Kaija

"If you want something done right, do it yourself."

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Well Earned Rest

If you keep pushing yourself like this, you’re going to break. I know you may not want to believe it, but you’re doing your job just fine. Both of them. Times like these are when you should relax and enjoy yourself. Otherwise, what was the point of all of it?

“What are you doing?”

Uma’s mind fell back to the present moment to find her taut fingers pressed against Gaoto’s chest, directly over his heart. Great move for a bear, not so much a human.

“Huh. Good question,” she replied.

“Eh, you $@#& around if you want, but don’t come crying to me when the leviathan takes that hand from you,” the old man turned and made his way to the table with two dry towels, bringing one of them to his face.

“Just lost my focus for a moment. C’mon, let’s go again.”

“No. That was your last bout for today, anyways. Just make sure to keep your head out of your ass next time.”

Towel draped over his shoulders, old-man Gaoto took his leave. Uma shrugged and brought her own towel to her face to mark the end of that day’s training. Footsteps drew closer from her side at a walking pace as she wiped the sweat from her brow. A glance revealed it to be her boss.

“Breakfast?”

---

The young titan who was known to knock out three or four servings of Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes drowned in gravy and was having trouble getting through a single plate. She was unusually quiet and the energy that often went into eating and chatting Axum’s ears off with conversations about nothing had apparently fallen into one of her legs. It didn’t take long for the anxious tapping of her feet to capture the entirety of Axum’s attention.

“Whatever it is, you should go ahead and tell me before it becomes too big of an issue,” he broke the relative silence.

“Huh?”

“You’re practically radiating stress. Why?”

“Oh,” her leg slowed to a stop, “I guess it’s just that things have been so weird lately.”

Axum raised an eyebrow then surveyed the area to find the very same personnel eating the same meals that were served by the same caterers at the same tables. And, as far as he knew, Kaija had been undergoing the same maintenance training and dealing with hostile kaiju as they came, as was expected. He shook his head subtly as he met her gaze once more.

“Weird?” he asked, brow furrowed.

“It’s hard to explain. For the past few years it’s been a war, then some assassin, then a terrorist, then some other bullshit. One thing after another. But now…” she paused for a moment to find her words, “Well, it’s almost like it’s too calm.”

“What, you want trouble?”

“No, no. I mean, I’m happy. I’m just surprised, I guess,” she explained, “Incredulous.”

Axum shut his eyes and began to chuckle as Uma tilted her heat to the side.

“You are completely insane,” he replied before he burst out laughing.

“What!?” she exclaimed, “C’mon, you have to admit that I have a point.”

"Not really," he replied, wiping away a tear as he forced himself to stop laughing, “Listen. I know you’re probably not aware of this, but your friend, Ms. Leet, went into surgery a few hours ago. She lost an eye, and her injuries suggest that she wasn’t far from losing everything. And do you know what she was doing the last time I saw her?”

His words were met with silence.

“She was smiling and doing her work. Laughing it up and having a good time. And now, she’s under a knife. Uma, do you know why you’re asked to do little more than train on the average weekday? Why you’re given so much free time working here?”

“Yeah, yeah, you’ve told me many times…”

“Yeah, and I’ll tell you again. It’s not for you to sit around worrying about literally nothing,” he explained, “The word kaiju only implies 3 things; absurd strength, absurd durability and absurd size. Aside from that, every time that you go to work, you’re liable to run into practically anything. Any mission could be your last. So now, when things are going well, you need to be going out, getting drunk, spending time with Mr. Thunderbolt…”

“Alright, alright, forget I said anything.”

Uma turned away from him and got back to eating her food. Her boss took a single sip of coffee. A few seconds later, he began to laugh to himself once more and was immediately met with a glare.

“I’m taking a few of the boys out drinking tonight. You’re coming.”

“What, is that an order?”

“Yeah, we’re gonna need someone to carry Outsider back to his room when he inevitably ends up blacking out.”

She sighed, “Right.”

---

The clock read 8:13. A young blonde spun around on the soles of her feet to catch glimpses of herself from every angle that she could. She was smiling. From over her shoulder, she caught a glimpse of the ink on her back and realized why she hadn’t worn that shirt in ages and how much she had changed. She simply continued to twirl about slowly, no longer even batting an eye.

“Hey babe, we’re about to head out. You almost ready!?” a familiar voice calls from the other side of her door.

“Yeah, one sec!”

She wanders into her closet and catches sight of a rusted sword that she kept in the back corner.

Days like these, huh?

“Uma!?”

“Coming!”

She grabbed a pair of shoes that matched her outfit well enough, then slammed the closet behind her and took her leave. Tonight was a night to enjoy.

17 Comments

What it means to me...

3:45 am

A portal opens into the young soldier's room, and an oni quietly steps through. The power that maintained the monster's form slowly began to dwindle as the gateway behind her closed. When it finally shut, the horned blonde looked down to find that her crimson skin had returned to its natural peach color and her elongated claws had, unfortunately, reverted to a bunch of unsettling, elongated nails. Her body was covered in sweat from training and she reeked of physical progress. Kaija moved to the bathroom mirror and saw the bags under her eyes and the redness in her cornea.

"Alright," she sighed to herself, then got to work freshening up.

Before she bothered to lay her head down to rest, she washed away the scents that she brought with her from her nocturnal lessons, styled her unruly hair, clipped her horrendously overgrown nails, brushed her teeth and freshened up for bed. She checked the clock at her bedside before sliding into the sheets and quickly falling asleep: 4:37 am.

5:00 am

Kaija awoke with a start to the sound of her alarm clock; the redness in her corneas even worse than it had been the night before and persistent bags under her eyes. She silenced the alarm, slumped out of bed, and realized just how tired she was after getting back on her feet. In an exhausted daze, she stumbled to the side, slamming her right hand into the wall to catch herself and rubbing the back of her neck with her left with a deep groan. She reminded herself why she had been doing what she had been doing and resolved to simply get her job done without complaining.

"Alright," she sighed to herself, then got to work training.

Kaija's morning always started with at least four hours of physical exercise and business with the devil wasn't going to suffice as an excuse to get out of her regiment on this average morning. She struggled to get herself moving at first, starting with a slow job to get her blood pumping, but eventually found herself in a high after about an hour of physical activity. From then on, she simply pushed herself through her run, her lifting, her sparring, and her obstacle course; one continuous workout driven by a determined high that she would ride until she had satisfied her superiors and could finally return to her room and crash.

A few hours later, she'd return to her room to get a shower and a quick nap before her date later that afternoon. When she reached her room, she'd find a surprise that she didn't notice the night before...

9:16 am

When Kaija returned to her room, she found that she found a mountain of dirty clothes waiting for her and not a single towel or outfit to change into in the meantime. The attitude of "laundry isn't important, so I'll do it later" can only last for so long until you're forced to address the problem. And so, with the vigor of a zombie, the young soldier gathered up her clothes and head to the nearest laundry site to find, as you might've guessed, a line of coworkers who happened to have the day off had the same idea in mind. Kaija debated simply leaving and coming back but, to her dismay, as soon as she got her spot in line four others lined up behind her. Keeping in mind that she needed to get this done now, and that every person who she allowed to cut her in line was liable to add over an hour to her wait, she reluctantly held her spot until she made it to the front of the line.

Finally, she reached the front of the line, filled a few washing machines, and read the "estimated time till dry"; an hour and a half. She groaned. She gazed over at a dryer and read its ETD; another hour. She glared over at the owner of the clothes that had begun to dry who simply answered her fierce gaze by sticking out his chest and throwing his hands up. She simply raised a palm to him in peace, shook her head "no", then took a seat and fought the Sandman for dear life to stay awake so that none of her clothing had any reason to find itself missing.

"Alright," she said to herself, then got to work fighting against every urge she had to pass out right there in that small room.

2:48 pm

Finally, Kaija returned from her quest to the laundry; ready to freshen up and with a mountain of clean clothes. She changed her bedspread, picked something out to wear later on that evening, took a shower, put on something comfortable, and plummeted onto her bed, not even bothering to get under the covers.

...

And then her phone rang.

"You couldn't have called me before I got out of the shower...?" she questioned herself as she listened to Axum's voice on the other end of the line.

A kaiju had shown up in Brazil and the soldier who had been out of work for a while needed to do her job; even if it was the worst day for this kind of thing to happen. At this point, Kaija wasn't even surprised. And so, she rushed to her closet to change into her underarmor, then made her way to Brazil. When she arrived, she took a look at the monster. Nothing unusual to her. A creature akin to a wolf made of stone who leaked lava from the small cracks lining his body and spewed fire and pyroclastic flow from his mouth. She raised her shield and advance, pushing through her physical exhaustion.

"Alright," she said to herself, then got to work removing the beast's head.

5:22 pm

With the beast slain, her equipment returned back to base and her body checked for injuries post-battle, Kaija found that she had less than two hours before her scheduled date with Ali. She'd need to change and freshen up before she went out and she was still running on no more than a half-hour of sleep over the past 24 hours. In truth, Kaija felt as though she were dying, but she had one more thing that she wanted to do before she could finally let herself drift into a much-needed sleep.

And so, giving up on the idea of trying to take a nap before she met him, Kajia decided to use her remaining time to take a shower, again, put on the nicest dress she could find, and be there, on time, for their date.

"Alright," she said to herself, then got to work making herself presentable for her man.

7:00 pm

A few knocks could be heard from the other side of the Lighting God's door. When he opened it, he'd find that the tomboyish, blonde soldier had managed to transform herself into a doll wearing a red dress and high-heels to match her eyes. And, much to Kaija's surprise... she'd find Ali wearing the most casual outfit that he could find with a few pizzas, some plates and the title screen of Seven Psychopaths on his T.V. Kaija glanced over his room then turned her sights back to him.

"Are we not going out tonight?" she asked him.

Ali may not have been the type of man who liked to plan ahead much or worry about most things, but he wasn't blind, stupid or unattentive. Even if he wasn't sure why, he could tell that she had been a bit overworked lately and that she was tired.

"Do you want to go out? Like, really?"

Kaija opened her mouth for a moment as if to speak, then stopped herself as she thought about it. She lowered her head and her shoulders drooped a bit, "No. Not, really."

"Wanna just chill in here with me? You like pizza; I got pizza. I got a movie you like..." Ali explained with cavalier confidence, "We can just take it easy for a night."

Kaija smiled, tearing the high-heels of her feet and eagerly tossing them to the other side of the room, "Yeah, ok"

They climbed into bed and enjoyed some pizza, watching the unusual film together for nearly 45 minutes. After that point, Ali would find that his comments no longer received replies and his questions went unanswered. He'd look over to find Uma fast asleep with her head resting on his shoulder; not a worry in the world at that moment. He'd cover her up and simply enjoy the rest of the movie in peace with his girl at his side.

It was what Kaija needed.

Just a little something I felt like writing, lol.

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The First Halo

She didn't plan for this enough.

The roads had been torn apart; pools of magma generated by the friction under the feet of a demon moving at speeds hundreds of times faster than sound. Buildings and infrastructure shattered as a side effect of two beings that simply didn't belong in such a fragile world. Shards of glass were scattered about sporadically, and two streaks of blood trailed off behind her from the corpse suspended on her fingertips. It looked like a man. It felt like a man. And it acted like a man, but these were nothing more than the traits that allowed this creature to walk among men. Upon the arrival of its end, the angel presented its wings to her and revealed itself; wings that had been torn from its back and cast aside, resting at the other ends of the two trails of blood.

Despite all of the chaos, the citizens of Covington, Louisianna made no efforts to run away from the danger... at least not most of them.

You see, even after learning how to control herself and spending years enhancing her neuroplasticity and physical combat skill, Kaija had yet to gain mastery over the powers granted to her by this form maintained by the Devil God: Vandal King. This meant that the waves of madness that spread throughout Fukuoka a little over half a year ago continued to spread through Covington, driving its people mad in much the same manner that they had back then. But, even worse, it alerted the angel to her presence.

Had things gone her way, she would've easily snuck up on her prey and killed it without it ever noticing. But, against her wishes, the force of madness that followed the Oni as it wandered betrayed her and turned a quick, easy assassination into a disaster. He noticed her through her aura alone. Sloppy. Amateurish. Regretful work. It wasn't good enough, especially if she wanted to keep out of the public eye. She wore a mask and a cowl to protect her from the prying eyes of citizens and cameras that might've caught sight of her, but mistakes such as these would draw in heroes and unwanted attention. She needed to get better. She needed more control.

It's not good enough.

She looked up at the corpse before her; an angel wearing corporate casual attire whose worthless divinity had faded and brought with it a calming darkness. Its blood dripped down her arm, the very same color as her own and every other human in the area. She looked around at the chaos as people began to lose their minds, then turned and walked forward to collect the angel's wings. Without uttering a word, she contacted her client for this morning's assassination.

"It's done."

Moments later, a tangible darkness would spread below the executioner's feet and black hands of the very same substance would stretch upwards and latch onto her body; grabbing onto her and wrapping around her form like ropes before dragging her into the darkness and disappearing into nothingness. Regretfully, recordings of the battle would spread through the web like fire for anyone with even an ounce of curiosity to watch. As for any heroes who might's arrived on the scene too late, even a second too late, they would find the roads had been repaired, buildings rebuilt, and anyone who had been killed in the recording, well... their corpse simply disappeared. Despite every physical trace of these events occurring being erased from the world, those who were there would remember. The shrouded executioner was real, more than a simple forged video recording.

A few questions would rise in the minds of curious onlookers. Was the video real? Who could've repaired all of those damages so quickly? What happened to the people who had disappeared? Who was that cloaked figure? What exactly happened in Louisianna? And, most importantly, why had any of this happened in the first place?

This was the first anomaly.

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The Dies Irae

Kaija came to find that Frank ran his patrols at random, unexpected times. It made sense, after all. It was easier for a guard to catch someone making a mistake or to scare others into good behavior when they couldn't predict his arrival. A pair of heavy footsteps approached her room at 1:30 am, opening her door to find a young woman sitting cross-legged on the floor and a pair of red eyes looking up to meet his.

"What are you doing?" He asked, an eyebrow raised.

Kaija's eyes flickered away from his for a moment as she fabricated an answer. She shrugged and shook her head lackadaisically, I was praying. It helps me sleep at night."

"Hmm" Frank replied in his gravelly voice, stepping past her.

Frank didn't buy Kaija's story for a moment, but it didn't really matter. The only thing that she needed to keep hidden was pretty good at concealing itself. He switched on the lights and searched her room while she sat there to find nothing out of the ordinary, then turned a skeptical eye back to her.

"I never saw you as the religious type." The Crocodile admitted.

"I wasn't," she replied, "But places like these often make people turn to religion. Don't they?"

"Yeah. Yeah, they do." Frank agreed, "Goodnight, Uma."

"Goodnight, Frank."

The guard switched off the lights once again to leave Kaija alone with her guest. Weeks had passed since she began her nocturnal training and, on this night, she had managed to forget that she had been wearing the face of a demon. For the first time since she had been in Azylum, she smiled in the moonlight with a devil at her side.

"Prayer, huh?" Vandal's voice carried through the small room. Kaija laughed to herself for a moment; no need to answer rhetorical questions, "Would you like to continue?"

"Nah. I haven't felt the urge to do anything aside from smile tonight. Or, if I have, it was so subtle that I didn't even notice," She flashed a smile as she looked up at him, then let her gaze fall to the floor as her thoughts caught up to her. She put a hand on her knee and rose to her feet, "So, let's talk. I've been thinking it over and I have a lot to say to you."

They met eye to eye or a moment in silence, her face mere inches away from his; The Demon Lord watching in quiet anticipation as the soldier studied his facial expression and every twitch in his eyes while she sorted her words. Her face was completely devoid of the anxiet that had plagued her on many of the previous nights.

"So, I spent months denying that I had a monster in me; that I was one. And then I feared the day that this prophecy written on my back would come true," she admitted that she knew. She no longer cared to keep her thoughts secret, "I sat back feeling like all of it was out of my hands and did everything I could to simply distract myself from the reality of things just to keep myself sane. And, guess what? I couldn't overcome my darker half and control it without embracing it. I doubt that running from you would do me any good either, would it?" she flashed a confident smile as her eyes narrowed, "So, I won't. I uh... I think I get it now. You helped me control the Oni, didn't you? You've been protecting me from magic and you gave me a direct line to get in touch with you anytime I need to. You're not my enemy. Or, at least, you sure want me alive and well. Now, I could sit here and tell you that I would never help you with whatever it is that you want me to get done. I could badmouth you, reject you, and give you all the incentive in the world to use those absurd powers to $%#& with my life out of spite and malice; to manipulate me. Or..." she tilted her head to the side and shrugged her shoulders, "I could just try to compromise with you."

A small laugh escapes Kaija's lips as Vandal's eyes widen slightly. A small grin graces his lips only a moment later.

"Alright," he replies, crossing his arms, "I'm listening."

"I wanna hear the truth. No, I need to hear the truth. No more riddles, no more evasive language. What is it that you want me to do?" Kaija asked.

"Do you remember the first time I took you to my world? Do you remember what happened?"

She sifted through the events of her tour of Brimstone in her head, and only one event stood out to her.

"I killed an angel," she replied.

"You stood in the light; unharmed and unhindered. There are demons in my army with far more power than you could ever hope to attain, but none of my soldiers are capable of that..." He paused for a moment, "Not even me."

"You want me to kill an angel for you?"

"That's a bit of an oversimplification. I don't need you for a single task. I want you to fill a role that no one else can."

Kaija's eyes fell to the floor as she thought it over. Oddly enough, when she met Vandal's eyes once more, she wore a smile.

"You know, I always received praise for killing when my boss wanted to see someone or something die. I guess that's always gonna be my job, huh? Well, it's a good thing that I don't know any angels isn't it?" Her smile faded, yet her eyes remained locked with his, "If I do this, can you promise to keep your hands off of my friends? Can you promise me that I can keep living my life the way I always have and that you'll keep to the shadows?"

"You can try. I can't promise that nothing will go wrong, but I won't stand in your way." He answered, honestly.

"Good enough for me," Kaija replied, extending her hand to shake.

Vandal stared at her hand for a short while as though he didn't understand the gesture, but soon extended his own hand to meet hers. She let go of her hand, the wide smile on her face met with a small grin on his. Then, slowly, he began to fade.

"Fair enough. I won't be calling on you for some time though, Uma. If you need..."

"I know."

The devil departed for what would be the last time during her stay in the asylum, and Kaija would finally be able to rest with the faith that she would never be brought back to this place under the same circumstances again.

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Myrmecomorphy

It is 3 am in Azylum Asylum, a few days after that fateful night. A low, guttural growl fills the chamber as a dim glow lightly outlines two figures shrouded in darkness. At the center of the room, the Oni sat cross-legged; eyes locked to the floor and sweat dripping from her brow as she focused. Near the window, gazing up at the sky, stood the Devil with his thoughts elsewhere. Lining the inside of the room was a barrier of his creation that served two functions that night. The first, and most important, was to keep the Oni and her powers sealed in until morning when she resumed the role of a patient once more. The second was to act as a sort of one-way mirror.

The barrier functioned as a stimulus for Kaija during her nocturnal treatment while keeping her hidden. No sound or light emanated from the room, but the Oni could hear, see, smell and feel everything and everyone around her and outside of the barrier. She was free to rampage, roar and claw at the walls in an attempt to murder all of the patients around her in a feral frenzy, and not a soul outside of the room would be aware of the abomination in the next room over. Kaija's goal was to subject herself to this experience until there simply was no urge to resist. She intended to fight the bloodlust every night until it had become so quiet and manageable that she could forget that she ever had those urges. The slowly mending claw-marks gouged out of the floor, walls, and ceiling of the barrier were evidence that she still had a long way to go before she has successfully "cured" the instinct, but the fact that she could now sit in one place and ignore those around her meant that she was making some progress.

Few words had passed between Kaija and Vandal. Prior to his arrival, Kaija had assumed that she'd need to rely on charisma and wit to convince the Demon Lord to assist her. She thought that she'd need to bargain with him and convince him that helping her gain control of her feral state would ultimately benefit him. She assumed that she'd have to use the words written in ink on her back as leverage. But, much to her surprise, Vandal gave no resistance whatsoever. As soon as she made her desires known, he simply explained his solution, then began treatment. It had been like that for the past few night; an eerie silence as Kaija wondered why exactly Vandal had been so compliant and what was going on in his head as gazed up at the moon. Finally, be it the result of her getting used to his presence or overwhelming curiosity, she decided to speak him. She didn't want to let him know that she knew what the ink on her back said until she managed to complete the treatment, and wanted to hear what he would say to the girl who supposedly knew nothing.

"Why are you doing this?" she asked, not moving an inch as she kept her back turned to him.

"Are you not feeling more in control of yourself?" He replied.

"No, I am. That's not what I meant. Why are you helping me in the first place?"

"I felt like it. It doesn't take much effort to make a barrier or to fill your body with vitality. There's no reason for me not to do so." he explained.

There was silence once again. Vandal turns to face Kaija; she doesn't move an inch.

"You're surprised that I'm here? I wasn't lying when I said that all you had to do was call..." he continued.

"You're supposed to be..." she struggles to find the best word for the situation.

"Evil?"

Silence once again. The Demon Lord starts to laugh as he realizes what's going on. She looks back at him with a raised eyebrow, sweat continuing to drip from her brow as she tried to filter out the sounds of life around her.

"Uma. What are you?" he asks.

"What kinda question is that?"

"I'm just curious to hear your answer."

"I'm a soldier currently stuck in an insane asylum as a patient."

"No, no, no, no, what are you?"

She pauses for a moment to try and figure out what exactly he's asking, "I'm a human."

"Hmm. I see." He vanishes, appearing next to the wall beside her, "Have you ever swatted a mosquito or destroyed an ants' nest?"

"...Yeah?"

"Why?" he asked.

"They're mosquitoes and ants. They're annoying pests. What's your point?"

He laughs once more, a bit harder than last time as a small grin forms between his lips.

"What do you think those 'annoying pests' would say about you if they could speak? If they could write a book about all of it?"

Kaija gave no immediate reply as the meaning behind his words began to sink in. She looked up from her seated position to meet his eyes before both of their eyes darted towards the door. A pair of footsteps approached the door, and Kaija felt a wave of irritation flow through her body. Three knocks on her door, and she found herself up on her feet, growling. Vandal's eyes shift in her direction.

"I'm coming in, routine inspection." a familiar voice announced from the other side of the door.

The Oni bursts forward as the doorknob begins to turn, ready to eviscerate the poor soul who dared to enter her room. She feels a hand grace her shoulder and the world blurs for a moment. She opens her eyes to find herself in bed; barrier gone, damages repaired, body back to normal and her guest was nowhere to be found. Frank peers in to see the soldier sitting up in bed; covered in sweat and heart racing.

"You okay in here?"

"Yeah, just... rough night. You scared me." Kaija replied.

"Sry. Take it easy, alright?"

"Yeah"

The guard was gone as quickly as he came. As he closed the door and the room filled with darkness once more, she felt her guest return, his eyes on locked with hers.

"There are still a few hours before the next day. Would you like to continue?"

"Yeah... Yeah, let's continue," she replied, wiping the sweat from her brow and climbing back out of bed.

5 Comments

Taking Control

Being here... It felt pointless.

Well, maybe not pointless but this place wasn't going to help Kaija overcome the main problem that led to her incarceration in the first place. She considered the possibility that she had developed some sort of PTSD or another stress disorder. Then she envisioned the day in which she managed to get out of this Asylum and back to her normal life. The unfortunate reality of the situation was that even if Zulu succeeded in getting the kinks out of Kaija's mind... not a single thing would change. That violent feeling that filled her body and drove her to lust for death wasn't insanity. No, It was instinct.

Even if she came to pass all of the doctor's exams and was deemed worthy of resuming her normal job, she would be walking free under the misconception that she now held the power to prevent a disaster if she were to change into the Oni for the third time. You see, the process of changing into that monster last seen in Fukuoka didn't drive Kaija mad, nor did damage her mind whatsoever. If it had, then she would've experienced similar symptoms the first time it happened. No, the process altered her nature at its very core, her perception of the world, and every basic urge and desire that composed her subconscious mind. Put more simply, Kaija hadn't become an insane human that day, but a very sane demon.

The symptoms that Zulu looked to cure were merely the result of Kaija revealing her unsightly alter-ego at the wrong place and time.

Although these truths haunted her and kept her awake through the night, Kaija had no intention of clearing up this misconception with the warden. After all, she actually wanted to leave one day. But... she did want to fix the problem before she left Azylum, and make sure that she couldn't be weaponized like that again. Unfortunately... Identifying a problem and knowing a solution to said problem were two entirely different things. All of the drugs and therapy in the world wouldn't help if she became something entirely new when it happened. She recalled a conversation that she had had with someone in a similar situation. Perhaps she could overcome the instinct through prolonged exposure and desensitization.

Even then, that didn't make the treatment anymore plausible. Nobody in this place had the means to subject her to that experience. Hell, she only had a single friend who could possibly help her and even if that person were to induce the transformation, it was highly unlikely that they would be able to keep her from making a mistake while under the influence, even if she was safe from the Oni's wrath. Come to think of it, there were only two people who had ever induced the change and one was dead, right? That thought resurfaced again. A solution that she was ashamed to admit had been brewing in her mind. She could hear everyone's words in the silence, pushing it deeper and deeper into the back of her mind as though it were a sin that could never be forgiven. There was a single voice that protested the others. A neutral voice that knew everything and that spoke to her freely. A voice that she spoke to freely.

She listened to the voice and chose to follow the path that offered the hope of progress.

"I want you to keep it. If you ever needed me for something, just think about it and I will know,"

She sighed and sat up in bed; sitting cross-legged and letting her arms wrest over her thighs. She had never actually attempted to use the ink voluntarily, but she followed the instructions. She called out to him with a rhythmic chant heard only in her mind and hopefully his. A few moments later, he arrived in silence. There was no sound to indicate his presence, and she could not see the devil there in the dark. But she knew he was there; his form nearly outlined in the emptiness behind her, vibrant and clear through the bond that the infernal kin shared. There he waited for her to turn and greet him. He waited for a reunion.

"It's been a while. Hasn't it, Uma?"

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Adrift (Prologue)

A message for a single pair of eyes. Whatever words she might have said held no meaning. They would've caused no change whatsoever. The chains that bound her pulled ever tighter. It didn't matter what she did, what she said, or how she lived. The suits standing above the world held their opinions and their bias; fears and resentment. When asked to set her free, they scoffed and thought the idea of letting a demon run free was nothing short of madness. Reports that validated her were rejected in favor of those that marked her unsuitable for freedom. Those ever-so-privileged whom had never met Uma in person only knew her by her mistakes, nothing else mattered. Murder without the official stamp of approval was no longer benevolent act.

Her eyes gazed out over the sea. The endless sea that stretched so far away from mankind and into the unknown; that merged with the sky and departed from the land at the horizon. She turned away from the world and drifted into the mind-numbing blue nothingness. It consumed her as she fell, stealing the light, the air, control... If only she could've left her humanity back home, the anchor to the world behind her. Her mind drifted towards the horizon, but her body dragged her back to shore. There was a panic in her uncertainty, one that pushed her to advance and another that fought against change at every opportunity.

Upon her return, she found the catalyst. Nothing more than ink on paper. Nothing less than scripture written in the stead of the gods that sat in an office. Uma, the demon who slaughtered innocents without their permission was deemed unfit to have her restraints removed, not without quantifiable and definitive proof that she would not have a repeat episode of the events of Fukuoka. The proposition? That she be taken to a... shelter where she could be tested and observed. To Fix her. The duration of her stay? Indefinite. One hand crumpled the paper angrily while the other let sand pour through her fingers and toes. Her phone would remain unattended at her bedside. No letters would be sent. No words whispered to a close ear. No reason to even bother.

Words that she had already heard replayed in her head:

Do not accept it

It's not your fault

Abandon this life

Come away with us

Run

To what end?

To turn against those who raised her? To abandon her responsibility? To ignore the fields of rotting corpses bearing the smiles of madness that prevented their mourning loved ones from finding comfort at the wakes and funerals of the deceased?

...

To prove them right?

No. If this was the final obstacle towards cleaning her slate, then the only choice was to advance and find truth.

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The Will of The Dishonored

It was mid-afternoon in Boracay. The sun shone brightly over the island and a cool breeze swept over the land to comfort all of its inhabitants. It was a quiet, peaceful day; a rare treasure to behold in this chaotic world. Although she was free to roam and enjoy the island as she pleased, a particular young woman found her attention focused on a land far from her own. A distant land filled with turmoil and destruction. As she stood in a doorway with the sunshine to her back and a look of concern, a familiar pair of eyes looked up to meet her own.

"Good Afternoon, Uma." Axum greeted her as she walked in and took a seat opposite him.

She swallowed then spoke with pride, "Requesting permission for temporary relief from this collar and deployment to Africa."

"Denied." He answered without delay, redirecting his attention downwards towards his paperwork.

"With all due respect, Sir, it's my job to deal things like that. I don't feel right just sitting doing nothing."

"It was your job to fight Kaiju," Axum explained calmly, "At the moment, your job is to not cause any trouble and recover from the incident"

"I'm honestly back in top condition. My wounds are all healed at this point. Have you seen the results of my physical this morning?"

"I wasn't talking about your body, Uma. Do you remember what happened last night?" Silence. Kaija gave no answer, "A few of the new recruits had gotten drunk and ended up fighting. From what I understand, you happened to be nearby and didn't handle it very well. I heard you ended up getting involved. You stepped in and put an end to the fight... but you were crying and apologizing to them. What exactly was that about?"

More silence. Ever since returning home, Kaija began to feel uneasy around crowds. There was always a lingering fear that at any moment, they would erupt into chaos and panic. Although she didn't want to say it, she couldn't help but feel as though she was responsible for the small brawl that broke out in the hallway. As illogical as it was, her first response to situations like that had become to assume the worst. The people around base had come to notice this new behavior, despite her best efforts to hide it.

"Doesn't matter. In your current condition, I feel as though it would be irresponsible to let you out of your restraints. Not until I'm sure that you're able to keep your wits about you and won't become a liability," Axum explained, his words as calm as ever, "And honestly, even if I wasn't your boss, I'd prefer for you to just take it easy for now."

"You've seen it, haven't you. That monster's much worse than the usual. It's mutating people; spreading like a plague. The longer it walks around, the worse things are going to get."

"Mutating people and spreading like a plague," Axum's eyes darted up to meet Kaija's, "You know, that sounds a lot like someone else we just dealt with not too long ago."

No reply.

"You're not the only one who does this job know?" Axum explained with a small grin, "We've been putting them down without you just fine, we will continue to do so. You're good, but you're just one soldier. You understand that right?"

"Yes, Sir." she replied, hesitating before she continued, "You don't... trust me, do you?"

Axum sighed.

"You know, I gave you an order to remain on base when you weren't working. You flippantly ignored my orders to go off and try to rescue your boyfriend. Now, I have yet to forgive you for that, but you didn't exactly lose my trust over it either. Now as for my bosses, the folks who don't know you personally, do you want to know what you look like to them? Imagine a soldier going AWOL, disappearing for over a month, and then nearly destroying a city. It doesn't matter if you were under someone else's control, it still happened as a result of irresponsible actions. The people still saw that monster in Fukuoka and what it could do" Axum paused for a moment to take a breath. He had been doing his best to not get worked up at that moment, "If you didn't have a good record to go along with your years of service, you wouldn't be allowed the freedom that you're allotted. You deserve it, but you should be thankful that you got a collar and not a detainment cell all the same."

"So what, I should just sit here and do nothing?" she asked, "Is that what you want?"

"No. Stop making this personal," he leaned in as he spoke, "We want you to get better. That is your job. Once you've convinced the higher-ups that we won't have a repeat of the Japan incident, you'll get back all of your priveledges. If you want to do your service to the world, then that should be your goal. In the meantime, turn the damn T.V. off and focus on yourself. Do your training, take your meds, and see your doctor, but otherwise, enjoy your time off. I promise you that as soon as that collar comes off, I'm gonna be throwing your ass right back into the fray. Alright?"

Kaija sighed, rubbing the back of her neck and letting her eyes fall shut as she tried to vent some of the stress welling up inside of her.

"Alright"

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The Forest of Monsters (CVU Location Thread)

No Caption Provided

Very few know the origins of these woods. It appeared during an outbreak of hell in Japan and has remained ever since. Although there are no articles or resources detailing how the phenomenon of this location came to be, legend tells that it was created by the love of a Demifiend and a God. The Demifiend and the God knew that they could not coexist as they were, and so they fled to the forests to elope. Wracked with guilt for taking her God from his people, The Demifiend begged for the God to remove her darker half so that they may coexist with the people of the world of man. She knew that doing so would put them both at risk, so the Demifiend, along with her divine lover, constructed this dome of monstrosities to contain whatever horrors might be unleashed when the demon's blood was removed from the woman. As the Demifiend was cut open and her impurities were drained from her body, the dark blood spilled throughout the land, corrupting it and giving birth to a legion of cryptids with colossal power and mystical nature. Although the God and his human love managed to escape from the cage and live happily ever, they left behind nothing more than a forest of monsters.

But remember, This is merely legend passed down by those who weren't there.

OOC

The "Forest of Monsters" is a location few hundred miles away from Fukuoka. It contains a wide variety of giant creatures with mystical abilities that roam the area freely. All trees and plants in this location are exponentially larger than the variants found outside of the forest. Magical abilities are enhanced within the forest, as are demonic abilities. Feel free to design your own NPC monsters if you visit, but no created monsters will leave lasting effects on the forest, nor do they have to be acknowledged by other rpers who aren't participating in an interaction involving that particular creation.

Rules

-All General Rules apply (No godmodding, no-selling, etc.)

-Do not destroy the forest or cause any major damages without first receiving my permission.

-Do not create NPC creatures that will alter the ecosystem of the forest.

-Be respectful of others and don't cause drama.

-Have Fun!

Special Inhabitants

TBD :b

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Understanding the Oni (Concept Blog)

Hello Everyone!

The purpose of this blog is to simply explain the powers of Kaija in her more demonic form, as well as how it differs from Kaija in her normal state. When demonic energy is introduced to her body, her cells absorb it and it provides her with increased vitality. This vitality is shown in the manifestation of the more feral physical aspects of the form, the bolstering of physical and sensory abilities, and the advancement of her basic powers. These new abilities include:

  1. Regeneration: Shown in both the introduction of this form months ago and briefly at the conclusion of "How to Ensnare Giants", Uma's increased vitality allows her to heal from all forms of injury rapidly as well as regenerate lost limbs and/or organs.
  2. Enhanced Physical Abilities: Shown in the introduction of this form months ago and hinted at in "Witch's House: Mirror", Uma's speed, strength and durability are enhanced by her heightened vitality, even at her basic human size. This allows her to perform physical feats well beyond her normal abilities without having to gain size. Although, she can still grow and gain power if need be.
  3. Supernaturally-sharp claws, fangs, and horns: Shown in the introduction of this form months ago and in "Witch's House: Mirror", Uma's nails grow into claws, her teeth grow to protrude from her mouth, and her horns extend past the norm. All of these natural weapons are incredibly sharp and capable of piercing most materials, but they do not ignore durability entirely.
  4. Madness Inducement: Shown in "Witch's House: Fox", Uma gains the ability to induce madness in those around her. She had no control over this power, and it isn't an extremely powerful ability either, but it does effect everyone around her panoramically. This ability can be resisted by willpower alone, and is mostly used to ravage npcs and enhance a setting.
  5. Enhanced senses: Shown in "Witch's House: Handkerchief", Uma's increased vitality bolsters her senses alongside her physical abilities. Not only are her senses strengthened, but but she gains the ability to sense things that were simply undetectable before such as ghosts or souls.
  6. Scale Manipulation: Shown in both the introduction of this form and in "Witch's House: Handkerchief", Uma's ability to alter her own size evolves into the ability to not only alter her own size, but the size of things around her. Her ability not only effects matter, but also energy and forces beyond the realm of science. The effects of this power on other objects work exactly the same as they do on her own body; solid objects increase in density and integrity with size and vice versa, while gases and liquids simply increase in volume and mass at a far greater rate.
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