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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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feb 16 we are excited to announce the unveiling of the new skin, CASPIAN! :D
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 Learn to Fly, Attn: Ryees~
Aegle Vitus
 Posted: Mar 31 2016, 09:38 PM
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Aegle scanned the field impassively, a far sight from the existential reservation which had followed her first encounter with the nameless organization that wanted Mae dead. She did so without at the aforementioned Fontine, even while the blonde was outlining the tactical lay of the land. The truth was that she wasn't really listening. Oh, she heard every word which Mae said and even comprehended most of it, but she'd stopped really paying attention when it became obvious that Mae did not approve of her plan. Aegle, for her part, thought it was a pretty good plan. Sure, there was room for improvement and it would certainly be nice not to get shot as much as her initial plan had entailed, but it was still decent enough. It wasn't jilted bitterness for the dismissal of her plan which had Aegle distracted, however. Her eyes had settled upon the truck, their stated goal, and she was wondering how they had driven it in. Such a big truck would need a fairly reliable path to make it into the clearing, wouldn't it? So she had begun following the trail furrowed into the dirt and soft shrubs by the large vehicle's passage. It wound in and around the sparse trees which populated the clearing before vanishing through a denser copse and around a small hillock. With a glance at Mae to remind herself what the blonde woman was talking about, and with continued perfunctory attention paid to the exact content of Mae's discourse, Aegle shifted her backpack down from her shoulder and laid it quietly on the ground beside her. With one hand, she unhooked her canteen. With the other, she undid the pack's clasps and rummaged quietly through it's contents. She hefted the canteen lightly, testing its weight, while her other hand retrieved another one of those small battery cells. Aegle then spent disproportionate amount of time regarding both items, while clear uncertainty formed on her fair face.

When Aegle had listened to all of Mae's words, the orange haired girl turned to regard her older companion.
"That guy you killed." She said mildly, as though she might have already adjusted to the shock of seeing death first hand, "He shot me right here." Aegle thumbed at the side of her head, just beside her eye, where a phenomenal bruise had had begun to swell. In the heat of the moment, she hadn't been entirely sure it was the shooter and not the knife fighter, but after a bit of time to consider, she was pretty sure it had been the shooter.
"I can probably take twenty hits like that before my aura gives out. More, if they don't hit me somewhere nasty." All of this was shared in an absent, hushed sort of way as she replaced the power cell in her backpack, and pulled out an emergency flare instead.
"I can probably make it to the truck in a few of seconds..." Aegle, apparently satisfied with the flare, set it down and then set her canteen down beside it. "I'll be harder to hit if I'm running between them." saying this, almost as an after thought, Aegle then reached over to Mae and, without explanation, plucked one of the pilfered magazines out of her waist band.
"I'm gonna get shot a couple of times, but not too many." The emerald eyed girl continued as she slid the top most bullet out of the magazine and plucked it up between two fingers. When she saw that it did indeed have a firing cap, she grinned minutely and flicked four more out, considered a moment, and then flicked out a fifth.
"Once I'm in among them, they can't all shoot at me or they're gonna start hittin' each other. I bet at least three of them run for cover rather than firin' at me."
Arranging the bullets on the ground beside the flare, Aegle scooped up the canteen and unscrewed the top. She made to pour it out but, after a moment's consideration, brought it to her lips instead and drank a few hearty gulps. Then she offered it over to Mae.
"Cheers." She said with a grin. It was only water, and warm at that, but it was as good a final drink as she could provide. As she waited on Mae to take the drink, she continued
"So three of 'em scatter, three of them stand and shoot. S'about what, thirty bullets? I'm not gonna be standin' still so I don't think all of 'em hit me. Lets say I get hit a dozen more times. I'm still kickin'."

Retrieving the canteen, Aegle regarded the front of her hoodie somewhat mournfully for a moment, then tore a strip of fabric off the hem. This, she pressed down the neck of the canteen, followed by the six bullets she'd acquired. Lastly, she took the flare and stuffed it into the mouth of the canteen.
"Y'said ya had some tricks up your sleeve... Can you use any of them from up here?" Aegle looked meaningfully towards Mae at this, her open and honest face betraying obvious concern. Though she had not explicitly stated that she wanted the older woman out of harms way, her question and the expression on her face said it clearly enough for a blind woman to see.
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Aeenmae Fontine
 Posted: Apr 4 2016, 10:57 PM
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Mae listened, intently at first but with growing trepidation the more and more of her plan Aegle revealed. If one did not stop to consider variables, it was sound enough, but if everything did not go exactly as Aegle believed, it was likely she would end up closer to dead than Aeenmae was comfortable letting her get.

Taking a drink from the proffered container was like swallowing liquid cocaine. Aeenmae felt a hundred times better after she slugged back the entirety of the lukewarm, canteen-stale water, taking a deep, satisfied breath as she handed the canteen back. A brief look of bliss crossed her features; it changed her face completely, turning what was previously a sardonic, tomboyish lout into a surprisingly soft-faced, innocent-looking young woman. That visage was erased in just a moment as that characteristic flatness reentered Mae's eyes.

"Aegle, I..." She paused, thinking for a moment to try and arrange her words differently, but came to the same conclusion as her first try. "That's dumb." She cracked a half smile, but she obviously meant what she said. "I mean, yeah, I can activate my Semblance from anywhere, but they need to be inside the boundary lines for it to do any damage to them. Unless I could get to the other side of the street, we'd have to lure them into the woods."

Mae dove inwards, feeling out the points she had arranged in the forest. One was at the site where she had landed, the other part way up the path. The tree she had leaned against created a very narrow triangle, but the one she had just posted turned the shape into a much wider polygon. "Yeah, the way these points are arranged," she explained, "if I could get them into the tree line, setting one any direction to the side would trap them in it. Otherwise I'd have to get across the street somehow, and I dunno if I can manage that right now..."

@Aegle Vitus
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Aegle Vitus
 Posted: Apr 5 2016, 01:34 AM
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Mae's semblance, whatever it might have been, sure did sound like it might be useful and Aegle spent a few seconds trying to fit its nebulously known qualities into her 'plan'. Given that she hadn't had much of a plan to begin with and what little plan she'd had most certainly excluded drawing the dozen armed thugs towards the injured Mae, Aegle was forced to admit that her companion's semblance probably wouldn't be very useful.
"I guess you shoot then." She said in a perfunctory way, as if all the other options had been excluded without discussion, as they very well had been. It wasn't hard for Aegle to feel like she was an authority in their present predicament, not when it had become evident to her that Mae couldn't possibly make it out of said predicament without help. She'd felt Mae try to wrest away that authority, even if she hadn't been consciously aware of it, and she'd been sure to pull the reigns back each time because Aegle had realised something about Mae's whole perspective of the situation which the tomboyish Fontine may not have even realised for herself. Each plan which Mae had made had centred around the idea of minimizing risk to them both, and thus each plan had minimized Aegle's potential effectiveness. She was trying to come up with some magical formula which would let them both get out of this situation unscathed, where Aegle had already seen that to do so would be impossible. They were wholly outmatched. Aegle, herself, was effectively unarmed save for the knuckle plates she'd only brought for wilderness self defence, and Mae was essentially non-combative in her present state, and capable of support only thanks to a stolen gun. Conversely, the pair of them were up against a small platoon of well outfitted and, presumably, combat trained mercenaries.
"I'll try to keep their attention on me." Aegle told Mae with a reassuring smile. It was the sort of smile that seemed confident that things could only get better. It wasn't a daredevil's smile, nor the smile of someone who knew they were about to throw themselves right into a meat grinder, but a smile that wanted the person looking at it to know everything was gonna be A-Oh-Kay. "It'll be hard for 'em to figure out where you are with me punching them in the face."

With that, and while she keeping her eyes on Mae and holding onto her confident smile, Aegle slowly rose and hefted her canteen. This was their best option, she had long since decided. Or, more specifically, it was the best option for Mae, with the greatest chance of her being alright at the end of it all. So she struck the flare, stuffed it into her canteen, closed the lid, wound back and hurled it as hard as she could. The matte metal flew a good fifty yards before it landed, with a quiet rustle, in a bush just to the left of the truck. The soldier nearest it, who stood about fifteen feet away, turned towards the noise with the sharp 'whip-crack' motion of someone already on a knife's edge.

Even Mae had admitted that she didn't have any plan extending beyond taking one of the soldier's hostage and knocking the other out, and that plan had also ended in Mae being directly in the line of fire. It wasn't much of a plan, when you looked at it that way, and it wouldn't have left the two of them any less out gunned. That was what Aegle had realised, and she reflected on it again as she rose out of hiding. This wasn't a problem you solved by being careful or by taking things slow. This was a problem you solved by putting it all on the line and giving it all you had. This was a problem which required a bit of luck, grit and some good old shock and awe.

Two of the soldiers, one called by the first, had trained their guns on the spot in the bushes by that point, while five of the remaining six looked warily in the canteen's direction. The one who'd heard the canteen drop inched anxiously towards the spot, tension obvious in his posture, while his trigger finger rested a hair's breadth from discharging his lethal weapon. Aegle couldn't make out what they were saying and guessed they were using their radios to communicate.
"Hey, Mae..." Aegle whispered quietly without taking her eyes off the soldier's reluctant approach towards the bush where the canteen had landed. "Was nice t'meetcha, ya know?"
Then the canteen exploded.

The first shell to fire made the whole canteen jump like it had been shot, and the shocking sound and sudden movement was all the impetus the pair of soldiers needed to immediately open fire on the unfortunate bush. The air came alive with the sound of automatic gunfire which drew the full interest of all eight of the men, so none of them saw Aegle break cover, and none heard her as she dashed behind the fallen log she'd pointed out before. Not even the pair who'd been patrolling saw her approach, as they were too busy gawking at the outburst coming from the other side of the truck. It was only when she vaulted out from behind the log and landed directly in between them that one finally took notice of her, and then only when she grabbed him by his bandoleer and swung him into his compatriot. There was a hiccup of gunfire as the man's weapon discharged with the force of the impact and Aegle chopped down viciously on his hand to relieve him of it. She followed up with a trio of body shots that drove the entangled pair back and into a nearby tree. Feeling something, or several somethings, snap beneath her final blow, Aegle had just glimpsed the look of profound confusion and distress on her victim's face before a shout rose from behind her. Knowing she'd finally been spotted, and though she was loath to leave a job half-done, Aegle swung around on her heels and dashed towards the truck. Her first victim slumped hopelessly back against his compatriot, whom he held pinned against the tree as he desperately clutched his broken ribs with his broken hand. The pair were no longer an immediate threat. What was an immediate threat, Aegle saw, was the man who'd raised the alarm. He was standing near the truck and was pointing accusingly at her. This indictment had apparently been insufficient to break the spell the canteen had cast, as bursts of gunfire continued to assail the bush, which occasionally spat back a shot in response. Acutely aware that her time was growing short, Aegle rushed the only other soldier who presently knew where she was. She did so, knowing she would get shot.

Better than thirty feet stood between her and the man when she'd first turned to see him pointing at her, and she had closed almost half that by the time his cries had cut the confusion sufficiently to draw another soldier's attention. It's hard to say exactly what order the proceeding events occurred in, as they all happened near simultaneously. The first soldier to respond to the shouting man's cries turned to see what all the commotion was about but, given that he'd previously been looking in the exact opposite direction, the intervening sweep of his vision did not take in Aegle's rapid approach. At approximately the same time, the soldier Aegle had left pinned to a tree forced off his thoroughly abused companion and stumbled unsteadily over his crumpled body. Aegle, meanwhile, had cleared about half the distance between herself and the man who had called her out , who was trying to draw a bead on her as she approached. As he opened fire, the soldier whose attention he'd drawn turned to see Aegle for the first time, while the last remaining half of the patrolling pair regained himself enough to start raising his own weapon as well.

As the first weapon barked, Aegle resisted the urge to evade and save herself from being shot, because to do so would meant breaking her charge. Instead, she opened her mouth and, at the very top of her lungs, emitted a shriek of pure, unadulterated fury and exultation. She was rewarded for this determination with the abrupt sensation of a hammer being swung into her collarbone, followed by three similar impacts along her stomach and thighs. Her expression of joyous purpose, however, did not falter, and this was enough to cause the soldier before her, a battle hardened man who'd seen numerous violent and bloody conflicts, a brief moment of pause. Aegle, meanwhile, did not so much as stumble in her headlong charge.

At this point, it was pretty obvious how events were going to play out. By the time Aegle made it to the man shooting at her, two more (the soldier he'd summoned and the one she'd left pinned against the tree) would have drawn a bead on her too. Assuming she was able to deal with the shouting man with the same alacrity as the man whose ribs she'd just shattered, that would leave her without cover and on the receiving end of two separate sources of gun fire. If Aegle had been alone, such a charge would have been, quite literally, suicidal. Fortunately, Aegle was not alone and was perfectly willing to put her trust in a person she'd only just met.

Aegle Vitus
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Aeenmae Fontine
 Posted: Apr 9 2016, 02:04 PM
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Aeenmae grit her teeth, watching Aegle scramble off. Mae had only seen a small glimpse of her capabilities, and while she had some faith in Aegle, it was not a shining proposition to run off to fight eight armed men more or less alone. As the explosion from the bushes began shouting its own pseudo-orders, Mae rose to her feet. Her Aura had gotten to work repairing her body, and standing was no longer a series of gratuitous sharp pains, instead simply feeling like the ache after a particularly brutal workout.

With a reluctant cringe, Mae lifted the rifle to her shoulder, hovering the sights over the two men that Aegle darted off towards. The series of blows that put them against the tree was impressively quick, but only one of them was put out of commission by the punches as Aegle tore off to deal with the soldier who had sounded the alarm. Mercilessly, Aeenmae pumped the trigger, three, six, nine rounds lancing out from the rifle and pounding into the side of the head of the man who was pinned against the tree. Trapped by his compatriot's weight, he barely had time to even register being shot before he slumped over dead. In all the chaos, Mae's shots had gone unnoticed.

Nine out, seven left. Mae unconsciously did the magazine math as she swung her sights about to find Aegle. Finding her midway through a charge on a soldier Aeenmae could only assume was about to have an unfortunate time, she shifted her cheek off the stock rest and glanced around the field. Of the original eight, one was dead, the other slumped useless on the ground cradling broken ribs. One was about to be taken down by Aegle, which left five; two were uselessly staring at the bush, thinking that they were providing "cover" from an unseen attacker; Two were running around the back side of the truck, likely intent on flanking Aegle; the last, however, was bringing his rifle to bear and taking aim on the active, perceived threat.

Mae slung her sights to him, aching shoulder protesting as she let fly a burst of two rounds. The first impacted the man's aura on his left arm, causing him to stumble and wildly look about. The second burst of two rounds that Mae pumped out tagged his hand and the side of his gun. With a cry of pain, the soldier's hands flew away from the gun and he began vigorously shaking it. Mae did not trust the last three rounds to be able to punch through his aura and take him out all in one go, so she lowered her sights and ran the magazine dry. The third round of the burst, modified by the recoil, impacted the pavement just behind the man, while the first two plowed into his knee. His aura did not break, but the force of the bullets on his fragile joint put him on the ground, howling in pain and likely useless.

Instinctively, Mae's finger reached for the magazine eject, intent on simply letting the clip drop out and replacing it with one from her belt. In a flash of insight, though, she took it out manually, holding it in her hand long enough to coalesce a node of her Semblance and pin it to the metal. Only then did she shove it into her waistband and pull out another magazine, slapping it in and yanking back the charging level on the rifle.

The confusion on the battlefield had peaked, and in the second that Aeenmae had taken to reload, the man that dropped had bellowed out, "SHOOTER IN THE TREES!" A vicious string of curses ripped from Mae's lips and she dropped prone, struggling to crawl her way leftwards to get out of sight and reposition. You better not die on me down there, Aeghead, Mae thought with gritted teeth as she painfully crawled through the brush. You hear me down there you little sh*t? You are not allowed to die!

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Aegle Vitus
 Posted: Apr 9 2016, 10:17 PM
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Aegle's beserker fury had only earned her a few short moments of respite from the shouting soldier's automatic weapon. Given that she was already up to speed when he shot her and consider that she had just about cleared half of the intervening distance which separated them, this brief intermission was all that Aegle had required. She could almost see the moment when the soldier regained his composure, as it was accompanied by the abrupt widening of his eyes which betrayed the occurrence of a sudden and terrible realisation. His mouth, already wide, snapped shut before his lips, already taught from his yell, stretched even further back in a parody of a snarl. She wasn't able to spot the finer details of uncertainty or regret that painted themselves more finely across his countenance, and saw only his grim determination, writ large on his paling face. The gun barked again and, having abandoned all pretence of controlled fire, spat a stream of super heated shells at her. Aegle ignored the cacophony of gunfire that assailed her ears and the sharp pains that blossomed across her arm and ribs. Her hand, heedless of the corona of fire which surrounding the rifle's muzzle, shot forward and took hold of the heated barrel before, in one swift movement, she drove it back and away from her. The startled soldier, having successfully shot Aegle nine times by that point, then proceeded to empty what remained in his magazine into the unsuspecting forest to Aegle's left. He tried to say something, but through the ringing in her ears and the throbbing of her heartbeat, Aegle never heard it. She only answered by bringing her free hand around in a vicious cross that collided solidly with the side of the soldier's jaw. Because she was almost two feet shorter than he was, the blow had been delivered with a slightly upward inclination that whipped his head back and to the side with vicious force. Her ribs screamed in protest as she swayed away from the uprooted soldier, who seemed to hang weightlessly on his tip toes for the moment it took her to drop his, now empty, weapon and cross him again with her other hand. With his head whipped in the other direction and before gravity even had the chance to pull him back down to earth, Aegle uppercut him again and again. And again. And Again. And Again! Then, when the presence of the truck at his back meant she couldn't force the soldier back any further, she delivered a right hook that slammed his head into the truck with enough force to leave a dent in the armoured plate. With a deep gong sound that would have been comical if it had not been made by a man's head, the soldier recoiled away from the truck with all the solidity of a bowl of gelatine and collapsed in a boneless heap beside it.

Aegle hooted and then promptly cringed as pain snaked around her chest like red hot wire. Her hand reflexively moved to touch the spot the pain had come from and, even through her hoodie, she could feel the bruise forming. At least, she hoped that liquid burning sensation was just a bruise.
"SHOOTER IN THE TREES!" Aegle heard from surprisingly close by. Turning slightly, she was briefly surprised by the fact that she hadn't been shot to pieces yet. That surprise rapidly turned to understanding when she saw the new shouting soldier where he knelt on the ground, trying desperately to get back on his feet. She didn't even fully comprehend the words for what they meant until she had lunged after him and laid a not particularly technical jab into the side of his head. Aegle was, however, briefly aware of the overstrained snapping sensation which let her know she had just punched right through his aural shield. The fact that he promptly collapsed onto his face, body suddenly contorting in a shocked spasm, only served to put a finer tip on that point.
"Haa~" Aegle exhaled in wordless exultation before another reflexive cringe made her curl around her injured side. It was the accompanying twinge of burning pain which brought the import of the, now certainly incapacitated, soldier's final words to mind. 'Shooter in the trees'
"Aw, shucks." the orange haired girl swore, right before the sound of heavy jackboots called her attention to the corner of the truck. There, she saw the mostly concealed profile of yet another shooter. That was about as much warning as she got before a hail of bullets sent her scrambling for cover. Cover which, as it Mae had previously pointed out, did not exist. With no other option, Aegle took cover against the one thing available, the very same truck which the shooter was entrenched behind and the very same truck, around the side of which, his partner was moving into position.

From her vantage point in the trees, Mae would have had a clear view of what happened next. Aegle, only just flattened against the grill of the truck, turned to see another shooter lean around the corner of the vehicle precisely opposite the other gunman. In a hopeless gesture, born more from ingrained muscle memory than any real hope of salvation, the orange haired girl brought her left arm up to guard her face just before a burst of automatic fire punched into her. The bullets flashed through her clothes, causing the ragged hoody to whip about as though it had been caught in a violent and indecisive wind, and at least one bounced off, with a loud whine, the heavy steel that guarded her knuckles. With no time left to think, Aegle charged into the gunfire with her arm still uselessly upraised to shield her face and chest. Bullets peppered her for the three strides it took to reach and round the corner. It was at that point that her aura surged and, with faint contrails of effervescent gold broiling off of her, her fists came into brutal contact with the shooter. With brutal efficiency and utter abandon, she punched his rifle aside and viciously embedded her fist in his stomach. Before his legs could give out, she brought her other hand down in a hammer blow that struck him broadside across the head. Thrown to the ground, Aegle leapt upon the gunman and behind the truck, so that Mae could not see the succession of twelve individual blows she subsequently rained down on his head and shoulders.
"Get to cover you idiots." The first shooter yelled out, careful not to expose any part of himself from behind the truck, the subjects of his furious reprimand both looking up as if they were oblivious of the conflict taking place at their backs. One faded back and towards the truck while the other rushed cautiously up to investigate the heavily ventilated bush. Without waiting for the pair to comply with his orders, the covering shooter then turned his attention towards the truck.
"Ya get her Fredericks?"
Before the necessary time could pass for the shooter to adequately infer that Fredericks had not, in fact, got her, his question was answered through another means entirely. For Mae, it would have looked as though the soldier who'd run into cover behind the truck had, just after being blocked from her view, collided with something of inordinate elasticity, for he was thrown violently, and wholly divorced from the ground, back along the very course which he had just taken. Another bark of gunfire followed before the shooter burst from cover and ran back towards the trees which his two remaining allies had either run or been thrown towards. The thrown member of this pairing laboriously got to his feet and, with all the tell tale signs of intense disorientation, stumbled after his more able bodied counterpart.

This put the last three soldiers moving towards the right of the truck, each of which covering the others retreats with fire back towards the truck. While their decision to take cover certainly seemed to imply they knew someone was shooting at them, the fact that the group of trees they fell back also brought them closer to Mae showed that none of the three soldiers had any idea where she had been firing from. Aegle, who had kept careful note of precisely where Mae was, did not recognize the apparent signs of ignorance in the soldiers' retreat and saw only the immediate threat to Mae which such a retreat posed. As a direct result, she did something stupid. Very, Very Stupid. She broke cover into the firing lines of three different people and screamed at the top of her lungs.
"I'M OVER HERE!" As she did it. It was a very brave but ultimately quite stupid thing to do and the three soldiers all responded by taking aim and opening fire.


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Aeenmae Fontine
 Posted: Apr 15 2016, 04:30 AM
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Bahaha... Fredericks. What a goon name.

Mae's lip curled into a smirk as she scoped in, a smirk that quickly became a frown as she realized that the fight had moved to a place her vantage point had no sight of. Muttering a string of curses, she took a few careful steps, testing her legs. They were better, her Aura doing a great job of healing her even at its near-vestigial levels. Walking was a chore, but she reckoned picking her way towards the street was not out of the question. And that way—

Oh come the f*ck on! Mae caught sight of the trio of soldiers about to turn towards her, leveling her rifle at them instinctively. She did not even have time, however, to mutter a curse about what happened next.

"I'M OVER HERE!"

Stupidstupidstupidstupidf*ckingstupid! Instincts took over as adrenaline surged through Mae's body. She let loose a veritable spray of rounds at the men, holding the trigger down and controlling the recoil as best she could under the fully automatic rippling of the rifle. The bullets were not aimed for the men, but rather their hands and weapons, and two out of the three lost hold of their rifles. The third tried to turn his sights on Mae, but by that point, it was too late.

The shots from Aeenmae's rifle had been delivered on the move, her legs carrying her forward almost as if of their own volition when Aegle had made herself obviously known. Pain blazed through her limbs like wildfire, but determination and adrenaline kept it to almost-bearable levels as she covered the now short distance between herself and Aegle. Collision course set, she drew the magazine from her belt, marked with her Semblance, and dropped it in her path. Mae crashed into Aegle, hauling her a short few feet before falling directly on top of her and protectively shielding her from what was about to happen.

Aeenmae reached for that killswitch buried deep in her psyche and yanked, hard.

A heartbeat passed in strange, alien silence.

At the crash site, a small node of energy in the dirt blinked to life. Just a few yards from that, another point mimicked the first. Some ways into the forest, a small droplet of energy pinned to a tree thrummed to life. Just a dozen yards away, a tinkling point of energy opened its eyes in the air. Just inches from their feet, a weapon magazine had a delicate, twinkling mote sparkle against its matte steel.

Rupture.

The sound of a hundred thousand screaming souls flared to life as five points of energy connected through the forest. They yanked and pulled and tore at the bonds that held them together as if trying to rip themselves out of reality, to no avail, instead imparting a great deal of kinetic energy in their intervening space. Their tug-of-war lasted only fractions of a second before they burst. A monumentally tremendous discharge of kinetic force violently blasted within those boundaries; trees were sereved as if crushed by scything, snapping fingers; the gentle inclines of the woods were crunched through; and the air itself pounded deeply with the force of the wave.

With its last point anchored to the magazine Mae had dropped, the wave stopped within arm's reach of their legs. The men in the street, however, were not so lucky, as the polygon the magazine finished placed them definitively in the blast. As if a massive fist had close around their midsections, a gargantuan amount of pressure was suddenly slammed into their midesctions from all sides. Two of the three of them had their Auras pop, but the third, whose Aura had already been depleted throughout the course of the fight, was not so lucky and found himself viciously bisected at the hips.

Mae screamed into the hollow of Aegle's neck as her own Aura shattered and drained, her body tensing up like she had been suddenly wound tight. Shortly thereafter, she went limp, summarily unconscious and taking shallower breaths than when Aegle had found her at the crash site.

The trucks stood sentinel, entirely unphased by the explosion. Outside of the blast radius, it appeared nothing had happened. The three men in the street—two unconscious with their midsections broken, one in two pieces and bleeding onto the pavement—and the veritable swath cleaved through the trees would say otherwise, however.

For the first time, though, the silence was not that of being stalked. It was the silence of solitude, of singularity. It was the silence that left the pair of them finally, blissfully, alone.

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Aegle Vitus
 Posted: Apr 15 2016, 09:39 PM
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Step one of Aegle's plan to prevent the soldiers from discovering Mae, read 'Yelling loudly at three armed trained killers', had been a rousing success or at least as much a success as becoming the centre of attention among murderers could be. Step two in her plan, read 'Run at the three armed trained killers', was not as immediately effective however, and Aegle found herself running, both literally and figuratively, into the first major obstacle against her.
More specifically, she ran into bullets.
Quite a lot of them, in fact.
Where alacrity and impulsive forwardness, masquerading as quick thinking, had contrived to keep her from being too thoroughly shot up until that point, the actual threat which Aegle posed to the soldiers had been made abundantly clear to all parties involved. For this reason, not one of the three men failed to open fire the very moment the huntress was out in the open. As has been previously noted, Aegle's aura was exceptional among her peers, in that it was both stronger and better trained than the auras of others her age. It was not, however, up to the task of rebuffing sustained fire from three automatic weapons at intimately close range, and Aegle knew this. To wit, as she drew in her breath to shout her self destructive declaration, so too had Aegle drawn in her aura. Like a changing tide, the sum of Aegle's strength had crept back from her extremities to instead localise as much protection around the greatest concentration of vulnerable areas in her body. Bullets punched through her clothes like angry hornets before raking across the skin beneath like molten claws. Her arms, which she had raised to protect her face and chest as she charged, were almost immediately cratered by gunfire as one of the soldiers searched for a headshot. Elsewhere on her body, smaller blossoms of pain became lambent eruptions of agony as the bullets which struck her, slowed by the residual defences throughout her body, bored shallowly into her flesh. Aegle was distantly conscious of the fact that she had started screaming, as much in pain as in defiance, and felt the metaphorical thread of her aura stretching towards its breaking point. She distantly understood that, even should her aura hold, she wasn't going to get close enough to interrupt their battery before one of their bullets did some real damage.

Then, abruptly, new lashes of pain ceased to materialize and the air was filled with cries of surprise and alarm rather than gunfire. Before Aegle could even think to lower her arms to see what was going on, she was struck bodily by a weight far greater than her own and bowled to the ground. What was more, there was a new sound, audible above her own, pain raw battle cry, which it took her a moment to recognize as screaming. Then silence. As she lay there, stunned, Aegle slowly clenched and relaxed her fists, while quiet and unsteady breaths fluttered out of her mouth like the racking of a poorly maintained firearm. Her ears were ringing, and it suddenly felt quite difficult to breathe, and only when she lifted her head did the confusing maelstrom of sensation below her shoulders start to make sense. She lay pinned beneath Mae, whose weight was not doing the prevalent injuries of the past few seconds any favours. One recently unclenched fist laid down on Mae's shoulder and it was only with some effort that Aegle realised the hand which settled there as her own. She grimaced unconsciously and decided to not think about that for the moment, and then turned her full attention back to Mae. She saw the faint shiver of breathing in the unconscious girls shoulders, and read the grey faced exhaustion upon her face. Sitting up carefully, Aegle first made sure she wasn't about to be summarily shot and found that she seemed to be the only person in the clearing who was still conscious. It took her a couple of seconds to see the three who'd been shooting at her and, upon seeing the state of one of their number, rather wished she hadn't seen them at all. Her attention returned to Mae, as much to block out the man who was in entirely too many pieces as to further ascertain the older girl's state. Aegle was relieved to see that none of the blood seemed to be Mae's, though it had managed to make the Atlesian's already ruined clothes that much worse for the wear. Moving delicately out of necessity as much as care, Aegle carefully rolled Mae onto her back. She didn't have any first aid training and didn't know what you were supposed to do for someone who had evidently exhausted themselves following a harrowing airship accident. Shivering faintly, Aegle gave her ruined hoody a passing inspection, before she summarily tore off her tattered left sleeve at the shoulder. She hesitated with the strip of cloth in her hand, unsure how to proceed, and started with the wound in her thigh. She might not have had any first aid training but she had seen enough action flicks to know you put pressure on a bullet wound, though this knowledge came without the fundamental caveat that tourniquets were, in reality, a field medic's last resort.

After a few minutes, Aegle, her hoodie repuposed as eight individual strips of obnoxious orange throughout her body, limped awkwardly up to the passenger side of the truck with Mae in her arms. She gently juggled the limp girl in through the already open door and carefully deposited her in the passenger seat, which she then deliberately buckled her into. With the door shut, Aegle wordlessly limped around the cab of the truck and, expression never changing, pulled herself in through the open driver's door. She caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror as she settled in a seat she had previously adjusted to suit her remarkably meagre build. Her cheeks had grown pale and a marked sheen of perspiration gave her skin an unhealthy glow. Aegle's expression became briefly unreadable in a mixture of recognition and understanding, not that anyone other than her saw it, and she sagged back in the stiff bucket seat. It would be very easy, she reflected, to close her eyes and rest for a little bit. As she entertained this fanciful notion, the orange haired girl, whose hair was more a tawny brownish red at that moment, turned to look at the still form seated beside her. Mae hadn't moved since she'd done whatever she'd done to dispatch the last three soldiers, and her breathing had remained shallow and weak and was intermittently interrupted by a cringe or groan of pain. Aegle recognized the signs of aural exhaustion, having reached that point herself on more than one occasion, and knew it could be serious even without the added strain of additional injuries. She also knew that 'additional injuries' were something which Mae had no shortage of. Shivering faintly, Aegle turned attention to the front of the truck and turned the pilfered key in the ignition. She did so without looking in the mirror and so did not see the look of silent determination which had spread across her sickly countenance. After putting the truck into gear, Aegle's hand fell to the seat beside her and grasped the last remaining patch of cloth from her ill fated hoody, which she had previously folded into an untidy rectangle. She pressed the rectangle down just above her right hip, over top the wet red patch that showed through her soiled tank top.
"I've never driven something this big before, ya know?" Aegle said enthusiastically to the silent cab, not even bothering to look over at the unconscious girl strapped in beside her.
"S'pretty cool..." She added, her tone pleasant and amicable, if soft. "bein' up so high like this." then she shivered and closed her mouth reflexively, and the expression of benign contentment on her face flickered slightly. Swallowing deliberately to try and work a bit of moisture into her mouth, Aegle leaned her head back and said no more.




With more of a limp than usual, Aegle shambled through the front doors of Mantelian Hopsital's ER. The motors in her brace whirred alarmingly with each movement she made, each operating at a much higher capacity than they were ever intended for, and still the orange haired girl's arms shook with the weight of Mae's body. She had been moving with the single minded determination of a revenant and with such disregard for the world around her that she didn't even see the surprised expression on the nurse seated behind the very counter which she as headed towards. Before she was halfway there, three men in white scrubs had drawn a stretcher out before her while the nurse from behind the counter, now clutching a medical scroll, sidled up beside her. The nurse began asking questions in a clear and urgent tone of voice, all of which Aegle disregarded. She instead deposited the unconscious woman on the stretcher then looked up gratefully at the nearest of the three orderlies who had brought it. Hands hanging at her side, Aegle watched the trio wheel Mae through a pair of motorised doors at the other end of the admittance area. Her heart throbbed faintly in her chest. The nurse repeated her questions, more slowly and firmly this time, and Aegle's head swivelled to regard her.
"Her name's Aeenmae and she was in an accident." Aegle told her in a voice just as clear and firm, "Some sorta goon squad shot down her airship..."
The nurse, somewhat perturbed to have Aegle respond so cogently to questioning, given her abysmal appearance, made the sort of expression one makes when forced to rapidly reassess their initial impressions of a person. She tapped a couple of buttons on her scroll, which Aegle took as an invitation for her to answer the remainder of the nurse's questions.
"She's hurt all over, dunno where or how bad, and her aura's snuffed." Aegle spoke with all the purposeful clarity of someone who knows precisely what they are saying and is in no way clinging to consciousness by a thread. Her heart throbbed again. The nurse diligently tapped the scroll a couple times more, but Aegle's attention had already started to wander.
"I stole their truck. Parked it in front of the door... S'still runnin' if you want to get someone to move it." She swayed a tiny bit and the nurse, once more challenged on what precisely to think of Aegle's present condition, distantly asked if the small girl was alright.
"I remember the last time I was here, ya know?" the orange haired girl said quietly, her eyes closing.
"I was havin' trouble breathing and my heart..." The nurse called out for help and grasped Aegle's thin shoulders just before her knees buckled beneath her. She swung back as light as a fibreglass mannequin and was unconscious before she hit the floor.

This post has been edited by Aegle Vitus: Apr 15 2016, 09:42 PM
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