Decent into Madness

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Decent into Madness

Post by Toma Hawke on Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:04 pm

It was a cloudy afternoon in Cerulean town. Which Toma was honestly okay with. A dreary atmosphere would keep people inside and make it easier to track down Astra. He was rather excited really. He’d made it into Shadow Heart, though that had been rough. And after some work Fayte had been able to hand him information on Astra’s where abouts. He was finally going to be reunited!

He didn’t care that she was technically his enemy now. The documents listed her as a member of Lamia Scale. Which his organization had attacked recently. He didn’t care. He didn’t care about any of that. He just wanted to see Astra again. He had his sword on his back, it’s weight a reminder of how far he’d come in his search for her.

He’d left a trail of blood and bodies during his time in Shadow Heart. He might not have had magic, but he definitely had fighting skill. Even if it was unpolished compared to many, many people. That, coupled with his unfortunate condition made him quite the threat when they sent him into ambush people.

He stopped at a bench that overlooked the ocean. The waves were larger, rocking the ships on it. The spray of the ocean hit his face, and he embraced the cooling sensation with it. He closed his eyes and let memories of better times play across his face. He slid the picture and files in under his vest jacket and opened his eyes again. He muttered under his breath with a sigh. “...I miss you…”

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Re: Decent into Madness

Post by Astra Creed on Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:27 pm

Astra was sitting on a bench in Cerulean Town. She was just beginning her trip away from the guild where she intended to learn more about the world around her. She simply didn’t know so much, and even though it was hard to concentrate and learn as she was, she felt the need to at least try. Even if her guild had no idea she’d left. Well, they probably knew by now. Or at the very least they would soon. Not that it mattered. She’d left a letter explaining she needed to see some things before she came back. Surely there were some interesting things to find out all over again, after all.

So the girl sat there, munching on a bagel before she began to actually travel. Her red and black bangs were partially in her face, but she hadn’t bothered to move them. She was in a black hoodie that didn’t quite cover her whole belly, and it was hard to tell if she was wearing anything under it, considering her stomach was exposed. She also had on a set of shorts that matched the black color. Her sneakers were red and white, however. “I wonder where I should head first…” she mused quietly.

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Re: Decent into Madness

Post by Toma Hawke on Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:03 am

Toma stood up after a while and started walking. She was in town somewhere, and he didn’t want to rest too long. Once he met astra, he’d catch up with her. They’d have some food, talk about everything that happened, and plan their next move. They couldn’t go back home with those men after her and…

He stopped as he saw a familiar face. His heart froze as he focused in on her. It was her! It was really Astra! He found her at long last. But then he hesitated. She’d not tried to find her way back… Even going as far as to join a guild. No letters. No visits… Why? No, he had to stop doubting! She was right there!”

“A-Astra…?” He said uncertainly as he approached her. He didn’t want to startle her, so he called out and smiled as he walked forward. All that work… the blood, the sweat, the tears, and the death. All for this moment! He let out a sigh of relief and shoot his head slowly. “You’re actually alive! I was worried! You didn’t try to contact me… and when I found your master dead I was afraid you might have been dead as well…”

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Re: Decent into Madness

Post by Astra Creed on Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:49 pm

Astra’s eyes opened wide when someone called out her name. The voice wasn’t familiar. Sure, she had memory problems even with simple things, but she was pretty sure she would remember someone’s voice, especially someone that seemed so glad to see her. She stood up quickly, looking around until she saw who it was calling out to her. The face wasn’t familiar. She wasn’t sure if it should be, but he certainly seemed to think so. She wanted to look as happy as he did, but she was too busy being confused. Was this someone she was supposed to know? She wondered again as she raised a hand tentatively. “Hi,” she greeted, still looking confused.

“Sorry,” she said with an apologetic grin and a rubbing of the back of her head. “Do- do I know you?” she asked, tilting her head. Blond hair, pretty boy’ish looks as far as she could tell. Maybe she’d flirted with him before and just forgot. Then again maybe he was someone who had known her before. There was no way for her to know though. “I can’t place your face, sir,” she told him, trying to be polite as the short girl looked up at the easily bigger man.

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Re: Decent into Madness

Post by Toma Hawke on Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:58 pm

His joy was greeted with confusion. This caused him to instantly slow down. She always did enjoy teasing him when she got the chance before. Maybe she was just teasing him! That’s right, because she promised never to forget him. And friends kept promises. ...But he hadn’t kept his. He’d promised to help protect her, even after she rejected such notions. And her master had gotten killed, leaving Astra lost somewhere for who knew how long.

"T-That’s a funny joke, Astra,” He stated in a slightly weaker voice. Joke or no it was painful for people to pretend they broke their promises. Especially such an important one. With his parents gone, and his brother dead, he was alone without Astra. ...But what if she wasn’t lying? What if she honestly didn’t remember? No, that wasn’t right. That couldn’t be right!

“It’s me, Toma,” He insisted playing along. Maybe if he did that she’d burst out laughing and admit she was teasing him. And then they could get food and catch up. Or coffee… something. He desperately wanted the past back. He wanted Astra back. He liked her too much to simply let go. “You remember… Close friend. You used to come to my house when we were younger and eat food together.”

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Re: Decent into Madness

Post by Astra Creed on Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:29 pm

“I… I did?” Astra’s face was unmistakably confused. She remembered nothing about her past, and had no idea how to handle someone who was apparently from that part of her life. “Honestly um… Toma,” she repeated his name uncertainly. It didn’t roll off of her tongue like a familiar name should, and she caught that too. “I don’t remember anything past a few months ago.” It was all she knew to do. How to explain amnesia, if that was what she even had? It felt like something more, like something was literally affecting her brain. When she tried to think of this Toma… she drew… a hazy blank.

“I woke up and didn’t know what else to do, so I joined Lamia Scale because they protected me, and now I’m relearning everything.” She was a tiny girl, and carried the confidence, but not the pride that the old Astra had carried. As such, she seemed somehow smaller than she used to, considering old Astra had more than made up for her stature with a ‘don’t mess with me’ attitude when the pair had played in the streets as poor children. “Can… can you tell me more about yourself?” she asked, hoping something he said would jog her memory.

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Re: Decent into Madness

Post by Toma Hawke on Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:43 pm

“...You…” He fell to his knees. It wasn’t a joke, she wasn’t just teasing him. She didn’t remember him. She’d forgotten him and moved on… joined another group. Had she lied to him all that time? Had she been friends just out of pity? Tears flowed freely as he stared helplessly at her. This was worse than finding out she’d died! He could have buried a body and had some form of closure… “You don’t… remember…?”

“But you promised…” He shook his head as memories rushed back. Satoshi and his brother, both of them died for this. For someone who didn’t remember. That guilt that he’d pushed off saying it was worth finding Astra again came crashing over his mind like waves. He shook his head furiously for a moment before falling forward to his hands too.

“You and me were… the best of friends…” He sobbed and rested his forehead against the cool ground. His hands were clenched into fists as he struggled with his own emotions. “You were poor, and my family was wealthy. But my parents were never home, so I shared with you. And we played on the streets together. Then… Then… That witch came to town and you became enticed by the magic you had. A-a-and… then one day I found her dead and you gone. So I left looking for you and I… I… This isn’t fair…”

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Re: Decent into Madness

Post by Astra Creed on Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:44 am

Astra couldn't quite make out what the man before her was saying there at the end. She could tell he was upset, and kept claiming that she'd promised something... something about not forgetting. There were lots of things Astra wasn't supposed to forget, and she knew full well that she’d forgotten a lot of things. Even basic things. She sometimes had a hard time with math the way her head worked now. It was no wonder her guild tried to keep her under watch. Too bad she didn’t listen when she could help it.

All she knew was that he was very upset, and she kind of felt sorry for him at the moment. So, in response she bent down, putting a hand on his shoulder. “Hey, guy,” she tried to comfort. “I’m sure you’re a lovely person. I really wish I could remember you. I really really do. But there’s so much I don’t remember… it’s hard to explain…” That was about the best she could do. Astra had no idea what was going on in the man’s head, or that at one point they had been best friends, back when he was sane and she was a full person, anyway. She only knew there was some sad guy who knew her name in front of her and that she’d been friends with him. “If it makes you feel any better I’m getting along fine despite things… since we’re friends apparently.”

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Re: Decent into Madness

Post by Toma Hawke on Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:58 am

He tensed when she put her hand on his shoulder. It was after she finished speaking that realization dawned on him. This wasn’t Astra. Astra was a true and honest friend. Whoever was in front of him only looked like her. It wasn’t really her… it was an imposter! It was the only way his already broken mind could cope with the idea that she was gone.

So he snarled and swatted her hand away. Yes… she was an imposter. Whoever had killed her master had someone that looked like her to replace her for whatever reason. He slowly stood up seething as he wiped the tears from his face. He wanted it all back… Sure, he was neglected by people who should have cared. Sure, he was pushed around and bullied. But at least he wasn’t alone then.

“The real Astra wouldn’t have forgotten…” He said darkly. This was accompanied by one of his hands shooting out to grab her neck. The other reached behind him and began pulling the sword free from his back. Had he thought things through instead of letting his emotions and guilt blind him, he would have offered to help her. But sadly, his mind was twisted further than even he realized. If he got the sword free before she got free of his grasp, he would attempt to impale her. His eyes blazed with a mix of many emotions as he shouted. “The real Astra wouldn’t have abandoned me like this!”

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Re: Decent into Madness

Post by Astra Creed on Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:09 am

“…!” Astra gasped as a hand shot out to grab her neck. He successfully grabbed on, holding her in place as she placed her hands on his wrist and tried to tug it away. He was physically stronger than Astra though, and she was rather small. The ring of a sword coming free from its scabbard as he yelled about her being an imposter didn’t leave her with much time to consider what he meant by that. Had she, she might have even wondered if he was right, considering she didn’t actually know otherwise, herself.

As the sword came free and he attempted to murder his former best friend, Astra closed her eyes, screaming out loud enough for the Council guards who were surely nearby to hear. As she did, her blood red magical aura solidified into glass-like shards around her, exploding like magical shrapnel and pushing Toma easily away since he had no magic to stop it. It was enough to cut him wherever it hit, but it wasn’t the strongest of attacks she had ever used in her haste and near panic. It also shoved him back and caused her to fall from his grasp, her feet touching the ground once again as she stepped back. Fortunately for him, Astra's magic lasted mere seconds once it lost contact with her, so none of the shards would cause complications from being left in the wounds, considering they faded back into pure magical energy after a moment.

“I don’t know who you are, but if you were really my friend you wouldn’t try to hurt me!” she yelled as tears formed in her eyes. She’d tried to be nice and this was what had happened. Toma wasn’t a nice man, and she couldn’t see how she would be friends with him. It must be some mistake! “Go away! I don’t want to hurt you!” she told him, ready to form an aura weapon and parry another attack if he really was the maniac he suddenly seemed to be.

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Re: Decent into Madness

Post by Toma Hawke on Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:36 am

The shards of magic cut deep into him forcing him to stagger backwards. And his eyes went wide. That was her magic! It was distinct and… and…. and… He wavered where he stood, clearly bleeding. He didn’t feel very much pain, but it was noticeable. More noticeable was the warm liquid running from those wounds. He reached down and touched at it, pulling back blood covered fingers.

His head throbbed, a mix of his emotions running wild and his fight or flight kicking in. She still looked ready to fight, and had even shouted for help. He couldn’t afford to get caught, but he couldn’t let ‘Astra’ go either. So he decided that he had to end it. Though he was clearly at a disadvantage without magic of his own to call upon.

So he charged forward, hoping to end it in the next strike. He went for a heavy blow, hefting the chipped and worn blade over his shoulder. With a roar he brought it down in a diagonal slash that was clearly intended to cleave her in two. He had no follow up however, and was painfully wide open. In addition, while he didn’t feel the pain, the wounds still slowed him down slightly.

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Re: Decent into Madness

Post by Astra Creed on Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:11 am

The amnesiac girl wasn’t all that experienced at fighting despite all the training she must have had at one point, but she didn’t really need it, apparently. Toma let out a cry, trying hard to hurt her for some reason. In Astra’s hands a shield and club appeared, parrying his attack and clubbing him in the back, hard and sending him flying to the ground, since he was so unbalanced and committed to that singular attack. She frowned at the back of his head, but stepped away as her magically-powered weapons disappeared. After a few steps she took off running, knowing that however cruel they seemed, these new Magic Councily people would be around to help momentarily.

Astra finally stopped in an alleyway, panting. She’d run fast, but her short stature meant she had to run hard to go as fast as she did. She peeked out of the alleyway and saw nothing. Who was this Toma kid, and how come he had pretended to be her friend and then tried to kill her? He made no sense, at least as far as she could tell… She should probably go ahead and get out of town before she was spotted again. She really didn’t want some crazy guy to ruin her one chance of escaping and seeing the world.

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Re: Decent into Madness

Post by Toma Hawke on Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:38 pm

She took his opening, smashing him into the ground with her magic. The blow was enough to knock the wind from him. He saw her run off as his vision blurred. Soon, he’d blacked out. He came to just a few minutes later to the sound of footsteps coming towards him. Two people were running towards him, both bearing marks of the council. He couldn’t be caught… He had to get up. He had to move. He had to… something…

“Hey are you okay?” One of them knelt by him. He was still bleeding, though it wasn’t bad. He pushed himself up, grabbing his sword in the process. Soon he was on one knee propped up with his blade. In the process though, his sleeve rolled up to reveal his tattoo.

“Get back!” The other of the two ordered as he drew his sword. Light hummed to life as he pointed it at Toma. The other rolled backwards, falling into a ready stance, wind swirling around her hands. “We’re placing you under arrest!”

“...No…” Toma murmured quietly as he stared down at the tattoo. With Astra gone, he lost his purpose. He took on this cursed mark to track her down, and in the end he found out that she was gone. “I will not go here…”

And he was up. Wounds didn’t matter anymore. There was only the pain of losing his closest friend, and the guilt of everything he’d done to find her. He surged forward, quickly dispatching the duo in a rather brutal fashion. Their dismembered bodies lay scattered on the ground in a pool of blood.

But he hadn’t gotten free without injury. And so he walked, dragging the tip of his bloodied sword on the ground as he walked away in a haze.

[Toma exit]

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