” You heard the voice.
A few seconds later, he quickly rolled the cloth strip, and tossed it in the man’s lap. Afraid to get near him, but willing. “Can you wrap your foot aright? To staunch the bleeding?” He probably could. But would it be tight enough? Done in the right way? Nithel didn’t know if the man had easily bruised pride, and didn’t want to incite him to do something foolish, by assuming he couldn’t do something.
Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.June 24, 2022 at 6:54 pm #151192
(Notes from the writer)
Well, a lot has happened. I discovered that instead of having a calm, collected personality, Sherlock has anger issues and might actually be a sociopath. Instead, Arsene has a tamer persona in comparison to his brother.
Anyways, rules about the mirrors
1. When a mirror room is reach, you may create a mirror. However, Amnesia’s mirrors will almost always have a negative connection or represent a negative quality (anger, greed, ect).
2. Once a mirror is selected, one group enters the mirror (everyone in your group enters).
3. Each mirror contains two trials. When you select a mirror, your character must pass both trials or Amnesia vanishes your character (Your character can only be vanished three times). If vanished, your character defaults to the next mirror room, but will not be able to move on until the trials are complete.
If nobody votes on a mirror, then I’m sending everyone through the obsidian mirror.
Long ago, Arsene, or rather Saga as he was called back then, had done something many people would refer to as daring, cocky, or flat out stupid. His father, perhaps the best thief he had seen, had decided to allow Saga to accompany him on one of his raids. It was a dumb idea, but Saga liked it. It went like this. Naturally being small and slim, the two planned for Saga to slip into the mansion through a window. He’d let his father in, they’d search for what was already stolen goods, and leave. Already rather athletic, Saga succeeded, silently climbing in at a quick pace. All would have worked well, if Saga hadn’t triggered an alarm. It was a very quick struggle, in which Saga ran out the window, taking an entire garbage bag of solidus and jewelry with him. He and his father vaulted over the wall, before switching the solidus bag with a trash bag. Luring the guards away, Saga acted as a distraction, while father doubled back and retrieved the loot. After running through an incinerator, a fireworks store (that was fun), and into the woods, Saga was picked up by his father, who escorted him to safety.
“Man, the explaining Mom wanted when me and Dad came home all covered in ash and mud.”
Simply put, Arsene had performed some crazy acts in the past, but this was the craziest. He had left a diamond shaped hole in the deck above him, taking the safe with him. Now, he had to move the safe. Currently, he was using a frame with wheels to transport the oversized storage. He built the thing, before he went for the safe. He had cased the area and formed a preplanned escape route. All professional thieves did both these things.
“Dad would be devastated to learn he missed this circus.”
Although anyone else would have likely panicked, Arsene was enjoying every bit of this thrilling heist.
“Why is Lady Crorie here?!?!?!?!”
The answer was obvious. She fell with him in the explosion. Lady Crorie’s presence was an unforeseen variable. The magnificent bandit had no clue she would find him that quickly.
Throwing her war fan, Lady Crorie aimed at Arsene’s forehead. It was unopened and the equivalent to a blunt stone. Evading by a margin, Arsene ducked. Almost relieved, Arsene felt the dull shape of an umbrella hit him in the jaw. After feeling the impact of the weaponized umbrella, Arsene backflipped away.
Drawing a handgun, loaded with rubber bullets, Arsene aimed to slow Lady Crorie. It was a weapon designed for self-defense, so it didn’t dish out lethal damage unless it was aimed at vitals, or he was too close to the target. However, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t bring himself to shoot. While his shaking hands were holding the gun, Lady Crorie was charging him.
Nervously, Arsene turned and ran. Thankfully, his reactions were good enough that he evaded Lady Crorie. Jumping on the safe, Arsene felt it sway and move. “Oh nuts.”
As the floor of the deck was not level, the safe was shifting backward and forward. Lady Crorie had now retrieved her war fan and was pursuing.
“Something tells me I better hurry. That boy is probably bored out of his mind waiting for me.”
There are paladins of light and there are dark knights.
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