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Everything posted by PrinceBlueblood

  1. A lost throne? This conversation was starting to get political, and as a rule, the Prince did not do such business in the open square. Not that he planned to recommend any of Equestria's resources be spent to restore Anu's rule... but he could always slip the name of a few adventure junkies he happened to know. Send them and any trouble they caused far away to foreign shores, and possibly right an injustice at the same time. Win-win. Still, best to get this parade back into gear. "Just so, gentle-dogs. If you will excuse me for just a moment..." Nodding to Hogo-sha and Anu in turn he addressed his feline companion once again. "[They well may, you have very nice haunches indeed. But the buildings block the view. Let us make our way to the central park. You should have a bit of room to stretch in, and they shall have an unobstructed view.]" The flattery was not insincere, plus the fact that Blueblood was as interested in showing off Niilavin as Niil would have been showing off himself. The trip to the park was made in record time, thanks to the agile paws of the sphinx. The park was not empty, as it almost never was, especially on a fine day, but the Canterlot crowds were easily induced to give the Prince and his ride a wide berth. Many would still watch from the bushes or trees, however, and a bold few might approach even closer. Upon arrival, Blueblood would slide down Niil's withers to the ground, still leaning up against the big kitty's side. "Ah, there, and now we are comfortable. I regret only not packing any provisions for a picnic, but I will be happy to serve refreshments at my home manor come teatime. Now tell us, honored guest," He turned to Anu, "Your full story. The tale of a lost throne is rarely a dull one, and I trust I may safely speak for Hogo-sha's interest as well?"
  2. It wasn't surprising to Blueblood that Ossia would hold the falsified alicorn in contempt. Didn't do a darn thing to cure his wing-envy, but that was a side matter. What he could offer more relevant commentary on was reliability of allies. "Honestly, that's why I use the House staff as my henchponies. It turns out that being able to do a good job in cleaning an upkeep signifies quite a lot in terms of how reliable one is in supporting one's acts of theft and mayhem. I wouldn't trade them for any mercenary or powered-up pony you care to name." He chuckled. "I guess my general rule of thumb would be, if you're not willing to get into a maid outfit for me, you're not really on board with me." An amusing thought, but on reflection, not one that could be realistically applied universally. "I suppose that's more for subordinates than allies, though." Ossia's question about Bravo caused the Prince to purse his lips and furrow his brow in thought. All for nothing in the end, though, so he quickly smoothed out his expression before nascent wrinkles made their presence known upon his face. "I'm afraid I couldn't tell you. I think he's taken it upon himself to guard the gate against unwanted intrusions from his world, though he's smuggling his children in." He gave another sigh as he said, "Probably going to get them enrolled in Auntie's school, now that I think about it." It was just as well for the interdimensional alicorn that Blueblood's last thought before her song and dance number was negative regarding his aunts. As it was, the whole display both thrilled and puzzled him, seeming to come on at an at best tangentially relevant question. His expression remained impressed, but his tail was thrashing in an almost impatient manner, until she reached the very climax of her coda: "Alright, alright! Should have known better than to ask a mare her age..." The bathos of the moment struck the pair like the floor would after slipping on a banana peel. That said, he could not have witnessed the moment unaffected, and most certainly was not. "All that said..." He took a deep breath, knowing this would be the moment of no return. "If you think me worthy, I shall be a carrier and envoy of your flames!"
  3. There was a kind of practical cynicism to Icy's assessment that might come as refreshing to one that had choked upon the too-sweet optimism of common Equestrian life. But to Earth Writer... he found it unsatisfying, even a little unsettling. He'd seen that attitude a few too many times to find it a novelty, and in ponies who had not used whatever insights their attitude gave for the better. But what choice did he have, in the end, but to trust her good intentions? Without trust, there was no hope for either of them, or the nation they called home. With a nod more solemn than any grand bow, he voiced his agreement: "I shall do what has been said; you have my Word." And with the grip of his hoof, he sealed the pact. Immediately, he felt the energy, the magic, course through him. It was like a spark of electricity, followed by a stream of cold water through his veins, ultimately spreading to every part of his body. He shuddered, not unpleasantly, at the sensation as it passed through. "I don't know about what you said, though. About words and actions. I think the kinds of words we just spoke, of promises and sacred honor, underlie our power to actually act. I know we break these promises at our peril. I mean, I lost my first job, one which had no small persuasive power, because I broke a promise to tell the truth. And even in the military sphere, a leader who breaks a promise to a subordinate loses their power to accomplish their mission; I mean, the Storm King probably would have won if he kept his promises as seriously as we do ours."
  4. All thoughts of a birthday bash were quite directly driven out of Blueblood's head by the flying book. Being struck on the nose by a leatherbound tome will do that to a pony. "Obth!" He yelped, sitting down suddenly as he pinched a foreleg against his muzzle. A little drip of red revealed that he was bleeding; though the Prince was currently more worried about his coat staining than anything more serious about his injury. "Thtupid gothts..." He growled, a rather feeble imitation of Sombra at his most intimidating. One he stemmed the flow enough to get back on all fours again, he picked up the book with his magic, wondering if the title would give any kind of clue. Unfortunately, it wasn't in Equestrian, or any of the other languages the diplomat was literate in. The hard, angular letters had something... crystalline about them. An ancient Imperial book? But why would someone publish a book in a dead language? His frown deepened; was there some kind of magic surrounding this book? "Could you guyth run thome detecting thpells on this? I think there'th thome magic thurrounding it..."
  5. 'Mass-produced' alicorns? That drew a raised eyebrow from Blueblood. Not that he necessarily thought the concept such an abomination; he'd bless the assembly line which would affix a pair of wings to him. Still, best not to display such abject envy before the teacher, though. "Well, as the old Prench Villain once said, 'Quantity has a Quality all its own.' Of course, the Grand Armee would not have been what it was without Neighpoleon, and he certainly wasn't leading the lot you faced." The fact that the Prince had actually picked up a bit of famous history might have been surprising to some, but scraps of facts did filter down, or up, to every mind eventually. Plus, as a villain relying on henchmaids, those in the past who made good use of minions were targets for his emulation. Ossia did pick up on the initiative he was displaying, and suitably praised it, though not without dumping a bucket of cold water on his head to reduce the swelling. But that didn't shake him near as much as that glimpse of something terrible in her face, something that spoke of a darkness in her past that his relatively pampered life had no peek into. He took a deep breath, glad at least that whatever she had felt, it wouldn't be dumped on him. "Well, I suppose the trip would be rough. This isn't actually the weakest place for travelers to come in, unless like you said there was already someone here trying to open portals. That's what my friend was trying to do when that Bravo chap showed up." He blinked again in surprise at the mention of the Avalon Five. "What, you're that old!?" He blurted out, before immediately catching himself. "Er, right. Alicorn, should have known. I can only hope to preserve myself so well."
  6. "Hmmm...." Blueblood did a quick comparison in his head between these paranormal manifestations and the ones he had to deal with in his summer house. "So, it's mostly been objects moving by themselves, not shadows taking strange shapes, cryptic messages, or anything like that? I think that sounds more like a haunting than a curse, or at least the kind of curse I had to deal with. I'm assuming no one new came to the palace in that time that you can remember?" His reflections, as he fell back, were pretty grim. Whatever was causing this, there was probably an active agent of some kind, either a ghost or some kind of well-hidden monster. Well-hidden monster with magic. He'd seen too much to disbelieve in either at this point, and his only comfort was in the fighting competency of his companions. *Kind of still wish Foxglove were here. Could use her expertise.* Of course, if worst came to worst, he supposed he could just send her an invitation. He had a fairly extensive network of ponies who could deal with these things, now that he thought about it. Totaling all them up... heck, whatever they were facing hardly stood a chance! That thought perked him up, enough to even engage in a little small talk. "Hmm... she's a real night owl, as you probably know, and not one much concerned with the sort of things mares usually buy to show off. I'd probably go with giving her a unique night-time experience. I wonder if Auntie Luna can do temporary constellations; one of Icy on her birthday be pretty fantastic!" He smiled, but then dipped a little bit as his political mind ran through the implications. "Of course... then poor Auntie would be swamped with mountains of requests by the rest of the nobility for such a privilege. Not to mention all the businesses that would try to purchase it as advertising space. Hmmm... I think I'll have to get back to you on that." Hogo-sha's boomign sneeze brought them all to the front, and Blueblood had to sigh a bit as he saw his friend's true form. "Well, I suppose there wasn't going to be any hiding it for long. Yes, my friend is a wolf-yokai. This is his natural form, say hello everyone."
  7. Earth Writer did have to laugh a bit at Icy's conditions. "Oh, believe me, I wasn't expecting that. I'm a stallion of the pen, not the sword." Taking one last look over the great hull laid out in the canyon before him, he couldn't help but reflect upon the fact that weapons had come quite a long way since that saying was first coined. "You know... thinking back to the whole idea that words trump force... I wonder sometimes if that's more aspirational than factual. Nothing I can say or write can alter past events, nor can they really guarantee or prevent any future ones. But there's a funny little thing about facts. You can't change what the facts are, but you can change what they mean. Whether a foreign attack is a sign of weakness, or the waking of a sleeping giant... words can decide that, in the right place and time."
  8. While dimensional rifts were not unknown in this world, they weren't uniformly distributed; some countries dealt with them more than others. Some countries dealt with them so often, in fact, that their governments had entire divisions dedicated to tracking and predicting such breaches, and doing it well. Equestria... was not one of those countries. But Neighpon was. The Shogunate didn't normally venture so far outside of its borders to deal with any breaches it located in other continents, but if it had agents in place already... Shiroi Boshi, better known as Kōkina Kyūkei, didn't especially mind her vacation being interrupted. If her leave from duty wasn't mandatory, chances were she wouldn't have taken it; the mare was haunted by a constant concern for her native land. And while the breach wasn't a threat to Neighpon per se, that only meant she had the opportunity to observe, and subsequently maximize the opportunities this might present to the Shogunate. On the surface, the unicorn didn't look all that different from the sort of tech-cyborg that Lightning dust was, only with a more "street samurai" fashion sense, and tech several generations behind. Not so much behind that she couldn't detect the presence of advanced technology, but certainly too far behind to easily interface. *Just what in the name of Inuyasha dropped down, and how can I get me some of that?* Licking her lips slightly at the thought of all the new toys that could come from a successful capture or neutralization, she made her way to the park, upstream of the panicked civilians fleeing. *Like the koi, pursuing the destiny of dragonhood.* Upon emerging to view the altercation, she immediately ducked behind a bush, eyes wide at the supplemented pegasus. *Long live the-? She must come from a world where the Tatakau Zaibatsu continued and spread! This is extremely worrisome...* Indeed, if any resentful veteran of those corporate civil wars got even so much as a hint of LD's emergence, there would be considerable trouble back home, which could not be tolerated. Hence, why Kōkina was willing to deploy some more... experimental gear. Taking out what looked like a dart gun, she took aim, and fired... what looked like a cloud of smoke. The smoke, however, was more that what it seemed. A cloud of nanite transmitters, a gaseous supercomputer, designed to be a universal interfacer with all technology more advanced that a slide rule. "Now, let's just see what is what is what with you..." She muttered under her breath in her native tongue, a less-sophisticated readout appearing on the inner lens of her shades.
  9. Ehehehe.... whoops. Blueblood hadn't informed Hogo-sha of the rather... storied past of their party leader. Thankfully, it wasn't a problem for the yokai, one instance where his being a foreigner actually helped with them getting along. Not having suffered at Sombra's hooves, either personally or vicariously, there was no lingering bitterness to linger like a hidden rock serpent, waiting to strike. The Prince shuddered, he felt as if he'd had a narrow escape from some dark machination, and that a plotter was grumbling in secret while drawing up some elaborate plan b. Trying to get his mind on the subject, he threw himself into the role of lieutenant, trying to get as good a grip as he could on the situation. "Great, while we're tracking down where this is coming from... does anyone remember when it started? I've been away for a while, and I don't recall anything dark in the atmosphere when I left... so it must have come up between now and when I took you out for drinks, Sombra. What's been happening around here since them?"
  10. Prince Blueblood stared agape at Ossia's display, but despite the rather empty look in his baby-blue eyes, his brain was in fact working. "Other worlds... like, parallel dimensions, you mean?" The unicorn cocked his head as a purple version of his homeworld floated over it. "My friend talks about things like that, and we did in fact seem to get a visitor from another dimension last time I visited, too. Odd fellow, came over with a heavy suit of weaponized armor. Apparently in his timeline, I was a war hero! Which was flattering... or would be, if we had won. From what he told me about what Equestria was like where he was, we apparently didn't." Clearing his throat to cover his embarrassment, he listened to the rest of the alicorn's words with a more engaged expression. "I see. That makes sense, though it rather raises further questions. What's your homeworld like? I'm assuming you aren't married to whoever takes up White Knight's spot back home. Why'd you come here? You mentioned revenge, so I assume this isn't the first time. And.... are you planning to stay?" With the last question, he matched her intent stare with a hopeful, not to say infatuated, stare. It was only to be expected, of course, that Blueblood would fall in love. It was part of her nature, was it not? Honestly, the only surprising thing is that such feelings would take so long to reach his heart, after she had captivated every other part of him....
  11. "Hmm..." Earth Writer's eyes roamed over the warship's chassis, his gaze falling not so much on it, as on sleeker flying longships locked and burned into both their memories. "I'll understand if you don't want to put all of STAR into one basket, as it were, but I'd like to be aboard for that mission myself. If you don't think I'd be in the way, that is." He sighed, putting his pen away. "It's something we both need closure on, really. I'm only just now realizing how little I've come to terms with the whole experience, even now."
  12. Despite the looming cloud of darkness hanging over the place, Blueblood couldn't help but feel a little lighter in his heart. It always happened like this, whenever he changed from a bystander to an adventurer. It was addicting, in its own way, which is why he kept doing it, even after so many harrowing and life-threatening experiences. Facing darkness with good fighting companions was just... right, in some fundamental way. Perhaps this is what Twilight meant, when she kept talking about the magic of friendship? "Excellent! Glad to see our little party gelling well." Yokai disguised as diamond dogs wouldn't necessarily be an easy sell with everypony, but it looked like Auntie Celestia was wise enough with her choice of lovers, at least in so far as the circle around him went. "I'll cede leadership to you, Sombra. This is, after all, more your house than mine." While a common sight around the palace, the Prince had his own manor to call home. "Now that we're all together... where do you suppose we'd start? Where does it feel the worst?"
  13. There it was, hunkered down in a ravine like a hibernating bear. The sleep would be long yet, but when she woke, there would be fire and terror sown amidst the crowds of Equestria's enemies. Such was the first phrase that leaped to Earth Writer's mind, after he had gotten done with being just plain shocked at the sight of the airship in construction. Immediately picking his jaw off the floor, he scrawled the line on the outside of his folder so he didn't forget it. That little bit of mental housework done, he cleared his throat and turned back to Icy. "I understand. She's certainly massive, and I can see why you'd not want any delays in getting her operational. But did you have any plans for her maiden voyage that were time sensitive?"
  14. Blueblood sighed in relief as he saw his servant come to his senses, helping Valen up with a steadying hoof. "Easy there, relax and you'll fumble a bit less, remember?" The Prince had needed to coach his maid back when Valen had first come to work for him as repayment for a financial favor done for the Orange clan. The poor colt had been so nervous at first that the unicorn feared for the integrity of every fragile thing in his house! Fortunately, a few years had made Valencia a true natural at what they did. "Princess Cadence is locked up in another cell; do you have a key for that one too?" While not entirely certain of such things, the Prince not being the whole 'adventuring royal' trope, he had some suspicion that the Alicorn of Love would be key to defeating this impostor... ~ Chrysalis knew something was wrong. A queen's connection to her Hive was a deep one, empathic and telepathic as well as political. As such, she usually had a pretty good idea of where all her drones and soldiers were at any time, and could give commands without vocalizing them, with the expenditure of a little magic. But now? Those links were weakening; units positioned to await invasion orders were swarming in prematurely and anarchically, no doubt sending ponies into a panic, but any disciplined response would blow them away like the mooks they were. Even more worrying, however, was the fact that some connections seemed turned off entirely. Dead, or treasonous? Either would prove fatal to her plans. *It's all that pretender Princess' fault! I should have just squished her when I had a chance. No matter, once that bug is taken care of, I can just go to where I stashed Celestia and Luna to top off on power, then I can wrest victory back from the brink!* Undeterred in confidence, she stalked onwards, up the stairs to the floor where Hope was... ~ Shining Armor groaned. What day was it? He couldn't remember, beyond a vague sense that it was something important. Too important for him to be lying on the stone floor like this. He couldn't get up though. No energy. But Cadence would come back for him. Cadence would make him feel all better. That's what she'd done for the past week, lovely alicorn...
  15. Chrysalis snarled. "I will take your life, your soul, with interest!" This cocky little buzzer, who did she think she was? A rival queen? That may well have been the case, the way she bore herself, throwing magic around like it wasn't anything to her. It was this rage that blinded her to Hope's next tactic, a forced teleportation. One easily countered, of course; as soon as Chryssie realized what had happened, she snapped herself right back into Canterlot Palace, as Shining's shield over the city had long since disintegrated. "Oh, clever girl...." The Queen murmured as she stalked her new enemy, having come back some rooms away from where the first confrontation had been. "I'll admit you're good, but that won't work again..." While still running hot with magic and anger, Chrysalis was calmer in mind now, realizing that Hope was a genuine threat she had to take seriously, if her plans were not to be ruined. To this end, she pulled back every extraneous enchantment to have the power free for round 2 of the fight. Down below in the basement, clouds would begin to lift from the minds of those enthralled....
  16. "Crystal, Ma'am." Earth Writer threw Icy a salute, a decidedly non-regulation one, but a little too sincere to be called a mock-salute. "Reveals by means of 'anonymous sources' are passe, in any case. I prefer the big show, where you can send in the 8x10 color glossy photographs with the paragraphs on the back explaining each one to the major magazines." Another legacy of his time with Heart Stopper; a mind more attuned to the demands of politics his superiors than journalistic practice. Given that he was no longer a journalist, that would serve him well in this position. "Now, my own personal curiosity is killing me, so will you save the life of this poor cat and let me see?"
  17. Introductions completed all around, Blueblood nodded. It was slightly disappointing that Sobmra couldn't immediately recognize what exactly was going on, but these things were hardly as easy as all that in any case. It was the nature of dark magic to be tricky like that, and no competent wielder would allow themselves to be sussed out at the first go, even posthumously. "Mmm, nothing specific? It feels like a curse more than an active enchantment, the sort of thing that lingers around an artifact or grave rather than something done by a living caster, but I've really only dealt with curses before, so I'm not the best judge of such things." He sighed. With no leads, the only thing to do was hunt them down. "Alright then, Raven, if you don't have anything on your plate for today, I propose we start hunting it down immediately. Not straight to the source, but at least dig up enough to prepare to face... whatever it is. We may have to bring in reinforcements before the end; I know a few who I trust to do an exorcism if necessary."
  18. The Queen was in a right properly sour mood; of all the things that could happen, on today of all days, some random princess from out of nowhere wanted to ruin her plans! Just when she thought she had them all under her control, too. No matter, there was a reason she held her power in reserve. Overconfident she may have been, but stupid she was not. Once she saw the blue spirit appear, she aimed her blast at it rather than Hope. After all, she knew that all the power Hope had at her personal disposal wouldn't be enough to defeat her, so backup would be coming from somewhere. And now she knew where! "Oh no you don't, my dear!" She called out in a mockingly condescending tone as she aimed to blast away the apparition. "You won't get across me that easy-ugh!" The blast, though far from debilitating, knocked the Hive Queen back a few dozen feet, leaving her pressed against the wall. "Hmph, that scuffed my chitin! After I spent an hour polishing it, too; you shall pay for that!"
  19. It wasn't exactly reassuring to have his suspicions confirmed; whatever it said about his sanity, Prince Blueblood would most certainly have preferred to be wrong about an evil presence in the capital building of Equestria. If there was any comfort to be taken, it was in the power and competence of his companion. Considering Hogo-sha's questions, he pursed his lips. "No, but then, this isn't exactly my palace; somepony else may well have. It is somewhat similar to the feeling I got in my summer home, and that came from great-great grandfather Bluebeard bringing home cursed treasure." Clicking his tongue at the memory, he caught a sour taste in the air and grimaced. "Bleah... I think I'll definitely want you at your full power when we run up against... whatever's causing this." Taking a few more steps as he considered their options, he finally nodded. "We'll need to consult an expert. Fortunately, Auntie does keep one around, though not for that exact purpose..." It didn't take long for the pair to find Sombra, accompanied by Raven. Smiling in greeting, he turned to the Umbrum. "Yes, I just came back from another trip. I say, there's something in the air here, something not right. I daresay you know more about it than I do, so how about it, old chap?"
  20. Earth Writer nodded at the loyalty oath; only to be expected when one was recruiting a bunch of powerful ponies to do dangerous things. It was a bit of a revelation that Ice herself was solely sworn to the Night Princess, but again not wholly surprising. None of this elicited comment. Her remark about quills, however, did prompt him to pull a platinum-tipped pen out of his pocket. "I wasn't wholly deprived of my livelihood after being fired from the paper. Quills are cruelty to birds in any sense. No need to use archaic tools. Modern problems require modern solutions, after all; that's why you're doing this, right?"
  21. Chrysalis was no slouch when it came to psychological undermining; there were few things that could unsettle Blueblood than hearing those words coming out of Valen's mouth. The pony in front of him was in every appearance his maid, but it wasn't really Valencia behind the eyes... But he couldn't falter, couldn't let the brave face slip. If he broke, Chrysalis wouldn't find him fun to toy with, and his value as a decoy would be lost. Gathering his scattered wits with a snort, he put as much scorn as he could muster into his voice. "Really now? How dreadfully inefficient. You could make a half-decent case for our need of new management, but not if you waste energy by not channeling natural inclinations." Underneath his disdainful expression, he wondered if letting slip the fairly large amount of repressed subservience within him was wise. No matter, larger things than his dignity were at stake. *I hope Hope is living up to her name...* ~***~ Blueblood's efforts were not in vain, insofar as his erstwhile ally was not in any way accosted until she reached Chrysalis' chamber. The Bug Queen was currently indulging herself with spying upon her prisoners as she toyed with them, until she whirled around to confront the intruder. "What!?" She uttered in a voice halfway between a scream and a hiss. "You... I should have known there was something off about you." She apparently recognized the errant changeling as the one she encountered from her venture as 'Cadence' this morning, and seethed at herself for letting her pass as one of her own. Still, those rumors had been troubling, and this was a perfect opportunity to clear them up once and for all. The Queen's glare split into an evil grin, as laughter bubbled up from the festering cauldron of her soul. "BWAHAHA, but now you've come to confront me, at the height of my power and triumph!?" Her horn glowed with all the magic she'd siphoned from Equestrian royalty. "Thank you for sparing me the effort to hunt you down, I shall squash you right here!"
  22. Ponies often wondered why Prince Blueblood had a compass rose cutie mark. After all, it wasn't as if he was the captain of a ship, the sort of profession that a pony would normally adopt after discovering a special talent in navigation. But like most symbolic representations, the compass signified metaphorical talents as well. Blueblood was a navigator, yes, of social currents and atmospheres, able to sense which way the political winds were blowing, and the general good or bad vibes that could stir up and swirl about whenever you had enough ponies in one place. It served him well in his political and diplomatic career, and he was even sensitive to currents and atmospheres of a more... mystical origin. Thus, when he returned to the palace from his latest foray into the hinterlands, the Prince could immediately sense that something was off. Granted, it was fairly obvious that the guards were in lockdown mode, though they could hardly bar royalty from entering the palace. But still, there was an eerily familiar chill slinking down his spine, one that reminded him of a certain incident in his old summer house. *By the rising of my hackles, an evil force has shed its shackles.* It was at times like these that he regretted not having his regular crew of bodyguards and adventurers that accompanied him whenever he ventured someplace dangerous; though he hardly imagined that coming home to the palace would necessitate any such thing! Fortunately, he'd brought along a guest that seemed well able to take care of himself, a visitor from the eastern lands who fancied himself a hero. They certainly made quite an eye-catching pair, the pristine unicorn stallion and the katana-wielding diamond dog. "So... am I going crazy, or can you sense something wrong too?" He remarked in a low voice to his companion.
  23. I've got game night tonight, but I'll see if I can write an intro for Bluey into here tomorrow.
  24. Superhero/Supervillain Name: Kōkina Kyūkei (Noble Break; the closest native Japanese phrase I could find to ‘good hacker’) Powers: Construct Reading: Using nothing but her raw magic, she is able to get a read on how any complex magical spell, technology, or magitek construct works, and what it would take to get control of it. She usually wears a set of sunglasses especially enchanted to read them faster Computer and Construct Hacking: Kōkina is one of the premier hackers in Neighpon; given enough time and concentration, there is no piece of technology or magic that she can’t bend to her will. She wears a set of specialized gear to help her do it faster. However, she’s not especially skilled at building any of her own, making her overall power level dependent upon the technology level of her environment. Optmimize/Overclock: Constructs under her control run at maximum efficiency once she has enough time to get used to controlling them. She can even up their performance exponentially, at the cost of burning them out after a short time. Alias: Shiroi Boshi (White Hat) - Also her birth name Backstory: Born to a pair of ordinary salaryponies working for one of the great Zaibatsu of Nieghpon, Shiroi’s natural talent quickly became apparent to her parents, who were excited by the prospect of their filly becoming one of the great “salary heroes” of the company they worked for. This would mean a great increase of prestige for them within the organization, not to mention increase their chances of outright survival as the Tatakau Zaibatsu (War of the Companies) began to grow more violent within the islands. Shiroi, however, was not so easy to manipulate. Equipped with the finest skill-enhancing magitek the Zaibatsu could spare, she was soon able to subvert her would-be master’s own security systems, exposing to her the full extent of their more underhooved activities. An idealistic and patriotic mare, she was utterly disgusted at how all the Zaibatsu were pursuing their own power at the expense of Neighpon as a whole, and so she ran away from home, becoming a free agent hacker, evenhandedly seeking to undermine the power and influence of the warring companies under her new name of Kōkina Kyūkei. This brought her to the attention of the Shogun, a then mostly-sidelined figure aiming to restore peace and security to Neighpon by teaming up with all the powerful ponies that he could. Re-inspired by the dedication of the young dragon-pony, she immediately swore an oath of utter fealty to him, quickly becoming an important part in the Golden Restoration Movement. Her skills at hacking proved essential in breaking the power of the Zaibatsu, convincing many that resistance was futile. In the end, the Shogun was successful in bringing the Tatakau Zaibatsu to an end, and Kōkina Kyūkei soon found herself in his government cabinet, in charge of setting and carrying out the Shogunate’s magitek security policy. Today she remains fully dedicated to her purpose, aiming first and foremost to maintain the supremacy of the Shogunate over the Zaibatsu in terms of the magical, technical, and magiteknical capabilities they control. However, she also seeks to ensure the supremacy of Neighpon in these fields over all other nations, including that of Equestria. This has brought her into conflict with international heroes, as well as villains. But as far as she is concerned, what is good for the Shogunate is good for Neighpon, and what is good for Neighpon is simply good. End of story. Notable Allies: The Shogunate: Kōkina Kyūkei has the full backing of the Neighponese government, with access to the state budget and resources. Any character aligned with the Shogun is likely to be a friend to her, and may count on her aid if it is needed. Tobohime: Kōkina has fought alongside this Yo-Kaiju during the Golden Restoration, and on subsequent occasions when fighting off threats to Neighpon. Notable Personal Villains/Rivals: Disloyal Zabaitsu (Open to be apped) Halvard Breen/IRN-Bou: (Will be apped by me soon) This Caribou mogul has recently made a name for himself on the weapons and security market, first coming to Kōkina’s attention when she found his systems to be supremely resistant to her hacking. She considers him a personal threat to the future security of Neighpon, though few in the government think the situations so dire as that. General Notability: Within Neighpon, she is something of a public figure, being fairly prominent within the Shogunate. Due to the relative isolation of her country until recent times, this has not translated yet into outside fame.
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