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Private Devil's Playground

Discussion in 'Otherworld' started by Goro Akechi, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    June 12th 109 - @Tohru Adachi

    --

    This would be the first time Crow has ventured into the Pandora Metaverse on his own. The mobs weren't terribly strong that Loki or Robin couldn't handle them, and with the ubiquitous presence of safe rooms, he didn't much see a reason not to go it alone. On this particular trip, he was studying the ins and outs of demon negotiation.

    "What's the sky like?" Asked an imp in a jar.

    Crow looked up at the red-black firmament of the metaverse. "Um. It's big and blue, but often black and spangled with stars."

    "You know a lot, huh mister?"

    "Oh, I do," Crow said proudly.

    "Yeesh! I hate know-it-alls!" and the gremlin attacked him.

    Most of the encounters went out like that. Akechi's social grace had nothing on this place and the creatures running about it. He enjoyed the challenge, for all it was worth -- he just hated how in-your-face losing was.

    As for why he was putting up with all this? Joker was incredibly smooth and made demon negotiation look like the stuff of grade school. It was only natural that Crow had to catch up.

    His 23rd group of mobs had an incubus that groaned, "Maaan. Another one in the same day?"

    "What do you mean?"
    Crow said, easing his raygun.

    "There's another schmuck runnin' around just like you. Murdered my whole family."

    The demon didn't look particularly devastated, though. Crow nodded slowly.

    "Did he have a white mask? A dark overcoat?"

    The demon thought for a moment. "He looked like a forgettable side-character."

    That didn't sound like Joker.

    "I see. Thank you."

    "Sure. Anyways, I gotta kill--"

    Crow shot it and went on.

    --

    For one, he'd never seen that kind of persona before, and in the span of years in which he'd dwelled in the Metaverse, he liked to think he would have. That led him to believe it was unique to the individual standing before it.

    Crow himself was peering from just around the bend, his mask pulled up to his hair so it didn't jut out. From his reasonably limited line of view, he was trying to make out a face. He'd met some persona users; it might be someone he'd recognize. That, or a stranger exploiting the metaverse. (It wouldn't be the first time.)
     
    #1 Goro Akechi, Jun 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  2. Tohru Adachi

    Tohru Adachi Persona

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    This felt like a dream. Or at least, his body had slipped into the Metaverse just as easily as one would into slumber. It was all supposed to be a matter of testing his boundaries; of getting acclimated to this new world. Imagine his surprise, the electric thrill that danced through his veins, when the television reacted so fondly to his touch.

    But actually being sucked in, that was the last thing he wanted.

    “Ahh, man...” Adachi exhaled out of frustration and defeat. “Just like old times...” Funny how that sounded much less nostalgic than it did bitter.

    The last time he entered a TV it was by his own volition, but it'd have been nice if it stayed that way. He had no real plans to ever return here, to this twisted and fucked up reality where everything reminded him just why the world wasn't even worth saving.

    Of course, he wasn't alone here. It was only a matter of time before the shadows would start to stir, and when that time came, he would be the one left laughing as Magatsu-Izanagi bathed in their blood.

    ----

    “Hold up! I've got a wife and kids at home, you know...!”

    A plea that was squelched as Adachi's Persona pressed the sole of its bladed foot into the squirming Incubus' throat.

    What was up with these shadows? They were supposed to be cold, unfeeling. And here was this asshole. Begging for his life, trying to make a fool of him.

    “Now, now,” Adachi's light-hearted voice practically cooed, “You attacked me, remember?” He almost enjoyed this, the murderous ritual that he was about to partake while Izanagi's eyes flickered like eerie lanterns in the spray of red fog. A motion of his hand and it was over, feeling the power of his true self surge with newfound satisfaction at the freshly killed demon. Seething in its endless hunger, the crimson aura expanded while the corners of Adachi's mouth twinged before they settled into a sadistic grin, “So... this is what it feels like...”

    Killing mindless shadows had always been boring and tasteless. But this execution was different...

    Izanagi suddenly snapped to attention as it sensed yet another presence nearby and Adachi's spine straightened. What's that? Something actually managed to get the drop on him? Turning, he brought his hands together to clap his half-hearted approval, “Not bad. But are you sure you want to sneak around in the shadows? A little cowardly, don't you think?”

    For all he knew, it could just be another shadow. But maybe his luck hadn't run out just yet. Maybe this one could beg, too.
     
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  3. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    The jeer worked. Crow hated assumptions more than anything, and one of those was that he was cowardly. If he was one, would he have Robin? No.

    Well, he shifted out into the open, forced a smile on his face. "If at all possible, I like to err on the side of caution." He made no attempt to get closer, however. His mask was also drawn over his face. Robin's ideals may have been a poorer disguise than Loki's lies, but it made him look the part of harmless (a more preferred assumption to cowardly or, say, murderous).


    "Yours is not a face I recognize. May I ask your name?"

    There was an online circle that just so happened to be a gathering of persona-users both familiar and unfamiliar to Crow's friend group. Crow had seen a lot of names and very few of the faces linked to them. At the very least, he expected this person to be one such persona-user.
     
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  4. Tohru Adachi

    Tohru Adachi Persona

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    It wasn't a shadow at all.

    Just a brat. Of all things.

    No matter how much they tried to hide it with that getup, Adachi wasn't fooled in the slightest. Here he was minding his own business, and he runs into a damn kid. At the very least this one didn't seem to have a whole flock of little shits following along behind. Ugh. He shouldn't even think about it, lest more will just start crawling out of the walls. One was enough of a headache to deal with.

    He had to admit, though, he did not even know where to begin with the costume and mask—a little much, don't you think?—but it was enough to provide him with a bit of passing amusement.

    White was such a gaudy color.

    “I suppose that's fair. After all, you never know just who you'll find in a place like this,” the two of them shared a very similar brand of smile, “Funny how that is.”

    Magatsu-Izanagi hovered just off the ground from behind Adachi, pulsing with tendrils of violent crimson. A sickly heartbeat; synchronous and unabashedly sinister. He had to admit, from the minute he was sucked into the TV he knew he wouldn't be alone down here. But he wasn't exactly sure what to expect, either. Not here in Pandora, if you could even consider it that anymore. The twisted environment around them portraying nothing more than the subconscious of its denizens.

    Why was he not surprised when the kid now started inquiring after his name?

    “Geez, you're putting me at quite a disadvantage here,” lifting his hand, he made a motion over his face as if to imitate the act of wearing a mask, “After all, you look mighty suspicious.” His voice resonated blithely behind his practiced smile, “Is it true that there's danger in wearing a mask? How'd that saying go... something about how masked men have an awful lot to hide?”

    Heh. He delighted in the double-sided meaning to his words. After all, he hid who he was from everyone that crossed his path. But he didn't need a damn mask to do it. “Ah well, my memory's a little shoddy...” He admitted with a disarming shrug of his shoulders, an awkward chuckle clearing the tension, “I'm Tohru Adachi. And just who are you?”
     
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  5. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    The name didn't ring a bell. Then again the man had every reason to misinform Crow with a "name". Crow decided he would take the answer tentatively. He also decided he would be two for two about it.

    "Oh, I'm sorry," he laughed, "did you think I was going to give you my name? That would ruin the purpose behind a disguise, don't you think? Plus...who else could be watching?"

    --Which pretty much proved Adachi's point about suspicious persons in masks, but look at all the damns given in Crow's on-running smile. Crow made no attempt to back down; in fact, he took measured steps closer, gaze shifting from the human to the crimson demon suspended behind him. He thought he recognized that hunger emanating there, that insatiable desire to tear and let bleed. All those gnashing teeth and not a single sight of them.

    "You may just call me Crow," he amended, still not taking his eyes off the thing. "Interesting Persona you've got there. It doesn't look particularly happy to see me, though..."
     
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  6. Tohru Adachi

    Tohru Adachi Persona

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    Yes, Adachi set himself up for that one. Ah, but he still loved it when he was right. This little shit was on a whole different level of appearing self-assured, but two could play at that sort of game. His eyes followed the boy with each calculated step, also refusing to concede an inch as his caustic humor came to life, “A disguise will only get you so far, you know. Either you're hiding from yourself or someone else and I can't decide which one is more unfortunate.”

    Who else could be watching? Valid, though him and his newfound friend seemed to have very different concerns. Adachi, for one, did not give a shit who saw him down here. Much like his appearance in Pandora, it wasn't as if his visit to this amalgamous world was entirely intentional... and somehow he knew that so long as he was trapped here, running into someone of similar skill was just another part of the game.

    Still, of course it was another damn kid for him to deal with. His fucking curse.

    A shrug of his shoulders and he placed both of his hands within the pockets of his jacket. A low chuckle hissing through clenched teeth before he continued, “Shadows? Demons? Others like us, I imagine. But, I don't have anything to hide from them.”

    Crow. What a name. Adachi acknowledged it with a slow nod, only for the red fog of Magatsu-Izanagi to shift behind him. His Persona, in all of its twisted glory. Though, interesting that this kid seemed to fully grasp what he was looking at. “We share a dislike for getting caught by surprise is all,” despite the honeyed tone behind his words, there was no sign of lowering his guard, “But do forgive it, it doesn't have the chance to get out much...”
     
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  7. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    "I'm sure it doesn't," Akechi said, and this he knew well too. Not even here, he was allowing Loki to Roam free. Good thing, too, as Loki didn't mix well with strangers.

    The Robin idealogist put his hand under his chin and made a show of scrutinizing the pair. "But you know -- being caught by surprise does have the implication of being up to no good in the first place. What brings you here? And at the expense of sounding like a hypocrite -- why alone?"
     
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  8. Tohru Adachi

    Tohru Adachi Persona

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    “Does it? Maybe I'm just an innocent bystander who happens to spook easy,” Adachi gave a sideways grin and a casual roll of his shoulders, “Truth be told, you could say that me being here was just an unfortunate little accident.” There was at least a bead of truth to that, in more wry ways than one. Though he'd hardly describe acquiring his “power” an accident; it was much more like a resurgence. A brilliant little escape back before his game went crashing down around him. Ever since being locked behind bars, he was skeptical whether it still even existed.

    Now he knew, there was no getting rid of it that easy. Important, not that he had any plans at the moment.

    “It's easier to be alone,” or at least... it was much less of a headache. But still, he seemed deadpan and honest in his answer. Meanwhile, Magatsu-Izanagi's luminous eyes held a hunger in them but steadily it lowered its weapon, “Do you really have a better reason?”
     
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  9. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    While Crow appeared relatively calm, he was still very much on guard, with Robin Hood just a moment's thought away. He didn't trust that red Persona not to do anything funny, what with the way it was looking at him, or the way it had its sword poised just a bit ago.

    He figured the question would be reflected back at him. Akech replied, "I came here to practice my demon negotiation. Simple as." He grinned. "Don't you do that?"
     
    #9 Goro Akechi, Jun 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
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  10. Tohru Adachi

    Tohru Adachi Persona

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    “Can't say I have any need to 'negotiate' with demons, no,” Adachi offered an unconcerned shrug of his shoulders, his hands still concealed safely within his pockets. “After all. Not exactly a friendly bunch are they?” That question was more rhetorical than anything, never breaking his very practiced yet oily smile while he finally took a step closer to this masquerading brat, “You know—I'm so sorry—where are my manners? Here, allow me...” With a motion of his head, Magatsu-Izanagi dissipated into a cloud of blood-tinged fog. Crimson droplets pulsing not unlike a thousand villainous fireflies, Adachi's eyes glinting a deep golden hue, before that oppressive and hungry presence was gone.

    All of that hate. All of that “wasted” potential. Sealed back behind a jester wearing a suit and a tie.

    “So, Crow. Enlighten me. Is that what this place is known for? Some little hook up spot to make deals with demons? Because man... if so, not sure this is my kind of place.”
     
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  11. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    He didn't notice how much pressure the thing exuded until it was recalled. In the dearth that followed, the invisible weight on Crow's chest and shoulders lifted. He hoped the relief did not show.

    He took on a thinking pose. It may look as though he was contemplating the question itself, but in truth, he was debating how much to disclose. If he revealed that the metaverse was a realm of Pandora's collective conscience, there was no reason to believe this man wouldn't take advantage of that for his own ends. Akechi knew how that went; he'd done this exact thing in Tokyo's Metaverse.

    He supposed the best way to grow a convincing lie was to start with a grain of truth.

    "Yes -- it is a special realm in which only the demons dwell. Most persona-users come here to hone their skills. There is little to be done here otherwise." He tilted his head at Adachi, the very example of innocence. "What kind of place were you hoping to find?"