We're Shinsengumi Lunatics!
I suppose the first thing you should know about the Shinsengumi is that we're kinda badasses.
I mean, take Sefer Yetzirah. Our boss. She always walks around with this goddamn smirk and her hands in her pockets, like she's the coolest thing out and the queen of the whole goddamn universe. Well the thing is, she could be, couldn't she? I mean, most people who do that sorta stuff - like, people who wear sunglasses indoors or trenchcoats or godawful stuff like that - they think they're all this and that and a total badass, but at the end of the day they're just scrubs, right? But Sefer's the real deal. I mean, she walks around with her hands in her pockets, and she doesn't even need to take them out - like, if she wanted to beat the crap out of someone, she'd just summon her Stand to do it, or teleport them in half with their mind. And she always has that smirk because she always knows what's going on. She really does.
Then there's Lilith. She's not as much as a badass as Sefer, I guess - like, she's all cutesy and girly. Not that you can't be girly and badass, though. God, I've used that word so much it's lost all meaning, right? I suppose what Lilith is, she's cool. Like, she can be all cutesy, and she'll give you a hug if you're feeling down, and if you're ill she'll sit by your bed all day until you get better, but when the push comes to the shove she won't hesistate to cap a guy. I mean, her Stand's this cool railgun thing, and she knows how to use it. I'm fairly sure she blew up a moon once. And that's cool - being able to be yourself, but also being strong enough to protect the people you care about, and having no conflict between those two things. God, I sound all mushy, now. I need more coffee.
Then, there's Zero. Strong silent type. I mean, too silent for my tastes. I like someone who knows when to shut up, but he hardly ever talks, and if he does, it's only to Sefer. But he's a badass. I mean, anyone who carries two Katanas, and has an eyepatch - I mean, it goes without saying. They're a badass. But there's not much to say about him, really.
Then there's Kira. For starters, that's a girl's name. Kira. I'm not the only one seeing this, right? And he's the reason I said we're kinda badasses. I mean, carrying six Katanas is cool, but what the hell's the point if you can't use them. He does all those spinny tricks with them but it's just like - well, he could've taken a gun, or just a slightly lower amount of Katanas. Or something. And he has this really, really blatant crush on Sefer. Like, I guess she's pretty hot, but there are far better looking girls and - well, Kira's not bad looking himself, so I'm sure he'd have no problem scoring any of them. But Sefer's just so goddamned evil, I mean, I've no issue being friends with her but I wouldn't be like, "Hey, Sefer, let's smash pissers!" - mainly because I'm not a lesbian, but even if I were, I'd probably go for someone slightly less mephistophelian. But whatever. Different strokes for different folks.
And then there's me. Lucy Farr. I do what I want.
But anyway, we're the Shinsengumi. Essentially, we're a secret society that does whatever Sefer feels we should be doing at any given moment. Like, robbing banks or stealing prototype weapons. But recently, Sefer's had this plan - basically, accrue all the allies we can, and then - ah, well, I won't spoil it for you. But it's good. It really is. Anyway, what I'm about to tell you about, it took place a few weeks ago.
If you haven't seen the throne room before, then I suppose I need to describe it for you. What it was, it was this castle built by this desert-faring civilization, so obviously it was made of sandstone and all that. But then the Ta'har came. Now, the Ta'har - sorry, the Shattered Mirror Ta'har - well, they don't believe in fighting a defensive battle. So, when they occupied the planet, they didn't change any of the fortifications. But they did put up banners. A lot of them. So the throne room was like this; an old-school desert castle, with a nice cool breeze flowing in through the windows, but there were these big banners, all black and red, all around the place. Now, the Ta'har empire sorta fell apart after their leader, Ta'harok, sorta upped and disappeared, and the whole thing fell into splinter factions with civil wars and what-not, so these guy's weren't the Ta'har empire, they were the Neo-Ta'har Movement. So their emblem was a little different. How? Jesus Christ, I don't know. I'm not an expert on heraldry.
Anyway, these guys thought they were the truest followers of Ta'harok's will, so they had a picture of him on the wall. In front of it sat their leader. Kar Ta'varak. Now, I don't see how he could be called Kar, because he never defeated Ta'harok in combat. But that's what they called him. Sefer sat opposite him, and there was a small table between them. I was next to Sefer - well, on her left, and then Kira was on her right.
"I apologize, Lady Yetzirah."
"Please. Lord." replied Sefer. I don't know, I think the Ta'har don't have gendered language like we do, so she didn't want him to go to the extent of trying to use it or something. I think she liked Lord better, anyway.
"Lord Yetzirah. I'm afraid the Neo-Ta'har movement cannot ally itself with the Shinsengumi. We share too few common interests, and you do not possess the size or power to make it a fair deal - for us. Please understand."
"I do." she said, rising from her seat. "But you are mistaken."
"We may not have the size of the Neo-Ta'har, but we're more powerful."
At that, her Stand, Cruel Angel's Thesis, materialized. Now, that thing really weirds me out. You can never quite look at it right, y'know? It's like everything else you look at is 1080p, 60fps or whatever and then it's just - glitchy. Like it's not really there. Anyway, the Ta'har were taken back. One of them even pointed a gun at it. Honestly.
"Who is this?" asked Ta'varak. He was sorta freaked out.
"This is my Stand, Cruel Angel's Thesis. It's a physical manifestation of the power of the Fruit of Life. Ally yourself with us, and we will share that power with you."
"It's cheap parlor trick." Said Ta'Varak's bodyguard - sorry, I probably should've mentioned he was there. He was sorta standing next to this pillar - well, before Cruel Angel's Thesis appeared, and then he moved over to Ta'varak.
"It's the most powerful being in existence." replied Sefer, proper confidently. She her slid hands into her pockets.
"What a ridiculous claim." replied the bodyguard - I wish I got his name, now, but I never did - and after he said that, he drew his sword. The cutting edge glew red. "I'll do away with it."
The guard kicked off the ground, and then springboarded off the table, jumping down towards Cruel Angel's- honestly, we'll just call it CAT. Anyway, CAT teleported out of the way, like, instantly. He reappeared behind the bodyguard, who swung, but CAT disappeared again, reappearing behind him. This continued for a bit until the guard got proper exhausted.
"It's just a cheap trick!" replied the guard. "Teleportation - I see it all the time. Face me like a man!"
"I'm not sure you'll like that." replied Sefer, raising an eyebrow. CAT disappeared, reappearing a couple of meters away. The guard licked his lips, spinning his sword before charging. He jumped. Ta'har always jump before they attack, god knows why. Anyway, the blade went straight through CAT's chest. And then he screamed. The guard, that is. He fell backwards, clutching at his chest, which was bleeding profusely.
"W-What is this?" he replied. Cruel Angel's Thesis dematerialized, the blade falling to the floor.
"Stands are incredibly powerful combatants, and they're completely immune to damage. Their one main drawback is that their user takes the damage for them - at least, a portion of it. The only way to kill a Stand is to kill its user."
Sefer walked over to the guard, and placed her hand on his chest. The wound underneath healed, a red glow seeping out from between her fingers. It looked really cool, I guess. He looked up at her, thankful, but also embarrassed. I mean - Ta'har don't really have the same facial expressions at us, but if i had to put a description to the one he was making, it'd be that. Thankful, but embarrassed.
"Cruel Angel's Thesis is the only stand that can break this rule. Instead of the user taking its damage, its attacker does. Unless I'm killed... it's completely immortal."
Ta'varak gasped. It all made sense now. I mean, it must've, right? It would've been too hard to figure out beforehand. Sefer turned to him.
"Touching the Fruit of Life is all that is needed to generate a Stand. Naturally, they won't all be as powerful as mine - Cruel Angel's Thesis is the first, you see. But, if you still wish to turn down this kind of power-"
"We'll ally with the Shinsengumi." replied Ta'varak. "I want a Stand for every Lord. Those are our terms."
"And I want a title." replied Sefer. "Nothing serious - I just like collecting them, that's all."
Ta'varak nodded curtly, then turned to the guard. "We'll need to see to his wounds. We'll discuss the full terms at a later date, but until then... consider the Neo Ta'har and the Shinsengumi to be allies."
Sefer smiled, and turned to leave.
Anyway, we left the castle. Outside - well, it was a desert town. Mainly humans, with a few Ta'har, and then a few other, less handsome aliens. We really didn't stand out from the crowd - Sefer was wearing a desert cloak, and Kira was only carrying one of his swords. So it was really surprising when - well, this sort of desert monk stood up, and then he stood in our path. He was wearing these thick robes, and carried a staff. He was black. Pretty handsome - I mean, probably too old for someone like me - and he had a beard.
Sefer raised an eyebrow. "Oh? I don't believe we're acquainted."
"I am fully acquainted with evil, as its eternal enemy."
"That's a pretty hefty thing to say."
He pointed his staff towards Sefer. "My name is Cassius Calm. My power is to detect the Chakras of other living beings, and yours is an aura of pure evil intent. Therefore, I must challenge you to a duel."
"Yeah." replied Sefer, throwing off her cloak. She shot towards Cassius, faster than anyone could've expected - usually, she summoned her Stand, but this time it was different. I didn't realize why at the time. Calm raised his staff to protect him, but her fingertips shot through it, snapping it in half - they were glowing red, with that same energy she used to teleport and heal. They hit him in the chest - he gasped, flying backwards, but she teleported behind him, and hit him in the back. His knees went weak, and he fell to them. She teleported in front of him, arms folded. "That didn't work out so well, did it?"
"You're... a monster."
"I know." she replied, and then he fell flat on his face, unconscious. It was so badass. She turned to Kira. "Take him up to the ship, and lock him in the brig."
"Yes, my Lord."
Kira reached down, and picked him up. He was struggling under Cassius's pure bulk, but made do, and walked off. The Kusanagi - our ship - well, we'd landed it on the surface, instead of waiting in orbit. Only Sefer can teleport, you see. The rest of us either need to use shuttles, or hope the ship's transporter is working well enough - it never is. After that, Sefer turned to me.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"I've never seen you take on anyone yourself - y'know, with your bare hands and stuff. Why didn't you use your Stand?"
She sighed. "I have an extreme policy of never killing anyone who doesn't intend to kill me. It's the one part of my life that allows me to maintain the illusion that I'm not an entirely evil person. Cruel Angel's Thesis doesn't share my views."
"Your Stand, Sympathy For The Devil, is under your control when summoned. Occasionally, it'll act in a way you didn't expressly specify, like when it forces open its mouth and roars. But with Cruel Angel's Thesis, my instructions are less commands, and more... suggestions. There's a mental bond between a user and their Stand - it's why you get hurt when it does, and why it obeys your commands, even if they're unspoken. That link doesn't exist between me and Cruel Angel's Thesis - so I don't get hurt when it does, but I don't really control it."
She started walking towards the ship. Kira was out of sight now. Anyway, it was evident that she wanted me to follow her, so I did.
"Cruel Angel's Thesis is driven by an intense self-preservation instinct - but, as it can't be killed, this manifests as a desire to protect me. This means that anyone who tries to attack me, or who Cruel Angel's Thesis even thinks might be about to attack me, will be killed by it - instantly. The only way to prevent this is to not summon it, but - it's not always that easy."
"It can summon itself?"
"Worse." she replied. Her smirk was gone. That was a truly scary sight - like, I'd never seen it before. "It's not just a Stand that can't be controlled by its user, it's a Stand that can control it's user. Of course, you can fight it - but not for long. That's why I took that guy out so quickly - because it would've killed him, and probably wouldn't have stopped there."
"It would've killed me and Kira?" I replied.
She smirked. "Yeah. It doesn't really care whether I'm in any real danger at that point. Let me put it this way; Have you ever wondered why, in all the time we've worked together, I've never mentioned my family?"
I looked to the Kusanagi, which was up ahead. "You mean-?"
She nodded. "The Fruit of Life was often purported to confer the blessing of immortality upon its user, but in my experience, it's something of a curse."
"That's... horrible. I'm sorry."
"Don't be. Just don't tell anyone."
I nodded. And then, we didn't say anything. We walked to the Kusanagi, and what we saw was, marks in the sand where Kira had dragged Cassius because he got too heavy. And then we got in the ship, and flew off. We were going to somewhere called Luria. Personally, I had never heard of it before. But if Sefer thought it was important - then, hell, it must've been.