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a ballad for the lost

Discussion in 'Pandora, Year 1 - 7' started by Likulau, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Likulau

    Likulau Guest

    April 25th, Spring Y7



    The setting sun sent a blazing trail of red-gold light across the horizon. Kulau stood at the very top of the highest structure of the tallest building in the whole city, looking out to as far as his eye could reach, trying to find something - anything - that looked even vaguely familiar.

    But no matter how hard he searched, there was nothing.

    He was no longer in Taipei, he was sure of that now. In fact, there was no part of this city that was in any way recognizable as China. Kulau was well and truly lost, and he had no hint of an idea on how to find home again, whether it be Liao's apartment or his original homes, like Wutai. Even what few spirit paths he'd been able to find only led to more new and strange sights.

    The leopard sat down with a sigh, drawing up his knees close to his chest and wrapping his arms round his knees and his tail protectively around his ankles. Kulau looked despondently out onto the city below him, his stomach feeling strangely empty.

    He couldn't stay up here forever. The leopard had only come up here to find answers, and he hadn't found any. Eventually, he had to keep looking. But the noise and the crowd of bodies in the city below had been...too overstimulating. His nerves were frayed and his breath was shallow and hard. He needed to shut the world out before he could dive back into it again. He wasn't quite ready to face the city again. Not without Liao or Tiger.

    Tears pricked the corners of his eyes as his thoughts lingered on his friends. Where were they? Kulau couldn't help but worry. Tiger was capable of handling himself and Liao was more than strong enough, and perfectly safe as long as Tiger was with him. Yet still, Kulau couldn't stop his worry.

    Maybe this was his punishment.

    Maybe Lord Aidridrigane frowned on his new relationships. It wasn't as if he wasn't aware. The Hundred Pacers could see everything, know everything.

    And what if he was? If Aidridrigane commanded he cut ties with Liao and Tiger, would he be able to do it? Just the thought of being presented that ultimatum sent a shiver down Kulau's spine. He wasn't sure he would be able to make that choice.

    Likulau sighed again, wiping at his eyes before his tears could fall. He just didn't want to be alone anymore. But he couldn't face the crowds of the city again so soon...

    His ear flicked back as he caught a sound underneath him. Maybe he wouldn't be alone for very long. But then, what was the point in company that couldn't keep him company? Liao was the only mortal with the power to see and speak to him. He didn't want to face more mortals when he simply didn't exist to them. Especially now, in his distress, he desperately yearned for someone to talk to.

    But there was no one.


     
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  2. Dawn Bellwether

    Dawn Bellwether Zootopia
    Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

    Posts:
    164
    Occupation:
    Head of the Department of Public Affairs
    Location:
    41 North Oldwood Road, Tavoie Borough
    Race:
    Anthropomorphic Sheep
    The rumour, by the time it trickled down from the top floor to Bellwether, was that there was a cat on the roof. Gossip and rumour, the twin offspring that came from the awkward relationship between truth and lies, had a tendency to thrive in the department. It was a miracle that anything ever got done at all.

    "Hey, it's Bellwether, right? Got a minute?"

    There were three fundamental truths to working within the Parliament Building. The first was that bureaucracy had to move slowly. The second was that nobody in their right mind should touch the pasta salad in the cafeteria in the afternoon. The third was that the humble minute could be stretched out indefinitely if you weren't careful. By the time the minute had started to even think about passing, half an hour later, Bellwether was being helped out of one of the windows at the top of the building.

    There were plenty of words of encouragement from below as she, with what little dignity the sheep could muster, started hauling herself up on to the roof proper. There was not, Bellwether silently noted, plenty of other volunteers, or even safety equipment. Fortunately, it wasn't a particularly difficult climb; the architecture of the building itself provided plenty of things to hold on to, and there were a few of her coworkers who seemed more than happy to help push her up from below.

    And so Bellwether crested the top of the roof, trembling slightly underneath her wool and formal attire as she rather awkwardly pulled herself the final, short, distance to the relative safety of the rooftop. Then, a few tentative, careful steps, with her eyes firmly on where her feet made contact with the roof, her arms outstretched for balance, and the gentle breeze feeling like a hurricane, threatening, in her mind, to sweep her off the roof and into the gardens below.

    So very, very far below, Bellwether tried not to think, and failed.

    Once she'd finally built up the confidence to peel her gaze away from her own feet without worrying that, unobserved, they'd somehow betray her, she glanced along the rooftop, immediately spotting a much bigger cat than she'd been expecting. A few minutes ago - actual minutes, as opposed to the indeterminate Bureaucractic Minute, which still showed no sign of ending - she thought it'd be a case of finding some little housecat and helping it down from the roof. The actual problem, and the actual cat, was a lot bigger than her coworkers had made it out to be.

    "So, um, I hope you don't mind me joining you up here, it's just that," she called out, trying to split her attention between the leopard on the roof and the roof under feet, "it's just that most visitors don't, the roof, you know, they usually sign in at reception first."

    The tone of her voice, hopefully, made it clear that she was trying to be a little lighthearted, even though the look on her face indicated something rather closer to terror than good natured joviality.
     
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  3. Likulau

    Likulau Guest




    His ears pricked forward in idle curiosity as the sounds within the building below him increased. At another time, he might've wondered what this building was used for. It certainly wasn't like any architecture he'd seen before; and he's lived for centuries, so that's saying something. Unfortunately...Kulau was a little too worried about his companions and his predicament. His distress completely swamped any attempt at interest he could make

    The leopard's inward fretting was interrupted, however, when a window a few feet away opened below him. He wasn't quite sure what he was expecting besides a mortal poking their head out the opening.

    He certainly hadn't been expecting to see -- what looked to be a very strange yaoguai.

    Did yaoguai come in the sheep variety? Kulau couldn't recall ever seeing one. He'd only ever seen them take the forms of predators; cats, wolves, snakes, and lizards, among others.

    "Odd." The comment slipped out before Likulau could stop himself. Hopefully the other creature hadn't heard him...

    Kulau could guess this yaoguai was coming up here because of him. He'd been expecting some mortal to show up, eventually, on some errand or duty associated with this building, given the hubbub within. But, in hindsight, it makes sense that he would attract attention. It wasn't as if the Clouded Leopard bothered to suppress his Chi. Any yaoguai that sensed it would either run scared or stupidly try to challenge him.

    Which begged the question...was this one brave or stupid? Judging by how blatantly it was willing to risk its host body by climbing up here through the window, likely both...

    Actually, the more he watched this yaoguai suffer its climb, the more questions formed in his mind. Why was this the only yaoguai he'd seen thus far? Taipei was teeming with the little demons, and this city had to be about as well-populated as Taipei, if not more-so.

    Another thing he found odd was just how little Chi this one had. It was incredibly weak for being able to possess a human.

    Feeling suddenly wary, the leopard simply watched the creature, expression blank. If it fell (because it certainly seemed unsteady on its own feet), he'd likely have to help save its host. Doing so would be hard to explain to any mortals watching, though. Maybe he could split down a nearby tree so that the leaves and branches broke the host body's fall...? Or he could always just catch the thing, but Likulau wasn't keen on getting too close, either physically or otherwise, with another yaoguai.

    ...Not after Shu-chi.

    The creature proved Kulau's doubts wrong, however, as it finally steadied itself and addressed him.

    "Reception...?" Kulau drew the word out searchingly. He wasn't overly familiar with the concept, at least in the context being used here. Lord Aidridrigane would hold audience with him in the Hundred Pacers' own realm, every couple of centuries or so. But never a...reception.

    The leopard vaguely recognized the word from Liao's college but that, too, had been a bit of a murky area. Kulau shifted slightly to face the yaoguai, looking her over. "Are you...reception?" Well. It wouldn't be the strangest career Kulau'd heard a yaoguai picking up.


     
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  4. Dawn Bellwether

    Dawn Bellwether Zootopia
    Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

    Posts:
    164
    Occupation:
    Head of the Department of Public Affairs
    Location:
    41 North Oldwood Road, Tavoie Borough
    Race:
    Anthropomorphic Sheep
    Bellwether liked to think she had a talent for walking and talking at the same time, which was not normally something that one would need to be talented at, but between the preacious nature of the roof and just how out of place the visitor on the roof appeared to be, any wrong move on either count could be a serious problem. As the stranger shifted about to face her, she suddenly came to a halt, hoping that she was keeping a respectable, and safe, distance between the pair of them.

    "Well, no, I work on the second floor, ah, hold on, I've got my pass somewhere around here," she rummaged through one of the pockets in her blazer, which was home to, helpfully, the pass that identified who she was and where she worked in the building, along with an assortment of well chewed pencils, some hastily written but remarkably unhelpful reminders to do something about something or other, and a rapidly growing collection of pocket lint. It looked like she was about to take another few steps towards Likulau, but her feet simply weren't willing to cooperate any further at this point, and so instead the sheep simply held up her pass for him to inspect from a distance.

    "Here it is," she began, and then the wind struck, whipping up ever so briefly and slightly, so as to snatch the paper out from her hand and set it sailing off into the distance. Bellwether remained perfectly still now, save for her eyes, which tracked the paper on it's leisurely journey towards the edge of the rooftop.

    "...and, and there it goes. I'm Bellwether," Bellwether continued without missing a beat, forcing herself to smile brightly and ignoring the piece of paper that was dancing in the wind, even as it was caught in the up-draft caused by the building itself, "from the Department of Public Affairs, and we're here to help. Are you lost?"

    There weren't many reasons why somebody would be on the roof of the Parliament Building and, of those, Bellwether reasoned, nearly all of them would benefit from somebody saying, in a reassuring voice, that they were there to help. It was rapidly dawning on her that she hadn't thought this through, and that while her coworkers had assured her she was the best person to tackle this situation, it was rather more likely that none of them were crazy enough to deal with whatever was going on here. The manual she'd been given when starting her job in the Department did have an informative section on meeting new arrivals to Pandora Town, yet none of the otherwise very well-written examples mentioned anything about them being conducted on rooftops.
     
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  5. Likulau

    Likulau Guest




    Likulau continued to watch the sheep with bemusement, though his face failed to show it. She was certainly...very odd, for a yaoguai. Nothing like any he'd seen before. Maybe because she was in the presence of a spirit with greater power than her own? Or, maybe she was just always like this.

    As he watched her pull out this pass of hers she mentioned, Kulau took the opportunity to pull the hood of his coat back up from where it had fallen off of his head; less to do with the evening chill (because his spiritual body was hardly effected by changing temperature) and more-so simply because he felt better with it up. He timed his movement well, however, when a steady breeze picked up.

    Unfortunately for the minuscule yaoguai, it also snatched away her pass. The leopard followed its path through the air with his own gaze before flicking his eyes back to the sheep.

    His brow furrowed just faintly in thought. Judging by this little sheep's demeanor, she definitely didn't want to be up here. Whether because of him or the danger to her host, or perhaps both. Judging by how little Chi she had, Kulau could understand why. If she slipped and fell, there wouldn't be a lot she could do to save herself. She also, quite evidently, worked in this building. And to every other mortal, she'd be up here talking to herself.

    Kulau was suddenly filled with a lot more empathy for the yaoguai, regardless of either of their circumstances. And thus, Kulau came to his decision.

    The leopard lifted his hand toward the sheep's pass, still fluttering in the wind, and released some of his Chi. Likulau manipulated the wind effortlessly, coercing it to carry its package swiftly to him until he was able to pluck it out of the air.

    He glanced down at the pass...but - despite the writing on it, even more strangely, appearing to be in his own language - Kulau had limited knowledge of the written word.

    Instead, the deific spirit held the pass out for Bellwether to take. "Yes," he replied. He felt no shame in admitting his current predicament, if it meant he would receive help sooner rather than later. He paused before continuing, "I am Likulau. Clouded Leopard." He didn't expect this sheep to understand that he was translating his name from the Rukai language, if the fact went over Liao's head upon their first meeting. But Kulau felt better about sharing the detail with the formality.

    Especially considering he was less keen on sharing the nickname Shu-chi and Liao had given him. "Should we...leave the roof...?" Really, he was mostly asking for her benefit.

     
    #5 Likulau, Apr 21, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2018
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  6. Cascade Bay had been absolutely marvelous. After everything she'd done, Elizabeth didn't think she'd be able to manage the same kind of wonder and enthusiasm she'd had the first time she'd been to Battleship Bay and really, truly seen the sky. It was so different and wonderful being underneath it rather than locked in a tower and staring at it longingly from afar, but even with her spirits diminished and a nervous edge to every movement, Elizabeth was still able to close her eyes and bask in its warmth. It didn't bother her that this wasn't the same sky she'd once dreamed of. She'd willingly left that one behind long before Pandora had ever claimed her.

    But then before she'd known it, she'd wandered so far down the beach that there were no longer any voices reached her ears. All she could hear when she listened was silence, and while it normally would've been peaceful if not dull after living in isolation for her entire life, the continuous near-death experience her life had become recently had taught her that silence was threatening. She'd grown to find comfort in the murmur of the city, always alive and always active, even amidst their toughest nights trying to find a way to survive and escape it.

    And then the silence had been broken by a low growl.

    Elizabeth whirled around, taking a few steps back as her eyes scanned the treeline nervously. She didn't know where it had come from but without Booker around to handle her scuffles for her, she didn't too much like her chances if it came to a fair fight. While she was looking towards the tree, however, she didn't think to keep her eyes on the coast as two turtle creatures slithered out from it. Elizabeth had heard of Kappas, of course, but she hadn't quite braced herself for how disgusting they looked in real life when she turned around with a frightened glare.

    The Kappas were coming closer with their jaws snapping, and Elizabeth backed up with a huff and held her hands out. She concentrated her powers in her finger tips and felt around the fabric of reality for a Tear, any Tear, that would take her away from here. When she didn't find one right away, she continued backing up nervously even as another two Kappas emerged behind their companions. But then -- there. She felt one. Without waiting to try and see what was on the other side, Elizabeth wrenched it open with a gasp and ducked through it.

    Tears were always a form of wish fulfillment for her. She was never entirely sure if she just capitalized on existing ones...or her subconscious created rips in reality around her. Whichever was true, she suddenly found herself standing on a dreadfully tall building and looking over the edge of it as she tried to stop herself. Her momentum from her quick dash away left her losing her balance, however, and her hands jerked awkwardly as she tried to catch herself before she went tumbling right down to the ground with a horrified squeak.

    For the two others she hadn't quite yet noticed, what they would have seen first was a blur between them. And then it was ripping open as if time and space had warped around her, and a frenzied looking girl dashed out with turtle monsters practically snapping at her heels. It wasn't entirely usual for even Pandora...but it wouldn't be the strangest thing that had ever happened.

     
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  7. Dawn Bellwether

    Dawn Bellwether Zootopia
    Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

    Posts:
    164
    Occupation:
    Head of the Department of Public Affairs
    Location:
    41 North Oldwood Road, Tavoie Borough
    Race:
    Anthropomorphic Sheep
    There was a difference between knowing that magic existed, and actually seeing it happen right in front of you. The look on Bellwether's face shifted from alarm, through to panic, before taking a brief trip via concern to finally arrive at wide-eyed amazement. She had no idea how the stranger had done it, nor whether this represented the extent of his abilities but, without saying a word, Bellwether took the offered paper.

    "Oh, no, Likulao," Bellwether just about managed to pronounce the name correctly, "if you want to stay up here, that's fine, really, it's just that, hey, there's somebody on the roof, isn't that a bit str-"

    Before she could stumble her way to the end of that sentence, Bellwether was treated to her second encounter with magic. While the sheep could just about manage to keep her wits about her when faced with someone - a predator, no less - gently manipulating the wind to rescue her errant pass, it was a different story when the blur that was Elizabeth came out from somewhere. If she had the time to think about it, she'd consider how time and space shouldn't conspire together to act like that. She did not, however, have time to think about that. Instead, as the girl darted by, pursued by odd looking creatures, Bellwether fell backwards on to her behind.

    The look of wide-eyed amazement was still plastered on her face as she glanced at the girl being chased, and then back to Likulao, as if somehow he might be able to make any sense of what was going on. It took her a few seconds to put her thoughts together. Even if the only thing that she was now absolutely certain of was just how far this situation had deviated from the examples in the handbook she'd read, at least that was something.

    "Should we, ah, I mean, we should do something, right?"
     
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  8. Likulau

    Likulau Guest



    As a god, Kulau had lived long enough to see plenty of awe-inspiring sights. He witnessed every disaster, both imminent and potential, that had ever been looming over the various Rukai tribes across China. He'd held audience with Lord Aidridrigane, and met, befriended, and battled any number of other gods and yaoguai. Even more recently, he'd truly witnessed the potential of mortals like Liao and felt emotions he'd never been privy to before.

    Yet, somehow, despite all of that, there was plenty in the world that still managed to surprise Kulau. Like, say for example, a tear in the fabric of space itself that ripped violently open only for a young woman to come careening out of said tear while being chased by demonic-looking entities.

    That was certainly a new one.

    The leopard's eyes widened ever so marginally as it happened. He didn't stop to think, to question what had truly just happened or who this mortal woman was (or if she was even truly mortal), or to get any further reading on her or the creatures chasing her.

    He didn't even hear Miss Bellwether's question. He was already in motion.

    With inhuman speed, the Clouded Leopard lurched forward to grab the woman's forearm. He took the briefest of moments to imbue her with a minuscule amount of his Chi, enough to imbibe her with a fraction of his feline reflexes and balance; then, he yanked her backwards and away from the portal and the roof's edge. If he were in his own world, the woman might've just attributed an unseen force to a blessing of whatever god she might worship. As it was, Kulau didn't have time to register the expression on her face.

    In the same fluid motion, Likulau swung his footpaws up in a backflip, at once both landing on his paws and twisting around. Still holding himself up by his arms, Kulau used his momentum to grab two of the creatures together by their necks and pulled them out of the portal and cleanly over the edge of the roof.

    Likulau kept up his moment by swinging back around and alighting himself with his footpaws back on the floor. He snarled at the remaining creatures, waiting for their next move.

    They didn't look like any kind of yaoguai he'd seen before, which seemed to be a running theme in this city. Although they did look more familiar with their negative Chi and their baleful faces than the sheep had.

     

  9. Elizabeth's scream was cut off by a hand on her forearm, grabbing her back from the edge of the roof. For a moment, she almost expected it to be Booker when she turned around, the man coming to her rescue yet again, but it wasn't anywhere even close. In fact, the hand that had just saved her was more like a paw. She let out a gasp as she suddenly filled with some type of energy, not enough to feel too different but a small jumpstart to her system that she almost didn't notice. It made her nimble enough to catch her footing in her panic and even with the heels on her boots almost effortlessly to watch the creature throw two of the Kappas to their deaths.

    "Look out, there's more!" she tried to call to him, but she watched in awe at his acrobatics as he seemed on top of the game already. She almost expected him to start clawing at the other pair that was coming out of the open Tear, but-- was that stereotypical?

    Whatever the case, she held her hands out to feel for the edges of the Tear yet again before they were fully through. With a grunt of effort, she tried to force it closed, despite the energy of it trying to repel against her like two magnets with similar charges. However, Elizabeth managed it after a moment, a light gasp escaping her with the brief strain, and the Tear closed right on top of both of the creatures, effectively de-Kappa-tating them.

    "Oh my God," Elizabeth mumbled, her eyes wide open in horror as she covered her mouth. She was staring at the bleeding heads that had dropped onto the roof with no sign of their bodies or the Tear in sight, but she was also staring in her mind's eye at the corpse of Daisy Fitzroy. Her stomach lurched as if she could physically taste the guilt. She turned her back on it, still covering her mouth and looking entirely distraught over the unnecessary carnage, even though she'd watched her 'savior' throw two of them to their deaths not a moment earlier. Could she have forced them back through the Tear without losing a limb?

    "I-I'm sorry," she told them suddenly, smoothing her palms nervously against her dress. "I didn't mean for-- It wasn't my intention to--" At a loss, Elizabeth didn't even quite know what she was apologizing for. Brutally murdering a creature in front of them or bringing her problem to their doorstep in the first place?

     
    #9 Elizabeth Comstock, Apr 22, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2018
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  10. Dawn Bellwether

    Dawn Bellwether Zootopia
    Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

    Posts:
    164
    Occupation:
    Head of the Department of Public Affairs
    Location:
    41 North Oldwood Road, Tavoie Borough
    Race:
    Anthropomorphic Sheep
    From her spot, sat on the roof, Bellwether watched the frantic scene unfold around her while she remained a tiny, calm eye in the hurricane of action. By the time she'd made sense of one spectacular act, she'd missed another, and so beyond seeing things being thrown from the roof by the leopard and the girl wrestling with the boundaries of a hole in space and time, the rest was just a vague impression of acrobatic movement, of snapping turtles and of the snarling sound made by Likulao. The snarling, in particular, would continue to eat away at her thoughts.

    While Bellwether had no idea how to deal with rampaging turtle-ish monsters, she could deal with Elizabeth's rather unsurprising reaction to what had just happened. With great care, Bellwether got up onto her feet again, steadied herself a little, and then approached Elizabeth. Throughout it all, Bellwether had been clinging on to her government pass, and now it was nothing more than a crumpled ball of paper in her hand.

    "Apology accepted, I mean, really, if I had a shilling every time I got caught up with something happening on the roof," Bellwether didn't finish that thought, because neither Elizabeth or Likolau needed to hear that she'd have a grand total of two shillings, and so she continued to nervously chatter on at high speed. "I'm starting to think settling down in Pandora Town wasn't the safest idea, but there's this place that does great salad, really good, you know, and- oh, right, sorry, introductions."

    Underneath them, in the safety of the building, there was something of a commotion brewing. People were, perhaps quite understandably, a little concerned by the sudden sounds of many footsteps on the roof above them. The sound of a pair of Kappa hitting the ground in the garden did little to calm their nerves.

    "This is-"

    Bellwether turned slightly to gesture up to Likolau. When he was just a lost, and slightly confused looking, leopard on the roof, safely sat down, well, that was one thing. Now she'd seen him in a different light. and, for a moment, she paused in silence, simply staring at the Clouded Leopard, almost as if she was looking at an entirely different person.

    "Likolau. He's, um, you know, I think he just arrived in Pandora Town too."

    The snarling continued to eat away at her thoughts.
     
    #10 Dawn Bellwether, Apr 23, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
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  11. Likulau

    Likulau Guest



    The sudden whirlwind of confrontation Likulau had transformed into seemed to give the two remaining Kappa creatures pause. Enough so that the Clouded Leopard was able to drop into a more combat-ready stance, crouched low and tensed, ready to strike. For an anticipatory moment, Likulau simply watched the demons as they stared back at him.

    Then, they seemed to shake their fear and returned his snarl crudely. They leaped forward. And Kulau was prepared to meet them with a slash of his claws. He was so focused on keeping Bellwether and the mortal girl safe from these creatures, he wasn't paying attention to what the latest arrival was doing.

    Until the Kappa had just crossed the bridge of the portal, and the tear snapped closed. Kulau immediately jerked back to avoid getting struck by the....debris, swishing his tail quickly back and forth to keep his balance.

    He stared down at the remains of the creatures, subtly sniffing them to ensure they truly were dead. But his attention snapped back to the mysterious woman a second later as she spoke up. His face once again falling into its familiar blank frown, Likulau stood awkwardly staring at the woman's back.

    Should he send her more of his Chi? He could give her enough to calm her down, but he wasn't sure she would appreciate the gesture. The first time had been an instinctive act to keep her from plummeting off the roof. This, however, is a much less tense and much more uncertain circumstance.

    Instead leaving the business of talking her down to Bellwether, Kulau leaned over the edge to look down on the bodies he'd pulled over the roof.

    He grunted softly in distaste. If he was back in Wutai, he would've been able to simply take the bodies into the forest and leave them to its inhabitants. Here, they would require...cleaning up. Worse yet, he still had no idea what other gods or spirits might be found in this city; he definitely couldn't just let them be or leave them for the mortals to dispose of.

    The Clouded Leopard lifted a paw, still staring at the creatures' remains below, and snapped his fingers. The bodies were engulfed instantaneously in a brilliant blue flame. His Chi ensured the flame didn't spread to the surrounding greenery, or even the grass the corpses laid upon, as well as quickly burned them up until there was naught but ash left. When that was done, Likulau turned again to the severed heads of the other two Kappa and did the same to them.

    With the mess dealt with, Kulau turned back to his two current companions.

    ...He was still feeling incredibly awkward.

     
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  12. Once the danger had passed, Elizabeth was still as uncomfortable as one could really be, but she was able to take a breath and calm herself down at least. Fighting for her life wasn't anything entirely new, and there were quite a few handful of times where she'd stubbornly escaped from Booker and tried to find her own way out of Columbia, but...needless to say, she'd never done well when left to her own devices. And that's what she was, wasn't she? Entirely alone? Pandora was different than Columbia in the sense that the entire population wasn't personally out to get her, but she still managed to find herself over her head in trouble more often than she would've liked without someone to watch her back.

    As the little lamb creature introduced the leopard that'd saved her, Elizabeth stopped anxiously trying to smooth down the bottom of her dirty dress to look at them curiously. The fact that they were animals was surprising, but not very off-putting. Many of the countless books she'd read as a child locked away in her tower had featured talking animals as protagonists, though from what she could tell, the universe that she lived in didn't actually have them in real life. Regardless, it wasn't as if she had much experience with the outside world at all, nor with very many friendly faces. She had exactly one friend who was the only person before Pandora that hadn't wanted to turn her back into her father and leave her to a life of...she didn't even want to think about.

    She knew she could use some more.

    "Hello, Likulau," she greeted pleasantly, though there was a faint strain to her tone. Elizabeth was naturally a cheerful girl, but after everything she'd been through, even just in the last ten minutes? She needed a nap at best. "My name's Elizabeth. Thank you for--" She gave him a sheepish, tight-lipped smile as she gestured to the pile of ashes where the Kappas' heads had been a moment earlier. "And you are?" was her question towards the lamb herself, trying to put on her best friendly face so she wouldn't dwell on her rather reasonable reaction to what was essentially cold-blooded killing.

    And, of course, the elephant in the room that she had just jumped out of a rip in time and space.


     
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  13. Dawn Bellwether

    Dawn Bellwether Zootopia
    Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

    Posts:
    164
    Occupation:
    Head of the Department of Public Affairs
    Location:
    41 North Oldwood Road, Tavoie Borough
    Race:
    Anthropomorphic Sheep
    Bellwether stared at the piles of ash that were, moments before, heads in increasingly uncomfortable silence. The brief fight, the strange monsters, the even stranger holes in the air that spewed forth monsters and the girl, they had all swirled together into one event, rendered fuzzy by adrenaline and the speed at which it transpired. The world felt as if it was slowing down now, giving her time to see what was going on around her and to draw some very alarming conclusions about what had just transpired.

    Training had taught her not to look surprised, or stunned, or scared. Training could only go so far, and against the guidelines laid out in the handbook, she looked terrified. Still, the nervous sounding chattering came out all the same, because that was a close to fighting back against this uncomfortable situation she found herself in. On a rooftop, with two other people, yet somehow still feeling utterly alone.

    "It's Bellwether. I'm actually the Assistant at the Department of Public Affairs, which sort of means doing a little bit of everything, handling complaints, receiving new arrivals, making tea, it's all really quite intere-"

    She came through a portal chased by monsters, Bellwether thoughts interrupted, and he's a predator that can move things and set things on fire with his mind. Filing paperwork and filling out forms is, in comparison, not that interesting. However, secondary to all the myriad skills required to be an effective part of the bureaucratic machine was the ability to try and ignore inconvenient truths.

    "-speaking of interesting," the guidebook never used words like terrifying or crazy, and Bellwether had latched on to the word 'interesting' as a useful catch-all term to encompass just about everything she wasn't really capable of understanding, "maybe the pair of you would like to come down from the roof, and explain the interesting things that just happened?"

    At least this way, she hoped, she could cross "falling from the roof" off of her list of things to worry about.
     
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  14. Likulau

    Likulau Guest



    There were a great many things about the human world that Kulau still didn't understand. For example, the title and duties Miss Bellwether rattled off. That was as mysterious and unknown to the leopard god as the intricacies of college mathematics, or how Liao's computer functioned.

    But one thing he did know was people. His ears, usually stiff and perky, twitched just a fraction backwards at seeing the terror on Bellwether's face and hearing the strain in the girl, Elizabeth's, voice. Likulau knew most mortals weren't accustomed to things of a supernatural nature, and even this sheep yaoguai was probably so weak in Chi she likely avoided confrontation at all cost.

    Which meant that neither of them were reacting well to the sudden appearance of monsters and a deific feline dispatching them in mere moments. Which also meant that Kulau had, perhaps, acted a bit too rashly, even with disposing of the creatures' bodies.

    Bellwether, at least, provided a way forward. Kulau first lead with an apology, as short and brief as ever; though he mostly did so on principle at the suddenness and efficient of what had just occurred. "Explain," he continued, nodding firmly in compliancy. "Yes."

    He paused, though, suddenly filled with uncertainty. But...well, he already knew he could make physical contact with the mortals of this city. Or, at the very least, with Elizabeth. Hesitating only briefly to double-check that his claws were sheathed, Kulau held his paws out to the pair of women. After all, there didn't seem to be any other way off the roof; and unless he made them both climb in through a window like Bellwether had done prior, which he mostly certainly wasn't about to do, then this was their only option.

    Likulau waited until they had both gotten a good grip on him, keeping his arms firmly around their waists, before leaping over the rooftop's edge. The great thing about being a deity: mortal concepts such as weight and gravity were irrelevant. Neither Bellwether nor Elizabeth caused him any strain to hold. And, better yet, instead of plummeting at the mercy of gravity, Kulau floated down to the ground below as if he were riding on the gentle afternoon breeze. He didn't release his charges until his footpaws had fully touched the ground.

    The Leopard took a step back to give the women their space again and returned his gaze to Bellwether, waiting patiently for her input. Kulau was still in a very unfamiliar setting, with very unfamiliar people and creatures. He was completely ready for the little sheep to take the lead.


     
    #14 Likulau, May 28, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2018
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  15. Dawn Bellwether

    Dawn Bellwether Zootopia
    Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

    Posts:
    164
    Occupation:
    Head of the Department of Public Affairs
    Location:
    41 North Oldwood Road, Tavoie Borough
    Race:
    Anthropomorphic Sheep
    Bellwether hesitated, perhaps unsurprisingly, as the leopard offered a paw, as she wasn't entirely certain as to the meaning of this particular gesture. Likulau expressed, in a rather abrupt sort of way, that he was happy to explain things, and perhaps this offered paw was him suggesting that they shook hands to cement the deal? Was there some sort of magic that would let him communicate, via touch, what was going on? She sneaked a quick glance to Elizabeth, as if to judge her reaction to it, but just as quickly thought better of it. While she was marginally less innately terrifying, she wasn't going to be an effective guide as to what might be considered normal behaviour in this situation.

    So she reached out, taking the offered paw as firmly as she could, before freezing up entirely as Likulau tightened his own grip and leapt over the edge. Gravity seemed content to look the other way, which was fortunate for the three of them and the janitorial staff of the Parliament Building. Once she could feel the ground underneath her feet - something that she had honestly taken for granted for some time, and now felt much more appreciative about - and Likulau no longer holding on to her, she unfroze, and the panic began to set in.

    The handbook on how to deal with new arrivals did not say that letting out a terrified scream and running away as fast as possible was acceptable, but it didn't exactly say it wasn't either. The noise she made wasn't so much a scream, but more of a terrified bleating noise, but she'd got the running part down right at least, going as fast as her legs could carry her towards a patch of bushes within the gardens surrounding the Parliament Building. Within moments, she was hiding behind one of the rose bushes, eyes wide with panic, trying to catch her breath, and trying to push aside what just happened.
     

  16. As much as she didn't want to go with the little lamb considering all the great love bureaucrats held for her in her own world, Elizabeth did have to admit explaining what had happened was the least she could do. And this one didn't seem so bad? Pandora itself seemed mostly free of the prejudice and oppression she had been horrified to discover and yet quickly grown numb to over the past month, so chances were good she wouldn't end up locked in a cage somewhere and experimented on if she followed her to her office.

    Well. One could only hope.

    She gave Kulau an odd look when he extended an arm in her direction, but without a Sky Line anywhere nearby, she knew she wasn't getting down without opening another Tear. And with the sea monsters that had just come out of the last one, she wasn't all too keen on taking her chances just yet. With a hesitant movement, she stepped closer and allowed Kulau to get a secure arm around her.

    "How are we--" she was just in the middle of asking, before the ground seemingly disappeared beneath her feet and her stomach flipped with the familiar sensation of being airborne. Usually, Elizabeth at least had her Skyhook to hold onto like an anchor, but this time, it was just Kulau's fur in her tight, desperate grip as the trio floated down to the ground. It was...a new sensation, but not an entirely unwelcome one. Her initial fear and shock melted to wonder as she leaned slightly away from him to look down at the slowly approaching ground.

    When her boots touched down, Elizabeth was almost reluctant to step away, but she did need to make sure that her dress was fixed like a proper lady. Well, maybe not a proper one considering all the trouble she'd been up to, but a not naked one was something she didn't mind being.

    "That was incredible," she told Kulau, blue eyes bright. The troubled expression she had worn only a few minutes earlier had mostly faded away. "How do you do that? Is it some sort of quantum levitation?"