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Claude sat in a back row seat, feeling the wind whip through her hair and scratching at her ankle with her other foot. Her feet hurt. It probably had something to do with the big, clompy boots Mr. Colles had insisted she out on for the trip. They would be hiking, after all. Roughing it. Couldn't rough it in flip flops, they were antithetical to the whole concept. She couldn't remember the last time she'd worn proper shoes, and had been about to explain that here soles were basically nothing but callous at this point when the sun had caught him just right to highlight those rugged good looks and her argument had dribbled out of her mouth along with the drool.

Oh well, It was the only complaint she had about the situation. She hadn't been out in the woods like this since the big Rumble in the Pines and was fully prepared to make the most of it. Sleeping outside, heating on a roaring fire, be serenaded to sleep at night by crickets, it'd be just like when her and mama were on the road and didn't have the money for a good hotel. She hadn't been allowed to attend this retreat before, same as how she hadn't been allowed to fight, until she was at at least a high school reading level and the contrast between the free, open air and those boring classrooms invigorated here like nothing else. Not to mention...

She glanced down at the special bag she'd set beside her, filled with containers of peanut butter she'd been saving since she hear she was going on this trip. Nestled amount them was a video camera and some plaster of paris she'd pilfered from the art class. There was no better time and no better place to hunt her down some squatch.
Georgia didn't even see as the Heartless under her suddenly dematerialized and she was sent plummeting head first to the ground. Luckily for her a sudden windstorm kicked up, flipping her up and letting her land on her feet. She turned back to Asher and nodded thankfully, putting her big keyblade away. "I told you I was bad at names." She said. "One day I'll come up with a winner, like Bigfoot or Moth Man."

She could only take the enemy's sudden disappearance as a full retreat. Indeed, it was quiet outside. That could only be a good sign. She gladly took the ear ring from the mans hand when he offered it, smirking. "May as well. Everybody else has been in my head today." She didn't have pierced ears, so she flipped the club around and rested that in the well of her ear as he walked away. As he did, she heard a voice coming from the courtyard and stepped over to the busted window.

Amuro was already there, wide eyed, and when she got theatre she could see why. That robot head been in was torn to pieces, though who had done that she wasn't sure. Maybe that group of black cloaks. She listened as they went on about how light was tyranny, about how their plans could not be stopped, about how they would crest a more perfect world. Typical esoteric evil organization horseshit, the sort of long winded mumbo jumbo that would be printed in an illuminati pamphlet. No one that claimed they were fighting for a more perfect whatever could be trusted, because it always seemed to involve getting rid of a whole bunch of people that disagreed with you.

Snopes, ever lot ally sticking to the Gundam pilots side, didn't stop growling until the lot of them up and peaced out. She frowned at that. That either meant they were bluffing about being able to kill them at any time, which was dumb, or whatever it was they'd be doing would be playing right into that groups hands. Her eyes slid over to To sax, and the power that Leo was able to exert over him.

She'd figure that out later, the redhead was making an effort to gather everyone up and ferry them toward the hanger to set off. "Snopes." She said, bending down to meet his eyes as her happily turned to face her. She clutches his face in her hands, scratching his neck up and down. "My boy, my good good boy. You remember where we came from?" She nodded at him, and he eagerly nodded back. "Good, good, good! You take him there, all right? There's something mama's got to do."

She stood up and turned to Amuro. Poor boy was still looking at the robot like a kid that had just seen his bike run down by a street sweeper. Or maybe his dog. It was a complicated relationship he had with that machine, she'd gotten that much from their...contact. She put a sympathetic hand on his shoulder, then slipped the raptors leash into his hand. The raptor took off back towards the hanger, dragging Amuro behind him.

Satisfied with that she walked back toward the throne room to see if the empress was doing all right. "Hey, could I have those records of the true history brought to the ship? I never got a chance to read them."

"Wait, hold on." She said, cupping one of her hands around her ear as Asher's message came through. "Get her someplace safe, something might still be here." She doubled back, heading in the direction she'd seen Asher head in before. Then she heard the word "fire," and started running.

As she made her way into the courtyard and spun around, looking for something that was burning besides the robot wreckage. She pulled the earring out and rubbed it. "Where are you? What's on fire?"

@ShadowVentus
Linkle

Level 3 - (24/30) + 2

Location: Peach's Castle – Out Front, Moatside ---> Peach's Castle,
Word Count: 977


@Lugubrious



Linkle's face fell and she jumped back, raising one leg to prepare for a kick as it came back down. There was no way she was managing to screw this up, she was ready to force that heart down his stupidly dense throat if she had to! Luckily for her him that confrontation never came. The second time the heart bopped him on the head, it took. While it didn't heal the boys slight injuries it did chase the angry crimson from his eyes. "Yes!" she said, leaping the air one fist extended straight up before turning to Minako and opening it for a high five. Only to catch a glimpse of the girls face and slowly lowered it. Minako was transfixed on the newly rescued boy, a mix of emotions Linkle couldn't quite follow playing across her face before she collapsed onto the boy with tear stained eyes. Linkle stepped back, suddenly getting the impression that this was something that should be shared only between them, a just observed the pair for a moment.

Yeah, she thought to herself. That's the way a hero is supposed to make people feel. Even if she questioned how much of this outcome had been down to her involvement she still nodded in satisfaction at the contribution she'd made to it. She started wondering if she should withdraw coolly at this point, and that thought cut through to mood and reminded her that the job was only half over! She spun around, ready to sprint inside the castle to aide her allies in the terrible sounding battle within only to discover that there weren't any more terrible sounds. The only sounds that reached her ears where Minako's shuttering sentence starts. The castle was silent. Then, all of a sudden, a cloud of spreading darkness erupted from the castle and Linkle braced herself as it spread over them. When it past she quickly looked around in a worried panic, but everyone outside seemed fine. She turned her gaze back to the castle. "I think they just won." she said, the thinnest hint of disappointment creeping into her voice.




Linkle would have found the idea that dark magic could be beneficial a hard sell if she hadn't run into a dark, statuesque beauty in her travels that had helped her rescue Princess Zelda by using dark magic to beat monsters with a whole bridge. Even if she had never met her, however, just walking in the front door of the castle made it obvious enough that the cloud of darkness hadn't hurt their cause. As she pushed open the door, crossbows in hand in case of trouble, she only succeeded in scaring some adorable and totally uncharred mushroom men. She apologized profusely as they crossed the atrium and she pushed open the opposite door.

What appeared before her was a sea of faces, old and new. Some really new. Some that weren't even on the bridge, and she almost mistook Ratchet for a newcomer given his increased height. One of them was even a little dragon! She also caught the gunsliger giving them a look and felt herself go red with embarrassment for getting here too late to help with the battle. Still, her mood was pretty up. At least until the Master pointed out who wasn't among the crowd.

Linkle wasn't sure she'd even gotten a good look at the girl The Master mentioned, but Zer0 being gone threw her. No way that was true. She looked again, then again, then a third time, but no matter what she couldn't find the strange faceless swordsman anywhere. Gone. Dead.

Even if she had never really spoken with the man his loss filled her with an almost spiritual unease. She hadn't expected it. She hadn't even considered it since The Master had said he saw them in the future. Zer0 had, in her mind, been a part of some grand design. They all were. Destiny had said they made it through this, and with that in mind she hadn't had to worry. She just had to do her best, like she always did, and everything would be fine. Now, though, nothing was certain. The river of destiny could be carrying any of these people to their ends.

An intrusive thought slithered its way into her mind. If she had been stronger, if she had been able to get Minako and Junpei in here during the battle, would their powers have saved Zer0 and his friend?

Her thoughts were interrupted when Agoston boldly marched to the spirit glittering on the ground and used it up, transforming an already monster of a man into a literal monster. If Bowser were a man instead of a dragon she imagined that's what he'd probably look like, and the man walked off proclaiming proudly that the Princess had commanded a feast. Linkle was about to follow out of sheer curiosity over what this Princess looked like when a man suddenly charged in through the doorway, rudely shoving past her and kicked Bowser in the back. Even more amazingly, the attack had actually managed to knock Bowser over. She pointed her bow at the stranger, but everyone else beat her to the punch. She instead turned her attention back to the open door, the mushroom boys that she figured were supposed to be guarding it, and the area beyond the castle. Looked like anything out there could just walk in.

Her eyes went wide as she suddenly remembered something, but before she could act on it Tora's mechanical friend walked past them and headed towards it. "Hey." Linkle called out to her. "Tora's friend, wait a minute. There's this really spooky robot we saw out there that likes shooting other robots. It was in that place near the castle with all the metal junk. It might still be creeping around."
Absolutely.
The Argus fight from Asura's Wrath is perhaps the most appropriate use of Dvorak's new world symphony ever and no one will convince me otherwise.

Little King Story's soundtrack is nothing but classical music, mostly because it's all public domain and, thus, free to use.

Georgia had been momentarily distracted by the presence of another person in her head. It wasn't as bad as Amuro's tidal wave of emotion and history, but it still wasn't nice having someone else's fear and confusion rolling around in your skull, especially when there wasn't anything you could realistically do about it. She was gonna have to sit all these people down and explain boundaries to them, especially since she was the only civilised psychic here!

Well, maybe not. The knives her partner had throw to impale two heartless jerked out and flew by themselves back to their sheaths before the man stepped forward and finished them off. Soldiers, huh? "That works. They kind of look the part, in a clownish sort of way. You're getting a credit when I write the book on these."

That left the non due guerre's of the big boys up to her, and right in the nick of time. As asher jumped clear over one of them and smashed its head like a whack a mole game another was advancing on her along with a group of soldiers. Big boys, that could work. No, no, that was a fast food chain. It needed to be punchier.

As she thought the big guy wiggled and launched itself at her, gut first. Georgia yelped and jumped into the air as the big guy passed under her. "Big Bellies!" She exclaimed, throwing her rope down toward the Heartless. Like living thing it twisted around the creatures small head, squeezing good and tight and covering its eyes as Georgia landed on its shoulders. It freaked out, stomped its feet, and tried to reach up to get he be down,t seem to be able to. It's big arms didn't go up that far.

She gave the rope a tug, pulling on it's head, and the monster spun its fists out in that direction. Two of the soldiers were caught completely off guard and splattered onto the opposite wall.

One got past on the other side, but luckily her sweet vigilant baby boy was there waiting for it. It gave off a war screech as the thing danced close and leaped, landing wicked sickle claw first and taking it to the ground where he proceeded to chomp down on the arm and give it a right good thrash about. The arm tore clean, and so Snopes threw it aside and attacked the things head as Amuro looked on in combined confusion/horror.

Satisfied that, if not kill the things, Snopes could certainly tear them apart she gave a hard yank to the things head again and it turned swiftly toward the herd of them conveying the hallway. Grinning and brought down the flat of her Keyblade hard on the things back. It launched forward in a blind panic, swinging its arms from side to side in a meaningless frenzy as it ran. It caught soldiers left and right, the sound of their crude armor crunching inward filling the hallway. As she got close to where Asher had landed she gave a tug again and the Big Belly turned to give him a wide berth. "Hahaha! Just like the trikes back on the ranch. Yeeehaaa!"

@ShadowVentus


@Hammerman@KillamriX88@Crazy Scion@RoflsMazoy@rawkhawk64




Bak didn't know what was happening. It was becoming a distressing trend with her. One moment she had been turning back to grab Vittorio from his creating place, ready to cart everyone off to wherever they could get treatment without being arrested. Then David had started freaking out, which she attributed to being carried by something like her. Then he'd started glowing. Then they'd appeared...

At first she wasn't sure. She took it for some decayed old ruins until she spotted Alto and everything resolved in her mind. They had been returned to the arena. Her immediate thought was to blast Alto before he got them, but he was standing on the other side of a huge man they had landed in front of. A giant, covered in magic symbols and wearing a mask like some kind of heinous witch, and as she watched him an airship listed into view and plowed into the stadium seating behind them. It flopped over on its side, and was still.

"Piss! Shook us like a kid throwing a tantrum." Came a female voice out of the load speaker on the ship, now cut apart with ripples of static and fluctuating in volume. It was really only loud enough for Nαɳαƈα to hear at all, as the ship had come to rest quite near her. "Jokey, you good?"

"I think I threw up." Came the reply.

Bak eyes were drawn off that mess when the witch man spoke. Told them to look. Told them what would happen to the whole city. The whole city. And as he talked her mind dragged up a different conversation. One she'd had in the early morning, with a condescending boy.

"The fighting between all three factions; two schools and a private group, it's gone beyond friendly competition to a blood feud. That is dangerous for us all, especially if there is a Greater Evil than the Ancient Evil, or just new machinations by the latter. Then again, I might just be seeking meaning beyond the conflicts and causes presented before me.


Was this what that boy had been talking about? She watched the devastation he claimed to have wrought on this stadium. She didn't much care what happened to the city. Like she had said, the whole city was beyond her range. But she couldn't help picturing what this man could do to St. Lucifer's, and the implicit threat of destruction he'd declared against it. That was comfortably within her range.

"Rurik, take Yuuto." She ordered. She didn't even brother to look up. She was too busy manually aiming her artillery cannons. "Go to warn Tovarisch. Take care of Vittorio." David had already jumped off. That was fine. She could be mad at him later, for whatever it was he had done. "I'll be giving covering fire."

"You're not serious." Alto said scornfully, sword flashing to life in his hand. The cut from Vittorio still hurt and for all he knew Clara had a hand in this. He'd half expected the lot of them to attack him. "You're on my side now? What kind of game are you people playing?"

The sound of Bak's cannons where her only reply. She could settle things with Alto later as well. Form his part Alto just growled in frustration. He threw his sword at the cultist back and extended a finger directly at the mans heart, waiting until after the man man to move before unleashing another Hyperlight Stream. Unlike Vittorio, he aimed to put this one down.
I think Agoston is the best candidate to tame the savage Spirit of this dragon. Let's count down the pros here.

He's already got fire powers, so the upgrade is on brand. He's a physical attacker, and spirit would likely make him beefier. He wight get wings to carry him into battle more swiftly. Finally, The dragon won't be able to drive him to rule the world, because that would mean he would be betraying the emperor. I think its a good fit, if no one else wants to enthusiastically call dibs.
That's happened to me before. I confused preview for post.
"Stop, stop!" Georgia said, scrambling to her feet. "He's a...goodness knows..." She reached up and massaged her temples. "Urgghhhh, feels like his whole life got put in here." She shook her head, as if that helped with psychic echoes floating around in your brain. "He was stuck in that robot. It's his. They took it from him. He's a friendly."

She walked up and put a hand on Asher's arm and gently pilled the knife away from the space mans throat. "It's not his fault. Blame black coat, he dumped him on me." She pulled more, moving Asher a little ways back from Amuro. Then, as he was about to speak, she hauled off and slapped him across the face. "That's for mind melding without my okay." She said.

Before anything else their was a sound like water coming up a drain and a plethora of clanks, along with the warning growl of Snopes. Before he had been defensively posturing at the boy that had been annoying his master, but now he was letting out full on danger growls. Georgia turned to see the previously empty hallway filled with waist high, semi-armored creatures. They weren't like the small black shadows that had assaulted her back home, but those luminescent yellow eyes shining out of their helmets told the whole story. The heartless.

As she watched more warped in, more of the armored ones content to dance mockingly in front of them. In the back several larger varieties of the species, fat with giant arms and tiny heads. She was momentarily taken aback, not by fear but awe. "Natural real time warping...what let's them do that?" She said, more to herself that anyone.

The closest ones didn't let her finish speculating. They danced forward, four of them, spinning toward the four of them like demonic tops. Georgia grabbed the carbon rope from her side and unfurled it, whipping it at the one on the end. The thing shot out like a snake, coiling itself around the things center. Georgia whipped it to the left, slamming it into the others and sending the whole group crashing through one of the windows.

The rope slithered through the air back to her, climbing up her arm to leave a length dangling from her hand. With her other she dragged Amuro off the wall and put him behind the velociraptor. "You take care of him, boy. Mama's got work to do." She'd been headed for the robot, bit she supposed she could handle keeping these things away from the empress.

Another jumped at them and she lashed out, whipping it down. These guys were coming at them slow as muck for some reason, but she wasn't complaining. She was complaining about how the chaotic thing hopped back to its feet almost instantly though. That was disturbingly familiar. This subspecies was less ethereal than the small shadows, but no less immune to her normal tricks.

"Right, Keyblade or magic." She said, summoning the blade in her other hand. If she'd know she was going to be expected to fence, she would have agreed to take those lessons from those wandering knights. Still, she had a way to make this work for her.

She lashed out again with the rope, wrapping around the arm of the one she'd failed to damage and yanking him toward her. The blade was big, and unwieldy, but so long as it was wrapped in her shroud she could lift and swing it as easily as a walking stick. As the heartless sailed though the air she swung down, taking its head off with one clean slice.

The body tumbled behind her as the head clattered to the floor and vanished in a cloud to black smoke. "So the armor is part of their bodies? Fascinating." She turned back to Asher. "Hey, what would you call this sub species? I'm crap at naming things."
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