2nd chapter of Paradise Lost! Please excuse the long text, I've been trying to deviate from storytelling just from dialogue. Hope it's a good read.
"My salvation?" Rock paused as she said this to herself. "What do you mean?"
"It is exactly as I say," replied the hooded man. "I won't hurt you."
Rock stood silently, her Black Blade still pointed at him, ready to attack at any moment. She looked around to observe her surroundings. She was in an unknown area with no knowledge of how to get out of this place. With very little options, her best choice was to trust that this man was true to his word.
"What do you want with me?" she asked.
"Come," said the man as he started walking towards Rock. She stiffened up, tightening her grip on her Black Blade as he neared her. The man walked right past her, ignored her agitated stance, and continued to walk towards the forest that was behind her. She lowered her Black Blade and watched as the man moved towards the forest. He stopped for a second to turn around to her and motion his head, saying 'let's go.' For now, she would have to cooperate with him, even if she had decided to walk away, there would be nowhere for her to go.
The two were walking in silence as neither of them would open up a conversation, Rock would be the last person that would. The path was dimly lit by the moonlight that pierced through the forest canopy. The only sound that could be heard was the foliage that rustled as they moved passed and Rock's boots as they hit the ground. Rock still kept her distance from the man, walking a couple feet behind him. You can never be too safe.
Rock jumped a little from the sound that came from right next to her ear. It was Ron, who had just awoken.
"Rock! What happened? What's going on?" asked Ron frantically.
She patted him on his scaly head trying to calm him down, and then pointed at the man whom they were following.
"You!" shouted Ron. The man turned around, his face still hidden within his hood, and pointed at himself in playful ignorance. "Come on Rock!"
Rock shook her head, "It's okay."
"So, where are you taking us?" asked Ron.
"To my house," said the man. "Don't worry, it won't be long until we get there."
"Right. Well, what's your name?"
"That's an…interesting name."
"Thank you. Anyways, we have arrived!"
The forest opened before them, revealing an open area of grass. There stood a house in the open field, it was of modern-Japanese design with two stories, walled off by a brick wall that surrounded the compound of the house, and with a small metal gate that led to the front door. It was a peculiar structure, the two have never seen anything like it before. They looked at in curiosity as they followed the man through the front gate and up to the door. It swung open and the man stepped inside with Rock behind him. She couldn't make out much, the room was dark, and they were standing on tile ground that seemed to be lower than the rest of the floor of the house.
"Would you mind shutting the door?" asked the man.
Rock did so silently and was a bit confused to find the man sitting down untying his boots.
"Sorry, but could you please take off your boots as well?" asked the man as he chuckled.
Rock and Ron looked at each other in confusion before complying. She looked down at her pale white feet, something she hasn't seen in a long time, wiggling her toes in curiosity. She stepped off of the cold tile floor and onto the hardwood floor. She saw the shadow of the man reaching for something on the wall and with the sound of a click, the lights went on. Rock squinted a little from the brightness but was now able to see clearly. The wood floor was of a rich mahogany color, with a hallway and staircase squished next to each other, and an opening to another room adjacent to the staircase where the man was now heading into. The room was long, as there was both a living room and a kitchen on opposite ends of the room. The dining table sat somewhere between the two areas with a sliding glass door next to the table. The man walked over to the large white L-shape couch of the living room and sat down, offering a seat to Rock who proceeded to sit on the other segment.
Silence befell the room, as Rock looked at the man blankly, who also seemed to be looking blankly at the black screen of the television.
"Ah, I'm sorry. How rude of me, would you like something to drink?" asked the man as he took off his hood. He was smiling, which caught Rock a little off guard. He looked like he was in his late teens or early twenties, with disheveled jet black hair, and dark brown eyes. "Well?"
Rock shook her head. "Who are you?"
"I told you already, I'm Daisuke," he said.
"That doesn't explain anything!" interjected Ron. "You know what she means!"
"Alright alright," said Daisuke. "By the way, would you like to borrow some clothes? You look kind of cold with that scantily clad outfit there."
Rock looked down at herself for a moment and looked back up, promptly shaking her head.
"Mmm," he said as he cocked an eyebrow. He looked to Ron, "You there, Ron was it? Do you know the purpose of your creation?"
"Of course, I, as well as others, were created as tools to be used by the Black Shooter army," said Ron.
"The Black Shooter army…created by the supposed 'rulers' of Hazama, correct?"
"…What are you getting at?" asked Ron.
"A long time ago, before the creation of the Black Shooters, there existed another army known as the Purifiers. To address the problem of the overflowing amount of souls entering the Threshold, the 'rulers' otherwise known as the Council, created such army. The Purifiers had the same objective as the Black Shooters, which was to find stagnated souls for capture and purification. They were a powerful force, besting even the most fearsome of souls."
"Wait a minute," said Ron. "You talk as if you were…there."
"Because I was", said Daisuke. "I am a Purifier."
"I…I see. Does that mean there are more of you around?"
Daisuke took a deep breath before sitting back into the cushions of the couch. "Yes there are, although I have lost contact with them. I believe that they are still out there, hopefully still alive," he said.
"The Purifiers. What happened to them?" asked Rock.
Daisuke cocked his eyebrow again, surprised at the curiosity of this Black Shooter. "We grew too powerful, too powerful to control and to keep in check. So we rebelled against the Council."
"What caused you to rebel?" asked Ron.
He chuckled, "Curiosity," he said as he looked straight at Rock. "Originally, we were created as tools for the Council. What was so special about us was that our emotions were not inhibited prior to our creation, thus allowing us to tap into our emotions as fuel, similar to when Black Shooters invoke their flame. Initially, we were initially predisposed to feel only the emotions that were embedded into us, but this changed over time as we became self-aware. We started to question the authority of the Council but still followed orders until we discovered the truth."
The room fell silent as Daisuke sat quietly, thinking to himself. "What's the truth?" asked Rock.
Daisuke looked at Rock solemnly before saying, "The path you choose is a hard one, I hope you know that." He got up from the couch and walked towards Rock. "But before you discover the truth of this world, you must first discover the truth within yourself. But here is a warning, you are not the first Black Shooter to have come here. I have shown all of the ones before you their own truths and their egos have all perished as a result. But something about you is different, not like any of the others."
"Now," said Daisuke who was now standing in front of Rock. She was still sitting down calmly on the couch, but her interest still showed from the way she sat up on the couch. This could possibly be what she has been looking for, the answer to the question she herself could never solve. And the opportunity was right in front of her. Daisuke reached out his hands, fisted together, presenting them to Rock. "I kind of always wanted to do this," he chuckled. "Anyway, you have two options, in my right hand, contains the truth while the other contains ignorance. If you choose ignorance, I will send you back to the Threshold where you will have no recollection of our encounter. Where you will continue to serve your purpose as a tool worthy only of death and continue to live out a colorless life of illusions. Or you can choose the truth that will change your entire world."
Rock promptly pointed at his right fist to which he chuckled. "You have been forewarned," he said. "Come closer," he said as he outstretched his fist closer to Rock until it was right in her face. He paused for a moment before asking, "Are you ready?" To which Rock nodded. He slowly reached out his right hand and opened it as he covered Rock's eyes. "Take a deep breath."
Rock took a deep inhale and promptly exhaled.
She opened to her eyes to something she had never seen before. She looked around to see that she was in a forest like area, sitting on a bench with melon bread in her hand. Looking down at herself, she saw that she was dressed in some high school sailor uniform. She sat at the top of a flight of stairs and looked to see if there was anyone around her. Then she started to slowly remember. She remembered the pain, anguish, frustration, sadness, despair, and heartbreak. Her eyes widened as she dropped the melon bread, her mind being bombarded by all the anguish she had experienced up to this point. Despite remembering the sorrow, she could not bring herself to remember what it was that brought her to feel such pain. She found herself in tears, clutching her head as she shut her eyes and tried to remember.
"There you are, …-san!" said a voice.
She looked up and towards the voice that came from the bottom of the stairs. There were two girls there, slowly making their way up the stairs with smiles on their faces. One of them had a cigarette in her mouth. "We've been looking for you all over!"
She remembers now, these two were classmates of hers, but they were definitely not friends. The two were now standing in front of her, looking at her with smiles.
"What are you doing up here all by yourself …-san?" asked one of the girls.
"Yeah yeah, since you're so smart, I've been dying to ask you a question about our lesson today," said the girl with the cigarette.
Fear struck through her body, causing her to shake and tremble all over. She tried to get up and run away, but she couldn't, she was petrified in fear.
"Come on! Let's play a little," said one of the girls as she pulled her up by her uniform. The two started shoving her between themselves with each shove getting harder and harder. They started to get aggressive, pulling on her uniform with every shove until it ripped apart to show her bare skin. They kicked her down to the floor and laughed menacingly. Never before has she felt so powerless, afraid, confused, and scared. Why is this happening to her? What did she possibly do to deserve this?
"Hey …-san, have you ever tried putting a cigarette out with your own body? The human body is quite sturdy, you know?" the girl said as she took the cigarette out of her mouth.
She mustered enough willpower to try to scramble away, but she was stopped by a kick straight to her stomach. She gasped for air and clutched her stomach as the girl who kicked her kicked her again so that her exposed back faced them. She tried to crawl away using her hands, desperately digging into the grass at an attempt to escape. A shoe came down on both of her hands, she screamed as she heard some bones cracking as her strength faded.
"I know it's a silly question right?" said the girl with the cigarette in her hand as she stood over her. "I'm just a little curious."
She screamed with all her might, kicking her legs and limbs as she tried to get away from the pain. But she just couldn't, as the heat of the cigarette bore down on her back, she let out screams of pain and agony. Tears filled her vision as the two girls moved to the side, bursting in laughter.
"You're voice is just too cute …-san!" said one of them.
'Why…' she thought. 'What have I done?'
Before she knew it, she was sent tumbling down the flight of stairs. She became disoriented as she lost feeling in her body, all she could see now was the bottom of the stairs and the endless tears that filled her vision. Then, her head was filled with voices and scenes that flashed before her.
"It's a girl!"
"We love you, so much."
"Nee-san! Help me!"
"Don't you understand? Everyone hates you!"
Rock opened her eyes and let out a blood curling scream. She got up from the couch, knocking the coffee table away and fell to the ground on her knees. Tears overflowed from her eyes and ran down her face and onto her hands that covered her.
"Rock!" said Ron as he rushed to her. "What happened, what did you see? What did you do to her?"
"I showed her her past life," said Daisuke. "But…something's not right."
"What do you mean? You destroyed her mind!" said Ron.
"No, all the other Black Shooters that have been shown their past lives became nothing but husks. But she…she is showing emotion," said Daisuke.
Ron looked from Daisuke to his partner, "Rock get a ho-"
Ron was interrupted by Rock as she screamed at the top of her lungs, shaking the entire house. Daisuke's eyes widened as he stumbled from the shockwave. Now the entire house started to shake, as if there was an earthquake originating from where Rock was. Daisuke quickly grabbed Ron and ran out of the house with great haste before it erupted in an explosion. Daisuke tumbled over from the explosion, leaving Ron on the grass as bits of the house came flying down from the sky. The two looked back to the wreckage and the purple fire that enveloped what was once the house.
"I have a very bad feeling about this…" said Daisuke.
"Rock!" shouted Ron.
The purple flame continued to dance over the wreckage of the house, its heat could be felt from where the two were. Within the fire there stood a shadow of a person. It slowly started to become clearer. It was Rock, but she was different, instead of her normal clothes and cloak, she was covered in black armor that replaced her boots and the sleeves of her arms. A large chest plate covered her torso and her left arm appeared to be mechanical. In place of her Rock Cannon was her Cannon Lance, an extremely intimidating weapon. On her head, she wore some sort of metallic crown that hung on her head through her left twin tail.
She stared at Daisuke intently, with eyes that have been lost to emotion and suffering. The eyes that once glowed a gentle blue, are now enflamed with a ferocious purple.
A/N: Not much to say here! :P I'm still trying to keep to the stoic character that is Black Rock Shooter, so I'll be keeping her dialogue relatively short.
Hope it was a good read, if not, constructive comments, suggestions, and the like are always welcome.