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There was stillness. There was solitude. There was peace. There was her. In the dark penumbrae of the night, a singular body moved in rhythmic motions that echoed its melody to her surroundings. Angel had traveled out far into the near inhabited wilderness, where neither civilization nor trees dared stand. There was nothing but the grass beneath her feet, and star filled sky way up above. That’s how it likely was, and that’s how she imagined it. Her energy concealing outfit effectively rendered her energy unable to resonate with her surroundings in matter that would grant her a form of situational awareness or mental picture of her vicinity. In such a circumstance she had to rely on sound to tell what was what. Of course the very fine details like the color of the grass, the brightness of a star, or whether a shooting spar happened by would all be ignored to no fault of her own. But even in such overwhelming solitude where her blindness revealed its overarching power, she still found beauty.
A shimmering silvery white light, with the barest hint of a blue hue had materialized into her hands as the reishi made a violin, and a violin bow. The woman had never played it, but she had countless digital libraries downloaded into her primary programming on just how to do that. Their melody was sublime and rich, and the songs that featured them had always been among her favorite ones. Little did she know that Quincy energy and technology, especially that given by the then Sternritter Grandmaster Sofia had been used by the two scientists in her creation. For the time being she played, allowing sound to drown her surroundings to project a sort of mental image so she could see a bit better. It didn’t take long but the strokes on the violin were soon altered when the latter one was made to disappear, and the bow swung around as blade would. The reaction caused a smile on her expression for a second or so before the surge in energy alerted her to the meeting at hand.
”By the nature and heft of your energy that must be you, Stefan. My name is Angel, and I’m a Shinigami Doll.”
The violin bow had been made to disappear as well as she focused her attention on the likely coming guest. The woman had reached out to him specifically due to the likely outdated nature of his data file. Beyond her name and her race, there wasn’t much he likely knew about her, though the girl had countless of old files on him. Prior to the meeting she did make sure to let him know of her position of Lead Researcher in charge of the Vanguard’s Combine. She wasn’t sure if he knew what Shinigami Dolls were, but it was for certain he had never heard of a living one, let alone met one, until now. The process of creating one was extremely complicated and required a level of technology and intellect the likes of Urahara and Mayuri. More importantly, very few would ever want to as it required sacrificing the body and the zanpakuto to transplant to the soul into a mechanical housing.
Due to very specific complications with her creation, the memories of the girl, if there were any to begin with had all been lost in the process. She didn’t know if she was a living being before, or whether she was just an android made from scratch. That was one of the biggest questions she was still yet to answer despite her brilliance. Nonetheless she continued to get closer to understand the meaning of her existence and try and find value in her own identity. That aside, Stefan could prove to be essential in more than she cared to admit. Her files indicated he knew of of her two makers, Tsubasa. He had made her jointly with another scientist that had vanished and whose identity she did not know. Perhaps through Stefan she could get closer to finding out who that scientist was, and what it meant for her. As for Tsubasa, he had said what he could, and trained her how he could after her creation before he too disappeared. But as she began to walk her own path and align her goals and aspirations with the needs of the world, Angel learned to balance her priorities with that of the Vanguard. And for the time being, Stefan was a priority.
Joined : 2011-06-30 Posts : 2241 Karma : 2 Age : 25
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Subject Post 2Subject: Re: The Forging [Stefan] Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:00 pm
For the last year Stefan Soan, ex-Head Commander of the Monsuta and infamous warrior with a long path of destruction behind him, had nothing but time on his hands. Ever since he left the organization once called home by the man, there wasn't much for him to do. Or, at least, not much he was interested in doing. The battles between humans and demons across Earth had grown boring to the Vizard, as neither side made any progress and the world stayed deadlocked. Even the Monsuta ended up joining this never-ending wearisome conflict as his successor decided to turn the group into an antagonistic terrorist group. The globe had become little more than a platform for a bunch of careless elephants to stop around on, regardless of what got squashed. Still, even this didn't really interest Stefan.
In truth, the legendary swordsman wasn't sure what to do. Battle for the sake of battle could no longer provide enough entertainment for the man, and could no longer distract him from his own issues. Usually when he was looked up, people didn't figure him to be the type to have personal problems. Nay, he was seen as a stalwart warrior who's only problem at any given time was not being in a good fight. Now though, years after first becoming a major player in the world, his mind was focused on whatever legacy he would leave behind. In the past Stefan's legacy was his very name, and the idea that he'd be remembered for his power and skill. More recently, he wanted to help others grow and reach their own potential. Neither seemed to truly matter in this dreadful, lackluster world. Truly, the world cared for naught but whatever war was currently taking place. Anything and anyone else could just get stepped on for all it cared.
It was perhaps due to all of this, particularly the reality of Earth's conflicts, which prevented Stefan from being surprised when an officer of the Vanguard reached out to him. Though not exactly Shadin Yuudeshi, his intelligence was nothing to scoff at, particularly his intuition. After all, he successfully led a major organization for years. Stefan figured this Combine researcher was either bait for a trap, or was a way for the Vanguard to figure out how he aligned himself. To them, his strength merely meant he was either a useful ally or a terrible foe. Either way, it was necessary information for them to obtain.
Having little to no trouble reaching the designated rendezvous point, Stefan showed up on time and without his Reiatsu restricted much. After all, if it was a trap then they already knew he was coming. Standing alone, Angel's presence was immediately noticed by Stefan who in turn wasted no time in walking up and getting close enough for them to communicate without needing to yell. The sound of grass being flattened beneath his worn brown boots was all that stirred the atmosphere. That is, until the woman greeted him. Naturally Stefan honed in on her particularities, and while he was able to discern what she was, it didn't matter. He wasn't the type to judge based on race or species. After waving his hand in a manner meant to dissuade pleasantries, Stefan quickly got down to business. "Aye. Now that we know each other's names, maybe you can tell me why exactly the Vanguard has me out in the middle of nowhere for a meet 'n greet." His imposing figure stood tall against the dark of the night, though evidently without aggression or malice. Whatever her response, Stefan Soan wasn't out here just to pick a fight.
Subject Post 3Subject: Re: The Forging [Stefan] Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:07 am
The Mechanical Guardian
It dawned on her then that perhaps he had misunderstood the nature of their meeting, though to be fair, it wasn’t his fault. The man certainly had a track record few could compare to, and even fewer would desire. But his most recent actions, or rather lack thereof had set the stage for some to wonder just where his allegiances laid, if anywhere at all. He was without a doubt an asset to any group or organization he allied himself with, and a dangerous enemy to any who crossed in his path. But for the time being, the Vanguard had taken no official steps to recruit him or sway him to their ways; Angel had.
“I understand you might have understood the meeting meant the Vanguard required your assistance. They do not. However, I could use your help, and frankly, you could use mine too.”
It was a bold statement but one that made sense to her, and perhaps to him as well if he was willing to listen. The Doll was an expert in forms of reasoning that required logic and in pragmatic decisions that relied on fact, on probability, and on hard numbers. Of course, that was neither here nor there at the current time, so she could only hope he followed along. It was true that just about any organization worth their salt would want a power such as his within their ranks. The girl didn’t find it likely he’d turn to a place like K-World or Shadow Fall anytime soon; at least she couldn’t factor for it as any of the most probably outcomes. The more likely scenario was that he’d simply stay out of everyone’s way, pursuing the goals that more closely aligned to the ideals he possessed today, though there was more.
“It’s no secret that your track record makes you both an asset or a liability anywhere you go. We both know that.”
With a pause, her katana would glow before breaking down into a unique golden reishi and disappearing from sight. If things went her way, then by all means she’d have the chance to push her skill with the blade against his. But for the time being, words were as important as steel, and under these circumstances, they could be sharper too. The golden glow was replaced by a more nature baby blue energy more typical to standard reishi, providing a visible link towards her head. Right next to Stefan, a chair of a spongy white material would construct itself, as it would behind Angel. Just because they were out in the wild didn’t mean they couldn’t be comfortable. And while the man could certainly choose to stay standing, he’d definitely be missing out if he did. If he sat, he’d find the odd material of the chair accommodated to the nature posture and shape of his body, creating the most ergonomic and comfortable of designs.
“The Vanguard isn’t ready to open their arms so readily. But like with children, one ought to crawl and walk before one can run. I’m in charge of creating a number of androids and technology for the organization as to minimize the loss of life. We’ve made great progress, and with help from Radioactive the newest models have shown great promise in their ability to ward off damage and inflict it.”
After the she was done speaking, the same material that created their chairs would rise up from the ground, creating a large holographic screen that though see-through, possessed very visible blue outlines and info of the same natural hue. On the screens he’d be able to see the decrease in casualties ever since her droids were started. He’d see an increase in the popular belief and trust in the organization and the work they did. What’s more, she had created a sort of infographic that accounted for his potential involvement with them. If he was to affiliate with them, morale within the soon to be merged organization would skyrocket. He could also be instrumental in helping the droids become even better at doing what they did: keep people living. The screens would soon after disappear as she leaned forth, ready to lay out the proposition.
“Human life is always afraid of change, most often due to the uncertainty and the unbearably unpredictable nature it possesses. However, let them know you’re making your own change, and walking your own path. Let them see you for who you’re trying to become, and have them welcome you for who you’ve chosen to be. Help me, and let me help you too.”
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Subject Post 4Subject: Re: The Forging [Stefan] Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:09 am
Without outwardly showing it, Stefan inwardly cringed at the idea of needing this woman's help. This was an individual who had fought to the death more than most could even imagine, reaching the brink against all odds and then surpassing his limits each time. At no point had he ever needed anyone else's help, much less desired such a thing. Her next statement wouldn't be so lucky as the prior one as he clearly frowned when she called him an asset and liability. Asset implied he would go out of his way to help any kind of organization, while calling him a liability was a claim he just couldn't agree with. The idea his presence would somehow disadvantage those he worked with didn't seem based in reality. Every time he fought or worked towards a goal, it certainly wasn't disadvantage he or his allies experienced. Either this woman lacked information, or was making assumptions and extrapolations polar opposite to the truth.
Not even bothering to acknowledge the seat Angel had made for him, feeling plenty comfortable standing up, Stefan's emerald gaze remained trained on the Shinigami Doll now seated on a chair as artificial as herself. As she continued speaking and summoned fanciful futuristic screens to display various figures and statistics, Stefan couldn't help but think about how simple life used to be for him. In the morning he would dress and work out, afternoons were dedicated to training, and evenings would be filled to the brim with life or death battle against behemoths of all races and creeds. When had things become so needlessly complicated? Perhaps leading the Monsuta for as long as he did made him believe there was something more to life. Yet time and again it was made clear there was nothing besides conflict and battle, with adaptation and evolution being the only logical goals and results to strive toward. Paperwork and alliances and midnight meetings were all just nonsense compared to one simple reality: What mattered was the long line of fallen opponents Stefan had left defeated and bleeding. Colin. James. Moonie. Austin. Dozens of more, all brought down by his blade. All responsible for his own growth.
"Walking my own path?" For just a second Stefan wanted to convey an image of understanding and thoughtfulness, fingers curling around his chin as if to show real consideration. Just as quick as this facade formed, it disappeared. Replaced by clear annoyance almost instantly. "I've only ever walked my own path. What would you know of change? Of nature? You speak of androids and a society never fearing real conflict. A bubble to protect the masses. That's the future you envision for yourself, for humanity? Pathetic." As the legendary swordsman spoke, his Spiritual Pressure continued to rise and cloak the surroundings for over a mile in an oceanic weight. "Hiding people from war and conflict breeds weakness. What happens if your little androids fail? Or the rest of your technology? All it would take is one [b]me[/i] to slaughter your defenses. And then your populace, weak and afraid, gets snuffed out instantly. Comfort is the enemy of progress, and just like these chairs of yours, is what you preach and hand out."
Now visibly irritated, though not out of control, Stefan's Reiatsu remained steady at a level heavy enough to cause nearby boulders and trees to crack and crumble beneath it. Having long since lost any fear of the unknown, whether this truly was a trap or not, or if his presence may draw out other dangerous individuals, mattered little. The entire might of the Vanguard could be hiding in the shadows and it wouldn't bother Stefan in the slightest. For this reason, he didn't feel it necessary to lower his Spiritual Pressure or remain entirely calm.
"You want to talk about safety and morale? Get real. The only truth in this world is power rules. Your little robots don't protect anything. People like Radioactive do. Until you realize that, your tinkering will accomplish nothing of note. Enjoy your statistics while they last."
Subject Post 5Subject: Re: The Forging [Stefan] Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:20 am
The Mechanical Guardian
She had expected something different. Despite what everyone else said, she thought there was something to the man that could prove them wrong. But in the end, it seemed as though the rumors about Stefan were true; he was a joke. At the very least it wasn’t one of those that simply left a weird look on your expression, as if waiting for a punchline that never came. No, his reaction and his behavior were one that actually brought a smile to her face. He was a joke of the best kinds. As he started to talk, she’d remove the blindfold from her eyes. There was no real reason as to why she did this, after all, its not like she could see him better either way. Still, this was one of the few times she truly wished she could. The concept of wasted potential seemed to fit him perfectly, but she would wait for him to finish before she could deliver her own retort.
“You only walked your own path? Is that the path of failure? That seems to be one of the hallmarks of your life. I mean, you’ve done what, excel in your skill with the blade? Remarkable. But even more remarkable is how much of a failure you’ve been at everything else you’ve attempted. The Monsuta, their goals, your legacy… they’re all shitstains people won’t remember when you're gone.”
There were no pulled punches, but she was just getting started. Although the way she talked to him wasn’t typically Angel’s way of handling things, it certainly was Crystal’s. Even the former Captain of the Gotei’s R&D wasn’t known to lash out verbally in such a way, but when she did… In any case, she really did believe everything she had said, and everything she would say. After all, even before calling for the meeting she had been warned to see the hopelessness in her attempt. They said the man was a lost case. He had led a terrorist organization that had plummeted into nothing. At different times he had tried to claim to reform them. And know it seemed like he wanted to change the embarrassment of a life he had led thus far, but it was far too late. His skill with the blade would outlive him, but so would a life devoid of nothing but shame, embarrassment, and a legacy that lacked anything else worth remembering.
Out of the people in the Vanguard, Angel had been the one to give him the benefit of the doubt. Even her colleagues had not taken the first step into trying a more helpful and positive aspect of whatever path he was tripping over this time; but she was wrong. He had lost his chance with the Vanguard. His reaction was a clear indication of how much of a waste of time he was. He was so clueless and so ignorant, but it was to understand from someone like him. He understood and cared for so little, and it was better that way. This world wasn’t his, and it would certainly be better for it without him. He should certainly count himself lucky if he ever had a handful of people miss him. Though it was difficult to imagine anyone would save for the one skill he possessed. Not the skill to screw things up and fail at just about everything he did, the blade one.
“At this point I don’t know whether to laugh or show concern,” said the girl with an obvious smile still lingering on her expression. As she got up from her chair, the screen and the chairs would dematerialize. There was no need to waste more time and effort on something like him. “My droids protect people, because not everyone is a warrior, and not everyone should be. Radioactive understand this; he understands me. We all understand the need to find any means to help create better warriors for war while protecting the innocent so they don’t have to go into it. Then again, comparing him to you would be like comparing an apple to a piece of turd. You’re not even in the same wavelength. Even with this machine body, I’m more human than you’ll ever be. And even with only a Human soul and a Human brain, I’ll understand far more than you’ll ever be capable of. I’m not sorry for you, you don't deserve that, but I hope you find whatever it is you’re looking for.”
With that, Angel would wave her hand, creating a circular sphere of golden reishi over it. Right before her, a glass like mirror made of her energy created what was a doorway from her location to her lab. The technology there and in her shell had been modified to be far more efficient than the last time Radioactive had seen its capabilities. It would take only a step to be away from the humorous but unfortunate charade she had walked into. From behind a rock, the teddy bear Ted walked out, probably to go with Angel back to the Vanguard’s bunker. The droid had on his hands a small cellular device where he had been uploading a number of pictures he had taken a few days prior when meeting a rather interesting blonde Shinigami. Instagram was a hell of a thing.
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Subject Post 6Subject: Re: The Forging [Stefan] Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:47 pm
The act of removing her blindfold was irrelevant to Stefan. Her blindness to the reality of the world couldn't be cured to easily. To someone with a frail ego perhaps her striking words would've had impact, but for a man who had fought in more words than one could count on their hands they were just that: words. He'd been called worse than a failure throughout the years. Usually those who fell to his blade had other obscenities in store for him, but largely all those he battled against had their own little rants to go on. This individual was no different. Still, it did show apparently his own words had struck a nerve with Angel. Evidently she wasn't any different from her non-artificial peers, able to talk a big game but still vulnerable to the effects of mere words. This wasn't a fact that bothered Stefan either. It didn't mean she was somehow lesser in any way, just meant she was more of the same to him.
Angel's attempted verbal attacks would garner no reaction from Stefan Soan. Responding to verbal attacks was well beneath him. There was no question he was dealing with figuring out what he wanted his legacy to be. But the idea of him being a failure or sensitive about his past was ridiculous and not based in reality. Stefan knew of his accomplishments and capabilities well enough that the uninformed opinions of this artificial Shinigami would not bother him in the slightest. Still clearly a bit green, her lack of real experience outside a laboratory was clear to him. This entire interaction reeked of childishness. Her continued verbal assault proved as much. As a man who had actually clashed with Radioactive, even for as short a time as he had, and one who was widely considered at the same level of the sharkman, her statements about both of them were a joke to him.
Her declaration of him being less than human elicited a short laugh from the infamous swordsman. If being human meant forcing others to jump in the way of bullets for you, then human was definitely not what he sought to be. "Get some real experience that doesn't involve numbers and a lab coat and then you'll see I'm right. This world ain't about lame ass machines, it's about what people can do for themselves. Don't worry though, the second your army of tonka toys have to deal with a real threat I'm sure you'll take the stick out your ass and see reality for what it is." As the woman turned to walk away Stefan spoke once more, this time responding with a dig of his own. "Besides, I'd rather be a failure than a quitter like you." At this point he merely waved her off, indicating a lack of interest in her leaving. There was one takeaway Stefan had from this abrupt meeting: Unlike the Monsuta which was malleable and could change with leadership, it was clear the Vanguard was the same as ever.