Palace of Power - Warp Zone Room

This room, the center of warp activity in Videoland, is a series of long hallways, warp zones sitting like multicolored pools of light against the walls, each one labeled, destinations certain for those who step into them. From here, you can go almost anywhere in Videoland, your imagination the only real limit to your destination.

<Fac-Palace> Princess Lana says, "Good evening, everyone!"
<Fac-Palace> Maya says, "Evening."
<Fac-Palace> Doctor Light says, "Hello, Princess."
<Fac-Palace> Cody Travers yawns again. "Yo."
<Fac-Palace> Professor Alba says, "Good evening, your highness."
<Fac-Palace> Princess Lana says, "We haven't done anything together in some time, so I thought it would be nice to have a competition. Everyone meet for inspection in the warp room."
<Fac-Palace> A.B.A says, "Inspection?"
<Fac-Palace> Dante Sparda says, "...Huh?"
<Fac-Palace> Athlon says, "Iiiiin-spec-TION!"
<Fac-Palace> Maya says, "Aye."
<Fac-Palace> Princess Lana says, "Yes! I'd tell you what it was but that would spoil the surprise. Hurry up now!"
<Fac-Palace> Dante Sparda sighs. "Fine."
<Fac-Palace> Cody Travers says, "...inspection? Buh?"
<Fac-Palace> Professor Alba says, "Oh my."
<Fac-Palace> A.B.A |Paracelsus yells, "SIR YES SIR!"
<Fac-Palace> Jim Raynor says, "I'm on my way Ma'me... OH MY GOD INFESTED EELS!"
<Fac-Palace> David Burton says, "Sorry Lana, can't make it...Kinda fixing some stuff on the Vic Viper right now..."
<Fac-Palace> Jim Raynor says, "I'll be an bit late!"
<Fac-Palace> Jake says, "Loud 'n clear Ma'am."
<Fac-Palace> A.B.A sighs happily, "Paracelsus is a military man. I hope you aren't going to leave Atari Force to join the Regulators, Paracelsus, then we won't be able to be together."
<Fac-Palace> David Burton says, "...If I leave now, I'll kinda have a real bad mess here."
<Fac-Palace> Bang says, "Hah! Lucky for me, I'm already here."
<Fac-Palace> Professor Alba says, "You'll have to forgive me. I'm a little bit of a mess, but I'll be in shortly, your highness."
<Fac-Palace> A.B.A |Paracelsus mumbles vaguely.
<Fac-Palace> Arnaud G. Vasquez says, "-- Whoa, what, where are we headed? I just turned my radio on."
<Fac-Palace> A.B.A says, "Inspection!"
<Fac-Palace> Paula says, "I..inspection?"
<Fac-Palace> Princess Lana chuckles. "Hmm! I didn't think it would take so long. Athlon?"
<Fac-Palace> Captain N says, "You know, if people would just go and not ask questions, the inspection would be over..."
<Fac-Palace> Princess Lana says, "You have my permission to apply boot-to-butt incentives."
<Fac-Palace> David Burton says, "I have to say a Palace Wide inspection may not be the best idea, personally."
<Fac-Palace> David Burton says, "If we're all there, who's manning our posts?"
<Fac-Palace> Paula eeps! "I'm here I'm here!"
<Fac-Palace> Rudy Roughnight says, "Me. I don't inspect well."
<Fac-Palace> Maya says, "I'm here."
<Fac-Palace> Princess Lana says, "I do not recall this being a request."
<Fac-Palace> A.B.A shouts, "Inspection!" because it is fun to shout Inspection.
<Fac-Palace> Dante Sparda says, "I'm here. This better be good.."
<Fac-Palace> Bang says, "I'm everyone at once. Hoo-ah."
<Fac-Palace> A.B.A shouts, "Inspection!" at Dante.
<Fac-Palace> Rudy Roughnight says, "It would take me several hours to get back to the Palace, Princess. I am not refusing, I am simply incapable."
<Fac-Palace> Captain N says, "Inspection time. If you're there? Good job. If you're not going? Take a lap. Simple."
<Fac-Palace> Professor Alba says, "aha... Either or, I don't see the problem with them. So... ... ah! Wait. .... okay. There."
<Fac-Palace> Professor Alba says, "I'm here!"
<Fac-Palace> Jake says, "Harsh Cap, harsh."
<Fac-Palace> Cody Travers says, "So what kinda inspection is this 'gain?"

Monika Allenford is /totally here/.
She's just in the back, fingering the strap that keeps her satchel closed. Monika also looks nervous, but this is not an unusual occurance.

<Fac-Palace> Princess Lana says, "The surprise kind. I am still trying to find my belt, so you have a minute or two to prepare yourselves."

Maya arrives out of an warp and has Runner along as well. She's geared up and set to go. With her gear ready etc.

<Fac-Palace> Captain N whistles innocently all of a sudden.
<Fac-Palace> Paula says, "I've never had an inspection before..."
<Fac-Palace> David Burton says, "I'll take a lap when I'm not holding in a power converter with my hand."
<Fac-Palace> Captain N says, "Take it with you."
<Fac-Palace> Station says, "I. Uh. ...Oh crap, that's a bottomless piiiiiiiit! *Fzzt.*"
<Fac-Palace> David Burton says, "...I uh...Don't think that would be a good idea."
<Fac-Palace> David Burton says, "Not unless you want my airbase becoming a crater."

A.B.A is here, shouting 'Inspection!'.
Paracelsus is also here, he is shouting 'STOP SHOUTING INSPECTION'.
This causes A.B.A to shout 'INSPECTION' more loudly since she has to be more loud than Paracelsus.

Athlon is, interestingly, already here. It's almost like he anticipated the suprise inspection somehow. He leans against a wall, disassembling and re-assembling his blaster rifle under the standard military policy of 'hurry up and wait'.

<Fac-Palace> Jake says, "Have a good lap then, man."
<Fac-Palace> A.B.A shouts, "Inspection!" Helpfully.

Paula stumbles in, there are a few leaves in her hair and a smudge of dirt on her cheek. The leaves are removed as fast as she can.

Dante is here, looking bored, annoyed, but sober at least.

Piastol's arrived as well, slipping through a warp with minimal fuss. She had debated whether or not she had wanted to go for a minute, but then had decided to simply go. That there are people already here isn't that surprising. She has her Deathhound with her, too.

<Fac-Palace> Maya says, "Oh slag more zerg we're! They are going for the comm stat stop em.. *static*"
<Fac-Palace> Maya says, "OOC MAV XD"

Cody Travers drops into the Warp room in his usual way. To say, he ends up falling in head first, almost breaking his neck it seems by the awkward landing he takes, head canted one way, the rest of his body nearly folded over it. "Rrphh....I really...really hate warps sometimes," he mutters before he flops his body down, attemping to salvage his entrance somehow.

Ziggurat 8 is also here. Standing at attention and not really doing anything else interesting. He seems mildly interested, though, in the situation, since the Princess doesn't tend to call things like this very often, and he suspects she's up to something. Hopefully something ultimately productive.

Woah! Suddenly, there's a scuffle and wham! The researcher appears to have just... uh. fallen through a warp. Yes. Once Alba realizes that he's made it, he quickly offers a worried look back over his shoulder and... whatever it was chose not to follow... good! He quickly moves to stand up and brush his clothes off... pausing as he sees a bit of dirt on his coat. "...oh my. And I just cleaned this thing off too..." He kneels down to begin batting at it.

<Fac-Palace> Jim Raynor says, "says, "Oh *BLEEP* more zerg we're! They are going for the comm stat stop em.. *static*""
<Fac-Palace> Baiken says, "I hope that any outfit is acceptable for this... I only have two sets of clothes, and one is a swimsuit." Sounds of warping.

Lady A steps in out of a wall. She then leans against it. And quietly watches.

Chizuru Kagura steps out of the 'guest entrance' warp with a cell phone at one ear. She is making the impatient-waiting face that transcends all cultures and which comes when you are waiting for someone to pick up and raises a hand to wave at Athlon.

'You have reached the voice mail of: *irritated grunt*. If you'd like to leave a message, please hold. If you'd like to send a numerical page, please press five.' Chizuru says into it, "It's Kagura, call me back!" before hanging it up.

Arnaud is, like everyone else here, here. He fidgets with a few of his throwing knives, seeming -- much like Monika -- a little nervous; the last operation he did, two people actually /died/. They were the enemy, sure, but there was dying, and he's at heart kind of an easily squicked-out coward.

<Fac-Palace> A.B.A shouts, "Inspection!" in case people forgot, though Baiken in a swimsuit is pretty horrific.

"Rifle...check. Safety on, stock tight, extra clips...yeah, all's cool." thinks aloud a young CO, as he wanders in from the inner depths of the Palace, rubbing a spot on the barrel before kneeling to doublecheck the tightness of his boots, a lace sticking out was reason enough in the past for extra chores of the unpleasant kind. His handgun holster gets doublechecked just in case, the piece all shined up and as clean as they come.

Seeing as the leader figures have not arrived yet, he lifts the earphones off his neck and headbangs along to the music for the time being, the device generating it hidden somewhere under his vest: The cord clearly travels through it by some mean.

Now if Jake could remember to put his name in poses, all would be peachy.

A.B.A is wearing a 'Hello My Name Is A.B.A' nametag too, just in case you didn't know.

Bang is also here. It has nothing to do with Athlon having already been here. He's simply being awesome and maybe showing off his KARATE POWER, maybe not. Now you know.

A.B.A shouts, "Inspection!"

Yoko arrives, looking as best as she can, given the fact she's mostly a casual woman to begin with.

Athlon nods to Chizuru. "Hello, madam." He pulls a clip out of his belt and slaps it into the gun. The weapon is thing attached to his belt. Balancing it on the other side is a nerf boffer sword. Hmm. "Hey, Bang. KARATE POWER all warmed up?"

Bang salutes Athlon, wandering over by the Regulator commander. "Evening, Athlon, sir. Warmed up and good to go. Any idea what the inspection's about?"

Athlon replies with the somewhat cryptic, "It's about inspecting, of course." He smiles.

Maya looks to Athlong and says "Hey." She's not checked her rifle yet, she already checked it when she got back from teh field eariler today. Runner pauses and looks at Athlon and scans him. The report level is Badass level = Yes.

Monika Allenford, still here, still silent, and still nervous - although she isn't ready for any inspection, except perhaps neatness or preparation, given the size of the satchel she's carrying. She has no weapons and no uniform to inspect!

Alba looks around a bit before he tilts his head slightly... finally blinking upon recognizing someone. "Paula!" He quickly calls out to the girl and starts over in her direction. Yes, he's still fussing with his coat the whole way, too.

Chizuru waggles fingers at Athlon properly as he speaks. Then she cups her chin with one hand at the mention of KARATE POWER. An intriguing concept.

She looks at the others are they form up. "Well, aren't you all handsome!"

Dante chuckles, and looks at the woman who makes the handsome comment. "Well, thanks. Can't say I've seen you around before. ...Wonder why the hell we're all here anyway?"

Cody Travers rubs his head, sighing as he looks about. "So...anyone know what the hell we're here for?" he asks. He then peers across, spotting Chizuru froma crosst the room. Narrowing his eyes, he tries to get a good look at her. " I know you from somewhere?"

There are a few too many people here, and although Piastol recognizes several, for right now, she decides to stay out of the way and pick a nice, empty, non-portaled patch of wall to lean against. Once she's gotten a better idea of what's going on, she'll greet someone, but for now, the bounty hunter indulges in a little bit of asocialness in favor of just watching and listening.

Hearing her boss speak, Yoko looks to Dante and nods quickly. "I don't know for certain, but I'm hazarding a guess that this would be very important..." She then becomes quiet again.

Bang crosses his arms and waits patiently for his inspection inspection. He winks at Chizuru, then waits for Lana.

Paula begins to wonder if she should be here seeing as no one else in her..'team' is. Wouldn't Pocket've said something? She scuffles her feet and looks down at the ground.

Lady A speaks up suddenly. There seems to be a din of confusion, and she aims to clarify. "We're splitting up into teams. Eight teams, potentially. And we're going in to Skull Fortress to fight Dr. Wily and his Robot Masters."

After not been noticed, the professor tilts his head a bit before he steps up to the small psychic. He reaches out to set a hand on her shoulder. "...Paula? Is everything alright?" Alba's always a good, father-like person, isn't he? You gotta love him. Really. :D

"Inspections don't hafta be important, just make sure the gears are all oiled up and ready to roll." points out Jake, who can apparently hear even with that music in his ears.

Of course, Lady A proves that point right out. "Guess not. Shoulda packed more AP then."

Simon Belmont mills about uncomfortably.

Chizuru Kagura turns around to consider Cody. Her eyes narrow to thoughtful slits and she frowns slightly at him as she racks her brain. "Yes, I think I've seen you -somewhere-... Metro City?"

She also takes a few steps so as not to be standing out in the road. She pulls her cell phone back out, glances at it, and makes a face.

A.B.A looks to Athlon and shouts at him, "Inspection!" none are immune. She skips over to Monika, twirls, and then realizes that she doesn't know what Inspection actually is. She squints, looks up, down, around, behind, and across. What is Inspection!? She looks up to Lady A and says, "Inspecting is beating up Wil--...oh! We're going to save Videoland! Inspection's great!"
"T...that's not what Inspection is."
"Of course it is, Lady A said so."
"It was a code word!"
"They didn't say it was a code word..."

Dante blinks as he hears this, and then his grin brightens... "...So in other words, we're going postal on Wily's place. KICKASS! ...I call dibs on smashing his toilets."

Athlon sighs theatrically. "Way to ruin the suprise, Lita. The Princess wanted to break the news to 'em."

Ziggurat 8 hmms, and crosses his arms. "Decisive action against the Riftripper, then?" He muses. Good. This needed to be dealt with, and there's no need to put it off any longer. He can only hope a single blitz attack on the whole of Dr. Wily's fortress will do the trick.

"Yeah, Metro's my home," Cody says. "You been there before?" he asks...before his attention is drawn to Lita. "...we're doin' what now?"

Yoko does a double take as she hears that this is about going into the Skull Fortress. Has Wily still been active all this time? If so, what has he been working on? Or does Yoko even want to know?

Either way, she tries not to let her nervousness show on her face.

Monika Allenford says nothing to the group. It is for someone else to explain!

She does smile at A.B.A, though. "It is a bit of a code word, this time. But it isn't always..."

Kevin is here. Somewhere. Over there. Or over there. Bah. Look for the damn dog.

Musashi arrived through one of the warps. He looks a bit like he just woke up. He blinks around at the huge crowd of people and asks, "What's going on here?" Then he hears something about attacking some Skull Fortress place. "That's the place with the thing that makes holes in the universe or whatever, right?"

"I'm sorry, Athlon. I guess I'm not... much for that kind of ceremony when it comes to this sort of situation," Lita says. She doesn't move from her position leaning against the wall. "I'll let you or she explain the full plan."

Emerging from a Warp is a red-haired Japanese woman. Considering her recent level of inactivity in VideoLand proper, some of the newer people may not know her. This is hardly a concern for Baiken. The fewer people who recognize her, the less she'll be bothered. It's already annoying enough having to drop what she was doing and come to this place just because some girl says so. But she agreed to work with the Palace, and being charged with treason or something would be even MORE annoying, so she's here.
Baiken leans up against a wall and listens for now, eye closed.
So this is about the RiftRipper. Piastol finds she's not surprised--not after the incident with Sam and Max in the Big Apple. She supposes Monika's finished her calculations... Piastol thinks back to the last time she's scuffled with Dr. Wily and his creations. It was...when they destroyed the Palmacosta Ranch. Moons, it's been a long time.

Princess Lana grins as she walks in. The Princess is suited up in her combat armour, with the original orange Light Blaster strapped to her side. It's hard not to notice that people have been tipped off to the little secret now....and while the Princess would rather not wait any longer, certain traditions must be observed.

"General Wright?" she says softly. "I believe a few words might be in order before we round them up."

This is his final trial, after all. Let him see it to the end.

"Well, I think we can all agree that the Fortress could totally stand to see a good butt-kicking," Arnaud says, grinning. "And this Wily guy's with the Fortress, right? He's nothing the collected force of razor-sharp intellects we've got can't handle!" He abruptly stops talking and fiddling with his throwing knives as Lana addresses Athlon, waiting for the Gamemaster to say something inspiring.

A.B.A twists Paracelsus around so he doesn't goggle at Lana's outfit. "Oh, I see, this was a prank, a joke..?" She hmms.

Paula oohs. "" she shuffles around quietly, "...yay!" Then she falls silent so Athlon can (hopefully) say something inspirational.

Chizuru Kagura mutters something under her breath about unreliable fire-throwing teenagers.

Athlon kicks off the wall. "It's okay, Lita. But next time, it's y-- ah, my cue." Looks like it's up to him to quell the masses. And then rouse them. Athlon steps to the head of the room, in front of the teleporter that leads to Monsteropolis. "Okay everyone. Quiet yourselves down for a minute. Practical stuff first. Then I'm gonna tell you all a story." Story time with Athlon is alway fun, the Power Pack can attest.

"Now then. As you all know, the Riftripper is located in Skull Fortress. As the older of you know, once we go in, there isn't going to be any turning back. As we penetrait the castle, we will come to a teleporter station with exactly eight teleporters. Monika is the only one we have that can reliably disable the Riftripper without an explosion the level of 'Oh my God oh my God, we're all going to die.' As such, she is to be protected at all times. If she is in danger, then you place yourself between her and the danger. Lady A and myself will escort her through the Fortress. The three of us will take on one of the Robot Masters. The rest of you will split up and take on the other seven. After that, we take on Wily himself. Are there any questions, OR DO YOU GUYS WANT TO HEAR THAT STORY?!"

Simon Belmont stands near Lana. Protectively, and all.

Dante raises a hand. "...Yeah. Why exactly /do/ we have to fight the eight robot masters anyway? And...Why does this remind me of the time I went into hell and had to fight a bunch of guys I already killed all over again?" ...Apparently Capcom's been bringing the concept into other games.

"Because." Replies Athlon. "That's the way we roll."

Bang smacks one fist into the other hand. "I'm ready to roll," he says to no one in particular. Whoever happens to be standing by.

Monika Allenford, if anything, makes herself /less/ visible when her name is called; she steps behind A.B.A., who is taller than she is. For that matter, so is Paracelsus.

A.B.A says, "Story, Story!" and then pauses, "Wait... we're not going with the Atari Force..?" She eyes Paracelsus, Paracelsus eyes her.

Piastol nods silently at the end of Athlon's briefing. She hasn't been speaking before, so she sees no reason to speak now!

Ziggurat 8 simply nods. A simple enough plan. Luckily enough infiltration is one of his skills, though it seems this particular mission relies less on the sneaky sneak and more on the smashy smash. Which is fine, Jr. always said he needed to loosen up more. And having never faced one of Wily's creations yet, he'll chalk this up to added experience. "Will we be deciding on teams now? Or when we're inside the Fortress?" Might be wise to grab your buddy now, as it were. Trying to figure out who's going where once everyone is inside the battlegruond could put some people in a bad situation.

Chizuru, who watches the news now and then, understands the importance. She glances at her cell phone again, flips it open, grunts in annoyance at a text-message, and then turns it off.

She then tosses her hair back with a slight motion of her neck and glances towards Dante.

Cress was here all along, really. He is standing in a corner, arms folded behind his back, and watching and listening. He doesn't speak up; he just nods his head. Someone is playing the good little soldier, today.

Besides, depending how things go, he may not be one of the people going inside.

A.B.A looks over to Monika, looking quite terrified. Sure, she knows all the other people sort of and can get along with them, but they aren't -Atari Force-. "It'll be okay!!" She tells Monika, though she's not so sure she believes that right now.

"Sir no sir!" answers Jake, glancing toward the VIP, or one of them anyway. Princess & Monika to protect in an environment he knows little of, but it certainly won't be easy cake street. "Ready to rock and roll, sir!" he also adds, standing still.

"Large groups would slow us down too much, A.B.A." Replies Athlon. He looks to Ziggy. "You guys know who you all work with the best. Buddy up when needed." Athlon looks around. "Any other questions?"

"Yes, we're going to be operating cross-group today," Lita says. "That way, each team is a bit of a sleeker size."

Alba hmms, taking the time to consider Athlon's words. He looks about for a moment, then glances around. He takes a moment to think about what he's getting involved with here, and the groups that are going. Afterall, he is somewhat limited on his options... and with that in mind, he will need to make sure that, while he can back people up and work magic... he will need to ensure that he's protected still. And no matter who he talks to, he's made it no secret that something like the Riftripper has been somewhat disconcerting to him.

Arnaud pounds one fist into the other, and gives a hard, firm nod. "Let's hear the story!" he requests, once it's quite clear that any questions about the logic in this particular operation are going to be met with a hearty 'that's just the way we roll'.

Chizuru Kagura ambles over towards where Cody is, since he's the only one she knows from anything other than background shots on the TV. A.B.A's axe gets eyed.

She calls to Athlon, "Put me where you like!"

Baiken snorts and raises her hand. "I have a question. I have heard of these 'Robot Masters'. If one robot child in his pajamas can defeat eight of them in a row, why would it take multiple people to defeat ONE? Are these Robot Masters different than the previous ones somehow? If so, can you tell us what to expect when we face them?"

Yoko tries to pay attention to the briefing while hoping that she's assigned to a team with at least one of her colleagues from Devil May Cry. She finds she works better with people she knows better.

Monika Allenford says, a little uncomfortably, "It's faster this way." Which it is; she doesn't want to wait all night for the Robot Masters to lose. "We need to do this as fast as possible, so he can't keep calling in more help..."

Cody Travers gives a quick nod to Chizuru, but remains silent as the plans are hashed out. "So...what're the teams gonna be, anyways?" ...well, mostly silent.

Dante just folds his arms, looking around. "Sounds like this is gonna be a hell of a party...So, who're my dance partners?" A smirk escapes the red coated hunter, so many possibilities, and all in all, no matter who he ends up with, it's likely there'll be plenty of bot smackdowns tonight!

Simon Belmont is quiet for a long moment. "I shall go where I am needed," he says simply. And that, it seems, is that. Simon pulls a flask from his hip, wincing as he takes a long drink from it.

A.B.A frowns grumpily. She doesn't know anybody here and she's being told she'll slow down the group! She doesn't know Athlon, so she assumes Lady A will be protecting Monika. Or Monika will be protecting Lady A? If it's one or the other who is protecting the other person! Eek. And then she looks about for another buddy, shoulders slumping. "Don't know him, don't know him, don't know her, don't know him, don't know her, don't know him, don't know him, don't know her, don't know her, don't know him, don't know him, don't know him, don't know him, don't know her, don't know him..." She looks back over to Monika and adds, "I guess I need to find someone else I know, good luck Monika," She's not happy about it, but whatever! She searches across the mass of Palace people, "Don't know him, don't know her, don't know ... are you a her or a him? Oh nevermind."

Princess Lana speaks up, her voice carrying. "Just pick teleporters and go. We don't have time to play schoolyard pickup, and we don't know which Masters will be guarding doors anyhow."

The Princess nods to Athlon, then glances at both Kevin and Simon. A soft smile. Like old times.

Marco Rossi stands nearby Athlon, him being a member of the Gamemaster's team, arms folded and just listening. Behind his back is his trusted AR-10 assault rifle, and he's loaded up with grenades, his knife, his pistol, and his stylish hair.

Bang nods quickly at Marco.

Simon Belmont smiles at the princess, and nods. It's pretty clear where he intends to go.

Ziggurat 8 nods. As long as they try to keep the numbers even, then everyone should be fine. "Well, then are we waiting for anything else?" More arrivals? More planning? If not, perhaps it's best they get this show on the road. The longer they wait, the longer the Riftripper remains undestroyed. And Ziggy, for one, doesn't want to see something like Agent Smith slip through the cracks again.

"Got it ma'am." Pick and go, simple enough. The infantry do it all the time, how hard can it be?

Jake's definitly about to find that out.

Mike Haggar walks out from the Metro City warp, a slightly dented steel pipe on his shoulder. "Hey!" he calls out to the crowded room. "Who's getting hit today?"

Maya is quiet now and she's listening to this. She's not saying anything for now listening to the orders she's got. Every part of this operation is important after all.

Chizuru Kagura's head swivels around and her eyes widen. Such muscles! She waves a hand towards the famous Mayor and calls, "Doctor Wily and his robots!" His multicultural awareness training probably lets him know that that kind of gesture means 'come here' rather than being just a limp-wristed wave.

Athlon drops his wisdom. "On this day, long ago... a man was born. It is said that this man was the fifth Wise Man, and that he gave Jesus the gift of Beard, which the son of God carried with him all his lift. It is said that this man sired the 1986 Miami Dolphins... the only undefeated football team in American history. It is even said that this man looked at the Void and the Big Bang spontainiously happened out of pure fright, creating exsistance. I don't know about all that... but I do know that Chuck Norris was born on this day." Athlon starts.

"I do not claim to be as great a man as Chuck Norris... nor do I claim to be a great man. But I TOO was born twenty four years ago on this date. So in lieu of a party, we're gonna have an ASSKICKING. In lieu of presents, I WANT PIECES OF THE RIFTRIPPER. And instead of fireworks? Well..." Athlon grins. "WE ARE GOING TO MAKE SOME F***ING FIREWORKS TONIGHT, HEROES!" Athlon is in full tilt now.


Athlon draws his sword and thrusts it into the air. "ARE YOU READY FOR A REVOLUTION!?"

Cody Travers blinks as he hears a rather familiar deep voice call out over the crowd. "What the...." he mutters to himself before he shouts back out. "OLD MAN?" Obviously, there are few who Cody would bother to call 'old man'.

Hm. Exuberant speech. "Well... let's get going." The cyborg says. What, you expected a 'Hell yeah!' or something out of Ziggy?

A.B.A says, "Don't know him, don't know him, don't know her, don't know it, don't know him, don't know her, don't know..." She spots Arnaud, "Don't know hi--"
"YOU KNOW HIM!" Paracelsus shouts.
"I don't know anybody," laments A.B.A.
"YOU KNOW HIM!" Paracelsus adds.
A.B.A looks at Arnaud. "...He's not Atari Force?"
"Arnaud! Paracelsus and I would like to join your group!" She shouts hopefully, not paying much attention to Athlon since he's practically speaking gibberish. She offers him a hand, blood trickling down it. She hesitates, brings her hand back up and smushes the blood so that it stops dripping and then offers her hand back to Arnaud.
"Let me join, please please please, I can't be in a group with my friends and you're my only other friend outside of them and Agrias who isn't here!"

Raising his gun in the air, there's only one response possible.

"HECK YEAH!" so shouts Jake, shaking the weapon as he shouts. He's heard those sort of speeches before, he's even given a few, and there's only one real way to answer them.

Captain N gets a chance to nod at his maybe will someday get married to and have a wife and tugs on his jacket as he gives another one of his nods to Simon. He doesn't really say much of anything. An eyebrow raises at Athlon's loudness and he smirks. He used to do the speech thing. He then proceeds with the crouching and scritching of Duke. He's ready. Somewhat quiet, but ready. Huh.

Marco Rossi loads a magazine into his pistol. He only raises it like Jake, in response. "Let's do it!"

Raquel Applegate was here, you just missed her. She doesn't say a lot anyway. Instead, she just steps out of the shadow she'd been hiding in (her duster fits in naturally) and moves toward Arnaud's side.

Dante says "...Y'know, I never liked long speeches. So I'll just say this." He draws his pistols, and spins them in his fingers before pointing them at the air... "...Let's rock baby! Besides, I owe Wily some payback...Damn rift in New York caused panic, and that panic wrecked my shop! I wanna put at least ONE bullet in Wily's old wrinkly behind..."

Demi wanders into the room as well, in time to listen to all of the impassioned speeches going on. She doesn't really comment on anything, simply falling in with the group and waiting for the order to move out.

Simon Belmont puts his flask away, crackling his neck audibly. "We are going to succeed. Now, let us do this." He crosses himself, breathing out a silent prayer as he draws VampireKiller.

"Let's do it!" Cress adds in, with a nod. The swordsman puts a hand on his sword hilt, but he doesn't draw it and wave it around - even if he /might/ among people where that would be a little more expected. It could slice someone up, and that would be rather bad.

Princess Lana draws her Light Blaster and very nearly shoots it. Before she remembers that it's her roof she'd be shooting.

".....let's go, then," she says, sucking in a breath and squaring her shoulders. The Princess begins marching forward, then....stops and leans in toward Captain N, offering a peck on the cheek before marching toward the warp.

Mike Haggar stops to listen to Athlon. He doesn't know about Chuck Norris, but he knows the sentiment. He takes his pipe off his shoulder in unison with Athlon's sword raise. "YEAH! LET'S DO THIS!" he bellows back.

He then moves over to Cody and 'pats' him on the back. It'

Hmm. That means it would be better to avoid approaching Dante, Yoko, or Baiken. Probably for the best, all in all. Piastol regards the group of heroes and heroic neutrals in the room, considering who would be the best alternatives. Let's see... She glances at Lana when she speaks, though, and decides--eh, what the hell. She starts heading towards one of the warps, still keeping an ear out for the rest. She stops, slightly startled, as Athlon begins his speech. She narrows her eyes as she hears what the situation is...

"All right," she murmurs, nodding towards the Gamemaster and heading again towards a warp. She's not exactly demonstrative, herself. As for partners...well, she'll just hook up with whomever heads her way.

A.B.A asides to Paracelsus, "Do we know her?"
A.B.A sniffs at Raquel, as if trying to determine whether she's alive or food.
It's more like a moderate slap. "Cody! Good times. We're going to have some fun today, huh?"

While he listens to the conversation rattling on, Alba eventually starts over in Cress' direction. Reaching into an inside pocket of his coat, he withdraws the handsized device, taking the chains from it to wrap them around his hand. "Good evening, Cress." He smiles while coming near the swordsman. "You don't mind me offering my assistance to you tonight, do you?" He seems to be pleasant towards this. He does flip open the panel and begin to shift some stones in it around for a bit.

"I hope I'm not in the way- I may not be a strong fighter, but I do have my assets to ensure that you two will make it through this alive." The professor bows a bit.

Even /Arnaud/ is motivated by a speech like that. He's not quite a meathead, but even he can get riled up and ready to kick some ass with 'these people are selfish bastards, let's kick their asses, revolution now!'. Looking over toward A.B.A., and then -- with a little surprise -- looking over at the lately-arriving Raquel, he nods. "All right. You two, you're with me. They'll never know what hit 'em!"

Chizuru Kagura, from this closer perspective, admires Haggar's physical cultural development. "I hope we are," she says, with a quirked eyebrow.

A.B.A says, "Three," assuming Arnaud forgot about Raquel instead of, you know, forgetting Paracelsus.

Mike Jones steps out of the little explorer's room, blinking. Mighty Jones scratches his head, and holds up a finger. "Is this the field trip to the Owl Museum of Natural Science? And what's the policy of smoothies on the bus? Because I'm totaly not leaving this here." Mike holds up a smoothie.

It is delicious.

"Not at all, Professor Alba. Just stay behind me to be on the safe side, when we come under fire," Cress answers. He nods, and then begins moving out - and as he does, he comes across Piastol. He looks at the woman - a former enemy, as it were. All that matters, now, is that she is on his side. "Wanna come with us?"

Raquel Applegate is not dead. Seriously.

She looks back at ABA with as little surprise as she can manage when encountering someone with a key through their head who is leaking blood. Arnaud seems to be fine with it, so... "Hello," she says, politely.

Cody Travers rphs as he's 'patted' on the back by Haggar, the smack enough to nearly send him stumbling forward. "Well...least it'll be like old times," Cody says, with a scratch of his head. "Jus' save the pipe fer the others, Old Man."

"Ha! Ha!" Haggar rumbles. "I'll try real hard, Cody, real hard." He grins broadly.

Jon waves his boffer sword around.


He leaps into the warp.

Skull Fortress <SF>

Wily's home is laid out like a series of deathtraps. Dangerous and hard to navigate, the actual living areas are very well-hidden indeed... not even Mega Man can find those.

Skull Fortress is ominously quiet, the large searchlights that sweep the place moving in slow circles back and forth. Doctor Wily, confident in his invincibility here, has only a token guard, and Joes, not the bravest of robots, will quail and flee as the heroes arrive en masse. The gates of the Fortress are easily breached, and a long hallway leads to a room where the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles once fought the original defenders of this place.

Wily has improved the defenses since then, and while a transparisteel wall shows the RiftRipper beyond, it also shows eight shimmering energy fields... and eight teleporting hatches leading to distant parts of the Fortress. To disable the shields... you'll have to go through those.

Dante twitches...He's not the brightest guy around, but he knows this setup. It /is/ what he had to do at the dreaded Nirvana of Souls.. "...Great. Fight everything to get through. This /is/ like the Nirvana of Souls...I wonder if they ripped off Wily or the other way around?" He looks over to Yoko and Baiken... "...So...Door number 1, 2, 3...Oh wait, there's eight doors."

As the heroes rush onwards, meeting almost nothing in the way of resistance, you would think that they would slow down and move cautiously. You'd think wrong. There is no time, there is only one chance and this is it.

The teleporter room opens ahead of the heroes and here does Athlon stop running forward. He turns around and directs traffic by waving his hands around and shouting very loudly. "EVERYONE, SPLIT UP! LITA, MY TEAM... THIS WAY!" Athlon dives into a teleporter. Teleporter number eight.

A.B.A walks along with her heroic friends. Or runs. She's keeping pace, at any rate. She has already told Raquel her name, Paracelsus's name, mentioned the fact that they are engaged and told Paracelsus to not stare at the lady at least once. "Okay!" She declares, "I've got a way that will pick a door for us!"
She flings Paracelsus up in the air.
"AHHHH!!!!!!!!!" Paracelsus screams.
"You see," A.B.A tells her comrades, "The way Paracelsus points when he lands will decide which teleporter we take!" She beams and squints upward, "He'll be back any second."
"AHHHH!!!!!!!" Paracelsus screams before smashing against A.B.A's face and sending her slumping to the ground with a dazed look in her face. Paracelsus seems to be somewhat embedded in her face as it is pointing to the sky, but A.B.A is pointing towards Teleporting Hatch 7.
A stray metool nerps over to her, bites at her ear and shakes its head as if to try and bite it off. Food!

Infiltration seems to go more smoothly when you have an army of people barrelling through the hallways, instead of trying to 'Solid Snake' your way past every single patrol. The poor Sniper Joes never knew what hit em before they were crushed under the tidal wave of heroes. Still, it almost seems too easy, and Ziggy keeps a wary eye out. Finally, the teleporter room looms ahead of them. With the riftripper beyond.

"A trap seems likely, but we we can't afford to hesitate now." The plan has been set, there's no need to go over it a second time. He quickly turns to Demi "Let us take that hatch." He says, motioning towards number 6. He also glances at Bang "Alright?" Awaiting their responses, then he dashes for the teleporter.

To tell the truth, Paula feels very odd without Link or Ness here with her, especially on a really important mission like this. Trying her best to remain as inconspicuous as possible, Paula selects a hatch and charges forwards...for Videoland!

...and for hatch number 4.

Marco Rossi stands at the teleporters with Mike and Maya. His rifle is in his hands, meaning he's not going to mess around with grunts now. "How about we take this one here?" asks Marco, gesturing to Teleporter 1. He's an excellent squad leader, but Maya and Mike have been more active Palace members than him, so he's not going to be the team leader in this situation.

Monika Allenford doesn't even slow down - she runs after Athlon, still visible and moving at her best speed behind him. The bulky satchel doesn't seem to interfere all that much, despite its obvious size. Must be lighter than it looks.

Chizuru glances around at the robotic lair. Intimidating. "Gentlemen," she says to the two Metro City madmen, before making a quick gesture and letting out a fighter's shout.

Then she launches an apparent duplicate of herself towards Teleporter 3, where it lands and turns to wave a hand to beckon the two of them closer. The Chizuru behind them vanishes, as it was the illusion all along.

Dante quickly heads towards hatch 5, guns drawn! "PARTY TIME LADIES! Let's rock, and turn whatever Wily's built into scrap! ...and sell the scrap, of course."

Princess Lana is walking smoothly, her right hand resting easily on the butt of her Light Blaster, her boots clicking along the floor as she strides toward the third teleporter.

"Coming, dears?" she asks sweetly, stepping into the machine.

"Follow me!" Cress says to Alba and Piastol. The man has taken point for this infiltration; after all, he is likely the sturdiest. The swordsman walks ahead quickly, also approaching Hatch 4. He turns around, then nods. "Be on your guard."

Then, he draws his weapon of choice: Dooku's lightsaber, which comes to life with a flash of red and a hiss.

Bang sprints into the room just behind Ziggy. His fists are just getting warmed up!

"Six has always been my lucky number, Zig-man. Let's rock and roll! It's our duty to Videoland!" Tucking and rolling, Bang ends up landing on Teleporter 6. *zip!*

Cody Travers charges in, his face red from yet another problematic warp drop. As the heroes gather at the gates, he looks around...before Chizuru makes the decision for him and Haggar. "...well, better than nothin', right?" he says, looking back to Haggar. "So you ready, Old Man?

Lady A is staying with Athlon and Monika, for now. As they enter the teleporter room, she is happy to be letting the other Gamemaster take the lead-- he seems to be good at it, anyway. However, she knows he wants her to run point, so, she runs toward the front when they get closer to the teleporters, and enters the 8th hatch.

Mike Jones does not run. Running is for suckers. Michael Bartholomue Jones travles via /jet boots/. Which are kind of primitive, and in fact slower than running, but at the very least Mike looks cool. "Works for me! Hatch 1!" The N-Teamer commands, pointing Dramaticly at the first teleportation hatch.

Chizuru Kagura flips a coin and gets heads.

Mike Haggar makes it through the warp without incident, rearin' to go. "Born ready! Let's do this! YEAH!" He charges into the teleporter, leaping as he Blinks out.

Raquel Applegate does /not/ run into the teleporter. Instead, she tries to get Paracelsus out of ABA's face, because having your teammate (even if she doesn't know her) with a serious headache is probably a bad idea. And it looked painful.

Only after that does she enter the warp.

Arnaud looks at A.B.A. quizzically, and with more than a little terror as the key actually impacts A.B.A's face. Once Raquel attempts to deal with that, though, he decides to rush toward the teleporter. "No matter where, no matter how far," he says, half-ready, half-resigned; he begins running a series of complex calculations in his head, trying to figure out every single possible way he could efficiently handle this.

Chizuru Kagura actually leaped to teleporter 2. Continuity error!

Maya is moving with Mike and Macro "Yup." He rifle's at the ready and she heads through the teleporter.

Piastol is generally better suited to being a follower rather than a leader when in group situations. And since Cress has automatically taken command, well, she's willing to do as he says and follow him into Teleporter 4, the Deathhound charging along after her.

As Cress hurries ahead of him, Alba follows after the swordsman. He keeps himself close to the swordsman, finally finishing up with his last minute changes to the orbment, snapping it shut and taking off in a quick run. He's fast- surprisingly so, actually. When he mentions that he believes he can trust his feet to get him to wherever he needs, apparently, he means it. "I'm prepared to assist when its needed." He quickly slips into the teleporter as well.

Teleporting Hatch 6 <Skull Man>

It's a long Robot Master level, leading towards a boss! At least it is for now...

The teleporting hatch dumps the three Palacites onto the ground, which proves to be rather disturbing at first sight: it appears to be composed of bone. However, a quick inspection will confirm that it is actually made of metal - meaning it is macabre, instead of a war crime. That doesn't make the place any more comforting.

All around them, droids are crawling about - Gunner Joes, Metools, and other such things. Fortunately, the level appears rather short - a straight path through a host of enemies, falling blacks crushing metal bones, and a few hills and pits.

The end path is a garage door, with a Dr. W symbol over it.

"Bones? Bleh. Looks like Guycott's brand of decoration." However, Bang sees no flying skeletons in flapping scarves, so he whips out his trusty pistol and shoots a few Mets when their little helmets raise. The Mets explode showoffishly, and Bang fistpumps. "We'll be there in no time!" He leaps over one of the rare pits, moving with his team towards the end boss.

Ziggurat 8 doesn't stop to observe the scenery. Metal bones, ok. Given that Wily's castle is called Skull Fortress this is a bit redundant. They've already seen the bone motif. With his armblade out, Ziggy only pauses to slice through whatever drone that might get in his way enroute to the end. He's grateful for the short trip, but remains focused nevertheless. If anything, Wily is known for trickery.

Reaching the end, he approaches the.. garage door. He shakes his head. Now is not the time to ponder Wily's aesthetics. Still... how does one open this? "I assume we just approach it..." He ponders aloud, before walking towards the door, proving he IS a total Megaman newbie. Because, if he knew what he was doing, he would JUMP at the door to hovor through it. Like everyone else.

Demi pulls out her rifle, carefully taking aim and picking off some of the drones that are wandering around. It seemed like pretty typical trash, overall - the sort of throwaway enemies that would probably keep out curious passer bys, but not anyone who was truely serious about making progress. She says little as she follows along behind her companions, using a grappeling hook to deal with the pits. "...I wonder if all of the paths have this sort of theme going on?" she adds at last as they approach the garage door, walking in behind Ziggy.

The door opens as the three of them approach, on its own. This leads into a chamber, with a sudden drop off - and nothing but a bone motif and an otherwise rather drab decor. However, at the center is a man, standing as tall as a human. If it weren't for them knowing better and Demi's sensors, he would likely seem human at first glance.

Suffice to say, Skull Man is a robot - if one clad in a death's head mask. He looks at them, and laughs, derisively. "Should have expected you... is this how it always is?" he asks, pacing towards them. "A band of heroes, against the villains! The fate of Videoland!"

He would be smirking, if he could. "Pathetic, really."

The door opens as the three of them approach, on its own. This leads into a chamber, with a sudden drop off - and nothing but a bone motif and an otherwise rather drab decor. However, at the center is a man, standing as tall as a human. If it weren't for them knowing better and Demi's sensors, he would likely seem human at first glance.

Suffice to say, Skull Man is a robot - if one clad in a death's head mask. He looks at them, and laughs, derisively. "Should have expected you... is this how it always is?" he asks, pacing towards them. "A band of heroes, against the villains! The fate of Videoland!"

He would be smirking, if he could. "Pathetic, really." He lifts up something in his hand: a large pistol, wound with wires and the like, which should be rather familiar. It appears to be a Riftripper, if sized differently.

Dashing into the room, Ziggy and his comrades come face to face with Death itself. Or, Death's fanboy, anyway. "Skull Man, is it?" Wily really needs to get an imagination. He's about to make another comment, before he notices the weapon Skull Man pulls out.

Oh dear.

It doesn't take the cyborg long to figure out that this is not a good thing. "Stop him!" He shouts to the others, before dashing at the Robot Master himself. He's not about to let Skull Man open a rift in here. If ALL of others have similar guns, who knows what will happen if they all go off?

Demi stops as she notes the gun he has in hand - how strange. It was certainly not the usual sort of thing that you would expect a Robot Master to be equipped with. She does take a moment to reply to his boasting however, her voice level and not at all threatening. "Perhaps, but we do care about Videoland - it seems obvious by now that the Fortress does not, if they are willing to destroy it with their wild plans and weaponry they do not truly understand."

Raising her rifle, she doesn't even wait for Ziggy's order to try and keep the Robot Master from using the weapon. After all, the consequences would be... unfortunate, truth be told. And so she shoulders her own weapon, sighting down the barrel at the gun in Skull Man's hand, and squeezes off a blast of sonic energy - a giant sonic pulse that she hopes will hit him and knock the gun out of his hand.

Bang's been around about as long as the Blue Bomber and tends towards similar goals so he's surely run into one of these doors a time or two. As such, Bang hovers into the room in a totally awesome karate pose, then lands on the ground with a *crunch*. He looks up from his stereotypical movie hero crouch and sees--

"Oh shi Riftripper. This ain't good." He carefully aims his gun for Skull Man's hand - if the robot intends to open a Rift, Bang intends to shoot him until dollar signs come out.

Robot Masters are all built with a purpose - direct combat, energy manipulation, stopping time. Skull Man's is defense, which is why a field of skulls rises outward, each piece flying from the floor, the ceiling, the walls around them - and forms a barrier around him.

They move quickly, a line of skulls flying towards the charging Ziggy in an effort to clothesline him. A few over swoop around, intercepting Demi's and Bang's shots as they take them - and deflect them backward, shooting them into walls and the like.

"I've come to believe Videoland isn't real." Skull Man laughs, and the skulls that deflected the shots come swooping down at Demi and Bang from multiple angles. "It's so scripted, so /convenient/. Doesn't this bother you?"

Ziggy takes the brunt of the flying skull on the chin, but it only stops him for a moment. "Does that bother me?" He repeats. "Not really." He's learned to shrug off philosophical trickery like that, after all the times he's had to deal with Albedo.

"The NATURE of Videoland's existance is not my concern here. I'm here to make sure it continues existing." He dashes at Skull Man again. And he'll do so as many times as he needs to in order to penetrate his defenses.

You want defense? Keep doing the skull thing, we'll show you defense. Bang flexes up, deciding the gun approach isn't work, and sprints towards Skull Man, hoping he won't block Demi's shot. He's not one to discuss philosophy, so he simply opts for "grunt." and attempting to roundhouse kick Skull Man.

Demi staggers as a flying skull slams into her from behind, nearly knocking her off of her feet, but she grunts and regains her balance after a moment. That was a cheap shot - well, she could do something about that, at least. Turning, she raises one hand - a barrier projecting out across the room and forming an energy shield that should sap much of the power from any additional flying skulls for a few moments at least. It should buy them some time to deal with the Master, and hopefully eliminate his gun. "I ask myself that sort of thing from time to time - and I've found that Videoland is just as real as any other place is. The Gamemasters may believe some crazy thing about all of us not being real people, but... they're wrong. There's nothing more to it."

"Then you're a fool for it!" Skull Man snaps back at Ziggy. The skulls spark as Ziggy's attacks hit them - his blade and limbs cut them, sometimes leaving grooves. Eventually, a few begin to break apart and shatter. This, plus Demi's field, causes his focus to be distracted.

The result is, Bang manages to kick him in his side. The Robot Master flies backward, hitting the ground hard and knocking up a few bones. "You're also a fool... ignorant of the truth you have to know in your heart."

He lifts his Riftripper pistol, just as the teleporter hatch lights up - and, indeed, it may distract them from that as he fires. A bolt of blue light tears out, forming a rip in the area above them. Reality pulses, once, and then bones and the like begin to be sucked into the newly torn rift. "Videoland is a work of a mad mind! A mad creation, by a mad doctor! A--"

And then, he goes through - as do the rest, in due order. They're deposited on a street, and a busy one at that. Strangely, though, many of the taxi cabs and whatnot in this metropolis have already stopped. People are staring in the distance.

On a tower some distance away, two men in jumpsuits speak. The taller, balding one looks at one who could be called plump. "Ray, /what/ did you do?"

"I... I couldn't help it. I just thought of..." He frowns. ""

Skull Man, on his street, stands up and laughs. "Fools! This will be the end of you! This will--" And then, a massive column of white, sugary, fluffy stuff descends - and steps on him. Should they look up, they will see something: an immense, rotund man standing tall as skyscrapers, with a sailor's hat and a pleasant grin on his face.

The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man cometh.

Unable to stop the Robot Master from opening the rift, Ziggy can do nothing more to fight their transition to another world. But something is wrong. Where is the portal? The gateway? There doesn't seem to be an actual rift, they just seem to BE at a new location.

He'll have to worry about getting back later, though, as it appears they have something else to worry about. In all his years, in all the missions he's been on, he's ever seen anything like this. And for a few minutes he really doesn't know how to react. If he were a smartalec, he'd ask Bang if he had a campfire. But, Ziggy isn't quite so witty. So he'll just have to settle for fighting it the old fashioned way.

"No time to gawk." He says finally. "Whatever you have in your arsenals, it's time to use them." He says as he collects a massive surge of electrical power in his fist, before slamming it into the ground, sending a shockwave towards the giant marshmallow man.

"Welp," Bang says, "time to go." With that, he glances up into the sky, then pulls a little remote control from his pocket and punches a button. There's a cheerful noise above the Stay-Puft Man, and then a shop begins falling from the sky. Only time will tell whether it will make a dent in Puffy or not.

Demi stops. And looks up. And up. And up. And up some more. " I'm glad I skipped lunch," she comments idly, taking her gun and slinging it around onto her back. "Alright, so we're in another place, facing off against a gargantuan creature made out of marshmallow that is guaranteed to stay puffed." She pauses, thinking for a moment. "Alright, I've seen stranger. Bang, Ziggy, can you keep this thing busy? I have an idea about how we might be able to cut this thing down to size!"

She digs around in her pack for a moment, searching for something in her gear kit . And then, smiling, she pulls out a length of rope and an air powered gun, sliding the rope into the grappling hook. And she runs around, looking for a chance to get behind the sugary giant and launch her hook onto its back.

The lightning shoots along the ground and into the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. The being stumbles as it walks, its face contorting into a cartoonish expression of pain. Small fires burst out along its feet and on its body. Then, the shop falls from the sky and hits it. Chunks of sugary goodness come raining down - and when a couple hit cars, crush them.

The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is made of tougher stuff than this, mortals. That does not stop it, however, from having a grappling hook dug into its back. It howls silently and twists, but Demi has her way up.

Unfortunately, this makes it angry. It twists about, growling, and tries to similarly step on Ziggy and Bang. Skull Man appears to be absorbed into the thing.

Even more unfortunately, someone else is here: the person who entered the Teleporter Hatch at the last minute. Behind Ziggy, she clears her throat. "Excuse me, but what the bloody /hell/ are you doing?" Firewire asks, as she levels a shotgun at the cyborg. "Are you--"

Ziggy finds out where the warp is the easy way. A bolt of lightning shoots from the top of an apartment building, which has a rather nasty looking bit of alien architecture and a tear in the sky in it. It appears Gozer's gateway has absorbed the warp into it. The lightning strikes Beth, and she screams.

However, she appears unhurt. She simply declares, "There is no Firewire. There is only Zuul."

Oh bollux. Ziggy looks from Firewire/Zuul, to the Marshmallow Man, and back again. "Keep fighting." He finally says. Whipping a rocket launcher from Xenosubspace, he fires a few volleys at the Marshmallow giant.

This situation has already lost him, and he can't contact Lady A or the other Gamemasters for any advice on how to deal with a situation they would likely recognize. So he may as well continue fighting, and adjust his plans accordingly as is needed.

"Watch o--" is all Bang has time to scream as the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man steps on him. Luckily, he's got his hand on another button, and is almost immediately armed with the Aqualung. He knows the shop is just about straight up from here, and Marshmallow is a bit thicker than water, but...

Inside the Marshmallow Man, unable to hear Beth's declaration, Bang shrugs. Time to get movin'. Bang begins swimming upward through the Marshmallow Man.

No need to actually climb here - Demi pushes a button on the hook gun, and it reels her up off the ground, raising her up into the air until she is hanging at the small of this thing's back... if it were human, and its back were not much different than its front due to it just being a gigantic marshmallow. Swinging back and forth on her hook, she digs into her pack for a moment, before pulling out a small explosive, with four little hooks on it, allowing it to dig into whatever surface it has been placed upon. She winds up, and tosses it underhand onto the back of the Marshmallow Man.

The time begins ticking down. 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

Is she trying to hurt it? Not really - just make a spot that is melted a bit, and thus softer.

The Stay-Puft Marshmallow man hows in pain again, as the explosive goes off. Its shell is apparently soft enough for this to spit off flaming chunks of marshmallow into the nearby area. Ziggy's efforts are also causing damage, much to the thing's dismay - blowing off more chunks of it.

Unfortunately, Ziggy has made a key miscalculation. Beth growls once, and then hunches down on all fours. Her skin promptly hardens, becoming leathery, and her face extends into a demonic visage.


Beth-the-ugly-ass-dog leaps for Ziggurat 8, and tries to tackle him with her now supernaturally powerful limbs.

Oh shi-demondog. The cyborg is tackled by the newly transformed Firewire. Again, if he were a more witty person he'd say something like 'this is a good look for you', but instead he absorbs the impact with an eloquent "-afgkt!"

Tumbling to the ground, Ziggy uses all the strength in his cybernetic limbs (hopefully a match for Firewire's new demonic strength) to push her off of him, and brings his elbowblade back into place. He ALMOST feels bad for her, if it weren't for the fact that EVIL really brought this situation on itself. "Bad girl." He quips. "Play dead." He says before striking at her with the blade.

Well there goes his witty quota for the year.

Unaware that Firewire has become... well. Ugly and less nice than she was before, Demi swings around and gets a bit of momentum, before slamming into the melted hole that she's made in the marshmallow man. Given that she doesn't need to breathe - although this is going to be gooey, and extremely unpleasant, she has to admit - she pushes her way deeper and deeper into the mass of the creature. Bang was heading upwards, so she would aim downwards, and hopefully a two part attack would allow them to defeat this thing.

Marshmallow gets its texture and consistency from a large number of micro vacuoles within the sugary structure, essentially relying upon the air inside of it to maintain its shape. However, if sufficient disruption was applied to those vacuoles, the air would escape as the sugar attempted to reseat itself, and the entire mass would be reduced to a liquid consistency for a moment, before contracting to a size significantly smaller than it had previously been.

In essence, Demi opens up the emitters on her Phononmezer, and unleashes a massive sonic blast down through the marshmallow man's legs, disrupting their structure and hopefully rendering them unusable for locomotion/

Swimming, swimming, swimming... KABOOM! Bang happens to be near the Marshmallow Man's back when Demi puts a hole in its back a few feet from him. Following the vibrations, Bang - clad in armor and covered in marshmallow, pokes his head out. "Sweet!" he says, beginning to climb up the back of the thing towards its head and giving Demi a thumbs-up.

Glancing down, he makes the "call me when we end this world crisis" hand motion and ascends the marshmallow dude, shooting sideways towards Firewire/Zuul when he can get a clear shot. Which isn't often.

Incidentally, where are the Ghostbusters among all this chaos?

Zuul snarls angrily, as she is pushed backward, and then slashed. Black blood oozes from the wound left on it, but it howls once at the cyborg. Then, its eyes glow a harsh, fiercesome red color. The beast bounds upward, lunging again for Ziggy. Its massive claws try to dig into his armor, backed with the /unholy power/ of Gozer the Gozerian.

Unfortunately, Zuul then takes a shot to its shoulder. It's rolled backward as its attack finishes, and slams into a nearby car - destroying /that/ one, too.

The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man's legs suddenly explode - the marshmallow is rendered into liquid, and the entire thing comes crashing down. Goo slushes outward, rolling towards Ziggy and Zuul alike - and the former is caught in it, rolled away and covered in the sticky white stuff.

Indeed, Demi's ploy seems successful. Someone tells her so. "Good job," a voice says, just as a mechanical arm, coated in a bone motif armor, throws a punch at her /inside/ the upper body of the immobilized Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

And up on the top of the building, light surges and lightning crackles as the sky continues to split. "This is bad," Ray notes, "this is very, very bad."

"What can we do?" Egon asks. "Even with those people fighting Ray's little creation, Gozer will still overwhelm us all. There may be nothing--"

"Cross the streams, " Peter says.

Bang finally reaches the top of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man! Kudos to Demi for getting it down. He climbs /up/ towards the shop, disappearing inside very briefly and reappearing to tuck a new shop call into his pocket... and with a shiny new rifle-like weapon. Crouching atop the amorphous goo, he leaps atop the shop to ride it to the ground, and aims at Zuul.

"Man, I /hate/ demons," Bang mutters, and fires off a bar of crackling energy from his brand spankin' new Thundershot.

Ziggurat 8 has fought stronger opponents than a demonized Firewire. (of course, just saying he has FOUGHT stronger opponents doesn't mean much if he didn't win) He seems in good shape so far, so he doesn't hesitate in continuing the attack. Even coated in melted Marshmallow. Ow. Sticky. Everyone on the battlefield gets a Slow status effect.

Ziggy charges (slowly) at Firezuul (Zuulwire?) and lets off a Cyber Kick, a series of repeating, flaming, kicks that would make Chun-Li jealous.

And even though he didn't hear Peter's comment, his 'Oh sh*t' sense is suddenly tingling.

There is a loud *CLANK* as Skull Man punches Demi, and her head snaps to the side for a moment - but lets be honest. Demi is built of tougher stuff than Doctor Wily had ever dreamed of building his Robot Masters out of, and she simply turns her head back around, rubbing her jaw for a moment as she looks down into the marshmallow MESS that is left over from this huge, nasty thing.

"Thank you," she comments, making sure none of the joints in her chin were misaligned by that hit. She can't see much besides that arm, but she shoves her own arm into the mess in the general direction of Skull Man. "I apologize," she comments, rerouting power as she shunts a piece of magnetized plasma from her power core into her arm, holding it just inside of the tip of her index finger. "But I'm afraid that you are going to find cleaning all of this marshmallow out of your internal joints to be extremely difficult."

And she discharges that packet of magnetized plasma right into the Robot Master, hopefully at point blank ranged. A weapon designed to be used to defeat robotic sentinels that had gone rogue, designed to discharge a huge amount of magnetized energy into them, and cause every metal part on their body to simultaneously repel every other metal part. It was called, for lack of much imagination, Spark.

Spark proves potent. Skull Man's eyes widen behind his death's head mask, just before it slams into him - and then the massive discharge of plasma hits him, wreaking havoc on his body and burning the nearby marshmallow to a blackened crisp - and then, worse, it throws him backward like a missile. He rips out of the body, and slams into the ground.

The Robot Master does not rise again. Its Riftripper Pistol lays on the ground next to it, smoking softly.

Zuul is shot again by Bang. It hows as the thunderbolt jumps through it - and is then kicked hard by the fiery set of blows from Ziggy. The cyborg's final kick throws into the window of a storefront, and then leaves it there.

On top of the building, at Gozer's temple, Egon nods. "It's the only chance we have left. Let's do it!" And thus, the four Ghostbusters line up, and fire their rifles - crossing the streams of protons, which then cause the portal to crackle. Lightning shoots up it, and an otherworldly howl can be heard, before fire explodes outward in a massive blossom.

The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, promptly, turns entirely into sugary liquid, and things seem to fall quiet. And yet, at the top, the tear in the sky remains, though it resembles a form the Palacites should know: a massive rift.

Ziggy pauses for just a moment to make sure Firewire stays down. Then, convinced she won't be hassling them again in the near future, dashes over to Demi, and looks at the Riftripper pistol.

"Do you think you can make use of that?" He asks, glancing up at the sky. "We need to do something quickly, or else the tear will threaten this world as well."

As for Firewire, well, they can leave her there. She can probably find her own way back. Maybe. If not, well, I'm sure the Ghostbusters can use a new secretary.

Demi pulls herself out of the marshmallow a moment later, giving a quiet 'ick' as she tries to brush most of the goo off of her clothing. "...its going to be bad enough getting it out of MY internal joints," she comments quietly to herself, before walking over and picking up the smoking riftripper gun from the ground. She was actually sort of surprised that the gun was even still intact after having been stepped on by that marshmallow thing. She turns, before glancing up into the sky. "...oh, this can not be good," she comments. At Ziggy's comment, she glances over at him. "Give me a moment - I need to talk to Monika to see if there's a quick way to reconfigure this thing - if not, I'll need a few minutes to experiment."

Bang leaps from atop the shop as it sinks to the ground, gradually vanishing with a *pop*! Bang lands next to Ziggy and Demi, looking at the pistol. "Man, if she can't, I know I can." After a pause he says, "Though I might destroy reality a couple of times first. Hazard of the job, y'know."

Ziggurat 8 glances at Bang. "Plan B." He says.

Bang looks up from his radio, and at Ziggy and Demi. "I could always try plan B."

Inside the store front Zuul was thrown into, nothing is left but a statue - far within, and not in immediate sight. However, its left foreleg suddenly cracks a mechanical arm rips downward, and breaks off the stone. Then, it begins peeling the rest off. When it ends, Beth is left there, breathing hard in the darkness.

She looks out, seeing Ziggy, Bang, and Demi - with the Riftripper. Could she Pause, get it, and flee in time? Unlikely. But if she can beat them to the warp...

She reaches down, taps a button on her keyboard, and time freezes - then, she charges forward, jumping up, and calls out her cursor. It hits her as she leaps, and throws her up.

As the Pause end, she lands most unceremoniously on the top of the building. The Ghostbusters turn and look at her. "Who's that?" Ray asks. "I don't recognize her."

"The tooth fairy?" Peter asks.

Demi just looks at Bang. "...I think a bit of sci-" Ker-Paused. "-entific work on this might work a bit better. Oh, and... where did that beasty thing go?" she asks, looking around, before glancing down at the Riftripper gun. Well, it wasn't all that sophisticated. "You guys should head towards the warp out of here - I'll do what I can to contain the damage here," she comments, pulling out a wire from the back of her neck and looking for a chip of some sort on the pistol. She can hear that screaming, from far off, and it doesn't bode well. "I'll try and interface directly with the gun and see if I can adjust it on the fly."

Ziggurat 8 nods to Demi. "Well, do what you can." Then glances back up at the sky. Something zapped the Marshmallow Man. Whatever it was it probably saved their butts. Heroes of this world, perhaps? He only wishes he had the time to find out who they were, but time is not something they have a lot of.

As Demi suggests interfacing directly with the gun, Ziggy nods again. "Just be careful."

Bang pauses, unpauses, and nods at Demi. "You're the scientist. You do that." He looks up. "I'm gonna go talk to--" And then he sees Firewire up there, too. "Oh, /hell./" Bang runs into the building, hoping there's an express elevator to the top, because if Firewire gets any bright ideas with those guys with the big energy guns around, the whole world could go to hell in a handbasket.

Plus, you know, screaming Master Hand. Yadda yadda.

"Who the /hell/ are you?" Peter asks. Just then, he is hurled aside by a wave of telekinetic force from the Gamemistress. She begins striding towards the Rift, and looks at it. As she does, her face mirrors Egon's: a look of sheer surprise.

Near the Rift is a large cylinder, which has "Dr. W" imprinted upon it. Unfortunately, its mechanics are fused to the archaic stone around it - and somehow, it operates anyways.

"What the..." Beth and Egon say, at once, before she throws Egon away, too.

Bang waits for the elevator to the top. *ding!* He leaps out in his best heroic pose, trying not to let everything going on outside of here bother him. End of the world? Meh. You wouldn't know it by looking at Bang's face.

He looks at the canister, then looks at Beth, then look at the canister. He points at Firewire. "You got about 3.2 seconds to explain /what this is/ before I punch the living **** out of it and shut that rift. Unless it'll take us back, then I'll go through it and punch something else."

Ziggurat 8 watches Bang flee into the building, then turns to Demi "We should follow him. I'm sure you can analyse the gun on the way." Whatever is happening here, it's happening up there. Besides, at the very least the top of the building is closer to the rift than they are on the street.

Demi walks along behind Ziggy, waiting for the second elevator to the top of the building as she continues to fiddle with the Riftripper gun. She curses mentally - she never had a chance to look at once of these, or one of the designs for the Rift Closer devices. Since Monika had taken care of everything, she just didn't have all the background details, meaning this was going to be more about intuition and artistic touch rather than science and logic like she had said to Bang.

"A power generator for a shield around the main unit," Beth explains. She looks at Bang and frowns, turning around and keeping herelf between the fused generator and the Palacite. He is alone, which puts her at an advantage - at least briefly. Unfortunately, she lacks a Pause to get the jump on him with. "And, in all likelihood, it's made the Rift stronger."

That was the only explanation. "It's feeding off the power of a dark Sumerian God, after all." She then taps once at her keyboard, and her katana appears. Beth jumps, and slashes hard for Bang, with little warning. "Now, get /away/ from it!"

"Not likely--" Bang tries to sidestep the katana, but ends up simply taking the slash in the arm. He hisses, a gash appearing down his arm, and begins concentrating. FORCE POWER activate. Form of--

KARATE POWER. Bang begins glowing and flashing. This complete invulnerability will last for approximately 30 seconds, during which time he leaps for Firewire, fists a-flyin', aiming to at least distract the Dark Gamemistress while someone else figures out what is going on.

Ziggy arrives shortly after Bang, just in time to watch the Karate Power spectacle. The cyborg is now really glad he snagged him for his team. He takes a few minutes to observe the situation.

Large, angry looking rift.

Generator in bad shape.

A capsule with a 'W' on it, no brainer.

Men in jumpsuits looking very confused.

Ok. He turns back to Demi and says "Let me know if you make any progress with the riftripper. I'm going to try and analyse the generator while Bang is keeping Firewire busy."

Demi nods to Ziggy. "Will do," she comments, before wandering over and waving idly to the men in jumpsuits. In one moment, she probably revolutionizes the world as three of its top scientists observe a fully functional, ambulatory, sentient android working on reconfiguring a gun designed to rip holes in the dimensional fabric.

Well, at least its not TOO unusual for around here.

She smiles, before adding, "We believe that the cansiter with the W on it is part of that giant, world devouring spatial distortion up above," she comments politely. "If there is anything you could do to help, it would be appreciated." Smile at the Ghostbusters Demi, smile. Even if you are distracted by this gun.

Firewire takes a few punches to the face and one to the stomach, but she lands and quickly rolls. Her eyes narrow as she comes back up to a kneel - and then, she sweeps her legs out in a rapid kick aimed for Bang's feet. "Do you think karate power will be enough to save you?" she snaps. Then, she follows with a quick, one-handed slash with her katana.

The Ghostbusters, in the meantime, stare at Demi. Three continue to stare, while Egon suddenly smiles. "I see! Well, if we crossed the streams, we /could/ reverse polarity on whatever generated that Rift."

"Or," Peter suggest, "we could accept that this is crazy."

"Unf." Bang smirks as Beth's leg connects with his - and he doesn't move. However, Karate Power is going to run out just in time to, yes, let him get hit with the sword. Freakin' FORCE. He glares at Firewire. "KARATE POWER is more than enough to save me. It'll save the WORLD." He lunges for Firewire, attempting to grab her and toss her towards the shield generator.

To Ziggy and Demi, he quickly yells out, "Canister! It's a shield! Hit it! Break it! Making rift stronger! Gotta hit Gamemaster!"

"I can undersatand that you might want to pass these circumstances off as some sort of mass hallucination or perhaps a strange, eletronic light show, but I'm afraid that this really is happening," Demi replies, sighing slightly. She pokes at the gun again, making a few adjustments and wincing as a puff of smoke comes out of it. "...oh that's not good. Hmmm. But yes, if you think that you have something that you might be able to do to disable that generator, it would be helpful." If she can't find anything useful with this gun soon, she's just going to have to try and shoot things.

Destroy the canister? With gusto! "Right." Ziggy says, then lunges towards his evil opponent... the inanimate Canister. Well SOMEONE has to do it. Ziggy's got enough force in his cybernetic legs to demolish it with one swift kick. In fact, he probably punts it clear across to Manhattan.

For a moment he turns to the Ghostbusters. If the Green-haired android girl can't convince them this isn't crazy, perhaps the cyborg can. "To explain this situation would require much more time than we have at the moment. Simply put, your world is in danger, so is ours, so long as that rift remains. We are doing what we can to seal it, return home, and save both worlds." He glances back at Firewire, still fighting Bang. "She is in our way." Ok, so maybe it's only a half-truth. it's mostly correct.

Beth slams into the canister, hard. Some of its casing dents inward, suggesting it may be more fragile than some might expect. She leaps away from it, then, and goes diving for Bang again. As she does, her artificial left arm is raised - and a wave of wires fly free from it, turning and twisting together.

Then, a hard spike drives forward, in an effort to impale Bang.

At the same time, Ziggy kicks the canister hard. The shield generator is struck, ripped from its base and crumpling inward at once - and flies down, where it splashes into the sugary muck from the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

Egon nods to the rest, while Peter shuts up. Ray and Winston step up next to the top scientist; after a moment, Peter joins them. "All right," Egon says. "So what do you want us to do?"

Ziggy pauses. He was kind of hoping that they would just go with his suggestion and do their own thing. Oh well. He looks back to the rift, to Firewire, and to Demi. Then, glances back at the Ghostbusters and eyes Egon. He can tell an egghead from a mile away. The technology is alien, they don't have much time, but it's worth a shot. "You..." He motions to Egon. "See if you can assist Demi with the Riftripper Pistol." Waving a hand to the android. Then turning to the others "As for the rest of you, how would you be able to make a suitable distraction?" He glances back at Firewire. Bang's Karate Power could wear off at any time, and they really don't need an angry Dark Gamemaster interfering with them.

The spike slams hard into Bang's gut, then keeps right on going and slams into the side of some vertical piece of the building. Gozer's temple, maybe. Bang yells very briefly, then grits his teeth in pain as he finds himself attached to the wall temporarily. Blood pours from the wound, and Bang continues "rrrrrr"'ing angrily.

He notices the canister got punted to the ground. Good. No more shield generator. He smiles slightly, then, with a shaky hand, brings the Thundershot out of its holster and aims it toward Firewire. Managing a breath or three, asks, "Remember this?" His arm vibrates (man, it'd be nice to have some diazepan), and he fires a few shots in the Dark Gamemaster's direction.

"Pardon me for one second..." Demi comments, before turning and walking to the edge of the building. She was notorious in wanting to make sure that she did a complete job on things - and so she reaches around and pulls her rifle off of its sling on her back, and sights it on the canister where it landed in the marshmallow goo. And she pulls back on the loading level, ejecting the last sonic charge and loading up a new one, and pumps a full power shot into what is left of the generator. Turning around, she smiles. "Well, what about this 'cross the streams' bit you suggested? You can cross them, I'll shoot the Riftripper into them, and we shot it all into that giant rift and see what happens."

"That could work," Egon says. He looks down at the canister, wincing as it explodes apart entirely from Demi's blast. "I mean, at this point, we're just guessing, but the reaction from crossing the proton streams is strong and it tends to reverse polarity."

Reversing polarity is the heart of science fiction solutions.

Firewire, this time, weaves through the blasts from Bang's arm. She narrows her eyes, and raises her sword up, as if to impale him - and then, narrows her eyes. Down on the street below, as she issues a silent command, Skull Man's body explodes in a plume of flame that she hopes will distract Bang, as she takes one, heavy swing for him.

Apparently not waiting for the other Ghostbusters (just let Egon do his thing!) Ziggy dashes towards Firewire himself. Hey, b*tch, I'm back. Ziggy tries to deliver a quick boot to da head, shortly after Firewire issues the command to Skull Man. The less coherent Firewire is when they try to pull this off, the better.

Idly, Ziggy glances at Bang. "Need some help?"

Bang, unfortunately, can't even see Skull Man from here, thanks to whatever he's impaled against. Might catch Ziggy's attention, though. Bang, for his part--well, his eyes widen, and he manages to pull himself off the wall in time to sidestep the katana stab. He tucks and rolls past Beth, bleeding heavily, and ends up in a half-crouch, half-kneel, half-slump.

(But that's three halves!, you might be saying. Well, Bang's crouches are mighty.)

He braces himself against the pain, and begins summnoning the FORCE POWER again - this time, to attempt to heal his wounds. He glances up at Ziggy. "Sure, if you wanna take a go. I've gotta--" he gestures at the hole in his stomach. "You know, gotta work on this a sec." FORCE POWER healing takes a little bit to work properly.

Demi nods, before turning and pointing up at the sky. "Alright, aim your weapons up into that rift, and do what it is that you do best. As soon as you've established a carrier stream for the weapon, I'll finish the last reconfiguraitons, and fire it into the stream, hopefully reversing the polarity and closing that rift." She smiles for a moment, and offers a slight shurg. "Its been a pleasure meeting you, either way."

The kick to her head takes Beth's attention from Bang and to Ziggy. She hits the ground of Gozer's temple and rolls over a few times, before she comes back up, crouching. The woman glowers at him, then readies her katana. It is unnaturally sharp. It may be able to cut through that metal armor.

She charges Ziggy, then, and slashes hard, turning as she does to put herself a little closer to the Rift.

"You, too. A shame we can't talk longer!" Egon says. Then, he looks at the other Ghostbusters. "Let's do it. Again."

The four take up their position, aiming their rifles for the Rift. Then, each fires - sending a stream of bright, pulsing light into the Rift. As they cross them, it makes energy run along the Rift, crackling and causing it to pulse and undulate.

Winston and Egon, between them, have left enough room for Demi to stand and fire the Riftripper Pistol.

Demi points the Riftripper gun up into the rift, aiming along the lines of the intertwined proton streams. Closes her eyes. And she pulls the trigger.

" this supposed to take this long to fire?"

And then the gun hickups once, and fires, sending a large... well. Demi honestly has no idea what this is going to look like. Its simply going to be loud, and big, and hopefully world saving.

Bang finally closes the wound, so he stops leaking. He doesn't have enough FORCE POWER right now to close his shoulder or chest wounds, but he has enough awesomeness to fight Beth again. He sprints towards Ziggy and Firewire.

"Get outta here!" Apparently Bang means it quite literally; he spins around, attempting to deliver a vicious roundhouse kick to Beth's midsection and hopefully not get impaled again in the meantime.

Bang strikes Firewire with his trivial CHUCK NORRIS, ***** attack.

Ziggy takes the blade without trying to dodge. He knows this isn't going to turn into a full-out battle, he just needs to keep Firewire occupied long enough. He can take a swordstrike or two (But damn is he ever going to need repairs when he goes back, ow) If only he can keep Firewire busy long enough for Bang to make another counter-attack.. why here we go!

The beam that shoots from the Riftripper is a wild, pulsating stream of blue light - and as it fires, it initially seems to make reality crackle uncomfortably. However, as it hits the point where the proton flows cross, something strange happens. The light from the Riftripper shines brightly, and then an orderly green beam of light comes out on the other end.

The Rift is struck, and it quickly begins reducing in size. The thing shrinks downward, bit by bit - and the light inside, as the beams fade, changes from an undulating blue light to a clear picture of the room Skull Man had been in.

Beth is, indeed, too busy striking again at Ziggy to notice Bang. When he roundhouse kicks her again, she goes flying - straight into the Rift that opened, landing on the other side.

Ziggy takes a moment to compose himself, still hurting a bit from that sword wound, then turns to the others. "I think that's our cue. We shouldn't dawdle here any longer." He gives a brief nod of thanks to the Ghostbusters, then heads towards the Rift himself.

They still have another job to do, afterall.

Demi waves cheerfully to the Ghostbusters, before turning and running towards the closing rift.

Well, that's one down. Hopefully things are going well for everything else.

Bang nods, tossing off a salute to the Ghostbusters as he runs. "It's been real, but we've got our duty to worry about now! Back to Monsteropolis!" He tucks and rolls through the rift, hoping to land on Beth on his way out.

"Good luck! And if you ever got a ghost from another reality bugging ya..." Ray shouts, after them, "you know who you gonna call!"

As they run through the Rift, it continues to close - and, as Bang finally leaves through it, it shuts with a crackle. That leaves Beth, standing in the room it began in, glowering at all of them. The woman lets out a long, ragged, on edge sigh. She is losing. The Fortress is losing. This will /not/ do.

"Blirante." She states the word plainly. In one hand, her red emelas sword appears - and flame forms around it. Then, she issues another verbal command: "Weapon Copy System, activate. Rotating Option."

Six floating cones appear around her, powered by small thrusters - and each flashes, as mirror images of the Blirante appear on each.

Firewire does /not/ look happy.

Ziggy is damanged, but not so much that he cannot fight. The others are still in relatively good shape, hopefully they can handle a wounded Gamemaster. They shouldn't push their luck, though. They have to be quick and decisive. So Ziggy issues a few quick orders. "I'll keep Firewire occupied, I can take more of a beating. Bang, you keep on the offense. Demi, you're on support." Though they're probably going to all focus on offense, it's good to have SOME strategy, right?

After their regrouping, Ziggy runs forward, blasting a bolt of electricity at Firewire. Hey lookit me! I'm a distraction!

Demi lands on the other side of the rift, and blinks as it seems that Firewire is in a mood to keep fighting. She raises one hand, and a hexagonal barrier appears in front of herself, Ziggy, and Bang. And the android narrows her eyes for a moment at Firewire.

"That sword. Does not. Belong. To. You."

Raising up her hand for a moment, Demi gestures, and a sparkle of green light swirls around the three of them, healing their wounds restoring them back to health in preparation for the fight. "I didn't particularly mind that you were opposing us before Firewire, but if you want to brandish that weapon, which belongs to someone important to me, I have no choice but to try and take it from you!"

Bang cracks his knuckles. "Don't have to tell /me/ twice." Reaching for a holster, he grabs the Powerball, and grimaces slightly. "Not what I /meant/ to get, but..."

He fires the gun, which drops a ball of energy, which sprints for Firewire along the ground. "Jump!" He laughs merrily - the thick of the fight! Good times.

Electricity strikes Beth, and gives her a steady jolt - which makes the woman wince. She tries to pay it little mind, however, as she moves forward quickly. The Powerball slams into her side, but it doesn't deter the Gamemistress. The Blirante is raised, and it slashes down hard as she comes at Ziggy.

When it hits, if it does, flame erupts upon impact.

"This sword is mine," she says. "Adol lacks the strength to claim it!" As she issues this challenge, the Options move in. Two slash down at Bang, leaving trails of fire, while another comes forward and stabs at him. Another two slash for Demi.

A final one joins Beth, in striking at Ziggy.

"Does the whole of the Fortress possess an unhealthy habit of making claims to things they have no right to?" Ziggy comments. He knows Adol fairly well himself, not QUITE as close to him as Demi, but enough that he'd also like the sword returned to its proper owner.

Demi doesn't even bother to dodge the strike from Firewire's sword. She steps into it, reaching out with one hand and trying to grab onto Firewire's wrist, and taking the second hit from the Bilrante against the side. And it digs in, and Demi locks her other arm over it, even as her uniform begins to smoke at the heat from the sword. "If he has enough strength or not doesn't matter if he isn't allowed a level playing field," the android replies, wincing slightly at the damage. "You stole this from him, and I'll take it back." One of the armor pieces on her shoulder flips open, revealing a sonic emitter, which she tries to use to blast Beth in the face.

Regardless, she's not letting go.

Bang evaded swordination because, well, he has FORCE POWER. In particular, Bang was showing off his 'levitation' skill, which in any other world would be called 'telekinesis' or 'flight.' He zooms up into the air just as the options slash at the spot he was standing, and aims down with his primary pistol. Now /that's/ useful.

"Theft is a Fortress pastime!" he yells to Ziggy as he shoots downward at Firewire. "May as well try to take back that sword, huh!"

Bang misses Firewire with his You Guys Hold Her, I'll Shoot Her attack.

Beth is lifted up by Ziggy and kicked. Her ribs crack in, and her stomach visibly shifts - that hurt, and it shows by her shocked groan. She slumps, but as she does, she pulls her hand away - it's the cybernetic one, and it proves much stronger than Ziggy and Demi might expect. Then, she grabs the Blirante with both hands, concentrating for a moment, and drives forward - stabbing hard for the cyborg's stomach.

As the attack finishes, she takes the sonic blast to the face and goes flying backward. Beth hits the ground, rolling, and comes up standing. The Option with her floats down, putting itself between Ziggy and her.

"If you want it, then come and take it!" she shouts at Demi. The two Options near her again attack from both sides. One slashes with its Blirante copy from the side, while the other stabs downward, trying to intersect the android.

She dives down to avoid Bang's shot, then looks in his direction. The three Options band together at their non-sword ends, and then begin rotating like a wheel, which rolls towards Bang and tries to catch him and slash him.

The first rule of combat is to know your enemy, here Ziggy failed because he was not familiar enough with Firewire to know the hand he grasped was cybernetic. He merely applied enough pressure with his own cybernetic hand to deal with a regular human hand. Well, that's one fact he'll remember now, anyway.

As Firewire's counterattack is thrust at him, Ziggy barely managest to sidestep. Ole! As it were. Seeing that neither Demi nor Bang have a sword-like weapon to rely on, Ziggy calls his armblade back out. It's close enough. He dashes back into melee range of Firewire, and starts a series of swift slashes, high, low, and middle, to keep her off balance.

Bang does not, in fact, have a sword. He does, however, have fists. FISTS OF FURY. He tucks away his gun, narrows his eyes, and swoops towards Firewire with his fists out. "Remember what I said about KARATE POWER?" He draws one arm back. "Still applies."

He makes a valiant attempt to punch Beth in the small of the back and keep going. Believe me, he's entirely too familiar with that cybernetic arm after seeing it turn into a spike. No thank you, ma'am, not again.

Demi lunges through the slashes from the options, two cuts being scored on her arms, but she doesn't stop pressing forward. "I don't think that you understand Firewire - you have no conception what it means to sacrifice for someone. You just take what you want, never thinking about the people you affect by your actions. You don't understand about even being human anymore, of understanding that other people around you can be hurt by your actions."

Sliding to a stop in front of Firewire, Demi literally throws herself at the Bilrante - although its not quite a grab as she brings one of her hands up under her other arm, her energy rifle in hand and pointed at the Gamemaster's face. "If its with your arm attached, or without most of my body, I will leave here with that sword."

As Ziggy starts slashing at Beth, she leaps backward and lets the Option take care of it - and moves one away from Bang to help. The two floating blades parry his slashes as they come, and then both begin spinning rapidly, until they appear to be fiery wheels - which then dive in, trying to slash into the cyborg.

"Urgh!" Firewire shouts, as the kidney punch lands. She groans and stumbles, turning around to face Bang. "Swords beat fists!" she snaps. The true Blirante comes down, slashed down hard for Bang - and the two Options join, each stabbing for him.

As Demi charges, the two Options near her interfere - and each comes in front of her like a polearm, in an effort to impale her mid-run and prevent her from interfering. "Wrong. I understand that others can be hurt by my actions. I choose to hurt them of my own free will."

"That may be," Bang says, again trying to do a flyby of Firewire and delivering a kick to her side on the go, "but good beats evil. And I'm good, you're evil, sooo... I beat you. And she beats you," he says, pointing to Demi, and then to Ziggy, "and he beats you. Face it, Gamemaster, it's over for you! Just run away now, and maybe they'll spare you." Bang makes no promises.

The options almost overwhelm Ziggy, but they don't prove to be enough of a distraction to keep him occupied for long. Slashing the options out of his way, he advances on Firewire once more. His sword/Armblade drawn, determined to keep her attention split between them, and maybe even distract her enough to knock the sword out of her hands. Maybe.

He frowns as Firewire makes her 'hurting people of her own free will' line. He'd berate her for that himself, but he'll let Demi handle it, so he can stay focused on the slashing. Jin would sure come in handy here. Not that Ziggy knows who Jin is yet.

Of course, she just keeps coming - even as she's gashed rather badly on the side by the option spear, Demi keeps moving forward, not giving up for a moment. "If you can say that, then you do not understand what you are doing - no person who truly understands other people would hurt them, for they understand what it means to be hurt. You keep your eyes closed to the truth, without ever realizing what it is that you have done." Raising one hand, the android triggers another subsystem, unleashing a powerful electronics jamming pulse against Firewire - which should hopefully short out her electronic devices and make her more vulnerable for a moment.

Bang's kick hits Beth in the side, which leaves her open for the jack knife. It cuts down with a rapid slash, leaving a few bloodied cuts on her. She winces and stumbles backward, then, and is hit by the jolt of electricity. Her eyes narrow, as she focuses for a moment. This will drain a little bit of energy from her, to say the least.

She raises Blirante, focusing on the energies built up within it, and then slams it downward. As she does, the Options do the same - and each releases a pent-up burst of flame, which strikes outward in a line of explosions. These crisscross between the three heroes, briefly lighting the room up with large explosions.

The explosions fade, as Demi projects her defnese field outwards, suppressing the enemy technique. She might not have been fast enough to cover Bang, but she was at least able to help keep Ziggy from being hit. She shakes her head, before snapping her finger around, pointing it at Firewire's arm holding the fire emelas sword. "Drop it. NOW."

And then Firewire gets a taste of the exact same attack she used on Skull Man a short time before.

Demi strikes Firewire with her Spark smash attack.

Beth's slice/smash/burn disrupts Bang's concentration and sends him tumbling into a nearby wall, where he stays down for a few seconds before getting to his feet. He holds his arms at about arm's length, and glares at Beth. FORCE POWER begins coursing through his veins. "Grrrrrrrrr--"

Creating a brilliant light show in the room, Bang's raw FORCE abilities begin illuminating the boss chamber in flashes and glimmers, glows and shadows." Bang lowers to one side like a sprinter running off the line. "--rrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaa--"

Bang takes off like a gunshot, glowing and shining like he's gone Super Saiyan Level Yes, and leaps for Beth with his fists flailing. She should remember this. "-aaaaaaaaaaah!"

Ziggy pauses for a moment, and jumps backwards, out of the way of the Fire Magic. This puts him out of melee range, however he has an idea.

"Demi, Bang, get away for a moment!" He shouts.

Leaping into the air, Ziggy charges up... his feet. Yes. Ziggy starts to blast giant fireballs down at Firewire, from his feet. Finalyl, he forms one giant one, and in a move that is TOTALLY not a rip-off of Tidus's Jecht shot, spins in mid-air and kicks it down at her, before landing rather gracefully for a cyborg his size.

Bang, luckily, missed and kept going. Whoosh!

The massive wave of plasma is enough to slam Beth backward, hard - and sends her into the ground, where she rolls a few times. Fortunately for Bang, in the end, this makes it where he sails past her and well out of the way of the coup de grace. Ziggy's fireballs hurt, but it's the final one that slams her hard into the bones with its explosion.

She groans, as she stands, slowly. The Options waver around her. "I will not," she rasps, a little weakly. She is considerably hurting, now.

The woman charges quickly, and the Options follow. As she stabs at Ziggy, two Options come slashing down at Bang and another two at Demi. The remaining two remain on Beth's flanks, to help her defend.

*Snickt* Firewire finally got lucky fighting the cyborg. The sword cleanly impales him. He doesn't go down, though.. He's made of tougher stuff than that. He grabs onto Firewire's cybernetic arm (with appropriate force this time) and kicks her hard in the midsection one last time.

Though it's becoming obvious that Ziggy's strength is waning, the kick lacks the oomph his previous ones had.

Ziggurat 8 strikes Firewire with his weak Midsection Kick attack.

Bang keeps going, rebounding off the wall and jump-kicking over the option, still glowing somewhat. The options actually do strike him, as he comes down, but once again KARATE POWER (there we go) keeps him from being damaged, and he attempts to dropkick Firewire in the arm with the sword. "You heard the lady! Put down the sword and no one gets hurt!"

. o O ( Except you, of course.)

Demi spins around, grabbing one option as it passes and throwing it to the side, and her rifle coming up and slamming barrel first into the other - and she pulls the trigger the moment it does so, a powerful red laser lighting up the room for a moment as it discharges from her weapon. "You have no use for that weapon - you can't unlock its true powers, and you have no idea what its true purpose is." Not that Demi had a good idea either, but she knew someone who would be able to put it to its proper use. And Demi walks forward, pulling back the loader on her weapon to chamber a new round, and she points it at Beth. "You can't begin to understand what that monster Ernst did to him. And you cling to that sword like it is some sort of toy you're loath to let go. I won't stand for this. Not anymore." And she fires off one shot at Beth's shoulder. And loads another round. And fires again. Simply trying to shoot the cybernetic arm off of the Gamemaster's body.

Firewire is having trouble, now. The first kick throws her and the Blirante backward, though she keeps the weapon in hand. The drop-kick strikes, but Firewire turns quickly - and Bang's blow hits her shoulder, causing the servos in it to groan. Then, Demi's blast strikes her and knocks her back again. She breathes hard.

For a moment, she considers it - but if she can somehow pull a victory.... Her eyes narrow. "I've no interest in Adol harnessing that true power. Denying him some power grants us more."

She remains still, this time, as the Options do the work. One slashes for Ziggy, while Bang finds two going at him like wheels. Demi has two stab at her from different angles.

Ziggurat 8 takes the brunt of another attack, albiet a weak one, and decides to use this brief moment to restore himself a bit. At least, try and close the sword wound in his chest. Activating a healing Ether Circuit, he floods his body with healing Ether. The process takes a few moments, and keeps him from attacking Firewire.

Bang gets sliced. A lot! Boy, does that hurt. Bang recoils from the stupid swords, sprinting around them and leaping for Firewire to deliver a couple solid punches to the arm. "You'll drop that sword before I die, lady! Seriously, go steal someone else's sword!" He grimaces at the effort - he's really going to have to do that FORCE POWER healing thing soon.

"Denying him what power? Every since he got the swords, he's been working on stopping that power from being used. That monster Ernst had all the power you could want. And he'd use it to destroy the things that you *want* in EVIl. Although it seems you don't even care about conquering anymore. If you want to leave, then fine! You don't need that sword if you leave, either." Spinning around, Demi brings the butt of her rifle around, catching one of the options and sending it slamming into the other, and launching both of them away. She turns to look at Firewire, before bringing her hand up to rub the back of her sleeve across her eyes. "I hate this war. I hate how much it hurts people. But I decided, that if I can make sure that the people I love aren't hurt any more, I'd do whatever I need to."

Still walking slowly forward, Demi reaches into her pouch and pulls out a glowing energy clip, and slides it into the butt of her rifle. She levels it at Beth again, tears running down her face. "...I've lost so many friends because of this horrible war, and the things it spawns. For once, I'm going to do my best to make sure I don't lose the one who's most important to me."

And she brings the rifle up, and unloads a massive shot from it - right at Beth's face.

Beth's cybernetic arm is tough - the limb takes the punches, though it dents in a little; she can only bring up her sword too late, though, because of it, to get Demi away. The result is that she finds a rifle bore in her face. She only has a chance to widen her eyes, before the blast fires - and smashes the Gamemistress in the face.

She flies backward, slamming into the wall and then hitting the ground like a rag doll. The Options disappear, and the Blirante is dropped halfway through the trip. It rattles against the ground, while its now former master slumps to the ground.

Her face is a bloodied, half-recognizable mess. She is also clearly unconscious.

Finishing his heal, Ziggy is somewhat relieved he took his breather when he didn't seem to be needed. Stepping foward, he smiles faintly at Demi. "Make sure Adol recieves that."

Then his face hardens again, as he looks to the exit. "Now come on. We have a job to finish."

Bang nods, following Ziggy and once again miraculously healing himself with FORCE POWER.

He salutes Demi. "Great job!"

Dropping her rifle to the ground, Demi falls to her knees for a moment, her hair hanging down over her face. "...alright. You... go on ahead. I'll wrap up things here." Rising to one knee, she reaches down and loosely grabs the strap to her rifle, pulling it along after her as she reaches down to lift the Bilrante up with both hands, holding it tightly to her chest for a moment. "...go... go ahead. There's one last thing I need to do here..."

Beth isn't moving much. A good look at her will confirm that the Gamemistress isn't dead; she is breathing. However, her eyes are rolled up in the back of her bed, and she isn't moving from that crumpled, uncomfortable position the last shot had left her in.

Pause. "Alright. Bang, let's go." Ziggy will leave Demi to do whatever she needs to do. He's not going to get involved in whatever she needs to do. The cyborg starts towards the exit.

Skull Fortress <SF>

Wily's home is laid out like a series of deathtraps. Dangerous and hard to navigate, the actual living areas are very well-hidden indeed... not even Mega Man can find those.

Athlon materializes out of teleporter hatch 8. He steps out of the hatch and stretches.

Ziggurat 8 dashes out of teleporter hatch 6. A bit bruised and bloody, but still in decent shape.

Dante is...Spraypainting walls? Yep, with various things about Dr.Wily...Some very vulgar. He also has a message saying 'You have been punked by Devil May Cry. -Dante' He looks pretty good, all things considered.

A.B.A steps out of teleporter 7, spraypainting the floor with blood.

Bang follows Ziggy out of 6, looking somewhat beaten and bruised but ultimately triumphant. He salutes Athlon and hollers, "Looks like things went well, General!"

Monika Allenford exits Warp Zone #8 just after Athlon does. She is holding a Riftripper pistol in one hand, presumably to steal like a total kleptomaniac, and her other hand holds her satchel still while she moves. After a minute, she realizes she can save herself some time and shoves the pistol in the satchel.

Mike Jones looks like he fell through a few miles of bad road. Never the less, he's sitting by Teleporter #1 with a suspiciously moxious smile on his face. Mike Jones, you scoundrel!

Maya is out of her Hatch watiting right now, munching on an loaf of bread while she waits for the others to finish up their battle. "Nice work there Mike."

Simon Belmont steps from hatch three, coiling VampireKiller at his belt as he takes another sip from his flask.

Athlon punches his left palm with his right fist. "HOOAH, Bang." He looks around the room. "Everyone's alive... good. Just keep on breathing." The plan's been working, thus far. He ignores his own wounds, magically inflicted. He nods to Simon, decided that's a good idea. He takes another hit from his own flask.

"What's your brand, Simon?" Jon asks as he slaps a fresh clip into his rifle.

Princess Lana steps out from the third teleporter, looking sweaty and icky. She is also holding the shattered remains of a Riftripper gun in her hands, and she begins scattering the pieces along the floor.

"Palace of Power!" she calls out. "Form up! We are moving in! Wedge.....Simon, if that is alcohol I could use a shot right now....formation! Let's GO, people! This ends /now!/"5r

Lana draws her blaster again and begins looking for Monika.

Demi appears in a flash from hatch 6, quite a while after Ziggy and Bang have appeared as well. She's carrying a red sword in both hands, cradling it against her chest for a moment before sliding it into her inventory. She hurries to catch up with Ziggy and Bang, quickly pulling out a repair kit and appling it to some of the numerous gashes on her body as she does so.

Simon Belmont blinks uncomfortably. "It's... just water." He's a very bad liar.

A.B.A seems to not be worrying about 'waste' right about now, though she is rapidly rebandaging herself. "I'm going to be empty at this rate," She mumbles, "Empty, empty."

No alcohol for Ziggy, he's a total lightweight. Luckily no one here knows that. Well, they've come this far. All that's left is the destruction of the initial Riftripper. No point in stalling anymore, right?

Athlon shrugs at Simon, then tosses Lana his flask.

Dante idly pulls out a Vital Star, and uses it to heal his wounds, before looking over to Simon... "Who the hell carries water in something like /that/ man? C'mon..." He then just folds his arms, looking straight ahead. "...So, what do you think it'll be? Huge robot army or one giant killing machine? Mad scientists are so hard to figure out sometimes."

From the fourth Teleporter Hatch, people begin emerging. Cress comes first, stepping out and looking around. He wipes his face of some sweat, nodding to the others. Then he turns, and waits for the rest of his team. He has to make certain Wily had no final trap, there - no way that he might lose a few of them.

Monika Allenford isn't hard to find; she steps forward when Lana calls for this to end. "I'm ready," she says, holding a sensor pack about the size of a paperback book in her left hand. It's running. "We'd better hurry, before he calls in more help..."

Dante Sparda strikes Dante Sparda with his Vital Star! healing attack.

Simon Belmont says nothing else, replacing the flask at his hip.

Bang decides punching defenses probably won't be much help, and readies the Thundershot to provide Monika some cover as she does her thing with the RiftRipper.

Emerging from the teleporter with Cress is Paula. She still looks ready to rock and set people on fire with her mind. She doesn't seem to need hide behind Cress or Piastol or Alba anymore either...this particular area was free of hostiles after all.

Mike Jones smirks at Simon, saying, "Fibbersaywhat?" at the Vampire Hunter before swigging an ice cold can of coconut milk. Aaaaah. They still don't let him drink, the fiends. Mighty Jones pulls his yo-yo out, taking a few practice swings and waiting for the Princess or the Cap or whomever to lead the charge. Maybe they'll all run at once!

Lita emerges from the warp near the eighth teleporter. She's not far from Monika. She was to protect her, after all.

"I think we'll have a lot of letters to write after all this. Anyway-- that's all of the robot masters, right?"

Piastol and her Deathhound come out shortly after Paula and Cress. She pauses as she takes in the sight of all these people. It's a hell of a crowd, but then, it sounds like everyone's finished with the other seven Robot Masters. Then she regards Cress again with a slight frown, then nods back to him.

Alba is quickly following behind Cress, Paula, and Piastol. He seems to be taking all the effort he can to keep his coat in neat shape... but it's obviously a failing battle. He slows to a stop once he sees the swordsman and the others pause... "...alright. Last phase, then...?" This question is offered, of course, with a smile.

Athlon steps up next to Monika. He nods to the short featherian. Kid has cojones. He looks to the group.


That's Ziggy's cue. He runs up front. Tanks a'hoy!

Dante mutters. "...if I'd known this woulda happened, I would have brought the Spiral Rifle..." He steps to the front, as he currently lacks his Sniper Rifle.

Demi holds up a hand. "Am I a shooter or a healer?"

"Yeah... that sounds about right," Cress says. He looks ahead, then, as he hears Athlon shout out his orders. The swordsman looks back at his team. "Good job, guys. I'll be up on the front!"

Then, he begins moving towards the front as Athlon orders, reading his lightsaber once more. He doesn't ignite the weapon, however, instead standing his ground near Ziggy.

Bang huhs. Well, he's basically a scrapper with a gun. He steps up next to Ziggy, nodding to the cyborg. "Looks like this is it, huh?" he says, making idle chatter with the Thundershot still at the ready.

Athlon looks back. "Whichever you prefer, Demi. You can be anything you want to be." He turns around to face front.

Then he turns back. "And winners don't do drugs, either." He turns back around.

Princess Lana snatches the flask out of the air...or tries, fumbling it. The flask clatters to the ground and the Princess blushes, then bends down, scoops it up, opens it, takes a pull, closes it and tosses it back. Hopefully he's a better catch than she is.

"Last phase," she answers roughly. Ugh, it has been a long night already. Running through two jungles (one of them twice) and a temple. Dungeon crawls are for suckers.

Lana is also, for the sake of argument, a shooter. So she falls back a little bit and starts sucking in air, waiting for the burning in her legs to settle down a little.

"I need...." she puffs. " get out from behind the desk more often." Lana drops into a crouch, trying to stretch out her muscles.

Monika Allenford is mostly looking at the ground and also doing everything she can to stay calm and collected and absolutely not visibly nervous. It's even almost working.

Simon Belmont Takes a protective position near Lana. Yeah, he's normally a tank, but he's also her guard. This isn't in any way an excuse for him to move to the background for a bit to avoid alt interaction.

As Athlon barks orders, Arnaud instinctively goes to the middle -- he's a shooter-mage, essentially, so the middle is exactly the right place for him. He rolls his neck and gets ready to 'roll up,' as it were. He seems like he's a little shaky, but at least functionally so.

Demi steps to the back - she's not feeling up to being even more violent today, especially after earlier. Yes - she'd... do her best to keep people fighting, and make sure no one was hurt.

Lady A pulls out her blaster again. Apparently she's playing Shooter today. She braces it on one arm, and gives Athlon a quiet nod. She's in position.

"...I guess I count as a mage!" Paula says cheerfully, scooting behind Piastol this time. "And I am so ready to rock! Dr. Wily's forces are so getting punched in the face for this!"

Mike Jones heads to the front, because he figures at least one representitive of the N-Team should be at the front, screaming like a Pict or something. He gives Simon a quick sallute as he heads to guard The Princess, and assumes scrapper position. "We're ready when you are."

Alba takes a moment to consider things for a bit, as he can do either or- in the 'mages' and 'healers' category. He ends up moving to take a place near the back of the mages so that he can hopefully get away with both should it be necessary. He does withdraw the orbment for the umpteempth time this night... should he consider readjusting the quartz?

...nah. He chooses against it because it take far more calculations than he's willing to put the time and effort into for now. He takes a deep breath at this point, then grins towards Paula as he puts himself at least near the psychic. "Wow. This is exciting, wouldn't you say? I don't get to see this sort of thing happen often in Liberl."

Mike Haggar is slow moving. Sue him.

"Get back here, punk!" Haggar shouts, jumping out of the purple energy field. He doesn't know where his quarry has gone, so he starts running toward the loudest thing he can hear.

"Sorry we're late, big tower, big monsters." greets a wounded but still kickin Jake, rifle on shoulder. No time for a break however, as everyone's getting in position for the assault.

He's no frontliner however, so he gladly takes a more supportive position, shoot some targets from a distance, and hopefully not draw monster aggro again.

Xavier? Well, he's somewhere about in the Fortress, still inside. He hopes that if nothing else, Wily has a contingency plan...

A.B.A heads to the front too because she wants to protect Monika and clearly the best way to do that is to be one of the first to die. With Mike Jones. She looks at Mike Jones and smiles at him.

Paracelsus gets a little jealous and nibbles on A.B.A's shoulder, trying to save as much of the blood as he can. A.B.A moans a little.

Piastol considers Athlon's orders for a moment; technically, she could potentially fill any of those three roles, though she is best at the former two. However, she knows where her skills are best used, so... She smiles down at Paula, and takes her place up in the front, readying her scythe. The Deathhound skulks near her feet, growling deep in its throat. It's a little different... Piastol's never actively done Palace work before. And now, to be on their front lines... She regards the Skull Fortress with pursed lips. Well, sooner or later...

Monika Allenford decides that right now is a good time to Cheat. She starts to hum some music under her breath, a brief and almost airy tune. This surrounds her with green sparkles, for a while, and then a magic circle draws itself around her feet.

When it fades, so does Monika. When she moves, there's a little ripple, but that's all.

Maya moves out after Mike hey he's still her team leader till someone says otherwise. "Well we can help with that later Lana." For now an Rift Rippter needs to be taken out, and her ressolve aginst the the Dark Game Masters is harded even more. They were willing to slaughter untold trillions to get home. This ends tonight...

First one, then another. All along the end of the hallway, the powerful energy fields that protect the RiftRipper flicker and die, the fields fading into sparkles, then nothingness. People emerge from the hatches, which crack and smoke as they break from the use, no good to anyone now.

Finally, the last field dies, and the path to the RiftRipper is clear. Atop the machine, Dynamo Man smiles nervously, wishing he could just disconnect from the system... but Wily assured him that doing so would be bad. He panics. "Help... HELP... HEEEEEELLLLPPPPP!"

Is he heard? You can bet on it.

A spherical machine rises from the tank of Red Potion, a metallic lid around it sliding open, revealing a robotic eye. Electricity bursts from poles on the top and bottom of the thing, and suddenly, the subspace potion in the tank rises, coalescing around the eye and forming a huge red humanoid shape, which steps protectively in front of Dynamo Man.

The Subspace Red Devil has arrived.

Athlon nods as the Palace forms up. He catches the returned flask and takes one last hit before tucking the container back into his pocket. He draws his boffer sword and moves up to the front of the line to lead the charge.

"YOU HEARD THE LADY, CHAAAA--What the f--" Athlon stops to think about this for a moment. "Well. When faced with a problem like this... only one thing to do."


And then Athlon rushes forwards, lancing out at the Red Potion Devil with his boffer sword.

Bang chases after his general, Thundershot at the ready. He aims carefully for the... angry Jell-O?

"This is it!" he yells to the rest of the company. "It's an angry dessert food! Let's go! Move move move!" He pumps off more thundershot ammo at the evil doctor's evil food.

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