6227/A Shining Introduction

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A Shining Introduction
Date of Scene: 12 December 2018
Location: The Pinnacle
Synopsis: The Titanic Exalted God-King, Xianren, invites his Concord allies to a gala to introduce himself.
Cast of Characters: 6846, Seifer Almasy, 6810, 518, Staren, Zero Kiryu, Tanya Degurechaff

Xianren (6846) has posed:
The invitation went out soon after membership had been finalized. Xianren, one of the Titanic Exalted and god-king of the stellar system known as the Pinnacle, has joined the Concord, and has invited any allies to celebrate their new connection at his palace on the rim of the Spiral, the vast cosmology of which the Pinnacle lies in.

From the warpgate out in space, they'd be brought to the planet-holding in a luxurious carrier-ship, with a small squadron of protective fighter-ships around it. The ship is extremely luxurious, larger than a private jet and big enough to suffice as an apartment for someone extremely well-off to live in. Complimentary wine and snacks are offered on the ride, and a team of human servants await every order. Outside the windows, there's occasionally alien life-forms, like a ship fleet towing a massive space kraken, but not much other than that.

When the ship docks, it's on a planet of blue grass and white rocky trees. There's a massive landing strip with different similar ships, trees surrounding the landing area to give it a look of 'nature'. Servants lead the group out and down a path, riding in what is basically a jeep made out of blue jade except it hovers instead of wheels. If they have their own transport, they're allowed to take it along the silver roads up to the palace.

The palace itself is massive, probably six floors, exterior made of golden metal with silver trim. The architecture is a mixture of primarily Chinese sensibilities with those of the modern Western spires flowing upwards. The group is brought through the front door, where a bevy of servants in matching dark-green uniforms come in slowly as not to overwhelm, moving to take coats, belongings, and anything they want to be put away before quickly moving out of the way for what appears to be a 'butler' in black and white robes comes to lead the group to the dining hall.

The dining hall is basically the size of a gala room. There's an entire classical instrument band with shining metal instruments set up, and the table barely takes up any room despite being huge and in the center, allowing walking space for those who want it. The room could probably fit over a hundred people easily, and with table expansions, seat that many as well. Servants have appetizers ready, and standing near the head of the table is who must certainly be their host.

Xianren stands at eight feet tall, a rippling mountain of bronze-skinned muscle in the form of what could probably be described as a 'perfect body'. His head is sized well for his body, completely bald with piercing green eyes and a content look on his face. He's dressed in classical Chinese robes, the type an emperor might wear, black and red. When people eventually arrive, he speaks with a calm air, moving to greet his new allies. He doesn't seem smug or like he expects people to be awed, instead just treating all of this as normal.

"Salutations. Welcome to my palace. I am Xianren, Sovereign of the Pinnacle. I hope your journey fared well?"

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     So that's cool.

     Seifer Almasy is only a tiny bit grumpy about all of this. Ultimately he's trying to enjoy the flight - enjoy the weird food, enjoy the SPACE KRAKEN and being waited on hand-and-foot by random servants instead of his wife, et cetera - but there's that little voice in the back of his head. That's damnable little voice that says *this is what real impressive people look like*. That little, insecure voice that reminds him that he's only King of the *Moon*, not King of a *galaxy* with spaceships and space krakens and space planets and so on and so forth. Like, is this competition he has to deal with to get written into the universe? Does he have to be more impressive than guys who can *literally buy planets*?

     "Fuck," Seifer mutters into his cup.

     By the time they arrive at the palace, he's doing his best not to sulk. The host of servants is another thing in the checklist. Note to self, get more servants. Note to self, get a giant dining hall. Note to self, ask Caster if the Moon Cell can make a bigger palace. Note to self, ask Caster if there's a way he can be eight feet tall. Wait, no.

     What the fuck?

     Seifer just sort of stares at the man for a moment before he gives him a blase thumbs-up. A little of this is awe. A little of this is him not wanting to open his mouth and fuck things up for the Concord. And a little of this is just...Seifer being Seifer.

     "Seifer Almasy. Fox Knight, Hand of the Concord, King of the Moon." He almost adds his usual /kind of a big deal/ but he's pretty sure it'd draw laughs. His jaw juts out very very slightly as he presses his back teeth together in unspoken irritation at the thought of it.

Raziel (6810) has posed:
'Once more, I journeyed to lands unknown.  It was, in a word, nice to have no obligations to do something other than one's own curiosity, and of course, the choice to pursue methods of avoiding one's fate without being stuck in the trappings of my home.  While I represented the Concord, the Multiversal group I had allied myself with, it was as much for me as it was for them I arrived.'

Raziel of course, accepted the invitation.  Exiting the warp gate into the realm of space, but also inside the opulent ship that would ferry them to the palace.  He took the time to explore where he could, and of course, catch the eye full of space.  A sight he had never seen in his life.

'While the ship would be more interesting to some, I felt myself drawn to the void in which this ship floated in.  Incomprehensibly vast, and so I am told that all planets reside in some form of void like this.  where night stretches on forever...and the blinding light of the sun also, similarly, resides.'

Raziel does not eat or drink, calmly and politely declining any to do as such.  The ghoul simply watches talks when addressed, but is more than happy to be left to his thoughts.  The body of the wraith in flesh is that as one might expect of a dead man.  Ghoulish, blue, and obviously not alive.  Upon landing, Raziel once more observed his surroundings.

'How odd is the grass and color of the trees on this planet.  Not at all like that on Nosgoth, where the grass was green, this was blue.  Where our trees various shades of brown, these trees were more like white rocks.  As we landed, the 'pad' as they called it was obviously very artificial, though a smattering of nature was left there to try and cover up this fact, much like someone who is balding combs their hair to one side.'

Walking into the palace itself, it was definitely large.  Over the top even...not the largest he has ever seen.  Kain was not one to be contested for opulence, but this would give it a run for its money.  Here too, the ghoul walked if not harassed, moving into the room easily enough.  

His eyes turned to the man as he introduced himself.  simply allowing him to do as such, and not interrupting him.  

'The palace was not the largest structure I have had the pleasure of visiting, though it was impressive in its own right.  In the designated area was the person who had invited us.  Large, standing easily a chest above myself.  Obviously, projecting power, and attempting to impress us.  Well dressed and well spoken, he addressed us.  Not as subjects, but as equals.  That much, he was at least someone with a decent head on his shoulders, and strived to keep it as such.'

"I am Raziel, the former right hand of Kain's Empire, currently dead." He says, his titles not as long as they once were.  Though if he were to believe that he could also be called Massiah.  Though the word was hated...reminding him of what such a title entailed.  

The man moved, walking next to Seifer, as if to give him a look, not judging but curious.  Then to turn his gaze back on their host.  

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
Across from Seifer Almasy in the Apartment-Carrier is Yuuki Kuran, enjoying quite enthusiastically a servant giving her a full on foot massage and pedicure (not that she especially needs one, but service with a smile and all that) as she sits, cross-legged, hands steepled thoughtfully. "Is something the matter?"

"You seem troubled. Is it..." Yuuki worries, partially distracted as her foot is kneaded at. "... Seasickness?"

Her brow quirked, her voice is an innocet question, a single finger raised in an 'I've got it!" expression.

Perhaps not.

Once on the ground (and her socks and shoes pulled back on, with some mild reluctance), Yuuki piles into the jade floatyjeep with the others, eventually arriving at the palace proper, marvelling starry-eyed at the whole structure. Her hair, defying windswept logic, merely needs a hand run through to adjust it behind her right ear instead of six hours with a brush and swearing.

She bows, though not low - a respectful dip, and then back to standing. "Noble Xianren, as Director of the Concord, I welcome you and all that is yours to be our partner in the Concord. This is Raziel-" He introduces himself. "And Seifer Almasy." He introduces himself as well. "I am Kuran Yuuki, a princess in my own world, and the Concord's chief diplomat. The First, Lady Priscilla, wishes to extend her warm greetings as well." Ironic, being as Priscilla is rarely warm, but there is that 'chief diplomat' speaking. "Your application was immesurably well-recieved, and we all look forward to working with you, o System Lord."

Staren has posed:
    Staren is not really a fancy party person. But, he's kind of a bigshot now, so he can at least show up to gatherings like this and try not to make the Concord look bad.

    Staren beams down outside the palace. Fancy dress events happen just rarely enough that Staren mostly doesn't bother having fancy dress clothes. Not sure what would look best on him, he falls back on a sort of military uniform aesthetic. It's blue, and vaguely military or perhaps police, with a button-up shirt and slacks with a clear crease in them, and military-style boots. Over it all is a long coat -- The overall effect at a glance is not unlike an Amestris military uniform, although the details are all different -- there are patches for the Lazlo Defense Force Tactical Response Unit, the Union Elite Forces, the Wings of Nemesis, and the Concord, and a couple of old campaign ribbons and a small medal from the Union days, and of course, whatever the rank insignia for a Hand of the Concord is. As a single concession to opulance -- people in power always show wealth at these things, right? -- he wears an opal pendant set in ornately decorated silver, hanging from a leather-and-wire thong about his neck. And of course, he has his magic bag hanging at his side, because /you never know/.

    He briefly takes in the palace's exterior, but it doesn't seem so fancy to someone who makes regular visits to Grand Dorado. Staren suddenly wonders if part of the /point/ of decorating the capital so damn /fancy/ is so that noone who regularly visits will be so wowed by architectural shows of wealth anywhere else, short of the likes of Yu-Shan perhaps. Hmm.

    Staren shakes his head at the servants offering to take things. He likes having things -- if he didn't want it on his person, why would he have brought it in the first place?

    Seifer gets a friendly smile and nod. Staren wonders what's making the man sulk, but maybe it's private stuff. Seifer used to call him 'stalker', so, he doesn't want to reinforce that image.

    Oh hey, introduction time. An eight foot tall man isn't weird at all, this is the Multiverse. Staren looks up at him and imitates Yuuki's bow. "Staren Wiremu, Hand of the Concord." He doesn't have as many titles as Seifer. He wonders if that matters, at meetings like this. Like, does it look bad if leaders of the Concord don't all have lots of titles? He'll have to ask later.

    The cat-man extends a hand to shake, and gives Xianren the smile of an introvert who is smiling because he's at a party and you're supposed to smile at people.

Zero Kiryu has posed:
Zero hates all of this because it smells like vampires magnified by hundreds of orders of magnitude. The fact that Raziel is right there, interminally pinging his radar as something Incredibly Weird But Definitely A Vampire, doesn't help at all. Neither does the fact that he has, frankly, been undereating lately.

The environment around him is a blur. Mostly, he filters it out as he drifts at Yuuki's flank. Rich people places, rich people things. It's impressive, but he hates it for the same reason he hates the spaces that Yuuki usually occupies. It's usually evidence of a very predatory mindset by the people involved.

It's only when introductions are occurring that he manages to pull himself together and offer some sort of acknowledgement. From the Director's side, he says simply, "Zero Kiryu. Bodyguard."

Then his attention grows foggy and distant again. His posture slackens, and one gets the impression that his energy is bottoming out.

Tanya Degurechaff has posed:
    Throughout the journey, a certain pint-sized blonde has been largely silent. Standing beside the windows overlooking space (and eventually the planetscape the ship descends towards), Major Tanya von Degurechaff is in full dress regalia. Ornate piping in gold and red over a rich green uniform, immaculately pressed and decorated with various service medals. Gold embroidered epaulettes. A cavalry saber hangs at her side, equally ornamental.

    The tiny Major's arms remain tucked behind her back, staring down at the planet's details when it comes into view, fixating on the palace. A slight smirk crosses her face when, after the disembarking and other rigamarole, she arrives at said palace. Arms still folded behind her back, the girl nods once, "Sovereign Xianren, thank you for the invitation."

    A hand reaches up, removing her peaked cap now that she is indoors. Instantly, a sprig of hair springs up to attention while the girl sweeps the cap across herself in a gracious bow to the opulent host, "If the gala is even half as impressive as the transportation, it will still be a most memorable occasion." Straightening, she tucks the cap under one arm in a practiced fashion, "Major Tanya von Degurechaff, Imperial Army Mage Corps, 212th Aerial Mage Battalion, Hand of the Concord. At your service."

Xianren (6846) has posed:
As the guests of honor filter in, those green eyes register each of them one by one. As people introduce themselves, Xiaoren watches, bowing his head to each in turn, and accepting Staren's handshake, his own incredibly firm and strong, though it takes him a moment to accept. He seems to appreciate Tanya's introductory bow. "Director Kuran, Hand Seifer, Hand Staren, Hand Degurechaff, Raziel, Kiryu. It's a pleasure to have you. I have prepared specially for your visit." He shifts his body ever so slightly in the direction of a waiter. "Please pour everyone a glass of wine. Cheltian tear-red, oldest label." The servant nods and quickly heads through a side door to get the wine, returning soon after to pour a glass for each person present, Tanya included. It's a blood-red wine, and it's probably not made of standard grapes, if out of grapes at all.

Not moving yet to take a seat, Xianren continues. "The meal will be served shortly. If you have any requests, one of the servants will take them for you. For now, I feel I might as well explain who I am and where we are, as to my knowledge, there is no world like this one known in the Multiverse." That brings an ever-so-light smile to Xianren's face, before he moves to continue. "This planet is Acasia, on the rim of the Spiral, the vast cosmology that we can thank the Titans for. I conquered this planet one century ago so that I would have an outreach from the rim, as my system, known as the Pinnacle, is far further inside of the Spiral. Like all Titanic Exalted, this is my right as a ruler and leader of man." A pause, before he sips his own wine.

"As one of the Titanics, I am a king. I am excellence, and have been empowered by Theion because of my excellence to rule over the stars. Because of this excellence and my beliefs, as well as the excellence of what I had found, I have joined the Concord. I foresee us working together proudly to further our mutual beliefs."

And then, a slight wave of the hand, as to signal 'Any questions?'.

Raziel (6810) has posed:
"Do not waste your good food on me, good sir. I do not consume food as I had once in life. It is not a boast or excuse, I assure you. I can no longer actually process food as you would serve it." He says, as politely as he can. It is far easier to say 'I can't eat' than to explain how he even functions anymore. The glow around his arm brightens at the sound of food, however.

'With our introductions made, and explanation's given, I considered the other guests. Seifer, the very titleful and boisterous fighter, who seems put off by something. Princess Yuuki's desire to embrace the opulance here, and seemed quite apt at her job as diplomat. Staren who seems at ease here...though with him being at ease here, and many others not...it only served to prove my point that something is weird about him, but I can not put my finger upon it. Then there is Zero, who I have only met once, and heard only a handful of times more over the radio. He too, was ill at ease, or at least appeared to my eyes to be as such. Of course, it was hard to read him, and more curious was that. And then finally, the major Degurechaff, who I have heard less from. Small, but I would not discredit her for size alone.'

    "I am unfamilar with your Universe's...creation. I am not sure of who the Titanics are, nor what it exactly means to be 'Chosen' by them. Does it mean that you are a leader, empowered to do their will? Or it proof of your right to rule?" he asks, simply wanting to know more about a subject he was simply uninformed of.

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     Yuuki gets a headshake. "Naw. I'll tell you later," Seifer says, rolling his shoulders. He takes a sip of the wine, but he's not much of a drinker, so it's mostly just to be polite.

     "So you rule...star/s/. Plural."

Staren has posed:
    Wine? "Oh, um..." Staren starts to protest, then stops. He's not sure if it's rude, and the nanomachines will purge the alchohol from his system anyway. But then... oldest vintage? That's /super/ valuable, right? "Um, no thanks." He holds a hand out in a stop gesture when the waiter is about to pour for him.

    'Do you have any seafood? I mean... I guess just serve whatever you think is good, I can try local food?' he whispers to the waiter.

    "So, um... what's the rim, what's a Titanic Exalted, and what is Theion?"

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
"Ooh, Zero, there'll be a meal, too." Yuuki asides, her starry amazed eyes returning for a few moments. The whole place was so bright, so gleaming, opulence and majesty, so unlike the dreary greyscale of vampire life.

'Brooding' was a pallate and it was blacks and greys and crimson red. This was bronze and gold and verdant emerald.

"A vast cosmology..." She favors Xianren with, her imagination playing out in her eyes, before she coughs once into her fist, resuming a more measured and stately poise. "Excellence is absolutely one of the highest virtues of the Concord - and you, of this world, certainly are convincing in excellence. So, let us all work together, going forward."

She takes a wineglass, dipping her nose into the glass and breathing deeply. "Ooh, this is really good!" She exhales, returning to her more anime girlish enjoyment of the scenery and festivities. "Ah, Xianren. I have a question. You are very large - much larger then the servants. Is this because of your abilities, or...?"

Zero Kiryu has posed:
They want to feed them. Of course they want to feed them.

Zero receives the wine without complaint, but he just ends up staring at it in... not disgust, of course not. He likes food, and drink. They just don't really do anything for him, which is throwing him for a loop right now because holy /shit/ is he hungry. A flash of temptation to just drink it in the hopes that it'll let him choke it down a little longer strikes him, but he knows that it won't do anything at all.

Drinking something while you're dying of thirst and feeling as if the fluid did not even touch your lips just makes it infinitely worse.

Again his focus returns momentarily, sliding from his glass -- held lightly in one hand -- and Yuuki. On the whole, the look he casts Yuuki isn't mad or irritable. It isn't a projection of negative feeling so much as it is an immediate expression of misery.

"Thank you for your hospitality." He says to Xianren, all the same.

Evidently, despite the self-neglect, he's at least /trying/ not to be a complete pill at the moment.

Tanya Degurechaff has posed:
    Tanya is provided with wine. As a matter of politeness, she accepts it. The goblet is sniffed, and then very briefly tasted. The reaction is obvious and also obviously something she attempts to conceal. A sort of muffled shudder. Upon recovering, she admits in a humbled tone, "Sovereign, I appreciate your generosity, but I'm afraid my palette can't handle something as potent as this."

    The rich red wine is handed to Seifer, without even a glance. He's an adult, he can probably take it.

    "To build on Staren's line of questioning, I am curious about what resistance you and your empire encounter in this Spiral. What can we expect to come from this region which would rather take up arms against you and us, than join us."

Xianren (6846) has posed:
Raziel gets a sympathetic nod. "I see. That is a shame." He considers his question, and then moves to respond. "The Titanic Exalted are those who have been given a taste of the power of one of the Titans who created the cosmos. I am blessed by the power of the Titan Theion, the Empyreal Chaos, king of all, though the Titan Qaf, the Spear that Pierced Heaven and Earth, has given me his blessing as well. I was chosen for my excellence, and it is from my further excellence that I have survived in this position for over three centuries. I am one of the lords of humanity."

Seifer is glanced to next. "Yes. The Pinnacle has multiple, as well as several planets. My tenure has allowed me to expand my territory over the centuries." The wine is rather strong, but it's amazing quality. It can't be described as tasting exactly like normal wine, but it has that tang and that kick and that burning feeling, and it's definitely alcohol.

Staren also gets a reply, after Xianren takes another sip of wine. "The rim is the border of the Spiral. Imagine that it's the outside of civilization. We have less command out here due to how positively large the Spiral is, however, we are in the process of fixing that. Theion is as I explained before, the creator of the cosmos, the king of the titans. He has given me his power, and so I am one of the Titanic Exalted." A servant, meanwhile, accepts his request for seafood when he whispers it.

Yuuki gets an actual broad smile when she mentions his size. It seems like he might even chuckle, but he doesn't. "It is because of my control over my essence and my abilities that I am this perfect. It is because of my actions, not my birth, that I have reached the pinnacle that my system is named after."

Zero is glanced to, Xianren moving to meet his eyes. "Of course."

Xianren is about to reply to Tanya, nodding about the alcohol, when a security guard in black fully-masked armor steps through the door. Xianren doesn't seem too pleased to see them. "What is it?" The security guard speaks up. "Sovereign, an unknown ship was registered. The one who investigated it is dead." Xianren inhales, and then turns to his guests. "I will return shortly."

Well, Xianren says that, before one of the side doors into the hall (not the one the security guard came out of) is kicked flying open, as multiple entities approach, filtering through as a servant lies dead behind them, killed before she could yell and alert their entrance. Zero and Yuuki can smell the blood as it spills, and would be alerted first. Five magitech armored people, in different colors - red, white, blue, green, and black - one with a sword, one with a spear, one with tonfas, one with a shuriken, and another unarmed, as well as a leader in front, a woman with black hair and a red silk tunic, wielding a long chinese sword and a short one at her side. "You won't return anywhere, Xianren. One less of you Infernals for the sake of the Spiral!"

The woman takes in the Concord with some surprise, she didn't expect that many people. But either way, the group moves to lunge forth, attacking with their weapons, taking on anyone who interferes...as the woman goes for Xianren himself. If someone doesn't interfere, he straightens up, his presence strong. You can feel him no matter where you are, like there's something rippling inside of him trying to get out. He'd catch that blade with his hand, allowing it to barely break the skin, as he turns unconcerned to the others.

"I apologize for the inconvenience. You may help me deal with this, if you'd like." Part of him wants to see what his allies are capable of.

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     Seifer puts the wine down.

     He is immediately handed another glass from Tanya.

     He looks over at her, then looks down at it, then looks at her, then looks down at it. Then he just sets it down next to his own cup. He's not really a big wine guy. Also, he's only twenty for ten more days.

     Seifer listens to the guy politely, and at least he can respect that he's huge and buff and powerful because he *worked for it*. There's something to be said for guys who weren't born special, who didn't get handed everything or get blessed with some nonsense magic, but who struggled and pushed and worked to become something amazing.

     Yeah, Seifer...Seifer doesn't know how Exalted work.

     But then the attack happens. Five people in five colored outfits bust in the door shouting about infernals. Seifer immediately understands that is happening here. /They're the bad guys/.

     Obviously. He's working for the Concord. The Concord is the good guys. Therefore...

     Seifer just sort of puts one foot on the table and leaps over it, diving into the path of the woman attacking their host. His gunblade crashes into her weapon, and his hand snaps outwards to snap his fingers and blow up the air between them.

     "Listen, lady, I don't know what your problem is, but if you want a fight, you can have a fight with me! An' when you get back to wherever it is you came from, you tell 'em Seifer Almasy, Fox Knight, handed you your ass!"

Tanya Degurechaff has posed:
    Amidst the guests is a small child. Oh, a child might be considered a poor target for freedom fighters, but anyone who consorts with the Exalted of Theion is likely already too far gone to save. Thus, when EXCITEMENT suddenly breaks out, it's a sure thing that someone goes for the easy looking pickings.

    Tanya von Degurechaff's hand goes to the cavalry saber at her side. Her eyes go from the natural, if vibrant blue to a suddenly bright, unmistakable blue glow as she draws the weapon free. A smokey blue glow surrounds the saber when she places it between herself and the sword swinging her way. Magic clashes against Magical Material, the display saber's blade bending and Tanya letting out a grunt as the blow shoves her away from the table.

    Sliding to a stop, still on her feet, Tanya lifts her sword to examine the kink in the blade, a frown on her face, "...I liked that one. He said it was quality, too. A shame." The weapon is discarded as she begins to speak. The red gem at her collarbone begins to glow as she speaks. The blue glow in her eyes also begins to wash out.

    "May God grant me the wisdom to see the flowered path, and the strength to defend it from these faithless invaders."

    Her eyes now awash with gold, Tanya's hand lifts from her hip. Her service pistol is unholstered, a shining, well-oiled Luger. Her first target is the Dragonranger with the sword, and what comes out is more like a golden, high powered laser than a 9mm Parabellum.

Staren has posed:
    Staren's ears perk up as the security guard talks. "Should we--?" he starts to ask, but then... Hell breaks loose! Or perhaps is broken into? Staren makes a note to try to save the guard later, but his immediate reaction is to duck behind the table, draw his laser pistol, and slip on his flight ring.

    He kind of wants to ask what this is about -- the multicolored armor means they're obviously a team of 'heroes' fighting for some ideal. Maybe they can be reasoned with -- But there are two other Hands here. What will they do?


    Well, he can't just sit here. Hopefully he can fix them and interrogate them later.

    Staren opens fire, aiming the pistol over the table without exposing his head. He can see through it just fine, and the dual lasers impart the energy equivalent of multiple grenades to the tiny points they hit.

    "Surrender, and we can talk about this!" It's... an offer, albeit kind of a weak one what with him shooting at the same time.

Raziel (6810) has posed:
    Slowly, Raziel sighs, and rises from his seat.

    Turning, he faces the strange new people as they interupted this event.

    "Excuse me, I would rather this happened another day." He says, calmly, not afraid of them...oh no. He isn't afraid of them at all. Infact, from his hand a blade appears, the glow on his arm finally manifesting into a spectral blade, as he starts approaching the group of assaulting color coded dragon rangers.

    However, it seems they are passed negotiation.

    "Well. Then I suppose we're going to do this then." He says, calmly, as he starts approaching.

    'Bursting in without warning, these...color coded raiders appear to have issues with our host. However, before talks could happen, Seifer leaps at them. Well...without much room to speak, it was time to actually face them in combat.'

    He tumbles towards one of the ones with a spear, aiming to try and get inside his effective range, and use the blade to thrust repeatedly at the chest of the Dragonblooded.

    "Do not worry, you will pass to the approprate afterlife."

Zero Kiryu has posed:
The first whiff of blood is what catches Zero's attention, and practically speaking it serves as an alarm bell. He's absolutely starving, and because he's absolutely starving his eyes suddenly come alight. The natural violet is replaced with a luminous red that builds. His poor posture is corrected as he pays careful attention to the door through which, moments later, armored figures come through. His eyes land on the bloodied weapons of whichever of them did the deed, and trail towards the door beyond which the dead servants no doubt lie.

Despite KNOWING quicker, it actually takes the vampire hunter longer to actually wind himself up to doing something. By the time he's properly caught up, someone has attacked the central conspirator, the sword ranger, and the spear ranger. That's perfectly fine, by him.

He inhales deeply and steps forward. Momentarily his attention follows Raziel, and that strange blade of his. The wraith's nature clicks properly into the back of his mind. It would be strange, if not for the fact that they're basically the same sort of walking irony.

Better if he himself doesn't draw blood, Zero tells himself. He steps in, pushing into the space of the Dragon Blooded bearing tonfas. Whether he's attacked first or achieves initiative, Zero makes a grab for one of the tonfas and attempts to jerk it away with both hands, giving it a firm twist as he goes. If he's successful he comes about with it, spinning it in hand to make a strike with it towards the target's helmet.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
"How wonderful. While many find themselves chosen, a dedication to self-improvement could be called the most Concord of traits!" Yuuki agrees conversationally. She would so like to speak at length about this, perhaps even trade some health tips over wine and dinner.

Then, the spatter of blood, and Yuuki's head snaps up, a light 'sniff sniff' of the air.

"System Lo-" She begins, but it's the explosion that follows immediately after.


"Really?" Yuuki begins, crossing her arms, not even lowering her wineglass.
"Really-?" Her tone is cold, unimpressed.
"You're coming to kill our newest member? Our new partner?"

Yuuki sweeps her glass towards Staren as he Offensively Demands Surrender. "Unacceptable. Surrender to Staren - now. Otherwise..."

Yuuki brings up her free hand to rub her face lightly, as if put upon. "Seifer, Zero, if they won't surrender, kill them. This is now a matter of the Concord's reputation."

Xianren (6846) has posed:
Everyone moves to join the fight, except Yuuki, who calls out orders. Which, to Xianren, seems fitting, she's the director.

Seifer moves to clash with the swordswoman leader. She seems very capable with a sword, but Seifer's a master of the gunblade, and so as their blades clash, preventing Xianren from being harmed.. Seifer is able to force her back, but suddenly, she charges her blade with red energy, putting more force into it and allowing her to spin it and move to strike him backwards, as a red light suffuses her, as the Mars symbol appears on her head glowing in the same red light. "I am Glory Ever-Marching Forward, and while you're all unexpected...we must do this for Autochthon. Everyone, don't accept their surrender! Fight until your last breath!"

As she shouts that, everyone else is being fought. Tanya clashes sword against sword with the red Dragon-Blooded, though he beats her blade back. As she draws her gun though, he takes a defensive stance...and is shot anyways, not with a bullet or a plume of flame, but with a powerful laser that pierces his armor. He's sent reeling backward, wound cauterized immediately but still causing him to clutch his chest, before he's rallied by his leader's cry, and moves to strike at Tanya.

Staren's shots hit the blue Dragon-Blooded with the shurikens, blowing through his armor, so he throws several shurikens back, aimed at Staren's gun, curving around to try and disarm him,, them backed by the wind that suddenly forms around them. They pierce hard, and move to return to his hand if not stopped, though Staren can probably shoot them out of the air if he puts effort into it.

Raziel focuses on the green Dragon-Blooded with the spear, and aimed for his chest. He pierces the armor and gets the guy on the sword, but green essence flows around him, keeping him alive long enough to strike back at Raziel and try and pierce him with the spear. Though the wound should be fatal, if Raziel can keep his strikes up!

Zero fights the white one with the tonfas, and manages to jerk one away. He spins it in hand and slams it into the white Dragon-Blooded's helmet, knocking it loose and revealing a young man with blonde hair and a sharp frown on his face, who tries to strike Zero back with the other one if he can clock the fighter in the head enough to daze him/maybe give him a concussion.

The black Dragon-Blooded is about to move for Yuuki with an unarmed grab. However, before he can hit her, Xianren is suddenly in the way, clutching the man's arm. He starts crushing the armor in his grip, before using the other hand to remove the guy's helmet. He must be a teenager, no older than 16, and he's probably not ridiculously older than that in experience based on the raw fear he shows. Xianren speaks up to the group as everyone fights.

Xianren (6846) has posed:
"To back up the director's words, I will personally guarantee whoever surrenders will survive. I willn ot kill you even in execution. You will have a place."

And then, white flames appear from his hands, and start burning into the martial artist's face, who he smashes into the ground over and over, causing him to scream in agonizing pain. Before the man is engulfed completely in it, he shouts out. "I surrender!"

Glory screams out, "No! Don't fall for his lies!"

Xianren just smiles patronizingly. The fire dies down. "Then declare your fealty to me."

The dragon-blooded pauses, swallows, and then speaks up. "I declare...I declare my fealty to you."

Xianren inhales again, and then speaks again. His words have an edge to them, as when he speaks, a white symbol appears on his forehead, a rippling symbol of eight rays connected to an empty circle.

"[ansi(#24FF41,You are mine now.)]"

The words are like razor-wind, and for those who can detect it, supernatural. The screaming stops from the Dragon-Blooded, as does his lack of confidence, as he drops to his knees. "Yes, my lord."

The other Dragon-Blooded who can still react are horrified. It seems he just took over this guy's will.

Xianren simply throws the servant to the side. He doesn't really hurt the guy, and keeps his promise of letting him live, but the man's in his way. The White Dragon-Blooded remains where he lands, silent as to not displease his new master.

"Anyone else?"

Raziel (6810) has posed:
    The spear comes for Raziel, but Raziel is quick on his feet, only catching the edge of the blade across the shoulder. To Raziel, this is not more than a scratch...to a living thing that would be a devestating blow. He quickly moves around the spear, aiming to grab it with his free hand, and hold it there with his surprising strength. Enough time to thrust his blade forward, into the chest of the Exalt again, once more trying to hammer in the wounds he is inflicting, trying to take this guy down as quickly as possible. The spear, as it was, does not leave his hand unless he puts a signifigant force behind trying to remove it.

    He has a plan for it, but for now he can simply hold it or let it fall to the ground.

    "Take the man's offer, or I will offer your spirit to the director there. At worse, she finds a use for you...at best you have no chance for resurection."

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     Seifer has a dumb idea.

     Seifer's going to try his dumb idea.

     Seifer forces his soul force into his hand. His palm comes up to catch the glowing blade. This is such a stupid plan, but the wild grin on his face says that he doesn't care. The wild grin on his face says that he knows the Concord can fix him if this goes wrong, that he can't bear not to try this out.

     The blade contacts his palm. It draws blood.

     There's an explosion.

     There's a spray of blood against the Sidereal's face.

     Seifer closes his hand around the blade and jerks it backwards, his wild grin intensifying.

     "Y'know," he says to the Sidereal, "I didn't think that was gonna work."

     He stopped the momentum of the sword with explosive force inside his own palm.

     With the sword clutched in his hand Seifer goes on the offensive. His foot comes up to kick her in the stomach, to try and dislodge her blade from her. His gunblade flashes outwards to keep her reeling, to keep her moving, to keep her from stabilizing. Another slash, another flash. He's relentless in his stabbing, in his cutting, in his motions - and it's obvious that he's just trying to disarm her.

     "I!" Seifer says, "Would take the guy's offer, if I was you, lady! You've got a nice face; be a shame to waste it dying 'cause you threw yourselves at us!"

     Xianren tells them that the Sidereals' /thing/ is manipulating Fate, and Seifer's wild eyes flare up. "So you do stuff with fate, huh? Then boy should you be cursin' yours! 'cause you're up against Seifer Almasy - an' I ain't never let fate tell me what to do! Fate..."

     He wheels his foot around for a kick at her throat, "Can go fuck itself!"

Zero Kiryu has posed:
What kind of warrior is Zero Kiryu? The whistle of the remaining tonfa is met with a raised arm. It strikes with force and CRACKS violently, a bone within the arm breaking audibly. The pain doesn't seem to register, though. The sacrifice, calculated. He can afford to lose the functionality of his arm for the next few minutes, and in so doing he gives himself an opportunity.

It's the sort of thing you'd expect out of one of the Infernal Exalted, but he CLEARLY isn't one of those.

He spins the tonfa in his other hand, building centrifugal force. By himself, Zero Kiryu is only moderately superhuman. True, he is good at throwing that weight around, and true he can rip limbs off. But there's always something to be said for using tools.

At the moment of impact--

He brings the tonfa in, in a wide swing that bears it towards the Dragon Blooded's side on the final revolution he can twist into it before bringing it forth for impact. The actual force, of course, is substantially higher than he could achieve with a regular blow.

His head twitches slightly in the direction of the black-armored dragon blood. But the matter is handled, and there is no need to re-direct his efforts.

Staren has posed:
    Shoot them out of the air? What is Staren, a robot? Well, not today he's not. The shurikens cut into the pistol, disabling it and knocking it from his hands. "Ow!"

    As he reaches into his bag and pulls out another pistol (this one shoots tiny missiles with kinetic penetrator warheads tipped with explosive to soften up armor), he comments to Xianren, "Okay, sparing him was good, but I don't think making him sound creepy and mind-controlled did much for getting them to surrender."

    "OKAY!" Staren shouts as he continues firing, "How about you at least shout your ideals at us so we know what this is all about? You probably want to do that anyway, right? C'mon, if you were quiet pragmatic types you'd have blown the building up rather than charge in and make a big scene, so let's hear it!"

Tanya Degurechaff has posed:
    "Do it," Tanya states to Raziel, her eyes glowing golden. The gemstone hanging at her neck mirrors the shade, almost boiling with the light it gives off. What appeared to be a decorative crystal revealed in this altercation to be some kind of amplifier artifact.

    She draws her pistol up as it expends its cartridge, an ordinary brass casing clattering to the lush carpet at her feet. Her gaze remains fixated on the red Dragon blooded with the sword, already recovering and coming after her. This grown, armored man is rewarded for his efforts by an upturned, derisive frown.


    Two shots are loosed from her pistol this time. Ordinary bullets leave the chamber, but by the time they reach the sword-weilding Dragonblooded, each parabellum round explodes with the force of a hand grenade. Probably not the best option in a crowded room owned by a rich guy, but if it's objected to-- well, she can easily reason that the less concussive option didn't keep the guy down.

    Her pistol is kept aimed this time, eyes narrowing as they slide sidelong towards what Xianren just did. She doesn't get it. This kind of power is alien to her. But the power is unmistakable now that her senses are on full combat alert. With this Exalted in full form, she can't help but compare his presence to another so-called omnipotent being she's encountered.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
Chaos, across the battlefield. Heroic shouts of never surrendering.

Every day, Yuuki strayed further from the path of 'Good', the path of Light.

The Dragon-blood leaping the table to go after her leads in with a flying punch. Yuuki doesn't even lift a single finger, instead closing her eyes to sip at her glass of wine. The air about her is still. Her defenses are not tested, nor is her glass more than wobbled by the aborted air of the fist brushing her hair askew like a gentle spring breeze.

There's a loud gulp of wine - perhaps steadying. "System Lord, I place no blame upon you. They broke into your palace, and made an attempt on your life. As I just finished speaking of elsewhere - the Concord is fully behind all its partners, and expect all its partners to be fully behind the Concord. We are the business of excellence, and dwelling on failures and little stumbles would be beneath me, beneath you, and beneath the spirit of our relationship. You are a part of our family, now, our group, and each one of us deal with this..."

Yuuki sighs, opening her red-amber eyes and placing her glass down, mere dregs left. "... And handle it in our own ways. Staren is an expert roboticist, combat pilot, and weapon adept."
"Seifer is a swordsman that reversed the sure-killing strike."
"Raziel is an immortal shade of bitter vengeance, possessed of a hero's heart."
"Tanya is a terrifying leader of men, personal combatant, aerial ace, and powerful mage."
"Zero is the most adept hunter of monsters I have ever met."

"And I am very tired of people bursting into the room like they are the protagonist of some epic tale, that the odds will break their way, and that nobody else matters - or is an obstacle to be overcome." Yuuki's eyes begin to glow with an inner light, a red light.

"Submit to us, dinner-ruiners, to our new Partner, Xianren, and learn from his excellence firsthand. I demand it." She announces, her voice as well a powerful compulsion to compel the Dragon-blooded to cease fighting and give in, and join their fellow in...

........wwwwelll, thralldom.

Xianren (6846) has posed:
The Dragon-Blooded fighting Raziel is stabbed even more, his spear prevented from being used, but he remains stubborn. He sounds older. "I'd rather...hrrk, die than let him take my mind!" So if Raziel executes him, he slumps to the ground, dead.

Blood splatters on Glory. Seifer has stopped the blade with the explosive force of her palm, and she immediately realizes they're not dealing with normal threats, disarming her. Staren shouts for them to explain their plans...and she does, sort of. "Don't you know about Autochthonia?! Don't you know that they're chasing us further from the Spiral, from our home? These /Infernals/ won the war and come to destroy us for it! And after planning this for so long..." She doesn't say anything further, though, because as Yuuki speaks up with her command, she moves to cover her ears...

And Glory disappears. Strands of red light trail behind her as she vanishes from the premises, having used some sort of ability. The other Dragon-Blooded, especially the one fighting Staren, seem shocked by this.

And they're also starting to submit, those who survive. The one fighting Zero is bludgeoned and brought to his knees, and puts his hands in the air. The one fighting Staren is blasted backwards by the impact of an explosive missile and is unconscious and badly injured, but he probably (maybe) would have surrendered anyways.

Tanya's is also blasted back, though he remains conscious. He almost considers moving forward, fighting to the death even in his injuries, but in the end, he drops his sword. It seems the Sidereal escaping has taken away their will.

Xianren walks forward and one-by-one, forces each of them to submit to him. Then he speaks those rippling words, the white energy around him growing stronger, and they submit. One of them is dead, a ghost for the use of Raziel.

"Let her escape, she'll make sure they fear out strength. I will make sure these men are sent to be interrogated and converted to akuma. I will add that what the woman said isn't wrong...but she believes she's the hero."

"They always do."

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     Seifer has a triumphant grin on his face. The Sidereal disappears, and he flips the sword into his palm hilt-first.

     His cut, burned palm.

     That he exploded from the inside.

     Seifer drops the sword, swearing up a storm. Another explosion cauterizes the wound, and he shakes his hand irritably before picking up the sword and holding it delicately.

     "Well that was fun."

     "I'm in a way better mood now."

Staren has posed:
    "OH COME ON!" Staren shouts, as the Servant of Mars escapes.

    The battle is ended. Staren collects his damaged weapon, and makes his way around the room, offering and applying nanobandages to wounded on both sides. He just nods at the comment about heroes. He recognized that about them on sight, after all. "I want to know about what he said." Staren points at the spear-wielder Raziel slew. Why do they say you take their minds?"

Xianren (6846) has posed:
Staren gets a reply from Xianren once he's finished binding the Dragon-Blooded. "Because they don't like being subservient to another. They don't like being shown where their proper place is, underneath me, but then, once they're akuma...they understand. The Titans make sure of that." It does not have a tone of 'I'm a scary evil guy' even though the words are pretty harsh. It just sounds matter-of-factly.

Tanya Degurechaff has posed:
    When the red Dragonblood finally submits, Tanya at last lifts her pistol off of him. She clicks it onto Safe, then swings the weapon down to slot it into the holster at her hip. With a sigh, she collects the bent ruin of her dress saber, examining it in both hands. That wasn't cheap. But there's no way ordinary steel would stand up to an empowered warrior, so she can't really blame the weapon.

    The saber is discarded to be cleared up with the other damage, and she approaches the surrendered Dragonblood, "You made the correct choice. Your life will continue." Leaning forward, the twelve year old tells this grown man, "Live a long life."

    She then leans back from him, glancing towards Staren, "Isn't it obvious? You saw what he did, didn't you?" The golden glow fades from her neckwear, and from her eyes. She doesn't elaborate-- Xianren is already on that, it seems.

    Her eyebrows form a straight line at Seifer's antics, an expression mirroring the deadpan tone of her comments via radio, "Oh no. My innocence."

Zero Kiryu has posed:
Zero doesn't press the matter when the White Jade Ranger cedes the battle. He stows the tonfa he's already carrying by simply thrusting it through his belt, and takes the other from the Dragon Blood as well. He only had to do it this way because his right arm is still healing from where he allowed it to be broken.

He issues a great sniff, and strides back over towards the table, seating himself next to Yuuki. With a noisy, uncomfortable-looking twist he sets his right arm properly so that he doesn't need to /re-break/ it in a few minutes.

Inhaling deeply, he shuts his eyes and leans back a little ways. The only way to be certain that he's not asleep is that his body is wound up like a spring. That is to say, the relative relaxation of a body at rest just isn't there.

'What's wrong' with Zero Kiryu might then become relatively plain, even to somebody not looking closely. He's doing all of this while suffering some sort of chronic pain.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
Yuuki slackens her poise as the Sidereal flickers away, the other Dragonblooded swiftly being cowed and then enthralled by Xianren's white flame powers. Staren asks about the will thing, and Yuuki shrugs. "Perfect free will, totally unlimited choice, leads people to make wrong decisions. Some people say that freedom is the best, highest, most fundamental 'right', but I think that there's more people that think that binding free will and total free choice away is a total good."

Yuuki favors Staren with a thoughtful look, as if daring him to go 'mind control is wrong!'. It's not a bait she leaves up long.

"We call them 'rules'. Those who want to break them demand freedom. That somehow rules don't apply to them."

Raziel (6810) has posed:
    Raziel looks at the man.

    "Well, while I respect your decision...free will does come with a price, consiquences." He says, bringing the sword down once. Aiming to remove his head from his shoulders. Dropping the blade, as he gives his body up to fade into the Spectral world and becoming a wraith again. Of course, appearing before the now powerless dragonblooded spirit. Moments, later, he appears grabbing the spirit and starts aiming to bind him. Slowly dragging him back into the material world as a ghost, but held by Raziel.

    "So, I suppose we need to speak now...this time the conversation will be on a different footing. Either you answer...or I allow the soul reaver devour your soul."

Xianren (6846) has posed:
Raziel rips out the ghost of the fallen Exalt. He'll tell them what they want to know, which is as follows:

They've been planning this assassination for quite some time, having set themselves up in position. They originated from the Gunstar Autochthonia, and this was a rare mission in which a Sidereal took the field. Thanks to her, they knew Xianren's rough schedule (though they couldn't track him directly due to fate reasons), they knew all the entrances, they knew everything...except about the Concord. They weren't expecting such powerful companions. The ghost requests to be allowed to pass on, slightly pleading.

Xianren is fine with it.

Xianren, meanwhile, after the Concord does whatever they're going to do, is going to find out what abilities they used to get in through further interrogation and then punish anyone who was in on it.

Staren has posed:
    "You know, I could've just bandaged your hand." Staren comments, to Seifer.

    At Xianren's answer and Tanya's response, he hangs his head and sighs. "If the only way to get people to follow you is by reaching into their minds with magic and changing them... If your endgame requires that you make everyone you're saving no longer the people they were... I get that sometimes there isn't time for anything else, like on the battlefield, but if it's your go-to M.O. it does say worrying things about the prospects of whatever you're working towards. Even setting aside my moral concerns... you get /this/." He waves his hand to indicate the corpses and where they entered the room. "And if you could make Multiversal allies, so can they. "I doubt you can do it to an entire world forever."

    Staren turns to the spirit, clasping his hands together behind his back. "So. Aside from the whole mind control thing, what did you die for?"

Raziel (6810) has posed:
    Raziel looks towards the soul, "Be thankful that my allies are merciful." he says, calmly, And then he releases the ghost..before pulling the standard that covers his mouth. WHat is revealed is half a face, the lower jaw completely gone, and the tongue gone, nothing hangs there but a hole...and the ghost is drawn into the hole before it vanishes. With a sucking breath, Raziel jerks, his wounds healing as he covers his mouth up.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
Yuuki, while Raziel's questioning session (with Staren and Xianren) and then weird masky-ghost-no-jaw-release, lingers at the table, before drifting over to Zero.

"You should eat, Zero." She gestures at the food, though it's a bit dismissive, as if it was a table of 'stuff' and not 'extraordinary opulence'.

"It's hard to see you so low. Didn't we find a compromise for you? To... feel better?"

She places a worried hand on his (wounded) shoulder, touch light. "I'm sorry, for acting like that. For dragging you here, too."

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     Seifer shoulders his gunblade as Yuuki goes over to Zero and Raziel eats the guy. He watches Yuuki and Zero for a moment.

     Huh. So that's what it looks like from the outside.

     He looks over at Xianren and holds up the sword. "You got a sheathe I can put this in?"

Xianren (6846) has posed:
Xianren allows the ghost to move on, and watches Raziel's 'eating' with curiosity, though when Seifer asks for a sheath, he snaps his fingers at a servant. "Sword sheathe."

It'll take a few minutes, but they'll get Seifer his sheathe. Food is still offered to anyone who wants it, but Xianren is understanding that no one may have the appetite, especially in this bloodied place. Servants are already cleaning up underneath them. Xianren's glad that his guests are not upset, though. If they were...

That ghost wouldn't have survived.

Staren has posed:
    Are you kidding? This is probably like super extravagant tasty food! Staren still tries some. He may make some requests to bring home, too -- a salad, and a blood wine. For friends.

Zero Kiryu has posed:
Zero opens his eyes again in response to Yuuki's approach and statements. He looks between her, and the spread at the table. There is a flicker of intense agitation that might have, a few months previous, resolved into an angry retort. But it doesn't. He looks between Yuuki, to the table, and then towards the blood that spatters the floor from people being stabbed repeatedly.

Then, back to Yuuki.

"Later. Not here. And it's fine." He says, shutting his eyes again.

After a moment's silence, it occurs to him to open his eyes and look towards Xianren again, nodding towards him, "Medical condition. Your food is fine."