A Tiny, Little Cemetery
Click to go to bottom
The cemetery Akia would find herself in was one that seemed to be somewhat far away from any public areas in Tokyo. It almost seemed to be forgotten to some degree as the gate that held its entrance was obviously rusted and old just from looking at it.
This place was actually well know for being haunted according to rumors, especially with some odd incidents coming to service. There was talk of ghosts being spotted of distant relatives and voices being heard in the night. There was even recent reports of the ground itself attempting to swallow people whole as some form of the dead lashing out against the living.
Regardless, Akia and anyone who followed her would find themselves walking around a set of many graves, all bundled together. The area itself also seemed to contain some overgrown trees that seemed to surround the whole cemetery with a small forest, keeping anyone from seeing what was happening inside without entering themselves.
Akia sighs slightly while staring at her [Stand], she can only wonder why the hell she chose to come to this place. If this person wants to fight, then she's fairly sure it's the worst possible area to fight them in.
Even so, she keeps on walking forward while the psychic manifestation vanishes for now. Cybernetic eyes glowing just slightly to check the infrared spectrum, along with compensating for any low light.
She moves quietly for the moment as well, doing so with practiced ease and a casual air about her despite the concerns growing in the back of her mind at what might be planned by this seeming [Stand User].
At her current location her infrared sight would pick up two figures. One figure...actually seemed to be positioned slightly above her just a little up ahead but there would also be another signal even further ahead, around 20-50 feet away. Otherwise, the area seemed fairly empty, almost too empty.
If they moved further ahead they'd begin to see something strange. A large metal cube seemed to rest on the path. On top of it was a man standing with an annoyed expression.
Strange Man: "Where are they? According to my watch they were supposed to have arrived 5 minutes ago already? Was this a waste of time after all, dammit!"
The man in question would have an odd look to them. Their hair had an odd balance to it, being shaved down until it was both incredibly short and perfectly straight. They wore a rather professional looking suit that was oddly spotless for being in a unkempt cemetery such as this.
Their watch too was perfectly on time as if it was constantly adjusted to make sure it matched the exact time that it was.
The young woman eyes him curiously, walking up to this guy could be a horrible mistake on her part. And this cube he's standing on... All of it screams trap, part of her wants to just walk away from the place while she's still hidden. Could pull it off.
But her curious nature keeps her walking forward despite the amazingly foolish nature of it, her legs having shifted into a mechanical form by now that's hidden below the jeans and boots she's wearing. Her voice calls out while eyeing the man and his cube.
"If it's me you were hoping to see, no not a waste of time. Otherwise sorry to say I've got no clue... You are the one who asked me to come out here though, right?"
Her arms are crossed over each other while absently blowing some hair from her face. The tone used is one of wary interest.
"Strange place to meet, but maybe not given you use the dead somehow."
The man would look at her with both a pleasant and confused surprise. It was clear he wasn't used to things not working out.
He'd make sure his short black hair was neat before speaking.
Mysterious Man: "Huh, what'd that about the dead and a meeting? Is that what you're out here for? Doesn't matter, just means I have more interrogations to do after I'm done with you.
Heh, I knew following a random stand user would be worthwhile. The boss will definitely decide that I'm worthy of being his number 2 now!"
Several small metallic entities would seem to appear from thin air around the man's feat before darting off and out of site.
Mysterious Man: "[ Tiny Little Robots ]!"
Some of the trees in the area would suddenly seem to change to a more metallic material before a set of odd roots would dig their way out of the ground and attempt to ensnare Akia before she had the chance to react. They had a mechanical strength to them not dissimilar to Akia's own cybernetics.
Mysterious Man: "Struggling will just mean I have to hurt you more. Do comply because I hate when things don't go according to plan."
Tsk, so this guy turns other things into machines huh... They can indeed strike before Akia is able to react. [I Am Machine] however is far faster and more observant than its master, the woman and Stand's arms quickly shift into their own metaltic form as Akia is quickly pushed out of the way.
"Damn, the wrong one huh... What a pain, but I can't say that I'll just give up and die or anything man. This isn't quite my first brawl."
Being pushed back by her Stand did let the young woman evade, but it doesn't exactly help her get on the offensive given her limited range. Machine's guns blaze away by launching quick bursts of stand energy towards the foe with mild accuracy, but they're not exactly as deadly or efficient as simply attacking in melee. She can't keep this up forever, and thus a pair of small barely visible cables begin rushing through the ground from her Stand's legs as well.
"This boss sounds like someone I wanna know about though, maybe I won't hurt ya too much after we're done if you feel like talking with me."
The cube from before would quickly make a strange noise before seeming to come to life itself. A thick metal sheet would swing from it's side in an attempt to block the bullets but one would still get by, leaving a cut on the side of the man's face.
He'd quickly wipe on hand over his face and look at the blood. A twisted rage would be seen forming in his eyes. A rage that perhaps was unlike anything Akia had seen yet. His eyes were beyond that of a killer but of someone who wouldn't even hesitate to throw someone's life away.
Mysterious Man: "How dare you, you little shit! I was gonna let you live but forget that! I don't care if you know where the Mad World is or not! I'll kill you until there's nothing left of you but a piss stain!
[ Tiny Little Robots ]! Tear them apart! We have no use for some organic piece of trash!"
The speed at which the man turned to rage almost seemed astonishing as the tree roots from before seemed to move at a violent pace, whipping back and forth. A tree would burst forth from out of the ground behind Akia. It now seemed to have several metal root-like legs to allow it to move around and several arms with what appeared to be chainsaws on the end.
It would suddenly charge at the girl from behind, swinging it's arms at her with no regards for its surroundings.
Meanwhile the metal cube seemed to grow a set of robotic stick like legs of its own, elevating it off the ground. Several gun mounted turrets seemed to already be installed on the front of it firing a volley of shots that seemed more aimed to take her life than anything else.
The man didn't even seem to acknowledge her last statement given his rage.
Organic trash... Okay first off calling organics trash is fucking rude, not to mention only mildly accurate on the organic part considering only her head remains unchanged by now. No time to waste on bantering with this lunatic though.
Her body isn't as strong as her Stand, but it is still made of inhuman effective cybernetics now. Tough enough that the chainsaws smashing into her chest for a moment doesn't break through, fast enough that she's able to rush away after that by moving towards him alongside I Am Machine.
The Stand is forced to spend some time blocking bullets by tearing them out of the air, it can't get everything of course but between that and making sure the shots only hit their metal parts the pair are able to survive with only minor damage for now.
As for the two wires sent outward, they'd have reached their target by now. Namely each one is tipped by a small point at the end, not able to do much on most targets... But if either one managed to reach the goal of stabbing into their enemy's eyeballs he'd find whatever eye or eyes got hit suddenly ripped to shreds by the tiny spear on cords that's silently tried to rush up his cube through the shadows.
"This guy's crazy, but I've got a blueprint for victory."
So she says with a smirk on her face, but in truth the woman's wondering if she can actually back that up for much longer. He's fairly sure to notice her lack of metal on the head soon enough, and if she's hit there... Well, best not think on it.
Akia might notice something zooming across the ground they were fighting on. Whatever they were they were fast and hard to even make out, let alone catch. They'd run around where the cables were as they extended up to where the man was on top of the cube and straight to where the tree-like robot was.
Most of them seemed to quickly dig into the robot's trunk before a strange change seemed to take place within the machine. It's arms would fall off and quickly be replaced with a new set of more mechanical looking arms, no longer having the coloration of the trees nearby.
Tesla rods would be lit up with vibrant pulses of electricity at the end. The tree robot's roots would fall off as well being replaced with new wheel like legs that were once more, more mechanical than like that of a tree.
This was all happening behind Akia so its unknown whether she was paying attention to this over the Man's actions given the guns pointed at her on the large metal cube.
The man would look at the cables as they reached towards him.
Mysterious man: "W-what are these cables? Are they g-going to aim for my eyes?!? H-hold on, maybe we could talk this out after all!!!"
She's not paying attention behind her, doesn't have time for it right now... But something seems to be up here, this guy was so pissed off a moment ago but he's quitting now? Unlikely, they try to move in a bit closer but rather than spending time on stabbing in the spear points explode in a spray of flame and metal. It's a waste of energy compared to a direct hit, but it does hopefully give her time to move the cables back.
"Somehow I don't think you really want to talk, not after that rant."
She hopes that he's distracted, and that he didn't have any tricks ready to deal with those explosives or cables moving slightly closer. Either way though, the young woman chooses to try and get a better look at whatever the other signal in this place is.
Could be another foe in which case she needs to know where they are, might be a normal person who needs to run, or maybe against all odds it's someone who can help. Either way, she rushes away and holds her Stand ready to try and deflect attacks aimed at them for the moment.
Akia would find that...the cables didn't do as she commanded. They almost seemed to stand still for a moment as if disconnected. If she looked down she'd see the reason why. The cabled had been cut by something sharp or...not necessarily sharp. The cut was far too clean like something has simply erased the point connecting the cables to her cybernetics.
"Well, you aren't a complete idiot then but it's too late for regrets now. You're cables have been separated from your stand meaning they're now just a piece of metal! Hahahaha!
Tiny Little Robots! Strangle them with their own cables!"
The cube seemed to raise off the ground higher as if to give the man a better view of the situation and creating quite a bit of space between him and the ground. Two of the small robot-like stands would jump into the cables as they began to shift in form. Specifically the end that was cut off would be replaced with a serpentine mechanical head.
They'd begin slivering as they crawled to each of Akia's sides getting read to try and latch onto her. From behind as well the tree-like robot would begin moving forward, it's Tesla rod arms held in front of it to try and electrocute the girl once it was close enough.
Mysterious Man: "No where to run to now! Any chance you had to do so is now 0%! Either avoid my wire snakes and be electrocuted or let them strangle you! At least I'm letting you choose how you die! Hahahahaha!"
Ahead Akia would be able to vaguely make out the figure of another person. Based on their stance they seemed as though they were waiting. Something strange would emerge in her imaging as well though. It didn't seem to give off the same signal as a living thing and it only appeared for a moment. It seemed to be some kind of floating figure telling the humanoid figure something.
A younger looking man would be waiting behind a large statue of some kind. There was only one entrance to the cemetery and only one path through it. He knew he'd be able to tell the direction through which the one he was waiting for was walking as well and would rather keep himself hidden. Yet, it seemed as though it had been a while since he had sent out his first scout to tell them to meet him here.
A strange ghostly figure of a woman would suddenly appear before him. She spoke in an overly familiar tone, almost as if speaking to a family member rather than anything else.
Ghostly Woman: "Koji...A member of Oars' group seems to have snuck into the park...They seem to be attacking the one our scout asked to come..."
The man spent a moment thinking, his expression seemed to show worry but a certain detachment as well. He'd take a moment before replying to her.
Koji: "Keep an eye on the situation for now. If they die that's unfortunate but I can't afford to come out of hiding. The less Oars' group know about me the better. If the situation arises though I'll preserve their life since it seems that at very least they're not after Oars but...
This is all still too risky...
Nobody can know the location of The Mad World..."
The ghostly woman would once again vanish as the man waited.
Well, this could be going better than it is. To think he cut away those cables so easily... There is one option here, but it isn't a good option at all. Her Stand quickly shifts both of the cybernetic arms, no longer being guns but rather some sort of fluid launcher on one and a large blade on the other.
"I pick option three."
Option three involves jets of water rushing out at the robot behind her, from the woman's own cybernetic arm and covering the entire thing in an instant and if she's correct causing its own power to fly out of control and electrocute everything nearby. Itself included.
Then you have the wire snakes. Her Stand is sent forth to deal with that as she turns around regardless of how this little trick worked against the other enemy. Its blade arm blurring through the air with an astonishing speed, aiming to slice the heads clean off these wire snakes.
Of course she needs to get a clean shot in on the user, that's the only way to end this damn fight rather than being worn down bit by bit and wearing herself out till she just collapses unable to fight any longer. Not to mention the uncertain results of this tactic...
The tree-shaped robot might halt for a moment but otherwise it seemed unaffected by the attempt to short-circuit it. Now, as well, there's a puddle of water trailing around it as it moves carrying it's electric current with it. It'd rush at Akia now that it was in range to reach her. Attempting to get her close enough to it's Tesla Rods to deliver a staggering shock.
As for the wire snakes they were indeed made in haste with only simply commands in mind. Their head would be severed causing them to lifelessly fall to the ground. The tiny stands would seem to struggle to climb out of the cables, allowing them to be seen for a moment.
Their appearance was metallic in nature with beady yellow eyes and mouths that constantly showed disappointment. Their hands as well seemed to be made of small wire cutter like appendages with small nozzles that seemed to spray a fluid of some kind.
The turrets on the metal cube the man was riding seemed to begin heating up once more. Any moment now they'd be ready to fire as the man frowned.
Mysterious Man: "You're not making this easier for yourself. Regardless of what you do or how many robots you destroy my Tiny Little Robots will simply build more and more. Look around you, we're surrounded by fresh material for me to use with all this junk lying around.
How long do you think you can really last with such a simple stand?"
How long can she hold out indeed... It is a simple Stand to be sure, but that's fine in this case. She's got an idea, and it isn't a good idea maybe. But it'll have to do, the cybernetic eyes begin calculating something with rapid speed.
"Yeah, this is kind of a pain for me. That's why I tried to kill you right off the bat and all, good trick avoiding it though man."
This move is a gamble, it's all or nothing really. Her Stand tosses the young woman up into the air with inhuman strength and speed, easily flying up high enough to be on the level with his cube in an instant. That'd hopefully dodge the robot on the ground, but of course leave her wide up to his gunfire if her next move fails.
The left arm's been replaced with a grappling hook, more like a harpoon gun on a very thick cable really. It shoots for him with incredible speed and aims to pull the man towards her if it makes contact. If that happened, her Stand would quickly begin unleashing a scary fast and strong flurry of blows into his chest that sends him crashing down to earth.
"The thing about simple Stands however, they tend to be real nasty when they have a clear shot."
The man had been laughing up until this point. He thought he had won but he grew careless as the cube he was on rose higher and higher, simulating his feeling of being on top. He at first watched in confusion as she was thrown into the air.
He'd only have a moment to react as he tried to order the robot he was standing on to descend but it was too late as the grappling hook pierced through his arm. He'd look stunned for moment as he was pulled into the air.
Mysterious Man: "W-what? But I was winning?!? This isn't according to plan!"
The flurry of blows would hit him like a truck as his body was contorted and twisted in pain finally ending with him being shot towards the ground. The tree robot would begin to shift right as he hit the ground reverting back into a tree as it was before and the strange metal cube oddly changed into what appeared to be a small broken cellphone.
The man would lie on the pavement having made a small crater in it. For a moment he seemed unconscious before his stand seemed to activate once more. However, it seemed that his stands number was greatly reduced. They'd quickly section of the pavement he was on before propellers seemed to form in the four corners around him.
Mystery Man: "I'll...l-leave for today...but I won't forget...this..."
Akia would find the man's arm still stuck to her grappling hook, ripped off as he began to fly away in his makeshift helicopter.
Her Stand Rush ends with a joyful shout of USHOOOOO! She chuckles upon seeing him start to pass out, but quickly shifts to a groan upon seeing him flee away in a helicopter.
"Told you I had a blueprint for victory man, though it did take a little bit. I needed you underestimating me, however it's too bad you lived because that won't happen again now."
She puts on a wry face with one arm crossed and a finger pointed directly at the fleeing copter. The truth is she just wasn't doing great right at the start, let him dictate terms of engagement too much. But acting like being pushed into a corner was all part of her plan is far more amusing.
The Stand vanishes, but after this little showing she doesn't dismiss her obviously inhuman body even while starting to walk towards the other signal if they're still around. She really hopes it's that ghost summoning stand user, and that they're not a foe. But best to just stay ready considering what happened.
The walk ahead would offer some quiet as Akia moved forward. The air would seem to grow more and more still as she got closer. It seemed as though a cold fog seemed to suddenly move in. Within the fog walking with her she would begin to see what looked like people but their figures would be nothing but shadows. She'd start to hear them whisper as they spoke.
Shadows: "A live one...Will they be an evil one..."
The shadows numbers would slowly increase as something larger could be seen up ahead. They'd also seem to grow closer but no so close that their appearance could be discerned. They'd maintain a distance of around 3-4 meters at most.
Shadows: "Will we tear them apart...How will their flesh separate...will their be blood...?"
The shadows seemed to grow more and more restless, never approaching more than a few meters but they'd stop walking and begin reaching their hands out towards Akia. They'd somehow be able to continue following her despite not walking and hints of their facial features showed a hunger of sorts.
They'd groan and moan desperately as she got closer and closer to the large figure, unable to stop moving forward anymore as the fog began pulling her forward regardless of wether she continued to move or not. Finally, all at once...
She'd stop at the statue. The groans and moans would stop as a figure would step out from behind the statue, obscured by the fog.
Koji: "That's close enough...though I'm sure getting that close stopped being your choice a while ago. Don't try anything by the way. That mafia informant might have underestimated you but I won't.
I need to ask you a few questions first. I would rather not take any risks...do you understand?"
This man's voice was clearly more youthful in nature. There was an odd contradiction in how he spoke as well. His tone was straight to the point while also offering something akin to a hint of warmness.
The woman nods to him, this guy seems like he could be very dangerous... But she doesn't exactly want to fight.
"So he was with the mafia huh... No wonder that guy was so unfriendly, do those bastards think they've got some kinda monopoly on Stands now or something?"
She chuckles slightly while keeping her own Stand gone and her hands up, Akia's not looking to pick a fight here.
"Anyway yeah go ahead and ask, I am curious why you called me out here after all. And it's not often I meet any stand users who aren't petty crooks or jackasses, at best."
Despite the ominous presence around them she'd still offer him a smile in return, it'd be a shame to get into some pointless bickering or fight when he seems to want to talk for now.
With a wave of his hand the shadows seemed to fade but the cold fog remained. It seemed he was trying to show the he wasn't looking for a fight either.
Koji: "Seems you know what a stand is. That saves time explaining...now, how exactly did you awaken to such a power?
And furthermore, how much do you actually know about this power that we call stands?"
How did she get it... There's a fun question, she grins widely while going on to explain that one.
"To put a very long story short? My family dragged me along for a vacation to America one time, I've always been into weird rumors and myths kinda... Heard about some weird desert pass, locals called it uh, a 'Devil's Palm' I think?"
She'd utter the phrase 'Devil's Palm' slowly while rubbing the back of her head. Clearly not entirely sure if she's recalling it correctly.
"Anyways, they said the place killed almost all who went through it, and granted the survivors some mysterious powers... Naturally I went!"
The black bodysuit wearing woman with a visor would appear behind her at that point, though clearly making no hostile moves.
"She's the result, [I Am Machine]! No points for guessing why I picked the name. As for what I know about them, not much beyond being mental power's manifestations into a physical form, and that we seem to run into each other eventually."
The man would consider what she said for a moment. He didn't believe she was lying. The Devil's Palm...it was the reason for all of this after all.
The Devil's Palm is actually a section of land that even to this day is full of what is known as the stand virus. A simple way of putting it is that it's not the desert that kills you but the virus that's wide spread throughout that area.
One more question before I decide whether to trust you or not, have you heard of a stand simply know as [ The Mad World ]?"
Mad World huh, that's a new one to her. Sounds like a crazy stand from the name, but she's got no clues about it.
"No, I haven't ever heard of The Mad World before... A virus though, that explains a lot, especially why most people die."
She pauses slightly as well, she'd never heard of it... Before this nonsense tonight with that Mafia goon.
"And, I guess whoever it was using that robot Stand asked me about [The Mad World] too. I kinda took him for a lunatic and nothing more at first considering he camped out in a graveyard and built a damn cube bot. But now I'm thinking it's important. Why do you ask?"
For a moment there'd be some hesitation before the fog would slowly begin to fade away. The young man before Akia had a somewhat odd complexion. His skin and hair both took on a pale coloration and he seemed to be wearing some kind of ceremonial robe but the style with which he wore it was more casual then one might expect.
"I had to be sure that you weren't lying with your answers. I can tell when people lie, it's the sweat. Most people can't help it but within that haunted fog, the true nature of one's sweat is shown. That may sound odd but its the method I've devised for such things.
I also realized that I can't do this alone...
I should explain, The Mad World is a stand that is said to be capable of granting its user anything they desire. A powerful stand that can break any and all rule of reality however, that power by itself isn't something that can be awakened normally. Despite this, a mafia group centered in America now has been trying to track down the user of The Mad World for a while now, not only that but I've seen evidence that they've found a way to force someone to awaken to a stand regardless of whether the individual is worthy of such a power or not.
In other words, they're raising an army to track down a wish-granting stand and who knows what they plan to do once they fight them. I'm reluctant to admit it but my stand power varies too much from location to location to be reliable. That's why I'm trying to find people who can help me. I know that this may be a lot to spring on you at once.
I'm not forcing you to help me or anything. You can say no and leave if you want to, I'm not the mafia and neither do I which to kill anyone. Besides, as a stand user, I think you have the right to know all that anyway."
The woman sighs slightly while staring at this young man, the fucking mafia running around trying to get their hands on some crazy powerful wish granting stand. She'd laugh for several moments before speaking in a dead serious tone while looking him straight in the eyes.
"Look alright, I'm not a hero or anything. I'll totally kill somebody in a fight if I gotta, and I'm not above pulling cheap tricks for a petty laugh..."
She'd crack her knuckles at that, having finally reverted them back to flesh. Flesh that looks entirely fine despite any blows she may have suffered while fighting.
"I'm also not about letting real bastards run around doing whatever they want though, so yeah count me in. Besides, I already kicked their informant's ass, he'll be after me again later no matter what I do after ripping his freaking arm off..."
She groans upon really pondering that thought, an enemy stand user who she very much angered got away with his life intact. That's just sloppy work on her part.
"Yeah alright, I'm not good for much besides engineering and fighting. But I'll lend ya those skills for now, can't envision the mafia getting this thing being good at all."
With that she'd offer the young man a handshake for a moment. For good or ill, she's getting involved here it seems.
"Heh, I wasn't judging other who kill. I think you might imagine why it might be unsettling for me to kill as anything but a last resort."
Koji would return the handshake as well. He wasn't exactly picky about who he got as long as they weren't pure evil at heart. He couldn't afford to refuse most help anymore.
"I suppose I should properly introduce myself. Koji Reiko, mercenary and professional exorcist. My stand's name is [ Restless Wicked ]. As you can imagine it grants me the power to see and speak with the dead. I can even materialize the dead into the world of the living with a little negotiation."
The young woman chuckles slightly, yeah she can guess at his reasons there.
"I get it, yeah. Gonna be honest, I used to be a normal high school kid who just wanted to build machines and stuff. But eh, it's been a few years since I got this..."
3 to be exact, her final year of school. Good times in some ways, but gone by now.
"Enough about that though, you already know I think, but the name's Akia Fujiwara for formality's sake. I'm just your average mechanic and drifter."
With that she'd reach into her jeans for a moment, pulling out a pen and writing down a phone number on a simple note before handing it to Koji.
"I'd give ya an address too, but that's kinda pointless with how much I move around. And you got a number I can contact too? Kinda pays to keep in touch with an investigation like this, I'd imagine."