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Legends. Stories, scattered through time. Mankind has grown quite fond of recounting the many exploits of heroes and villains, forgetting so easily that we are remnants - byproducts - of a forgotten past.

Join the ranks of Remnant’s prestigious Academies as you fight to protect the Four Kingdoms from the clutches of the evil Creatures of Grimm. Alternatively, you may work towards bringing the world to its knees by fighting against the last sparks of humanity. Red Like Roses is based on the hit web-series RWBY by Monty Oum and Rooster Teeth Productions.

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 Been Caught Stealing, #ShadowBright
Sol Moon
 Posted: Apr 27 2016, 02:05 AM
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The half formed smoke ring, which more closely resembled an unfortunately dimpled sphere, rose from the young man's lips. Sol gave a disappointed grunt, still unable to replicate the crisp shapes that he had so admired when his father had still been alive. The youth chewed on the cigar before trying again. A mouthful of unsettlingly sharp teeth and a set of full lips, drawn apart in a way that seemed nearly too wide for his already broad face, gave him an air of some great serpent. Beneath tanned flesh, his bone structure was bold and strong, and neatly separated his face into a number of solid plains that could have been chiselled from granite, a vision completed by the golden hue of his gaze, and a single eye that was as hard as polished steel.

He might have owned that balcony on which he stood, and he might have owned the sky overhead for how even at rest and idle leisure, he seemed to project a declaration of dominance over everything within arm's reach, or more specifically within reach of the slightly curved single edged sword with a hilt stylized to resembled a winged serpent that hung at his hip in a sheath of scaled crimson ceramic composite with blue semi-translucent veins running through it. It was as much a part of him as the fingers on his hand, and with how he rested his left hand, garbed in a tightly fitted fingerless leather glove, almost affectionately on the pommel, it was nearly impossible to imagine him without it.

Though the weapon drew the sight of the one standing in the doorway that lead onto the veranda, that was not to suggest that nothing else about the young man was eye catching. In fact, even in a city that was synonymous with military might, the broad shouldered cyclops wore a uniform that set him above the average officer. A finely tailored blue jacket hugged his thickly muscled frame, hanging open at the front over a stiff black ballistic breastplate, and rising past the height of the teen's jaw with an armored collar that framed a powerful neck and in combination with his viperish visage had the impression of a cobra's hood as it encircled his head. A divided skirt of overlapping black blast resistant plates fell down the fronts and flanks of his thick thighs, secured just above polished silver kneecaps with thick straps. Unbroken plates of a polished steel rose from the top of steel reinforced combat boots, and bore a stylized representation of the fracture Remnant moon, a symbol of hunters as old as the oldest kingdom, as well as the vigil of House Moon, that matched a similiar design stitched in red and gold thread between the warrior's shoulder blades. Shoulder length brown, nearly black, hair was tied back behind his head, save enough for a thin veil to hang down on the right side of his face obscuring the eyepatch that had obviously once been the disc guard for a faunus arming sword. The sleeves of the coat, rolled up to the elbow on the left and utterly absent on the right in favor or exposing an impressive if not terrifying prosthetic limb, that matched the scabbard of the sword on the opposite hip, in how it was made of overlapping scales, colored red due to having been treated with red dust to increase heat tolerance, over a translucent blue core, also treated with dust of matching color to cause the metal to be perpetually ice cold to the touch, that exposed a network of metal bone and sinew as well as veins of shimmering red that seemed to glow gently with an ominous pulse.

Hephastus Heartknack had met hunters before on occasion, through his dealings with several small dust shops around Mantle, that had earned him modest fortune enough to own this humble estate as well as a not insignificant art collection, including one obsidian sculpture of a great cat, stylized to resemble a creature of grim, complete with veins of fire dust running through it's hide, that dated back to the earliest histories of the continent, but he'd never seen a creature such as the one now puffing idly on a cigar out front of his parlor. There was something unsettling about the young man that was so subtle that it was difficult to define, yet so complete that it was present in nearly every aspect of the boy's appearance. Somehow he seemed to make the cool Atlesian night seem even colder and dark be his very presence, as if shadows of danger clung to him like a veil, and even as disinterested as he was, he seemed as dangerous to Hephastus' eye as any other man might have with a length of bare steel in either hand. In fact even with one hand empty and the other resting lightly on his sword, Solomon-Daton Moon, son of the late war-hero Terrel-Daton Moon, seemed as if he already had the weapon drawn, and if he ever did expose whatever horror surely must exist beneath that awful scabbard, Hephastus wanted to be as far away from that as he could be. Of all the people he'd expect to answer his appeal for protection of his prized collection, "The One Eyed Dragon of House Moon" was last on the list of faces he expected, and now that he was here, Hephastus half thought he might prefer the company of the thief who had been posting fliers around Ares, announcing an intention to claim his prized black cat statue on this very night.

There was just something very threatening about the one eyed man, something more than the rumors of cruelty that were not often far behind every time the boy's private military corporation, a band of mercenaries really, came up in the news or casual conversation. The Moon company had become something of a household name, at least as much as Fontine, Velchans, and Rochelle, around Atlas and perhaps even beyond, but what set Moon and his ilk apart from the other two was a seemingly religious mission and dedication to wiping out The White Fang, and a willingness to got to absolutely horrifying measures in pursuit of that single minded goal. It was no mystery that the boy, Sol, who had watched his father butchered by a White Fang ambush, only to lose his own right arm in avenging his patriarch, was the reason behind this borderline obsession with stomping out insurgency and faunus extremists. Having this man standing on his deck was light suddenly finding a cobra lounging in his desk chair, and it was just as strange to hear that he intended to help.

" 'The Shadow Thief' is what the military police have been calling this alleged burglar." The young man said in a voice that rumbled like the flames inside a well stoked furnace, startling Hephastus by seeming to read his mind, "Whoever it is seems to think that the authorities can't lift a finger to interfere with his or her little games. You aren't the first person to receive this kind of notice. Purposefully tripping alarms just to evade capture, instigating a riot to cover for a heist on the opening day of a new art exhibit, stealing from a specific number of bank lock boxes in such a way that the empty boxes form the shape of a crude cat's head, and every time leaving behind a token in the shape of a black cat statue just to taunt the ones who try to interfere. I'd very much like to meet a person like that, just to see if they can even walk with balls that big."

"So you'll take the job?" Hepastus said, wetting his lips nervously as he wrung his hands and glanced behind himself as if expecting to find the "Shadow Thief" hiding behind the drapes.

"You'll pay? If your precious cat is still here in the morning?" The young man rumbled like a smoldering mound of coals.

"Of course, that statue is priceless," The older man said, nodding fervently

"Then it is already done. Go or stay, just keep out of my way, and I'll take care of the rest.

This post has been edited by Sol Moon: Apr 27 2016, 02:14 AM

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The wisest path to peace is to have a bigger and more terrible weapon than your enemy.
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Shadow Thief
 Posted: Apr 27 2016, 07:03 PM
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The night fell over the estate, Shadow getting ready for her entrance. She'd spent the day monitoring the house from afar, and was originally quite surprised that there was only one person other than Hephastus in the house. However, once she caught a good look at the man, she knew that she was in trouble. Shadow not only saw, but felt danger radiating from the one eyed man. Her first thought when seeing a lack of a large group in the house was "this is gonna be easy." Instead, she was staring at the house from atop the nearby building, ready to enter through one of the windows. Shadow grinned, two small fangs visible in her mouth. "This will be so much fun." An acute ear may have been able to hear her say those words, but very faintly

She stepped back on her building, then ran forward and leapt towards the window. She caught herself just above it, her gloves expanding into multiple long claws as she smacked into the wall. She cringed at the impact, than clambered down to the window, attempting to slide it open. Unsurprisingly, it was locked, as was expected when she advertised her plans. So she did what she always did, her right glove losing its claws as she brought it down to the window. a thin tendril snaked out, slipping into the locking mechanism. Shadow fiddled with it for a few moments, it taking longer than she was expecting to click open. She slid lithely into the house, her light black clothing sticking to her tightly as she did so. Her gloves retracted all of their extensions, returning to the original ornate gloves resting on her hands.

She looked around the room she was in, her golden snake eyes becoming rapidly accustomed to the darkness. She was in a bedroom, the old man she was stealing from asleep on the bed to her right. Shadow smirked, quietly closing the window and looking around. She needed to find the alarm system, and fast, otherwise she'd have a hell of a time getting out of here. Sadly, whatever was used for the alarm system wasn't in this room, so she quietly opened the door and slipped out. She pushed the door mostly closed, but didn't fully close it. After all, where's the fun in being completely undetectable?

It only took her one room to find the alarm console, and her steps were quick and silent as she made her way to it. Shadow grinned as she got to it, it was very simple, and with the help of ANCH she could easily circumvent it. She created a screwdriver from her glove and pulled off the face of the alarm system, revealing the complex wiring beneath it. Thus, Shadow went to work, snipping certain wires and instantly replacing them with tendrils from her gloves to prevent the alarm from triggering. It seems her original analysis was slightly flawed, this was a very complex alarm, and one misstep would trigger an alarm across the whole house. As such, she ended up staying there for a good five minutes before finally approaching completion. Both of Shadow's hands were out and tendrils were pouring from her palms to replace all of her cut wires, but only thirteen more and she'd be able to rewire the alarm system as she saw fit. Unfortunately, her impromptu wiring had also turned on the light in the room she was in, the yellow glare being a clear indicator something was amiss. Just a few more. The thought flew through Shadow's head, hoping beyond hope she had time.
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Sol Moon
 Posted: Apr 27 2016, 09:12 PM
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A faint buzzing and rumbling coming from the scroll in his left pocket caused Sol to look up from the intricately folded square of paper in his hands, and after placing the half finished dragon down on the massive mahogany desk that served as the vertex of Hephastus' office, he leaned back in the extravagant desk chair, that was gilded and carved to match the splendor of the desk that it sat behind, and began fishing his scroll out of his pocket.

There was only one possible reason that the device would be alerting him at this ungodly hour, but even still the young man did not rush, and withdrew the transparent sheet of reinforced crystal just in time to see that one of the second story windows had been opened, only to have the alert deactivate a moment later without any input from himself. He had hooked his scroll up to the wireless features of the security system almost as soon as he had finished inspecting the priceless antiques that he would spend the night guarding. The functionality of the app was limited, and was mostly intended as a means for the home owner to be updated on the status of their property while absent, but it also had functions for remotely activating and deactivating specific zones of the system, provided one had the correct security code, which Sol himself had been sure to acquire just in case, despite the reluctance of his client.

He'd not been quick enough to see exactly which window it was that had been tripped, but he knew it was somewhere on the second floor, and the fact that the system had reset a moment later might mean that the man of the house was feeling restless and had simply forgotten to shut the silent alarm down before letting a bit of air into the manor, with the only other option being that someone had opened the window from the outside and then overridden the system manually. Sol had seen the rats nest of wire that served for the main security hub, and the fact that anyone could make sense of that disorder enough to bypass it in less time that it took for him to retrieve his scroll from his pocket, was unlikely to the degree of near impossibility.

Still, he had been hired to guard the mansion, (despite having more in common with a machine gun nest than a guard dog), and trying to force his artificial hand to perform the complicated movements necessary to complete that origami dragon was as frustrating and time consuming as it was migraine inducing. So, a little patrol would do him some good, even if it was just to make sure that the merchant was to blame for triggering his own security system.

The master bedroom was two doors down from the office, but to say that failed to convey the length of the intervening corridor due to the disgustingly exorbitant scale of all the manor's rooms. Two doors down the same hall took Sol nearly a minute to reach while moving at a not leisurely pace.

It was upon reaching the slightly ajar bedroom door that Sol first felt as if something were not quite right, and elbowing it a further crack open to find Hephastus still sound asleep in his bed sent an icy chill through the young warrior.

Golden eye ablaze with suspicion he raised his gaze to scan the corridor for signs of intrusion, but found nothing, save for the most faded fingers of light stretching around the corner of an intersecting hallway.

A tumultuous glow surrounded the one eyed teen, wispy red fingers seemed to flow away from his flesh, caressing the air with a silent and ominous dance as they decayed into deep blue shadows the further the traveled from his body. If an aura were truly a reflection of the soul, then this young man was a smoldering heart surrounded by a choking darkness.

With heavy boots that thundered upon the hardwood floors, he broke into a sprint towards the source of that pale glow that reached up towards his side of the corridor's intersection, (he already recognized that the light was coming from the same direction as the primary security panel), as the glow of his aura was joined by that of a fel crimson shimmer that changed the color of the blue core of his false arm to a red to match the heat resistant scales that covered it, as if the translucent metal were filling with molten blood. Vents at palm, elbow and shoulder began to scream, as if a dozen copper kettles were coming to a boil simultaneously next to a loudspeaker, and steam began to hiss out between the gaps in the dust treated ceramic plates that covered the arm like the scales of a serpent, as stubby jets of flame sprang to life just beyond the apertures of the shrieking vents.

A sinister grin, that was so far from touching his single golden eye that they both might have belonged to different men, spread across his face, as he grabbed one of the rolls of paper from an integrated clip in the bracer on his left wrist with his teeth, fangs digging into something hard beneath the velum.

Sol had seen this scene in books and movies, when the hero came upon an intruder, and made what most would call the wise choice of approaching quietly only to have the intruder turn on him and do something unexpected and ultimately escape. That had always frustrated him that the cowardice of the protagonist would allow the antagonist to respond on their own terms. In his mind, Sol was the aforementioned hero, with one distinct difference. He was not going to confront the intruder. In fact he wasn't going to waste a single word on whoever he found tampering with the security system. No, he was just going to put an end to them in the only way he could be one hundred percent certain, that is to say, VIOLENTLY.

This post has been edited by Sol Moon: Apr 27 2016, 09:34 PM

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The wisest path to peace is to have a bigger and more terrible weapon than your enemy.
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At least that way you have an advantage when peace inevitably fails.
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Shadow Thief
 Posted: Apr 27 2016, 10:23 PM
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The thundering footsteps pouring towards her caused Shadow to throw her head up. "Aw hell." It would seem she had acquired the attention of the one eyed man watching over her target. She rewired the last bit of the system, and by changing the pathways of certain wires, she triggered alarms in the opposite side of the house. It wouldn't do much to the man currently charging at her, but it might cause the old man to get in his way. She pulled ANCH out of the security panel, seeing it shut off as it lost power, and reached into her clothing. She very quickly found what she was looking for in one of her various pockets, and smirked.

Pulling her hand out, there were two pellets held in tendrils from her gloves. One of them was much larger, and she threw that one at the ceiling. The pellet, one of her Stick Pellets, shattered against the ceiling and spread a thin layer of dirt along it. The dirt should have fallen because of the laws of gravity, but it stayed there, encased in a light black glow. Shadow threw out a claw from her now empty right hand, impacting the dirt as she jumped upwards. Instantly, her gravity shifted to be the same as the dirt, flipping her upside down as she attached to the ceiling.

As she was moving upwards, she dropped the other pellet. The Smoke Pellet impacted the ground and cool steam spread across the room in an instant, concealing her form and the black glow from the dirt she was laying upon. Some of the smoke very rapidly poured out of the room, and Shadow realized she'd probably only have a few moments to get out of this unfortunate situation. She pulled out a third pellet, one she was pretty sure was a Flash Pellet, and held it in her hands. The moment the smoke started to dissipate she was ready to blind this one eyed man and make her break.

At the very least, Shadow was glad she was able to finish her work on the security system. Because of it, the alarms wouldn't trigger from any more of her antics. Hopefully, that would leave the one eyed man completely blind to her antics throughout the house while she would be making her move on that statue. Even still, his awareness to her presence alone would make the heist far more challenging. Shadow's grin widened to absurd levels as the thought passed through her head, refraining herself from laughing. Oh how I've missed a challenge. I'll have to ask this man for his name, I'd rather not just refer to him as "the one eyed man". Shadow brought her mind back to the present, remaining completely still on her ceiling perch and listening for the door opening.
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Sol Moon
 Posted: Apr 28 2016, 12:16 AM
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Sol's step faltered slightly as blaring sirens rose up in shrill chorus on the other side of the estate. It was not a large leap of logic to realize that whoever was tampering with the security system was also responsible for that, unless "The Shadow Thief" had an accomplice, but the sudden noise was enough to startle some of the speed out of the swordsman's charge. Of course he did not divert his course for what was almost certainly a diversionary tactic, and even if another intruder was in the building, there would be plenty of time to deal with that once he was finished "apprehending" whoever was in the room ahead.

Likened to the wailing alarms, Sol barely hesitated when he saw smoke usher within the security room. Hesitation was not a quality the young man possessed, and though that sometimes meant that he was prone to charging ahead into peril when a wiser man might have avoided it altogether by simply hanging back for one footfall, it could never be said of Sol that he did not have an ironclad certainty and trust in his own abilities and actions. Sol did not believe that men like him made mistake. Men like him made choices, and it was historians who decided whether those choices were mistakes from the safety and security of a desk with the full benefit of hindsight. Doubt and procrastination had cost him dearly in the past, far more than even the worst result of a blind charge, and any ability to divert once a course was set had all but been burned out of him.

That smoke changed nothing, or at least, it did not change enough, and in the end it did not affect the plan Sol had set in his own mind even before he began running.

He raised his left hand, as if to ward away the smoke that was already filling the hallway, and just as he sensed that his hand had crossed the threshold into the smoking room, Sol's aura seemed to snap towards his outstretched fingers, collecting upon his palm as if on elastic bands. The sphere of red and blue coruscation then collapsed upon itself almost as quickly as it formed and the air beyond his hand became a hammer. A shockwave, stormed into the narrow enclosed space with enough force to flatten the shroud of smoke against three of the walls and the ceiling, forcing the rest out through the door in a gushing wave that buffeted the hunter. The metal casings of the security equipment buckled, as in perfect unison each folded inwards upon itself like tin cans beneath a boot,, while the wooden panels that covered the walls, which had been whole one moment, were riddled with cracks as wide as a man's thumb the next. The air, compressed to the point that it was effectively a solid mass, slammed outwards with as much strength as a cloud of hammers pummeling every single millimeter of the room's interior. Every object of a material less durable that ten gauge steel was warped and shattered and bludgeoned. Wood became splinters, metal became crumpled, ceramics and glass became dust, and it all happened in less than a second.

But Sol was not done. Even as air flooded past him, forced out of the room ahead, at sufficient enough velocities to make his eardrums ring like bells, he raised his other hand, or rather the cruel unfeeling weapon that served as it's replacement. A jet of fire, that would have reached up to fifteen feet had it the space to do so, crashed against the back wall of the room and flame like liquid sprayed away from the impact in every direction, turning the entire security center into a blazing inferno before the dust had even settled from the discharge of his semblance.

Sol kept the jet in the palm of his hand trained on the doorway, continuing to eject a seemingly endless conflagration through the portal, determined to make certain that anything trying to get out would have to suffer a stream of molten red dust for it. He waited for his semblance to recover as he continued to chew on that rolled up paper cylinder. There was a wild gleam in his golden gaze, a mad, mindless killing fury that made the flames reflected in his eye seem like pale shadows in comparison. There was no joy or ecstasy in that expression, it was something simpler; Death. Murder was as much a feature of his face in that instant as the contorted rictus of his mouth and the wide eyed glare that had equal intensity and focus to a laser, made all the more terrible by how aside from the earsplitting boom of his first shot and the continuous shrieking hiss of his hand mounted flamethrower, the man hadn't made a sound or even said a word. There was no point in talking to the dead after all.

This post has been edited by Sol Moon: Apr 28 2016, 02:01 AM

--------------------
The wisest path to peace is to have a bigger and more terrible weapon than your enemy.
user posted image
At least that way you have an advantage when peace inevitably fails.
PMEmail
^
Shadow Thief
 Posted: Apr 28 2016, 02:01 AM
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Tingle tingle tingle. Shadow felt those tingles, the hair stand up on the back of her neck, and reacted instinctively. When foreshadow triggered, she knew that imminent danger was on its way, and the general direction of it. Since this danger was all around, she threw her hands above her and created a dome around herself. The flash pellet remained clutched in her hand, the majority of the dome sprouting from the top of her fist. As she did this, her body coiled in on itself, similar to a snake. An instant after ANCH finished creating the dome, she felt a huge concussive force on it. The strain on her arms caused her to grunt instinctively, sweat beading on her forehead. Then, the force was gone, though it was replaced by a roaring heat.

Shadow stayed there on the ceiling, straining to keep her dome up through the clear inferno raging around her. Foreshadow was staying constantly active, warning her that if she faltered she'd be incinerated. The torrent was unrelenting, and before long she felt the drain on her aura becoming too much to bear. Bits of the shield started cracking, retracting back into the gloves to prevent losing the nanites that powered them. As such, flame started lashing into her not-so-safe haven. She screamed as fire raked across her left arm, the part under ANCH being safe, but a significant burn running from the bottom of ANCH to her elbow. As soon as that happened, she instinctively put up an aura barrier with what little she had remaining. More and more of the shield started cracking, and while her barrier was preventing deadly burns, she didn't have enough aura left to prevent minor burns. So she closed her eyes and buried her head into the rest of her body, shielding it from the flame.

It took only a few more seconds for the fire to stop, but those few seconds were agonizing for Shadow. Pain arced through her body, she felt her aura lowering to very dangerous levels, and her beautiful clothes were getting singed and ruined. Then, she felt the heat leave and foreshadow stopped ringing in her ears. Exhausted, her aura barrier shattered, or what was left of it did, and ANCH collapsed back into glove form. She unwrapped herself, collapsed on the only part of the ceiling intact. She was panting heavily, her clothes sweat soaked and minor burns coating her body. Her face was relatively unscathed, but her clothes were in tattered and burned shreds.

Shadow rolled over and glared daggers at the doorway. Standing in it was the one eyed man, and she really wish she knew his name. Simply so she could spit it at him. "That," Shadow's words were interrupted as she entered a coughing fit. Even when she recovered, her voice was filled with exhaustion and was rather hoarse. "That was uncalled for, Mister One Eyed Man." She picked herself up, leaning on her elbows as she lifted herself slightly up. "I have done nothing violent, I had no intention of doing so, and you come in here and burn my WONDERFUL CLOTHES!" Shadow screamed the last two words, and instantly regretted it. Another fit of coughs raked her body, bringing her back to the ground.

Shadow took a deep breath, calming herself and pulling up into a sitting position. "Now that the anger and destruction is out of the way, I'm The Shadow Thief. What is your name, or should I just keep calling you One Eyed Man?" Shadow smiled warmly at the one eyed man, trying her best to look calm and comfortable. Even though she was currently upside down on the ceiling of a destroyed room. She looked down, fully taking in the destroyed parts of her outfit. Excess pockets were hanging out of various parts of her clothing, a few of her marks pouring onto the floor. "Aw, now look what you did. Do you know how hard those things are to make. At least you didn't hit any pellets, that would've been bad for both of us." Shadow pouted, looking towards the one eyed man and debating just throwing her Flash Pellet and bolting. But she was too exhausted to pull that off, so she just sat there, ready to throw at a moments notice.

This post has been edited by Shadow Thief: Apr 28 2016, 02:37 AM
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Sol Moon
 Posted: Apr 28 2016, 09:36 PM
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Sol gritted his teeth so hard he would have worried that they might shatter if he wasn't already preoccupied with bathing the safe room in a full sixty uninterrupted seconds of roaring fire. Plumes of a black smoke choking the hallway, and heat enough to vaporize the sweat as quickly as it could bead on his brow gave that doorway more than a passing resemblance to the gates of hell itself. He could feel the metal of his false arm beginning to reach the peak of its thermal tolerance, as it began to exceed the capabilities of the specially forged material's abilities to dump heat away from from his body, and instead began funnelling a taste of that scorching sensation directly into the bolts where the prosthesis was affixed to his scapular and clavicle bones. he was glad he could not see what remained of the humerus of his right arm, which ended just below the shoulder where a Faunus sword had bisected it more than a year prior, because if the sensation his body was reporting to him was accurate, then the bone was beginning to blacken and the marrow boil, or at least that's what it felt like.

"Roar", the fitting name he'd given to the mechanical limb, had only a few design flaws that Sol had never been able to find solutions to without compromising his overall vision of its functions as a weapon, but one of those notable flaws was heat management. The blue core of the weapon was an alloy that was tempered with ice dust, affording it endo-thermic properties that caused the metal to maintain permanent sub-zero temperature when not in use, as well as giving it the ability to quickly bleed off heat generated by the weapon system into the surrounding atmosphere. But the heat generated by firing a continuous stream of ignited fire dust through a tiny aperture in the palm was ludicrous to the degree that even that revolutionary material would soften and deform like weak iron in a forge if forced to endure longer than a minute of sustained use.

Sol didn't consider this flaw to be significant enough to rectify, primarily because he was entirely unwilling to give up any of the destructive capabilities of the weapon, but also because sixty seconds of that firestorm was often more than enough to put a blazing end to most foes.

Sol had built in safety measures to ensure that Roar would not exceed the threshold of it's heat tolerance, in the form of an emergency shutdown mode that activated before the temperature could pose a significant threat to the overall structural integrity. Of this could be overridden, assuming Sol didn't mind the risk of igniting all the ammunition that remained in the system, potentially detonating his arm like a bomb, and suffering bone deep burns where the prosthesis joined to his biology. To make this possibility even more daunting was the fact that damage to the nerve endings in his stump might actually preclude him from using a similar prosthetic limb in the future.

Shadow could thank that safety feature for he own continued existence, because at sixty seconds on the dot, when the last of her defenses finally failed, so did the endless jet of fire.

With a dozen clicks that rattled off in unison, the tempered red scales that surrounded the arm flicked upwards like the raised hackles on the neck of a startled animal, and a cloud of steam erupted from the red hot metal core of the the arm, directed away from Sol's body by the shaped ceramic scales that stood on end like the fins of sharks swimming in a red sea. The core of the device began to return to it's former lapis hue, as the smoke billowing from the room separated around the hissing geyser of hot vapor that was rose from Sol's arm.

"Sssssssssahhhhhhh" Roar seemed to sigh in satisfaction, as the room ahead continued to burn in rolling tongues of dancing red and gold.

Sol's eye snapped toward the first flicker of movement that could not be attributed to the blaze, and grew wide beneath a scowl that made the blistering inferno seem cool and indifferent by comparison. He did not bother wondering how the thief had survived, because knowing would not change the fact that she had, albeit at the cost of most of her aura and a significant portion of her clothing. To say that this displeased him would be like stating that the sun was slightly warm. If anything he was furious that an assault, that he'd executed flawlessly no less, had failed to yield a decisive victory to the point that he wanted to wade right through the roiling flames and grab the thief by the throat.

To make matters worse she was trying to talk to him, of all the ways this could be more asinine. Well, if she didn't move, the thief was welcome to cling to the ceiling and chatter away right up until she asphyxiated on the near impenetrable cloud of black smoke being thrown off by the flaming ruin around her. The fool didn't even seem to notice that fire meant smoke, and that smoke was not in fact air, if that were the case, Sol probably would have breathed perpetually through a cigar. Every moment that she spent making idle conversation was another nail in her own coffin.

Sol himself didn't say a word, being that he himself was devoting every synapse of his brain to controlling his temper, as well as the objective of not breathing in any of the carcinogenic fog that flowed out into the hallway. That was until she had the gall to ask his name.

"Oh yes, I suppose next time a wild beast breaks into the house I am protecting, I shall be sure to wait for it to announce it's intentions, I'm so sorry for the misunderstanding." He growled, one good look at her eyes being all he needed to identify her as faunus, and his words equal measures of sarcastic agreement and visceral acrimony, "As for who I am?"

He paused to plucked the paper tube that looked a lot like a cigarette from his lips, and subsequently replaced it with a cigar from his jacket pocket, which he lit by holding the red hot metal of his right forefinger against the tip. He took a deep breath, because if he was going to breath in this smog, it might as well have a flavor he enjoyed, and then as if simply discarding the tube of paper that had been in his mouth, he flicked it lazily towards Shadow, giving it not even enough velocity to close a third of the distance between them.

"I'm your worst nightmare."

If Shadow's semblance was meant to predict danger, then with those words it would have begun screaming like a claxon, identifying every square inch of the boy as if any given part of him were a lethal weapon. A second set of flames that gave off no heat, but still rang to Shadow's senses as if they were the crest of an active volcano, sprang into existence, this time surrounding Sol. A gravity defying cascade of sanguine red that rotted away into a deep, nearly black, navy blue covered the young man, and seemed to fill his mouth and eye with an endless lake of warring diametric hues, but for only the briefest of moments. Then, as his fingers opened, still following through with the motion of flicking the tube of paper at the thief the flames covering the cyclops seemed to be drawn towards his palm so suddenly that it was peculiar that there was not an audible "snap" to accompany it, and as quickly as the orb of condensed churning blue and red had formed it seemed to collapse into itself, and this time there was a sound.

The smoke parted as if before a gale, and a visible wave of force sprang forth from the point where that little blip had snuffed out. The first thing it struck was the blue crystal wrapped in paper that Sol had flicked at the woman. The crystal shattered into a cloud of beryl dust, each individual spec of which a prism through which the blast was focused, taking on it's qualities.

In an instant, the room went from a searing heat to a cold as frigid as the embrace of the grave, a layer of ice, several inches thick in some places, quenched the flames immediately, and then with a deafening cracking sound that seemed to come from everywhere at once, the frost shattered and blurred the air with thousands of frozen flechettes traveling at the speed of shrapnel.

This post has been edited by Sol Moon: Apr 28 2016, 09:37 PM

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The wisest path to peace is to have a bigger and more terrible weapon than your enemy.
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Shadow Thief
 Posted: Apr 29 2016, 07:47 AM
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"I'm your worst nightmare"

It was a strange feeling, Shadow had never had foreshadow trigger off a sentence before. But here it was, ringing in her ears at that sentence, and rapidly drawing her attention to the roll of paper flying through the air. It only took one glint of blue for the ringing to stop, and for Shadow's eyes to go wide. "You can not be serious." The wave of force hit her like a truck, shoving her back onto the ceiling. Then the room froze, and Shadow had only an instant to figure out a plan.

The Flash Pellet, still clutched in her hand, went flying into the air below her. It shattered at the same time as the ice, and had time froze it would have been a beautiful sight. Surrounding Shadow would have been a cloud of red dirt, and just beyond it a field of icicles would have been pointed straight towards her. Shadow's eyes were closed, and she was turning quickly away to bury her face into the nearest dark surface. After all, the impending flash was enough to blind unsuspecting onlookers for about 25 seconds, and the more aware for about 15.

Luckily for Shadow, time did not freeze, and each speck of dirt ignited. A bright flash encased the room, Shadow's eyes shielded by the ceiling her face was currently buried in. The other in the room may not have been so lucky, the glare entering and exiting the room in an instant. The heat from the pellet wasn't enough to vaporize or even fully melt the shards, but it turned them from lethal points to semi-solid slush. Shadow was battered by not entirely liquid water, bruises forming along her back as her clothes became entirely soaked. She heard icicles fly past her and impact the destroyed room around her, and thanked her luck that she had managed to mostly melt the ones that had been a danger to her.

Unfortunately, the torrent of water and blast of heat was too much for the dust mixture she was currently balanced upon. The gravity of the dirt sheet she was laying on began to revert, and Shadow felt herself fall. Her eyes shot open, the flash gone and the room coated in icicles and water. She flipped herself around half-way down, landing gracefully on her feet. Looking to the man that had thoroughly ruined her clothes, she sighed. "So you haven't just burned my clothes, you've now soaked them as well. If you wanted my clothes gone, you should've just asked." Shadow smirked at him, this One Eyed Man, this Nightmare, and hissed. The hiss was strange, sounding like a mix between a hiss and a giggle. "I will say, this has been the most fun I've had in years. Though I must say, my worst nightmares involve far more than a few stray icicles and soaked clothes. I think I'll just stick to One Eyed Man, until I learn your name."

At about this time, the blinding effect of her pellet would have mostly worn off, the worst effect being some blurry vision. Shadow quickly rectified any recovering vision by withdrawing another Smoke Pellet and throwing it at the ground. The room once again filled with smoke, though this smoke did nothing more than inhibit vision. "My statue is still waiting for me, so I think I'll bid you farewell One Eyed Man." Shadow did not start moving until a few seconds after she stopped speaking, her footsteps silent as she ran through the fog. With the man standing a little over a foot taller than her, Shadow could easily slip by him in the fog. That is, if his vision was still impaired by it. Along with that, he likely would not be far behind her. Her time was limited, her aura gone, and an incredibly dangerous man seeking her failure. Shadow was loving every second of it.

This post has been edited by Shadow Thief: Apr 29 2016, 02:56 PM
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Sol Moon
 Posted: Apr 30 2016, 05:02 PM
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It was a mystery whether the rush of exhilaration that filled the young warrior whenever he activated his semblance was a result of unleashing so much power all at once, a biological reaction to discharging so much energy, or simply an indecent thrill from watching the physical manifestation of his wrath lay waste to his surroundings, but whatever the case may have been, Sol counted the joy of the simple act of unleashing the power of his soul among the greatest pleasures a man could feel. Closely following that joy so sweet that it sometimes hurt, was that of combat. Just as some men could not understand what would make a man love the act of putting his life at risk, or the act of taking that life from another, so could Sol not understand how some men went their entire lives without it. To live was to fight, and to be free was to bathe in the glory of warfare and reach out with the strength of his own will and shape the world with it, often by destroying what came before. He didn't necessarily love killing, but in the heat of battle, when his blood was full of adrenaline and his heart pounding in his ears, when a single moment seemed to stretch on into eternity, as every sight, sound, and sensation became sharp like razor blades in his mind, and the flavor of life became so incredibly tangible that when that bloodlust faded so too did the colors of the world itself seem to become pale shadows as well, it was like a drug to him, an addiction that was as much a part of life that the two became inseparable.

If anything, as Sol watched the forces of his semblance slam Shadow against the ceiling like an empty ragdoll, the satisfaction he felt was nearly equal to the disappointment that for a moment it seemed to be over. This was not a fight, and she was not much of an opponent, but the glory of being the one who bagged the infamous Shadow Thief made that tolerable. The fact that she had survived this long was a testament to her toughness, and before he ultimately killed her, he might take the time to honor her with this fact. This may seem like a lot for a man to consider while in the act of finishing a foe, but time had a funny way of dilating when the blood was hot.

This was why what happened next seemed to take place in slow motion to the young man, and the satisfaction he had felt soured like rotten milk in his mouth. He saw as the impact caused something to fall from the faunus' hand, and at first he thought nothing of it, untill the forces of his discharge caused the bauble to shatter into a cloud of shimmering red dust that he recognize too well as being the same that served for ammunition in his right arm. It was eerily beautiful in a demented way, a not unattractive woman, pinned down and surrounded by a swirling dance of red and blue, as lashing tongues of his own aura swatted down any scraps of shrapnel that came within a few inches of his skin. He'd activated his aura while making love once, because women appreciated a bit of extra stamina in his experience, and it had looked strangely similar.

The dilation of time became a prison that despite every synapse in his brain calling for him to do something, he could not move his hand fast enough to cover his eye as the red dust ignited with the blinding luminescence of the core of a lightning bolt, that even his eyelid slamming shut in defense did not manage to keep out entirely.

A searing pain painted swallowed the entire world for a brief instant, as a veil so white as to make pure snow seem tarnished by comparison obscured everything within sight. Sol yelled, a wordless, thoughtless sound of utter shock and suffering as he staggered back, suddenly unable to find his balance without being able to see anything to use as a reference for his footing, and into the wall to his rear. It hurt, it hurt really bad, and he gave a sound that was part moan and part growl as he clawed blindly at the air ahead with a hand like a five pointed pitchfork, less to capture the thief before she could escape and more to protect himself from the inevitable shank to the ribs that must surely follow such a counter attack.

When the expected stab did not come, Sol realized that Shadow had paused to taunt him, and he looked in what he assumed to be her direction, face frozen in a mask of agony and anger, eye wide and darting from one side to the next in a frantic attempt to find an angle not hidden behind that impenetrable white veil that covered all his vision.

"Rrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagghhh!" A sound, more a wordless declaration of the hatred and rage that filled him in that moment, loud enough to rattle the sheets of ice still covering everything in the security room, rose from his throat as he threw himself towards the sound of that mocking voice, any fears of unseen blade completely replaced by an all consuming desire to get his hands around her throat and squeeze the smugness right out of the wretch faunus cutpurse.

His aura sprang back into existence around him, giving the youth the aspect of a demon as he launched himself off the wall and threw out his right arm, just as the vent in the shoulder blade roared to life with a deafening shriek, that still somehow did not manage to drown out Sol's roar of acrimony, and at once the boy surged ahead at the speed of an out of control jet engine and slammed through the wall behind where Shadow had been standing less than a moment before. Wood parted like reeds and plaster exploded like fine china hit with a sledgehammer, as the full body impact smashed open a roughly Sol shaped hole in the hallway's far wall.

He stumbled as his hips struck a table and sent a score of fine silverwares scattering to the floor with a toe curling clatter, and Sol heaved the offending furniture out of his way, flipping it end over end and across the room with a single swipe of his mechanical arm. His eyesight was returning in fitful and blurry fragments, but he did not was any more time on allowing his eye to recover than he did on the doorknob leading from the room he was now in. A rocket-assisted backhanded blow that utilized the turbines at palm and elbow separated the door from it's hinges and smashed it into three shattered chunks as it blasted out into the hallway.

Hephastus' face went white as he halted in his tracks of coming up to see what all the noise was, and as the raging dragon stormed into the hallway, he was certain that the fury that gripped him would drive him to seek vengeance on everything in his path. The warrior did not even seem to notice the merchant standing there as white as a sheet, trousers feeling a lot heavier than a moment before, and tore right by him at a full sprint.

The thief could only have one objective, and Sol knew she must be making a run for the prize, even in his completely enraged state, but even still he choose to take a route that would seemingly take him further from the staircase leading down to the private gallery. Or rather, it might have seemed that way to anyone who unlike Sol, had not familiarized themselves with the basic layout of the entire manor. The one eyed swordsman, so furious that steam was literally pouring from his mouth and nose, stopped at what he guessed to be a point immediately above the only entrance to the gallery on the floor below, then using his demonic prosthesis he slammed viciously upon the floorboards until the buckled out from beneath him, dropping him onto the floor below.

His temper not sated, but at least relieve to managable levels by the exertion, he turned his golden eye, which currently blazed with the red fires of his aura, upon the doorway that lead into the reception chamber, and began the process of setting himself up between it and the entrance to Hephastus' collection. He spread his feet just passed shoulder width, and bent his knees low to give him the ability to lunge or leap in any direction at a moment's notice, as he angled his body sideways to present a narrow target, right shoulder towards the door ahead which would be the thief's only avenue of entry. With a chorus of mechanical clicks as well as the whirring of actuators as the apertures in the vents of his arm close entirely, Sol locked his right hand around the hilt of his sword, as his left hand choked up on the scabbard and his forefinger caressed the trigger set there. A crimson glow of ill-intent began to fill the blue core of his arm, from shoulder to hand, but this time it did so silently, being that all the vents, save the one in the palm, currently interfacing with Whisper's hilt, were completely shut. His aura surged, lashing outwards in every direction in silent sanguine/azure menace, as steam trickled from his nostrils and from between gritted teeth in a steady stream. His entire body became tense, like the loaded spring of a firing pin, poised like the fangs of a steal trap to slam shut the moment his target came into view.

--------------------
The wisest path to peace is to have a bigger and more terrible weapon than your enemy.
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At least that way you have an advantage when peace inevitably fails.
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Shadow Thief
 Posted: Apr 30 2016, 05:54 PM
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Shadow, who had taken a small detour in an attempt to evade the One Eyed Man, heard the sound of pure rage emanate from behind her. Shadow quickly ducked into the nearest corner, seeming to fade away. The man burst through the wall behind her, rage pouring from his body and sending a shudder down Shadow's spine. Then he went barreling through the house, straight past the petrified home owner, and strangely away from the staircase. Shadow strode straight up to the terrified old man, walking straight by him as she spoke. "He seems upset." Shadow smirked at the man as she strode past, walking confidently towards the stairs. "I hope you know he's doing far more damage to your house than I did. I was just gonna take a statue, he seems to want to-" A crash echoed through the house as he slammed through the ground. "Case in point. Anyway, he's standing between me and my statue. Ta ta!" Shadow waved at Hephastus as she walked calmly down the stairs.

Upon reaching the bottom, she faded once again into the darkness. After doing so, she dropped to the ground, panting and exhausted. She didn't show it, but the escape took far more out of her than it seemed. She spent a minute simply sitting there, recovering. Simply resting did wonders, a small amount of her aura restored and her skin not screaming in pain from the various burns and bruises across her body. "Oh that feels better." She stretched her hands, clenching and unclenching her fists. She felt enough aura to utilize ANCH again, though not for much.

Shadow began making her way towards her prize, though froze for a moment upon feeling the raw hatred pouring out of the room. "What are you?" Shadow muttered under her breath, eyes wide and staring at the entrance to the room. If she focused, she could see the wisps of blue and red pouring off his aura from her angle. "Only one way in and out of that room. Bet he's keeping a tight eye on that door." Shadow reached into her clothes to pull out another Flash Pellet, only to touch bare skin. She flinched, hands flying across her body in search of her target. Unfortunately, it would seem she had lost some of her pellets due to the many holes in her clothing. A quick search revealed that she had lost all but one stick and three smoke, making this heist a whole lot more difficult.

Shadow pulled out a Smoke Pellet, toying with it as she debated whether or not to use it. Shadow didn't know if she could beat the One Eyed Man in a raw fight, or rather how long she could last. She did specifically have a defensive fighting style, so she could probably last a decent amount of time. The issue was, could she then disengage and grab the statue. The likelihood of that seemed quite low, so she resolved to simply use the pellet, grab the statue, and run. She knew it would be best if she just threw it and went, but she couldn't resist popping off with one more comment.

"You seem upset, how about some nice mist to cool you down?" The moment she finished her sentence, she threw the pellet straight into the room. Smoke spread through the room in an instance, and Shadow rushed through the door at top speed, hoping to avoid the inevitable charge from the One Eyed Man. As soon as she got in she made a beeline for the statue, her prior investigations how she knew where it was. She didn't quite go all the way to it, instead sending a tendril from ANCH to wrap around it from a few feet away. The moment she felt ANCH wrap around the statue she turned towards the door, ready to bolt back through it next opportunity.
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