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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Zoey Boey
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Zoey Boey better than the alternative

Member Seen 3 hrs ago

Sakura Level 9: 45/90
Karin Level 5: 41/50
Location: Seiran Tunnels
Word Count: 1051
Points Gained: 2
New EXP Balance--- Sakura Level 9: 47/90
Karin Level 5: 43/50

Sakura grunted as she was knocked away, sent scattering through rocks and debris, separated from her team. That was a heavy hit by itself, and Sakura had already been worn down by the previous fights.

Sakura’s overwhelming storm of emotions were all wiped away by the reality check of the massive Other rearing its entire body to bring it down just on little old her, over and over again.

”Peach!” She cried out in dismay, crossing her arms in front of her.

She blocked the first slam, resulting in the sound of breaking glass and blue flash as her guard broke completely. The slams after that were free to hit her, and Sakura was cratered into the ground like she had been during the Orphan fight. Sakura briefly lost consciousness.

That was when Luka and Raz got it off her. Sakura gasped for breath and coughed, practically surrounded in her own personal dust cloud. Visibility for and of her was low to none.

If it wasn’t for her ability Round Two, she would be unconscious, like Karin had been when she got slammed by a giant monster. Instead she just lay there, totally dazed. Over the course of her recovery, her left arm began to bleed, a lot, as well as a cut on her forehead, and some blood trickled from her lips. Maybe she was tougher than she gave herself credit for, but she had still just been totally crushed several times.

Some of her ribs were cracked, she had internal bruising, a concussion, and her left arm was broken from her blocking attempt. While her allies were distracted by the beast, Sakura quietly lay down, struggling to keep her eyes open.

Karin was just trying to keep up with creature, striking its extended limbs and legs whenever an opportunity prevented itself. But the Other was massive. Karin was trying to make it work. It was hard, but if things stayed at this pace, they would win. The Other knew this of course and changed up its strategy.

Plunging its ribbons into the ground, it made to impale every last hero on the scene. Several struck Sakura before she could stand up. There was a yellow spark and Sakura spat up some more blood. It hurt, more than getting stabbed like that usually would, because she was running on fumes.

‘That’s not good,’ she thought, using her good hand to ‘catch’ the blood before most of it could spatter against the ground, like that would do anything. Sakura was pale, her hands shaking.

Soon after that, the creature kicked up such a huge amount of dust that anyone that wanted to help Sakura would lose track of her. But at the very least, the wounded street fighter figured that the Other couldn’t see her, either.

Karin avoided the ribbons on her own and attached herself to the ceiling as the dust engulfed the area. Then she swung over to the wall, grabbing onto a craggy outcropping. Squinting against the dust, she tried to listen carefully to where the ribbons were coming from, so she could avoid them and locate the source.

Meanwhile, Sakura, clutching her battered arm, staggered away from the noises of conflict. Her mind was still hazed. She hadn’t noticed any healers. All she could think about was Peach. She didn’t…get it. Where was everyone? Sakura squinted in the dust.

Out of the thick, dusty haze rushed a humanoid figure, darkly dressed. For a moment this didn't register with Sakura as anything strange; after all, her enemies here weren't people -or weren't anymore, anyway- and given what she'd just been through, a helping hand from an ally whether new or old wasn't just appreciated, but deserved. It left the street fighter in utter shock, then, when the person charged not just to her, but past her, and clipped her shoulder on the way. A fresh lance of pain shot through Sakura's system, making her see stars, and when they stopped dancing through her vision she'd fallen to the ground. Only after a moment did she twist to confront whoever it was who struck her with an anguished, indignant glare. The runner turned too, and the moment Sakura laid eyes on her she realized that this was no friend of hers. Feminine in stature, she wore a full-body suit of black and red that struck Sakura as achingly familiar. She'd seen it before, she knew, and recently. But when...? The unknown woman froze for a moment, as if she'd seen something she recognized as well, after getting a closer look. She held out one hand, her index and middle fingers extended, to shoot an imaginary finger gun at Sakura. After the recoil she raised the same two fingers to give a mocking salute, then, with her sniper rifle held tight in her other hand, turned to take off running. She sprinted into the tunnel Team Goldlewis came from and was gone.

The concussed fighter tried to move. Two more spikes emerged from the earth and stuck into her lower bare back, arching it and lifting her off the ground, until only her arms, feet, shoulders and head were touching the earth. They stabbed her fairly deep, but weren’t strong enough to do more than lift her. The ranged attack wasn't strong enough to impale her completely and finish her off.

”Ugh..!” The stars filled her vision again, and this time they did not recede. They got brighter and brighter until all she could see was white. She squeezed her eyes shut and grit her teeth. When the spikes retracted, Sakura was flat against the ground.

She couldn’t go on. ”Unh…” With a defeated moan, Sakura resigned herself to unconsciousness.

Karin, still low-vision because of the dust, was playing on the defensive until it all cleared down. She would leap and swing away from any ribbons coming her way as soon as she heard them, if they could even reach her on the walls. Reluctant to make any reckless moves of offense, she played it save. There was no reason to get squashed trying to avoid some relatively minor piercing damage. She tried not to worry too much about Sakura, wherever she was, and focused on defending herself. Running around shouting her friend's name wasn’t going to help anyone.
Hidden 10 mos ago Post by TruthHurts22
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Member Seen 16 days ago

Level 3 (XP: 21/30)

Edinburgh MagicaPolis - Aether Paradise

With everyone in agreement, Wonder Red pivoted to face the Center's exit. It was true that this could very well be a trap in its own right, the Consul luring these interlopers into the open with a public gathering and news of war on their HQ. Red wasn't blinded by vengeance. He knew it was entirely possible, even likely. It was a risk. But if they didn't take the bait now, then what happened yesterday - the library, Sierra, the wanton destruction of their own city and endangerment of their own people - would probably happen again.

Jumping into the fray to stall the enemy was part of the job description.

"On me," Red commanded, before he broke into a dead sprint out of the Center, retracing their steps back to Aether Paradise. The crowd, while thinning out as the speech was over, was still dense enough that the four Seekers had to bustle and barge their way past them all, at least to match Red's speed. They soon reached the lakeside railing again, with Red skidding to a halt and, in one swift motion, ripping the cloak off himself. As the piece of clothing fluttered in the air, taken by the wind out to the water, Wonder Red fixed his eyes up at the floating platform.

"Wondeeeeeeeerrrr JUMP!"

Wonder Red's CENTINEL suit thrummed with energy, the very ground beneath seeming to vibrate just the same, reaching out to the feet of his teammates as, before everyone's eyes, Red rocketed off the ground, springing high into the air, a feat which the other three, despite being suit-less, was granted in the moment.

Wonder Red and his fellow Seekers soared up, the ambient nanoparticles generated by the CENTINEL suit forming a rainbow colored trailed behind him, until they all touched down on the front-most edge of Paradise.

"Team!" Wonder Red shouted, snapping to an at-the-ready pose as he stared ahead at who or whatever stood in their way. "The mission: locate and confront Consul L! Be on your guard and leave nothing to chance!"
348 Words
+1 EXP
Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Archmage MC
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Archmage MC

Member Seen 17 hrs ago

The Little King

Location: The Home of Tears - Gallo Tower
Bowser and Rika’s @DracoLunaris, Primrose and Therion’s @Yankee, Sectonia’s @Archmage MC, Jesse’s @Zoey Boey, Ganondorf’s @Double, Ms Fortune
+6 EXP

”I don’t get it. What’s meant to be unnerving about this?” Rika eventually asked as they were traveling through the corridors full of identical robots ”The maw was scary, this is just, well, a thing? I mean I guess it's sad that they’re all waiting for someone?”

”I think P doesn’t have any friends” Bowser noted sadly rather than try and answer the first question.

”Huh? But what about all these robots and those slithering people? I mean, they’re not his friends any more coz we killed them but before that I mean” the ship girl replied, ever so confused about that.

”Minions … don’t really count” he replied, and then felt a bit guilty about how P’s state of affairs was, technically, one his son was in. Him too, if he was forced to think about it, though he had the comfort that his minions certainly liked him a million times more than P’s seemed to. He at least didn’t have to be worried about being stabbed in the back like P was being.

At which point Rika suddenly stabbed him in the heart by asking ”Wait. So. Does that mean we aren't friends?” the earnest sorrow of it piercing right through his thick outer shell with no resistance.

”Huh, what no. I mean yes. I mean, uhhhhh” the king scrambled to put words on feelings he had not actually analyzed up until that point and eventually, inevitably, wound up on ”you’re like family”

”Oh?” the ship girl tilted her head to the side as she processed this, and then decided it was ”Neat!” and spent the rest of the trip though the robot filled halls beaming while Bowser’s brain ran hot trying to actually process what had just happened/his own feelings about this situation.

Primrose patted the king's arm in a silent show of support, even though she couldn't exactly sympathize with his situation. Bowser had already voiced his opinion on how they should handle the Consul after the fact, and Rika unintentionally drawing parallels between herself and P on top of the sad state of things inside the tower couldn't be helping.

As for herself... she was still of the mind that there were some things that just had to be done, no matter how terrible they were. For Consul P, first would come punishment, and then questioning, and then ultimately his fate would be up to them. The Seekers could debate each other afterwards.

The dancer slowed her stride, letting some of the others overtake her as they walked. Toward the back of the group was her own friend Therion. Unsurprisingly he hadn't said much, just followed along with the rest of the group with his hands stuffed into his pockets and his tail swishing back and forth. He wasn't really itching to get into another deadly fight right after taking on the Agarthans, but going into it with so many allies made it feel a whole lot safer. He didn't find the robot kids sad either, really he found them to be creepy. If everything they'd heard about Consul P was true, then something like the scenes they passed by weren't going to stop the Seekers from putting a stop to him. Kids didn't turn out that way just from being lonely. Therion would know.

Normally the thief would have chosen to join the ambush team, lying in wait away from battle, but he didn't want to witness the execution of the kid even if it was necessary. He suspected that Primrose was much the same way, what with her soft spot for children. He looked over at her and found his thoughts to be true. The two travelers met each other's eyes and found a familiar mutual understanding between them as they and the group moved on through the tower.

Sectonia watched Bowser’s little quibble with Rika and decided to just observe instead of stating anything. She was a bit more distracted with all the robots made of the same likeness doing all sorts of various things that a child would like. ”This is just depressing to watch. And he is a terrible ruler on top of that? This Consul P. is pitiable. If he wasn’t causing so many issues nor being a part of these ‘Consuls’... Well, I suppose if my plan works either way it will be a mercy. Especially if he looks like these things.” Considering the long line of robots and nothing but robots that looked all the same, it was difficult to not feel a bit of pity. But that was superseded by a combination of duty and disgust. He could’ve at least programmed them to clean up after themselves.

Speaking of her plan, should the B team need support, Kamek had been told that they could summon Sectonia if needed. Although if that Galio was to be believed, he would be having quite the surprise for Consul P. Although considering no one had seen what he could do, only having this odd tower with non standard gravity to showcase what he could do, it was up in the air if the B team could even pull off what they were going to do.

”I do wonder exactly what these Consuls know about this world. Considering what some of us were told, there are secrets within secrets at play here. I would say to be careful, but I’m not sure if he even knows magic if he keeps these ‘things’ as his minions.” Sectonia said, curious as to if this Consul P even knew anything. The ability to know secrets of a world often leads to magic, yet he relies on automatons of questionable design? Something wasn’t adding up here…

”Hmph, well if these Consuls truly aren’t Gleaming as the rest of us have been, then I can only imagine they must know something. All the more reason why that brat can’t be allowed to escape.” Ganondorf said, deciding to pipe up and add a thought of his own to the discussion at hand. True, he wanted payback, but he also wanted to understand his enemies as well. It would make dismantling their efforts all the more easy in the longer term.

Jesse walked near the front, her pace quick. We’ve never killed a kid before…sure, lots of monsters. Some blood thirsty psychos since the World of Light. Though from his reputation, the kid is probably a blood thirsty psycho, too. Still. Maybe it’s naive, but I’ve stopped deciding to be afraid of getting burned. Isn’t that right?

Eventually they got to the end of the hall, where they came face to mask with the Consul P. Rika attempted to put on a ploy that actually she was one of his minions, what with her matching armor, but she found her now quieter voice overruled by Nadia. It was probably for the best as she really had no idea what she was going to say.

Violence just came so much easier to her than talking, let alone deception, and so the initiation of combat was the removal of a burden. Load lightened, the ship girl took flight, her [ulr=i.imgur.com/m9KKX9u.png]red wyvern[/url] mount Kamek had conjured spreading its wings and lifting her into the air to rain fire and death upon the robot hordes, a thing she’d only feel ever so slightly bad about.

Well, burning goop and death, as the ship girl swooped down to bomb the bots with her re-filled grizco blaster, leaving pools of scorching or shocking slime splattering the breadth of the hallway to try and stem the flow of bots. Those that did get through would face down Therion, whose attention was going to go towards support and keeping the robotic chaff off of the other Seekers while they engaged the Consul directly. Ahead of him, Primrose steeled her nerves after the boy's hopeful comment threatened to pull on her heartstrings. Fortunately his next one made it all the easier to commit to a battle with him.

As for the King Of Evil, his plan was to just make a run for the Consul and force him to fight personally. Before this, he quickly summoned a squad of 5 Moblins wielding bows and fire arrows. He ordered them to fire at the Mecha-Porkies and keep them off the Seekers’ backs as much as possible. Or, at least off of Ganondorf’s back so he could focus on the Consul.

Sectonia summoned her own minions, summoning her full set of Antillions to mostly cover flanks in case this technology user had something up his sleeve. She did send a set of Red, green, and Blue at the consul though.

Now that any half-baked pretenses had been dropped, P began the festivities by happily giving vent to his frustrations–and to the gas tanks on his bedmech’s underside. A loud, high-pitched PING rang out as a wave of smog exploded outward from the Consul’s position, rapidly filling the entire area with a very, very stinky gas.

“Eugh!” Nadia yelped, her brazen rushdown stopped cold as the stench slammed into her like a physical force, made all the worse by her heightened sense of smell. This wasn’t just awful; it was humiliating. “He’s ‘reeking’ havoc!,” she gasped nasally. She could scarcely see him through the smoke at this distance, although the red lights of the Mecha-Porkies their explosions courtesy of Rika’s swathes of flame she could see clearly. “Gonna have to trust my in-stinks!” Burying her poor nose into the crook of one arm, she scrabbled at her belt for her Bait Launcher. It took a second longer than it ought to thanks to all the new weapons crowding it, but after a moment she took aim and shot out a raw steak. It plopped down not far from P, and a fearsome tiger poofed into being, but as it raised its massive mitts to attack its eyes suddenly bugged out. With bulging cheeks it clamped both paws over its mouth, leaving it open for a ruthless buzzsaw flail from P’s bedmech. It promptly poofed away, leaving Nadia to wince. “Oh, come on! Big cat? More like big pu-!” The bedmech suddenly leaped in front of her, and only with an emergency backdash did Nadia get out of dodge before the machine’s spiky-fingered hand slam down on her former position. “Yikes!”

”Ew. Ew ew ew ew ew make it stop!” Rika demanded from on high as she swooped up towards the ceiling in an attempt to escape the stench, ending her bot bombardment. Primrose followed her up thanks to the enchanted scarf she wore, sharing the same thought that she might be able to get above the gas and stench.

The dancer dared not waste her mana on spells when their opponent was obscured like this, and her fan was much too small to blow the smog away. She fired some of the Devout Beads into the smokescreen to try and get a feel of where the bedmech was, but the clanging of the shots connecting with metal could just as easily have been the little robots.

”Ugh, you little vermin!” bellowed Ganondorf, using his cape to cover his mouth. He continued his advancement toward the Consul anyway. No stinky gas was going to slow him down, he’d make sure of it.

”Ugh… any pity I had before…” Sectonia said, using one of her hands to hold her nose as horrible smells really didn’t go over well with her, causing her to retch a bit. Especially since whatever this was smelt worse than anything in the Basement area. She was clearly enraged at Consul P, although it didn’t take much to set her off.

Jesse winced, near the back with her Service Weapon out, but she said nothing.

”Gah that is nasty, you air conditioned jerk!” Bowser yelled as he pinched his nose between two claws. He had been intending to give the boy a piece of his mind, and try and vindictively crack open the glass preventing P from tasting his own medicine, when Trento’s influence on his personality floated up an idea.

A horrible, horrible idea.

The king grimaced at the thought he had just had, and then steeled himself to go through with it anyway as he told the others”You lot are going to owe me big time for this” in a nasally voice. Then he raised his head up into the air, and breathed in virtuously, vacuum breath creating a spiraling vortex that drew the stink cloud in. Into his mouth that was, a thing that made the king start to turn greener and greener in the face as he tried to clear the air. That it worked, drawing in vast amounts of foul, noxious air, wasn’t a surprise; the problem was the consequences. The overpowering stench left Bowser’s senses overloaded and his mind reeling, temporarily delirious and close to passing out.

“Jesus..!” Jesse said sympathetically as Bowser took one for the team.

Nearby, Therion tentatively lowered the scarf that had been covering his nose and mouth. His ears had been pressed flat to his head, eyes watering from the gas, but now that it was gone he breathed a sigh of relief. Playing dirty right off the bat, he thought, not that he was one to talk. For the moment he stayed well clear of the actual fight though, summoning a Shelleton to his side to continue keeping the Mecha-Porkies from interfering.

Once the gas seemed to be gone, Ganondorf was free to unleash his wrath. He charged at Consul P’s bedmech and leaped at it to try a straightforward warlock punch in an attempt to shatter the glass protecting the kid inside.

As Bowser cleared the area with his vacuum breath, Sectonia gave a sigh before turning her fury onto Consul P, using her Rings of Light and tossing the large buzzsaw rings at the Consul. She also gave everyone a protective shield from her Pipe of Insight, just in case it would come in handy against a retaliation attack.

Once she landed, Primrose smoothly transitioned into her enhancing dances - clearly not tired out from her experience earlier at the Royal Canopy Club. The fierce and inspiring Lion Dance for Ganondorf and Ms. Fortune to improve their physical attack power, the showy and invigorating Peacock Strut to boost Sectonia's magic.

While P remained placid in his mechanized bed, the uncanny robot watched the first challenger approach as if it had a mind of its own. Spurred on by both natural fortitude and sheer spite, Ganondorf reached his target well ahead of the others, but in isolation his chosen technique made for a slow, telegraphed, and incredibly reactable attack without anyone covering him. With a thrash of its long, serpentine neck the bedmech detached its upper head and sent it flying at Ganondorf as he descended with his punch, only to regrow it a second later as the makeshift bomb went off on contact. Unfortunately, a Warlock Punch executed while airborne possessed no super armor, so Ganondorf had no further say in the matter.

He hit the ground as Sectonia’s light rings swept through the room, cleaving cleanly through the air toward P. Unperturbed, the bedmech leaped into the air. It hung there for a moment like a marionette, then dropped on the other side of the ring. After evading like this one more time it raised its arms. Between its wheel-shaped mitts it created a crackling red energy orb, which quickly unleashed a beam that swept horizontally through the mob of Antlions and anyone too slow to avoid it. Then it extended its arms and began to fire the spikes off its wheel-hands, each metal barb almost a foot in length and aimed mostly at Sectonia. Thankfully for the antillions, due to Sectonia having deployed the Pipe of Insight shield beforehand, the shield took the damage for them, leaving them alive to continue their work.

Its aim shifted as Nadia ran in, sufficiently recovered from the outrageously offensive odor to take a little revenge. Speeding along on all fours, she circled around him in a wide arc, unshaken by the spikes that nailed the ground and furniture right behind her. The diversion distracted it enough for one of Sectonia’s light rings to hit it. At that moment Nadia sprang, blasting off with her pent-up blood pressure. Too heavy to shoot for the moon, she zoomed forward instead in a low arc and flipped over into a slide to avoid the last few spikes. “Mind if I…” She fired off her arms and grabbed the bedmech’s own in order to slingshot herself forward in a dropkick. “...Drop in?” After a quick link into Claws for Alarm and Claws for Concern slashes she pressed forward with El Gato, but her attacks barely left a scratch on the bedframe. What’s this thing made of!!?

On instinct she cut her rekka short and bent backward, dodging a vicious heavy slash from the bedmech’s hand as it spun like a sawblade. “Saw that comin’!” It stretched its head forward like a viper three times in quick succession, hammering her guard, then went for a low blow with its spider-like legs. By that time Nadia was already in the air, feeling pretty smug about her good read as she delivered a somersault axe kick. “Heel-arious!” The mech recovered in time to block with both arms, but the feral was one step ahead. “You fell for it!” she crowed, planting her other leg on its other arm before explosively extending both to shove its guard wide open and pin its arms to the ground. She revved up her arms like drills, but as she went up for a double plunge six huge, mechanical spider legs deployed from the bedmech’s back. They instantly snapped shut on her like the teeth of a beartrap, then hurled her away in a spray of blood. “Came on, damn it!” she yowled as she sailed off. “That was gonna be so cool!” Her whole exchange had taken just a few seconds, but she’d already lost her legs from the thigh down.

Yet rather than fail to land on her now non-existent feet, the catgirl found herself caught in the bulky arms of Rika with a ”Gottcha” when the ship girl pivoted from her bombing run to a diving swoop, before banking up and angling for a quiet-ish spot.

”I’ve got a heal-y spirit, now so I can patch you up. I think” the ship girl said, as she angled her draconian steed down to land next to where Bowser was using a wall to support his body after his act of martyrdom.

Though glad for the catch, Nadia had to refuse Rika’s offer of healing. She gestured to the stab wounds already starting to close. “Oh thanks, but I can heal this up myself. The bigger problem’s gettin’ my legs back. But I’m not one to admit de-feet.” So saying, the catgirl expelled blood from the stumps of her legs to form two Copycat replacements, solid enough to serve her well until she got a hold of the real thing. “Alright, ready to paw-ty,” she grinned, not for an instant imagining that her pun could be misunderstood. “Just be careful. This creep’s bedder than he looks.”

”Oh. Ok. good. But maybe you should have done that before the fight?” Rika who had indeed entirely misunderstood the pun.


Sectonia, having her antlions and all those nearby her shielded from the electric attack that Consul P had launched, had to deal with the current attack of two large nails shot right at her. However due to the speed of the launched projectiles and her size, Sectonia could only dodge one of them, with the other managing to hit her. She was a tough bug though, and while it was clear she got hit, she didn’t show she was hurt as a big spike was sticking out of her shoulder… orb… thing. To retaliate, she cast Slow on Consul P’s little contraption to slow it and all of its attacks down to make it easier for the others to advance.

Included with those others were the squad of 1 of each antlion, which followed behind Ganondorf. While not as fast as the king and especially Nadia, they could get into their range to do their freezing and fire attacks. Of course to use these attacks they had to stand still, so they weren’t the most mobile thing, and the shield their Queen had given them was gone, having been shattered after absorbing the electric beam attack.

Ganondorf had been momentarily winded by the arm that knocked him back. He did at least recover in time to get himself out of the way of the beam attack. He started to walk forward, his hate-filled eyes still deadlocked onto the snotty brat in his overgrown toy. A pair of Mecha-Porkies tried to advance on him, but he was able to safely ignore them thanks to a pair of fire arrows shot from two of his Moblin Archers. They looked like they lost one of their number, but the remaining four were still following orders and unleashing volley after volley of fire arrows onto the Mecha-Porkies.

Once the two mechanical minions were shot down, Ganondorf drew the white sword from its scabbard and broke into another run at the bedmech. But this time he didn’t go for a direct approach. Rather, he launched himself into a warlock kick that allowed him to slide between the bedmech’s legs. The machine’s arms descended like guillotines, but it did not anticipate the sorcerer king going low, and the spiked disks slammed down behind him. He sliced at the legs with the blade along the way, but similar to Nadia they didn’t do a whole terrible lot. Instead Ganondorf sprang to his feet and attempted to stab the white sword into the back of the bedmech with all his might. And considering he was wielding the power of both the Triforce and the Leo sigil in addition to the heavy infusion on the weapon itself… that was quite a considerable amount of strength that he had at his disposal to put into this blow. Indeed, through sheer might he managed to drive the ivory swordblade into the absolute mess of bizarre machinery packed tight on the bedmech’s underside-turned-back. Blunt force might have served him better in terms of widespread damage, and he still didn’t manage to pierce through to P himself, but he did manage to penetrate some sort of hub controlling two of the bedmech’s eight spider legs, which drooped limply to the ground.

Jesse summoned forth her alchemist. “Acid!” She shouted, strafing to the side, and he giddily obliged, dossing a vial of ominous green liquid into the air. Jesse reached out and plucked it from the air with Launch. At a flanking angle with less risk to her allies she went to Launch it at the consul and his mech to create a pool of corrosive liquid. Jesse figured it might start weakening that strong armor of his.

While the splash of acid had no effect on P’s protective glass, the same couldn’t be said for the rest of its bed. If it could feel pain the machine might have writhed in agony as the corrosive gnawed away its armor in streaks and splotches. With Sectonia’s Antlion brigade on the march they quickly made the most of the high-density bedframe’s softened-up defense to further assault its integrity with the temperature shock of fire and ice. All while Ganondorf strove to punch his blade in deeper. This wouldn’t do.

The bedmech slung its neck around to bash its head against Ganondorf’s cranium as its other four offensive spider legs reoriented themselves to strike him. Like broad, hooked spears they jabbed and jabbed. One consequence of burying his blade so deeply was that it had been thoroughly lodged in the bedmech’s chassis, forcing Ganondorf to abandon the weapon. Its next move, made with mechanical precision, was to thrust its arm into the ground, cutting straight through to Gallo Tower’s exterior. Almost instantly the arm burst up from the ground beneath Jesse, more to suppress her than anything but more than capable of grinding into her shield if she didn’t move. Jesse stumbled backward as the arm slashed up into her, her psychic Health vibrating with the impact. The Director took to the air, Levitating well above the ground. After trying to fend off its more dangerous assailants and pulling its limbs back, the bedmech launched itself forward in a whirlwind spin. With the sage’s sword still stuck in it, it tore through the mob of Antlions like a pinball, running them down and grinding them up.

After her spill Nadia wanted nothing more than to get back into the action and make up for lost time, but when the bedmech went on a rampage she slowed her roll a little. Rather than throw herself into the meat grinder, she equipped her box cutters as she circled around the periphery of the chaos, waiting for the machine to run out of steam.

Now floating above the ground, Jesse was more than happy to take advantage of this wild rampage with her fellow ranged allies. She switched to Spin and fired a stream of bullets to chew into the bed-mech thing from above. Even with its rapid, unpredictable ricochets through the ill-fated insect crowd, a skilled markswoman like her could trace its path and land a heaping portion of rapid-fire shots. Still, even a moderately tough Hiss could eat Spin shots for breakfast, so it’d take a while to chew through a target like this.

With the Seekers regrouping while the bedmech tornadoed itself in a deadly spin attack, Primrose took a few deep breaths. She'd been on the sidelines until now lending support where needed, but now she switched gears from dance to offense.

"Let's test this out," she said, curling the fingers of her new gauntlet-wearing hand into a fist. She'd gotten the run down on this item after accepting Kamek's offer earlier, and she hoped it was as simple to use as it sounded. Her aim was to rend the ground below the mech and spend it sprawling. Without delay she cast the shockwave, ready to follow it up with her natural magic.

With the ground in this case being the rear wall of Gallo Tower, it turned out to be a lot less firm than one might think. The stone bricks shuddered and cracked as the dancer’s earth magic coursed through it, flexing like an ocean wave, but with the shockwave no stronger than the average basic attack, the masonry didn’t buckle just yet. Still, with the bedmech spinning like a top on a single leg, that surge of instability was enough to send its rampage spiraling out of control. It toppled over, and sparks flew as its spikes ground against the stone, bringing its momentum to a halt. This was the Seekers’ cue to pile on, starting off with the explosive fire of Primrose's Black Flame Orb. She'd whipped up the spell as soon as the mech went down, watching it slam into the bed and ignite. Adding to the flash of inferno was Therion's Wildfire, making sure not to pass up the chance to get a strike in while he could. The few remaining Antlions, Nadia(, and any other melee Seekers) charged in to deal some damage. Ganondorf used the opening to hit the bedmech with the strongest warlock punch he could muster.

As the bedmech righted itself, however, it challenged its mob of assailants with a wake-up super, literally. Its upper head cracked open lengthwise like a mouth, complete with fangs, to unveil a rapidly ticking alarm clock. Nadia, on alert for more tricks, watched it completely ignore a couple of the Antlions’ attacks and instantly switched to panic mode, abandoning her meaty attempt in favor of a crouching block. The next second the bedmech unleashed Sinusoidal Helios, slaughtering every Antlion and hammering Ganondorf with a brain-busting blast of sound. Nadia shielded herself against the alarming soundwave, but it still left her in blockstun with ears ringing. Even Consul P yelped in surprise and terror–was he actually controlling this thing at all, or just laying there while it fought for him? Nevermind, here came the bedmech with an overhead using the lower face on the bottom of its bedframe. “Thought you’d catch me sleepin’?” she snapped, standing up to block it. “Give it a rest!” So saying, she launched into her new Vantage counterattack with Athame, stabbing into the bedmech’s pig-nosed lower face with the stolen dagger. Even if it didn’t do much damage, it magically cut into the machine’s already-weakened defense and resistance on hit, making it even more vulnerable. Unamused, it swung its arms as her, and the feral tagged out with a backward leap to give someone else a chance to capitalize.

Said capitalisation came from on high and in the form of the absent Bowser and Rika descending at high speed, the recovered king held in the talon grip of the ship girl’s drake mount. Maneuvering thrusters and water jetting cannon turrets fired as they boosted downwards, til, a heartbeat from the moment of impact, Rika arrested her own fall and kicked Bowser downwards to do so, adding a bit more force to the koopa king’s Bowser bomb that crashed down upon the bed. Seeing what the koopa king was doing, Sectonia also gave her own little bit of amplification in the form of hasting Bowser’, making his descent even more severe.

”Get squashed!” the king yelled as he made impact, before water blasting with his lower set of cannons to aid in his leap off of the bedmech to avoid retaliation and open up their target for a third follow up. With all the forces in play, however, the machine had been knocked flat and spread-eagled by the tremendous shell slam, the nigh-impregnable glass that encased Consul P riddled with cracks. Bowser’s sudden departure set it free, but with its occupant’s safety its number-one priority and the Koopa King more than capable of another meteoric skyfall, the bedmech didn’t choose to fight back. Instead it popped its head off and flung it away, then after a brief moment, teleported to the head’s position.

”Hey look, it’s smart, knowing I’m the most dangerous thing here!” Bowser boasted as he landed and turned to find the bot had run away from him.

”Don’t be foolish. It was already reeling from all of our attacks long before you finally got off your lazy shell!” Ganondorf retorted, taking note of the fact that only one of his moblins remained. ”And as for you...” he drew out his other sword and pointed it threateningly at the bedmech and broke into a run toward it, ”You think you’re a big, bad king? Then you’ll be DETHRONED like one!” The Gerudo swung and hacked away with his weapon. This time he was taking no chances and was being extra watchful for any more annoying tricks. Between his immense strength and the amount of damage the bedmech’s had sustained by this point, his weapon would be a bit more effective at damaging it then at the beginning of the battle.

The bedmech met his onslaught head-on, going toe-to-toe and blow-for blow with the red-haired swordsman. Ganondorf possessed remarkable strength and tenacity, but so was P’s defender, and with three times as many arms as its attacker it wouldn’t be bullied to easily. Using two limbs at a time it worked to block its opponent’s sword swing and strike back with the rest, stabbing, bludgeoning, and cutting. It calculatingly struck low, punished overcommitments, and moved in and out of range with bursts of speed and its tricky eight-way airdash. Even its head joined in, bashing at Ganondorf’s or detaching for a point-blank explosion.

“Hoggin’ all the fun?” Not about to give Ganondorf the chance to lose this ferocious battle of attrition, Nadia charged in to lend him a hand. She strafed around its unguarded side and struck with El Gato, delivering two slashes and a spiky-eared headbutt. “Ear today, gone tomorrow!” When the bedmech pivoted to swing at her, Ganondorf got the chance to get in a quick Gerudo Dragon uppercut, and then he grabbed the hilt of the white sword and ripped it out of the bedmech's back. The machine unleashed a flurry of stabs with its spider legs at both assailants, but tore into nothing but air as Nadia backdashed, leaped up, and came in with a string of aerial attacks that ended with another axe kick. “Foot, meet mouth!” With Ganondorf on the other side, they could bounce the bedmech back and forth between them, twin boxcutters on one side and sage sword on the other. At the first chance it got the machine unleashed its spike-edged spin attack to try and topple both foes at once, but both saw how Primrose dealt with this moments ago. They went for a low sweep at the same time, knocking the bedmech’s leg out from under it, then struck as one–Nadia with a low cross-slash dash, Ganondorf with a sweep of both his swords. The Bedmech flew into the air, spinning out of control, and three large, heavy stone bricks were telekinetically Launched into its frame, sending it flying.

Sectonia had been using the fact that the others had been distracting the bed mech to charge up her own attack, charging up her Spacial Shatter. While she couldn’t fully charge it, even a moderately charged shatter would do quite a bit of damage, hitting the machine with the sound of ‘glass’ shattering, although that glass was more reality than the glass on the mech itself.

The machine sailed through the air and crashed down into the steps before the throne, where it rested for a moment, its gangly limbs splayed out. Nadia straightened up with a smile and began to approach, a little bit of swagger in her walk. This thing might have a lot of tricks, but with this many heroes around, the odds just weren’t in its favor.

”Well that wasn’t too bad. The way Kamek described F with his vines and time powers I thought this’d be trickier” Rika commented as she landed next to Bowser who gloated ”Yeah, nice try kid, but you’re up against the best of the best of the worst.”

Inside the bed pod, P pounded the mattress with his little fists. “Why aren’t these BOZOS dead yet? Stupid bed!” He lolled his head, his melodramatic eyeroll easily imaginable. “Ugh. Well, gotta do what I gotta do, right? Heheheh…”

P did something.

Out of nowhere, an agonizing stomach pain struck Nadia, as if her guts had been filled with needles. It wasn’t just her–almost everyone suddenly found themselves stricken with intense intestinal pain, especially those with less hardy constitutions. Nearly doubling over, the feral clutched her stomach and stared up at the Consul. “What…what was that?” This wasn’t nausea. It was pure, acidic agony. “What…did you…do?”

“Ha ha ha ha!” P laughed, his mirth especially obnoxious. Nadia noticed his left eye glowing red, a lemniscate within. “Isn’t it great? I went back…” He held up his hand, and a little device appeared before blinking away again. “And put rat poison in your breakfast buffet this morning! How’s that for ‘dangerous’? Ha ha ha ha!” Putting his hands up by his head, he wiggled his fingers and blew a raspberry inside his helmet. “That’s right! I’ve got lots of toys, but time and space are my favorite of all! Come and get me, losers! Spankety spankety spankety!”
Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Yankee
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Yankee God of Typos

Member Seen 20 hrs ago

Vs Consul P

Location: The Home of Tears - Gallo Tower
Bowser and Rika’s @DracoLunaris, Primrose and Therion’s @Yankee, Sectonia’s @Archmage MC,
Jesse’s @Zoey Boey, Ganondorf’s @Double, Ms Fortune's @Lugubrious
+4 EXP

”Uuuuurgh, again! Cheap. Trick. I’ve done. Urgh. Way cooler stuff with time travel anyway!” Bowser wretched as he took his second poisoning of the hour. The best he could do to deal with it was summon Heel the rabbid supporter to get the white furred medic to restore some of the health the poisoning had stolen away.

”I will…. Destroy you…” Sectonia said, giving consul P quite the death glare, both annoyed at how wasteful his use of time travel was, concerned that it even worked like that, but mostly incredibly angry at the pain she was feeling in her lower half, holding her ‘back’ for a bit as she acclimated to the pain.

”This won’t… hold me back… forever!” Ganondorf shouted in a guttural rage-filled voice. Despite the poison slowing him down, he was one of the few able to remain on his feet for the most part, thanks to his Triforce of Power. He took slow, agonizing steps forward, but they were too slow for him to be able to actually go on the attack. And he was, of course, mad as a hornet right now.

”You can… make food… hurt? You monster!” Rika cursed him, clutching her stomach with one hand … and at the same time freeing the other from its gauntlet so she could reach into a pocket and pull out a bottle of something green. She bit out the cork, and then downed the concoction. Her eyes screwed shut and her body scrunched up at the taste, but when she threw the bottle aside, the long ago acquired antidote had cured her of her poisoning.

”Give me that remote!” she cried, as she thwipped out her grappling hook to latch onto the bed and with thrusters blasting and her mount’s wings flapping charged it with chainsword bayonet whirring and ready to meet the glass. In her wake she left her new war cleric striker, who acted to further heal the effects of Bowser’s second dose of gut rot.

Jesse couldn’t help but be impressed by that Object of Power. The ramifications were overwhelming. But mostly, she was on one knee and trying to power her way through serious organ failure. Spoiler alert, it wasn’t working. “Help me out here..!” She gasped, and the alchemist appeared, throwing down a cool blue puddle of Healing Waters around Jesse.

Nadia quickly joined her in the restorative pool, much better than the average person would be after taking an incredibly dangerous dosage of poison thanks to her regeneration, but still pretty bad. “Little bastard,” she moaned through gritted teeth, shakily exhaling in relief as the alchemy worked its magic. She didn’t even want to begin to think about the logistics of time travel. Instead she focused on Jesse, who looked terrible. “You gonna be okay, Jess?”

“Good fucking question.” Jesse said, strained. It was times like these that would almost remind someone they were just an under qualified bureaucrat with a magic gun and a lot of childhood trauma. “I’m sure…somethin’ll come along…” She managed. The Healing Waters would dry out soon.

Sectonia wasn’t all that happy about having to gather up in the whaling pools, as she worried about some kind of area attack that would get all of them, but the relief from the ingested poison was nice.

"Unconscionable..." Primrose ground out, struggling through the pain. This Consul could travel through time? "Dangerous" was an understatement. And to use this kind of tactic...

Primrose snapped her hands open, Warmth gathering in one and a much unused pyromancy in the other. She used them both on herself, the Profuse Sweat a first and a little uncomfortable but helpful nonetheless. She had to get herself back into some semblance of health first in order to pull off Sealticge's Seduction.

The battle was wearing her out a little though. Even when she wasn't casting a spell, her dances used up both stamina and mana. Thankfully she had an ally that would be able to help.


She looked, finding her friend in the same situation as the rest of the Seekers. With most of the mecha-porkies handled, he'd slunk around the outskirts of the fight to find openings. Now despite the pained expression on his face he made his way over to Primrose, and she met him part of the way. Therion clapped a hand on the dancer's back, dumping his own mana into her pool so that she could complete her goal of widespread aid. With Sealticge's Seduction used on herself, Primrose once more dual cast Warmth and Profuse Sweat with the excess mana she now had. Warmth shored up any Seekers that already had a healing means of their own, and helped out those that didn't. Profuse Sweat gave all of them poison resistance - and boosted their resistance to bleeding to boot.

All of a sudden, Nadia found her life flooding back into her, her healing factor kick-started by the widespread succor of Primrose’s pyromancy. “You guys’re the best!” she beamed, rising to her feet.

Jesse inhaled gratefully, wiping some sweat from her brow and spitting some blood from her mouth. “I owe you one.” She called over to Primrose, pushing herself back to standing.

"Not at all," the dancer replied, sending a brief smile back to the other two women. She was glad that it had worked out for now. There was no telling if the Consul would try another similar trick, or worse.

"We need to crack that thing fast before he pulls something like that again," Therion said once he'd recovered, giving voice to Primrose's thoughts.

”Agreed. This little child needs some discipline.” Sectonai said, happy her minions had some ways of neutralizing this horrid effect.

Naturally, someone was already on it.

Meanwhile, Rika mounted a one-woman, all-out attack against the bedframe in an effort to breach P’s pod, but just because he’d joined in on the fun didn’t mean his bed was out of commission. The machine deployed its four spider legs to pierce into her and snatch her off the dragon’s back, using its arms to try and break the overgrown reptile’s neck as it did. “Here for a closer look?” P taunted, feigning indifference toward the fresh gashes in his protective glass. “Here, get an eyeful!” Using its spider-arms it reached out in an attempt to smack Rika against the casing face-first like an otter cracking a clam on its belly with a rock..

Rika’s charge wasn’t quite one woman however, thanks to the power of spirits. To each side she summoned a staward guardian: the Agarthan Knight on one, and the oversized Bivalve pokemon Cloyster on the other. Using shield and shell respectively they blocked the arms grabbing at the ship girl, while she sacrificed the drake beneath her to get more time to attack.

”How about you stop taking a look” she retorted confusingly before hammering the glass with her gauntlets with Brachydios strength, and leaving Brachydios slime coating it. Then as her steed and strikers all faded, she spat into the slime, priming it for detonation, before squeezing the Featherfall Rune she had been holding in her hand to launch herself up away from the now primed layer of explosive goop.

To add insult to injury, she fired her rigging cannons directly down at him, causing Newton's third law to launch her near weightless body even further into the air above him, where maneuvering thrusters and grappling hook would ensure she still had plenty of mobility.

What did P do?

Just shy of a dramatic explosion, the goop disappeared, as if it never existed. So did the Brachydios gauntlet-rifle. “Nyeh-nyeh!” P guffawed as Rika sailed away, her big moment completely and utterly undercut. “I stole your snot gun while you were sleeping and threw it in the dumpster! Time’s on MY side, dummy!” His gloating got cut short as the shells rocked the bedmech, though, and with a harrumph he got back to business. “Now where are my minions? Minions!” The bedmech turned its top pair of spider legs inward and tapped the top of its mech. Three pairs of Mecha-Porkies spawned in quick succession and started running around, just waiting to trip and explode on anyone who got near.

”I. What. How did I not notice!?!” Rika yelled back in confusion, before yelling ”also that’s not my snot gun! This is my snot gun!” before using her maneuvering thrusters to adjust her flight and then firing down at him with her grizco blaster, painting his glass with electrical goop instead.

“What the!?”

A few of those minions wouldn’t get very far. At some point while he was reeling - and then recovering - from the poison, Ganondorf took a moment to summon a fresh squad of Moblin Archers. They kept their distance and opened fire on the approaching Mecha-Porkies. Meanwhile, the King of Evil channeled his dark magic and summoned Phantom Ganon. His phantom-like doppelganger brandished his trident and flew through the air to perform an aerial charge at the bedmech.

That just left the man himself. He was fuming, looking like he was ready to erupt like a volcano at any minute. His hateful eyes now burned with rage and fury, and he charged forward at the same time as the Phantom had. Mid-way there he split off in order to allow for himself and his phantom to attack from two different directions. The Phantom made aerial drop attacks with the trident while the Gerudo himself once again went toe–to-toe with the bedmech, but this time with BOTH his swords in hand. With the gunk coating his casing P couldn’t see the action, but the self-controlled bedmech met Ganondorf head-on. This time it fought more defensively, poking with long-range attacks with plenty of blocking, even in the air. It backed up all the way to the top of the steps before beginning to stand its ground, starting with a thrown head.

While Rika and Ganondorf were tangling with the Consul, Therion got as close as he dared to the bedmech. Its defenses had been weakened once already, but the thief piled on the debuffs putting a damper on its attack power and further lowering its defense. He focused on getting in and then getting himself right back out of range, body tensed to evade as he backed up once his work was done. He dodged a leftover mecha-Porkie as he did, complaining to himself, more of those? I just got rid of them. He didn't mind going back on minion clearing duty, since a swift throwing knife could detonate them prematurely. While the battle went on, he took care of those that the Moblins' arrow volley had missed.

At the same time, Primrose had been looking for her chance to line up another spell. She didn't let herself wait too long, taking the first opportunity that presented itself to her. Taking aim at the Consul still within his protective glass chamber she let the Vengeful Spirit fly.

Again, seeing as everyone else was busy distracting the robot, Sectonia decided to try to get another big hit in. Little tiny hits seemed to do just that, little bits of damage. What they needed was a big hit. And a big hit she’d conjure. Giving those engaging Consul P a bit of Haste to help distract him, she got busy. Summoning a Chaos shield on herself to tank a hit that Consul P could potentially do to interrupt her, Sectonia began charging another Special Shatter.

With the bedmech in the middle of its duel with Ganondorf and weakened by Therion’s debuffs, the Vengeful Spirit hit it -and P- like a truck. Yelping, the boy thrashed around inside his pod, and the machine itself staggered, tottered toward one side of the dias at the top of the stairs. Nadia, having harbored thoughts very similar to Primrose’s and maneuvered around the opposite side, saw her chance. She flipped over and blasted her entire body diagonally upward in segments, extending Footloose to its maximum range. Her feet smashed into the bedmech’s upper head, twisting it sideways on its long neck and actually leaving a dent. With a grin the feral snapped up her legs and dropped on the machine with Flying Screen Door, spreading the web of cracks Rika put in the glass. Finally, her mini-combo ended with an explosive Purrge of Vengeance that knocked it right back the way it came, perfectly lining it up for a devastating cross slash from both of Ganondorf’s swords.

Sparking and cracked, the bedmech staggered and fell onto its back. Its limbs retracted, its spiked hands positioning themselves like wheels on the beds. Then it drove forward, right toward Ganondorf, seemingly asking for an extra hit. His attack, however, glanced off the bizarre machine’s Guard-point Dash, and the bedmech promptly warped behind him. After a quick double sucker punch to the man’s back - which ended up being intercepted by Phantom Ganon having swooped down and taken the blows instead - it rolled backward as fast as it could, putting some distance between itself and what had become a mob of enemies.

“You jerks!” he growled. “No fair!” Gritting his teeth, P did something. An aching pain suddenly manifested in the feet of every foot-having Seeker present, making grounded movement a bit more uncomfortable, though after the rat poison this honestly didn’t compare. “Hah! How’s that? I scattered plastic bricks around your beds!” He cackled as if he’d committed an act more evil than indiscriminate poisoning. The bedmech seemed to be in bad shape, but it raised its hands anyway to start firing more spikes.

The mech wouldn’t escape so easily however. Sectonia, not having any feet to even use and being immune to the plastic bricks and her Chaos Shield making the spikes heading her way more or less bounce off of her, had a greater charge up than last time. Sectonia cackled as she unleashed another Spacial Shatter, this one not only cracking reality around the mech, but leaving an aftermath of the area being completely drained of color with only faint outlines defining shapes in a white void. Eventually color would return to the area, but the damage had been done. The bedmech now looked even more dilapidated, one of its main arms hanging loosely by its side as it collapsed back into bed form to try and recuperate. Only its head remained out, and it thrashed around wildly with lasers blazing from its eyes in a bid to stop dead any Seekers headed its way.

And then came Phantom Ganon, crashing down from above with his trident. He was caught by lasers in the process, and so the remainder of his health was gone in the process, but that was at least one last attack he managed to get in before he was dismissed and vanished. As for Ganondorf himself, he had begun to run toward the mech - evidently just ignoring the pain in his feet out of sheer willpower and hatred for the little brat. But he paused when he noticed something happening somewhere behind him.

Behind the closer in seekers, some of the lasers and spikes that missed them hammered instead into a wall of bone behind which the light was distorting strangely. Then the wall lowered down, revealing that behind it was Bowser, his scaly feet immune to lego bricks, and Rika, who’s had been decidedly not, and between that and the loss of one of her anti gravity gauntlets, had been rendered unable to stand, and so was presently sitting on Bowser’s shoulder.

She was held there by one of the king’s arms laid over his lap, but was not a passive rider. Instead she was holding onto one of his horns with her gauntlet-less hand and leaning over so her head was above his, biting her lower lip and half closing one of her eyes as she did so.

”Adjust by a few degrees here aaaaaand-” she muttered to herself, lightly pulling at the horn to alter where the King’s clamped shut maw was pointing and then called out ”Fire!” once it was directed right where it needed to.

At the command, Bowser’s mouth snapped open, and a beam of pure white light light lanced out to pinpoint strike the distant head with a flash cannon strike without worrying about causing any friendly fire incidents as it blasted on through thank’s to Rika’s calibrations.

The King of Evil watched the beam strike at the bedmech, decidedly choosing to wait for that attack to run its course. Only then did he resume his advance and raised both blades into a readied downward stabbing motion, ”This… ends… NOW!” he shouted as he stabbed both the blades down with whatever was left of his seemingly limitless strength.

Beneath the weighty blades the glass shattered, and the next instant they sank into the mattress, piercing through the weakened bedframe and out of its back.

But not through P.

The Consul had vanished a moment before impact, teleporting a few dozen feet away. Outside his protective mech now, he stood on his own two feet, and though his helmet completely hid his face the boy was steaming mad. “You actually tried to kill me!” he screamed. “You can’t kill me! GO AWAY!”

Suddenly, the mattress blew apart and giant, oversized bedsprings slammed into Ganondorf’s torso, launching him straight up. He rocketed away with such force that he smashed through Gallo Tower’s ruby-red clock face, at which point gravity returned to normal, and the king began to fall.

He was joined in his decent a heartbeat or two later, when a second hole was punched in the glass, and for a Trowlon Striker to be hurled out of it after the plummeting king of evil.

”Get back here and carry your weight you lazy b-lister!” Bowser yelled after his tossed save, but didn’t stick around to see if it worked or not.

After its last hurrah the bedmech slumped down. Nadia slowed her approach and turned to face P, her box cutters in hand. “Give it up, little piggy,” she advised him. “Unless you wanna ‘meat’ your maker.”

“You can’t kill me,” he spat, balling his little fists. “Nobody can! You’re just teensy tiny little bugs. All of you! With your worthless little lives. I’M the one in charge! Master of time and space! I’m immortal! I’m unstoppable! I’m…” His eye began to glow red again, but this time purple energy welled up around his core as well, quickly swelling into an aura. “MOEBIUS!”

Consul P evaporated in a burst of light, and from the ether demonic being manifested. He was five times as tall as P had been, but still rotund in stature, with bulky, futuristic armor atop a dark skin-like mesh with glowing lines that flashed in rhythmic patterns. A ring, almost like a halo, encircled his neck, and in his chest whirled a radiant reactor highlighted by a lemniscate. The top half of his head appeared to be a crown, and the bottom half featured an O-shaped mouth, full of sharp teeth, flanked by boar tusks. “You know what I hate about all my toys?” he asked, raising sharp-clawed, oversized hands. His voice came through a heavy layer of inhuman distortion. “...They break too easy.”
Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Lugubrious
Avatar of Lugubrious

Lugubrious Makes the big edits

Member Online

Vs Moebius P

Location: The Home of Tears - Gallo Tower
Bowser and Rika’s @DracoLunaris, Primrose and Therion’s @Yankee, Sectonia’s @Archmage MC, Jesse’s @Zoey Boey, Ganondorf’s @Double, Ms Fortune
+3 EXP

Moebius P did something. An abundance of bug bites and stings appeared on his enemies’ bodies, itching, burning, and hurting. Bees, mosquitoes, ants, spiders, all had apparently gotten a piece of the Seekers at some point in the past. “Hahahaha!” he cackled. “And that’s just a sneak peek. Let’s play another round, worms.” P slammed his fists together, then put up his dukes. “And this one’s for keeps!”

”Yeah it is, because that’s your third phase, and that means it’s your last! Probably” Bowser retorted his scales again letting him shrug off minor pains and wounds. Rika, not so much.

”Itchyyyyy! Itchy itchy itchy I hate him so much!” the ship girl cried out in frustration and anger as she tried in vain to scratch all the bite wounds she had on her, something made rather tricky by her remaining gauntlet. ”Less talking, more sinking him!” she demanded, before adding a belated ”Please!”

”Hmph. Power over time wasted…” Sectonia said, able to tough out the numerous itchy bug bites much like Bowser. While big, the two royals were also tough, so little things like this wouldn’t be as much of a bother.

Gritting her teeth against the itching and pain, Nadia forced a grin. This goon really had played his best trick first. “...That your true face, P-brain? Sucks to be you then, ‘cause you look like a chump!” She sprinted towards him, dragging her boxcutters’ blades behind her along the stone in a shower of sparks. “And you’re about to lose like one, too!”

What did P do? One moment Nadia had leaped toward him, and the next she wheeled wildly in the air, all four of her limbs, gone. She blinked. “Huh?”

“You saying something? Hahaha! Good luck hitting me with no arms or legs!” As the feral flew toward him helplessly, P wound up his arm for a massive punch.

Instead Nadia blasted out blood from her stumps, speeding through the air in a corkscrew of blood. “You really haven’t been payin’ attention!” With larger-than-life Copycat arms of blood she executed an enormous Claws for Concern cross slash, then landed on top of him. “B-negative all you want,” she taunted him, holding his face with one copied hand as she manifested a Purrge of Vengeance with the other. “You’re in for A-positive beatdown!” With a slightly crazed laugh she planted the orb in his face. The ensuing bloody explosion sent her flying and left P momentarily blind.

That made him a sitting duck for a flurry of shells launched from three of Bowser’s shell turrets (the king taking a broadside angle to unleash this fire power) and Rika’s two rigging ones, which between them unleashed a veritable coastal bombardment of firepower … right up until P did something, and the next volley of the barrage launched confetti instead of warship ordinance.

“Nice party poppers, losers!” P gleefully hollered at the pair.

”You! Why! I just bought that ammo you whoreson!” Rika cursed him, the brat’s antics getting her every time, before demanding ”Give him the spikes Bowser!”

”Language!” Bowser chided her, even as his belly hit the deck, and sent the spikes on his shell flying up in an arch to rain down on P like rocket artillery. He raised his arms above his head to block them, mildly annoyed.

Jesse strafed along the back lines. Her Health was strong enough that the effects of stepping on plastic bricks and getting bitten by bugs were minimal. With the big mech down, they just had to power through Consul P’s final form and his time distortion shenanigans. She didn’t want to lose the Tool Gun, and Rika and the others had helpfully demonstrated it was trivial for Consul P to disarm the Seekers. Fortunately, Jesse didn’t have to worry about losing her Service Weapon. It was bound to her. Not only did it spend most of its time in the Astral Plane, even if he could get his grubby hands on it, it wouldn’t go well for him. Staying on the ground to draw less attention, she began charging up a Pierce Shot while he was distracted. Then she aimed it, took a moment or two to line up the shot, and fired one his way. A superheated punch to shut him up for a second. The sniper shot blindsided him, knocking him over and forcing him to struggle back to his feet.

While the other Seekers put on a show in front of P, in true rogue style Therion slipped around behind him. He flipped his new dagger Bronllavyn in his hand and then dashed forward. He struck P a few times in quick succession, scaling his large body. The dagger attacks were meant to distract from the frisking that Therion was doing, his ability to "Steal" mid-battle being utilized to try and put an immediate stop to the demonic Consul's time-travel tricks. Therion backed off as soon as he'd nicked something, but glancing down at his hand while P turned toward him it was clear that this was not the time displacer he'd been seeking.

Therion stashed the Friend's Yo-Yo he'd stolen by habit as a sudden pain lanced through his back and one side of his body. One leg crumpled beneath him and he fell to the ground, gritting his teeth. Stupid little bug bites were nothing compared to this familiar pain.

"Feeling at the end of your rope?" P snickered, raising a foot to squash the downed thief.

So what, he'd followed Therion down into the waterway and cut the rope he'd used to climb down into the Junk Pit earlier? Frankly the thought incensed Therion. He summoned the junicorn in front of him to block P's attack, the iron ball demon standing firm and then firing the lance in its head point blank at P. With P pushed off balance and left flailing thanks to the armored critter’s intercession, he took the metal rod right to the belly. “Ooooogh!” he groaned as he grabbed hold of it with his hands. With a pained whine he went to pull it out, only for it to vanish along with the junicorn. Not willing to beat around the bush any longer, he raised his fist to smash Therion flat.

Sectonia then intervened, using her swords and chaos shield to protect Therion from being punched into oblivion. Consul P was quite the hideous creature, and hideous things had no place in her kingdom. And for something like this to control time? Well, putting this one down was a goal. Perhaps even prevent him from teleporting? With a parry of his fist, Sectonia then struck him with a mighty thrust from her rapier only to find… it did nothing? No… What was this? When did she make a rapier out of balloons?

“Have fun with that, you circus freak!” P sneered, turning his attention to Sectonia. His breathing was heavy, almost ragged, but when had he been exerting himself?

”Hmph, most troublesome…” Sectonia said, putting away her balloonified sword to throw a void globule at Consul P. The time she took to stash the replacement gave P a chance to get going, however, and though he took the void globule head on as he leaped at her, Sectonia took a brutal punch to the head right after. If only P was in good enough condition to follow up on that. Still, it was effective enough to get the bee queen off him, Sectonia’s size making her an easy target.

Despite having been rescued by Bowser’s striker spirit, that didn’t stop Ganondorf from being incredibly winded and even a bit stunned by the experience of being launched as he had been. Despite having been back in the tower, he had to spend several moments catching his breath and getting reoriented. And then his anger rose, and rose, and rose some more. To say he was absolutely livid would have been a massive understatement. He reached up his hand to wipe sweat from his brow. Then he clenched that hand into a fist and the Triforce began to violently glow bright. He’d had it with this. He was going to end this, one way or another, even if he had to bring the whole goddamn tower down to do it!

P wasn’t the only person here who could transform. The King of Evil’s body began to swell and grow until it dwarfed even Bowser in size. A snout grew from his face and massive ram horns grew from his head. A reptilian-esque tail appeared behind him and his booted feet became bovine hooves.

Ganon announced his presence with a rumbling roar and then used Dark Breath to aim a beam of energy from his mouth squarely at the transformed Consul. And just like that, all hell had broken loose.

“Eek!” With a surprised cry, P threw himself out of the way of the beam. He hit the ground hard, clipped by the warlock king’s ray of oblivion, then rolled over onto his back, panting as smoke rose from his body. It wasn’t just Ganon facing him down, either–after each of the heroes gave the Consul a piece of his mind, they’d gathered up into a semicircle to back him into a corner. Primrose, Sectonia, Bowser, Rika, Therion, Jesse, and Nadia closed in with their weapons at the ready and their magic alight, ready to finish this. The collective looks on their faces, stormy and glowering, all told the same story: that whatever semblance of leniency they’d been planning to offer him had been expunged by the boy’s shameless stream of dirty tricks. Their merciless scowls convinced P that they wouldn’t even give him time for a final monologue, let alone an appeal to their better natures. And that bloodthirsty boar monster? If he even had a better nature, he was well past the point of reason. It was now or never.

So P did something.

In an instant, Seekers one and all were gripped by a terrible, all-encompassing fatigue. Their energy -and their fighting spirit- drained from them like water into sand. It felt like weights hung from every limb, their eyelids begged to close, and just standing became a chore. It felt like none of them slept so much as a wink the entire night.

“Ha…ha…ha!” Across the weary bunch rang out gloating peals of laughter, although the Consul’s mirth sounded a little infirm. Wobbling like a sleepy toddler, P held up a taunting finger only with great effort. “I…went back. Stomped on the floors. Banged pots and pans. Drums, horns…kept you all up all night long!” Grinning, he balled his fist, only to drop it again in a limp, pitiful swing after an unsteady half-step forward. It took a moment for Nadia to reach the obvious logical conclusion: that the Seekers weren’t the only ones who stayed up all night.

She sank to one knee for a quick breather, fixing the Consul with a gleeful grin. “You really are a P-brain!” she told him. “You…we…I’m too tired…for anymore puns.” Gritting her teeth, she seized her boxcutter and prepared to move. “So say goodnight!”

P staggered backward, slumping down against the wall. Wildly he looked over at the beach, but the machine had already disintegrated. No Mecha-Porkies remained, and Those Who Slithered in the Dark had never appeared. Everyone might be bone-tired, but he was grossly outnumbered. So P did the only thing he could do.

“...You didn’t win!” he cried, and he disappeared.

A moment passed before Nadia let out a great big sigh. “Ugh. Right.” With a yawn she put away her boxcutter blades, then stood there for a moment, trying in vain to rub the sleep from her eyes. Her hand being made of blood at the moment didn’t help. “Guess it was always gonna end like this,” she muttered, remembering the plan. “Up to the others now.”

Jesse disappeared her Service Weapon with a victorious nod and pumping of her other fist. “I must admit,” Jesse said with a yawn. “I’m impressed with his dedication to do that all night. Wonder what that was like. Did he have to do it individually for everyone, or just..?” She shrugged, too tired to entertain the hypothetical.

“Eh, whatever. Now, it’s been a while since I haven’t slept all night, but I’m pretty sure it’d be best to avoid the instinct to take a midday nap, and just power through to the next night? Otherwise your sleep schedule’s fucked.” Jesse advised.

With a mighty yawn, the queen held her hand to her mouth to stiffen it, ”If we are going to power through a restless night, I would suggest we find some coffee.” Sectonia said, weary of P. ”If the other consuls are this petty, they all seem like they will be sheer annoyances to deal with.”

Therion handled a sleepless night better than most, but he remained where he was on the ground while the other decided what to do now. He shifted into a more comfortable position on his uninjured side, looking much like he was just lounging there with his cheek propped up on his hand while Jesse's infectious yawn passed to Primrose. The dancer tried to stifle it with her palm before she said her piece. "A rest would be good at least, but it doesn't feel right leaving the tower before making sure the plan succeeds... and that Kamek and Bowser Jr. are okay." It went without saying that she didn’t even want to attempt to rest while still inside the tower either.

”Unfortunately rest would be a bad idea for me for a different reason. If team B needs support, I’ll probably be summoned… Although I wonder what information we could even get out of Consul P with how childish he is…” Sectonia said tiredly, rubbing the spot on her face she had been punched.

”ARGH!” came the sudden bellow from Ganondorf. Whatever that miserable cretin had done it somehow undid his transformation! No! There was no way that form could be stopped! How?! How had that brat done it, especially without wielding the Master Sword? It didn’t seem possible that Ganondorf could be fuming any harder, and yet somehow he found a way to be even angrier.

”Where are you, you little creep?!” he shouted, unwilling to accept that the Consul had escaped, ”Moblins!” he barked, glaring as his five moblin archers assembled before him. Somehow all five had managed to avoid being killed by the transformed Consul, probably because he had been so focused on the other Seekers. ”Search for him! Tear this tower apart and burn it to the ground if you have to. I don’t care what you have to do, but FIND! THAT! CONSUL!” And at that they scrambled and scattered into the tower to begin what could very well be a fruitless search.

“Relax, Ganondorf.” Jesse said with a suppressed laugh. “This was always the plan, remember? The others can handle the rest. And If you’re having trouble choking down humble pie, just remember that everyone in the world- every world- got obliterated by Galeem.” She said. “That’ll make you feel better...?”

There was a barely suppressed snicker from the poncho clad thief from where he lay, having made use of one of his potions of healing and now waiting for it to kick in.

Whether or not the others put up a fuss, Nadia was more than ready to call this place quits. Just walking back down to the entrance and getting outside again sounded like a lot more of a hassle than dealing with Moebius P in this condition. Plus, her blood limbs could give out any second, and though getting carried all the way sounded pretty nice, even she wasn’t that selfish. Eyes bleary, the feral glanced up at the crimson clock face, through the hole left by Ganondorf’s bedspring-assisted defenestration and into the rainy dark. It occurred to her that the basin in the fungal garden in front of Gallo Tower had been pretty deep. Some fresh water would definitely perk her up a bit.

“...Goin’ down.” With a grin, Nadia blasted off like a bloody rocket, and disappeared into the Home of Tears’ eternal night. Whether the Seekers meant to meet up with the other crew, take out frustration upon Gallo Tower itself, or get some much-needed rest, the first step would be much the same for everyone: getting out of here.

Edinburgh MagicaPolis

Level 8 Big Band (78/80)
Ace Cadet’s @Yankee, Red’s @TruthHurts22, Mewtwo’s @Double
Word Count: 1922

Not knowing the manner in which Red planned to ferry the team to the Aether Resort, Band readied himself for anything when the Seekers gathered at the icy lakeside railing once more. He did remember how the superhero got everyone up to the twenty-sixth floor of that absurdly large library the Noumenon, but without a solid way for Red to himself across this lethally-cold water, just forming everyone else up into a giant hand couldn’t possibly suffice. Luckily, Red had another trick up his sleeve. All of a sudden, waves of pressure began to radiate from the masked man’s position. They were as penetrating and palpable as amped-up bass through a concert hall. The hell’s this guy doing? he thought, sighing as he steeled himself. “Feet, don’t fail me now.”

The next moment all four shot into the air as if fired from a circus cannon, surrounded in multicolored light as they sailed through the frigid arctic air. “Hoo-ly smokes!” Band yelled, his words lost in the wind. It took two mechanical arms to keep his hat from flying off to kingdom come, and he felt his breakfast turn in his stomach as he watched the ground recede beneath him. The real trouble, of course, came when it started to approach again. “Red?” As the group’s majestic arc turned to freefall, just a little bit of panic set in. “Red!?” The detective’s eyes went wide as saucers as the team hurtled toward the Aether Resort’s helipad, no signs of slowing down in sight. “RED!?”

They landed safely, and in Red’s case, stylishly. He came pre-packaged with snappy poses and an inspirational mission brief, while for Band, it took a moment longer for him to collect his breath–and his wits. He quickly realized that he didn’t have that moment, though. Following L’s arrival here, her Galaxy transport ship remained parked on the landing pad, and even after ten minutes a few Aether Foundation employees remained here, either as technicians or just guards. They’d watched Red’s stunt the moment it started, and now here the four stood right in the midst of five white-clad personnel, all stock-still and staring at the newcomers with a mixture of surprise, curiosity, and alarm on their faces.

Band straightened up, clearing his throat. “Ahem…mornin’, folks.”

“Intruders!” one of the employees shouted. He hurriedly reached into his pouches, rummaging for a familiar red-and-white capsule. “Prepare for a Pokemon b-!”

Band’s giant brass knuckle made contact with his chest before he could send out a Pokemon. He fell in a heap and went sprawling, eyes wide and mouth agape, and his pokeball rolled across the ground. The others either froze, flinched, or fell over themselves, utterly shocked by the breach of etiquette. “Keep it down over there,” the detective told them. “We don’t got time for playin’ around. So why don’t y’all do yourselves a favor and clock out early? Unless ya want your clocks cleaned too.” To make his point he deployed his excessively large drum pedal and unleashed Giant Step, knocking all of them to the ground. That only served to remind him, though, of Galeem’s influence in the world of light. “Oh, alright,” he groaned. “Let’s get this over with.” While nominally a four-versus-four, it was anything but a fair fight. The Seekers had places to be.

Not even winded by the time the scrap came to a close, Band took a look around. While the facility dead ahead of the team looked like the Aether Foundation’s main facility, it didn’t take a genius to reason that the organization’s base occupied this entire artificial island, so that overblown greenhouse would really only be the tip of the iceberg. That meant lots of places for L to hide, and lots more employees to tangle with. While searching the area, however, Band noticed something out of place: a much smaller, connected island at the back of the Aether Resort, home to a luxurious mansion of white marble and blue latticed glass. Though bizarrely out of place, its architects had clearly taken great pains to try and recreate an authentic homestead, down to its fake lawn, as well as the coniferous trees, and streetlamps that lined the road leading straight to the mansion’s double doors.

“Hmm,” Band hummed. “Somethin’ about that villa screams ‘executive privilege’. If I just get back from a long trip, achin’ and tired, I know the first thing I’d wanna do is put up my feet at home and take a load off.” He began to cruise toward the mansion, sliding across the ground with the power of sound. “How’s about we take a look?”

Only after the detective’s giant metal busted in the front door did he find that it hadn’t been locked. Not that a locked door would have stopped him, of course. The manion’s interior proved even more lavish than the exterior, with every conceivable surface, wall nook, and cranny packed full of abstract art, pictures of Pokemon, pictures of two children, or pieces technology. Countless smart devices and high-tech doodads littered the place, their functions niche, needless, or downright inscrutable. Once inside the Seekers began to tread a little more cautiously, wary of any hidden traps or security measures. They moved through the corridors and cleared the rooms in relatively quick succession, proceeding until they became aware of two voices down the hall, one male and one female, in what sounded like a heated discussion.

“...And I’m to understand you let them get away? I’m astonished you call it a victory. This doesn’t just reflect poorly on you, you know? It makes the rest of us look bad by association.”

“You make yourself look bad enough all on your lonesome! What, might I ask, have you been doing in my absence? It sure doesn’t sound like you’ve disposed of our little skeleton problem yet. If we don’t start staging real battles again soon, the city’s damn Flame Clock is going to run dry!”

“All things in time, my dear. And consider this: if you’d lead regiments of Edinburgh mages against Alcamoth instead of feeding your not-so-secret army at Eisa, it wouldn’t be running low to begin with…”

“Oh, and I suppose you’d have them fly to the other side of the continent on broomsticks? You sneering simpleton…”

The Seekers reached the double doors the two voices issued from. The plaque on the wall read ‘Ballroom’, and the handles were stylized silver knobs made to resemble Pokeballs. After a quick check to confirm that everyone was ready, the team burst in.

The first thing Band noticed was the temperature. It was cold in here. Really cold. As one might expect, the Ballroom was a wide-open, grandiose affair, with plentiful floorspace and one wall composed entirely of two or even three story glass windows, with a dazzling chandelier hanging overhead. In one corner lay a bar, in another a piano, and before the glass stood a few sofas arranged in a square to form a lounge. There, the Seekers spotted two persons of interest. One was L, reclining on the most plush and well-cushioned of the couches with a cold compress in one hand and a glass of what looked like brightly-glowing wine in the other. The other stood nearby, and this one Band also recognized, though only after a moment. Though very broad-shouldered he sported rather spindly limbs, and his bucket-shaped helmet rose at least twice as high as his head, with two forked spikes up at the very top above a clock face recessed into the headgear’s front. Both his helmet and his armor features the same cherry-red shade as L’s, confirming him as a Consul, and not just any Consul. Band remembered that look from yesterday; this crook was the one who sicced the Metro Cats on the Seekers, splitting them up to all corners of the World of Light. Based on all that, plus the snippets of overheard conversation, this could only be the long-awaited, much-anticipated, Consul N.

Before examining the Consuls further, however, Band found himself distracted by one other not-insignificant detail about this room. Along its walls were life-size decorative displays of Pokemon of all kinds, carefully arranged into dioramas by type, habitat, and theme. There were grass-types posed in a field of flowers, fighting-types arranged in a series of one-on-one or two-on-two matches, and both water-types and flying-types suspended on wire from hangers in front of appropriate oceanic or cloudy backgrounds. The more Band looked at these Pokemon, however, the less he felt sure that they were models, or statues, or even ice sculptures, despite their pallid coloration and the frosty coatings that covered them. No…these looked more like real Pokemon, frozen solid, and put on display like taxidermies. He blinked a few times, swallowed, and fixed his gaze on Consuls L and N.

L clicked her tongue, then sighed, her shoulders sagging. “Rather rude to barge in uninvited, no?” she drily remarked.

Band snorted, stowing his brass knuckles beneath his coat as he began to walk forward. “I knocked. But nobody came.”

“Oh, my sympathies. You just can’t get good help these days.” After giving N the stink eye she settled her gaze on Mewtwo, prompting a gratuitous eye roll. “Oh, you again. Fabulous. So much for out of sight, out of mind.”

“Why, it’s what you get for not cleaning your plate.” N tented his fingers together as he eyed Red, Band, and Ace. “Well, well, well. The ones who got away. What a pleasant surprise.”

“Hardly a surprise,” L snarked. “They’re why you’re here, after all.”

“Hm? I don’t follow” N glanced at her.

His counterpart shrugged. “Oh, since you were having trouble finding them, I thought I’d bring them right to you. Figured you could use a break after three fruitless days. Nothing sweeter than a little revenge, after all, and here they are. Like flies to honey.” She laughed smugly through her nose. “Now there’s nothing for the Master of Time to do but swat them. Or can you not even do that?”

N took a half-step toward her, clenching his fist. “Why, you conniving…!”

“Hey!” Band shouted. “If you goons are done gabbin’, we got your asses all wrapped up and ready to hand to ya.”

“Urgh.” He pinched the bridge of his helmeted nose as he hung his head, more for show than anything. “We’ll have words later,” he hissed at L. “But for now, our new friends, I suppose.”

As L sat up to watch, N turned to face the Seekers. “So, here you are at last. S seems to think rather highly of you lot. He does so love to prattle on about ‘heroes’.” He made sure to add the quotation marks by hand as he spoke. “Me, I prefer any and all annoyances dealt with once and for all. So let’s see if you’re up to snuff...” When he held out his hand, a polearm reminiscent of a giant tuning fork appeared, and as he came to a stop he struck its butt on the tile floor with a resounding clack. “...Shall we?”

Just as things seemed ready to heat up, L called out from behind him, cutting the tension. “Can you take this outside?” she asked languidly. “I’d rather you all not ruin my collection.”

“The only thing being ruined is the moment,” N growled beneath his breath.
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Lugubrious
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Lugubrious Makes the big edits

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Road to Ruin

Giovanna, Roxas’ @Double, Pit’s @Yankee, Susie’s @Archmage MC, Zenkichi’s @Multi_Media_Man, Partitio’s @Dark Cloud
Word Count: 1544 (+3)

Drawn by the commotion, Pit kicked high off the robot he was currently tangling with to glide toward the overturned truck. Poppi shot off through the air, and as Pit touched down he looked from the direction the artificial blade was heading to the petrified Marshall, then to Bo, Tora and Giovanna with confusion plain on his face.

Roxas spotted Pit in mid-glide and decided to follow after him, reasoning that the angel had a good idea of where he was going thanks to being higher up. When he got there, he heard Giovanna calling for him and he could immediately see why. One of the scrappers was in bad shape. But at the same time, there were still machines around and Roxas wasn’t sure it would be a smart idea to go into another battle without any of his magic. But he did have something else.

”Here.” Roxas said, jogging up to the downed Bo and holding out one of his two Hi-Potions, ”Try this, it should help you out.” The soldier didn’t think twice before accepting the aid, sighing in relief as his health was restored.

"What's going on?"

Out of the new folks present, only Big Bo could really offer any sort of an explanation. "The Machines have infected her," he told the others, his expression grave. "She's losin' control of herself. Y'all saw what happened to Cain, poor sonuva bitch. When it finishes she won't be your friend anymore. Just another mindless, bloodthirsty Machine!"

"No!" Tora yelled, beside himself with worry and anger. Why weren't these people helping him already!? "Even if Poppi sick, Tora can fix for definite! Just need get to her, fast as Tora can!" Tears pooled in the corner of the Nopon's big, dark eyes. "Please!"

Having been called over by Tora, it took a bit for Susie to make her way there as she had been overseeing most of the battle, having been raining down artillery fire from afar. Thanks to this however, she saw Poppi fly away, and when she got to the group, she could hear some of the talk about what had happened to her. ”Hm… A corrupting virus that turns robots into servants of this Ever Crisis? Thats concerning…” Susie said.

So that's why she'd flown off? If something was wrong with Poppi, they needed to help. Pit nodded, on Tora's side.

"We have to go after her!" Though saying that, there were a large number of machines still heading toward their destination. When that fact suddenly occurred to Pit he hesitated to head toward the Tallneck, turning to look at Giovanna with wide eyes. "But what about the people in Sector 7 if the rest of the robots reach Midgar?"

With lips pursed and eye narrowed, Giovanna brushed strands of wet hair off her face. Right now the unflappable secret agent didn't look so self-sure. "DespoRHado might be too busy with their own robots -or too negligent- to help them." She jogged over and pressed her shoulder against the overturned truck, trying to right it, but she wasn't strong enough on her own. "We can't just leave all those people to fend for themselves."

Without a word the simple merchant had taken a spot by the agent needless to say anything but exchange a look of understanding "Ummph…" Partitio's face scrunched up as he pushed with all his might against the truck, he was sweaty and his clothes were no worse for wear after fighting more machines than he could count on his fingers and toes but he still was as hale and hearty as the day he was born. Though even with his help the truck only budged slightly no matter how much elbow grease he put in it.

After staring for a moment, Tora shook his head and took off running for the Tallneck by himself, his wings flapping like scarves behind him. "Meh meh, meh! Tora not care!" He cried. "Tora nothing without Poppi. Not in fight, nor as friend. Poppi only reason anypon care about Tora at all!" He splashed off into the rain, intending to climb the towering machine lifeform by himself if nobody helped him. "World not mean anything to Tora if Poppi not in it!"

"Tora!" Roxas shouted, but to no avail. He started to run after him but paused to shoot a quick glare at Giovanna, "I can't believe you'd just abandon her like that!" and then took off after the little mechanic without even waiting for anyone to respond. In doing so he missed the secret agent’s exasperated expression, but she made no reply–the last thing the team needed right now was more drama.

Roxas was a lot more spry than Tora, so it didn't take long for him to catch up. When he did, Roxas snatched the little guy up and let him hang onto his shoulders, "You won't get there in time on your own, so hang on!" And then he picked up the pace, pointing one of his Keyblades forward and firing a Blizzaga spell. The ice projectile shot forward, leaving behind a thin line of ice for Roxas to grind on, propelled forward by flowmotion with Tora still in tow.

The merchant paused a moment to wipe the sweat off his brow with the cuff of his sleeve but it was enough to try and call after the engineer and the boy "There…Are lives at stake kid, we can't just run off willy-nilly-" Partitio tried to call after them but his words fell upon deaf ears, sighing he looked to the agent "Someone should go with those two, try and talk em' down afore they get themselves hurt…Unnnnnngaah!" the merchant slammed his shoulder against the truck along with Giovanna's strength to budge the vehicle just a little more.

Zenkichi, having followed after Partitio, still in his Phantom Thief attire but much less visibly frenetic than his Wolf persona, helped join the group attempting to right the vehicle, groaning exhaustedly as he pushed.

Pit went to the truck, helping everyone to get it upright with strength belied by his figure. Once it was back on all four wheels he stepped back, panting and wiping the rain from his face.

He didn't think they were abandoning Poppi, as Tora and Roxas seemed to believe. They'd come out there to protect Midgar, and their mission wasn't complete yet - that was all. They were fighting for the greater good and all knew the potential danger.

But Tora's words resonated with the angel. If he was in the nopon's place and Lady Palutena was in danger, he'd do the same whether anyone helped him or not. Pit clenched his fists and turned away from the truck.

"I'll go after them," he said, but it wouldn't be to dissuade them. "We can't just leave Poppi alone if she's hurt. Tora said he can fix her!"

He darted off after Tora and Roxas, making use of the ice path the latter left behind.

”You do that!” Zenkichi waved after him, not at all sarcastic despite the word choice. Turning to those who’d remained, he sighed. ”Damn kids. Always so…sure of themselves. Not that I blame them,” he quickly added, ”But there’s more at stake. And somebody might need to talk to Tora about that uh…unhealthy codependency, I think the kids call it nowadays?” Shrugging, he gave his shoulder a good turn and looked back on the remaining Machine horde.

”We should, uh…probably do something about that.”

”Yes. The horde was cut down to 10% of what it was though, so the rest of us should be able to handle it. ” Susie said, taking a look through the battlefield rubble and taking what she thought might make for some decent parts before joining the team that would finish off the rest of these robots.

After Roxas scooped him up and paved the way to the Tallneck with a pathway of magic ice, Tora reached his destination lickety-split. Flowmotion proved as effective scaling the mechanical creature as it did reaching it, too, so with minimum possible downtime he plugged his toolkit back into the Tallneck’s processor and assumed control. Though this beast was made for measured, lumbering strides, the Nopon had managed to coax it into a run earlier to keep up with the truck, but right now nothing but a gallop would do. Once his upload reached its system, the Tallneck took off as fast as it could go, or perhaps even faster. Tora wasn’t afraid to sacrifice this machine for the sake of his own. With Roxas and Pit aboard as backup, the three headstrong youths charged off into the rain, their ride’s massive strides making up for what it lacked in raw acceleration. Whether the others retreated to Midgar to head off the Machines or attempted to destroy the rest right here was their prerogative. It fell to these three to be Poppi’s saviors.
Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Archmage MC
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Archmage MC

Member Seen 17 hrs ago

Level 11 Blazermate (Holding 2 level up) - (104/110)
Location: Big Other fight.
Word Count: Less than 750

Blazermate didn't have to worry as much about the big Other, as its attacks were lumbering, or affected the ground, both tings she could avoid by just keeping her distance. Unlike the others though, she wasn't really doing too much damage with this other destroying the created sentry gun before it even got beyond level 1. This would end up being a good thing though, as it was said that this Other was a transformed Peach. "Wait, this is Peach? I don't know if I can cure something like this all that easy. Wasn't there something about redshift or something?" Blazermate said, a bit concerned. Well, at least she knew that if this thing started to get low, if they had a plan that didn't involve killing this other, they could at least keep it contained. "Does... anyone have a plan of what we're supposed to do here? I don't know if attacking it is the solution?"

Sakura was then pinged on Blazermate's scan as she had gotten hit pretty hard. With some heals and a revive, it wasn't difficult to get Sakura off the ground, especially with Karin keeping the Other's attention. Still, the two would be needing heals to tank this thing while everyone figured out a way to fix the situation. Blazermate could probably uber soon, but she doubted that'd even do anything.
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

Member Seen 5 hrs ago

wordcount: 686 (+1)
Midna: level 9 EXP: //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (93/100)
Location: Seiran Underground
Warp Charges: 4

”that’s it, roll over doggy” the princess barked at the Other as her and Raz’s concussive blows knocked it off its feet and onto its back, only to swiftly add ”wait no, I mean, sorry Peach” when she realized just how insensitive what her mouth had said was.

In what felt like karma to Midna, the flipping over the thing that had been (or still was? She was having difficulty processing that) somehow made the situation worse, as it picked itself and started operating upside down, with heads hanging under it, and proved to somehow be even more dangerous in this form.

”I said I’m sorry!” Minda yelled as she fled from the spikes striking up from the ground, the first of them having clipped her wolf’s back leg while she was storing her clubba club, resulting in that being a very narrow chase.

”Red shift was the chimeras! I didn’t know Otherfication was a thing!” Midna called over to Blazermate’s question about what was the cause of this, before demanding to know from the PSYCH-OFF personnel ”Is this a thing? How did it happen? Can it be undone?” in a fruitless hope that they knew more about what had happened than she did.

As for what they should do, well, Goldlewis seemed to think that keeping up the attack was the right thing to do, the giant of a man hammering into the Other, knocking it back and ending its borrowing spike attack. For a moment. Then it screamed and filled the air with dust and debris, obscuring itself from view much the same way the smoke clouds had done for some of the other Other earlier.

Then the spikes began again.

”Oh for the goddess’s love, again with the smokescreen!?” the princess complained, while also once more being thankful for her mask as it prevented her from choking on the dust. Rather than go on the run from the spikes again however, she instead leapt off of her wolfos, sending it home to lick its wound, and summoned her vibrava in its place. The dragonfly looking pokemon grabbed her back with now well practiced ease, and combining both its flight and her levitation, the pair took to the air to be well out of range of the ground based spike attacks.

That gave her time to think and speak while she swooped across the battlefield seeking out the towering form of the transformed Peach.

”Maybe we should fall back? It’s,- Peach is- whatever it is is huge, we could easily trap it in these tunnels. Collapse a ceiling, seal it somewhere. Then we’d have the time to work out how we can- if we can save her, without worrying about anyone getting hurt while we do” she called out a suggestion as she flew.

Despite her suggestion of a non-violent solution, if/when she found the Peach-Other, she would still attack. Luka had a point after all, she knew: every moment the other was allowed to keep spear striking was one where someone might stumble in the dust cloud, and get impaled. Having learned from Goldlewis she knew enough blunt force could end the impalement attack, and she had plenty of that. So that was her plan.

She would swoop down, and land on the shoulder of a summoned darknut, the towering undead rising out of a portal right next to the Peach-Other once again, and once again after it had fully arisen it delivered a shield bash to its side. At the same time Midna drove a mighty palm strike with her shadow hand from her shoulder perch, hoping the combined blunt force strikes would knock the Peach-Other off balance again and disrupt its attack.

While it felt a little cliche to rely on the same spell twice, if it worked it worked. Though she really would prefer if the Peach-Other would ”Stay down this time!”

Then she’d take off once more while her shadow darknut sank back into the twilight realm, and then calling out ”It’s over here!” to try and inform anyone who wasn’t yet in the know of the Other-Peach’s location.
Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Dark Cloud
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Dark Cloud 💀Vibin' beyond the Veil💀

Member Seen 4 hrs ago

Wordage: 401 words (+1 points)
Experience: 27/30 EXP
Location: Sector 5 (Seiren)
Midna's @DracoLunaris, Blazermate's @Archmage MC, Sakura & Karin's @Zoey Boey, Raz's @TruthHurts22, Geralt's @Multi_Media_Man and Goldlewis's @Lugubrious

"You seem to misunderstand my need for your assistance as something more..." the tactician sniffed derisively finding the notion of the Medabot's flirtation both unnecessary and inappropriate at the moment, yet over the course of the day Benedict had become used to the robots company much like he had slowly begun to tolerate an old friend who was much too exuberant "I suggest you keep your mind on the battlefield than such things." he quickly shifted topics, and feet as he had to make fast footwork to avoid getting impaled in the blinding dust clouds that the Other caused with its ribbon appendages from beneath them.

Coughing, the tactician stumbled nearly becoming a corpse on a ribbon that ripped the stone inches from his face, though outwardly he didn't even flinch internally Benedict's heart almost jumped out of his chest, following Blazermate whose exclamation fell on his ears without so much as moving him slightly "We haven't the time nor resources to waste curing whatever she has become..." for a moment the old tactician considered the current situation, his expression indecipherable. A non-violent solution would take more time than necessary and if they collapsed the tunnels there was no telling if they would be able to find a faster way out of the lower tunnels without running into more trouble. And causing more collateral would gain more unwanted attention, something they were trying to avoid.

"There is no guarantee that collapsing the tunnels will also do anything other than trap us beneath the city, that would be suicide." his mind began to settle on the only logical conclusion to him; they must either put the monster down or collapse the tunnels upon her to kill her if they absolutely had to.

"There isn't enough time to help her, we must end this here and now or run to fight another day. Emotions have no place in this situation." collapsing the tunnels should be a last resort, if they cannot do anything to either kill whatever Peach had become or incapacitate heritage mattered not they had to finish this and move on.

"Hmph-Do whatever you must but bringing down the roof is to be our last resort!" grunting the old man stepped back to avoid another ribbon attack, slashing it with his sword as he shifted himself to a defensible position "I would rather not be sealed in a tomb of stone if thank you very much." Benedict grumbled.

Wordage: 214 words (+1 points)
Experience: 18/20 EXP
Location: Army of Ruin ➡ Sector 7
Rust Crew's & Giovanna's @Lugubrious, Zenkichi's @Multi_Media_Man, and Susie's @Archmage MC

Wiping a bead of sweat from his brow the merchant slumped against the side of the truck, but the Gleam in his eye and the big smile on his face didn't betray any sign of being tuckered out, he looked between their lot and the buckets of bolts shambling ever onward towards the dusty old slums off in the distance. If there were odds, he didn't give a damn about them 10% or 100%. The simple man looked up at Big Bo "Got some fight left if you partner?" Partitio stood dusting off his ankles, if ever a man could look more like a god damn badass the merchant slung off the rifle from his shoulders and thrust it towards the other man "Then nows the time we get off our lazy butts and cause a ruckus." he didn't need no fancy contraption to fight what was left of the army, and Bo looked like he'd need all the heat he could pack.

"How bout we ride this metal wagon, grab whatever fancy hand cannons we got and make a months worth o' scrap?" he pat the truck with a hardy thunk, and made his way to the passenger side, looking at the people who he fought alongside against an army "What're ya'll waiting for? Let's get a move on!"
Hidden 10 mos ago Post by TruthHurts22
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Member Seen 16 days ago

Rank 6
37 / 60 EXP

Underground Nexus

Raz's tactics yielded pretty good results, effectively helping his teammates - Sakura the most, it seemed - dealing with the monster on the ground. Of course the thing would wise up to their attacks, as the Others so far have been pretty adept at counter-play, so while it did look down for a moment Raz didn't let his guard down. He did let himself down though, floating until he touched the concrete.

"Be careful everyone!" Raz said to the others - err, the other Seekers that had joined, not the capital-o Others - as he and the rest watched. "This thing is... Peach? Not the weirdest thing I've seen," he muttered. Battering it might not be a good idea moving forward, in case the Peach they knew was still in there.

Lucky for them that they had a psychic on hand to figure that out.

The Peach Other sprang up, flipping on its head(s) and unleashing a new attack. Fog fell over the battlefield, totally obscuring vision for everyone. Raz nearly avoided getting skewered by a ribbon, and in a panic, cloaked himself in Invisibility. "Oh drat, I didn't mean to do that one! Mentally fat fingered it..." Seems this Brain Drive was a little touchy. Raz didn't have the wherewithal to decloak at the moment, so he had to go unseen, doubly so, diving away whenever he sensed a tremor underneath.

"Peach!" Raz sent a Brain Message out, hopefully directed at their transformed friend. "It's me, Raz! You know, the short kid with the big head! Please tell me you're okay in there!" Rather than hoping to hear back exactly, Raz reached out with his personal mind-reading capabilities, also using it to try and pinpoint just where in the fog the Other was at. He made his way towards it, slowly fishing out his Psycho Portal from his bag as he neared the beast, still in its head to try and find Peach. If need be, he'd have to go in, in a more literal sense, to get her out.
345 Words
+1 EXP
Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by MULTI_MEDIA_MAN


Member Seen 24 hrs ago

Geralt of Rivia

Midgar- Seiran, Abandoned Subway- Underground Nexus

Lvl 9 (213/90) -> (214/90)

Word Count: 561 words

Geralt grunted as they were warned that the Other was, or had been, Peach, but a swipe of the arms forced him to step back, lashing out with his sword to keep the oversized limb from striking his body as he stepped back in when it retracted. He had no idea how she could have been turned into an Other, nor any ideas on how they could return her back. His specialty lay in curses and transformations that he knew about, though he supposed with enough information provided by the Psych OSF should they continue working with them, he might be able to try to reverse whatever happened. If it were reversible at all, of course. Not everything here, in fact the vast majority of things, worked on different rules than he was used to.

He wasn't able to stand there and take punishment as effectively as Goldlewis, but his size, his armor, and Quen let him take quite a few hits without having to risk disengagement. With as many targets for it to focus on, as well as its seemingly laser-focus on Sakura, this meant Geralt could focus on offense, stepping away from the larger, more telegraphed attacks, even if he wasn't always quick enough. Quen shattered after a few hits, but enough time had passed that he could reapply it without issue. He kept his focus on the thing's legs, moving to let Goldlewis try to keep its attention.

When the Other sagged in defeat, Geralt took a deep breath, looking around. Sakura had taken quite the beating, and that left Geralt rather pissed off, but it seemed they'd be okay for now, once it finally dissolved into Ash, hopefully leaving Peach behind.

Geralt blinked a few times before sighing, realizing what was happening as the sentry gun shot away, and the Other stirred once more, its temporary defeat more of it simple being a bit winded. Dammit, Geralt thought. Just their luck.

The monster flipped itself over, its heads now facing the ground, and stabbed its ribbons into the stone floor. The sentry gun was quickly and unceremoniously destroyed, while Sakura, still wounded on the ground, was hit, then impaled upon the ribbons.

Even with the dust in the air after its roaring, his eyes watering slightly and his nose irritated, Geralt could tell she was hurt. Badly. He didn't recognize Blazermate healing the Street Fighter. He took a deep breath, his enhanced sense of smell allowing him to track where the Other had disappeared to. The sound of a sword being sheathed dominated his mind before his fist buried itself in his gut, ripping itself out with a gush of blood and bile, the Hateful Flesh coming with it. "FIZZ! IMPS! JUDICATOR!" Geralt yelled, summoning his Strikers while rushing madly towards the Other.

His Protective Instincts drove him forward and the influence of the Orphan [Rager] blanked his mind, lightning wreathing around the siderite blade as he devolved into a snarling, swirling mess of violence and chaos, as much a threat to the other Seekers who dared get close to the berserking Witcher as he was to what Peach had become. He fought with no concern for his own safety, his Strikers joining him, somewhat insulated from his berserker fury but still acting on his command, which was simply to attack, attack, attack.

Zenkichi Hasegawa

Valley of Ruin

Lvl 2 (11/20) +3 Collab +15 Fight EXP +3 collab -> Lvl 2 (33/20)

Word Count: 224 words

As Tora and the youngsters raced off on the Tallneck to chase down Poppi and fix whatever was going on with her, Zenkichi and the others had a job to do: get back to Midgar, stop the Machines, and make sure they didn't all get immediately arrested for it. Simple enough.

Zenkichi half-jogged to the back of the truck, climbing in with a call to the others, "What's the plan when we hit Sector 7? Rally the troops or just handle it ourselves? I'm fresh out of ammo, and to be honest, I'm pretty darn tired too. I can still swing my sword, but now that the adrenaline's wearing off...hoo boy. He took a deep breath and sat down, resting his hands on his knees as the exhaustion really started setting in. "I can keep going, promise...I just...need a second. Damn." Resting his head against the wall of the truck, he closed his eyes and tried to relax as they set out.

When the truck finally got back to Sector 7, Zenkichi was quick to disembark and head towards the gates, calling back to Partitio and the others. "I'm gonna hold the line. You guys run and grab help, and be quick about it, would ya? I'm only one man. A hundred machines I can take, but two is pushing it."
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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Double
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Double Hard-Boiled

Member Online


Tora’s @Lugubrious, Roxas’ @Double, Pit’s @Yankee
Word Count: 4563 (+5)

Wind and blinding rain whipped at the pursuer’s faces, the whir and groan of the Tallneck’s actuators setting up a rhythm that the unpredictable terrain underfoot did its best to shatter. The further down the ruined city’s main avenue they went the worse the destruction got, its streets and entire blocks cracked and rift apart by massive upheavals. The overgrowth grew thicker as well, but all this scenery merely flashed by–Tora’s eyes lay only on the road ahead. A light in the distance held his attention, its shade and intensity familiar. It was the flare of Poppi QT Pi’s back-mounted afterburners. Together he, Pit, and Roxas closed on her, and after a couple dozen seconds she seemed to stop, her telltale signal vanished into the rainy haze. Tora would not be dissuaded, however; the less vibrant orange highlights all across Poppi’s form were enough for him to zero the Tallneck in on her position. Just when he finally seemed to have her in his grasp, however, Poppi noticed the incoming posse and took to the air again.

“Go away!” she cried out, her voice strained. Sparks were flying from her servos, and not the good kind. “I don’t want to hurt you! Please!”

Tora’s reply was lost in the dull roar as she turned and soared away, down toward the lower, half-sunken deltas of the flooded district.. Gritting his teeth, the Nopon gave chase. When it became apparent to Poppi that her Masterpon would not be dissuaded, the artificial blade had to make the most difficult choice. Switching to her Wind core, she pivoted in the air while fleeing and with her Variable Saber in gun mode, began to fire. Her air-infused shots whizzed by the Tallneck, their currents strong enough to risk knocking it over -or Seekers off it- even if they weren’t aimed right at it. “Bad Poppi!” Tora cried, nearly thrown from his very tall perch by the opening salvo. Glancing between his allies, he said, “We need bring her down so Tora can fix. Just don’t hurt poor Poppi too much!”

”...I promise.” Roxas responded. Of course that left the question of what he should actually do. He had enough juice for maybe one more spell before his magic would be out and need to recharge. Beyond that, what could he do against someone flying overhead firing off blasts of wind at them? Well, he had to do something, so Roxas decided to act, ”Fire!” he shot a Firaga spell at Poppi, confident that a single one wouldn’t harm Poppi much, if at all. And that was his last spell, so now he had to wait for his magic to recharge before he could use it again. Not letting himself be deterred, he decided to throw his Keyblades at the flying robot girl. He wasn’t sure how accurate he would be on a giant galloping robot throwing them at a flying robot, but it was better than nothing.

Poppi dodged the fireball with grace, unhappy but unsurprised that her pursuers were going to risk their lives coming after her. She let loose another multiblast of rippling light-green air bullets, the distance and spread too much for them to do any real damage, but they could still cause blowdown. Though keen even in circumstances like these, her optics weren’t perfect, and as she glanced behind her to make sure she wasn’t about to fly directly into something she failed to notice the uncanny keyblades hooking around from the side. They clipped her before returning to sender, demanding that she focus forward with gritted teeth and up the ante with more spread shots. That top-heavy Tallneck wasn’t built for this, and she knew it.

"Let me!" Pit said, already aiming his bow at Poppi. He could battle her at long range just as long as her gusts of wind didn't knock him from the Tallneck's back, though hopefully an ally would catch him if it did. He fired at Poppi, using his arrows' unique properties to put strain on her defensively. Not only did they twist through the air to make the angle of their attack less predictable, but their speed and power varied. Some packed more of a punch, and though they arrived more slowly than the others, all the arrows gained speed over the distance they had to travel to reach her. Still, Poppi boasted uncommon speed, and after dodging a remarkable number of the arrows at the last moment she gave as good as she got.

"Tora! Does she have a weak spot?" He asked, dodging the gust from one of her wind-attuned shots and returning fire with a dash shot of his own. All robots had one, right? Since they didn't want to hurt Poppi too badly if they could help it, they should try to wrap up her recovery as fast as possible. "Tell me where to aim so we can take her down quick!"

“Not to speak of,” the Nopon told him, his voice quavering. “Ether Furnace too well protected, and it vital for Poppi functioning! Only weakness is opposite element of current core, which right now is Ice, but…”

"Perfect, I can do fire!"

But before Tora could correct the misconception his words died on his lips as he saw Poppi switch the Variable Saber to blade mode, then slash through the air to send wide arcs of wind toward her pursuers. With these all but guaranteed to hit, Tora took drastic action, forcing the Tallneck’s neck to lower. This tilted the machine’s center of balance much too far forward, however, and it threatened to fall on its head. He pulled the head back up and veered the Tallneck to the side as it ran to avoid another batch of wind blades, only to careen too close to a cliff. “Meh-meh-meh!” Tora shrieked, peering down in terror at the rubble-strewn river in the ravine’s depths and sure that that Tallneck was going over.

"Hold on, I can fix this!" Pit had ducked to hold onto the robot's body while Tora harshly maneuvered it around Poppi's attacks, but now he ran toward the edge of the Tallneck's back and threw himself off the side. He twisted in the air, propelling himself back toward the machine by summoning the Upperdash Arm and letting it drag him forward. The weapon collided with the Tallneck's side, the heavy impact forcing it back the way it came. It couldn't be called stable, but at the very least it wasn't in immediate danger of toppling over for now. Pit extended his wings to push against the air, flapping until he'd grabbed hold of the robot and scrambled to pull himself back up.

Up ahead, Poppi began to draw in ether in vast quantities from the atmosphere, her frame aglow with gathered motes of light. Holding aloft her weapon, she switched cores from Wind to Water, her accent lines turning from green to blue. Then she let loose her Noponic Axiom blade art, and a torrential beam of water surged across the cluttered roadway, power-washing the dust of ages clean in a line as it swept toward the Tallneck’s legs.

Roxas felt useless right now. What could he do from a distance without spells? And seeing what was happening with Poppi was also beginning to dredge up some painful memories of his own. He too was once forced to fight against someone he cared deeply about. And seeing Poppi made Roxas start to think about that heartbreaking fight.

"No, not like this. I won't stand by and watch someone lose their friend like this!" his weapons vanished and he used the long sleeve of his black coat to wipe tears that were forming in his eyes. Then he broke into a run and did something… incredibly stupid.

Using Flowmotion, Roxas ran up the length of the giant machine's neck. In the distance he saw Poppi charging up some kind of attack and then picked up his pace. When he reached the end of the line, he instinctively did the unthinkable and jumped. He launched himself forward, hoping and praying that the momentum from flowmotion would be enough for him to get close. Poppi was already firing her water attack, and so all Roxas could do was try to grab onto her. He had no idea if she was capable of carrying the extra weight, but maybe he could disrupt her flight somehow, maybe even find a way to pull her down closer to where Pit and Tora were.

“Urk!” Poppi’s beam was knocked askew as Roxas threw himself at and then barged into her. Despite his best efforts, though, she didn’t go down; if her thrusters were strong enough for her to carry around a dense Nopon like Tora, they could support the added weight of a gangly teenager no problem. That didn’t mean he couldn’t wreck her flight pattern, however. Pulling her off-kilter sent Poppi into an out-of-control spiral. Gritting her teeth, she grappled with Roxas in the air. “This won’t end well!” she snapped at him. “Let me go, don’t do this to my Masterpon! He doesn’t deserve it!” With mechanical strength and precision she slammed her knee into the keyblade wielder’s stomach, making him see stars then launched him away with a flip kick to continue her flight.

He flew back toward the Tallneck, still upright despite the water beam delivered to its legs. Its already-overworked servos were sparking, and its gait much less steady, but it could still run, at least for now. As Roxas hurtled right for it, Pit hopped up the robot's neck and leapt out to catch him. The angel's wings slowed their fall enough that when the two boys tumbled back onto the metal it wasn't anywhere near as painful as it could have been. Still hoping to escape, Poppi sped away once again, descending through the cratered, tree-littered city landscape down toward the basin. Behind her, the Tallneck’s path grew even more treacherous, the downward slope of broken roads jagged and often flanked on both sides by either building walls or rivers. After emerging through the spray of a waterfall, Tora could see her condition deteriorating, and not just from the boys’ attacks. The virus must be damaging her, too. Poppi was running out of real estate; if she was going to spare her creator the pain of watching her die, her next shot needed to count.

Poppi pirouetted as she flew, stowing her Variable Saber as she drew a revolver. She switched to her Dark Core, turning her accent lines as well as the ether surrounding her to deep purple, and took aim at the Tallneck’s chest.

It was obvious their machine mount couldn't take much more of this. After fighting the robot army and going right to their rescue mission, even Pit was beginning to tire. Poppi herself seemed to be losing steam as well. Even if it was for her own well being, fighting her didn't feel good. Even if they hadn't known her for more than a few days, she was their friend. But it would be so much worse if they let her succumb to whatever virus was infecting her.

"I'll reflect her attack," Pit said after catching his breath. He glanced at the other two boys. "Hopefully that'll give you an opening."

As Poppi aimed, she kept an eye on Pit. Leveraging her prior experience meant that she knew just what he planned to do when he interposed himself between her revolver’s barrel and the Tallneck’s core. At the last moment, she quickly jerked her aim, and then fired. With his quick reaction time, Pit activated his Guardian Orbitars, creating a life-saving barrier as planned. The gravity-infused shot hurled toward him, but…not exactly. It flew wide, so far off the mark that its trajectory couldn’t be an accident. With all eyes on the deep purple projectile as it missed, Pit scarcely had time to refocus on Poppi -let alone process what was happening- before a green-and-orange blur shot toward him. The artificial blade streaked straight for him in Nano Orange mode, her Variable Saber in hand. He held firm behind his barrier, only for Nano Orange’s guard-annulling impact to completely annihilate his defense. As Pit reeled, and the others looked on in shock, Poppi whirled around to trade out her Saber for both revolvers, pointed to either side of the angel.

“I’m sorry.”

She pulled the triggers, and her shots whizzed within inches of Pit’s torso to smash into and through the Tallneck’s body. After a brief moment they ruptured in a terrifying expulsion of gravitational force, destroying the machine lifeform from within. Its legs flew off to the sides in chunks, scattered to the winds, and the pieces of its body became little more than metal confetti. Only the top half of its neck and its head survived, hurtling through the rain with Roxas and Tora attached with Pit not far behind, all three propelled by the shockwave into the air. They’d have plenty of hangtime to figure a way out of this, but by the time they landed safely Poppi would be gone. With Nano Orange depleted, she looked worse for wear than ever, but still she descended forth toward the water’s edge, where highrises lay partially submerged within the crater lake.

"Ugh, she read me like a book!" Pit shouted, frustrated about being predicted so easily. Was Poppi really so desperate to let herself be destroyed like this? He knew she was worried about hurting them, and Tora most of all, but she wasn't even giving them a chance to try and help. How could they convince her, especially when she was so good at escaping them? She'd find that Pit was a stubborn one, and he definitely wasn't about to give up on her even if she'd already given up on herself. But currently he was hurtling through the air.

"Roxas! Tora!" He flapped his wings and sailed toward them, snagging both of them under each arm. With his feathers spread as wide as possible he tried to catch the wind and slow their descent. If it worked, it was only just barely - his wings weren't strong enough for all three of them. Usually in a situation like this he'd crash into the ground and then just get back up afterward, but that wasn't something he wanted Tora or Roxas to suffer. They might not even survive. He'd have to stop their fall closer to the ground. "Hold on!"

He kept his wings acting as a parachute the entire way down, but once they were getting dangerously close to smashing into the ruined highway below the Orbitars made their reappearance. A shield formed between the boys and the ground, identical to the one Poppi had ripped through but wholly new. They jolted to a stop and fell only a couple of feet once the shield dissipated, shaken up but alive - and still just as determined to go after their friend.

Click for music

Before long, Poppi couldn’t fly any more. Her thrusters were compromised. She resorted to hopping across the last few sunken skyscrapers that jutted from the crater lake like islands until she came to the last one in the chain, a section of raised highway with the long-abandoned husk of a bus. There were many more of those bug drones around here, but they seemed to ignore her. As she slowed down a power surge rocked her, eliciting a cry of pain as she fought to stay standing. Her left arm had stopped responding, and her vision had grown patchy with glitches. Gasping like someone with real breath and real lungs, she moved toward the edge of the cliff that overlooked the water, jogging for a moment until another breakdown reduced her to a limp. Holding her face where one of Pit’s arrows had struck her, she looked down from the precipice at the water. Then she changed gears, switching to her Fire core. Even that simple act damaged her body further, causing rivulets of flame to spill from the cracks, drip down, and vanish with a hiss of smoke in the rain.

But there Poppi stopped. She knew what she needed to do, but she found her servos terribly hard to move. The virus was in her head. Gnawing at her memories. She wouldn’t let them go. She couldn’t. Gritting her teeth, she fought to keep hold of them. Vistas of far-off places burned in her mind. Uraya. Mor Ardain. The Leftherian Archipelago. Gormott, and Torigoth. Her home. Faces flashed before her. Pyra and Mythra, her heroes, and Rex, his. Nia and Dromarch. Zeke and Pandoria. Morag, Brigid, and all the rest. And his face most of all. It hurt very badly. Everything hurt, but her heart more than anything. Nothing was unforgettable. After all that…was this really it? Why?


She wanted to turn to face him right away. She could hear his little feet, and those of his companions. They must have saved him from the fall, as she knew they would, and here they were, though she’d hoped they wouldn’t be. “Why… did you have to come?” she asked, her voice scratchy. When she turned around to look, her eyes were glowing red. “Now this is going to hurt… even more.”

"No, it doesn't have to be that way!" Pit argued, balling his hands into fists at his sides. "Let us help you!"

Roxas couldn’t do much of anything, but he pulled the hood of his coat up and did his best to hide the expression on his face underneath it. All of this was bringing back feelings and memories to the surface that he hadn’t thought about in a long time.

Tears were streaming down Tora’s face. “Meh-meh, Poppi not say such thing! Hold still and let Tora fix!” He took a step forward, his toolkit in his hands, and the machine took a step back, closer to the cliff. “P-Poppi?” Tora wept, raising his voice. “Don’t move! That Masterpon direct order!”

Poppi winced, her expression pleading. “I tried to remove it. It’s changing and evolving its own code too quickly. There’s not enough time…”

“That no reason not to try!” Tora exclaimed, waddling her way.

“No!” Flame blazed in the rain as the Variable Saber’s blade extended, wrathed in a curtain of steam. The Nopon shied away, his jaw slack. “I can’t bear to hurt you. But any moment now, it won’t be me any more. Masterpon…Tora. You need to get away!” Another surge coursed through her and she nearly fell, her eyes narrowing as her flames flickered. “Just…let me go. It’s not the end. You can just…make me again. Take my furnace…and my spirit, when I’m gone.”

Tora shook his head. “Even if Tora do that, it not you! You not just schematic to Tora!” He flapped his wings wildly. “You my Poppi!”

Roxas couldn’t stop thinking about it. That horrible day when everything he cared about was ripped away from him. His mind filled with images and memories of a battle he was forced to fight. One he ultimately won, even if at the time it felt like anything but a victory. The look on her face as she tried to give him a pained smile even as she vanished from existence and from everyone’s memory. The memory of feeling like his heart had been broken but unable to figure out why.

Try as she might, Poppi had no tears to cry. She tried to respond, but at that moment her core finally broke down. A burst of sparks flew from her chest as she staggered backward, her legs locked up, and her head and arms slumped down. Tora charged forward and jumped up to throw his wings around her in a hug, but without her limp arms supporting him he couldn’t hold on, and plopped down to the ground on his rear. “Don’t leave me!” he wept. “Poppi!”

Light blazed, and Poppi’s right arm moved. Tora looked up, unaffected by the rain on his face, as she raised the Variable Saber over her head. Massive amounts of ether coursed through it, and its burning blade swelled in size, roaring with molten fury. It blazed high into the sky, and as it did Poppi’s body burned out, on the verge of self destruction.

And then, all at once, a strong splash of water crashed into Poppi’s burning body. It was Roxas, having cast a Waterga spell with one of his Keyblades. His hood was still up, but an eagle-eyed person would be able to spot the tears streaming from his currently hidden eyes. Then he cast Waterga again. And Again. And again. If Poppi was trying to heat herself up to explode, then Roxas would simply use Waterga to stop that from happening. He also wasn’t blind to their current location, and Poppi’s current position over an edge that led down into a lake below.

”Don’t you do this! Don’t you do this to your friend!” Roxas called out, sounding like he was about to start sobbing, ”I’ve been through this before, and I’m not gonna let it happen to anyone else! Do you hear me?” His gloved hand tightened its grip on the Keyblade it held. And then with a voice that almost sounded like it was going hoarse from the shouting, Roxas cried out and flung one last Waterga at Poppi to try and knock her into the lake. As long as she couldn’t move, and as long as the lake’s water could keep the fires quenched, she wouldn’t explode. Then maybe they could search for a way to save her.

With each blast of Waterga, Poppi wavered, driven back toward the edge step by step as steam coiled around her overheating chassis and the flames of her saber flickered. Whether she’d already succumbed to the virus, lost her capacity to speak, or simply couldn’t find the words, she said nothing. Roxas shouted at her like she wanted or chose this, and that would have hurt terribly were she still in her right mind, but nothing could reach her now. Not his imperatives, nor Tora’s pleading, nor even the imploring wing that grabbed hold of her limp left arm. Only the water that crashed against her broken body–and then, moments later, the water that rushed up to meet her from below. Her column of flame dispersed, and the embers that fed it were drowned. The waves rushed in to fill the gap, gentle rain fell upon the land of eternity, and the rest was silence.

Tora stared at the water for a long time. In his arms he held tight a mechanical limb, inadvertently pulled from its compromised elbow joint as Poppi tipped over the edge and began to fall. More drones buzzed around the area, circling like vultures as they slowly but steadily closed in. Only when distant rumbles and crashes echoed across the lake did Tora turn his gaze up, peering through the storm. On the opposite side of the crater, a giant shape emerged from between the buildings, circular in form and fearfully spider-like, yet not quite the same as the huge robot the team took on earlier. It looked like nothing more than a gigantic clock on long, spindly legs. Blue light, just like the substance within the drones’ abdomens, blazed in a ring around the clock’s face, roughly three-quarters full. With the mobile fortress came a profound ticking noise, low, piercing, and unerringly regular, and it seemed to excite the bug drones. This place, so deep in the territory of the Machines, wasn’t safe. But Tora couldn’t bring himself to move.

At first Pit had been rooted to his spot. His heart was beating hard while Tora tried and failed to talk Poppi down, and while Roxas cast his magic to counteract her overheating. When Poppi tipped over the edge it practically stopped. He'd started toward the ledge on pure instinct, only getting as far as a couple steps before the sight of Poppi's arm in Tora's grasp halted him. Right, Poppi was a robot. She should be okay even after a fall like that. He had no idea how computer viruses were different from human viruses, but wouldn't it be possible to reconstruct her body and reboot her... or something?

After a few moments Pit swallowed the lump in his throat, the first to speak. His eyes flickered to Tora.

"She's still alive, I know she is," he said, and though there was no evidence to support his words his tone was one of pure confidence in his statement. "We'll fish her out of the water and you can fix whatever broke! But it looks like we're gonna have to do it fast."

Because this new machine probably wasn't friendly. Even so, he'd fend it and the drones off while they recovered Poppi and found a way back if he had to.

He made it sound simple, but Tora knew they couldn’t ‘fish her out’ of this deep, dark lake. Not in this state, with no gear or tools, surrounded by hostile machines. Tora gulped, squeezing the arm tight. “Y-yeah,” he said after a moment. “Arm not turn to ash, yes? So Poppi have to be alive! Is just emergency shutdown!” Though as exhausted as the others after all that fighting, he nodded vigorously. An idea had formed his mind, and he clung to it like it was the only thing keeping him afloat in a sea of despair. “Tora take arm back. Find workshop. Research virus, make cure. Come back with salvage team! Bring Poppi up, cure virus, and wakey wakey! After little tuneup, Poppi good as new!” Shaky of breath, he yelled down at the water. “Hear that, Poppi!? Sleep just for little while, your masterpon come back very soon!”

Pit was surprised to hear Tora's practical response. Ultimately Poppi was Tora's partner and dear friend, so if Tora was alright with leaving for now and coming back for her later, then Pit was alright with it too.

"That's the spirit!" It would be just as Tora said, so for now it was time to regroup. He offered the nopon a quick, reassuring grin and then brandished his bow. "Okay then. The sooner we get out of here the sooner we can come back!"

Tora nodded. With the Machines closing in, he took one last look at the water. “That right,” he told himself. “Poppi is hero. And heroes never die!” Then, with fleet-footed Roxas and Pit to help him along, he bid a hasty retreat. But his breathing never evened out, and his cheeks stayed wet with tears.

For a good while longer the rain continued to fall. The drones left the crater lake not long after the Seekers did; their services were needed elsewhere. While the clock remained a few minutes more, drawn by the pillar of fire that lit up the murky, stormy-shadowed day like a signal flare, it soon left as well. Its blade-tipped spider-legs hauled it across the ruined landscape until the rattle of its clockwork, the crash of its plunging footfalls, and even the ticking of its clock face faded away. Peace returned to the lake that had lain undisturbed by the living for so long, but an ominous and foreboding peace, like the calm before an even greater storm. Eventually, as noon approached, the downpour began to subside.

It was about that time that the waves deposited a body on the lakeside shore. Though very human in appearance, it was broken in ways that a human couldn’t be, and it had survived circumstances a human couldn’t, either. A Fire core might have been drowned down there in the deep, but not a Water core. Before the waves could tease the body back out into the depths, the broken machine began to haul itself up from the water’s edge, less a crawl and more a drag using its right arm and the shattered parts protruding from what remained of its left elbow. After just a few feet it stopped, rolled onto its back, and stared up into the sky. It rolled and churned as the light of day began to emerge through the clouds, an exquisite monochrome mosaic pierced by sublime rays of gold. It was beautiful, but what good was beauty, without someone to share it with?

The sound of footsteps prompted Poppi to turn her head. A lone figure stood not so far away, clothes in a long black coat. Her hood was down, and a beautiful face stared down at Poppi with blue eyes, a stern frown on her lips and a single mole right beside them. Long white hair reached down past her back. Poppi didn’t recognize this woman, but she did know that coat. “...Organization?” she rasped, her voice muffled and weak. “Help…”

“You’re infected,” the woman said matter-of-factly. “Almost completely. I’m surprised you held on so long.”

Though the virus had Poppi almost totally in its grip, she felt no hostility toward this stranger. Was she a Machine, too? Her eyes lowered to the sword that hung at the stranger’s waist. “Kill…me…” she begged. “Before I’m…completely…gone.” She held out her Variable Saber’s hilt, and dropped it at the stranger’s feet. “These are…my memories. Take care of them…of him. The future…!”

After a moment, the stranger stepped forward. She knelt, and clasped the Saber in her hand.
Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Archmage MC
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Archmage MC

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Gallo Tower Depths
Junior and Kamek’s @DracoLunaris, Ichiban’s @Truthhurts22, Iguana Gallo Valetto

While the main team proceeded ‘up’ toward Gallo Tower’s massive clock face, the other three headed ‘down’, into the tower’s depths. There were fewer creepy Mecha-Porkies in this direction, and the great hallway seemed rather empty on the whole save for the standard fairly nice, old-fashioned furnishings. The farther Gallo, Kamek, Junior, and Ichiban went, however, the more infrequent the sputtering braziers became, and the lower the ambient light. Pretty soon it would be almost completely dark, and with the gathering gloom came a faint though increasing feeling of dread.

Wisely, Gallo stopped for a moment to take a brazier to carry with him on the descent, not knowing about -or perhaps not wanting to rely on- any light sources his new allies might have to offer. Ichiban, taking his cue, pulled out his smartphone and pointed it ahead, its bright flashlight illuminating further than Gallo’s torch. Ichiban’s Galeem-infused eyes still glowed in the dark, a dull red that bathed his face a little too ominously. Gallo also broke the silence at length to shed a little more light, not on the murky corridor, but on his plans. “I will tell you now the exact nature of my strategy,” he announced. “So that we might all cooperate more effectively. My signature weapon, the ace up my sleeve, is the Clock Lancet.” From the ether he conjured what looked like an ornamental dagger, silver and blue. “It possesses the power to completely halt the flow of time for any being it strikes. I intend to use this to ensure that P cannot reach the Absolutely Safe Capsule once he arrives. This effect lasts but a fleeting moment, however, and it fires of its own accord in a clockwise manner around my person. As such, to keep the brat under its spell, I must also circle him in a clockwise manner, positioning myself in the opposite direction of the Lancet. Neither of us wants an accidental obstruction to leave one of you frozen in time and the Consul free to escape, yes?”

”Is this one of those, rendered invulnerable while frozen in time effects or not? Because if not, it should be child's play to give him a double dose of sleep magic and darts from range. After that I can summon Sectonia and have her mind control him, which she can apparently do now” Kamek said, still against the whole child killing thing, and also very interested in what they could learn from a compliant Consul.

The scholar wrinkled his nose. “Not invulnerable. But be wary. A Consul may not be so easily overcome by trifling gimmicks.”

Ichiban made a noise halfway between an ‘ehhhh’ and an ‘uhhhh’, a mix of hesitation and confusion. ”Thing’s still a knife though, right? And your plan is to like, stab it in P and keep it there?” Ichiban drew his flashlight around their surroundings, brief glances at the decor, the walls and the ceiling, before landing on Gallo, almost like it was following Ichiban’s gaze.

”Can I ask,” Ichiban asked, ”what is it Consul P did exactly? I get the gist of it all, him bein’ some leader abusin’ his power, but what kinda stuff did he do? Embezzle funds? Off a guy?”

“‘Do’?” Gallo sputtered for a moment, as if P’s crimes numbered so many that giving voice to all of them at once might make him explode. “P…is a feckless egomaniac on a power trip of absurd proportions. He is a murderous sadist. Others’ lives mean nothing to him. Less than nothing! He treats all this world’s people as if they were his own personal servants. For any who dare displease him, the consequences are dire.” Gallo paused for a moment to peer into an especially dark shadow in which he thought he saw movement. “...Take for instance his infamous ‘field trips’. Should he happen to be in a mood, he leaves the tower to stroll through the Home of Tears. Everyone in his path must shower him with praise and do whatever he asks of them. If not, something horrible instantly befalls them. Should he be feeling especially unappreciated, he may command his bed to tear the poor soul limb from limb right there.” Gallo clenched his teeth, boiling over with anger. “Oh, how it galls me! The very nerve to reduce the prodigious Iguana Gallo Valetto to a mere sniveling sycophant! Oh, I’ll have that swine’s head!”

”Sounds to me like you’re just not a good subordinate,” Ichiban said without snark, or the forethought that he might be poking the hornet’s nest. ”Look, not sayin’ this P guy is all that great, but most of what’cha said is typical boss stuff. Commanding respect and makin’ it clear what happens when it ain’t given. I’d say that maybe the really nasty stuff P did made ya hate ‘im, but from how you talk, seems like you weren’t a team player from the start.”

That certainly had the two Koopas glancing at each other, before Kamek offered his own perspective

”If I might, that sounds like, well, bad boss behavior, and I’m not even speaking in the nebulous terms of good and evil, it is simply poor. Fear is the incompetent leader’s manner of inspiring loyalty, as Gallo rather aptly demonstrates. A true leader has the love and admiration of his minions, such that they would gladly jump through fire or into the deepest ocean, should he command it. If he does right by them and treats them with respect, they will return that respect a thousand fold, where as a bad boss will find himself alone, friendless and washed up on a beach” he glanced at Jr at the end of his little summary, which resulted in the prince replying ”Yeah yeah I learned that lesson already”

Specifically he had learned it on that not so metaphorical beach.

”It does sometimes bear repeating young master” he replied cattily (”Hey!”) before adjusting his spectacles and suggesting that ”I do hate to say it, but I don’t think your boss was a particularly good one either Mr Ichiban. My condolences”

”What?” Ichiban’s flashlight beam flicked from Gallo to Kamek, shining right in the lizard wizard’s face. ”No way, my boss, he’s the greatest! Helped me shape up when I was a dumb kid and gave me a place in life. I’d do anything for ‘im.” Quiet for a moment, Ichiban’s light wandered about the place again, like it was signifying his moment of thinking. After the moment passed he sighed.

”Guess not everyone can be like Arakawa,” he admitted, mostly to himself than the others. ”But this P guy, well, he kinda sounds like that dumb kid I was talkin’ about. Uh, me,” he clarified. ”Some brat throwing around respect he hasn’t earned. Only he’s in charge of things. All I’m sayin’ is, he sounds like a boss who doesn’t know how to be one, not some insane murderer or whatever. And comin’ from you…” He leveled the flashlight on Gallo yet again. ”Sorry if I don’t take everything y’say for the truth. You’ve been at this guy’s throat since we met you.”

Gallo opened his mouth to respond, but at that very moment the Consul’s first time walk took hold. The near-lethal effects of a hearty meal laced with rat poison struck everyone but Gallo in an instant and without warning, causing massive internal damage. For a moment the alarming change in his allies left Gallo in a state of alarm, but he had the misfortune of knowing what it was. “Damn that brat! This is P’s power!” he exploded. “I don’t know how it’s reaching you here, but oftentimes even completely unrelated people suffer from the fallout of P’s curses!” Believing the three to be lost, he prepared to leave them behind and charge into the darkness toward the Consul’s hideout, the flame lighting his path. Within the span of a few minutes, plastic jabs in the feet and a smorgasbord of bug bites and stings would befall the three as well.

Had Gallo given them more than a moment, he would have found this party far better equipped to handle the time shenanigans than the main group, as was aptly demonstrated when Jr shakily raised up his staff sized paintbrush and cast ”Esuna!” to cleanse first himself, then Kamek, and finally Ichiban of the poison, before using ”Medica!” to heal all three of them at once.

”What the heck was that!” Jr demanded to know once he was off of (what would turn out to be only the first round of) emergency healing duty.

”I… have no idea” Kamek replied, as he sent the wisps he had been using as a light source out to check their surroundings for a source of the attack, none could be found. That only left the logic that they were, somehow, collateral damage from the main fight going on upstairs, just as Gallo had said (though it had been quite hard to pay attention to the specifics what with the poisoning).

”Some sort of … sympathetic magic? Or some kind of very wide reaching spell? But why was Gallo not affected” the mage asked, looking at this from the entirely wrong angle at first.

”And why’d he bail on us like that right away. I had that” Jr asked, pointing after where the man had run off too.

Ichiban, having caught himself just barely from falling flat on his face, groaned in the aftershock of relieved pain. Kinda bittersweet, in a way. ”Geez…” He rubbed his stomach, the main source of the debilitating pain they just experienced. While he didn’t have a direct explanation, Ichiban was closer to the mark than you’d think. ”Felt like… urgh, bad food.” He fished around in his pockets, producing a handful of bite-sized muffins. ”I’ve been out on the street before, and sometimes food y’think’s safe been poisoned to deal with rats.” With a sad sigh Ichiban turned his hand, letting the muffins fall onto the floor.

”It’d explain why he didn’t have anything happen to ‘im,” Ichiban continued, gesturing to where Gallo disappeared with his flashlight. ”You two okay to keep goin’? We should hurry and catch up with him before we get lost.” Marching on ahead into the darkness, Ichiban continued to dig out the various breakfast foods he stashed that morning, littering the path behind them with poisoned pastries.

”Poisoned our food? But ho-” Kamek asked, before releasing ”Ahhh, time travel” as if such a thing was merely a thing he had not considered rather than something fantastical, before agreeing ”and yes, best we catch up with Gallo” before taking to the air again on his broom, having landed when the poisoning stuck.

”Yeah, I’m good, and I’ll be good to keep us going if he hits us again” Jr agreed. Then he had a thought and quickly released both his pokemon from their pokeballs to cure them of their own poisoned breakfast, before rolling forwards at a swiffer pace with both Mimi and Dazzle now along for the ride.

Though the nasty effects of a couple other time warps befell the Seekers as they continued their descent, they kept up a good pace, and it wasn’t long before the flicker of torchlight could be seen through the gloom up ahead. So too could they hear the telltale sounds of combat. With the same question on everyone’s minds, they hurried the rest of the way, wondering if P had already appeared. When they maneuvered around a stand-alone section of wall, however, they found not the young Consul but a bizarre monstrosity melded together from multiple bodies, with a single scarlet-haired human protruding from the massive wad of organs. While the fleshy mass moved very sluggishly, the torso wielded a blue-glowing Holy Wand with startling aptitude, unleashing a brilliant torrent of magic projectiles that careened toward Gallo like a meteor shower, putting the scholar on the run. “Leda!” Gallo barked. “My patience grows thin. I do not wish do harm you, but if I must…!”

The monster made no noise, and its arcane bombardment continued.

”Well … that’s gross” Jr said as he peeked his head round the corner to see what was going on

”What even is that thing..?” Ichiban asked, leaning around the corner above Bowser Jr and Kamek, like a goddamn comedy skit. It might’ve been a genuine question, as Ichiban’s Galeem infused eyes searched the scene for anything familiar to latch onto.

”Mmmm” Kamek had to agree, before noting that ”However it seems like our not so reliable friend does not want to kill this one. I suppose we could indulge him?” he suggested, glancing at Jr, who took a few moments to take the hint

”Oh, right” he said once he got it, before pointing his staff around the corner at the lady part of the meatball and casting ”Repose!”

Jr. began to aid Gallo, and as he did Ichiban straightened up. ”Time to get serious.” He raised his phone and tapped its screen. His fingers were a blur with how fast he was navigating its apps, and after a moment of intense button-pressing, Ichiban slammed his finger down for the final press. ”There!”

With a flash of colorful light that engulfed Ichiban, his attire changed to that of his Hero job. He brandished a weapon now too, a rusty metal baseball bat with barbed wire bunched up near the end. ”I may not like the guy much but we can’t jus’ let him get beat up,” he said, resting his bat on his shoulder. ”You two comin’ with or staying back here for support?”

Right after the sleep spell took effect, Gallo inadvertently ruined it, his Clock Lancet already summoned to pause Leda’s onslaught and slow down his accrual of damage. The small amount of damage it did, however, proved more than enough to rouse the monstrosity. Once back in action, the magical deluge continued, but rather than fly at the newcomers it focused one hundred percent on the closest target, that being Gallo himself, who’d also by now noticed the new arrivals. “Are you well?” he called over, surprised that they’d shrugged off the poison just like that. “Then help me, and be quick about it! We cannot allow this has-been to keep us from our target!” With a final glance at the great vault door on the other side of the area, which seemed to constitute the end of the vertical corridor, he called upon the Ars Gouda tome. Dust Elementals sprang from its pages to attack for him, the possibility of a nonviolent solution thrown to the wind.

”Got it!” Ichiban rushed to the scrap, twirling his bat around his hand. He didn’t have a plan of attack, but hopefully between the dust sprites, Gallo, and Junior and Kamek, Ichiban whacking away at it would at least distract it.

”Huh?” Jr said, confused as to why his spell hadn’t work

”Ah, looks like the blade negates sleep. Inconvenient, but good to know” Kamek noted, this lesson being one better learned now than with P. Then he swooped out into the fray, chanting out ”Rise rise, undying bones, and draw her fire!” and summoning a horde of dry bones, and then sending the perpetually reanimating undead koopas forwards to swarm beneath Leda and become the closest thing to her.

Jr followed suit, giving Gallo a practical demonstration as to how they had survived via casting ”Cure!” on the man, while he commanded Dazzle to serenade the flesh ball with his disarming voice, and for Mimi to mimic him and do the same, the mon’s twin beams of pink soundwaves dealing emotional rather than physical damage.

While their minions attacked or distracted, both fliers focused on avoiding danger, and moving towards the way forwards.

Luckily for the team, they had just the right tools for the job. While impressive in its sheer quality, Leda’s magic proved unerringly systematic in how it functioned. As long as the Seekers could keep some minions close by their target, they needed only worry about stray projectiles that missed their mark, and with plenty of minions to spare they could keep up the offense even in the dark. Ichiban’s battering proved especially effective, and it wasn’t long before the meat mass crumbled.

“Tidily done,” Gallo admitted, straightening his robe. After a firsthand demonstration of both combative and medical aptitude like that, he felt no further need to doubt them in any capacity save their intentions. “Now, let us proceed.”

The vault at the corridor’s terminus proved to be locked, but as the former master of Gallo Tower, the sorcerer still held all the keys. It took a little grappling with the mechanism, which included mundane mechanism, Agarthan technology, and magic all in one, but soon enough the vault swung open. All around them the pitch-black of the tower’s depths suddenly gave way to a tantalizing golden luster, and when the team set foot inside they could see why.

This wasn’t just Consul P’s hideout, but his glittering hoard. Piles of trinkets and baubles, gold coins, statuettes, heirlooms, artworks, furnishings, and favorite toys just about blanketing the place. It was the opulent secret stash of a feckless plunderer who had never been told ‘no’, at least not twice. At the back of the room, nestled among the valuables, rested the orb-shaped Absolutely Safe Capsule--already closed.

”Is that it? Are we too late?” Kamek asked, drifting over the piles of treasure to inspect the closed capsule, fearing that its sealed state meant that P had already retreated inside. However, when he peered through the glass porthole, he found the capsule empty.

Ichiban, having to resist the urge to go looting through the piles of stuff Consul P had in here, wandered over to the safety capsule and gave it a couple taps with his bat. ”Maybe he just ain’t here yet? We’re early?”

”Guess we got time to plan” Jr noted as he drifted over, before asking ”So is he going to have to open the door then?” as he examined the pod for the way inside.

Gallo shook his head. “No, as I mentioned he is capable of teleportation. He will most likely attempt to place himself inside the moment he realized his saferoom has been compromised.” The scholar positioned himself with his back to the south wall, the position he judged to be the most likely arrival point at his twelve o’ clock.

”Oh right. Guess that’s also assuming he doesn't go right into it from wherever” Jr replied, putting out something of a worst case scenario in the process, before thinking for a moment and then turning to his mentor to ask ”Wait, so Kamek, do you think you can?” to which the mage replied with a nod.

The mage drifted back a bit, still with a view of the open window, before twirling his wand around in his hand and vanishing in a puff of smoke.

“Wait-” Gallo held out his hand, but it was too late. Kamek reappeared inside the Absolutely Safe Capsule. It was roomy inside, but devoid of any features. Nothing seemed to happen upon his arrival. After a moment, Gallo withdrew his hand. “Oh. I didn’t think that would work.” He rubbed his chin. “It’s supposed to be warded. Perhaps it’s not all the Agarthans cracked it up to be.”

At that very moment, brilliant purple particles began to coalesce from the Ether, and in a flash an entity appeared amongst the Seekers. But it wasn’t P, at least not exactly. This newcomer was much bigger than a man, demonic in aspect, but clearly inorganic, with a lemniscate-marked core whirring in his chest. His only similarities to P were the rough shape of his head and his rotundity, though nobody in the room save Gallo had any basis for comparison anyway, and Gallo nearly had a heart attack upon seeing this guy. “He’s here!” the scholar shrieked.

“Whuh!?” the Moebius gasped, his voice distorted and his mouth hanging open. “You? What’re you doing here!?” He spotted Ichiban and Junior too, then clenched his fists. “This is MY room!” he yelled, stamping his feet hard enough to shake the room and send gold coins skittering down their piles to the floor. “GET OUT!”

Gallo charged toward him, activating his Clock Lancet as he got into range, but P had already jumped into the air. He descended with a gigantic ground pound that sent every last object in the room flying, turning the entire place to chaos in a second.

As the Moebius fell Jr rose up into the air to avoid any kind of shockwave, only for the propelled objects to be launched up into the air after him, forcing the boy to grab the wheel and steer with all his skill to avoid being destabilized and knocked back out of the sky.

”Mimi, Dazzle, blast that thing!” he commanded as he did this, prompting his two pokemon to shoot back, Dazzle with a bubble propelled water gun blast, and Mimi with an electro ball a few moments later.

The water gun did little more than splash P, although with the electric follow-up he did get jolted for a brief moment. “Agh!” he grumbled. “I’m too tired for this!” He scooped up a giant mitt of coins, then hurled them in the general direction of Junior and his Pokemon like golden slingstones, forcing them all to duck for cover inside the clown car, which was itself battered back by the multiple small impacts.

Groaning and bruised from the fall, Gallo hauled himself into a sitting position. Thanks to that ground pound his Clock Lancet had missed, and now it was firing off in its uncontrollable rotation around him. He scrabbled to his feet to start circling around to the right, giving the Lancet a better shot at hitting P sooner as it ticked around clockwise. Despite hitting P full-on with his Clock Lancet, it didn’t seem to work, and P decked him with a slobberknocker of a right hook.

”This thing ain’t no kid, man!” Ichiban shot at Gallo, having been knocked clear under a tidal wave of action figures. Those things were made of hard plastic; in other words, that hurt. Ichiban fixed Moebius P with a glare that twisted his face in rage, a look that was downright menacing, and way more intense than anyone’d expect from how goofy he was before.

”That means I don’t gotta worry about hurting it!!” Spurred into fury, Ichiban swung his bat in a low arc, batting a handful of army men and buff wrestler toys towards P, dashing after them with his bat raised, ready to lay the beatdown on this big pig monster. P met him halfway, happily bringing his giant fists and rending claws to bear against ichiban in a vicious one-on-one.

Some, such as Bowser, might have argued about how just because a kid looked like a monster, it did not mean they weren't still a kid. It was an argument Kamek might have echoed, however, he was not in the fight. Nor, in-fact, was he in the pod any more either. No instead he had teleported outside of the room entirely, and there out was working his magics.

The first result of said magics arrived at just that moment in the form of a giant bee queen whom P had already met, and who had a rather different reason for avoiding resorting to murder than the rest of those present.

Appearing out of the same pink portal with heart shaped runes that she used to summon antlions, Queen Sectonia appeared in front of Kamek, having been summoned by the koopa mage. ”I suppose we had better get started then. Considering his size however, holding him still for the control to take effect will be tricky.” Sectonia said, a look of tiredness on her face but still determined to show this ‘boy’ some discipline. She was ready to summon her striker who was a master of mind control when the opportunity arose, as was part of her plan.

”Not to worry, I have a plan for that” Kamek informed her as he followed her in upon the result of the other spell he had been casting, namely a cockatrice mount. As soon as he was back in the room, he used it to blast the monstrous P with its petrifying glare … only for this to have no noticeable effect.

”Huh?” the mage intoned, confused, only for Jr to see what the plan was, misjudge why it had failed (range) and try his own, swooping in and casting ”Holy!” to blast the Consul with an explosion of white magic, only for this to not work either.

”What? Why didn’t that stop him?”

P twisted around toward the offending reptiles. “Huh? Was that supposed to hurt?” he taunted them with a leer. When he saw Sectonia again, however, he hung his head with a heavy, groaning sigh. “Uggggh.” Ichiban took the chance to blindside him! Coming up around P’s side, he pulled off another underswing, essentially using his bat like a golf club to whallop the piggish monster in its piggish snout. He stumbled backward, arms flailing as he regained his balance. “Ow, you TURD! You know what? I’m too tired for this. I don’t wanna play with any of you losers any more.” Purple particles began to coalesce around him as he prepared to teleport. “I’ll swat you stupid little gnats for good right after I have a nice long nap!”

Gallo slammed his fist on the ground. “No!”

The Moebius warped into the Absolutely Safe Capsule, and promptly set off every Dark Mine Kamek had laid in there at once. No sound escaped from within the protective sphere, but through the glass the gathered Seekers could see a maelstrom of crushing force, rippling dark magic, and pain. Faced with such brutal punishment, P did the only thing he could do: teleport back out. He reappeared in the vault with a bloodcurdling shriek, made even worse by the inhuman reverb to his voice, and collapsed onto the ground in bad shape.

“Aaaaagh!” he blubbered, beside himself with agony. “Y-you haven’t won! You can’t stop me! I’ll still get away. And then I’ll be back for you once I’m healed up, you hear me!? I’ll drain the lifelight of the whole city if I have to! I’ll kill you, kill you, kill you all!”

He began to teleport again, the same purple particles appearing. By now though, Gallo was back on his feet, and from a little pouch he pulled a shining hourglass. “Looks like it’s up to you,” he growled through gritted teeth as he hurled the timepiece. “Shmuetax!”

On impact the hourglass did not smash, but it did stop P in his tracks as a pitch-black line seemed to cleave through reality itself, including the Consul. When it burst a second later, the whole room cleanly split in half along the line, and P along with it. “AAAAAAAAAGH!” he howled, cut diagonally in half through the middle, with only half a torso, a quarter of a left arm, and three quarters of a right arm to his name. Yet still he lived, and as he writhed the purple reactor in his chest went into an unstable overdrive. As it whirred, giving off purple sparks, P’s limbs and lower half began to regrow. Once the pain diminished enough to focus, he’d be teleporting again.

Sectonia doubted at this point that her plan of mind controlling Consul P. wouldn’t work, so she went with her backup plan. While Kamek and Jr. were adamant about not killing, there wasn’t anything for it at this point as Sectonia pulled out her remaining sword and blinked next to Consul P. In the same motion of her blink, as Moebius P was recovering, Sectonia stabbed the unstable reactor in his chest with her massive sword before doing a sideways slice at it, and on the backswing, aiming for the Moebius’ head itself.

The head wound ultimately didn’t matter, but the same couldn’t be said for the core. Once Sectonia pierced it through, P’s howls began to turn hollow. He flailed and thrashed and wriggled, but with his core broken he couldn’t regenerate what he’d lost, and from the reactor leaked a flood of bright, blood-red motes. “You can’t, you can’t, you can’t do this to meeeeeeeeee!” he blubbered, his struggle quickly growing weaker. “I’m Moebius…Moebius! I’m s’posed to be…infiniiiiiiiiiiite…” His body began to dissolve, not into ash, but into light. In just a moment he was gone, and not even a spirit remained.

“Hah!” Gallo snorted without delay. After scooping up the hourglass where it had fallen and dusting it off, he sneered at the spot where P had vanished. If he could have, he would have gladly kicked the Consul’s body for a few seconds. Maybe even a few minutes. “Like that, you little snot! I’ll see you in hell!” With that, he turned to the others. “Well done, all of you! This is a blow struck not just for the Home of Tears, not just for the Under, but for me…Iguana Gallo Valetto! I am in your debt, and since I cannot stand to be in anyone’s debt, the contents of this room are yours for the taking. More than equitable compensation, I should think?”

Summoning the sword that Consul P. had ‘given her’ as a mock gesture, Sectonia tossed down the inflatable balloon sword upon what should’ve been his ashes. ”A fitting end for such an ugly being.” She then relaxed a bit of her tension as the fight had ended, falling very low to the ground before recovering. Taking Gallo’s word about his debt, Sectonia offered an additional condition. ”That is fine. I would also like to annex this kingdom into my own. Considering it will need a new leader, I don’t see why one of the existing leaders of the kingdom shouldn’t take that mantle. And it seems there is only one left in such a position. How curious… ” Sectonia mused. ”Having this kingdom be under the banner of Floralia, with you as its reagent lord, would benefit us both. I doubt I’ll be around much to manage this kingdom anyway, and the people would prefer someone they know instead of someone they don’t to lead them. What do you say Gallo?”

Gallo blinked, taken by surprise by her offer. “I am no ruler, and I care not a whit about it in the first place,” he told her frankly. “Instituting a functional form of government in the Home of Tears would be far too much hassle anyway. To continue my research in MY tower, and delve ever deeper into the secrets of magic, is all I want.”

”Fair enough. I see no reason why that can’t continue.Unraveling the secrets of the universe is quite a goal after all.” Sectonia said, having the notion of “easy come, easy go” on her face. Still, they’d need to find someone to run this place… Wait, didn’t Kamek mention some sort of exiled ruler when Consul P took over? She would need to ask the koopa mage about that. Although Sectonia hadn’t met the man herself, so she would be taking a shot in the dark with them.

”Speaking of secrets of the universe… I wonder how Consul P did what he did? IT seems whatever the case, the downside of his power was complete annihilation upon his defeat.” Sectonia said, looking over the fight they had all just fought. The power to change time without causing a causality problem was quite strong indeed. She then mused. ”Is this going to be a common thing with all Consuls? Power over incredible forces, at the cost of their very being?”

There was a lull for a moment after the battle, where Ichiban stood over the spot Moebius P vanished from, shoulders rising and falling as he took sharp, deep breaths. The adrenaline of the fight wore off… at least, that’s how he was justifying it, unaware of the influence that made him jump into the battle. ”Huh… ahh, so, we… won?” He asked, scratching his head. ”What happened to P? Did the kid send some lackey in to deal with us?”

”Hmm?” Sectonia said as Itchiban said something odd. She then remembered he was still Galeemed. Considering he wouldn’t be of much help in a state like that and her overall good mood, she pulled out a friend heart, blinked behind Ichiban, and thrust it into him, taking advantage of his confusion. ”Can’t have this be an issue later.” Sectonia said nonchalantly.

”Wh–” Ichiban turned, raising his bat to shield himself, out of instinct really, though it didn’t stop the mystical Friend Heart from reaching him. He stumbled backwards as if it had been a real hit, and the red light faded from his eyes. ”...what the hell?” Ichiban looked around the room again, at Gallo, Jr and Kamek, Sectonia, eyes wide as he visibly processed all the new information rushing to his head.

After a moment that lasted for as long as it would be funny to, Ichiban shouted, ”What’s going on here?!” His hand snapped to the Koopa pair with a point. ”Why’s there a freaking turtle in a clown car, a little wizard, and a-” Ichiban swung his finger to Sectonia now, ”a huge-ass bee floatin’ here?! And that, that thing…”

He looked down to where P had just been, tapping the floor with the end of his bat, like he was searching for a trapdoor. ”What was that? It looked like a big pig monster, did I really fight that thing? If that was this P kid, then…” Other bits of information clicked in his head, mostly the robotic doppelgangers of P they had seen up to this point, and a few broken ones strewn around this bratty hoard.

”P? Is that like, part of his name?” He continued, more confused than angry now, the question aimed at Gallo. ”Wait, those Ganondorf and Bowser lookin’ dudes… now this P kid… did I just beat up a video game character?!”

”Ah, his majesty is not going to like this” the mage said upon hearing his king’s name, both him and Jr having been too caught off guard by their plan not working to really weigh in one way or the other with how to end the situation. Given that P had threatened to effectively doom the city however, he supposed in the end what had to be done had been done without his input.

As for the actual question, Kamek’s answer was ”I’ve no idea what you are on about I am afraid. However I am sure you are going through a lot, getting your memories back and all that, so take your time, and we can discuss it as we leave. I think we could all do with a rest after a night like tonight … or a morning I suppose?”

”Mmm,” jr agreed, his tone not really giving away anything about how he felt about this.

”As for our reward … well, our loot plus Gallo’s share … if your majesty would be so kind as to provide some extra helpers, I can shrink it all down to a more manageable size” Kamek went on, making a mental note to sit down with the boy and address things once they were out of the tower, before he turned his wand on the treasure and began shrinking it down to a more carryable size. There was nothing better to do with her antillions, so she summoned some to help lug the loot out. It was a fair amount.

Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Lugubrious
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Sector 07 - Breaker

Level 12 Tora (70/120)
Giovanna, Susie’s @Archmage MC, Zenkichi’s @Multi_Media_Man, Partitio’s @Dark Cloud, Pit's @Yankee, Roxas' @Double
Word Count: 1085

The ride back to Midgar was a tense and solemn affair. Of the ten who set out on this trip, hours ago, only five remained. Two thirds of the Rust Crew were dead, and only Bo remained. The big man sat with a soldier’s composure, so stiff that his features may have just as well been carved of stone. He betrayed nothing, but his eyes said everything. Poppi had fled, her fate uncertain, and after her went Tora, Roxas, and Pit, their young hearts filled with determination. Yet this world was so big, and so dark, and its weight hung heavy over them, threatening to snuff out even the brightest sparks. Would they be okay? How would they even get back? Giovanna’s expression was grim. She’d have her answers once the storm was over. For now, she needed to focus on the road ahead.

Through today, Midgar had been the one constant. It loomed larger than any ruins, constantly visible from just about anywhere in the Valley of Ruin, and returning to it meant facing its unfathomable vastness head-on as the truck rumbled closer and closer. Though its manmade heights reached up towards the heavens, like a majestic mountain, Giovanna fixed her eyes on its base. Sectors 06, 07, 08, and 08 formed Midgar’s southern half, and of those Sectors 07 and 08 were the closest to the Eternal Apocalypse. Even from a distance she could hear the echoed rattle of gunfire and the percussive thumps of high explosives, and when she drove closer she could see the action itself. A robot army one thousand strong, just as Tora said, had taken an alternative route and now attacked the Sector 08 undercity. Hundreds of Bipeds, Fliers, Goliaths, and others marched through the wartorn wastes just outside the city limits. Shooters like the ones seen near the crane formed a large part of their ranks, too, and above them all towered the gigantic Tsar Runner, its huge guns, fists, and wheels able to tear and smash through city defenses like cardboard. But Detroit raged against the Machines. DespoRHado’s androids, both doll-like and blindfolded, fought with a variety of weapons alongside heavily-armed cyborgs and Unmanned Gears like Gekkos. Even the Tsar Runner found its match against a gigantic Metal Gear Ray, with wings like colossal blades.

Sector 07, though, had no PMC to stand up for it. Giovanna brought the team back to the Slums, pulling the truck to a stop among the undercity scrappers and militia rallying around the gutted hulk of a long-dead starship at the edge of Scrap Boulevard. Dubbed Breaker by the locals, it was their last line of defense against attack from the Valley of Ruin, and for good reason. The walls that still stood here could take one hell of a beating, and through the very center of the boneyard ran a deep gorge with lava at the bottom and a huge laser suspended from a track above, able to cut through any enemies trying to jump the gap. That meant four total positions to secure: the open center, where sharpshooters reigned, the right-side lower tunnel, the narrow right-side high crossing, and the left-side middle crossing where grenades worked wonders. Militia members had unveiled secret machine gun turrets, makeshift battle gear, and cobbled-together vehicles outfitted with whatever weapons they got their hands on. Once Giovanna’s truck ramped over the gorge, the laser blazed to life, and the slum defenders were ready to rumble.

Fortunately, the efforts of the Seekers had paid off. When the Machines came for Sector 07, their ranks were sorely depleted. The rain turned Breaker’s sand to mud, and while the defenders were ready for it, the Machines were not. Partitio, Zenkichi, Giovanna, and Susie all pitched in to mop the robots up. They fought alongside Isaac Clarke, who wielded an unassuming cutting tool to expertly part the Machines from their limbs with lethal efficiency one wouldn’t expect from your everyday engineer. Even Cloud and Tifa put in an appearance at the right-side tunnel, dispatching any rogue machines that attempted to sneak below with the help of a brawny gunner. Within half an hour, the steadfast efforts of everybody involved meant a decisive end to the machine threat. A round of victory cries, borne of a result that went better than anyone could have expected, quickly gave way to a mad scramble as the scrappers scurried to haul away the spoils of war through Breaker and back to the Salvage Depot.

After the fighting died down, Giovanna and the others regrouped in the forward command center. Though only a little better protected than average as far as areas inside the starship wreck went, it was the spot where the defenders kept their medkits, equipment, ammunition, power cells, and other supplies. Believing lives to be more valuable than hardware, Isaac wasn’t too bothered by the loss of one truck, especially when he learned what it had been used for. “Sounds like Sector 07 is in your debt,” he told the Seekers. “I can’t say you’ll be treated like kings or anything, but if you’re up for a round of beers sometime, they’re our treat.”

Giovanna nodded. “No sweat,” she told him breezily before addressing her teammates. “Scuse me while I make a call.”

She left the others to their own devices as she used her glyph to contact S.O.U. HQ. Tora, Poppi, Roxas, and Pit needed extraction, and she reasoned now -while the Machines’ forces were depleted- was the best time to send Mr. U and his Cargobob helicopter out over the Valley of Ruin. Just before noon, the chopper returned with the three boys, no Poppi, and a sorry tale to tell. Tora refused to speak to anyone after his arrival; he just hooked his toolkit up to a mechanical arm in his possession and started hammering away at his keyboard, muttering feverishly to himself. It was up to everyone else to decide where to go from here.

Abandoned Subway - Underground Nexus

Level 4 Goldlewis (55/40)
Karin and Sakura’s @Zoey Boey, Midna’s @DracoLunaris, Blazermate’s @Archmage MC, Geralt @Multi_Media_Man, Benedict’s @Dark Cloud, Raz’s @Truthhurts22
Word Count: 2201

Though the fight against this monstrous thing had been a mad scramble in its own right so far, the introduction of billowing dust clouds to the subterranean parking garage turned everything to chaos. It wasn’t just that Goldlewis could barely see; he could scarcely even breathe. Every time he strove to fill his voluminous lungs, the cloud of heavy particles hanging in the air filled his mouth or coated his mouth, turning his tongue sandpaper-dry and his throat scratchy. Dust on his skin and clothes wasn’t nearly as much of a problem as the grit that quickly caked his glasses, turning the already-bad visibility downright awful.

True chaos, however, came from the sound. There were voices coming from every direction, both the effort noises of attackers and the pained outbursts of those who got hurt. Naturally, the worst offender when it came to din was the Other itself. Its screams were incredibly loud, so loud that they reverberated off the walls in here and made it hard to track the beast down. The metallic scrapes of its ribbons as they burrowed underground were the only warning the Seekers got before they erupted from below. Blocking skewer after skewer, Goldlewis wheeled around in the gloom, trying to find Sakura. Right now, killing this thing wasn’t as important as ensuring her safety. Not even a seasoned fighter could shrug off hits like that. But where was she? “Damn it kid, where are ya!?”

His shouts only added to the commotion, though, for the Seekers were in uproar. Their voices pierced through the haze in a wild tumult, chiefly concerned with the bombshell that a panicked Sina dropped on them moments before: that this monstrosity was Princess Peach. Blazermate confused herself into inactivity, first conflating Others with Chimeras and then likening this dangerous situation to a problem she was supposed to solve, but at least she managed to find and then focus on healing Sakura. After yelling back at her, Midna filled the dust-choked air with poignant questions nobody could answer, even if she did specify who she meant to ask. She fell back and began to call out suggestions, which Benedict promptly overruled, announcing the team’s options but providing no methods.

When Raz tried to read the Other’s mind, his brain suddenly filled with a terrible cacophony. It sounded like screaming, distorted as if by television static, but still woefully assignable to a familiar voice. Almost instantly he suffered a splitting headache. Suddenly, entering this thing’s brain -if he could even get the psycho portal on- seemed like a very bad idea.

Goldlewis could barely hear anything over all the noise. While looking around for his allies, he took a spiked ribbon to the back, eliciting a grunt of pain. Not far away Dexio, overwhelmed by everything going on, took one to the leg as well. He fell next to Sina, and with them both vulnerable Goldlewis stomped over for the sake of safety in numbers. “We got a man down!” he yelled hoarsely, though at this point he couldn’t even hear himself over the ruckus. These people needed to wait to run their mouths until after the Other was done impaling them. He sucked in as much air as his lungs could carry. “COULD Y’ALL SHUT UP A MINUTE AND HIT THE DAMN THING!?”

By now, the disturbed dust was beginning to settle. Midna was the first who managed to make it to the Other during the smokescreen, and she attempted to rinse and repeat the same strategy she used before. Summoning her Darknut upward right next to the Other, however, left it completely obvious -and wide open- to the nightmare as it emerged. The Other did not hesitate to rear up and slam its giant head down on the Darknut with the full force of a small building, as many times as it took to crumple its metal armor and bodily shove that undead juggernaut right back where it came from. Doing so, however, meant stopping its ribbon attack, and Midna’s palm strike helped keep its focus on her. It raised its backwards arm, contorting and cracking it into an unexpected position to strike her, but in the nick of time Luka blinked in. He brought its hammer down on the joint the Other just dislocated, and it let out a roar of pain as the material shattered compromising the already-damaged limb. “Stay back!” he told the others. “Let me handle-!” Whipping its head suddenly, the Other caught him with one of its antlers, slashing him across the chest. “Ugh!” He hit the ground, looked up to find its other fist descending on him, and blinked away not a moment too soon. In his place came Geralt, backed up by a mob of Strikers, who viciously mauled the Other with the bloodstained blade of the Orphan of Kos in a fit of unadulterated rage.

He dealt a ton of damage, but between himself and his Strikers he took a lot in return, and he’d need some serious backup. “Aw, hell.” As the others continued to attack, Goldlewis quickly let go of his coffin so he could reach down and help both Dexio and Sinah up. The former winced, and the latter took a moment to find her footing, but Goldlewis clamped one giant mitt on both their shoulders. “Listen, you two. Whatever happens, I ain’t gonna let anyone else die. There’s no way that thing’s Peach, it just ain’t possible. So let’s work together, knock that thing down, and figure this damn mess out. Okay?” He squeezed them. “Okay!?”

“Yeah. Yeah,” Dexio clenched his teeth, then pulled the ripcord on his jacket. Sina, silent and stony-faced, did the same. Their hoods popped up as they activated Brain Drive, their heads insulated in dark shrouds save for matching radial symbols in vivid crimson: a nut for Dexio, and a six-pronged snowflake for Sina. When Goldlewis ran in to help Geralt and the others, the two Cadets were behind him. He and Dexio closed in and joined the melee, with Sina running support. Working with the others, they laid in damage while blocking or avoiding its mighty but telegraphed blows. After a few moments, the Other slammed its arm down, then swept it across the floor at Goldlewis to trip him up. He jumped, airdashed over the sweep, and battered the creature’s chin -now at the top of its ‘head’- with an aerial coffin pound canceled into upward Behemoth Typhoon. As the Other leaned back from the blow, Sinah formed an icicle from the palm of her hand, then shot it at the upside-down chair in the monster’s gullet, shattering it. It reeled, and Dexio, mindful not to cause another cave-in with his Seismokinesis, instead forced a stone outcrop from the ground below its jaw to bend it even further backward, exposing the basket of pinecone flowers where its stomach should be. Luka warped in and whirled like a hammer thrower, building up momentum. Ice from Sina’s borrowed Cryokinesis grew around his weapon’s head, increasing its size threeful, until with a final shout Luka smashed the huge mass into the flowerbed in an explosion of icy chunks.

It went down, sprawled on the floor. Goldlewis instinctively took a step forward, coffin in hand, but Sina stepped in front of the fallen horror. “That’s enough!” she announced. “This Other is Peach!” Suddenly an orange light fell upon Goldlewis’ face, cast from behind her. Sina whirled around to see an energy field forming around the Other, a huge box formed of interlinking triangles. “Peach!”

“A transfer power?” With his Brain Drive used up, Luka stood with his hood off again as he lowered his hammer. “You need strong abilities to move something that size.”

Before most of those present even had time to process what was happening, the field shone, then disappeared. In a flash, both box and Other were gone. Goldlewis blinked a few times, then noticed some uninvited guests standing at the mouth of the paved northwestern tunnel. One, a masked man with a distinctively tall head in familiar red and black stood with his arms out, his chest heaving as he gasped from extreme exertion. He collapsed, and the soldiers to either side of him grabbed him by the arms to haul him into the back of a waiting truck. The sight left Goldlewis stunned–when did that show up? During the smokescreen? “H-hey!” he belted out, charging forward, but the driver put the pedal to the metal and the truck sped off.

“Wait!” Sina ran after the truck too, shooting and missing several ice blasts. “Where did you send Peach!?”

There came a greenish-blue flash. The familiar skittering sound of teleportation. But the person who appeared beside her wasn’t Luka. He stood at around six feet, dressed in gray, with pointed silver boots, and a long black coat with white fur trim, his hair and long jackal ears white as well. A silver mask adorned his face, and a triangular ruby hung from his neck. “Where are you going?” Major General Karen Travers asked her as he took her by the wrist. “You can’t run off during a mission.”

Sina attempted to wrench free, and the man let her. He turned to face the others as they approached, removing his mask. “Karen?” Luka asked, taken aback. “What are you doing here?”

“I’m here to protect you,” Psych-OSF’s first-class Septentrion replied. “You, and Peach.”

Goldlewis breathed in sharply. “You ain’t sayin’ that really was her?”

“What happened to her?” Sina demanded.

“She metamorphosed,” Karen replied simply. “She can’t change back. Not like this, anyway.” He slipped open one of his pouches and tossed a multicolored mote of light onto the ground. Pictured within was a Psych-OSF soldier, the same one Sakura saw moments ago, but with her helmet off–revealing the face of the raven-haired sharpshooter, Anya, that she saw yesterday in Anistar Gym. “This was the culprit,” he added.

Furrowing his blow, Goldlewis considered the situation without loosening his grip on his coffin. When Karen appeared his first impulse was to assume that he was somehow in league with the people responsible, but now he wasn’t so sure. “What’s goin’ on, Travers? That woman meant a lot to us. You better start spillin’ some serious beans, partner!”

“If she remains here, or is taken above, she’d be killed as an Other,” he told the Seekers evenly. “The only way to make her human again is to entrust her to the Seiran Defense Force. They won’t kill her. I can guarantee that.” He crossed his arms. “I can also guarantee that if you tell a single soul about what happened here, your safety is in jeopardy.”

Goldlewis bristled. “You sayin’ you’ll try to kill us?”

Karen shook his head. “Not me. Them. And they won’t ‘kill’ you.” From the way he enunciated it, it seemed unlikely he was referring to the Seiran Defense Force. “You must report that Peach was killed in action. Think hard before you act. And don’t trust the Administration. You’ll regret it if you do.” He took one final look around at everyone. “...It makes my blood boil, you know. It won’t be long before things start boiling over. If you’re the same…wait for my sign.” He held a finger to his lips, reminding everyone to keep quiet, and teleported away.

After a moment, Luka took a deep breath. “We have a lot to think about,” he said. “I feel like I just dipped my toe in dark waters. Without the slightest clue of how deep they go.” He looked around at the gathered faces, his misgivings plain to see on his own. “We should disperse. This op has no designated endpoint, and so everyone’s making their own way back. Psych-OSF won’t expect the troops back for hours. Be careful, everyone.” With that he, Dexio, and a shell-shocked Sina all began to make their way to the nearest rally point to get topside.

Goldlewis tugged at his whiskers, clearly agitated. “Guess we’ll debrief back at base? We got a whole lotta figurin’ to do before we decide what we do next.”

The direct route to the surface through the holes in the ceiling made the return journey to the Seiran Reservoir a lot simpler than the subway system would have. Light rainfall made the trip a wet one, but it was otherwise uneventful, and within the hour the Seekers had returned to base. Thanks to the efforts of Bridges, their hideout had become a home in its own right, with reasonably comfortable cots, medical supplies, training gear, water to drink, and some groceries. After what happened, Goldlewis knew that some of the others might not have much of an appetite, but he used the cold cuts to make ham and turkey sandwiches anyway. At this point, people had been bottling up their thoughts for a while, making their own connections and conclusions. He was waiting for -and perhaps dreading- someone to finally speak.

Home of Tears - Gallo Tower

Level 10 Nadia (196/100)
The Koopa Troop’s @DracoLunaris, Primrose and Therion’s @Yankee, Sectonia’s @Archmage MC, Jesse’s @Zoey Boey, Ganondorf’s @Double, Ichiban’s @Truthhurts22
Word Count: 1544

As bone-tired as Nadia was, nothing got the adrenaline flowing like a good freefall at terminal velocity. Her hair, her jacket, and especially her tails whipped in the wind as she plunged downward from the hole left by Ganondorf in Gallo Tower’s crimson clock face, which seemed to be a lot farther up than she would have guessed, come to think of it. Walking all that distance rather than climbing it must have led her to underestimate it. Would hitting the surface of the basin in the tower’s courtyard be much better than hitting the ground at this point? Not that the cavern’s ambient darkness and the fungal garden’s colorful but rather gentle glow made seeing the basin a piece of cake in the first place, either. Not my smartest idea, she was forced to admit. All these factors combined to wake Nadia up plenty quick as she plunged down through the rain, and with her train of thought chugging along full steam ahead, she hatched a scheme.

First, she steered herself toward the biggest darkest spot in Gallo Tower’s courtyard as best she could. Those luminescent mushrooms might not be bright enough to illuminate the water, but she could at least tell where they weren’t. Then she dispersed her blood limbs, and after pumping out a little extra, coagulated a trio of friendly Copycats to lend her a hand. Twisting around in the air beneath her, they grabbed hold of the blade case on Nadia’s back in order to plant their feet against it. “A-one, a-two…” It was a little tricky -coordinating a maneuver this complex with her clones made the feral feel like steam ought to be wafting off her cranium- but by the time she gave the signal, all three Copycats extended their legs together as if performing Fiber Upper. “A one-two-three!” Their combined power launched Nadia’s limbless body upward just prior to impact, and her momentum not only stopped, but even reversed a little. Still, gravity took its course, and as it did the doppelgangers promptly exploded into blood to fly back toward Nadia. She soaked it back up gladly, and the next second plopped gently down into the water.

Once underwater, though, she met with a different problem. She sank like a rock, and her copied limbs weren’t doing a great job of swimming. In fact, being submerged was causing her blood to diffuse into the water. It being shockingly cold didn’t help, either. For a moment Nadia’s mind filled with panic–she didn’t know if drowning was one of the kinds of death the Life Gem could prevent, having never cared to test that. Then a pertinent detail came to mind, and after rolling her eyes, Nadia rocketed toward the surface. She burst up from the basin, repelling the water beneath her legs of blood with the water-walking ability gained from Massachusetts. “YEESH, that’s cold!” she yelped, crossing her arms around her shoulders. As her breathing normalized, she slapped her copied palm to her face, which left a smear of blood. “My bag of tricks is stuffed so full I can’t even remember what I got half the time,” she sighed. Oh well. All’s well that ends well. She skated over to the edge of the pool and hauled herself onto terra firma. If nothing else, she was wide awake now. At least the water out here was refreshingly pure.

She took a good long breather, but eventually Nadia got to her feet. Ever since P stole her limbs back in the fight, she maintained feeling in them, and though she initially despaired of ever seeing her real arms and legs again something was telling her that they were close. By the time that the doors of Gallo Tower were thrown open and the Seekers emerged from within, Nadia had plundered the dumpster where P had unceremoniously tossed his stolen goods, and piled them up near the door. “Hey guys, look!” she called, hopping over on one leg with only her right arm reattached. “I found all our stuff! You’ll never guess what it cost me, though.”

“Oh, an arm and a leg? I get it! Thou art most humorous.” Barnabee said as he approached Though the battle against the Consul hadn’t been his fight to pick, he still possessed a vested interest in the Seekers’ continued existence. “It gladdens mine heart to see thee hale and hearty.” He squinted his black eyes. “...Though rather weary, truth be told. Didst the Consul truly pose so great a challenge?”

“He attacked us with a bed. But we made it.” After a giggle Nadia stuck her last arm and leg back on, then took a long, deep breath. No matter how hard she and the others tried to be ready for anything, nobody could have expected a fight like that. Though P’s high-density bedframe offered a full-on boss battle in its own right, the real fight began the moment that Consul showed off his special ability. The power to rewrite the past in order to change the present…terrifying. How did it work? Surely he couldn’t have just, say, gone back and killed them in their sleep? But it looked like the secrets of P’s power had died with him. It wasn’t just the heights team that returned, but the depths team too. While Junior, Kamek, and Ichiban looked a little worse for wear, they were here, and P sure wasn’t. “Dead?” she asked simply. When she received her answer, she gave a curt nod. “Figured. Sorry, Ichi. Either him or us, y’know.”

With a sigh she turned her attention to the group at large. “Everyone okay, more or less?” Gallo didn’t show up to see everyone off, but Nadia didn’t really care about him anyway. Even after severe poisoning, bug bites, stings, and a whole host of different wounds from the bedmech, everyone else still seemed to be alive and kicking. The good news didn’t stop there, though. Kamek’s crew came laden with a metric crapton of loot from P’s private stash, including a heap of geo for everyone present. Nadia was all smiles as she got to relish her favorite sound: the clink of coins that belonged to her as she slipped them into her pockets. Or in this case, her magic wallet. “Aw, you guys!” She dabbed at her eyes as if the raindrops streaking down her face were tears. “You’re makin’ me all cent-imental. We should throw you a cere-money!”

“Good fightin’ in there, everyone. Man, what a little bastard that kid was, right? Not to mention some kind of monster. I sure hope the ‘rest’ can’t pull sheet like that. As for me, you can just call me roadkill, ‘cause I’m dead-tired. I’ll feel a lot bedder once I crash back at hotel.” She vaguely remembered Jesse saying something about ‘sleep schedules’, but was that really a thing? It sounded like some fancy-shmancy baloney parents tell their kids to make them go to bed on time. She needed sleep now. It was always dark underground anyway. “What time’s it now, lunch or somethin’? Let’s meet back up around dinner and figure out where we’re headed next. Got two more masks to find, and a whole Under to find ‘em in.”

True to her word, Nadia crashed the moment she got back to her room in Habbo Hotel. There was some sort of big kerfuffle in the lobby -Nadia heard snippets of conversation about ‘food poison’ and ‘hospitalization’- but she couldn’t bring herself to deal with it before having a nice long snooze. When she awoke, her bedside clock said quarter to five. Groaning, she tossed and turned in bed, but ultimately decided to get up. Not even close to a full eight hours, but it would have to do. At least she could be pretty confident that she didn’t miss anything -in addition to being pretty in general- since even if the others didn’t sleep, they couldn’t possibly do anything substantial in the state P left them in. Maybe someone found a clue about the next boss on the Seekers’ list, though, or a better way to traverse the Under than surfing through giant intestines. Only one problem: how was she going to find everyone?

After thinking for several minutes straight, Nadia left the hotel and headed toward the bridge linking Home of Tears’ downtown to Fountain Central, though she didn’t cross it. That point was one that everyone going in or out of Downtown would need to cross. As it happened, a cafe had been erected right there to take advantage of the foot traffic that came as a result of that very fact, and Nadia could think of no better place for an exhausted Seeker desperately trying to stay awake to go. Called the Terminal, this cafe seemed very popular with the undead in particular if its clientele was anything to go by, but they welcomed the living just as well. With plenty of moolah to spare, Nadia ordered herself a coffee with plenty of cream and a plate of scones, then sat near the front to keep an eye on the comings and goings nearby. Hopefully this wasn’t just some harebrained scheme, and the others should pass by sooner or later.
Hidden 10 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

Member Seen 5 hrs ago

wordcount: 902 (+2)
Midna: level 9 EXP: //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (95/100)
Location: Seiran Underground
Warp Charges: 4

Things didn't really go well for Midna, or her plans. First of all, before getting yelled at to shut up, she ended up arguing with Benedict about what they should do about Peach’s Otherfication.

”We are not abandoning our own, and we are not going to give up on her as long as there is hope we can save her” she retorted, angry both at him for suggesting it, and at a past version of herself who would have reacted just as callously to this situation.

”Besides, I can just gate-way us out if we get trapped in!” before having a thought and adding ”In fact that’s probably a better idea anyway, so thank you for that” as passive aggressively as she could manage. She was being honest however, despite the tone, as she had realized it would be a lot easier to seal the Peach-Other in with them (or just her) than it would be to retreat and trap it separately.

Not that she would have a chance to implement that plan mind, as things went from interpersonal relationships bad to just straight up bad right after that.

First her repetition of the darknut summoning was both predictable, and lacked the support it had the first time around, resulting in the Other pivoting from its spike attack to smash down onto the undead titan as it rose. The knight naturally raised its shield to guard itself, but the titanic blunt blow was more than enough to smash that down and into its own head. Metal buckled, bones cracked, and the only thing preventing the darknut from being turned to paste was the fact that the magic pulling it up was also overpowered, letting the Peach-Other whack-a-mole it right back to where it came from, but also causing said magic to act as suspension to soften the blow in the process.

Either way, the knight was sent packing, and was not coming back till anytime soon.

The only consolation was that to do that attack the Peach-Other had had to stop its spike attack, and that in focusing on her minion it left Midna with free rain to make her own strike, yelling ”I just made that you jerk!” as she drove the slap into its side.

That was the only hit she got before it pivoted to target her, and she might well have become paste had Luka not blinked in to deliver a hammer blow to a weirdly distorting limb. He attempted to insist he be allowed to handle things on his own, only to be struck before he could even make that heroic demand.

”For all of two seconds, so no” found herself retorting very unfairly given that he may have just saved her life.

Then her demand that they try and solve this with cleverness instead of killing truly fell apart when Geralt charged in in a mindless rage.

”Goddesses preserve us, what is wrong with you!? You're going to get both of you killed!” she cried out in alarm from her position hovering above as the witcher demonstrated the downside of strikers in full, because with only the fish looking one really being agile enough to avoid becoming collateral damage to the hulking Peach-Other, the rest would inevitably be hit and harm their summoner in the process.

She seethed for a moment, and then dove in, buzzing around the thing the other princess had been turned into like a gnat. ”I’m telling you, you maniac, back off!” she demanded of the Witcher, even as she took a leg out of Luka’s book, and aimed for the legs and arms, delivering jabs with her shadowhand to try and throw off its attacks, while her better reach and two sets of senses kept her clear of suffering his same fate.

Time passed in a hyper focused haze of disrupt, evade, disrupt until an age and a moment went by, and the icy hammer struck down the Other-Peach, sending it crashing to the floor.

It was only then that she could focus again on something other than keeping the other’s alive, and her mind flashed back to keeping Peach the same. But before she could move to try and put herself at Sina’s side in a show of support, the Peach’s transformed form was trapped and stolen away to a vehicle that had seemingly slipped in while they were blinded and/or distracted.

”Oh no you don’t” she practically growled, and then, before explanation could arrive in a green flash, she was gone. The princess’s vibrava dived down into a portal, while the princess herself shadow hopped after the kidnapper’s truck.

It was not, like Gralt, in a blind rage that she raced after them however, or at least not by the time she slunk around to find an ambush spot. She was outnumbered, out gunned (literally) and even if she could reliably take down all the soldiers and whoever the powerful psychic was, all that would do was unleash the Peach-Other once again, if they did not try and put her down while fighting.

Then there were the questions of who were these people? How had they known this would happen, as they must have to have had this truck and teleporter psychic prepared? Had they done this? If they had, did they know how to undo it?

That last question was what really stayed her hand, and so instead of lashing out, the princess of twilight lurked in the shadows, waiting to be delivered to the secrets that lurked in ones far far deeper, in the dark heart of this shining city.
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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Scarifar
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Scarifar Presto~!

Member Seen 5 days ago

@Dark Cloud

Up from the bowels of the earth, he came, step by step and mile by mile. Away from the molded vale of carcasses, where the darkness itself had teeth. Away from the caverns of flesh that gurgled and groaned, and disgorged unspeakable things. Away from the pitch-black Abyss that threatened to swallow him whole. Up through the tiered, dripping caverns of Riverdeep, where the faint signs of civilization -cobblestone roads- wound between stacked natural formations like layer cakes of radiant reflecting pools and sheer waterfalls. Finally, weary and worn down by hours if not days of continuous travel and fighting, he reached the manmade cisterns of the Royal Waterways.

After passing through a rank sewer, where rats and far more despicable vermin skittered and chittered in the gloom, he stumbled upon a bonfire in a corner of a great dingy corridor. There he settled down, watching the vivid Riverdeep water stream through a series of big, thick pipes. How much longer, he could only wonder, before he reached the light of day? Still, even if the surface lay a long way off, he was glad to be far away from the horrors of the Under's depths. At the same time, however, he got the sinking suspicion that his troubles were far from over.

Heaving ragged breaths the knight failed to notice the eyes watching him from the darkness that gleamed a sickly yellowish glow, too many questions plagued his somewhat broken mind. Scarred by the horrors both in his fragmented memories and the pulsating and nigh living Abyss below. A muffled grunt escaped the cowl of his helmet, as the knight massaged his left arm, setting the bone with a sickening pop why couldn't he remember how his arm had broken or how severe it had been? How could he even remember it was broken? It didn't seem so, it simply popped out of joint at times? But how many times was it?

A shrill squealing drove him to his feet, armor clattering as he stood in the breadth of a heartbeat a disturbed animalistic grunt escaping his pale lips from the helmet that hid his face. In the passage ahead he swore he saw the tail of an oversized rat, yet it disappeared fast behind a corner.

The darkness farther down the passage was too thick to make out anything, the knight's eyes furtively darted breathing heavily as his maddened red eyes searched for whatever was lurking, whatever made him feel as though he were being watched. Eyes shone in the darkness and disappeared, they reminded him of something…No, he shook his head the darkness was closing in, or was it his memories?

It mattered not, for the eyes got closer and closer causing the knight to let loose a guttural howl that bounced off the walls of the dingy waterway. Like the vermin they were, several furry humanoids crept towards the light resembling rats closing in on a corpse to pick at or a dying animal yet they made a mistake for the knight that towered above them like a giant was no dying beast.

Rubick sighed. He had been left behind by the other Seekers. Perhaps it was his fault for rushing off to buy his Aghanim’s Scepter right after they had just gathered together again, but still. Regardless, he was sure there would be an opportunity to regroup with them, but for now, he was stuck wandering the lands while the others were undoubtedly doing something exciting. Probably off fighting the big bad Consul. He had been very much looking forward to seeing what one was capable of, as well.

Sighing, he went off to go blow some steam. Blasting some weak enemies with a spell or two might make him feel better. After some walking, he noticed a distinct lack of things to launch his spells at. Puzzled, he wondered where the enemies could be. Maybe he just hadn’t looked far enough? He continued walking, and soon came across the Royal Waterways. Normally, Rubick wouldn’t even think of heading into a location like this, but the thought of blasting some sewer-dwelling pests sounded appealing to him. He fished into his pockets for a light source, but found none. He then remembered he had one within his staff, and Rubick called out his Puzzle of Perplex, which emerged from his staff and glowed with a bright green light.

He ventured in, following the echoing of screams and stuttered callouts; judging by the frequency of them, there must’ve been quite a few of them. Eventually, he came across the sight of a distant light with an armored knight near it, and many creatures surrounding it. Rubick retracted his Puzzle of Perplex and readied his staff, waiting for the combat to begin. Having the Skaven be fully focused on the knight would provide the best opportunity for him to jump in should the need arise.

When the knight loosed his howl, it seemed as though the vermin’s paused eyes widened slightly. Sparks suddenly flew, as the sound of metal scraping against the stone floor echoed against the sewer walls. The knight hefted a blade almost as tall as the vermin, moving forward swinging the weapon upward as though it were nothing followed by the sound of flesh being torn and a ribbon of crimson as one of the Skaven was bisected in one fell swoop, in such close quarters the imposing figure if the knight could only do so much without his blade glancing off the walls around him. Fear suddenly filled the vermin, this was no simple man they were fighting.

Before they could even skitter away, their frantic chittering was drowned out as the knight dashed forward swinging the mighty blade in his hands horizontally "RAAAAAAAAH!" the enraged knight roared, blood spattering his armor as he slaughtered two more of the creatures.

Suddenly, one of the Skaven began to float up into the air for a second, then proceeded to slam back down into the ground. The impact released a magical shockwave that stunned the nearby Skaven. “Mind the drop!” Rubick yelled as his spell took effect. Rubick also let loose a green Fade Bolt at the nearest Skaven, and the spell continued to bounce to multiple different Skaven until every Skaven within range was hit once. “Seems you could use some aid, knight! Allow me to grant it!” Rubick yelled.

It took the knight a moment to grasp the words in his state, eyes hidden neath his helm red "Hmmm…" was the only sound to escape the shadows but it was acknowledgement enough with his mind only grasping at things he could understand at the moment, and his attention snapped to the remaining enemies as they tried to run. The knight almost stepped forward to follow them yet hesitated, battle fury fading.

Heaving a heavy sigh the knight turned back to the fire after he carefully looked the cloaked stranger up and down with a piercing gaze, it took him a moment to grasp for the words before he spoke up staring into the bonfire "...the shadows below…I knew not from whence I woke, it is…Nice to hear a voice other than mine own…I …" he struggled to remember the last time he even introduced himself by name, momentarily lapsing as he slung his might blade over his shoulder "I was called Abysswalker once, Artorias." the title weighed heavily upon his tongue stained by a disdain; he had failed his own namesake after all.

Well then, Artorias, I am Rubick, the Grand Magus,” Rubick greeted him back, flourishing his movements in a grand gesture of his left arm. He retrieved his Puzzle of Perplex and set it back onto his staff, the light illuminating their immediate surroundings. “We should talk more once we exit these waterways. They’re hardly a safe location to stay in, after all.” On that note, Rubick turned around and made his way back through the path he had taken and out through the entrance of the Royal Waterways. It was certainly nice to be back in some form of light again, even if it was still somewhat dark in the Under. Turning around, Rubick said to Artorias, “And here we are. Now, do you have any plans moving forward?

"Hmmm…" rumbled the knight, growing silent as he peered off into the darkness at faint lights above like stars in the night sky. There was no answer that came easily to Artorias, so many things had yet to make sense to him "There arte so many questions I have, alas I know not the one you ask." the knight's eyes became clearer yet still they remained red with the touch of an entity he knew not was shrouding his mind and perceptions.

Hmm. In that case, come along with me!” Rubick proposed. “There will be perils aplenty, and foes to defeat! Much work is needed to be done, more than enough to keep you busy. All will be answered when we join up with the rest of the Seekers of Light!” Rubick marched on happily, his previous depressed mood forgotten, content with the knowledge that he had potentially gotten a new recruit for the Seekers.

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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Archmage MC
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Archmage MC

Member Seen 17 hrs ago

Level 4 Susie - (39/40) - (Holding 1 level up)
Location: Sector 7 Slums
Word Count: Less than 750

Heading over to mop up the rest of the robots, Susie used her transporter to fly ahead of the robots left behind. With her efforts to take down the fliers, there wasn't much left to intercept her ability to fly over the band of robots and take up a defensive position with the rest of the fighters of the sector 7 slums. Now that she wasn't on a cliffside, her electric rockets were able to pass through some of the oncoming robots before exploding. While not doing the damage of other elements to a single foe, the AoE ability and semi pierce of her electrical rockets as well as a much more favorable piercing angle, allowed her to lay on more damage than a single non elemental rocket. She couldn't really use the cow mangler rockets as she had to defend herself with her business suit hands from the oncoming fire from whatever robots could reach her, but overall her strategy was more to chip and chunk down the robot hordes so only the strongest ones that could close the gap would be left.

And with the makeshift defenses of the sector 7 slum residents adding their own bits of chip damage and her allies dealing with robots their own ways, there wasn't much left by the time they engaged Susie proper. Taking on the robots that engaged in melee, Susie used a bit from what she learned observing her allies during the big horde battle, using a few of their moves to toss the robots about that engaged her or countering them with her own moves to land devastating melee hits. And with the last of the robots dealt with by either her, her allies, or the slum defenses, the battle was over.

Joining the scrappers in seeing if there was anything worthwhile, Susie looked about for things she could use for her own tech, or spirits, whatever was left over. She wasn't really expecting much, but if she could make herself a new kind of weapon or upgrade for her business suit she'd take it. Something that'd let her handle herself better in combat against bigger foes or stronger skilled foes would be best. She'd find that most of the good stuff would actually be with Isaac as she joined the rest of the group at the forward command center, taking up Isaac's offer, but in more of terms of stuff she could use to improve her own mechanical devices in combination with what she managed to pick up from the wreckage.

Later on, those that had gone after Poppi however returned without success having been picked up by a chopper. "So... what happened?" Susie asked, as Tora was unwilling to talk, she had to ask the others.


Level 10 Sectonia (holding 4 level up) - (56/100)
Location: City of Tears
Word Count: Less than 750

Sectonia, much like the other seekers who were afflicted by Consul P's childish antics weren't looking their best and brightest. A tired expression on her face as her antillions and Kamek's group moved all the loot out of the tower, having checked the loot for anything worthwhile in the magical department. Upon meeting the others Sectonia said. "Such a childish fool... vindictive to the last it seemed.". Having made the finishing blow and the vast majority of the group not aware of what transpired, she said. "I suppose after we've had some sort of rest I can explain what happened. His death wasn't like the others we've seen here. It was much more... permanent." Sectonia alluded to, wearily grabbing her Rapier from the pile of stuff Nadia had found, having Barnabee's dry reaction to her pun. At least when tired, she didn't skip a beat, that had to be admired at least. Looking down at her sword, it was covered in all sorts of grotesque bits and liquids with the queen saying. "...Vindictive to the last..."

Heading back to the hotel, Sectonia grabbed a coffee before heading to her room. Not wanting to sleep the whole day away and ruin her schedule, Sectonia drank a little bit of the caffeinated drink before crashing on the bed. A trick that could make restless nights at least bearable if given some time, and an hour later the coffee awoke Sectonia. While not well rested, she felt it, or at least enough to manage the rest of the day. Drinking the last of her coffee and fixing herself up so she looked proper; including cleaning her sword using the showerhead due to its relative size, she made her way back down into the lobby to catch whoever she could. With her new windfall of money, she could browse the shops again.


Level 11 Blazermate (Holding 2 level up) - (105/110)
Location: Big Other fight.
Word Count: Less than 750

Blazermate, having almost no diea what was going on anymore, just did her medical duties on some auto pilot as she watched the jumble of events, arguments, and abilities that went on until the Peach other was taken by someone by the name of Karen who Goldlewis was very weary of. Considering how Goldlewis let the situation go, with big names being tossed around and a vague promise; and threat, of them being able to fix Peach and what would happen if they interfered, Blazermate didn't have much to offer. She did keep in mind who this person was though, in case they met again under worse circumstances.

Healing the rest of the team as they made their way back to HQ, which was a fairly quick affair, Blazermate hovered in silence with the rest of them until everyone had settled back at HQ and those that wanted snacks had gotten them. When that was all done, she said. "OK, who was that, what did they do, and what was that vague threat that had you so concerned? What is going on here?" Blazermate said, hopefully saying what everyone else was thinking.
Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Dark Cloud
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Dark Cloud 💀Vibin' beyond the Veil💀

Member Seen 4 hrs ago

Wordage: 205 words (+1 points)
Experience: 28/30 EXP
Location: Seiren (Underground) ➡ HQ
Midna's @DracoLunaris, Blazermate's @Archmage MC, Sakura & Karin's @Zoey Boey, Raz's @TruthHurts22, Geralt's @Multi_Media_Man and Goldlewis's @Lugubrious

Tink, ting, tink, ting... Steam wafted up from the plain tea cup, as Benedict shakily stirred the drink with a dull spoon. His glasses lightly clattered against the table as he removed them to massage his septum, Benedict looked tired and his clothes were a mess.

"More politics, more internal affairs." sighing while unbuttoning the ragged vest he wore over his shirt that looked no worse for wear than it had been after slogging through the disgusting waterways earlier that day "It is highly out of order for...Well for the OSF to act independently, it is very out of place from what I know. They are not known to answer to anyone other than Konoe, acting like they did would almost be sedition at the highest order. The question is why?" leaning back in his chair the former Turk gingerly sipped his tea, having rolled up the sleeves of his shirt and loosening his tie.

Highly irregular indeed for an organization that answered to Konoe himself would have one of it's garrisons be under such an irregular command structure, they must be operating behind the back of the government but to what extent and reasons for it? There was no easy answer.

Wordage: 230 words (+1 points)
Experience: 2/30 EXP
Location: Sector 7 Slums
Rust Crew's & Giovanna's @Lugubrious, Zenkichi's @Multi_Media_Man, and Susie's @Archmage MC

Despite looking like a horse tossed him off the saddle and rolled him down a hill into a ditch, the merchant was no worse for wear than he had been. Being treated like royalty wasn't something he really cared for but a round of beer with the men and women he worked with was an idea Partitio could get on-board with.

"You got yerself a deal there partner," there weren't no better way to celebrate than having a drink with folk, and boy howdy Partitio loved to have a good rowe with folk over a drink "Fraid' you ain't paying though, drinks will be on me..." the merchant smiling reached into the pockets of his overcoat, only to frown embarrassingly scratching his forehead realizing he spent most of his funds trading with the good folk earlier but he quickly got back into good humors over it laughing as he showed the measily fifty coins he had on him "Hope ya'll don't mind sharing one whole mug?" the merchant laughed.

He was in good spirits but he hid the fact for now that he was beginning to sort of understand what in the heck was going on here, wherever he was it certainly wasn't the same world he knew but for the time maybe he could save the questions over a drink with the rest of the Seekers.
Hidden 10 mos ago Post by MULTI_MEDIA_MAN


Member Seen 24 hrs ago

Geralt of Rivia

Midgar- Seiran, Abandoned Subway- Underground Nexus

Lvl 9 (214/90) -> (216/90)

Word Count: 951 words

Geralt's relentless assault did not go unpunished. His Strikers were quickly brought low, though the Judicator with its impressive bulk lasted its full timer, the others were not quite so lucky. Geralt did not respond to the wounds their defeat, nor to the blows that he made no attempt to block, dodge or parry. Blood trickled down his face from ribbon cuts, and as his berserker onslaught continued, he was skewered upon a pair of ribbons that crashed into him, slide along his armor, and dug between a small gap in the plates, impaling him.

As they pulled away, carving even wider wounds into the massive Witcher's flesh, Geralt slumped for a moment, falling to one knee as blood pooled around him. Blazermate was no slouch, nor did she ignore him, but his lack of attention to anything other than destruction allowed the Other to slam his face with its arm, knocking him to the ground. He coughed, blood spraying over his face and his armor, and rose once more, as the blood shimmered into glowing particles and vanished.

Like a phoenix, Geralt rose once more. He did not postulate on his miraculous recovery, even subconsciously. His only thought was murder. He leapt into the fray once more, only to be interrupted as an energy field appeared around the monster formerly known as Peach, and disappeared with her in short order. He whirled around, looking for what had done it, and his eyes narrowed as he saw the troopers drag one of their own away and made their escape. He tried to give chase, mind beginning to clear, but stopped when Karen Travers appeared and grabbed one of the OSF troopers they'd joined.

Letting the Hateful Flesh fall to the ground and be re-absorbed into him, Geralt stopped, listening to what the Septentrion had to say, even as his heart pounded in his ears, his pupils still thin and catlike.

More conspiracy talk. As his mind cleared, and his adrenaline slowed, Geralt sighed and shook his head, waiting for Travers to leave before saying anything. "The other Turk was saying the same thing. Zenkichi. Konoe, the administration, the corruption. And now that we know that these people can...do something to transform people into Others, it makes you wonder: is that where they're all coming from? Or is this somehow different than the other Others?"

Taking a moment to run his hand along his face, he grimaced when he felt a scarring gash on his forehead. Whatever that force that prevented his death was, it wasn't perfect, though that was preferable. He didn't know what it was, how it healed him, or if it could be overwhelmed, but he couldn't assume he was immortal. That was an easy way to become complacent.

With the return to their headquarters being much quicker than their descent, Geralt had little time to ruminate on what had happened in the cave. Though he did know one thing: he couldn't allow himself to lose control like that again. He put himself and the others at risk in his blind rage.

When they were finally back, Geralt ravenously tore into the food Goldlewis had prepared, thanking the man before making a second sandwich, this one even larger, for himself. He drank down as much water as he could tolerate before thinking about the questions they all surely had, and that the others finally began expressing. "Zenkichi mentioned there was corruption in the city's government. I wouldn't be so sure that these people are acting independently. If anything, Travers might be the one committing sedition by the way he spoke." He couldn't be sure of this, but he was sure this went even deeper than any of them realized.

"Zenkichi said that Konoe was corrupt, and had a way to control the minds of people in their world. This might be some way of attempting to recreate that. If he could instantly destroy anybody trying to act against his interests by turning them into a mindless monster, eventually people are either going to snap and fight back, or bury their tails between their legs and cower in the hopes of being safe."

He drummed his fingers on the table, thinking. "And if we're all at risk of turning into one of those things, however they do it, it might be wise to heed that warning. Wait until a more opportune moment to strike. If Travers is planning to act against Konoe and the government, we could use that to our advantage. Zenkichi will want to hear this tonight when we regroup."

Letting out a sigh, he looked over the others at the table. "Though, there's something else that I need to bring up. I know most of you haven't been part of this group long, or fought alongside me, but...what you saw there wasn't normal. That wasn't me, and I mean that mostly literally. I think when I absorbed the Spirit of the Guardian...it muddled my mind. When we were in that strange corridor, being dragged along chasing and trying to destroy that device, one of those things shone its light on me. Midna said it was suppressing our abilities from fusing with spirits, after it almost caused her to fall off the platform."

"When the light was on me, and it was suppressing those abilities, my mind felt clearer. Like a fog had been lifted. And I've noticed since absorbing the Guardian, I'm more irritable. And I know, coming from me that's funny, but I am not exaggerating. It's altered my mind."

Ending on that ominous note, Geralt leaned back in his chair to let the others digest all he'd said, as well as their sandwiches.

Zenkichi Hasegawa

Valley of Ruin -> Sector 7: Breaker

Lvl 3 (13/30) -> Lvl 3 (15/20)

Word Count: 795 words

As the rain poured down, Wolf dragged his blade through yet another biped, the time between the first fight and this one having been enough for exhaustion and muscle fatigue to settle in. He was out of practice, but that was okay. All he had to do was keep fighting. A medium biped ran up to attack, but its leg was sheared off by an effortless beam of plasma, which was followed up by a second shot that tore its weapon-wielding arm away, rendering the machine harmless. Wolf stabbed his blade into the thing's torso, deactivating it with a sigh and a nod of thanks to Isaac.

The fight went much slower for him, now that he was tired, but it still passed fairly quickly. Susie's missile made short work of a great deal of the attackers, and each of the Seekers only had to contend with a few machines, though it still took some time to make sure things were totally swept up and nothing remained partially intact. The defensive structures were damn impressive for having been cobbled together by desperate folks who needed to protect themselves in the face of a callous government.

But soon, the Machines were dealt with, and Zenkichi, now finally back in his suit and sneakers, followed Isaac back to the forward command center with a slouch. He waved away a question of medical attention, having sustained no lasting injuries thanks to Valjean's protection. When Isaac thanked them, he nearly dismissed it as just helping out, but decided to accept the thanks graciously. "We're just glad that the army didn't get through. I...wish I could say nobody got hurt, but...well, Cain and Marshal..." Trailing off, he shook his head. "And one of our own got...well, I'm not sure what happened. But...dammit, we were such idiots! Why did we bring an Android out to fight a Machine army!" He buried his face in his hands, despair almost overwhelming him. "I don't know what happened to her. I just...hope Tora and the kids could do better than we did."

He couldn't say for sure whether he regretted staying or not. He had no idea what he could have done to help, and there was no denying that their help here had been vital. Even though only a fraction of the total army had reached the walls of Sector 7, it was still a sizeable group that the denizens of the Slums might not have been able to fight off without casualties of their own.

"Listen, don't uh...don't mention that if anybody asks, by the way? You can probably tell, but we're not exactly on good terms with the Administration right now." Zenkichi asked Isaac, hoping he'd be happy to keep quiet about it.

He shared a laugh with Partitio when he revealed his own sorry state of affairs money-wise, and promised to come back some time to share that beer. "I think we have bigger fish to fry, though."

When the Cargobob returned with Tora and the others, Poppi conspicuously absent, Zenkichi collapsed into his chair, speechless. Metaphorical clouds covered his face, and his mouth dried up. He'd failed again. Marshall, Big Bo, and Poppi. His first job since re-awakening and they'd lost a third of the group they set out with. He couldn't even make a self-deprecating joke. He just...sat there. Thoughts going a mile a minute, until he sighed and stood up, walking away from the others to the gate.

"Joker...how did you do it? I'm no leader. I couldn't even help myself. How am I supposed to save people if I can't keep the people by my side safe?" Clenching his fists, he raised his head up, staring in anguish at the clouds above, the rain having slowed but not quite stopped yet. "Konoe, you bastard. I'll end you for this. Letting these people die to further your sick games. How dare you. How dare you use the police like your own tools. You haven't changed. Not one bit. Condemn the evil...and hunt them down." He muttered to himself.

Letting his head drop as he let out a sigh, he turned back around, hands in his pockets and back to his traditional slouch. He had to do better. Had to be better than this. Konoe and PubSec were just the tip of the iceberg. He had no idea how far this thing went, even with what he'd been told by the other Seekers. Whatever this world would throw at him, he had to rise up. He had to get back into the swing of things, remember everything those damn kids had taught him. And if they could help him find them again? He had to make sure they were okay.
Hidden 10 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
Avatar of DracoLunaris

DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

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The Koopa Troop

wordcount: 1425 (+3) (+16) (+13 for B&R, +7 for J&K)
Bowser: Level 12 EXP: ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (195/120)
Bowser Jr: Level 12 EXP: /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (85/120) 59
Kamek: Level 12 EXP: //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (68/120) 42
Rika: Level 7 EXP: ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (81/70)
Location: The Under - Home of Tears

The party of the depths slogged their way back out of them, a slow but ultimately event-less journey, the mass of flesh that had distracted them on the way down not making another appearance.

There was no light to emerge into, of course, only rain, but there was still warmth to be found in the form of friends and kin. Friends and kin who had not had Jr’s presence to cure them of their ills, and who had just finished rooting around in a dumpster.

Specifically, Jr and Kamek found Rika sitting on the ground next to a pile of ammo while Bowser tried his best to try and reconnect the cable from the gauntlet P had stolen into a port in her back.

Spark ”Ow!” ”sorry” Spark

His best wasn’t very good.

Thus the king was doubly relieved when his son and royal advisor hurried over to join them, both because, well, they were alive and well, but also because he could hand over the technical stuff over to Jr, feeling nothing but pride when the boy sorted out the issue in only a few seconds.

”aaaand up we go again” Rika declared as she got back on her own two feet ”phew. Feels good to be able to walk again.” before hunching over in a bit of pain and holding her stomach, the after effects of the poison still with her ”That kid was a real big jerk, i can still feel my skin itching yech”

As Jr set about fixing up the two of them with his white mage magics, Bowser asked ”Oh right, yeah, where is the kid anyway?” with blissfully ignorance of what had occurred down in the tower’s depths

”Ah, well, you see, things did not go … quite according to plan” Kamek told him, tapping his forefingers together tepidly as he tried to think about he could explain things

”Huh, what do you mean?”

”The spells wouldn’t make him stop, and we couldn't just grab the big energy monster thing he turned into so they … well .. they killed him” Jr explained with a mix of frustration and gloom in the mages place, to which Kamek swiftly added ”It was that or let him run off and drain the city’s clock dry, so they, and I, did what we had to do” in explanation of the action.

The king visibly slumped in response to the news, and neither of the other koopas really knew what to say, which left plenty of room for Rika to come in and comment with ”Well that’s a shame. I reeeeeeally wanted to punch him in the mouth over and over for everything he did, the frustrating little jerk” with all the care of a bull in a china shop, the ship girl coming at this from an entire different emotional wavelength than the rest of them.

”I … Rika … he was a kid” Bowser attempted to explain, but only got a blank look before she went on ”But he made food hurt! Who does that! And made me itchy, and stole my things, and he was just, you know, really annoying”

”He did also threaten to functionally kill everyone in the city, and apparently regularly went out and did the same kinds of awful things that he did to us to other people sire” Kamek pointed out the boy’s more serious crimes, namely violently tormenting, belittling and harassing the populace.

”Yeah, and that stuff’s probably bad too!” Rika agreed with a nod, before pivoting the entire conversation around to what she cared about which was ”But you know what’s good? I’m adopted!”

There was a moment of confused silence as the koopas suffered yet more emotional whiplash.

”I …” Jr started, very confused

”By Bowser! Right? Adoption is, like, becoming part of a family right? Which I am now? Right? Or always was? You didn’t really explain that bit” she tried to clarify, glancing repeatedly at Bowser as she did so.

”I … Yeah?” Bowser agreed, mind still trying to catch up, before adding a more enthusiastic ”Yeah!” once it caught up.

”Yeah!” Rika echoed, before turning to Jr and saying ”Which means that I’m your sister now. At least I think that is how that works?”

”Oh …” jr replied, not really knowing how to respond to that, but eventually settling on ”Neat”

”I know right” Rika agreed, having thought exactly the same when she found ot.

While he did this Bowser was giving Kamek a ‘have I messed up’ look that he hoped no one would see, while the mage in question was holding his melting heart in one hand, and then gave a thumbs up and an agreeing nod with the other, which left Bowser much more relieved than he would admit.

”Alright, tonight, or this morning, or whatever it is, has been way too long and hard. So…. Family hug time!” the king declared, scooping up both his kids in his arms, much to both of their delight (though Rika’s was much more audible than Jr’s), and then declared ”So let’s go get some shut eye” which jr at least was a little less delighted with.

”Aw, but I don’t wanna go to bed. I mean rest, sure, but it's only just the afternoon!” he complained, before spying something over his dad’s shoulder and asking ”Hey, where’d you get that papa?”

”Oh that? I might have grabbed some of the stuff a bunch of robots where using” Bowser replied, explaining the little pile of games and dvds and devices for playing them that P’s robots had no more use for (seeing as they had all exploded)

”Oh cool. We took some stuff too, but queeny bee’s holding all of it” jr explained, before glancing over and saying ”Hey uh Rika ... sis? ... wanna play some video games instead of sleeping?” only to gasp incredulously when she responded by asking ”What’s a videogame?” and then insisting she play them with him at once

”Alright, games, rest” Bower declared, before his stomach rumbled and demanded his notice, causing him to add ”and room service too for lunch. Sound good?”

”An excellent plan sire” Kamek agreed, as he waved some toadies forwards to pick up the loot Bowser had acquired for him, while the kids both gave ”mmmm”s of agreement.

Thus the time passed, with Bowser and Kamek actually getting some shut eye, while jr introduced his new sister to the wonderful world of videogames. It was, admittedly, a bit of a janky one. The prince had absolutely no idea what any of the stuff they had acquired was like, the mess of consoles and games from several worlds being both a combination of an archivist’s treasure trove and scrapheap with a few jewels in it for anyone actually looking for fun.

The pig and monster entertainment systems for example, looked almost identical, and contained a library of games which were all weird alternate spins on the other’s. There was also a weird disk that they had 0 luck in getting to work (probably for the best). The Funmachine had a game where you boxed with snakes, another one that tried to teach math via fighting ninjas ontop of a few others. Meanwhile the GamePig, entirely unrelated to the PEN, featured a bunch more pig themed games such as Corporate Swine, Golf, OverWorld Zero, Swine Hunter, Swinekeeper, Street Hog, and Tic-Tac-Triop.

A lot of them were pretty simplistic, basically just a minigame, and so they ended up rolling back around to the MES console, and playing a bunch of monster kart on it for a few hours (Rika with her 0 experience with games came last most of the time, baring one particularity contentious item driven win, but she still had a blast regardless), before taking power naps of their own.

They all woke up a bit later when Bowser got hungry again because they were approaching dinner time. At that point they packed up and trooped out, running into Sectonia on their way out, and inviting her (and anyone else who might be about) to come get dinner with them. That, and suggesting that they should take a look into somewhere they could sell the treasures they had acquired, Kamek pointing out that it would most likely be good to send the artwork, fancy furniture and other shiny objects to some kind of auction house or other high class goods selling establishment rather than trying to pawn if off at, well, a pawn shop.

Either way, that could wait till after food, and so the troop set out to find a restaurant, inevitably hitting the downtown and passing by Nadia’s lookout spot on their way there.
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