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 Unearthing the Past [Training]

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PostSubject: Unearthing the Past [Training]   15th April 2018, 1:23 pm

The doors to Gekihogakure were ajar, open wide for any and all to enter without problem. Zane stared up at the large doors, doors just like any other hidden village, but unlike the other Hidden Villages these doors were unguarded and the village that lay beyond uninhabited.
I have a baaaaaaad feeling about this. Andromeda groaned in Zane’s subconscious.
We’ll be fine.
We’re going to die.
There’s no one here.
We THINK there’s no one here.
Zane rolled his eyes, ignoring the voices in his head as he stepped inside the gates and entered the long abandoned village. It was odd; though he knew of no struggle or great battle, which had taken place within the village, he had expected a village in disarray. Destruction was nowhere to be found, instead he found a village simply abandoned. It was as if every living soul in the village simply picked up their things one day and left in a unified format. Layers of dust and thick weeds snaking up the sides of the buildings were just a few indicators of time passed since this village’s last resident had left. Zane walked through the dusty streets of the village, his destination looming in the distance. On his walk he passed open doors and windows displaying store shelves still stocked with goods and items. He had no doubt others had ventured into the village at some point between now and when Gekihen had disappeared, but they had taken only food items to survive. Other relics, even those of great value remained, as if protected by the rumors and supposed ghostly specters that protected this place. Travelers’ tales claimed that although the members of Gekihen had long since disappeared, their spirits and manifested wills still remained, protecting the place from those who would disrespect the village they had built in life.

Wh-why do we have to be here again? This isn’t even where Lynx and Zoe supposedly disappeared. Andromeda asked.
No, it’s not, but I don’t know of an efficient way to get to the shores of the Shogunate. Not to mention it would most likely take weeks to get there, find what we’re looking for and get out. This is the old village of the group who dubbed themselves Gekihen after the original group disappeared. They didn’t just pick that name at random, or know the inner workings of the group and their codenames by simply hearing about them…so I believe there’s something here from the original Gekihen. Scrolls perhaps, informational to tell the next group how to act and how to carry on the beliefs of Gekihen. Zane responded and Andromeda remained silent.
The sun beat down on Zane’s back; this high up and this close to the sun on the plateau would make anyone’s skin begin to burn. Luckily for Zane he didn’t even sweat, considering he couldn’t exactly feel the impact of the sun’s bright rays. For him it was any other day in any other area, his body maintaining a perfectly normal temperature as he explored the dusty ruins of the village. At one point rustling came from one of the storefronts, its windows showcasing goods and food long since shattered. Zane instinctively fired a beam of Void Plasma Chakra into the store, watching it explode before investigating. Inside he found the charred remains of some sort of large rodent, but nothing more. Moving on, he continued his walk through the village, passing much of the same as he had when he entered. Finally, he reached the entrance to the castle…or at least where the entrance should have been.

Well…n-now what? Looks like we have to turn back, huh? Oh darn… Andromeda said in her usual timid voice, though Zane sensed a hint of joy as he stared at the massive drawbridge, drawn up and revealing a void descending to a spiked pit at the bottom. Zane studied his surroundings as well as the drawbridge itself, something simple but effective as it kept those the inhabitants of the castle wanted out, out. Or perhaps it kept the castle’s inhabitants in?
Stop, no, nope. That’s a creepy thought. We should just turn around a-and get out of here. Yup, that’s my vote. Right? Paul? What do you say?
Zane tensed as Andromeda addressed Paul directly, expecting a mental barrage of anger but instead it was met only with silence, just as it had been since Zane had left the Pits some days ago. His inner anger had been entirely silent since Zane had forcefully regained control, which in truth had been a nice respite from Paul’s constant lashing out and angry yelling in Zane’s head but now…this many days since the personality had commented or even acknowledged he was around…it was troubling. Zane could still sense his presence within their shared mindscape, so he knew Paul was still alive…if it could be called that.
Putting it out of his mind and addressing the problem at hand, Zane frowned, staring at the drawbridge before raising his right hand and firing an energy blast at the top right corner of the drawbridge and then again at the top left corner. Each strike pierced the wood and, as a result, the metal chain holding it up which lay behind. Matching, smoldering holes were all that signified what Zane had done as the drawbridge now swung free, clattering to the ground at Zane’s feet mere inches from where he stood. A massive cloud of dust erupted as the drawbridge fell, and for a moment Zane was blinded. However, this didn’t stop the cyborg as he now knew the drawbridge was directly in front of him and he strode forward even before the dust cloud began to clear.

H-how d-d-did you know that was going to work? Or…you know…n-not hit us? Andromeda stammered.
I just calculated the length of the drawbridge, how much distance there was between the front door, and us and used basic knowledge of how a drawbridge functions to know the metal chains would most likely be behind those two sections of the wood. It’s simple deduction, you could do it too Andromeda if… Zane trailed off, realizing he had slipped up.
If…? Andromeda asked.
Nothing, never mind.
If what? If I wasn’t so scared all of the time? If I was a real person instead of just a manifestation of your fear in your sick little head? What Zane?
Zane stopped walking, Where…where did this hostility come from? He asked, perplexed as he believed Andromeda was the purest form of fear he could possess, just as Paul was the purest form of anger and rage. He didn’t know they could feel other emotions.
I…I don’t know. I’m sorry.
Is Paul with you? Zane asked, skeptical that perhaps this wasn’t all Andromeda. Perhaps Paul was somehow feeding into her, influencing her in some way. He could feel Andromeda search around in the mindscape to see if Paul was near.
No…I mean, he’s here somewhere…in the mindscape, but not anywhere near me. He feels…distant…shut off even.
Zane nodded in acknowledgement before continuing on. If Paul was somehow influencing Andromeda, he may have a bigger problem on his hands than he thought. Then again, people reacted to fear differently so perhaps this was just Andromeda adapting to circumstances influenced by fear. Some people lashed out when they were scared, while others curled up and simply let things happen, still some became merely immobilized. Perhaps this was just Andromeda…evolving. Zane shuttered to think what that meant Paul was capable of, but he pushed it to the back of his mind to focus on the matter at hand. He stood now in the entryway to the castle, staring around at the ornate stonework, which lined the walls, ceiling and floor. The place was beautiful, untouched by looters, only dust to show the passage of time. The place was like a time capsule itself, nothing had been disturbed or damaged. Zane traced his fingers through the dusty stones lining the walls as he walked through the corridors. It was beautiful, a true fortress on the outside and a warm home on the inside.

After some exploring, he came to a large chamber with a long table and twelve ornate chairs seated at it. Zane froze, staring at the table as if in a trance. A feeling of overwhelming power washed over him as he stared at the table. In some way he knew greatness once sat at this table, debating how best to influence the world around them. What once had most likely been a room for the ages now set empty and desolate. A sense of sadness washed over Zane, a feeling he couldn’t quite comprehend as he moved over to the chair at the head of the table, pulled it back and sat, staring down the length of the empty chairs. Then, suddenly, pulling him from his thoughts, Hey fucker, let’s chat. Paul’s voice rang through Zane’s mind as Andromeda swelled to an extreme size in an instant. The sudden shock of fear causing her to grow out of control as Zane felt his conscious mind ripped from his body and pulled back to the depths. From behind his eyes he watched his face come closer to the table as his hollow body collapsed, no pilot at the controls.
There was darkness as Zane felt himself pulled back, farther and farther to the recesses of his mind. There was no feeling back here, save for the firm grasp Paul had on him and then…nothing. No movement, he simply felt himself sitting, though no physical chair existed. He looked around in the void of nothingness, confusion and paranoia beginning to creep in. Part of him wondered if this was it, if he had just experienced the very last time he’d ever be in control. Then, faint colored lights began to flicker into existence, orbs of pure colored light simply suspended in the void at level height to Zane himself. They flickered into existence one by one, first a blue one to Zane’s right, then a green, a red, orange, purple, yellow, and finally a pink orb on Zane’s left. The yellow and red orbs began to grow and take shape, forming into the outlines of humans before turning and looking at Zane. For a moment Zane was confused, he simply stared back at the humanoid light creatures and then…realization dawned on him, …Andromeda? He said, looking at the yellow humanoid light, Paul? he then turned to the red one.
Dingaling ding, we have a winner. Welcome to the emotional misfits you call personalities. This here is floating orb number blue. Paul said in a sarcastic tone, pointing to the blue orb to Zane’s right, Next we have floating orb number green, then of course, it’s yours truly. Next up floating orb number orange and…well…I think you get the theme I’m going for here don’t you bud?
Why don’t they have names? Real names?
You should be asking yourself that, you named me and Andy over there, whether you realize it or not.
That’s not true, you told me your names when you appeared in my mind.[/color] Zane said, shaking his head as he tried to comprehend what Paul was saying. In response, Paul wagged his bright red finger at Zane and said, [i]Not quite, we’re you, remember dingus? Emotional constructs of you because your super advanced robo brain apparently can’t handle emotions. This ringin a bell? So, when we come out and say, “Hi, my name Jeff.” You’re really the one who named us because if we’re you and we named ourselves then you named us. Paul said, staring at Zane, Try not to hurt yourself thinking about it.
A long pause filled the room, if it could even be called a room that is. Zane had no concept of how large or small this area was, no feeling of the metaphysical walls around him or even a floor really. The only light shone from the orbs and humanoids, which surrounded him.

Okay…so why am I here? Why did you drag me back here and not take over? Zane asked, trying to decide what Paul’s goal was.
Ah, a marvelous question from the grand thinker that is Zane. I’ve been thinking Zaney boy, you really peeved me off the other day when you rudely took control-
Took back control. Zane interjected.
Ah semantics, potato tomato, you know? Now where was I, ah yes, really PO’d about the whole thing. I know what you’re thinking, “Paul? Pissed off and angry? Naaaah couldn’t be.” Well Zaney boy, that’s where you’re wrong. I was so angry I couldn’t even speak, but then I thought…all this anger…all this rage and hatred and trying to forcefully gain control. It was me, it’s what I do, but it’s not what Zane would do. You’re the reason to our little octave of personalities, the thinker and the deducer. If I was going to eventually be free, I needed to think like big brother Zane. So, I decided to do some spelunking in the ole cranial cavity we all share. I figured, if I exist, and Andromeda exists…well then there must be more somewhere, right? Well, after a few days of digging, low and behold look what I stumbled across. Apparently these here are your dormant emotions, those who haven’t manifested personalities or humanoid forms but can at any moment, with the right trigger. In fact, let’s look at Mr. Orange over there. Paul said, pointing at the orange sphere of light and Zane followed, his gaze falling on the orb as it pulsated. It would grow and shrink, unlike the other orbs that simply remained stationary, floating in the void and maintaining their form and size.
[i]Is it…breathing?
Zane asked, watching the orb grow and shrink in some sort of rhythm.
Dunno, could be. Something tells me that little scare I gave you and Andy’s performance earlier might have started the wake up process for this fella. Anyway…where was I? Oh right, so after I found these guys…girls…emotional manifestations which don’t actually exist within the confines of reality, I decided I needed to show you the kind of place you keep us in. How you drag us down to the darkest parts of your mind and leave us for days and weeks on end trapped in this prison of nothingness. Paul’s voice rose as he spoke and it seemed as if his form of light was growing with the anger in his voice, but then he paused and from what Zane could tell, composed himself.
[i]So sorry, sometimes I just lose my head with things like this, you know how it is. I wanted to show you this so that you gained a better understanding of how this whole mind hopscotch game works. You see, there’s this light,
As Paul spoke he snapped his fingers and a bright white light enveloped the center of the circle, not actually touching Zane or any of the orbs. The light dictates who’s in control. If it’s on your spot, you’re in control…which is where it tends to hang. The two of us are the only ones who have ever actually…been in the light and that was simply from taking it by force. Not the most humane way to delegate such important duties, but it had to be done. I’m over that way of doing things though, it’s so…animalistic. That’s the old Paul, I want to build a bigger and better Paul. So, I wanted to show you this, to expose you to your emotions…both those born and unborn so far and to show you how things actually work in here.

Okay…but why? Zane asked, trying to figure out Paul’s angle, What do you ultimately want from this…new…partnership?
There was a long silence, Paul simply stared at Zane and Zane stared back, waiting on edge.
Zane turned and stared at the yellow form that was Andromeda, What? He had almost entirely forgotten she was here as Paul had taken center stage for this little discussion.
We want out. We want to be able to exist on our own, to have our own forms within the realm of reality. We want…freedom. If…if that’s okay that is. Andromeda concluded, shrinking back a bit and returning to her usual timid self.
Of course it’s okay. It’s a basic human right to have freedom, it’s any living creature’s right. We want out, not now necessarily, but eventually. We don’t want to die with you, contained and chained in this prison. We deserve freedom.
Zane simply stared at Andromeda, then turned to Paul. He continued staring, thinking, trying to understand their wants and how to achieve them.
How? He simply asked, How could it be possible to free you? To give you physical form without my body to control?
How the fuck should I know? You’re the thinker, remember? We’re emotion in its purest form, not exactly the most logical bunch. Upload us into someone else’s brain, create bodies for us, become a Dues.
A what? Zane asked.
A Dues…the awakening of Dakar, they control emotions. We read about them a longgggg time ago back in the asylum. Come on, you know this. Paul said, clearly becoming irritated and as Zane thought about it, remembering back, he realized his angry self was right. He did know this, he could now picture the book vividly.
A Dues…yes, okay, that could work. He said, nodding in thought, If you were given this freedom, what would you do with it? Zane asked, half expecting a response including but not limited to mass slaughter and world domination.
We’d live. Both emotion personalities said at the same time.
Zane nodded, now fully understanding the gravity of just how badly they wanted their own autonomy. He thought about how he felt when Paul took over, completely out of control, only a passenger able to watch the car crashes of life go by and affect them, unable to actually do anything to stop them or respond to them. He felt a prisoner within his own mind and for them, within their own home. Never able to truly leave, but only able to ever take control momentarily, to gain a taste of sweet freedom but never finish the full meal and go on to the next one.
Okay…then that’s our next pursuit. After we leave here and I meet with the Shinto, our next priority is to finding a way to awaken. After that, if we’re successful, perhaps we’ll be able to let you all out.
WHOA BOY THAT JUST SOUNDS GREAT!!! NEAT-O MISTER BOSS MAN! A loud voice suddenly erupted behind Zane as he jumped forward in surprise. He noticed the area where the orange sphere had been was now gone, having taken his eyes off of it while his attention was focused on Paul and Andromeda.
Oh hey look, he’s awake. Paul said with a smug smile. Zane turned to look behind where he had been sitting and saw a pulsating orange humanoid of light staring back at him.
So then you must be-
Surprise! Yup that’s me. I haven’t decided on a name yet though, when I do I’ll let you know, okay? Righty-oh! The orange humanoid spoke quickly and with child like fever, as if he had no real control over the words coming from his mouth. Every thought was immediately a word and every word was spoken without fear or anxiety for being wrong, without the enlightenment of context clues or when to say the right or wrong thing. There was no filter on this personality, just pure energy bubbling over.
Oh…kay. Zane said.
Wow, I hate this one already.

Suddenly, without warning, Zane found himself back in control of his body and staring vertically at the old chair to his left. He picked his head up off the table, rubbing his eyes to refocus to the light of reality instead of the harsh brightness in his mindscape. That was-WAH! Zane began but then noticed the specter seated to his right simply staring at him. The sudden surprise jolted him backwards, forcing the chair he sat in to clatter to the ground and Zane followed only a second after. Paul is right, I already don’t like this new emotion.
The specter moved from the chair without actually moving it out and stood over Zane, staring down at him. She was a cute girl, though Zane had no concept of beauty or attraction, to others she’d be cute with a child-like demeanor but something dark and sinister hiding behind those eyes. Her entire appearance was nearly translucent and Zane noticed he could see shapes and outlines of the objects behind her, but not actual details. PLEASE DON’T EAT MY FACE!! Andromeda suddenly took over and screamed, throwing Zane’s hands up to protect his face. The ghost girl only giggled, Haha, you’re funny, I like you…but then again I kind of new I would.
Zane regained control and jumped up from where he lay, brushing the dust off himself, Right, sorry about that. I’m Zane, who are you? He asked, sticking a hand out in the formal way he observed others greeted one another. The ghost girl reached her hand forward and slid it through Zane’s hand, back and forth, appearing as if Zane was trying to grab a plume of smoke. Ooooh spooky, right? She giggled again and Zane sheepishly retracted his hand, somewhat embarrassed he hadn’t considered the girl’s corporeal form. I’m Zoe and you were in Lilith’s seat. She wouldn’t like that very much if she knew, you’re lucky I found you first. Zoe said and Zane’s eyes widened.
Y-you’re Zoe…Zoe Necrosse?
Yuppers, that’s me…or was me before I died. I dunno how that works now that I’m just a chakra ghost.
You’re my great-grandmother. Zane said, still frozen with surprise and unsure of how to proceed.
I know dummy, like I said, I figured I’d like you. Although…I don’t know how I knew we’re related. After all I was dead long before you were born, but I guess I just sort of know, you know? It’s not like I was some ghosty pedo watching you shower and stuff while you grew up. I dunno, chakra ghost hax or something probably.
Yeah, probably. Um…is…is Lynx here too?
Zoe frowned, No, Lynxy poo is somewhere else, she hasn’t been in this castle in a long, long time. I think she might be roaming around with her clan right now, those guys are all sorts of backwards lately. Probably guiding them with her ghostly presence, although I doubt they can see her. Kind of a slow bunch if you ask m- Zoe stopped just as she noticed a few neo nanos crawl out from Zane’s skin, scurry across the young boy and burrow back into his body, You’re a Shinto aren’t you?
Well I guess not all of my great genetics could be passed down. What a shame. She said, shaking her head, Anyway, come on, I want to show you something. With that, the chakra ghost began floating off, through a doorway that lead deeper into the castle than Zane had been yet. It was odd watching her move, her feet moving along the ground but not actually touching it. Zane shook his head, today was getting weirder and weirder, but he followed nonetheless. As he turned the corner he watched Zoe disappear literally through a door at the end of the hallway. Walking up to it, he grabbed the metal handle and swung the door open slowly, its old bearings groaning and grinding as he did. The inside was mostly dark, lit by a solitary burning oil lamp, which he found odd considering no living being had been here for dozens of years. Zoe? Zane asked into the muted darkness. Right here. Zoe’s giggle came from behind Zane, who once again nearly jumped out of his skin but kept himself composed.
Please don’t do that. It’s been…a long day. Zane said with a sigh, which Zoe answered with more giggling as she approached the burning lamp and, to Zane’s surprise, picked it up effortlessly before bringing it around the room to several torches. With the room illuminated, Zane found himself staring at a massive scroll on the far wall, which read:


Here we stand as the weapons for those who cannot raise their own. Here we speak for those who would be left mute by the great nations of this world. The infernal beasts who merely go around in circles, snipping and biting at one another as they consume all land and people around them with an insatiable hunger. Here we rise to show the world and its inhabitants that the strong are not the erasers, but those who refuse to be erased. We stand as a beacon of hope for all those too weak or scared to fight for themselves against the tyrants who rule this world. We exist as the fear, which creeps into their hearts while they sleep at night. We exist so they know that they are never truly safe behind their walls. We stand as Gekihen.

That’s our creed. We came up with it all together, under the guidance of Lilith Mikaboshi. The others, the ones who named themselves after rocks or whatever, you know from the Shogunate. They apparently liked it and adopted our creed, which is understandable. They’re pretty great words after all. Zoe said with a smirk. Zane simply looked at her, he had so many questions, but none came to mind. If…if I comeback here, will you be here?
Hmmmm probably. The others too, maybe you’ll want to meet them, or maybe we’ll just keep it in the family, eh? Zoe asked with a coy, mischievous look in her eyes that Zane didn’t find entirely comforting. But yeah, no, feel free to comeback whenever. I’ll vouch for you as long as you don’t try to steal shit or anything.
Thank you Zoe.
Whoa, that’s Great Grandmother to you, mister. I’m all about the formalities. Zoe said with a bit of irritation in her voice.
Oh um, right, sor-
Ooooh boy, the look on your face, priceless. Zoe said, throwing her head back in laughter and grabbing her stomach, Relax kid, I’m kidding. If you ever actually call me Great Grandmother, I’ll fucking kill ya. She said with a smile, but a look behind her eyes that told Zane she wasn’t entirely joking. He simply smiled awkwardly in return to defuse the situation.
Right well…thank you, for showing me this. I…I needed to see it I think. I just have so many questions and don’t even know where to start but first…first I need to pay a visit to the Shinto Clan.
Suit yourself kid, not like I’m wasting away in here anyway so take your time. Zoe said as Zane backed out of the room and turned to leave the castle, Hey Zane? Zoe called after him.
Yeah? He asked, turning back to look at the spectral form of his great grandmother.
Say hi to Lynx for me if you see her. Tell her…tell her I miss her. It’s not quite the same without her…we all miss her. Zoe said and for the first time Zane could see genuine hurt behind her eyes.
I will…I promise.

With that, he turned and left, walking through the corridors of the great castle and back to where he had entered, his mind reeling and racing faster than he could truly comprehend. So much had happened and yet, he felt stronger because of it. His checklist of to-dos was growing longer and longer with each passing day, but it made him happy and gave him a purpose in life. Something he had always been searching for and now, for the first time, believed he was beginning to actually grow.
The surprise emotion suddenly yelled in Zane’s mind.
Whoa, what?
Ozzy, or Oz, nicknames for Oswald. My name, remember? I wanted to name myself, told you I’d come up with it on my own. Welp, there it is, I am Oz…or Ozzy…but never Oswald…even though my real name is Oswald.
Why didn’t you just choose your full real name to be Ozzy? Zane asked.
You know…I don’t really know, but oh well, too late now. Zane shook his head but continued walking, what a weird freaking day it had been.

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PostSubject: Re: Unearthing the Past [Training]   15th April 2018, 2:03 pm


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