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Faust

Don't Tread on Me (IC)

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Dim lights and damp walls guided his way as he followed the flow of foul water. The noise of scuttling rats gave him hope. The occasional feint rumbling from above kept him cautious. Breschau was determined escape this labyrinth.

---

17 years ago, he was trapped in a cell within a room deep underground. 17 years ago, the earth shook and the ceiling collapsed breaking the artifact that contained him. 17 years ago, he waited for his strength to return. 17 years ago he anticipated the return of his memories. His strength came back, but his memory barely did.

t took him more than a decade to regain his strength while trying to survive with the little air that found it's way through the ceilings cracks. As soon as he felt his power, he began to slowly dig his way out through the tight hole in the ceiling. The barely available draft told him where to go.

Months or maybe years (Breschau couldn't tell) of climbing and crawling through dirt rewarded him with the discovery of a dark tunnel. It was dusty and cramped, but he did not complain.

He walked on hoping to see the sun again. He thought his prayers answered when he saw light. It was feint, but it was enough. He followed it until he reached iron bars that blocked his path. He easily ripped them apart.

Through the bent bars, he found himself in large hall. It was flooded with almost knee-deep fetid water. To his dismay, the light he saw was only from a strange torch. A dim torch made of glass. He assumed it to be magic, though he did not sense it. He trudged on, towards where the water was flowing from.

Breschau's spirits were raised when he found a ladder. He climbed it, until the was no ladder left, but only metal ceiling above him. Here he could feel the rumbling getting stronger. Here he could feel fresh air and see real sunlight shine through holes on the ceiling. He was so close to freedom.

He pushed the circular piece of metal away and was blinded by the sudden intense sunlight. He climbed out not being able to wait for his eyes to adjust.

He was again on solid ground, but no more stench and no more darkness.

For the first time in eleven hundred years, he opened his mouth to speak and praise the gods. But before any sound came out of his mouth, he heard a terrible noise. Like a wail he has never heard of before.

Then suddenly a crash.

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Moira and a few friends had some shopping to do today. What better place to shop than one of the largest shopping areas in Freedom City, the Millennium Mall? She and the group had just finished lunch and were going to start their day in the mall. Moira had to go get some cash from the bank, so she split from the group for a bit. When she got out to the parking lot she saw something odd. A man covered in... grime about to be hit by a car. This must not be his lucky day. She tried to yell out "[divine]Hey mister! Watch out![/divine]" But before she could finish the word 'watch' the car slammed into him! She rushed over to see if the grimy man was OK.

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[divine]"Hey mister! Wa-"[/divine]

"EEEEEeeeek!"

"It's an invasion!"

"Whoa, what just happened?"

"Did you see that?!"

"Eh? Another monster attack?"

"Dude! That was awesome!"

"Oh great, not again"

~~~~

"What a day! I was late this morning. Boss wants me to get him lunch. Was stuck in traffic. And when it's 'go' I crash into this thing and bruise my forehead!" cried the twenty-something sharply dressed man on the driver's seat of the car. "Now I'm going to be late for lunch! And my baby, she's dented!"

If he had crashed into a pedestrian, a puppy or another car, he would have been worried and felt some guilt. But what he saw was a filthy half-naked sewer creature that just climbed out of a man hole.

"Atleast I'm helping the city get rid of another monster," he sighed. "They should thank me."

He was about to get out of the car when the creature stood up looking quite annoyed. It was looking at the car as if wondering what it was. Then it raised it's right hand, as if to hit the car.

"He's gonna hit her!" said the driver as he watched, mouth agape. "and then he's going to hit me!"

"Oh my goooooooooodddd!"

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"What was that?" Breschau wondered to himself, his face buried in the asphalt. He pushes himself up to look for what attacked him. His eyes still adjusting to the light, he sees people, most of them shocked and talking loudly while facing his direction. Some of them were looking behind him.

Breschau turns around and finds some sort of beast clad in armor. It's glass eyes staring at his soul, it's metal teeth in a wide grin mocking him.

There were only a few things that could hurt Breschau. Apparently this creature can...and it did so from his blind side. It angered Breschau to see the creature pleased with its accomplishment.

"How dare this creature attack me from behind!"

He then slowly raises his arm, aiming to strike the creature's head.

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"[divine]Awww crap,[/divine]" Moira said to herself, "[divine]You couldn't have waited til sundown?[/divine]" She sighed, "[divine]Oh well, duty calls.[/divine]" She let out a swift pinky whistle. "[divine]Hey, big man,[/divine]" she raised her voice, but did not yell, while walking towards him "[divine]What did that car ever do to you? Well, besides hit you. Even then! That's no way to handle this situation![/divine]" She eventually stood face to... chest with him. Looking up to him, she smiled with a hint of sarcasm, "[divine]Now, are we going to handle this like animals or human beings?[/divine]"

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"Get away, lady!" Screamed the car's driver, his voice trapped inside the vehicle.

"Hey, I think that's...yes it's Divine! I'm saved!" he said relieved.

~~~

Breschau was about to pound the beasts head when a girl approached him, standing between him and the beast.

"[divine]What did that car ever do to you? Well, besides hit you. Even then! That's no way to handle this situation![/divine]" She eventually stood face to... chest with him. Looking up to him, she smiled with a hint of sarcasm, "[divine]Now, are we going to handle this like animals or human beings?[/divine]"

"Who is thi-what is a 'car'? She is speaking nonsense! She must be in thrall of the beast! No wonder this foul creature was foolish enough to strike me and keep smiling. Nevertheless, I shall try to communicate with her," he thought to himself.

"Stand aside, young maiden," he addressed her, placing his filthy left hand on her shoulder, gently moving her to the side. "I do not wish you harmed as I do battle with this abomination. It shall pay for it's arrogance!"

Then he raised his right hand once more, attempting again to strike the beast.

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Moira grabbed the Breschau's big fist before it could land on the car and threw him to the ground, pinning him. She really wished she would've worn shorts instead of a dress as she straddled the area between his chest and stomach, locking him down. "[divine]You aren't from around here are you?[/divine]"

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Breschau found himself back on the ground. He was surprised to discover the young girl on top of him. Her green eyes looking down on his. She had been able to bring him down. Not a feat even a great warrior can achieve.

"Have I grown weak from being imprisoned? Or is this the city of gods and beasts?" he wondered to himself.

Actually, he was wondering many things. Like why she would defend such a beast that attacked him. Or why the people were just standing and doing relatively nothing. Or where he was in the first place.

He tried moving his head and attempted to look around. He just realized that there were other metal clad beasts. He was surrounded.

"[divine]You aren't from around here are you?[/divine]"

"No, I'm not," he replied. "I-I yield."

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Moira sighed happily, there would be no fighting. And no fighting is the best fighting. No one gets hurt then. Everyone's happy. "[divine]So,[/divine]" Moira said pulling herself off of the giant man and helping him up as she did, "[divine]If you're not from here, where are you from?[/divine]" Moira fixed herself as she listened to him. She'd need a shower after sitting on the dirty man. But you know, crowd controlling and heroism before self. She could almost think bout that with a straight face now.

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Breschau took the hand of the girl and got up on his feet. He dusted himself off when he stood up.

"I am Breschau of..of..," he paused trying to remember where he was from. His memory of his life hazy from being imprisoned for so long.

"I am Breschau of Livonia," he answered, finally remembering.

"I must ask. What place is this where young girls have the strength of titans?" he asked her, gazing upon her bright green eyes.

He looked at her as his eyes at last adjusted to the light of the afternoon sun. Though he did not show it, he was struck by her face. She was beautiful. In fact, he thought to himself, he has never seen such a alluring image.

Then suddenly, a rush of memories flooded his mind. Memories of a beautiful and ethereal spirit. A spirit that cursed him. A spirit that gave him his power but took his body.

Such beauty should not be trusted. It is a weapon that makes men fall to their knees.

Looking at her intently, "Who are you, and.. what are you?"

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Moira smiled with a look of confusion of her own. This guy didn't know anything, did he? Where would Livonia be? She had never heard of such a place. Could he be from another time? "[divine]I am Moira Morley, also known as Divine. Pleased to meet you and make your acquaintance Breschau of Livonia.[/divine]" She curtsied gracefully. "[divine]You're in Freedom City, New Jersey,[/divine]" she said putting her hands on her hips with a nod, "[divine]As for my strength, well, I'm not like normal people. There are a lot of other people who aren't like normal people. You've found your way into a world of wondrous things and sites to behold![/divine]" She chuckled, "[divine]So yeah, I can answer almost anything you want.[/divine]" She smiled warmly, "[divine]I'll be you're tour guide for this strange new world.[/divine]"

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"Freedom City? New Jersey? I have never heard of this place. This must be beyond the edge of the world," Breschau said, confused.

"I believe I just have to be content knowing that I am in a mysterious new land."

A world of wondrous things and sites to behold according to Divine. Indeed. Beyond the group of gathered people, and the metal clad beasts were towers and palaces. He did not recognize the architecture, but they were awe inspiring.

At the moment, the metal monsters were tame. Some stayed while some moved away. He then noticed that there was a man inside one of them..and that they had wheels. Where these creatures actually mounts? Horseless carts?

Divine was willing to answer all his questions, and he had so many. But Breschau wasn't able to ask. The confusion, the sites and the kindness of the stranger in front of him overwhelmed him. He couldn't think straight. He then realized that he has not rested for more than 24 hours.

"Is there an inn nearby?" he asked Divine. "I would very much like to get some rest."

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"[divine]A place to rest, eh,[/divine]" Moira said thinking aloud, "[divine]I can set you up for a bit.[/divine]" She nodded and spoke with an important tone, "[divine]Breschau of Livonia, if you wish, you shall reside with me for a while.[/divine]" She chuckled at the royalness of it all. "[divine]Nah, I'll set you up if you don't have a place to stay. I'll teach you of the world and everything in it.[/divine]" She smiled, "[divine]Come with me. You'll enjoy it.[/divine]" Moira gave the man with the wrecked car a card with a few numbers on it to set him in the right direction for his crashed vehicle. She definitely wasn't letting Mr. Grimy here in her car and he looked like he could handle a hike. A quick call to her friends, explaining what had just happened, she excused herself from the day of shopping. And the two 'titans' were on their way to the West End.

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"Thank you, thank you, Miss Divine!" said the driver as Divine handed him a card. "Ha! I don't care if I'm going to be late! Man, my friends are going to be so jealous!"

"Can I have your autograph too?" he called out, but it was too late, she had already walked away.

~~~

Breschau was thinking about refusing Divine's offer to 'set him up.' He did not know her and didn't know if he should trust her. Could she be bringing him to a trap? Then again she seemed sincere, and quite charming.

He was too tired to try and guess what her motives were. He also needed someone to guide him in this strange land. Fate must have sent her to him. She probably is truly divine.

Breschau accepted Divine's offer and followed her.

During the walk, Breschau and Divine discussed Freedom City. Based on his questions of what things were, it was obvious that he knew nothing of modern technology. It was safe to assume that he was not from this time.

People had been staring at them while they walked. He felt uneasy. That's when he realized that he was thankful for Divine's presence.

The walk made Breschau feel much better, despite the fatigue. Thanks to the sun and the air, and Divine's voice and her company. He had learned all he can about this strange new place-for now.

After walking for about three miles, they stop in front of a tall structure made of bricks. It was two houses tall. It had windows made of glass, which according to Divine is how windows are really made. It was a type of dwelling Breschau hasn't seen before.

"Is this where you live?" Breschau asked Divine.

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Moira nodded as she unlocked the door, "[divine]Indeed this is where I live.[/divine]" Opening the door, she smiled and ushered him in. "[divine]Mi casa es su casa. My place is your place.[/divine]" The living room was spacious. It looked very comfortable and cozy, with lots of plush furniture. In the middle was something of an oddity, a large bonsai tree. "[divine]Wipe your feet,[/divine]" she pointed to the welcome mat before he walked in, "[divine]In fact leave the sandals outside.[/divine]"

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The inside of Divine's house was like the inside of a royal palace. Breschau wondered if everyone lived this way. Everything was neat and there was no sign of dust. When Divine asked him to take off his sandals, he became aware of how filthy he was. He did not want to stain Divine's pristine home.

Apparently removing his sandalds did not help much. His feet, like the rest of him, were quite dirty.

"I wouldn't want to soil your abode, young Divine. I believe we should visit a bath house first. Or shall we fetch water by the town well?" Breschau asked Divine.

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"[divine]No need to, my good man,[/divine]" Moira said matter-of-factly, "[divine]We now have indoor bathhouses. With no need to fetch any water.[/divine]" She beckoned him to follow her, "[divine]You can have your own personal waterfall or you can do a filled tub over and over again at your beck and call.[/divine]" Moira was listening to herself talk. Modern day appliances did sound magical once you broke them down. When they reached the bathroom, she presented it with a 'tada' flourish. The room had a white marble motif going on. It too was spacious. Big enough for them to stand around in without feeling cramped. She sat on the side of the tub and filled it with water. "[divine]See,[/divine]" she looked up to him with a smirk, "[divine]not so hard is it?[/divine]"

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"An indoor bathhouse..a bathhouse inside one's own home!" Breschau was amazed with what Divine showed him.

He couldn't figure out where the water was coming from, with no nearby aqueducts or water tunnels.

Breschau would have believed it to be magic, if Divine had not explain to him about man's modern achievements.

He saw her turning the knobs for the water to flow. He was able to understand the mechanics of the tub.

"[divine]See,[/divine]" she looked up to him with a smirk, "[divine]not so hard is it?[/divine]"

"No, it doesn't seem so," he smiled. "Thank you."

He reached down and dipped his hand in the water. It felt cool, just the way he liked it.

Then he looked quite awkward. Was it a custom for women to stay while the men bathed? He wanted privacy but didn't know how to ask for it without sounding rude to such a gracious host.

"I believe I'm capable enough to give myself a bath," he told her, cheerfully. "I can handle things from here."

"Since this indoor bathhouse is inside a room, it could be called a bath...room!" he added, laughing at his own joke.

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Moira smiled at the one liner. Again, simple things taken for granted. She reached in the linen closet and pulled out a towel. "[divine]When you get done, use this to dry off.[/divine]" She grimaced at the grime-encrusted pants. Seriously, that's all you could see, grime. Well, grime was the only good word she could call it. She was gonna have to cleanse those things with fire. "[divine]You give me those,[/divine]" she said pointing to the ex-pants, "[divine]and I'll give you this,[/divine]" she waggled the towel.

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Breschau, rolling his pant legs up, stepped into the tub making the water turn a brownish black. He found the shower curtain and undressed behind it. From the other side of the curtain, his silhouette could be seen. He deftly took his pants out without it touching the water by balancing on one leg at a time. He then handed his ragged clothes to Divine.

"Thanks," he said as he took the towel from Divine while still behind the curtain.

He dipped himself into the tub and relaxed. The water was quite dirty now, and he still needed to wash himself. Looking for some oils or soaps to wash himself with, he was daunted by the number of bottles by the tub. He opened each of them. They all smelled good, though quite strong.

Should he mix them all into the tub? Should he pour it on his skin? He did not know.

"Uh...are you still there, Divine? It seems I still need your help," said Breschau, embarrassed.

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