Captain Rebellion HQ
/================( - Mikage-cho W - Captain Rebellion HQ - )=================\
| The year is 2099. |
| Deep, deep underground lies the heart of humanity's last stand against |
| the Drakon Empire... the headquarters of the Secret Rebellion!! Metallic |
| corridors are lined with the latest in gratuitious technology, with devices |
| that don't do anything and monitors that display completely meaningless but |
| still vital information. |
| The nerve center of this facility is, of course, the massive command |
| room, where the Secret Rebellion's best and brightest spend their days |
| frantically operating complex control panels. In the middle of it stands a |
| large statue of the Rebellion's leader, Captain R (or as everyone calls him |
| here, Captain Rebellion), standing with his arms crossed, as a constant |
| reminder to always be as awesome as you could possibly be. |
| Other highlights of the secret base include the hypergravity training |
| room, transforming vehicle hangar and very futuristic living quarters. In |
| case of emergency, the base is rigged to sound a very annoying alarm and |
| lock up while still providing highly entertaining venues for improbable |
| combat. |
| Demons often seem quite preoccupied with assaulting the base. It's as |
| if they're looking for something... |
|===============================( - Players - )================================|
| Masumi Hayashi [DS] <Ceridwen> Yukino Mayuzumi [DS] <Vesta> |
| Blaise Cameron [U] <None> Yuuka Chiba [SEES] <True Unicorn> |
| Maki Sonomura [NWO] <Matsu> Hana Aoki [KDA] <Xochiquetzal> |
| Himeru Namikawa [DS] <Hannya> Hinata Itoh [SEES] <Skuld> |
| Yukiko Amagi [KDA] <Konohana Sakuya> Thora Kobayashi [KDA] <Garm> |
| Itsuka Mizuhara [SEES] <Lorelei> Souji Seta [KDA] <Izanagi> |
| Shiki Ichimonji [SEES] <Fusillade Tur |
|===============================( - Objects - )================================|
|================================( - Exits - )=================================|
| Out <O>: Mikage-cho - West Side |
Less than half a day after the death of Captain R, the Secret Rebellion Headquarters have found themselves undergoing a rather unpleasant change. People within found themselves suddenly kicked out by the security system going haywire on them as well as a sudden rush of demons coming out of nowhere. What was that all about? The base has for the most part been evacuated now, but now is the time to find the answer to that question! And Zordon has assembled a team of the best over-active and over-emotional teenagers around to do just that!
It's actually easy enough to enter the bunker itself, nothing a coordinated Persona assault can't handle, and even the local demons are all too willing to help the kids get in! Those entering, however, will find that the entrance lobby is not quite as welcoming as it used to be. The lights flicker erratically even though they're probably not even electric, the display screens are all off, the elevator shaft right in front has been boarded up with enough sheets of metal to cover the entire door, and oh, yes, there are now demons roaming the installation as if they owned the place.
The only thing in the way for now, though, is a pack of Will-O'-the-Wisps flying around and harassing people. They're a minor annoyance at best, which is good, because people need to pose in!
There was something fishy at the bottom of that base. Thora knew it. Itsuka knew it too, which had prompted that frustrated reaction from Captain R seconds before he was shanked. Damn shame the hero had to die too, it seemed as if he was about to cough up some information. While no genius herself, Thora lucked out with the conclusion she drew mostly because she actually reads Shiki's manga.
On the other hand, it probably wasn't too wise to believe everything that Dark O said. But the base did kick her out when she came to "get to the bottom of this" (literally) so maybe they were on the right track with this.
With the promise of a SUPER AWESOME RAID, Thora had rounded up the entirety of the Blue Wolves to help out. They are loud, rowdy, and conveniently marked with blue armbands, reminiscent of a certain extracirrucular execution squad, so Itsuka and the other persona users that came don't confuse them with the other demons that have taken up residence in the building.
Thora doesn't wait. She charges right inside and ignores the Will-o-wisps completely, perhaps arrogantly deeming them /beneath/ her. The noise she in her group makes upon rushing in is...somewhat unforgettable.
ZAP! Sparks of electricty fly out from Izanagi's spear towards the wisps, the deity's visage disappearing as promptly as he appeared. Following shortly behind is the Persona's bearer, Souji, coming through a creatively made hole in the bunker's fortifications. His katana is drawn and held before him tightly in both hands. Cautiously, he surveys the area and gestures for others to come in before quickly sidestepping to allow that to happen. As Thora makes her rather powerful entrance, even Souji, who is well-accostumed to her by now, is a bit shaken.
"Sure looks different, hm?" the silver-haired boy remarks straightly after regaining compsure. He then proceeds to move along with the group as they take steps further into the now demon-infested base.
Maki has come along to help. She is wearing a small mask around her face and what appears to be a cape. Rebellion Headquarters, home of Captain (r)ebellion has been in this world for some time. Before even Shiki was around in it! Or so the inhabitants SAY. But you can't be a model citizen and not be part of the greatest superhero or sentai or whatever team ever--which is why she's wearing a cape. Indeed, the mighty...
is on the case to help out today. And she really shouldn't be here. She shoots down a couple Will O the Wisps with her bow (magic doesn't work too well on those guys) and says, "Alright! Another victory! Time to stop the evil Dark-O and save Mikage-Cho!" She's very peppy.
When Fumiya overheard Souji and the others talking about the 'death of Captain R' yesterday it didn't take long for Fumiya to put two and two together, and he was sure to be here for this. Despite his attempts to avoid everyone, especially people who were in the SEBEC lobby that night, he wouldn't be able to live with himself if he did nothing to try and help Shiki. Assuming Shiki is even here.
Then again, they managed to pull Thora out of safety early on. Fumiya tries to tell himself to be more hopeful.
The 80s Kid isn't too far behind Thora. He doesn't bring up her mysterious band of wolves. He doesn't bring up much of anything. Shotgun in hand, he quickly dashes in with the group, though there's no roar of challenge and defiance to accompany Thora.
The day previous, Hinata had doted on Itsuka to the tune of finding them matching St. Hermelin's outfits since her friend needed something non-Tsukasa to wear and her own #51 jersey had become an affront to Ichiro-sama what with all the demon blood. She didn't inflict it, its not a mark of honor! It was during such doting, however, that she had also learned of what was in the basement of the not-so-secret bunker. It was a hell of a reveal for someone who had been cosplaying superhero there but a few days ago, but she had the same priority as Thora: Get inside and get to the bottom of the base.
And then, sometime today, while working on her Secret Project, she had hit upon something odd.
She wasn't sure if it was the right revelation, or if she was anywhere near the mark, but there was only one way to find out. Which is why, racing alongside the blue armband team, is one of the fastest members of the red armband team. In a gray winter blazer and skirt, Hinata likewise ignores the paltry demons, instead beelining for one of the inert monitors. It takes a moment for Thora's warcry to finish echoing before she raises her bat to the screen and stares at Bow Butterfly. "Uh, I think you're a few days late for that," she sighs with a shake of her head. And is that Fumiya with a shotgun? Where was she, oh right.
The bat taps the screen. "Hey! I heard someone killed the villain, so I came to find the hero!"
There are several things bothering Yuuka Chiba today. Some of them have to do with this moment, others have to do with everything else going on in Mikage-freakin-Cho. Primarily, right now, she's more worried about this group in particular. Thora's roar and charge doesn't surprise her, and as she met the Blue Wolves before Thora actually banded them together, she's not surprised to see those either. Souji's quick work is nodded at, but ... Fumiya is stared at oddly. Something is off on him, and she's not sure what.
I shot the villan, but I didn't shoot the hero~" Yuuka hums in a perfect parody of Bob Marleys' song 'I Shot the Sherriff'. Hey, she's music girl, she's allowed too do these kinda things. That done, bo staff in one hand, Evoker in the other, she trails Fumiya, near the back of the group.
"Interesting force. Leave it to Thora-san to find some muscle..." thought Himeru, as she watched the armband wearing force approach the bunker. A roudy, brutal, violent bunch, could prove to be useful in a changed place like the Rebellion Base. They never had a chance to witness all the security system could do, and as bitter and selfish as it sounded in her mind, she would rather see one of them destroyed by some futuristic trap than it be her fate. In a way, it made her feel like she was the worse being than those demons who just acted true to themselves.
Laughing softly into her right hand, the blackhaired girl tapped the tip of her bloody sword to the ground, the swirling crimson moving smoothly but slowly, as if still stirring slowly to a full awakening and readyness. She gladly lets Thora and her Gang take the front, positioning herself close to Itsuka, regardless of where the 'purple' haired classmate of hers chooses to be in the formation. The added superhero only causes her to wonder what's the deal with this one. Part of the same Rebellion Force, or a spinoff title, or something else entirely?
"Neon-man." is the strange greeting offered to Fumiya, the only person who while she recognised could not even identify with a name. It seemed unnecessary anyway, and she thought it was a fitting nickname. "Nice weapon."
A glance is shot at Hinata as she mentions something about a villain and a hero. "I doubt it will be as black and white as you make it sound. But Captain Rebellion was an interesting man, for sure."
Minagi had not been so lucky at the train crash, knocking herself out when the Collision of her vehicle and the doom train. She had spent a few more days out, and resting. This was even with Persona healing magic bringing her back from near death.
She was here, she was less than great looking, and donning the local school uniform as the only pair of clothes she had that were not all torn to hell. Her friend had died, the hero of this area, and now they had to go in and save the little boy that was trapped in it. She very much wanted to just curl up and sleep another day, but...
She was here, and running in after the main hero assault, she looked at one of the Wisps on the ground. Looking left and right, she kicked it once more, putting the light out. "Stupid demons." She says, muttering to herself about her situation.
Minato Arisato is a man on a mission.
The student looks worse for wear. The right sleeve of his jacket is still gone, never attempted to be repaired or replaced. He's added something like a bandolier (holding a shoulderpad on over on his left side) and a belt with a bunch of pouches to the ensemble, with his Evoker holstered on his right, ready for cross-drawing along with the sword on his left. The sword is worth noting since it's actually not the short sword he's been carrying around the whole time, but instead a longsword with a straight crossguard and a round pommel. It looks well-used.
Minato pauses only to check his gear.
MINATO ARISATO'S EQUIPMENT
Weapon: Mikage-Cho Blade (AP 28, DMG 35, Wgt. 3)
Armor: Armored Dorm Dweller Outfit (DR 12, Wgt. 15, Melee Weapons +5, Speech +5)
Footwear: Wasteland Sneakers (DR 2, Outdoorsman +5, Wgt. 1)
Accessory: Inexplicably Prophetic Sony NW-S20x MP3 Player (LUK +1, Wgt. --)
The SEES Field Commander then continues on. He only brakes for allies, giving them a hard glance when he passes. He doesn't try and be reassuring about this: he knows they're going into the thick of it, and descending into what could be a pretty awful place. He'll lead them in quite willingly, if need be--or follow in Thora's destructive wake.
At least some of them have experience with terrible places. He has a feeling this one is going to be a doozy.
Yep, Itsuka gets to match Hinata again, but this time, as herself, instead of as a superhero. Though the mighty Bow Butterfly may be on the job, and a lot of other folks might have demon armies or a shotgun or whatever else, in about the middle of the formation is just plain Itsuka, dressed in the uniform Hinata gave her and...something else.
A reminder of someone important. Two someones, because of where she got it, and maybe even three, because of the reasons involved. She doesn't really know all that much, she thinks.
Itsuka Mizuhara stands, axe up on her shoulder, right up at Himeru's side, wearing the long coat that makes her almost look like a miniature version of a great hero who isn't here right now--Shinjiro Aragaki. Okay, 'standing' is the wrong word, but she sure is moving along, another member of the red armband team. She chimes in after Hinata, though she doesn't sound as sure as she did just a few days ago. A little quiet. "Right." No singing out of her, instead Itsuka just takes up a guard position near her bat-wielding friend. "We're here to save the hero."
And then she looks back at Minato as he leads on in, giving her commander a nervous nod. She's here to work with the group, this time.
The Captain is dead. Long live the Captain.
Masumi has never actually seen anyone die in front of him before -- and he has rationalized to himself that he still hasn't. If this world is nothing but a dream made real, then the natural denizens are also nothing more than dreams. In this way he has convinced himself not to feel the natural emotions which a teenager that has never actually witnessed death may otherwise have experienced. The...nightmare that tore through mind and soul that night were quite enough, thank you.
He is however vaguely annoyed that the answers were ripped from their grasp right before they would have taken hold of them. But still. Some interesting revelations have come to light over the last couple of days that put a few of the pieces into perspective, give answer to some of the questions that have been building up since this whole insanity started. And for once it does not seem that the rules will all change as soon as they place a few of the pieces together. For once it really feels like they're making progress.
Tonight, they will take the next step along that journey via the wholesale slaughter of demons. Fun for the whole family!
"Greetings, all," comes Masumi's smooth tones as he suddenly and silently appears behind the small group formed of Hinata, Itsuka, and Himeru, which itself is in turn following behind Thora's MASSIVE DEMON ARMY. Masumi is not sure what to make of such a thing except to be rather glad that it is pointed at the enemy and not at them. And having demon fight demon is an excellent way to decrease the casualties for the people that actually count.
"Let us give a good answer to their resistance, yes?" he asks, twin kodachis falling smoothly into his hands before he twists around to cut through two Will-O-Wisps trying to attack from behind.
Deidra Doyle is also on a mission she's looking roughed up and her clothing is ratty there's also severtal rips clealry from various demons she's likelu fought. She keeps behind Minato and has a horrible felkeing about this, she stops to check her shotgun's ammo, loads in two new shells and keeps after him.
This relm was truely nightmare fuel and she laments not lising to her grandfather and having refused the scholarship she was offered. IT's too late now though as she keeps pace with Minato.
Well, here we are, making a return to the base that had so affectionately afforded some (awesome) weaponry. But now, it's fallen on hard times, and has come to own a particular device that may very well be vital to the escape from this horrible dimension. Dream? Whatever it is.
Blaise walks in slowly, dutifully after the rest of the group with sash trailing behind him. The floating demons are being dealt with effectively enough, others are tampering with the electronics... everyone's got their job to do.
That's fine. They're all in their own squads, their own groups. Except maybe Minagi. His blue-grays affix to her as she punts a demon, and he moves up beside her.
"I'm gonna try to find that DVA device," he says aside to her. "Keep safe."
His hand lifts briefly to touch her on the shoulder, and he's moving on towards a corridoor, body tensed in stoicism. He walks alone for now. It might prove more successful than attention-grabbing units of people.
Luckily for all, this was probably never intended as a stealth operation, or else Thora and the Blue Wolves would have tossed it all out the window. As they charge down the corridors and into a flight of stairs (elevator's out, remember!), they draw the aggro of more gremlins than you can shake a stick at! The group will probably make short work of them as well as the Will-O'-the-Wisps upstairs, but once they're done, they'll hear a taunting voice over the base's loudspeakers! And just as Hinata taps the screen with her bat, the image comes on, displaying...
HERO OF THE SECRET REBELLION
Holy crap, who would have expected to see him?!
"Hahahahaha!! Don't you idiots realize yet that you're in way over your heads?! Even with that much force, it's all useless! Think about it for a second, will you?! /I'm/ the hero of this story!"
While the group may charge ahead even as he gives his little taunting speech, the stairs just go on and on and on, twisting and turning confusingly with nothing very interesting to break up the pace. Maybe it's some kind of disguised loading screen?
Either way, everyone eventually filters into a large, circular and empty room with entirely blank walls. What is that all about?! What might attract their attention the most, however, is the MASSIVE MECHANICAL SPIDER TANK in the middle of it. Its design might seem a little familiar to some of the people here, and with good reason...
EVIL SPIDER VEHICLE
MORPH-R BUGGY ~ALTERED~
The demons in Thora's charge are the first in the marching order, and even with their sheer number, they might regret it, as the vehicle points its cannons towards them and blasts away liberally, shooting enormous boulders that scatter the forces violently! Aside from this, the new arrivals still have a chance to get a jump on it, for they might notice that the tank is already engaged in combat with...
<3 ~F-FORCE FIVE!~ <3
Landing on the ground after slamming a massive metal pole into the tank, the Oni leader of the Secret Rebellion's all-female squad looks at Thora. "...Me?"
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji hits Thora Kobayashi with his Tera attack.
"Fumiya, Himeru, Hinata, /Souji/, glad you could join us." Thora beams. Itsuka gets a curious look as she definitely did recognize that coat she was packing. It was also nice to see her using an axe again-little things like that helped Thora hold on to what sanity she had after enduring this hellhole. "M-er, Bow Butterfly! I'm glad you're here!"
Stealth? Thora doesn't do stealth!
Still howling, Thora's reckless charge leads to the stairs, which everyone clambors down with the sound of a stampede. Dark O said he was in the basement, right? Or the secret room beneath the main chamber of the secret base. So they had to go /down/.
"Stupid stairs." Thora grouses quietly during the monotonous descent. Even the Blue Wolves start to look a little bored.
When they /finally/ reach the large circular and "empty" room, the demons all rush forward shouting and yelling, eager to taste battle. For their trouble, they are pelted by giant rocks and flung aside-Himeru might feel happy to see this happening. Narrowly evading a boulder herself, Thora rushes forward, lifting the crescent-bladed poleaxe of Ongyo-ki high overhead-
And promptly takes notice of the /reak/ F-Force five there. Her reaction to Taiga pretty much mirrors the Oni. "W..what the hell?!"
Groggily, one of Thora's onis sits up and looks around, spotting Taiga. "Damn, boss, when'd you get so hot?"
Thora lets out an awkward noise, then jabs a finger at the EVIL SPIDER VEHICLE. "GARM! KILL!"
COMBAT: Thora Kobayashi hits Shiki Ichimonji with her Double Fangs attack.
Hinata glances to Himeru and answers crypitcally, "Its not one of those mangas." The shock of purple hair catches her eye, but even more so the giant peacoat. There's an uncomfortable tug of her blazer sleeve before she nods back to her teammate, "I'm sure he'd be proud, Itsuka-chan." Of all the times she had to leave her #51 behind. Masumi gets a warm smile of his own and, uh, lookin' a little Thunderdome there, Minato. He still gets a smile as well. Free smiles for everyone before the carnage!
The screen goes bwip and Hina's face lights up instantly. In fact, there's even a bit of a smirk to her own response, "You always were, weren't you?" What's that supposed to mean? Whatever it was, she's off and down the stairs after Thora's warband. She does her part in dispatching the gremlins with extreme line drive prejudice, rumbling down the stairs as if home plate was at the bottom. Or maybe there's a giant freaking tank. Hey, she was just sitting in that backseat too-
She freezes in place, brown eyes wide and firmly locked on a figure in a yellow biking outfit. "No. Way."
OK, this makes things really interesting.
A shake of her head, and Hina's off and running /again/. Why? One to get Skuld in range of testing the Evil Spider Vehicle's mettle with a strike of holy light. It attacked Thora, so its marked unfriendly. The other? So that she can slide right into place next to Haruka and just... see for herself. "... Hi!" <3
COMBAT: Hinata Itoh misses Shiki Ichimonji with her Hama attack.
Souji makes his way to the halls alongside the others, cleaving through and using her Persona upon demons as necessary. Indeed, between his efforts and the rest of the group, most of the weaker demons here do prove little challenge. "So far, so good, everyone," he remarks to the others encouragingly.
Then, a voice echoes through the speakers and Dark O appears on the screen as he had some nights ago. As the 'hero' of the secret rebellion appears on screen, Souji points his sword at it and retorts to the Shiki lookalike's remarks, "Are we not all the heroes in our own minds? Heroes are shaped around ideals, and if that's so then the ideals that you are are twisted indeed."
Following his little qurip, Souji begins to go along with the others into the 'tank room'. There, he stares down the Dark Buggy in disbelief. It sure looks familiar. Speaking of familiar, weren't at least two members of this 'F-Force Five' now before them actually amongst the team right now? Their reactions certainly seem to suggest such, too. Regardless, Souji isn't going to make a fuss if -these- doubles were on their side.
A crystalline card appears fore him, and with the formation of a fist, it shatters. Let's see how well Dark O's buggy stands up to lightning.
COMBAT: Souji Seta misses Shiki Ichimonji with his Zionga attack.
"I would not miss this party. After all, there are answers still needed and they might be in the depths of this place." is said with a hint of cheer. Hime's spirit was high right now. Strength and good morale in numbers, as the saying went.
Gremlins. Funny to see them against her and not working for her, but not funny enough for Himeru to ponder on it terribly long. "I suppose you've never heard of plot twists, 'Hero'." mumbles the young girl as his voice explodes on the speakers. Better to focus going down the stairs and not stumbling, whoever thought it was a good idea to make them in a wiert convoluted pattern would deserve a smack behind the head.
The sight of the armored spider battle mech causes her eyes to close to slits. This could be a problem, although there's already people fighting it. If they're fighting the tank, then who's side is the tank on, she wondered. Is the Rebellion now with Dark O, or not? No garantee of them being friends, but the tank was definitly a hostile to all. The fact that some of the Rebellion Girls are actually similar to people here is currently lost to her, she's busy looking for what may seem like a structural weakness on the tank, or some chink in the armor.
"No helping it then...Itsuka, let's go. We will scatter to the left so it can't hit all of us in a single volley." It probably has weapons over it's body beside the cannons, but not being in front of those sounded like a great idea. Hannya begins forming and erupting from the young girl' shadow as the blood on the wooden sword swirls faster, her feet running to flank the vehicle' left. "May your oil-change never come. Hannya, damnation!"
The demon Persona begins to sing a dirge, meant to curse the tank to have Horrible Luck. Should the spell succeed, it will have an ugly kanji stamped on the 'forehead' too.
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa hits Shiki Ichimonji with her Curse attack.
COMBAT: The Cursed status effect has been added to Shiki Ichimonji.
"What!" Bow Butterfly says, wondering if maybe she should have chosen the name Butterfly Bow instead. She lets out a dramatically appropriate gasp! "It's Dark O! .... the hero of the rebellion...?"
Bow Butterfly frowns, poking that text. "I don't think that's true at all! Dark O isn't the hero of anything! He's a malevolent villain with a heart only for evil!" Before someone can even sass her for that, however, a spider tank reveals itself.
"Ohmigosh! It's just like in issue 3!" She probably got the issue number wrong. Oh well.
She isn't assaulted immediately but someone appears nearby, practically next to the tank. It is....AKI?! She doesn't get a fancy title and name flashcard because she doesn't follow the same rules as the others here.
"A heart only for evil huh?" Aki says, "You don't know anything."
"Who're you?" Maki asks.
"I'm Aki." Aki says, looking over to Thora and grins suddenly at her, "Hey you made it all the way here, congratulations! We've always been so jealous of you."
"Huh?" Maki asks.
"You're so strong and have so many friends. You're not a looker, but that just makes your achievements all the more amazing. You're always so confident, so strong, you never lose a fight and everybody is afraid of you so nobody will mess with you."
"Hey..." Maki frowns, "Don't you talk to Thora like that."
"What do you mean, Maki?" Aki turns and faces her, "You're the one who is thinking that, aren't you? You must be so happy to get to save her, now that you're the one with the powers."
Maki shakes her head from side to side, "I...who are you?"
Aki smiles, "You're me."
Maki laughs, "That's impossible. You're just a kid... but Thora mentioned me to you..." She frowns, "You're the one who is out to destroy the world!"
"You're the one who is out to destroy the world." Aki says. "I just want to save us. We're the same person after all..."
Maki frowns again, "Come off it. This isn't funny anymore." She draws her bow, aiming an arrow for Aki.
"Just admit it! We're one and the same, Maki!" Aki cackles.
"No!" Maki says.
"You're Not Me!"
Minagi gets to the top of the stairs, behind the rest of the assembled would be heros.
"I really hate annoying loading scr-er, long flights of stairs." Minagi says, and looks towards Blaise, giving him a nod and a thumbs up. "It's fine...we can do this. We have to do this!" she says, trying to be brave. In reality, she had no idea what they were suposed to be doing. She took a breath, and then paused at the assembled group of Anti-heros in the...
"THE BUGGY?! You destroyed the buggy! Oh my god! You kill one my my heros, and now you defiled his car!" Miangi says, punching her fist into her open palm. "I had so many fond memories in the bu-.."
Cutscene to the train hitting the buggy. "Ok, less fond memories." She says, and then...
You're not me!
Minato looks back over his shoulder and gives the ghost of a smile to the SEESites at his back. He's glad they're there, but he's too tired, mentally and physically, to voice it. It's a pretty standard thing, Minato being exhausted when he gets going, but somehow he always has the energy to keep on going.
The attacks begin on the rather familiar tank-thing in the room they end up in. Minato almost contemptuously cuts a Gremlin down on the way in. He looks it over with a discerning eye, examining it for strengths, weaknesses, and pointy bits he did not see. He feels a brief twinge of loss for the thing.
Minato declares, "I've beaten bigger." His Evoker practically jumps into his hand.
"Orpheus!" BANG! The Master of Strings manifests above Minato, eyes burning bright with the fire of his soul. Minato points straight ahead and calls, "For Captain R!!" The bard dives forward, artificial hand suddenly clawed. The Persona sweeps it across the Morph-R Buggy Altered, leaving red marks in the air briefly where it passes and maybe, just maybe, giving it a few more problems to deal with. Like seeing double.
Minato glances at the F-Force Five. Okay, quadruple. Where is the rest of the Secret Rebellion, anyway? He's read this whole series like three times, they should be here /somewhere/.
He hears the words 'You're not me,' but doesn't know the significance. Call it a lack of real experience.
COMBAT: Minato Arisato hits Shiki Ichimonji with his Intoxicating Scratch attack.
COMBAT: The Inaccurate status effect has been added to Shiki Ichimonji.
Fumiya keeps his head down and his mouth shut as they make their way into the base. Even when Thora addresses him. It's the attitude he's held all week and is probably no surprise to anyone at this point. People who know him are used to the odd behavior by now, people who don't wouldn't know the difference. But enough about his issues. They have a GIANT ENEMY CRAB.... SPIDER to battle.
Upon seeing 'Morph-R', not to mention all the other weird little references, Fumiya finds himself wishing he paid a bit more attention to Shiki's Captain Rebellion thing. If any of these things appeared in it, they might have showned their weaknesses too, information which might have been nice to know.
When the Spider Mech strikes, Fumiya hesitates a moment, letting everyone else run ahead and attack first. He almost backpedels a bit. After all... it looks like everyone else has this covered. He's probably not needed....
So what? You gonna keep running?
Fumiya freezes, and then starts walking forward again. "Murugan!" He commands, sending the war god after the mech, driving its lances toward it. They're going to save everyone, they're going to get the hell out of here, and he's going to face his demons like a man, dammit!
..wait, did Maki just say---
COMBAT: You hit Shiki Ichimonji with your Twin Shot attack.
There are bonuses to being in the back. One, she can see everything. Two, she can hear everything. Three, she can - oh /fudge/, did Maki just - she did. Yuuka stares at the pair, emerald eyes wide and worried. "Um. Did I just - Watanabe-san, did you - did anyone else hear Maki-"
Yuuka is stumbling over her words, Evoker pressing to her head. Right, deal with this Spider thing first, then worry that Maki just broke the World. "Unicorn!" The glitter of its' horn and it charges, straight for the machine as Yuuka hugs a wall.
COMBAT: Yuuka Chiba hits Shiki Ichimonji with her Skewer attack.
Well that's a very cryptic teammate indeed, but it's not something wholly unfamiliar to someone who knows the author of this particular story. At Hinata's words, though, Itsuka bows her head once. "Thanks. I hope so." That, coming out of nowhere, has done a lot to lift her spirits on this mission on its own. Kind of funny, that somehow the youngest Itoh would find exactly the right thing to say.
It's Dark O. The screen flickers to life, and Itsuka's eyes dart away from the guard position that she's taken and toward the display, she says only one thing, her eyes staring into his through the screen. "...I'm coming for you, too." She wanted to say something dramatic, something important, but...she's not the one who makes the big speeches. So she'll just have to make sure she tells Shiki enough of the story so that he can insert his own. That's a nice thought.
For once without the crazy adrenaline that keeps her going, Itsuka actually has to think about it to keep up, but she makes it to the big circular room, too. The tank--well of course there's a tank, and as the SEES member stares up at it, she thinks to herself all the strategy she's learned. She does not recognize the /awesome buggy/, but seeing the F-Force 5...! What? "U-wh--" Itsuka just rolsl herself in there, moving to handle the matters at hand. A mission, as Himeru's instructions remind her, and Itsuka darts to the left. Her Evoker slips into her hand, and she places it against her head. She...stops. Aki and Maki are entirely too distracting a moment for her to keep her focus, and--
"No! Don't! Think about what you're saying!" She has /just/ enough experience to know that something terrible is about to happen and--oh no, that's it. That has to be, it--they can't focus unless they take the tank. "Everybody, fire quick!"
Itsuka pulls trigger.. "LORELEI!" And like she hasn't even so much as summoned her Persona once, she comes forth, a little less /angry/ than usual. She sings. It's still a very haunting tune. Her eyes, though, aren't on even Tsukasa for more than a moment. They're on Maki and Aki.
COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara hits Shiki Ichimonji with her Song of Lorelei attack.
COMBAT: The Physical Cost Up status effect has been added to Shiki Ichimonji.
This time, Masumi does not experience the moments of intense fear and instinctive animal terror that he did during the other major battles against the demons. This time, he knew in advance that the fight was happening and had opportunity to prepare his mind before coming -- to meditate, to visualize the upcoming battle, to look deep within himself, and finally to establish his center.
He can still feel the adrenaline slowly pumping through his veins with each moment that passes down the impossibly long stairs, can feel the impending sense that each moment brings them closer to something incredibly dangerous. His pulse and breathing quicken, secondary organs slow down, while lungs and heart reach greater levels of performance to enrich the body with higher levels of oxygen. Slight tremors of anticipation run through him.
And then finally they reach the bottom of the stairs and the craziness begins. Masumi narrows his deep azure eyes as they quickly sweep across the room, taking in the presence of everyone and everything important. The relative position of allies and enemies is noted. The similarities of the F-Five to other people here -- and one person not here that he knows -- is also noted with a hint of interest but for now passed over as an unimportant detail.
Masumi takes a moment to touch Hinata's shoulder gently before the hostilities begin in earnest, giving her a brief but deep look.
And then he briefly turns his attention to the taunting Voice. "You are wrong, Dark O," the silver-haired youth proclaims, voice soft but possessing enough strength to carry over the increasing din. "You are not the hero, for this is not your story. You are but a dream, a fragment of fantasy." Masumi smoothly moves into a swordfighter's stance, focusing his mind on the cool steel in his hands. Letting the galvanized wind move through his soul. "This is /our/ story! /Our/ tale! /Our/ world!"
Twin helixes of light spring up and coalasce behind Masumi into the form of the Great Enchantress, Cerdiwen, and he can feel the world opening up to him. Strength flows through his body. His senses reach further. His mind and thoughts expand. His intuitive sense of his surroundings increases.
Masumi flows forward through the crowd like water, skillfully weaving his way through the other humans and demons which are between him and the tank. Once he gets close, a graceful leap carries him high into the air, and for a moment he seems to simply hang there -- light refracts off the twin kodachis as a gentle wind plays through his long silver hair. And then the moment ends, and he's falling again, drawing both swords smoothly across the surface of the mighty tank.
COMBAT: Masumi Hayashi has activated Ceridwen.
COMBAT: Masumi Hayashi misses Shiki Ichimonji with his Slash Attack - Twin Kodachis attack.
Deidra Doyle sees Minato seems all right wit this, the tank does get a look. "Huh, mecha huh? Wonder if it's got surge protectors." One can already guess where she's going with that line of thought, it could prove to be quite shocking in the long run.
DD's own persona joines Orpheus and the winds start to pick up a bit and assail the tank, wait the F-force Five? Unlike Minato she's been in the TV once and a look of dread forms on her face even as winds assail the tank. Oh this was about to get bad!
COMBAT: Deidra Doyle hits Shiki Ichimonji with her Killer Wind attack.
COMBAT: The Cursed status effect has been added to Shiki Ichimonji.
Corridoor leads to a flight of stairs, leads to noise, and leads to ALL HELL BREAKING LOOSE. But before that: he just gives a quiet nod back to Minagi, expression a little blank. So much clouds his mind, so much getting in the way of really /seeing/ anyone present. It's only a situation, only hostiles, and only friendlies. Some friendlies are more friendly than others, such as Minagi, but right now... he can only think about the reason he's here. The purpose.
So far, he's not had to draw his saber and dispatch anything. There's enough heavy hitting and magic powers flying around - yes, by now regarded with nary a blink - that he's not had to handle anything, himself. It's just as well for him, as his mind is focused on that device.
And judging by the Rebellion HQ, he's sure this device is going to be pretty obvious when he sees it. Otherwise, he has no idea what it looks like.
Regardless, when the commotion kicks in up ahead, everything going ballistic on the front lines, he has to pause and sigh. Darn DPS tanks, clogging up the path. But there's just enough wiggle room to try something.
Hunching low and forward, Blaise suddenly shoots off, weaving between bodies amidst the havoc of brainfairies and.. earth flying around. Once at the front line, he dives off to the side and hurries around the perimeter - catching a baleful glance of Unicorn - and he dashes for the next door. He even hears that infamous line from Maki. But to him, it means nothing.
It, like the tank, is something the group will have to deal with.
As for him?
He has a device to locate.
If anyone was thinking of escaping or trying to avoid the tank, they're out of luck, for metal plates soon slam down to block them! It seems it's either beat the thing or die if they want to get out of there. Luckily for Blaise, the one in front of him misses chopping off his nose by a few inches.
The tank moves through the room, its legs crashing into the swarm of Blue Wolves as if they were nothing. You know, that law that states that the power of a ninja group is inversely proportional to the amount of them? It seems to be in full effect here, judging by the way the machine plows through them. Perhaps Thora made a mistake in bringing a small army here...?
Taiga, Thora's mangaified Oni lookalike, gets over seeing her double quickly enough, refocusing on the fight when it becomes obvious that the two of them are on the same side. "Let's crush its legs!", she barks out in a helpful suggestion. Meanwhile, Hinata's own expy, Haruka, pauses a moment from her battle stance to give a cheerful wave. "Oh, hiii! Are you, like, some kind of time-travelling past version of me?" Tsukasa's axelance leaves a nasty dent in the tank's frame before she skids over close to where Itsuka is standing. She might be distracted, but she does take a moment to smile and quip. "Like two sides of a mirror, aren't we?"
The tank pays no attention to the drama unfolding between Maki and her childlike double. It is a tank! It has no emotions! It will DESTROY YOU ALL! Its moves grow more erratic as a curse mark appears on top of its frame, while Orpheus's slicing through it somehow messes up its sensors something fierce. Meanwhile, Lorelei's song seems to have no immediate effect, but... smoke starts to pour out of a few of its cannons very soon after.
Still, the thing keeps blasting away blindly with cannons on either side! Exactly who it hits isn't exactly important-- it's the gas that comes out of the empty shells they have to worry about!
But with that many in the fray, whatever AI controls it must realize that it won't get far blasting away with small shots. Energy begins concentrating in front of its main cannon. It seems it's set on wiping everything in front of it out at once, charging up for some sort of... ultimate attack!!
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji hits Thora Kobayashi with his Mustard Bomb attack.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji critically hits Minato Arisato with his Mustard Bomb attack.
COMBAT: The Strength Down status effect has been added to Minato Arisato.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji hits Souji Seta with his Mustard Bomb attack.
COMBAT: The Strength Down status effect has been added to Souji Seta.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji hits Deidra Doyle with his Mustard Bomb attack.
COMBAT: The Strength Down status effect has been added to Deidra Doyle.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji misses Hinata Itoh with his Mustard Bomb attack.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji hits Minagi Shimizu with his Mustard Bomb attack.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji hits you with his Mustard Bomb attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 52 points of Strike damage.
COMBAT: The Strength Down status effect has been added.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji critically hits Itsuka Mizuhara with his Mustard Bomb attack.
COMBAT: The Strength Down status effect has been added to Itsuka Mizuhara.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji hits Yuuka Chiba with his Mustard Bomb attack.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji hits Himeru Namikawa with his Mustard Bomb attack.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji misses Masumi Hayashi with his Mustard Bomb attack.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji hits Shiki Ichimonji with his Mind Charge attack.
As usual, after biting into the incredibly hard tank, Garm disappears as personae are wont to do. The second it does, Aki appears. Reflexively, Thora bristles and snarls at the little girl responsible for bringing her to this /hell/. Or, in fact as Thora strongly believed, /created/ this hell. "YOU! You little-!" Rearing up, she charges for the little girl, eyes already starting to show indications of one of her infamous berserker rages.
"GET AWAY FROM HER!" Wait, they're talking?! Thora slows her charge to a stalk, aiming to interpose herself between the two girls, but she never makes that, eventually stopping as Aki addresses her. "...jealous?!"
She was strong, she wouldn't contest that. But not as strong as she thought as was proved to her almost a week ago at the hands of Daigan. And now that Aki mentioned it, true, she did have a lot of friends now. A year ago she had /none/. "Uhhhh." This is really weird. Aki /hated/ her, didn't she?
Maki and Aki argue. Aki claims to be Maki in a way she's heard so many times from Shadows. "That can't be...you're..." Slowly, she pales, several things falling into place.
Thora's thoughts drift back to that tower. "You hurt me, I can't forgive that!" Aki rolls her shoulders back, "So you're gonna have this tower all to yourself--and you'll never leave it until you die!! But I was nice, there's lots of demons in here for you to fight. I hope you're happy!" Ongyo-ki showed up shortly afterwards with help in tow. Contrary to what might be popular belief, Thora didn't win her first fight against him thanks to his ability to make illusions of himself. "...he didn't /kill/ me."
Several days later, Maki-or the Maki of this world, came to rescue her along with many of the other people trapped on the East side. "...but if you two..." Thora puts a hand to her face, recalling Maki's odd reaction to Thora suggesting that this hellish world was Aki's doing. (She hesitates, though, as Thora provides her own idea as to who they should go after. This 'Aki' person. Maki's face pales and she says, "Well... there might be... but are you sure? It's that 'Aki's' fault, not Kandori's?"
Taiga's words are completely lost on Thora right now, the teenager too shocked to really do anything right now as the realization dawns upon her that she's been hurting her friend for a while now.
Since Thora cannot take up the mantle of fighting for justice /for now/ and her gang is pretty much scattered and irritated by being mowed down like so many blades of grass, Taiga steps in. The way she oni just /hurls/ herself upon the spider tank, bashing it with fist after fist, leaves little question to this character's origins. Even the insurmountable rage is there as she chews through the spider tank's legs with her gigantic fists. Not even a close-range cannon to the chest will stop her! It'll hurt like hell though.
COMBAT: Thora Kobayashi hits Shiki Ichimonji with her Gigantic Fist attack.
Izanagi's lightning ends up not striking the tank, but Souji fails to even notice this as his attention is drawn to the appearance of Aki. As she taunts Maki, Souji can't help but remember his numerous encounters in the TV World. As Kandori had explained the night before, Aki was an aspect of Maki, so it really -was- similar. This honestly provided little comfort, and even less as Maki seemed to go into denial. Gritting his teeth, he shouts to her, "No, don't say..."
Too late. Far too late. Idly, he begins to wonder why he even bothers telling people not to at all. "Look out, everyone!" he gives the others fair warning, fully expecting a fight from two sides at this point.
As another glowing card appears before him, Souji channels another side of himself and prepares for the likely imminent STUPID LOOKING BOSS!
COMBAT: Souji Seta hits Souji Seta with his Mind Charge attack.
Her eyes are trying to track what's going on, try and adapt to situational changes, but there's far too many people and fire flung left and right to manage it effectively. Maybe if she wasn't engaged in the fight itself Himeru would have a chance of success, but right now she had to worry about her own safety.
She does catch a head of blond hair running accross the area, and trying to escape further in. "I wager you a curry bread that Cameron-san is a corpse in eight minutes or less, Itsuka-san. If this is the DOOR greeter and he wanders alone...well, I hope there will be enough left to put in a bag. Then again, with a little luck, he will be killed and cremated. Less messy." is the blackhaired girl's calm yet bitter prediction, as that boy's foolishness continued to astound her. And then Aki appears. First time meeting, but again, intel description matched to a T.
"Today's forecast has gone from Light to Medium Wounds to a full blown catastrophy." she says with a sigh, her tone lacking any cheer even if she did try to joke. What's the link between that archer named Maki and Aki? Is it really what was said so plainly? Are they _that_ screwed? Hey, wait...
Mental introspection, which unfortunatly led to Hime being too out of it to notice the gas grenades, causing a familiar choking and cough. Chariot used these too, are they standard tank munitions or something? Doesn't it go against some sort of chemical weapon ban? Jeez. Still, Aki, Maki, Mai. Too similar names, so what Aki states is unpleasantly in the realm of the plausible. "This is about to become annoyingly complicated..." she mumbles. "Hannya, strike at the joints, limit the weapons it can use." she command, pointing the bokken at what weaponry she could visibly see on the tank, the Miko Priestess masked demon rushing forward with claws bared to try and stab at the areas indicated by it's mistress, assuming the armor is thin enough to be pierced.
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa hits Shiki Ichimonji with her Cruel Attack attack.
Its like looking into a mirror. One decked out in yellow and possibly educated at a Nagoya school somewhere. When all is said and done, there will be words, Shiki Ichimonji. "Uh." The ponytailed schoolgirl wrinkles her nose in thought, then abruptly lights up, "I'm you from an alternate universe!" "Whoa! You mean you're me?" "Yep, and you're me too!" "Like wow! My own best friend!" /Words./
And then, Aki. She got in here again? Hinata can feel the pounding on her temples. The increasing tension in the two Maki doesn't help, and then... "Oh god, no don't-" She's not her.
"Oh. Fuck." "... You said a bad worrrrrrrrrrrd!"
Hinata's grabbed her expy's hand and tears her away from what may be impending chaos. It also put them in cover away from the encroaching gas cloud. "Uh, what's, like, that for?" "This is bad." "Bad?" "Real bad." "OK, alternate universe self! We can do this!" Hinata pauses, for a moment at her double's cheery grin, and strikes up one of her own. "Yeah... we can!" "You've got a ghost helper, right?" "... Lots of 'em! I'll help the team, you have Penny Lane drop something on the tank! "Like, right!"
The yellow ranger spreads her arms wide and calls for, "PENNY LANE!" Her more conservatively-clad double stands next to her, evoker at temple. "FORTUNA PRIMIGENIA!" Wait, that's not Skuld! "Hey," Haruka notes, "That's not how you shoot a gun-"
The ghost helper, who is just as bright and perky as her name implies, sends a gust of wind towards the mustard gas clouds and if it rattles the tank, all the better. Fortuna, the woman with the wagon wheel abs, spreads her own arms wide and blesses the F-Forve Five plus their Three doubles with the blessings of fortune and the wind as well!
COMBAT: Hinata Itoh hits Shiki Ichimonji with her Garu attack.
COMBAT: Hinata Itoh hits Thora Kobayashi with her Masukukaja attack.
COMBAT: Hinata Itoh hits Hinata Itoh with her Masukukaja attack.
COMBAT: Hinata Itoh hits Itsuka Mizuhara with her Masukukaja attack.
The cannons hit Minagi, which send her crashing into the wall and bouncing off. This was actually the third time she had been hit directly by an attack. Rolling to the ground, Minagi lays there for a moment, groaning a little. How many times has this been?! For a moment, she almost wished for her power back, the shadow's strength...
But she growled, throwing off the moment of weakness.
"I can do this without that power." she mutters...
She only her /bear/ fists! She looks at Blaise, concerned, but then back on the monster tank with the various...dark versions of her firends...or in Thora's case, people she's not actively punching due to having a COMPLICATED PAST with them...
The various groupings remind her that she's just a very small fish in a bigger pond. Whatever...
She worked best alone!
No, she really didn't want to be alone...
She punches the tank.
COMBAT: Minagi Shimizu misses Shiki Ichimonji with her Strike Attack - Fists attack.
..."I think I just broke my hand."
The magic works are spoke.
And nothing happens. Aki doesn't turn into some sort of super shadow monster, Maki doesn't pass out for no readily apparent or explained reason, the boss battle music doesn't change at all. The feeling of the place doesn't suddenly become oppressive, dark, spooky, or even foggy.
"Yeah," Aki nods, "I know, I'm just messing with you. YOU would never feel any bad thoughts about your friends, not in any REAL way. YOU aren't allowed to think like that. You're supposed to be the perfect one. Any flaws you have are just the flaws of perception. How is it like, being the one that is loved, the one that everybody likes? The one who makes friends, the one people accept even while knowing you're nothing but a facade."
'"No, actually, this isn't your world at all." Aki chides Masumi. "This is not even Mai's world, or mine. It's Maki's world--" She laughs a little, "But I know you didn't even mean that shit, you were just saying something you got off some playshit console game. That's what all you losers think of just because you're a little more powerful than someone else, that you get to be the heroes of some sort of game. Dumbasses."
She turns back to the stunned Maki(?). "You're not Maki. You can reject me all you want it doesn't mean a thing. The True Maki knows better." Aki smiles. "Even though she doesn't know better. She rejects you just as much as she rejects me." She lets out another wild laugh, "The truth is, 'Maki', you're NOTHING but a Shadow! Just! Like! Me!! One more piece of one psycho bitch."
She looks to Thora and adds, "I thought you would appreeciate me. We're both such dicks--but no, you had to hit me, you rejected me just like all the others. I loooove you so much, but I hate you! You don't return it at all!!"
"It..." Maki says, "But... this my world..."
"Come off it, this world? It's all in Maki's head. You're just another figment of her messed up imagination. I'm more like Maki than you ever will be, even if she doesn't admit it. She can't face the truth, so she created you."
Maki stares ahead for a moment, and then runs away--after Blaise? No, she's heading deeper into Rebellion HQ towards the DVA System. But something unexpected happens.
Blaise bounces off an invisible wall. And then Maki ALSO bounces off that invisible wall.
"The DVA System belongs to Daddy. I'll let you see the truth, yoou faker, right after we kill them all..."
Deidra Doyle had no plans to she was planning to deal with the tank first, she sees the Blue Wolves going in and Thora's in there somewhere too. The look alikes do get a raise eyebrow but there's the possiblity of the super shadow and the tank. "Minato! We may have a problem more than just the tank." She gets cut off before she can finish as here comes the mustard bomb, she hack,s she coughs she sputters and wonders how much her life might be shortend by such things. She summons her person again and this time both she and it attempt to strike a rather sexy pose at the tank and look flying hearts!
COMBAT: Deidra Doyle hits Shiki Ichimonji with her Marin Karin attack.
Before Fumiya can really react to Maki and Aki's spat, the Spider Tank decides to blast the party with a healthy dose of pain.
Nothing like the pain caused by being bombed and thrown around like a rag-doll to sharpen one's senses.
It takes Fumiya a few moments to get to his feet, the events of the past week leaving him more exhausted than usual. The first thing he does when he stands back up is grab his shotgun. Then he leans on a wall, to steady himself. Right now he's not even taking in what's going on around him. Maki and Aki are talking. Other people are talking. Stuff is happening. He's just too tired to really piece it all together. So he'll do the one thing he knows he probably SHOULD do at this point.
Shoot the tank. Shoot if for massive damage.
Feeling especially weakened after the Mustard Bomb, Fumiya opts to fall back on Murugan's more mystical abilities, and summons his Persona to fry the tank. Tanks are probably flammable, right?
COMBAT: You hit Shiki Ichimonji with your Agilao attack.
Yuuka flinches. She sees and feels that baleful look Blaise levels at her persona, and she looks down, eyes dark. Such is that it gets her caught by a Mustard Ball, and the girl staggers back, hitting the wall hard with a grunt. "Ow!" She cries out, teeth gritting. She looks around the room, eyes settling on poor Itsuka who already looks hurt, and her double.
"Unicorn!" She cries out. "Help Mizuhara-san!" GReen light falls around the other girl, Unicorn flickering in and out of view in a few seconds. "Wait... she's going for the DVA!" Yuuka says, pointing at Aki.
Or so Yuuka guesses.
COMBAT: Yuuka Chiba hits Itsuka Mizuhara with her Dia attack.
At least she was right about needing to focus on the tank, since the room's just closed off. At Tsukasa's quip, however, Itsuka slides her eyes that way. "...R-right." Two sides of a mirror. Itsuka kind of doesn't trust this, really, isn't sure how it's all going to go. But on the other hand, Tsukasa is helping, and--okay okay that's something to think about another time. Right now, she has Himeru's prediction to go on, crossed against their conversation yesterday, and uh, secretly she doesn't want to think too hard about what that tank could do to people.
Meanwhile, Tsukasa is a lot less hesitant, leaping back down from her strike to laugh. "You've got quite the friend, there." "Y-yeah she's pretty great. ...Formation 2?" "On it. You just let me handle the heavy stuff." But in the middle of falling into that formation, Itsuka gets caught in the sudden blast--Tsukasa was already leaping around behind, but the SEES member is caught in that burning gas, hit full-force. It's going to be a minute before she can move where she hits the ground, too. But while she's there...
Flaws of perception...the one who's loved. After a few coughs, she calls out to Aki, "I don't hate you!" It's important. It's the same reason she doesn't hate Dark O...she thinks. Maybe. But Aki said no one would accept her, and Itsuka, with what Hinata has done for her lately, and her changed perspective, can't abide that. And maybe...maybe if she understands them, she can get Shiki help, too.
Meanwhile, Tsukasa is staring down at the group with a frown, just an instant, as she rushes the tank's main gun. "We'll wash you away!" And her own Ghost Helper shows up, showering the tank down with...well, exactly what it sounds like. It's kind of a theme?
Itsuka, instead, finds herself able to focus after all, Yuuka--/Yuuka/--healing her with a flash of energy. "T-thanks!" And then she makes her own attack, a vortex of red energy coming out of the once-again-appearing Lorelei's outstretched hand. 'Formation 2', it seems, mostly means Itsuka staying in the back and Tsukasa getting in the way.
COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara hits Shiki Ichimonji with her Maraqua attack.
COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara hits Shiki Ichimonji with her Spirit Drain attack.
COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara drains life from Shiki Ichimonji with her Spirit Drain attack.
A violent shower of sparks erupts as Masumi's blades fail to find purchase or weak points in the thick metal plates of the spider-tank, and he lands back to the ground in a neat three-point crouch. He immediately thrusts himself backwards before he can be impaled by one of the tank's massive legs, silver hair whipping against the side of his face.
A dim but visible supernatural light shines from behind Masumi's azure eyes as they move quickly across the tank's construction. He does not possess a fraction of the brute force which some of the others here possess, and it is only through choosing his movements carefully that he will be able to damage the machine at all.
He becomes vaguely cognizant during this time of the alteraction between Maki and Aki, but it remains at the edge of his perception. He does not have the skill to focus like he needs on this one fight while also totally following everything around him; he's just not that good yet.
Focus, he tells himself mentally. Circulate the energies through your body. Feel the cool, implacable wind of the steel move through you mind and soul. Become one with your swords. For they are not two instruments which you utilize. They are a single extension of the self. Let mind and body and soul and sword to flow together and become one.
The cannon starts firing shells everywhere!
Masumi slides a half-step forward and bats the first one headed in his direction away, then ducks down underneath a second to allow it to sail over his head. A third is also sent flying away. Shell after shell is either avoided or deflected away, and Masumi's eyes take on a look reminiscant of someone in a trance. He moves from each move to the next with perfect grace, sword and wielder becoming a single entity.
When gas starts pouring out of the containers, he draws both swords upwards then smoothly outwards as if conducting a symphony. Water cascades up from Ceridwen's mysterious cauldron and surrounds the youth, churning around him in a wall of water that entirely blocks out the gas until it has dissipated through the room sufficient to no longer be a threat.
Masumi flows forward once again, eyes locked at the knee joint of one of the tank's many legs. Three strokes are delivered in quick succession to that single point, trying to concentrate damage at a weak point.
COMBAT: Masumi Hayashi hits Shiki Ichimonji with his Slash Attack - Twin Kodachis attack.
Gas! Minato feels like he's seen this gas before, which is probably because /he has/. He's encountered this kind of chemical warfare in the past at least twice, maybe three times. He gives Deidra a quizzical look when she mentions a problem--and them promptly gets struck with the canister and gassed.
Minato rolls away from the cloud, coughing as he tries to get out of it. He and Orpheus both waver for a second. He points again, and the Persona turns, exhaling a foul purplish smoke to add to the mix of toxins. This one clings and hovers around the Morph-R Buggy, to eat away at it... and then sweeping towards Aki, the one he is pretty sure is evil, pouring across the battle like a burning cloud.
Minato, meanwhile, wonders what this 'DVA' thing is. Nobody tells him anything.
COMBAT: Minato Arisato hits Maki Sonomura with his Virus Breath attack.
COMBAT: The Damage Over Time status effect has been added to Maki Sonomura.
COMBAT: Minato Arisato misses Shiki Ichimonji with his Virus Breath attack.
The tank keeps getting blasted and hit from all directions, but it just keeps going and going and going! There's something /eating/ away at its armor now, too, but even as the sweet evil paint job peels off to reveal a definitely Terminator-like skeleton, it won't stop!
Aki tries to leave the room the same way Blaise went, but she obviously can't make it out very far! The loudspeakers blare up again with Dark O's mocking voice. "Bahahaha! Okay, that was hilarious. Good job, guys. Hey, girl? Aki's a friend of mine and all, but this is my place, now. If you're really nice maybe I'll let you in, but tonight, why not let me have my fun? Here, have some Robo-Soldiers. They're on the house."
And soon, a dozen cyborg soldiers appears to surround the little girl in black and her unwitting gaijin associate. Their arms promptly turn into machineguns, which aim towards the duo, aiming to riddle them full of holes. It probably won't be a huge problem for Maki, but Blaise, however... is so very fleshy and powerless, isn't he?
Meanwhile, Minagi gets very up-close and tries something... incredibly reckless by punching the tank-- something that worked out perfectly well just last week, but this time? She only hits metal, with the results you'd normally expect. Really, what was she thinking? You can't punch out a tank! One of its ocular sensors focuses on her, and one of its eight legs simply lashes out towards the girl while she's airborne, dividing into smaller sections so as to pin her down to the ground better. She might get crushed to death in a matter of seconds if no one does anything!
But while it's doing this, the tank finally unloads what it had been preparing for all the time. The topmost part of it swivels around a 360 degree angle, spinning faster and faster, until a massive laser beam starts coming out, leaving huge scorch marks into the walls, and attempting to sweep down all involved if they don't get down! Really, the only ones not in its range are Minagi, Blaise, Aki and Maki. How convenient!
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji misses Thora Kobayashi with his Megidola attack.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji misses Minato Arisato with his Megidola attack.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji misses Souji Seta with his Megidola attack.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji hits Deidra Doyle with his Megidola attack.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji hits Hinata Itoh with his Megidola attack.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji hits you with his Megidola attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 47 points of Almighty damage.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji misses Itsuka Mizuhara with his Megidola attack.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji hits Yuuka Chiba with his Megidola attack.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji hits Himeru Namikawa with his Megidola attack.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji misses Masumi Hayashi with his Megidola attack.
"But you...you guys don't have..." the yellow eyes! THE YELLOW EYES! Shadows always had the yellow eyes! Thora stares on in horror. Well, at least Aki didn't turn into a monster, though arguably, she didn't need to /turn into/ anything.
Thora lets out a frustrated noise and steps up to loom over Aki. "Look, I'm sorry I hit /you/, but I had to defend my friend's stuff." Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. "And if you want us to accept you, how about you try not leaving us to struggle for our survival in some fucking desolate wasteland you can change at your whims?!"
Angrily, she whips around, gesturing at all those around her, her half-cloak flaring as she does so. "See all these people?! I want them to accept me too! And I have to /work/ at it because I know they could drop my ass in a second because I /am/ a dick! Even if you accept your own Shadow it doesn't mean that everyone else is gonna either." Thora points at Aki. "It takes effort."
Eventually, though, Thora deflates a little. "Ugh." She grouses. "You're a part of her, I can't attack you."
Thora turns and runs now, quickly making to join her demonic doppelganger in the fight. What's worse than one Thora? Two Thoras!
Taiga DIVE ROLLS out of the way of nuclear fire (a move that should look familiar to Aki) and quickly pulls herself up to a standing position right next to Thora. Hilariously, Taiga's actually a good foot taller than Thora. "Glad you could finally join in." The oni sotto voces. Thora cracks her knuckles.
"I go right, you go left?" Thora suggests, lifting her weapon. Taiga clanks her pole against it, nodding, and the two suddenly split, running off in opposite directions. Howling like the demons they are, they both close in from opposite sides of the tank, poles facing forwards, with the intention of double skewering the evil spider walker.
COMBAT: Thora Kobayashi hits Shiki Ichimonji with her Primal Force attack.
found that a bit hard to believe. All of these Maki's were just Shadows, parts of another Maki. That was why Aki didn't transform. As Maki rejected all of them, they all in turn rejected each other. "I get it now," he says sternly to the two bickering Maki's, "neither of you is the real Maki." This knowledge in mind, he attempts to offer the best advice he can, "You are all parts of a whole. Maki, you have to accept that this Aki is you, or if not that, then at least that it COULD be you!" Perhaps the reason Aki is the strongest of the three is because she seems to understand this.
A part that loved Kandori, a part that hated him, and a part that feared him. Was Kandori really at the center of all of this? One man, even one as wicked and abusive as he was, could not have possibly done all this fragmentation to her mind. Speaking of Kandori, The SEBEC CEO's advice from that night was 2 for 3 right now, so he frowns as others begin to attack the barrier, "Focus on the tank for now! The DVA can wait!" All parts of Maki neeeded to avoid that for the time being; Souji wasn't about to tell his allies he got that information from a man they all despised, but he decides to err on the side of caution for the time being.
Given that Souji was standing fairly close to the Maki's as the tank Unleashes it's load, manuevering out of the way isn't a grand feat. A card appears once more, and he shouts, "Persona!" With his call, Wisps not unlike the ones the group had encountered earlier appear and try to ignite the tank in a magical blaze.
COMBAT: Souji Seta misses Shiki Ichimonji with his Agilao attack.
'BONK!: An Adventure in Forcefield Ramming' will be written if Blaise survives Mikage-cho.
Pushing ahead of the crowd with the intention to bring an end to the madness while the Big Evils are distracted might be a good idea, were it not for two things: a sliding door, and more immediately, the advent of a forcefield. Blaise is repelled back instantly, landing him with a heavy, humiliatingly graceless THUD on his back.
Slightly dazed, he pushes himself to a seated position and gives his head a quick shake, clearing the cobwebs. But the sight he comes-to with is rather foreboding. His head turns slowly, eyes coming into focus on a series of robotic soldiers toting machineguns. And as he looks on, he spies a girl that looks familiar, if even after one meeting. Maki. The one everyone is talking about. It /was/ the same girl. And she's pivotal to their survival... and from what he's uncovered, she seems innocent of what's going on.
In an instant, his right hand lifts to retrieve the handle secured over his shoulder. Kipping up to his feet, he hits the switch!
Sparks. Only sparks.
Blaise stares dumbfounded at the useless object. Souji had mentioned that it might not work, but... but he didn't listen. He relied on it too heavily, and now... everything's about to end.
The innocent girl beside him...
...His own life...
All about to be lost. He's... failed?
Hands tremble, then clench down into a white-knuckled grip around the now-useless handle. What escapes the American is a primal sound, frustrated, enraged.
Those sensitive to resonance will feel a sudden, strong, BRIGHT surge.
An image leaps up from behind Blaise - humanoid, armored in blue with flowing cape. Icy blue eyes, dark hair, smoothly chiselled facial features, gripping a long, elegant sword in its hand. Without a word, the tall figure dashes forward with a flourish of his cape, and the long sword sweeps out in a broad arc against the robotic assailants, meant to slash several of them - quite possibly apart at the halves.
Yes, Itsuka, /Yuuka/ healed you. Yuuka struggles to hold it for the brief seconds that wrap aroudn the other member of SEES. "Don't worry about it, Mizuhara-san!" Yuuka yells to her friend, even as she tries to dodge the laser, but ends up tripping over her own bo staff. Taking the laser, she stumbles onto her face, jumping up to her feet and then around the people in fornt of her, aiming to get closer.
"Unico-" Yuuka stops mid-go, skidding to a stop, staring BLANKLY at Blaise and the figure behind him.
"... orn ... " The Persona appears, looking the same way as Yuuka for a few moments, even as rays of pure light and energy go for the mechanical beings. Yuuka keeps /staring/.
Because goddamnit, when someone you love looks like they just Personafied, you STARE.
COMBAT: Yuuka Chiba hits Shiki Ichimonji with her Hama attack.
And now for some self important cut scening!
Minagi should have known that punching a goddamn tank was a bad idea...they must have made it stronger, due to the last one. Or she just got real lucky.
The tank lands on her, threatening to crush her beneath it's bulk...she, even now, could feel the weight upon her. Pinned between it and the wall...
Minagi could ony look in horror, her time apparently, ran out.
She didn't cry, she didn't sob...no, she did. She had just gotten this new life, and here it was, the grim reaper as a tank. She never thought a tank would kill her, especially after...well...
Minagi really hates tanks, she thinks.
And then there was darkness. However, not that kinda final darkness... Minagi was floating somewhere, familar yet unfamiliar at the same time. Her mind was not always a fun place for her to be in, however, what she saw now, instead of the hollow forest...or the lines between shadow and human, was a forest in the dead of winter. A moon bigger and brighter than any other was above her head. Landing on the snow, she looked around her, not even feeling cold. Was this a dream?
Before her lay a wolf. Beautiful and bigger than any she had seen before...but at the same time familar.
The beast...in her...
Her hands reached out, and the wolf did not bite her, did not strike out at her. Infact, it was affectionate towards her. It's eyes, at first glowing yellow, fade to the color that a normal wolf's eyes should be.
Thou art I...and I art thou...
However, what everyone back in the battle saw...
Minagi's hands grip the bottom of the tank suddenly. A growling coming from her lips. She didn't know how, she didn't know WHY...
"PERSONA!" she yelled out, as a large wolf appeared above her head...
And she let out a hellish roar.
COMBAT: Minagi Shimizu hits Shiki Ichimonji with her Wolf's Howl attack.
Both Haruka and Hinata stare as... nothing happens. "... I thought this was, like, bad?" "Shhh," the non-superhero of the pair waves off. If there is no Shadow, then.... they're both Shadows. They're all Shadows. Three Shadows, one Maki. If this was a good revelation, it doesn't reflect in the teenager's eyes. Hina appears rather guilty at the moment.
But after Itsuka and Thora, then comes the last of the Other F-Force Five to regard the little child. "I don't hate you either, Aki," she admits with a glance to Thora, and a flash of a smile. She totally accepts the Oni, 'cause she's awesomely metal. "I'm sorry I called you a little brat. I'd... I'd accept you, but that's not going to help. I'll do what I can to-"
"Alternate universe me, look out!" She had been too busy playing her usual helpful self to realize that the turret had risen up. She makes for a dive, but, the blast catches her on the shoulder and sends Hina skittering across the floor. "AHHH!" There's a bad smell, mostly smoldering cotton or so she hopes. But its only temporary, she has to get up, she has to save...
Souji gets a rigid stare. "The DVA can wait!? Souji, my friend's in there-" The hell with the pain and everything. As Haruka merrily summons Penny Lane to try setting the tank on fire, Hinata slams her evoker next to her head. "SKU-"
The veiled valkyrie arrives, sword and shield nary in hand for its with her bare mail fist that she slams into the barrier protecting the door. But that's not important now.
What is important is the sudden onrush of feelings, sights, and sounds rushing into the shocked teenager. "Blaise...? Minagi...?"
COMBAT: Hinata Itoh hits Shiki Ichimonji with her Agi attack.
COMBAT: Hinata Itoh hits Maki Sonomura with her Sonic Punch attack.
That's not what a normal tank can do. "Ah shi-"
Himeru doesn't even get to finish cursing aloud that the lasers begin tearing the place apart. She can't figure out the pattern before she's scorched, it's a little too late for better or worse. "Ghh!" is the choked sound in her throat as she tried to move and avoid it to no avail, the burn sensation soaring on her abdomen and cutting a hole through her jacket and tanktop. The burning sensation and trying to focus on the tank however robs her on some of the subtler things being traded by Aki and Maki, she likely would not have gotten all the little details anyway.
The tank was the primary focus for the time being but unfortunatly, the enemy is mechanical and she doesn't know if it has a pilot or if it's even 'alive' so Hime's only trick to regain some strength is denied from the start. Limited resources would make this bothersome, but at the same time there's something about the tank's design and structure that strike her mind as a potential weakness, causing the blackhaired girl to smirk.
"Itsuka..." she calls out with a slight rasp in her voice, damned Mustard Gas. "Spider. Belly. No logic to be heavily armored." she advises with some difficulty, rushing forward with her own bokken held tightly in both hands, Hannya following right behind. She rushes for the rear and runs beneath the assault tank. She sees Pinagi pinned by legs, ignores it for the time being, this was not a time for sentimentality in a situation of kill or be killed. It likely has a countermeasure for this sort of approach too, underbelly weaponry, time won't be on her side.
Blood flows heavier from her gashed hand, the weapon entirely covered by the crimson liquid...no, not crimson. The Persona's hand is over Himeru's own, the blood turning as dark as the blackest night. "Embrace annihilation." is stated aloud as a prayer, before the wooden blade is thrusted upward. Should the armor buckle under the raw unnatural piercing force imbued in the blade's tip, the entire dark energy and blood would then be shot inside of the tank, an injection of chaotic and destructive magic.
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa hits Shiki Ichimonji with her Vile Assault attack.
There's that faint sense again. Barely more than a whisper in a room full of shouts, but undeniably there. That feeling of a massive energy building, shifting and changing the flow of power in the area. Of a will to creation -- and to destruction.
Masumi once more leaps backwards, this time coming to a brief stop as he moves through a smooth series of martial forms. Readying himself and circulating the energy through his own body; opening his mind to a deeper connection with his own Persona and with the twin blades in his hand. Prepared for whatever happens next.
He can feel his body moving a half-second after the massive laser beam explodes out, chaining smoothly from stillness to motion without even conscious thought. Body low the ground, he runs /just/ ahead of the beam, building up speed and momentum with each passing moment. But eventually he's going to run out of space --
Masumi keeps running as he approaches one of the room's walls. Power focuses in his legs as he draws upon the supernatural power of Persona, and he springs upwards, hits the wall several yards upwards, then springs off in a tight flip that carries him straight over the laser beam as it continues its circular sweep.
As he hits the floor again, he is suddenly hit with the feeling of an incredible surge of Resonance that wasn't there before, and his eyes move in that direction. A small smile toys briefly at the edge of his lips as Blaise finally awakens his Persona. Somehow, Masumi finds he's not entirely surprised that he would. And then a second surge as Minagi awakens hers. He finds himself at once amazed and impressed at both displays.
But then his attention is forced back to the fight. The silver-haired youth seems to all but glide across the ground as he approaches the tank once more. The sensation of the galvinating wind grows stronger within his mind. The flowing connection of wielder and sword becomes even more seamless. Expanding. Growing. Becoming greater, deeper.
The Wind and the Sword. They are a part of him. Clarity. Thought. Reason. They have always been a part of him.
Cerdiwen vanishes back into Masumi's psyche as something new awakens -- though it is not nearly as profound or dramatic or attention-getting as for Minagi and Blaise -- winds whipping up around him as one quarter of the Ying-Yang symbol appears behind him. The youth breathes in deeply as he feels the cool wind of Clarity blow through him, and then takes a half-step forward and lashes out twice with his kodachis. Twin crescents of wind take shape and tear across the distance between himself and the tank.
COMBAT: Masumi Hayashi hits Shiki Ichimonji with his Killer Wind attack.
Self important cutscening is always importa--oh shit, Blaise and Minagi oh shit.
Aki seems about ready to taunt the crestfallen Maki when Thora pipes in with, well, a lecture, some advice, and of all things an apology. Aki doesn't seem ready to believe entirely, she is kind of stunned that Thora even... apologized...to her. She didn't give two shits before, what's going on? The answer is not immediate to her. She blinks at Thora for a few moments. She quails a little as Thora looms over her--she finds Thora scary. She has some weaknesses, even as a Goddess, even if she could flatten Thora--the aura of unbeatability stricken into Maki's own core? It's inside of Aki. "But why... why isn't the--"
Minato attacks. Aki is almost graceful as the assault pierces her defenses, choking her up. It is SUPER EFFECTIVE and Aki tumbles down into a crouch. The barrier flickers briefly before resolidifying. "Wh--" She grunts. "You can't be telling the truth--" She says slowly. "You didn't care before, until you knew I was a part of Maki..." She shakes her head, "I know you've been talking to Mai. I bet you think she's the nice one, and--"
She wipes at her eyes, "It doesn't matter--even if it's true, SHE won't accept me, so I have to rely on Kandori. You're his enemies anyway, so it doesn't matter."
She looks to Minato, raises her hand and--
THUNK! An arrow slams into Aki's leg. Maki has gotten back up.
"That... I don't know if I'm a part of Maki or what." She says, looking to Souji. "But how the hell can someone accept her as a part of them?! It's--" She stammers, "It means..."
Aki rips the arrow out, "Yeah, it's not Kandori's fault at all! It's ours!"
"No, he--he-- he is a bad person..."
"It doesn't matter," Aki repeats, flinging the arrow back and catching 'Maki' in the arm. "This is our world. Everybody we brought in, was one of us. Even the Harem Queen."
"That means..." Maki's eyes widen, "No, I don't believe you! Stop lying!"
COMBAT: Maki Sonomura hits Maki Sonomura with her Pierce Attack - Bow Shot attack.
COMBAT: Maki Sonomura hits Maki Sonomura with her Pierce Attack - Bow Shot attack.
Deidra Doyle watches out of the corner of her eye as Minagi awakens a persona. There's not much time to think as there comes a masie burst of power she's not got a chance to evade the horrible barrage of power. She's down from the force of the hit but she's not saying down for long. She uses her staff to get back to her feet and then comes her persona once more.
Lighting arcs from her persona' fingers tips right for the tank and she hopes to heaven they can bring down the tank then deal with the possible shadow vs self battle that seems to be going on...
COMBAT: Deidra Doyle misses Shiki Ichimonji with her Zionga attack.
Okay, so is this a grand manga adventure or not? It probably isn't anymore, not with the way punching tanks has stopped working and the whole place is just...different.
On the other hand, there are lasers coming out and about, and Itsuka is narrowly missed by the torrent, thanks to the fact that she was hiding back here in formation. And then there are.../more personas/ and people are talking about the DVA and--
"Hinata-chan! We'll get him out, but first we have to get through this tank! We're no good to him dead!" She does her best to sound like she knows what she's doing, because her friends are having some problems here. She gives one look to Minagi and Blaise, in what seems to be their big moment, and...that's a good thing. Right? ...Isn't it? Meanwhile, though, Himeru gives her a plan, and Itsuka shakes her head. "You go for it. I've got your back." Tsukasa, however... "I'm on it, Other-me. ...You know, I feel like I used to be more like you for some reason." Because retcons /never happen/ in shounen manga! Tsukasa charges forward, while Itsuka brings forth another presence in her mind, a warrior...
Her Yaksini answers the call, bestowing on Himeru a wave of healing energy, even as the F-Force 5 member slashes out at the bottom of the tank.
She um. She really wishes she could say something more to Aki and Maki, beyond just watching. She wants to help, but...what do you even /do/ in a situation like that? Itsuka speaks up anyway, "That's not true, Aki! You helped me, when I asked!" And to Maki....Uh...she can't think that quickly without second-guessing herself.
COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara hits Himeru Namikawa with her Diarama attack.
COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara misses Shiki Ichimonji with her Slash Attack - Axe
The death laser that sweeps out is something slightly /less/ familiar. Orpheus vanishes and Minato hits the floor, laying flat on his stomach. The laser singes the raised parts of his armor, but doesn't fry him, which is really the important part. He stares at the tank through the gas, still watery-eyed and still feeling terrible because of it but not entirely out of it this time. He turns his head and sees the silhouette of Aki raising a hand in his direction.
Of course, the most sensible response to this is to shoot yourself in the head before they can blast you.
Momentarily distracted by the sudden bowshot and then the flashes of suddenly new Resonance rumbling through him, Minato looks around dazedly as new Personae manifest and strike. He has a feeling he knows whose they are, but he's having a hard time thinking. What would Captain R and the Secret Rebellion do?!
"Rrrrgh!!" Minato growls in frustration and fury, triggering his Evoker. There is a flash of blue and a swirl of light, coalescing into a bright point in the air and then... poofing?
From a puff of smoke comes something a foot tall, adorable and catlike. Upon closer inspection, it is a Pixie wearing a bunch of pink, wearing a pair of cat ears, a tail with a bell in it, and paw-gloves. The Pixie goes, "Nyu!" because it, of course, /has/ to. Minato can't just summon a Pixie and /not/ have it be quirky in some way, ohhhh no.
"Don't worry, leader," Pixie chimes down at Minato, raising a hand in a facsimile of a salute and winking adorably (complete with little <3, "Ghost Helper Nyu Mary-Jane is on the job!"
Minato stares upward in continued disbelief.
"You, who would carry people for justice and now serve /evil/," says the Pixi--er, 'Ghost Helper Nyu Mary-Jane', pointing at the Buggy, "and you, who would make someone sooooooo saaaad," she says, twirling to point another diminuitive finger at Aki. A pink sphere flickers and glows at the end of her fingers. "Feel the power..." She looks awfully determined. The bell on the tail chimes.
"...of /TRUUUUE LOOOOOVE/!"
SUDDENLY, PINK DEATH BEAM.
Minato facepalms. Except he uses the floor instead of a hand.
COMBAT: Minato Arisato hits Maki Sonomura with his Megidola attack.
COMBAT: Minato Arisato misses Shiki Ichimonji with his Megidola attack.
The robot soldiers assaulting Blaise and Maki are made quick work of, not only by Yuuka's assault but also the new appearance of a knight! The loudspeakers are still on, but don't have a ton to say about this new development. "Tch." Dark O is audibly annoyed at what he probably sees to be an anticlimax.
Meanwhile, Thora and Taiga's combined assault strikes true, piercing through the tank's metallic armor even more without allowing its turrets to keep up. Underneath, the leg that was holding down Minagi is deeply rattled by the wolf's heaven-shaking roar, and soon simply /snaps/ right off, freeing the girl. As this happens, Himeru's little gambit, with Tsukasa's help, pays off greatly: The less-protected tank's underbelly is sliced through, sending chunks of metal flying all around the girl, while dark energy pours forth, gushing into the machine and piercing even through the top of it.
...Luckily, no, there is no pilot.
The tank is quite a sorry sight, now. Chunks of armor are falling off, many cannons are just not moving anymore, and two or three of the legs are just limply hanging off, providing no support. But still, it CARRIES ON, blasting away wherever it can find, aiming for two people in particular... Maybe it's... testing them somehow?!
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji hits Blaise Cameron with his Bufudyne attack.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji hits Minagi Shimizu with his Agidyne attack.
Panting, dumbstruck, dazed, and confused at what just manifested, Blaise simply wobbles on his feet. The robots are then finished off by a wash of white light, though that by itself isn't enough to snap him out of his state.
What works, however, is ice. "Gg-ack!" Blown down to hands and knees from the hit, feeling a very real pain from the shot, Blaise shudders a little. The skin over his ribs where he was struck is a little discolored, reddened from the hyper-chilled energy.
But it brings him back to the here and now.
Head snaps over, blue-gray eyes burning. He pushes himself back up to his full height, he attempts to focus.
The tank is the enemy. The target. It must be destroyed quickly, dispatched.
His fists clench, and he channels his concentration into a single word: "PERSONA!"
The blue-clad knight emerges again, brandishing the sword in both hands. The weapon is chambered quickly before his chest before he rushes forward, the weapon drawing back.. then aiming to slash deeply, heavily across the tank's chassis.
COMBAT: Blaise Cameron hits Shiki Ichimonji with his Brave Blade attack.
COMBAT: Shiki Ichimonji has been knocked out!
"I haven't even met Mai!" Thora calls back. Jeeze, how many pieces of this girl were out there? She knew that the Maki here wasn't the /real/ Maki but...she was still -Maki-, and she still came and saved her. Even though Maki was really saving Thora from a part of herself...? Ultimately, she's actually just satisfied with the fact that were Thora in trouble, she'd come for her. "Too confusing in a fight." Thora concludes and falls back on punching the thing trying to kill her. She hoped at least someone would intervene in the Maki fight-this situation was far more complicated than the standard TV dungeon fight.
Two new scents immediately hit her though given the situation, she doesn't have the opportunity to go check who they belonged to. One of them smelled vaguely dog-like though-and heck, due to her position, she even does catch a glimpse of the persona. More importantly, she lifts her head, making eye contact with Taiga. There are no words, just mutual nods of understanding.
Both toss their weapons aside, which clatter noisily on the ground. Twin roars pierce the air and oni and human lay their hands upon the barely moving machine, grasping it tightly, then pulling.
Like a couple of kids pulling at a wishbone, Thora and Taiga aim to tear this spider tank in two.
Minagi falls to the ground, rolling and jumping away from the monster.
She felt this power before...
She looks at her hands...it felt just like..
She flashbacks to the various scenes of her life. She starts to tremble, but looks up. It was not controlling her...it wasn't forcing her or forcing it's way out...
Her moment of clarity and understanding is ruined by the massive fire leveled at her. Licking her wounds a moment, Minagi starts to get back up, to only see the tank cut in half.
She looks towards the source, only to find Blaise with his own source of power. Her head shook, so he found what he wanted. Nodding, she tried to figure out what was going on now. The power in her wanted to be used, demanded to be used, but Minagi wasn't about to let it go out of control now. She hadn't gotten this far to lose it now.
"Blaise, are you alright?"
Hey, Yuuka recognizes that ice attack - it's an upgrade of what her own Persona can do! Except - it's being used on Blaise. And this does not /please/ Yuuka. "Keep. Your. Mechanical. Paws. Off. Blaise." She growls, every word dark. There's a flare as Unicorn disappears, body shimmering.
Except Blaise gets there first. Her eyes go wide. "Damn." She breathes. Then she's dashing around the spider tank thing and straight for her Knight In Shining Armor(quite literally, shut up, I had too.)
Blaise, watch out, you are about to be tackled.
"You did it!" She yelps. "Blaise blaise blaise! You did it you did it you did it!" Why does Yuuka sound like she's pulling a Hinata? Because she is. She actually sounds /happy/ for once since she entered Mikage-Cho, not just a bright cheerfulness at things coming. Give her a minute folks, she's trying to deal with her emotions here.
Aaaaand the tank is sliced apart by Blaise's new mighty blade (which is /almost as good/ as a lightsaber, take it from a Brave Blade user), then torn in half by the twin onis. Smoke pours out of both portions of the machine, with electronic components big and small gushing out of the machine. None of its parts are moving now. It's dead, Jim.
The blank walls suddenly find themselves illuminated with the face of Dark O. Several of them, in fact! The entire room is surrounded by screens displaying him, with his face twisted in rage. "N-no!! That... that's impossible! You shouldn't have been able to /win/! The power should--" He pauses, suddenly seems to calm down and squints. "Oooooh, so /that's/ what's going on, isn't it." He looks at something offscreen, before the visual display flickers off once more, leaving the intact walls pristine white again. Wait, Dark O! Don't leave everyone hanging like this! Sheesh.
Fumiya has been conspicuously absent for the past few minutes of the battle. He is, in fact, lying face up on the ground where he was tossed after being hit by the Megidola. Perhaps it hit him harder than the others.
Truthfully, though, he can't find the energy to get back up. Here he is not a month after getting his Persona, and he's already frozen and unable to act. Not only is he depressed over the men he may have killed at the SEBEC lobby, he's depressed over /being depressed by it/. Talk about a spiral.
So the floor feels pretty damn good, with the sounds of the battle raging aruond him. But just when Fumiya is about to resign himself to letting the others handle this, since they're all naturally much more experienced than him, he sees something. It's rather hard to avoid seeing, since the color radiates off the wall, but Minato's bright PINK DEATH BEAM somehow reaches a part of his mind. Something that's been muted by the past week's horrors.
Are you really just gonna lie there like that? Come on man.
I should. Thora was right from the start, I never should've gotten involved in this stuff.
Bullcrap. You're just looking for an excuse to run.
That doesn't make sense, why would I want to run /now/?
Because you're scared. You're scared and you're looking for the first way out after getting frightened once. I thought our resolve was better than that.
It is.... It is, but...
But nothing. Get your ass up and help your friends out. Or your inaction is gonna haunt you more than a few thugs.
With one swift motion Fumiya is back on his feet in a smooth jump befitting a kung-fu movie. "Alright..." He gasps. "Sorry for taking too long lying on my ass. It's time to tear this tank a----"
Fumiya watches as the tank is utterly and completely taken care of by the guy with the newbie Persona. It's already done and he missed his chance to strike back and be a hero and stuff.
Damn. Well, I got nothin'.
"We all have darker sides," Souji repeats words he's told others many times as his eyes rest upon the , "if they're never accepted as part of a person, they grow darker and can never be changed. If you never acknowledge Aki as a part of Maki, then she'll never be able to find peace."
As Aki's harsh words move to Kandori, Souji contemplates. No doubt what Kandori had done to Maki was horrible, and there was no doubt that he wasn't a bad man. Still, there had to be a reason -any- part of Maki would love him, and again there was no way one man could have done all of this psychological damage himself. At least as far as Souji was concerned. "Kandori is a ruthless man, and he -will- pay for what he's done to you and to all of us, but he can't be the sole source of your problems."
Souji then turns his attention to the battle with the tank. Were Minagi and Blaise using Personae? He can't seem to be surprised; he figured so much exposure to the supernatural would leave them with the potential, possibly. He smiles with approval as the tank goes down and Dark O comes on to rage.
Its a good thing the tank decided not to target Hinata, given that she's too busy trying to sort out between new Personas and Aki and Maki and Souji and jeez Minato can't I have a pixie that adorable too? There's another shake of her head as she stands up, facing Blaise as he raises up even further. He tanked that shot like a pro, and what he does next. Well, even Hinata has to gawk in awe. "Blaise..." Even Heaven's Blade has never been that awesome, or as awesome as two(!) Thoras pulling apart the tank. "Y-Yeah, are you-" Oh, hi Yuuka! Hina smiles as senpai all but tackles the new hero, and there's a temptation of her own to join in the hugging.
But then the walls light up and its back to focus time. She narrows her eyes at Dark O, raising up her evoker. "Right. You said if we were nice, we can come in?" Souji has the Maki(s) handled, or so she hopes, and she has her own fight to lead. Sometimes you have to lead by example. "SKULD! Politely knock on the door!"
A swirl of blue mist, and the norn arises again, this time with her holy sword in hand. Its completely a matter of urgency that draws the Heaven's Blade down at the barrier. Not jealousy that Blaise as an awesome sword of his own. Nope.
Haruka, meanwhile, is jumping and cheering. "We did it! I knew we could!"
COMBAT: Hinata Itoh hits Maki Sonomura with her Heaven's Blade attack.
Maki = hates Kandori.
Aki = Wuvs her daddy.
Aki frowns after Thora, hating and wanting at the same time, but she can't do either because Maki is staring her down and also someone is trying to blast her to bits. They're just saying it, Aki thinks.
Maki is protected by Blaise but she barely seems to notice. She is too focused on her psychological drama. To make matters worse, she notices people ... looking in her direction. Looking at her. No, she thinks, don't look at me. "I...I..." She manages before she runs for the barrier again. Hinata hits it at just the right moment--it flickers, once, and Maki passes through before the barrier resolidifies. She doesn't look back.
A pink explosion engulfs Aki and, for the moment, she is jarred out of her existential crisis. Thora is still lingering on the back of her mind but Aki is being HURT because she is too unfocused to fight properly. She knows if they get through that barrier, it doesn't matter.
She turns towards Minato, raises a hand, and unleashes two hefty torrents of ice and water for Minato's body.
"Pixies?" Aki asks, "You're fucking kidding me."
"You and I both know I only helped you," She adds to Itsuka, "Because you were Dark-O's sweetcheeks!"
COMBAT: Maki Sonomura hits Minato Arisato with her Torrent attack.
COMBAT: Maki Sonomura misses Minato Arisato with her Torrent attack.
Legs are breaking apart, and it's pretty damaged. Himeru feels strength flooding through her, wounds knitting at unnatural speeds. "Thanks." is offered to Itsuka Two, or Tsukasa as she called herself in Superhero garb. "Let's split. It may fall, we don't want to be under." she suggests, although if it DOESN'T fall it may well explode and that's hardly a better outcome to be right underneath of.
A nod is given to Itsuka, silent thanks for the help, as Himeru withdraws from near the tank and back to midrange. Unfortunatly, it's not going to be over this easily. There was still the issue of Aki, Maki and more. Good thing she started moving as an unknown Persona with a seen-before sword just cleaves the tank apart after all the continued damage it was inflicted, causing it to stop functioning after it's just brutally pulled into two distinct halves. Ouch.
And then, the 'Hero' weeps for the failure of his machine, causing Hime to get a brief laugh at the very idea of some things being so certain. Although the mention of something outside his plans being involved is not cause for amusement much.
Well now, focus can be shifted to the blocking field issue. "I suppose asking for it to be brought down nicely would be expecting a bit much..." she mumbles, pointing the only faintly bloody sword to the field. She used a fair bit of strength and energy in that last assault, and would not be capable of doing it again so soon. She had other options though. Seeing Maki run through however is surprising. "Huh, it's briefly weakened after a good hit...probably not something we can exploit easily, unfortunatly." No matter, she doesn't listen to Aki's banter much, best to leave it to those who had a little move compassion and love. "Hannya, Death Cannon."
She can almost hear the masked Persona saying 'Really funny.' in her mind, good thing Hannya doesn't actually talk. Instead, the darkness within the orifices of the mask erupts into solid beams fired straight at the barrier. It's not actually called Death Cannon, but given where they are and what they named stuff here, maybe she just wanted to 'fit in' a little.
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa hits Maki Sonomura with her Evil Shine attack.
Thora drops whatever spider tank pieces she'd tugged away with her and takes up her weapon again. A quick survey of the situation lets her know that...hm, the Blue Wolves were still here but a little too splattered all over the ground to really help now. "Wow, that sucks, it's as if bringing them all in here made them wea-" pause, "Oh you've /got/ to be kidding." She at least checks Ose real fast to make sure he's alive since she does have a tiny soft spot for that demon. She's not really sure why.
Thora looks from the barrier to Aki, to Maki who just disappears behind it. Thora's eyes widen a little. "W..wait, come back!" In a second, she's up at the barrier, beating on it with her fists.
Taiga retrieves her gigantic pole weapon as well and rests a hand on her hip. Curiously, she eyes Hinata and Itsuka, more counterparts of the F-Force 5.
Souji simply eyes Aki curiously as she continues on. This was going to be pretty hard. Despite his habit of going into people's heads, he was no psychologist. Despair came over the silver-haired boy as he looks away long enough for Minato's Pixie-Beam to strike Aki. That was probably just going to make matters worse.
Not nearly as worse, however, as when Hinata's persona strikes the barrier and allows Maki passage. He grits his teeth and avoids shouting. Rather, he's going to move in to get past the barrier himself. One part of Maki was already headed for the DVA, so that goal was shot, anyway.
"IZANAGI!", the boy shouts as he summons his Persona. In an instant, the being appears and thrusts his mighty spear into the barrier forcefully. If there was truth to be seen behind it as Aki claimed, he was going to have to see it for himself at this point.
COMBAT: Souji Seta hits Maki Sonomura with his Getsu-ei attack.
Deidra Doyle holds off attacking and calls out to Minato. "Minato-san! I seen something like this before! A friend of my cousin was pulled into the TV and he ended up facing his own shadow I think this is something like this!" She summon s her persona again and focuses a healing spell on minato.
COMBAT: Deidra Doyle hits Minato Arisato with her Dia attack.
"Come out and show yourself, Dark O!" Itsuka says it loudly if she can, at his rather displeased voice over the speakers. ....Wait. If he's using the speakers, where is he? He...he wanted to destroy it all, he...
Fire, and ice, and then the tank is down, already falling apart under the assault of the group here, and also Minato's love beam? That boy confuses her /so much/. To say nothing of Blaise coming out and being a big knight and making the SEES member wish again that she had hers back. At least she can do something from back here.
Screens. "Where are you?" But there's a barrier there, and whatever it is has to be behind it. Maki passes through, and Itsuka is all set up to follow, too, starting to rush that way right up until Aki speaks up and Itsuka just--she just stops /right there/, shrinking. Her eyes flit to Hinata for a moment, and then back to Aki, as Tsukasa back there just stops. "Oh, come on. That's completely ridiculous." She, after all, did split off from Himeru just as suggested, grinning back when the suggestion was made.
"I..." Another secret out. But...it's okay, this time, because she'd already released it herself. She told Hinata that, after she woke up. And Minato probably already hates her. Himeru...Itsuka goes through it, a few heartbeats passing before she finally speaks up, oblivious to all the wreckage, seeing only faces. A brief thought enters her mind, too, about that name, 'sweetcheeks', kind of...weird thing to say, isn't it? It's kind of funny. "You're right, Aki. I guess that's true." She stops. "...But I never claimed you liked me, just that you helped." Sure, that 'help' meant that everybody had to worry, but the purple-haired girl is going to take that blame for herself. She did ask.
Meanwhile, Tsukasa is just watching, her axe-lance out, shaking her head in disappointment. Her own mirror, with the villain! But then...This is the kind of story where love triumphs, right? She waits.
The sword struck true. It struck, cleaved the tank, and Blaise's lips curve into a satisfied little smile. The feeling is nothing short of cathartic. But it's also taking more out of him, this satisfaction, this feeling of power, it's taking a toll on his energy. The American teen drops to his knees, light brown bangs bouncing.
"Heh... heheh.. heheheh.. hehehahahahahah!"
He drops back, relaxing on his knees, smiling brightly and blue-grays positively sparkling, despite the still dire situation around them. The only thing he can focus on is this thing he's manifested. This image of... knighthood and strength.
'I can do it. I'm coming, father. I'm coming...'
His head turns slowly to Minagi, and she's given a warm smile. "I-I'm fine. I'm good. Unbelievably good..."
Wait. Something's coming from his peripheral. His head turns... and the eyes go HUGE.
Blaise finds himself flat on his back, taken down by a Yuukamissile. The result is a quietly laughing Blaise, simply sprawled out.
He'll be okay. Just.. uh.. give'em a minute.
Minato's Mental Checklist of Things of Note
* Minagi has a Persona
* Blaise has a Persona
* Spidertankbuggy is down (RIP, Morph-R Buggy)
* Water attacks!!!
Minato drops into a roll and neatly barrel rolls out of the path of the first blast of ice and water. The second catches him head-on as he comes up, getting a lungful of icewater and getting clonked with what amounts to big ice cubes. He drops onto his side, coughing hard, trying to get it /out/ of him.
Pixie looks horrified at this revelation. "Oh no, Fearless Leader-kun!!" She waves her arms frantically. "Hold on, I'll--I'll get you a snorkel!!"
Minato's snorkel, given to him by Teddie, currently rests in Aigis' inventory. Just in case he needs it when she finds him.
BACK AT THE FIGHT
A HALF-SECOND IN THE FUTURE
Minato feels his fatigue lift, and his bruises fade. He gives Deidra a thumbs-up and waves a hand at Aki. Pixie responds by pointing both hands straight ahead, winds whipping up into gale force, calling out, "NYUUUUUU!"
COMBAT: Minato Arisato hits Maki Sonomura with his Garu attack.
With the strike of her mighty blade, the barrier recoils! Yes! Hinata's ready to take off through it when a Maki beats her to the punch. "Uh." That can't be good, can it? And the barrier's back up again. That's really not good. "Oh boy." And did Aki just reveal Itsuka-chan's little tryst too? Oddly enough to everyone else, the look her fellow classmate gets is a reassuring smile. She may even be blushing softly.
Blaise is laughing. Is this a good sign? Hina said she'd trust him, so perhaps he's finally happy he got what he wanted. Yuuka definitely got what the chibi senpai wanted. She can't help but to blush a bit there as well.
There's a gentle touch to her shoulder, a soft voice she had been ignoring since she had a head full of other priorities. "Masumi?" She doesn't even have time to glance back at him when all possibilities open up before her yet again. He has that gift. Her eyes widen, her breath shortens, and this time she intends to take full advantage of it. "T-Thank you~" Skuld's done what she can, however, so its time for one of her newer friends to rise up from the mist of the evoker!
A winged horse, majestic and metallic, arises from her head. There's no Erasure to go with this horse, this is Gurren Lagann soundtrack time. With a mighty whinny, he tears upon the barrier with all of his hooves, stomping from an angle as if attempting to break down Zeus's barn door itself. And if the barrier wavers...
... Hinata's off at a sprint before anyone can stop her. Maki versus Gekkoukan's leading base stealer, who wins?
COMBAT: Hinata Itoh hits Maki Sonomura with her Cruel Attack attack.
Yay for velocity! Yuuka, the semi-hyperactive ball of energy bowls over Blaise, and she giggles along with him for a few seconds, before abruptly realizing how they ended up. She coughs, cheeks reddening, rolling back up to her feet and offering him a hand up. "Um, congrats, Blaise-san." She says softly, rubbing the back of her neck. "Is that... Lancelot, I think? I don't know my mythology, but..." She looks at the walls of the facility. So Gawaineish, Blaise, gosh. "Um..."
"I'm sorry, Shimizu-san." She says, bobbing her head to Minagi. "I know, he's um, yours." Should have waited for her poes, Hinata. That done, she steps away from the pair, and back towards Hinata- who is running. "Guh, Hinata-SAN!" Yuuka chases after her friend. "Unicorn- whoa, is that /Pegasus!" Evoker clicks, and Unicorn paws at the barrier with Pegasus, and the use of the horn. Great Itohs think alike!
Wait, Yuuka is an Itoh?
COMBAT: Yuuka Chiba hits Maki Sonomura with her Skewer attack.
Minagi nodded...and then...
She looks at Yuuka knocks her boyfriend to the ground. "Huh? Uh...Look..." she bumbles, jealousy is just not in her blood. Shrugging, she shakes her head.
"Alright! Lets see if this works now! THIS HAND OF MINE GLOWS WITH AN A-...Oh right, the super hero stuff died with my hero..." She sniffs.
"WELL THIS ONE IS FOR HIM! THIS HAND OF MINE GLOWS WITH AN AWESOME POWER!" she says, as her persona appears above her. It give her one of those looks...first day on the job...
"Don't gimme that look! Comeon!" She says, charging at the barrioer!
"IT'S LOUD ROAR TELLS ME TO GRASP VICTORY! PERSONA FIIIIIINGER!"
COMBAT: Minagi Shimizu hits Maki Sonomura with her Gigantic Fist attack.
COMBAT: Maki Sonomura has been knocked out!
Aki isn't that easily defeated, but Minato's pressure on her leads her unable to reinforce the barrier--this is still Mai's territory, not Aki's, and even if the rules of Captain R aren't in place--that just means Mai's powers are weakening Aki's inherently. The wind slams Aki onto her back. Deidra probably saves him from a snorkelless death. A close one, really.
"Dammit--" She says, pausing at Itsuka. She lowers her head for a moment and simply vanishes--not responding.
The barrier takes beating after beating. This is a far weaker barrier than what was supplied around the city and eventually, it just goes DOWN entirely. Someone might end up stumbling if they put a lot of force into it persoally.
But Hinata is already off at a run, the first one after Maki.
Saving Shiki is just one step away, just a little bit longer, and--it seems--Maki too but...
And with the barrier down, the gang, joined by the F-Force 5, can make its way further into the installation! There's /even more stairs/, some more straightforward corridors with stupid encounter rates, and soon... soon...
A DEAD END?! D:
But it's not entirely empty! Maki, who ran ahead of the pack, is there, staring at the wall, as if trying to find out if there's a secret passage. There isn't. And with her is a kid curled up in a ball, not really interacting with her. As more people arrive, he looks up and beams at the group. Some of the people here might recognize him. Hey, it's Ikki! Wonder what... he's doing here?
For those who don't and are just joining in, Ikki is a black-haired, brown-eyed boy who looks about ten years-old and, if people really squint, they'll notice a certain resemblance to a certain Shiki Ichimonji. Yes, this /is/ turning into some sort of theme!
Since Hinata is leading the pack, the boy beams at her first as he gets up. "Haruka! I was so scared!" And soon after comes... the real Haruka? His smile fades. Then quickly comes back. "Wow, two Harukas!"
Well, it's not a Shiki rescue, but... close enough, maybe?