Core of Hatred

*Celeste, Miriam, and Ultia descended down to where everyone else was, as the Anomaly dissolved away, slowly but surely leaving nothing but a clear blue sky above. The Eradicators had been thinned out pretty well by this point, letting Fizz simply walk up to them*

Fizzson: Looks like you guys did it-! *Glances at Chez, then at Ultia’s… Lack of an arm, wincing* …Not without some serious problems though, I take it?

Celeste: Thaaaat’d be an understatement, yeah-

Miriam: *Still holding Chez* Chez surprisingly did the final blow. Good on him, but now he’s pretty weak.

Arleen: Dang, and uh… Will you be fine, Ultia?

Ultia: *Glances at her missing arm, getting off her star and sighing* It… Stings. A lot... But it’ll be fine, so long as I can get it remade, or get a prosthetic from Proria…

*Chez mutters something quietly, their right paw twitching for a moment before they went limp again*

Miriam: …Someone mind taking care of him?

Fizzson: Mm. I got him. *Takes Chez From Miriam, lying him up against a wall softly then crouching next to him*

Celeste: How was everything down here? Everyone make it out okay?

Arleen: We got Shiyo back to normal, but… Well… *Looks down a bit, glumly*

Aviva: I take it there’s multiple wounds.

Lucian: One minor wound, one… Uh… “Casualty”.

Miriam: …Who?

Arleen: *Pauses for a moment, looking back up at Ultia* …N-Nova….

Ultia: *Eyes widen for a moment* …What?

Arleen: Some weird goo stuff came down from the Anomaly when we weren’t looking. Shot out like hardened spikes at a few people down here. One of them stabbed through Nova… Killing him.

Aviva: *Snaps, summoning a baseball cap, and kneels, putting the hat over her heart, followed by a heavy sigh while tilting her head down, eyes closed*

Ultia: …Where?

Arleen: Huh-?

Ultia: Where’s the body?

Arleen: O-Oh, uhh… It was over there *Points a bit behind her* but, well…

*Ultia didn’t bother to wait around and listen, running in the direction Arleen pointed out*

*Right by where he’d fallen and hit the ground wasn’t his body. Just a mix of yellow, and oddly… black-ish powder*

*Ultia stood there, staring at Nova’s “remains”, falling to her knees a bit as she just stared at them. For once, she began showing a whole mix of emotions… Horror, sadness, anger, all at once. She was trying to hold back her tears, but wasn’t doing a very good job of it…*

Aviva: *Unsummons the hat, getting back up* …Let Ultia know once she’s… No longer crying… That if she needs any help, we’ve got her back. That being said though, I take it we’re, ah… Otherwise done here…?

Miriam: Aren’t you being a bit rude, given the situation, Vi?

Aviva: *Sighs* I’m trying not to be, but I can’t necessarily help it… *To herself* Curse my inability to word things properly….

*Naezan hops in through a pale blue portal, looking up at Celeste*

Naezan: …What of the trouble maker?

Celeste: Knocked out. I got him right here. *Hops off the cage she’d floated down on, making it change back to her ball, leaving Zaanel to fall limply to the ground*

Naezan: *Looks at Zaanel, shaking his head sadly* …I suspected as much. Very… Disappointing my brother continued along such a path….

Celeste: What do we do with him? Can’t just leave them to wake up and cause trouble.

Emma: Could just kill ‘em. Can’t cause any more problems if they’re six feet under.

Naezan: …No. One does not toy with the lives of trillions throughout the Multiverse and get away with a simple death penalty.

Ben: *Floats over* A relatable sentiment, but what else would you do?

Naezan: That’s something we’ll need to figure out. *Looks at Fizz, calling out to him* Fizzson? A word with me and the others, if you would….

*Fizz sighs, getting up and walking over to a more private spot with Naezan, Jade, Kitsunya, Sensei, and Aeon joining them soon after*

Aviva: So, uh… No answer… Guess I’ll just… *Sits down on the ground, looking down, unsure what to do from there*

Miriam: *Joins after a while, looking towards Chez, who was still tired, although oddly melting a little from his arm…*

*Arleen sits down where she was, looking back at Ultia, who was still crying over Nova’s stardust. She wanted to comfort Ultia, but didn’t really think she could say anything to help, so she stayed put, sighing. After a few moments, Fizz, Naezan and the others all came back*

Naezan: It’s been decided. First thing’s first….

*Naezan looks at all the others, who all look back at him. They stand in front of Zaanel’s unconscious body, closing their eyes and concentrating. They begin to float up and glow slightly, the lights all connecting to Naezan like beams, before firing out and engulfing Zaanel, a darker, blood-reddish light seeming to come off him and funnel into the others slowly. Once it was done, they lowered back to the ground, all backing away from Zaanel*

Lucian: …The h**l was that?

Naezan: We’ve taken his creation powers, diverting it back to ourselves.

Fizzson: With him losing his creator status, I can remove any natural powers he may still have. *Swipes his hand to make his keyboard, beginning to do just that*

Lucian: Er… Okay. Looked cool at least.

*Fizz finishes up after a few minutes, making his keyboard disappear*

Fizzson: With that being done… *Calls out* Meeell? I know you’re watching out there somewhere.

*A pile of dirt a small ways away seemed to float up, clumping together and structuring itself until it formed Mel’s body, then her actual body busted out of it like it were a casing*

Mel: You raaang Fizzy dear~?

Fizzson: *Points at Zaanel* You know the deal with him, right? Caused all the Eradicator stuff that happened here and in the rest of the Multiverse.

Mel: *Yawns a bit, leaning back* Right. Gave a fun time slappin’ chumps. I should care becaauuse…?

Fizzson: *Smirks* He’s yours.

Mel: *Practically jolts up, staring at Fizz* Saywhatnow-?

Fizzson: No one else really cares for him, and a lot of people here probably hate his guts anyways, soo… He’s yours. Think of him like your own personal plaything in a way. Bit of a twist of irony with how he viewed everyone else.

Aviva: *Smiles a bit at Mel’s reaction there*

Mel: *Blinks a couple times at Fizz, then glances at Zaanel, a mischievous, chaotic glimmer forming in her eyes as she giggled quietly, rubbing her hands in a cartoonishly evil way* …Oh this’ll be real fun.

Athena: *Runs up, jumping on Mel’s back* I CAN HEEEELP! I HAVE TORTURE IDEAS!

Aviva: On a different subject, though… *Face goes back to an uncertain expression* Is Ultia… Gonna be okay? I know how hard the grieving process is firsthand, what with the death of my father and all, but I’m still worried, as is Miri….

Fizzson: *Glances at Ultia, then back at Vi* …I think she’ll be fine. She just needs some time. Best we can do is try to support her as much as she needs, while not being too pushy….

Miriam: If that’s the case, I’m speaking on behalf of Vi when I say to let her know when she’s being too pushy.

Aviva: I do admit, I don’t know what the limit is when it comes to pushiness….

Fizzson: Noted.

Mel: Welp, I dunno about you guys, but I sure know what I’m doing tonight.

*Her right arm morphed into a sort of lasso, her twirling it around and throwing it around Zaanel’s torso, reeling it back in like a fishing rod, with her lasso shortening in length the further it was reeled in. Zaanel now in “Hand”, she glanced up at Athena*

Mel: Shall we~?

Athena: H**l yeaaah, let’s get goin’. I have IDEAS.

*Mel giggles, snapping, which warped her away in a bright pink light with Athena and Zaanel*

Arleen: …So… What now?

Fizzson: Clean up the city. Get some rest once everything’s finally cleared out with the Eradicators.

Aviva: And then I personally feel like this deserves a victory celebration at Nightshade.

Miriam: *Swipes Aviva’s phone from her pocket, calling up someone and walking off to talk to them*

Aviva: Miri- Ugh, whatever.

Lucian: Hahah, the cemetery skeletons six feet under are gonna have quite a few new friends…

Arleen: *Glances over at Ultia and Chez, sighing a bit* I’ll… Stay here, I think. Look after the both of ’em. Seems like at least someone should.

Aviva: I’m gonna go work on Nightshade cleanu-

Miriam: *Walks in, interrupting* Good news and bad news. I was talking with Amber. Good news is apparently someone had the balls to protect Nightshade, because it’s in decent condition. Bad news is that said someone would like to stay anonymous as to who they are, though you can probably make a guess who it is because the fact they want to stay anonymous basically gives it away, but for the sake of the surprise they want to give, we should act like it’s a surprise anyway, and- holy s**t, Vi, I’m turning into you.

Fizzson: Huh… *Eyes widen a bit, suddenly remembering something* …Er… I’m gonna go help with the situation on Proria, actually. Wanna be sure Jack’s okay… The rest of y’all can deal with whatever comes your way here, right? *Glances over at Emma, Trixie, Celeste, and all the others*

Trixie: I think we’ll be fine!

Celeste: Now that the Eradicators are limited, we should be able to handle ’em.

Lance: Yeah, don’t worry.

Aviva: Miri and I are gonna stick around, help out where we can.

Fizzson: Alright, I just wanna be sure-

Emma: Get goin’ already. We’re good, promise.

Fizzson: O-Okay, okay… *Quickly summons a green portal, stepping through it, with it closing behind him*

Emma: *Watches Fizz leave, looking back at everyone else afterwards* Well, shouldn’t wait around much longer. Let’s get goin’.

Jade: …Ah, before that, I think there’s something that needs addressing. *Looks over at Luci, calling out* Lucian, I believe?

Lucian: Yeeeeah? What’s up?

Jade: Hold your hands out. I wish to give you something.

Lucian: *Smiles a little, holding his paws out* No need to talk so formally, good-lookin’~

*Jade concentrated, a stream of sand flowing around her, then heading towards Lucian, swirling around in his outstretched paws, then flying back to Jade, a rather basic-looking sandwich appearing in his paws once the sand flew away*

Lucian: …Oh NICE. Hahaaah! Luci always wins~

Jade: Felt I owed it to you after you were pushed aside for more serious matters before.

Lucian: I was staaarving to death and got ignored ’cause some mean things were wreckin’ stuff. Thank you for being considerate though, Jade. You’re the beeeest~

Emma: *Rolls her eyes* Ah Luci….

Trixie: Well with that outta the way, like Emma said, let’s get cleaning!

Celeste: I’ll stay with Luci ’till he’s done with his sandwich. Should be a good break after the whole Anomaly thing, and I wouldn’t wanna leave Luci to get looonely looking for stray Eradicators all on his own….

Lucian: Oh hush, I’m perfectly fine. Though I definitely never do mind some company, especially not from a gal like you~

Celeste: *Chuckles a bit* Weeell still.

Emma: Alright then. The rest of you, let’s get a move on.

*The Eradicator hordes were finally starting to thin out, with less coming at Shokunya and Tib. It wasn’t long before they all seemed completely cleared out, at least in the current area. Shokunya looked around, then flicked her sword forward, tossing any lava off the tip. It didn’t visibly look hot, but it would definitely burn to touch still, so she left it unsheathed for now…*

*Tiberius wasn’t so quick to let his guard down, but did lower his weapon for now, with some slight pants*

Tiberius: Sheesh, that was fun. But getting annoying at the end.

Shokunya: Mm… It’s doubtful they’ve all been dealt with. Bound to be stragglers, if not whole groups left to wander….

Tiberius: *Looks around for a moment, then shrugs, with a smile* …Not my problem. But um… Thank you. You’re pretty good at this.

Shokunya: It’s no big deal. I’m just doing what I can to help wherever I find myself.

Tiberius: Yeah? What do you get from it, anyway? I’m not payin’ you y’know.

Shokunya: Nothing, really. I just do it cause I feel it’s the right thing to do. Never gotten anything more, and I’ve never needed anything more….

Tiberius: …Sounds dumb. But if you like it, all the more to you. ‘Sides, you’re clearly good from it. I should spar with you sometime.

Shokunya: Sounds like a fun way to spend an afternoon… For now, I think I’ll have a quick run of the city. Take out any straggling Eradicators as I see them, protect anyone who might still be struggling with them. That sort of thing.

Tiberius: I don’t get that. Why’re you doing that? They don’t need your help, n’or are you gaining nothin’. Just sit back, relax and let the flames die out themselves. You definitely earned it.

Shokunya: *Looks down, thinking on it a moment* …I don’t know if I should….

Tiberius: And what would it hurt if you would?

Shokunya: I… I suppose nothing really. It’s more a personal matter that drives me forward, but… I’m not sure….

Tiberius: I say don’t worry about it. You stuck your neck out, and you’re probably at least kinda tired by now. The problem will work itself out.

Shokunya: *Thinks a bit more, sighing* …Alright. I guess this once, I’ll let myself relax….

Tiberius: Good! It’ll be nice to have company in doing that….

Shokunya: *Looks over at Tib, a bit surprised* You… Wouldn’t mind me staying with you for the moment?

Tiberius: Well, no. You helped me out, and you’re not terrible company or anything either.

Shokunya: …A-Alright then. If you’re sure….

Tiberius: What’re you all nervous about? Unless you don’t want to.

Shokunya: N-No, I do. I just… *Looks away, sighing* …Don’t think I’m really worth that…

Tiberius: If you start acting all self-pitying, you’re gonna be “worth” a smack. You’re fine. You helped me out, and you’re decent company, like I said.

Shokunya: *Stays silent for a moment, then looks up at you* …Okay. Sorry about that. I’d be happy to hang out with you, Tib.

Tiberius: Ah it’s fine. I’d be glad to do the same. Maybe you won’t be as soft if y’do, too.

Shokunya: Maybe… Your choice where we relax though. I’m not too picky in that regard.

Tiberius: Eeeh… Alright. Follow me then. *Starts walking off to wherever he had thought up*

*Shokunya took a deep breath, following right after him…*


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