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 Genesis Crisis IC

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Prisma*Illya
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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:37 am

Imperial Palace

Lancar sighed, finally feeling the weight of all that had transpired recently slide off his shoulders. He sat down on the steps and turned away from Aegis and their friends and looked up at the sky.

"It's finally over, sir..." he whispered, recalling with a bittersweet note the memory of his mentor. He felt Sasha's hand on his shoulder as she sat down on the steps beside him and gave a faint smile.

"He would have been proud," she told him gently. "And hey, we all made it through. We should be happy."

Lancar turned from her to look at Mitchell, Daemond, Xennox, and Aera, and he couldn't help but smile affectionately.

"Yeah... we all pulled through," the lieutenant replied.

--------------------

Raidon looked away at the exchange between the sisters, knowing he would probably never be free of the guilt for what he'd put them both through. Darcy was watching him and seemed to know what he was thinking.

"That's a good thing," he said quietly. "Shows how much you've changed."

Raidon didn't reply, but he felt gratitude for the words the other man certainly did not owe him. Darcy instead turned and approached Rise, who had just been set down by James, looking rather flustered and surprised by his move.

"You certainly know how to carry a tune," he said, smiling charmingly. "I can see a bright future for you."

Rise raised an eyebrow at his words, feeling appreciative but suspicious nonetheless.

"What are you getting at?" she asked, folding her arms in her tough negotiator pose. Darcy laughed toothily and nodded approvingly.

"Right to the point then. Well, you focus on the singing, I manage all of the arrangements, and we both rake in the cash. What do you say?"

For a few moments, Rise merely stared at him with wide eyes. Then, she broke into a dazzling smile.

"You mean it? You'll help me be a singer?"

It was a dream come true. More than she'd ever really hoped for.

Now it was James' turn to be surprised as she threw her arms around him and squealed happily.

-------------------

Lecarde stared up at Keynes, digesting the words for a few moments. Then, with a faint smile and wet eyes, he extended his arm and grasped Keynes' hand.

"It might take my whole life... but I'll try," the young man said quietly.

Kokonoe smiled at Keynes words before turning to see Lambda standing a few feet away, looking uncomfortable.

"Hey, you're as much a hero as anyone," the researcher said, motioning her forward. The mobile doll stepped forward tentatively, looking unsure.

"I'm not human. And these memories, these feelings... are stolen," Lambda said quietly. Kokonoe's expression softened, and she put a hand on the robot's shoulder.

"I put those memories in you," she admitted. "Because... I wanted you to be put to a better use than what the Army had planned. You still can be. There's plenty of rebuilding to do, and every hand helps."

Lambda beamed a perfectly human smile as she nodded gratefully.

-------------------

Jax knew the moment would have to come eventually. That certainly didn't make it any easier, however, as Alina stood in front of him with an accusing glare that chilled like ice.

"I hurt you..." he murmured. "I... kissed you and then... I went and nearly killed you."

He couldn't look at her, couldn't allow the memory of her hopeless eyes staring up at him as the rapier pierced her body. His heart constricted painfully, and he took a step back.

"I'm so sorry.. Red. I didn't mean to. I would never have..." he tried to say, all the while knowing it wouldn't make up for what he'd done.

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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:45 am

Imperial Palace

There was a second of silence between them when Arya and Raidon stood before Lisa. However, when her sister stepped forward, Arya immediately responded to her embrace, pulling her close into her arms.

"Lisa," she began to say when her sister had finished. "It's okay, I understand. And I would never hate you." Her voice was soft and melodic and she released the hug a little to look at Lisa's face. She leaned in a little and kissed her forehead. "I am proud of you for standing up for your beliefs and that you have grown so strong."

There was a light smile on Arya's face and she pulled Lisa in once more before finally releasing the hug.

Meanwhile Snow lightly squeezed Lizzy's arm. "You're allowed to sound a little less formal, love," he said playfully. "After all they just saved this land." He kissed her on the temple. "And you get to hang out with me more," he added with a grin.

Then he approached Lecarde and Keynes, patting the latter heavily on the shoulder. "He's right, you don't get to be our age without making a few mistakes," he said and winked at Keynes.

"I'm sure this experience will help you grow stronger."

----------------------------

James looked a bit surprised when Darcy suddenly approached with his offer for Rise. He realized of course that this was an incredible opportunity for her. Surely she wouldn't hesitate.

And he was right, only a second later a breathtaking smile appeared on her face and she looked incredibly happy, an expression he hadn't seen in a long time on her. It made her look so beautiful, it took him a second to realize she's spun around and thrown her arms around his neck.

Smiling quietly, he pulled her in. "This is great, Rise!" he said. "Your dream coming true." James hesitated for a second and then continued. "And I want you to know… I'll be here to support you, whatever happens."
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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:02 am

Imperial Palace

Lisa felt her heart melt at Arya's words, and she couldn't stop herself from leaning into her sister's open arms. "Thank you Arya... You don't know how much I needed to hear that, no matter how little I deserve it. Actually, I'm not sure that even I knew how much I needed to hear it."

Her eyes were still watery when Arya pulled back, but Lisa gave her a smile anyway. And then, her eyes rested on Raidon in the background. She gave her sister another hesitant smile and then stepped around her, closing the distance to the man.

"Can I have a word with you?" Lisa forced the words out, as if she wasn't sure she liked the sound of them. "In private?" She added before he could answer and she nodded towards the corner of the street.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

"You shouldn't make jokes about your age." Lizzy said from behind Snow as she stepped up to join him. "It'll get me to thinking you might not be fit for certain activities." She continued teasingly.

Keynes let out a bark of laughter before turning back to Lecarde. "I think you've got a better heart than you know." He said softly. "Your judge of character could use some work though."

"So could this guy's." Lizzy sniped, poking Snow in the arm. "Guess I can't complain too much though. He did pick me after all."

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Alina's cold stare seemed to only grow in intensity with each of Jax's muttered words, and her expression, which had only been questioning at the beginning, was darker now. She didn't say a word though. Instead, she let the silence speak for her.

For nearly a minute the two of them stood there, him looking away and her glaring at him. And then, she finally spoke...

"You did NOT just apologize for kissing me..."
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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:38 am

Imperial Palace (Aera)

Aera inhaled a deep breath of fresh air, or as fresh as it could get after all that chaos, and breathed out slowly. She fixed her hair as much as she could, as she ran her finger briefly through the dirty red hair with a slight smile on her face.

She agreed with Lancar wholehearted; they did an amazing job. But, This situation felt all wrong like there was too much chaos and not enough order. Even now she didn't agree with what this group did, but their intentions were noble at very least.

"Ya, good job team." Aera stated briefly and low-key, as she titled her head towards the ground.

"I need to rebuild the army, not corrupt like before but better..." Aera thought to herself, as she was about to think how someone like her could do that, but she caught herself before it even entered her thoughts, "Lancar was about to get a promotion maybe he could help."

Daemond

"Ya, we may not of done nearly as much as the rest, but we did our job for sure." Daemond said with a big smile on his face, not the slighest bit of hesitation for his celebration.

These guys may of taken out a bunch of monsters or whatever, but they got to take out the twins and Lymond and that was amazing feat alone. He only wished he could of actually punched that bastard Lymond before he was killed.

"I'm just glad the people here are safe. After that display from before, I'm pretty sure they can handle themselves." Daemond continued to say with confidence.

Alex


Alex sat on the steps near the palace, as he glanced around chuckling at all the comments everyone was making and how everyone was happy. But he didn't feel all that happy, it felt weird but a relief not having anything to fight for anymore but there wasn't much he could do after this.

"Everyone has their own ambitions, makes me jealous..." Alex muttered with a bittersweet smile. He didn't enjoy the university much with the enforced studying program, and his dislike for the army didn't help all that much either.

Though, what he was passionate about was protecting the masses, and with this unified gene he had there wasn't much he couldn't do. He had a lot of potential he just had to figure out how to use it.

"Kokonoe might know..."
Alex thought to himself, as he figured the researcher would probably have a good idea of what uses an amazing strain like this could have.
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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:52 pm

Caltha - Imperial Palace

Xennox smiled at his sister and put a hand on her shoulder.

"You're right. The Army has a responsibility more than ever to get everything right now," he said. Lancar nodded and put his hand out, looking proud and pleased.

"Squad #34's work isn't done yet," he said, as Sasha and Xennox put their hands on the pile. "And I think with the right leadership, everything will work out."

He turned his gaze toward Commander Grey, knowing that if anyone would be capable of taking the reigns, it would be her. He and the squad would be sure to meet with her and discuss reforming the government. But for now, the heroes deserved their time to celebrate, as did they.

--------------------

Lecarde managed a faint smile and nodded at Snow before gazing out over the city below them.

"I hope so," he said quietly, moving away as Snow, Lizzie, and Keynes began to talk among themselves. He didn't have a place here, but that was okay. For now, he wanted to think and come to terms with everything. As he descended the stairs into the city, the commander paused and looked back at the group, saying a silent thanks as he engraved the image of their celebration in his memory, before turning and heading out of sight.

--------------------

Raidon watched as the sisters seemed to reconcile completely, and he felt glad for Arya. But rather quickly, that changed to alarm as Lisa moved toward him, seeming unsure of what she was about to do.

Raidon pursed his lips at the request before nodding his head hesitantly. His eyes darted unconsciously toward Arya before slowly falling into step behind Lisa and following her to her designated place. When they reached it, he did not speak, but instead watched her expectantly, awaiting her response.

--------------------

Jax's head snapped back, and for a moment he unwillingly stared back at her, surprised to see how angry she looked.

"N-no, of course not..." he stammered, immediately looking away again. "I would never regret that."

He blushed uncomfortably and brought up his hand to rub at his neck as he tried to backpedal.

"I just... I just meant that..."

Jax stopped and collected his thoughts as he forced himself to lock eyes with her.

"I love you... but I hurt you anyway. I can't forgive myself for that."

--------------------

Rise felt like a bird released from a cage, soaring high into the air like nothing could hold her down. As James spoke to her, she released her hold on him and stepped back. Her cheeks flushed, but her smile was brilliant.

"Thanks, James," she said softly. There was a moment's pause, and she found herself glancing away in Alex's direction. It brought a slight frown to her face as she saw him sitting there alone.

"I'll be back," she told James before walking over and sitting down beside Alex, gazing out in the same direction as he was.

"You know we won, right?" she said lightly. "You've got to stop with this gloomy attitude. I miss the old Alex."

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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:30 am

Imperial Palace

Alina held Jax's gaze when he finally looked up at her, and despite his obvious discomfort with her presence, she took another step towards him. Cold seemed to roll off her body in frigid waves, a subconscious display of exactly how angry she was.

"Let me get this straight..." She ground out the words bitterly. "You picked the most inopportune moment in all the time that we've known each other to kiss me, something that you say you don't regret, but now you're backing away from me because of something you had no control over? Don't want to hurt me?" Alina let out a bark of bitter laughter. "You're not doing a very damn good job so far."

She'd completely closed the distance between them now, and she reached out with icy fingers, planting them in the center of his chest and pinning him against the building behind him. "You want to throw yourself a pity party? Go do it somewhere else. I don't want to have to look at such a pathetic shadow of the man who had the balls to kiss Commander Alina Grey without any sort of warning and without feeling any evident remorse for his actions. If it's distance you want, you've got it..."

Alina turned on one foot and stormed down the street, not caring who was watching or what they had to say. He had until she got to the next street corner to decide to come after her... After that, she'd be out of sight, and no one would have to see her fall apart...
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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:05 am

Imperial Palace

"Hey!" Snow protested. "I happen to be an excellent judge of character." He pulled her into his arms and almost swept her off her feet when he pushed forward, creating a tight arch in her back while only his hands supported her.

"And I'm fit just fine for anything you can come up with," he whispered with a playful grin before planting a kiss on her lips.

-------------------------------

Arya  gave Lisa another smile and then watched uneasily when her sister headed over to Raidon. Concern showed on her face, but she didn't move to stop either of them. Her eyes met Raidon's and she nodded encouragingly. This could only be for the best. When they had walked away, she bit her lip and turned around.

After walking a few steps, she joined Darcy. "She does have a beautiful voice, doesn't she," she said and gestured towards Rise. "I'm glad you're supporting her."

James felt his cheeks glow red and was glad when Rise turned around to talk to Alex, so she wouldn't have to see it. He leaned against the stone balustrade and ran his hand through his hair, exhaling deeply. Arya joined them and he beamed at her complimenting Rise.

"Yes, she's most amazing," he said quietly.
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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:30 pm

Imperial Palace


"I'm not gloomy; I'm thinking, there's a difference." Alex quickly responded quickly with a smirk on his face, almost like he was mocking his old personality.

But Rise was right, he should be celebrating more, he could save the thinking for later. He'll figure out something, and everyone else knew it, specifically Rise.

"I think I'm much more awesome than the old Alex... I mean can the old Alex he and a bunch of friends took down a giant strain monster." Alex said proudly with his chest puffed out. Though, Alex didn't overhear the conversation about Rise singing more publicly and he was certainly happy about that.

"I hope you'll still be willing to sing for me like old times even once you become famous though." Alex stated jokingly.
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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:17 am

Imperial Palace

After Raidon and herself had stepped out of sight, Lisa paused, collecting herself. She sent him a wary glance and then took a deep breath before she plowed ahead with what she had to say.

"I warned you that if I ever saw you again, one of us wouldn't walk away breathing." Lisa said, slowly pronouncing each word. "However, my sister, ironic and misguided as it may seem, has developed an attachment to you, and I won't do anything further to hurt her, directly or otherwise if it's in my power to prevent it."

An arrow flashed between them, held firmly in her grip, and she tapped it against his heart, as if trying to decide whether or not to use it. "At the same time, I won't stand by and watch anyone else hurt her either..." She continued, making sure he could see the darkness in the depths of her eyes.

"You've caused her a lot of pain, both of us a lot of pain. So, this is your first and only warning. For every minute of suffering she endured, you're going to pay her back with a day of happiness."

She flipped the arrow between her fingers and slipped it back into the quiver behind her. "It's good to see her smile again..." Lisa said, turning back towards the crowd, but she stopped again, commenting over her shoulder. "For your sake, that smile had better stick."
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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:01 am

Caltha - Imperial Palace

Jax watched, stunned, as Alina stormed away from him in all her icy fury. He felt ashamed and hurt by her words. How could she think that about him? Did she really not understand?

The Red Rider felt a white-hot surge of anger and suddenly burst into motion, easily crossing the distance between them and seizing her by the arm. In a moment, he'd whirled her about and pressed her against the wall, blocking her way with his larger body.

"How do you not get it?" he breathed, staring into her eyes before suddenly pressing his lips against hers in a fiery kiss. After a few moments he pulled away, just enough to breathe and force out the next words.

"You're everything to me," Jax whispered. "I don't ever want to lose you again."

--------------------

Raidon wasn't particularly surprised by the speech or the threats, but it was good to know that underneath the harsh words she was, in her way, giving them her blessing. As she turned to walk away, however, he cleared his throat.

"I'm not the only one who's caused her pain," he said quietly. "I hope you're going to do what you can to keep her smiling too."

Raidon wasn't sure if they'd ever more beyond this point, but they did at least have Arya's happiness in common. That was something he could work with.

--------------------

Darcy smiled and nodded at Arya's words, watching Rise sit down beside Alex before turning back to her.

"I'd be an idiot not to take a jump at the opportunity," he said before winking at his old companion. "Besides, I'm feeling a sudden void in my life - no running for my life, no broken bird to look after - and I'll need something to fill it."

Darcy glanced at James and tried not to smile too knowingly as he patted the young man on the shoulder.

"And, of course, free tickets to all the starlet's friends, so you never have to miss a show," he said, grinning.

--------------------

Rise rolled her eyes at Alex's boasts and gave him a playful shove.

"You're still a huge dork, you know, even if you are a hero," she replied, smiling fondly. "I'm glad some things don't change."

When Alex mentioned her singing like old times, all the old feelings of the time at university seemed to wash over her. Tears began to prick at her eyes, but her smile was as bright as ever.

"You know I will. I still need to see the campus again. And Keynes needs to get an earful from me to stay on top of things, even if he's getting it from someone else too."

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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:38 am

Imperial Palace

Alina flinched as she felt Jax's fingers wrap around her arm, although it was impossible to tell if it was in fear or anticipation. Instead of retreating from the ferocity of the kiss, she seemed to embrace it though, giving back as much as she got.

When he finally pulled away, she realized that her hands were on his shoulders, and obviously, she hadn't been trying to push him away. Her cheeks tinted a light red, although it was difficult to notice with her bright hair color, and there were still the beginnings of tears in her eyes as she let her forehead drop to his chest.

For several seconds, she simply stood there, unwilling to move, but it couldn't go on forever. Slowly, she raised her gaze to meet his. "You should be glad you're in good physical condition then." Alina said, giving him a watery smile. "Because if I'd made it to the corner, you never would have seen me again."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lisa stopped short at Raidon's words, and the arrow she'd slipped into the quiver only a moment before flew past his head, just brushing against his cheek before it buried itself in the wall of the building behind him. "Seeing her suffer was my penance. Having to stand by and do nothing was my punishment, and if you think for one moment, that didn't leave scars on my soul, you're dead wrong..."

She turned her gaze in his direction again, giving him a cold stare. "The fact that I want to see my sister happy should never come from your lips as a question again." Without another word, she turned away and started walking back towards the others. She'd spoken her mind, and this was all she was willing to give him for now.

She'd forgiven him, but she wouldn't forget. She couldn't forget...

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lizzy giggled as Snow swept her from her feet and soundly kissed her.

"Oh, do tell love." She replied, slipping from his embrace to put her feet back on the ground. "How flexible are you?" Lizzy asked, raising a questioning eyebrow.

Keynes coughed and turned his eyes away from the pair of them. "Well, that went downhill quickly." He muttered.
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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:52 am

Imperial Palace

Snow cleared his throat and scratched his head. "I guess I could work on some things," he said lightly and put an arm around Lizzy.

He pulled out his cigarettes and offered one to Keynes. "C'mon, a little fun never hurt anyone," Snow added huskily and lit his cigarette.

"So love," he asked, suddenly sounding a bit more serious again. "What do we do now?"
-------------------------------

"True," Arya couldn't help but laugh at what Darcy said. It sounded like a melody, silvery and …happy. She had to admit, there was some truth in his words.

"However, if you exploit this young girl, just because she's a great singer, I will come and find you," Arya said with a smile. She failed to make it sound threatening, but maybe she never intended that.

James jumped up. "You mean it?" he asked, beaming a smile at Darcy. "That's great."

It wasn't about the money, it never was with James. Even with his company in ruins, he could just rebuild it. What touched him more was the offer itself, the gesture behind it.

He turned around and looked up into the bright sky. It was great that Rise found something she wanted to do, and the others probably weren't far behind with their ideas. What about him? Going back to the university to finish that university degree didn't sound like a bad idea, of course after he paid a visit to his family to make sure they were alright. After all, he had wanted to go college.

"Even if I'm as far away as the university, I wouldn't miss her shows for the world."
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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:08 am

Caltha - Imperial Palace

Jax was relieved to see the hostility melt from Alina's body, and he could feel warmth spread through every fiber of his body at the smile she returned him.

"I'll never lose you again," he whispered, planting a soft kiss on her lips. "That's a promise."

He could finally put the guilt of his past failures behind him - and put Miki's memory to rest. For the first time in so many years, he felt completely at peace. The mantle of the Red Rider was no more. The scars that had littered his mind and soul - far more numerous than those on his body - had mended at last. And while everyone in Aegis had a part of that, no one had done more than the beautiful, red-haired woman in front of him.

Jax took her hand, gazing steadily into her eyes. After everything that had happened, he felt he owed it to both of them to state his feelings outright.

"I love you, Alina Grey," he said softly.

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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:08 am

Imperial Palace

Keynes took the cigarette Snow offered him and lit it, taking a long drag. "I should get back to my bar..." He said huskily. "Need to make sure the idiot I left in charge hasn't been in my private stock of booze..."

Lizzy smiled, leaning against Snow. "We should probably do something stupid, like moving in together." She quipped back. "And although I liked your parents, I am not staying at their place." Lizzy continued, playfully jabbing him in the ribs.

"But how about first, we get someone who can move people around to send us back to the satellite tower? We left one of the bikes there, and it would be a tragedy to let it sit out in the weather any longer than it already has."

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Alina didn't put up any sort of fight when he leaned in to kiss her again, and when he broke away from it, she felt a little light-headed. Damn, but he tasted better than oxygen, and he said the nicest things...

"Don't you usually say that before you kiss the girl?" She responded, raising an eyebrow at him. "But pretenses aside, the feeling is mutual."

Without considering the rightness of it, she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down to her eye level. "I love you Jax. I don't know when it happened, but I could quickly become an addict." Alina said, giving him another quick kiss.
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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:39 am

Imperial Palace

"W-what?" Snow looked at her baffled. Then he shook his head. "I don't live with my parents anymore, in case you hadn't noticed." He took another drag on the cigarette, exhaling grey smoke and then crushed the butt under his heel.

"Tony probably fired me by now, so technically, I don't really have a place to stay," he said with a light grin. He kissed her temple and pulled her closer.

"Oh forget the bike, it was no good anyways. I like building them myself better and yours is still with Roy. That's the one that counts," he added dismissively. "We can stop by them first."
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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:18 am

The sun was beginning to set on the capital as the group drew closer to each other at the edge of the stairs. There would plently of clean up and restoration, plenty of restructuring, and plenty of healing to be done in the future, but for now they'd earned some rest.

"I guess this is it then," Rise said quietly as they all stood together. "Aegis is officially disbanded."

Jax nodded, but smiled regardless as he put an arm around Alina.

"We may separate, but that doesn't mean we'll always be apart. We're still friends, right? This doesn't change anything."

"Yeah, you're right," she answered, beaming as everyone crowded around to say goodbyes. Some would need to stay behind at the capital to restructure things. But as for Alex, Rise, James, Lisa, Keynes, and Kokonoe, it was time to head back to the university. Tears and waves proceeded that familiar distortion as they moved through space, reaching the familiar grounds where everything had begun. It made for a satisfying end to the journey.

But things weren't ending here. Not really. The whole struggle was only the opening for everything yet to come - and this time, they could all look forward to what the future had in store.

Fin

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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:53 am

Epilogue

Taurus Barracks

There were times that Lancar could hardly believe how things had changed. He's been content to merely remain a lieutenant and lead his squad faithfully. Then he'd become an enemy of the state, headed for execution. And now...

He stared out the window of his office, suverying the training grounds where his squad had assembled what seemed like ages ago. Well, his former squad, that was. Now that he was captain of Taurus, he had no official ties to any particular squad. He was assured that Squad 34 was in capable hands, however. Even if Daemond hadn't believed it on his first mission, he'd shown commendable leadership abilities, and they were really shining through now, especially with taking Mitchell under his wing. He even managed to take time to visit Cash and Carrie in the Army prison, attempting to rehabilitate them. Whether that was a lost cause or not... well, Lancar wasn't going to make a call on that.

As for Sasha, she was furious at him for turning down the invitation from Commander - that is, High General Grey - to become Commander of Terra Firma. But Lancar's ambitions weren't so lofty, and he was more than happy to take the post Colt had intended for him. It was hard to deny that Sasha was happy to have him stay behind, however, though she'd made a noticeable effort to curb any uncomfortable advances on him with the knowledge that he had affections for another. She seemed to have moved that unhappy burden onto poor Daemond, in any case.

As for the target of those affections... Lancar's gaze shifted to the new painting he had produced, and he smiled affectionately at it. Now that he was finally able to settle his turmoils, internal and external, he could finally come to grips with his feelings. Not that Sasha would have let him get away with it anyway.

"Well, she should be finishing training any minute," Lancar thought, turning back to the window again. He could see her chatting happily with her brother, their relationship renewed and strengthened now, before she headed off into the building. Lancar turned back to the door, jumpy with anticipation, before a tenative knock at the door signaled the arrival of the one he'd been waiting for. The captain stood and smiled, adjusting his glasses as he did so.

"Aera..."

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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:56 pm

Gemnity, Fairwood Cemetery

Eriol Lecarde stood alone in the quiet cemetery, his blonde hair gently swayed by the cool breeze. For what felt like the first time in many years, he was finally standing before his parents' graves, flowers held in his hands. He could look at the headstones and not feel loneliness, bitterness, or hatred eating away at his heart and mind.

"Hello, mother, father," he said quietly, kneeling to place the flowers down in front of the two graves. "It's been quite some time, hasn't it?"

He slowly withdrew his hand and sighed, looking up at the sky, slightly cloudy and tinged with a faint hint of grey.

"I think I've finally come to grips with everything that's happened since you died," Lecarde murmured. "It took a while, but... I understand that I was just taking out my pain on everyone else. It wasn't right. It wasn't the right way to honor your memory."

He turned his gaze down to the tombstones, his eyes soaking in every familiar detail, every weathered bit of stone and the curve of every letter on them.

"So I retired from the Army. It was for the best. They need new vision for the nation... people that everyone can trust. I don't need that power anymore anyway. I want to reach out to others like to me... others in the same position because of what I helped to propagate."

His fingers traced the edge of the stone before dropping to his lap, a smile tracing across his lips.

"The Evan and Marina Children's Home," whispered Lecarde. "I think you'd like it. We're helping so many... not to make the same mistakes as me."

He stood up from the ground, pulling his black coat tighter to him as the wind picked up, whipping his hair across his watery green eyes.

"Goodbye. I hope I can continue to make you proud of me," he told them before turning his back on the graves and walking back to his car to return to the home. The children were waiting.

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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:44 pm

Imperial Palace

Alina's gaze drifted to the door as it opened, revealing a woman holding a stack of papers. Despite the apparent peace of the moment, she couldn't keep herself from jumping at things like the door opening. It was something her journey had ingrained into her existence. She pretended to not have noticed and quickly returned her gaze to the papers on her own desk, but the woman gave her a knowing smile that said she'd noticed Alina's break in attention.

"They're here." She said casually, causing Alina to slide the papers aside and turn fully towards her.

"Send them in."

The woman disappeared from view, and after a moment, three others stepped into the office. Alina's gaze moved from one to the next. Raidon... Snow... Lizzy...

"I'd offer you all a cup of tea, but I'm afraid my schedule doesn't have the room in it to drink it with you." She said, slowly massaging the bridge of her nose with the thumb and pointer finger of her left hand.

"As I'm sure you're all aware, the reorganization of the central government hasn't been an easy task, but it has produced several windows for improvement." He gaze turned to Raidon for a moment. "You wouldn't have your old job back when I offered it to you. So, this is my last attempt at keeping someone as useful as yourself from getting bored in retirement."

"I'm organizing a new branch of the Military Police; Internal Affairs. The three of you are being offered the positions of head coordiantors over the project, and I'd very much appreciate your help with it. If possible, I'd like to have headed up the section myself, but since I have to deal with this..."
She gestured towards the stack of paperwork on her desk. "I find that I need to instead hand it off to a few people I can trust to do a good job with it."

"Although you'll be a branch of the Military Police, your reports will come directly to me. Investigations will be at your discretion, and no one is above them, myself included. Power has a funny way of getting to people's heads. I want this department to be about keeping that from happening."


Alina glanced at her watch, winced, and pushed her chair back to stand up. "If you're interested in the offer, I'll be expecting you in the old Preatorate chambers in three days. Otherwise, I'll assume you had something better to do with your lives than file through stacks of paperwork." With a smile, she nodded to each of them and dismissed herself from the room, grabbing a clipboard on her way into the hall.

Running a government was difficult enough... Reorganizing one that had been in disarray for years? Yeah, good luck with that...
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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:49 pm

Imperial Palace

As Alina made her way down the hall, heels clicking loudly on the marble floor, she failed to notice someone approaching from the opposite direction until he stopped right in front of her.

"You look distracted," Jax said, smiling pleasantly at her. He stood tall and proud in the black uniform of the chief of police, holding the officer's hat in his hand. He seemed slightly uncomfortable in the trim uniform, used to a lot more freedom of movement for his limbs, but it made him look more mature and capable.

"Come on," he said, stealing a glance in both directions before planting a quick kiss on her lips. "Let's get a breath of fresh air for a few minutes."

Taking her by the hand - preventing any expected attempts at escape - he led her down the hallway to the throne room and out onto the balcony overlooking the city. As they stood side by side, he placed an arm around her and held her close, sighing contentedly.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" Jax whispered, his grey eyes taking in the site. "Everything's changed so much since we started reforming things. You can see it everywhere. It's... a world worth living in now."

--------------------

Caltha

Raidon closed the door to the apartment quietly, his mind preoccupied with the meeting that had just taken place. He could hear Arya in the kitchen and felt a smile tug at the corners of his lips.

"I'm back," he told her, entering the room and placing a kiss on her temple. She immediately stopped her work and brought him to the table to find out more about what happened.

"Grey is attempting to organize an Internal Affairs branch to regulate all aspects of the government to keep power in check. It's a good idea, but..."

Raidon's whole purpose from retiring from the government was to keep himself away from the power that had managed to cause so much harm. But admittedly, he was not one to stay idle, and this time away had caused him to become restless. Besides...

"I don't know if I trust myself," he admitted quietly. "But I want to do it. I want to help make a change."

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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:14 pm

Caltha

Arya softly touched his cheek. She could see the doubt in his eyes, but she also knew that retirement was not making him happy. Raidon was too restless for that and sitting around with nothing to do made him impatient.

"I trust you to do it. I believe in you," she said, smiling. "So many things have changed. You have changed so much. You saw firsthand what power can do to people and that is exactly the reason why you are perfect for that position. Alina must know that too."

Arya leaned in and gave him a kiss. Every time she looked at him, it still made her heart sing and now that everything had fallen into place, she felt happier than she had in years.
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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:11 pm

Imperial Palace

Alina almost ran into the man that had stepped into her path, only noticing his shadow behind the clipboard a moment before she collided with his chest. She didn't have to look up to know who it was though. "Jax, I have to be at the ba--!" She tried to protest before he covered her mouth with his own to silence her and pulled her down the hallway.

"Jax!" She squirmed, trying to get her hand back, to no avail. After a few more seconds, she let out an annoyed sigh and resigned herself to being dragged along.

To be honest, she needed the break. The only time she'd allowed herself to slow down today had been for a brief lunch, and she barely remembered what it had even consisted of. With another sigh, she leaned into him, looking out over the landscape.

"Yeah, it is beautiful..." She whispered, enjoying the feeling of looking out over the city and the plains beyond. "But it's also a lot of work to maintain." Alina continued ruefully.

"Well, I'm late for a meeting with the city women's council now, thanks to you." She said, giving him a sour look. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't drag you along with me as punishment..." Despite her apparent annoyance, there was an underlying tone of teasing in her voice. Even now, especially now, Alina Grey wasn't a woman to be trifled with...
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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:05 am

Imperial Palace

Jax smiled at Alina's words as he enjoyed the peaceful moment together. They didn't get those too often, with all the work Alina - both of them, really - had on their plates. But Jax didn't complain; that was one of the things he admired most about this woman he'd come to love. She would never give up any responsibility she felt herself capable of accomplishing for the good of everyone.

"Most good things take work to maintain," he replied, his fingers trailing through the waves of her long, crimson hair. "But that's what makes them worthwhile."

For what felt like a long, soothing moment, they simply stood together and experienced the respite from their work. It couldn't last, however, and Alina 's attention was already shifting back to matters at hand.

"Because if you do, I won't have time to fix up that no-longer-a-surprise dinner I was planning," Jax said, planting a slower, more intimate kiss this time on her lips. "And maybe we can have some time for dessert too."

Before this could go too far - for the opportunity was sorely tempting - he pulled away and grinned at her.

"Besides, if I don't get back to police hq and intervene, Lizzie will probably have beaten - err, trained the policemen till they're too sore to move."

Before she could protest to drag him along, he made a quick exit for the door, but paused in the entrance as he look back at her, standing tall and regal in the throne room, having worked so hard to reach this point.

"I'm really proud of you, you know," Jax told her quietly. "You were born to do this."

With that, he smiled and left her alone to continue her continued restructuring of the government. He knew if anyone could do it, it was Alina Grey.

--------------------

Caltha

The feel of Arya's kiss was enough to warm Raidon's heart. He understood the meaning behind, the faith and confidence behind it. That meant more then he could ever explain to her. The change that had brought him to this point had been painful, but it had all been worth it.

"Thank you," he told her quietly, trying to convey all his gratitude to her in those two words. She'd believed in him. She'd supported him. She'd stayed with him despite everything. And she kept him looking forward to every day with her.

"I love you, Arya," Raidon told her, kissing her softly. "Things keep changing for us, but that much will never change."

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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:48 pm

Caltha

"Nothing will ever part me from you again..." Arya replied and leaned in close, feeling his warmth and the security it gave her.

Just then a bell sounded from the kitchen. "…except maybe dinner," she said with a light smile and walked into the kitchen, only to return a few minutes later, carrying two plates.

She took his hand. "I love you too, Samael."

Later that night, she sat in bed with pen and paper in her lap while Raidon was laying next to her. He probably wasn't sleeping, not while she was up and moving. The pen flew over the paper and soon she had the letter folded in an envelope.

She put her sisters name on it before placing it on the nightstand. Lisa. Her beloved sister. Even though she saw her more often than before, it still felt like it wasn't often enough.

Now she was ready to go to sleep and laid down, moving close to Raidon. Placing one hand on his chest, she closed her eyes with a smile on her face.
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PostSubject: Re: Genesis Crisis IC   Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:15 pm

Westbank Hospital

9 months later

Kokonoe lay still and pale against the crisp white sheets of the hospital room, her eyes staring weakly off to the side. Keynes sat at her side, holding her hand gently as he gazed at her with a tender expression. She murmured word weakly, but he was unable to catch them and leaned closer.

"Childbirth is a b*tch," she grunted, turning her face away. "Don't touch me. You put me through this, you beast."

"I thought you guys were planning to take things slowly," Rise said from the corner of the room, holding flowers and watching the two with amusement. Kokonoe snorted and folded her arms.

"Yeah, well, I have needs too," the researcher admitted grudgingly. From the doorway, having just entered with Alina, Jax groaned.

"I really didn't need to hear that," he said, shaking his head. Rise giggled and turned her attention back to the couple.

"So, a girl, huh?" she said happily, seeing Keynes and Kokonoe together like this. "What are you going to name her?"

[Payne, you can have the nurse bring the baby back in and give it to Kokonoe in your post.]

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