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Toghenma Oshiro

Positive Reinforcement

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ARMA Gym -- September 12th, 2017


You are all powerless to stop what is coming.  


With a cry of rageTog's fist flew forward and with it golden white flames erupted from his outstretching arm.  Like a comet, the burst of fire zoomed towards a target.  The flames hit the target with a light boom, and when the flames dissipated, there was a large black scorch mark on its surface, and a portion of the target chipped off. 


You are an outlaw, a traitor.  You deserve to die.  


Tog let out another war cry and sent another burst of flames at the target, larger this time and when they collided with the target, it was almost completely destroyed. Tog's fists were clenched and his eyes were closed.  He could almost see Daron standing over him, his eyes unfeeling, he voice empty of any compassion.  Tog's magic had been sealed, he had been helpless.  If it hadn't been for the intervention of another ARMA mage, he'd be dead right now.  Something inside Tog hated himself for that necessity, and even the fact that he'd destroyed Daron utterly and completely didn't make him feel any better.  


I will grant you no mercy, and when you're gone, I will spare you no thought.  


Tog ground his teeth, and felt his anger rise again.  With a gesture, he pointed a hand towards a target that wasn't destroyed and power gathered at his fingertips.  [Togen]DAMN IT![/Togen] Tog said as he sent a massive burst of fire and force at the target.  The target shattered and burned, and when Tog put his hand down, he when he looked up, he noticed there ere several eyes on him.  Though this time, there was concern and wariness there, though tinged with sympathy.  The fire magus' glance shifted to one of the training room mirrors and he was started by what he saw.  Wisps of gold energy streamed from his eyes granting him a frightening, inhuman quality.  There was no white in them, only sunfire. Usually, when he used his power, he was able to control the light in his eyes, reducing it to a slight glowing as opposed to a vicious glare, but he'd let his anger get away from him.  


Closing his eyes, he covered them with a hand for a moment and took a couple deep breaths.  Tog released his power and waited until he was calm to look back up at the mirror.  His eyes were brown again, though still angry.  Looking back at the other people in the gym he said, [Togen]Sorry.[/Togen]  Another mage, a muscular man named Freed, and a Seargent under him putted him on the shoulder and said, "You've been training yourself ragged, Sir.  You need to take a day relax."  Tog didn't say anything.  He simply looked at the man for a moment a nodded.  Without another word he picked up his gym bag, and left.  After showering in the locker room, he took out his phone and sent a text:


'Cass, I think I need some company, and some frivolous activity.  You free?'

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[npc]Cassandra, we can continue this at our next session if it's too much. . .[/npc]


The woman's voice was soothing; warm and gentle with its whisper-soft tones that made it feel like being submerged in a relaxing bath. They'd been at this for hours. That voice used to suggest ideas to focus on while sifting through then pulling at the thoughts that came forth. Abilities had many uses outside of the combat aspect, but Cassandra had never expected to have a therapist use her mental skills in helping to restore memories. Of course, that didn't mean the process was easy or fast — quite the opposite. A light sheen of sweat had started to coat her skin as the therapist worked at a particular memory. . .

Cassandra had been dreaming about it for months now, but saw nothing more than blurred shades that bled into each other and left her waking up in a panic. It wasn't until a couple weeks ago that the memory started to show itself outside of sleep; much in the same manner as that horrific memory with the man's chest and her hand ripping out his heart. Weeks had been required just to make her forget the sensation of how wonderful it'd felt to have that young man's blood and internal organs coating her hand. Even now she could still almost feel it if her mind was allowed to drift there. The therapist had done her best to help Cassandra get to the bottom of that particular nightmarish flashback, but they'd uncovered little on it and then this one had started to flutter into life. As if awakened by the other memory. She wanted to get to the bottom of the new one, hope that something in it would also answer more about the other one, except it was too much for today. Already her body was writhing from pain and shaking from exhaustion. Soon she'd be at risk of going into a seizure if they pushed any further.


Alistair would have a fit if that was to happen.


Nodding, barely able to get words out, she croaked, [cassg]No mo-ore.[/cassg]


Immediately the pressure inside her head eased as the therapist's invasive ability was gone. The pain vanished quickly though some of the exhaustion remained behind; as was normal with these sessions that left Cassandra feeling like she'd gone several rounds with Kelly or Toghenma in the gym. Shoving a hand back through her sweat dampened hair, fingers trembling a little, she slid to a sitting position on the couch and gave a glance to the therapist who was now scribbling notes in a thick, yellow tablet.


[cassg]H-how'd we do today?[/cassg] Her words still held that uneasy quiver that was hard to shake.


Some of it was from the procedure, but most of it came from the fear of finding out what might have been discovered.


[npc]Just a little more about the setting. Heavy doors. Wooden. Barred by something large.[/npc] The woman referred to the tablet again then looked back at Cassandra, [npc]Dark walls though no windows. Nothing substantial yet. We're making progress with each visit.[/npc]


Nodding, Cassandra drew a strained breath into her lungs and considered asking to schedule her next session for an earlier date when the phone in her purse buzzed from the vibration mode. Reaching over, she pulled it out to see the text from Togh who clearly needed to talk. Or at least be distracted a little — something she understood.


[cassg]Seems I'm needed. Next time then?[/cassg]


The woman gave a smile and nod, and Cassandra hurriedly grabbed up her sweater and purse before departing the office. The ARMA therapist was top-notch and trustworthy, but she also knew that at some point Alistair, as head of ARMA, would have to be told about the memories being revealed. Naturally the desire to tell him now was pressing at her mind except she wanted to have more to tell him first. Soon though. Leaning against a wall to catch her breath, she hurriedly texted Togh back.


Yep, free now. Going to hit the gym showers quick. Meet you outside HQ in 10?

As soon as the text was sent Cassandra made for the elevators. She needed a quick, hot shower to relieve her body of the remnants of that memory before meeting up with Togh. Otherwise he might suspect something was going on that she wasn't ready to explain; even if she hated hiding it from her friends.


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Tog sat outside of the ARMA headquarters, enjoying the night air, and resting his head against the stone of the building.  The fire magus took several calming breaths and tried to bring his mental space into some semblance of order.  He didn't want to put on a face that appeared too damaged or too frustrated when Cass arrived.  This wasn't out of some kind of manly bravado, but more out of consideration for his friend's feelings.  Though he didn't know too many details about his friend's life before they had met rather by chance months before, he knew that she had a very troubled past, and he felt that it was best that he didn't ask her to carry any of his baggage unless he had to.  It wasn't a rationale that was completely based in logic or fact, after all, Cass was very strong willed person to have been through so much nd to come out as the wonderful person that she was, and Tog's problems were far from the worst thing she'd ever had to deal with.  It all came back to his desire to eradicate the suffering of others, even if it sometimes came at significant cost to himself.  It was that drive that spurred Togen to chase after Daron after he had fought six magi, including himself, to a standstill, just on the off chance that by putting himself in danger, he could prevent anymore lives from being taken.  It wasn't even the first time Tog had done  something that foolhardy.  There had been other close calls before.  Hell, one time he and Hector had nearly been overrun by a horde of zombies and ghouls while trying to protect a small town, and he'd some away from things like that and worse before feeling invigorated. But so much about his confrontation with Daron just rubbed him the wrong way.  Tog left that conflict feeling like the loser, despite he being the one to survive the final confrontation and not Daron.


It had come as a such a painful surprise that the man was an inquisitor, let alone that he was capable of killing so many magi, young magi, with so little emotional impunity.  Had the man that Tog had known for so long before and after the Resonance just been a sham?  Was there anything that the Daron had said to him, or confessed to him that was anything other than a manipulation?  Tog wanted to believe not, considering that he'd known Daron for a more than a year before Resonance.  Then again, the ex-mage could very well have been a sociopath, and a very good actor.  'There have never been any shortages of crazy people, even before the world changed.'   Tog was bitter, furious that a person he'd trusted turned out to be so monstrous.  Usually he was a very good judge of character, it was something he prided himself on.  That Tog hadn't been to able see this was a major failing on his part, and one that it would take him some time to get over.  But then again, maybe with a little help from his friends and his liquor cabinet, he'd manage to get over this in record time.  He wanted, if nothing else, to exercise the memory of Daron Ander from his mind, and from his life forever.  The poisonous man was dead, and to let him affect him so, was just giving his specter more power.  


Tog shook his head and stood up, a resolute expression on his face that slowly changed into a smile.  It was the smile he always wore, whether he was laughing or crying inside, but the one even his enemies couldn't keep from his face for long.  It was a smirk of defiance, and it gave him strength to wear it.

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Feeling improved after the shower, Cassandra stepped out into the cool night air dressed in a fresh pair of clothes, the hoodie and jeans an extra set kept in her office, and a weary smile on her face. The therapy sessions always left her emotionally and mentally raw; vulnerable enough that after finishing all she was capable of doing was heading home to curl up in bed with an old film and some comfort food. Tonight would've been the same if not for the text. This session left a sensation akin to descriptions of being stretched on the rack, but an inquiry to hang out from Togh was always welcome. Plus it definitely wasn't to be passed up given that her friend was in need. When it came to someone else needing company and distraction then her own mood didn't matter.


Tugging on a pair of leather gloves, she glanced around for Togh and had to laugh when spotting him.


[cassg]Are you practicing a new modeling pose?[/cassg]


That more people didn't mistake Togh for a model was something she found entertaining, but not nearly as much as when people did ask him things like if they'd seen him in an underwear ad. Cassandra wasn't beneath teasing him after those encounters. Of course, they never seemed to phase Togh and he got his revenge when she found herself on the receiving end of such comments.


Adjusting the blue-and-yellow-striped chunky scarf wrapped about her neck and moving to his side, a wide smile appearing in reaction to his own, she did her best to ignore the brisk wind blowing in their direction. The chill of the air was harsh against her cheeks though the redness it brought was welcome. At least it would hide the lack of color from the therapy session which weighed more heavily on her mind tonight than she preferred as this evening was about her friend.


Turning away from the wind, slipping one arm through Togh's own, she leaned against his side and looked around them to get a feel for the surroundings. Standing outside HQ didn't mean it was a pass to be irresponsible.


[cassg]What has you in need of frivolous activity? And what'd you have in mind?[/cassg]

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