World Ocean - Kattelox Island

    One of the many island City-States that make up the world, Kattleox is the home of the city of the same name, a walled structure built atop a massive ruin. Diggers are common here, and they must be licensed before venturing into the ruins that cover the whole island. Something is strange here, different than many of the other ruins in the world, and it took a Digger named Megaman to discover the secret: beneath the island, a vast control complex ruled by an ancient robot named Juno periodically destroyed the human inhabitants of the island. The island was spared, however, and Kattleox has become an important media center for the world, its newspeople going all over the world.

A dark mass approaches the city on Kattelox Island. An army of dark, robed individuals which seemed to come out of nowhere. There seems to be no ship or vessle which courts a dark army to Kattelox, they just seem to appear through the shadows. Due south of the main city, and advancing northward, a tall man leads the force.

"As we planned. We will go forth, break what defense they have and subjugate them. Then they will join us, or they will die."

Despite the fact that this army of robed soldiers came in through some kind of warp, another black object can be seen coming towards the city, from a slightly different vector. At least, if people have good eyes to spot it. Sensors aren't picking up anything, if only barely, and the helicopter is awfully quiet ... though people within the city--and the army below--would realize a helicopter was in the area, the quietness of its fuel cell engine would prevent anyone from locating its position easily.

Inside, UNATCO Agent Gunther Hermann is waiting, another demolition loadout ready for use ... and finally those verdammt skin grafts have fully healed, just some of the repairs the mech-aug had to go through after Federation marines nearly put him out of business with two grenades at close range. Alongside him sits another man who opted to fly with him into the target zone ...

<Live Broadcast> Zio| A distress call from Kattelox Island suddenly breaks the airwaves. "This is the Mayor of Kattelox Island. A large group of armed men in robes have been spotted just due south of the city, advancing on our location. The man leading them matches the description of a villain named Zio. The Kattelox police force cannot hold off such a large invading force, we need help!"

     Let's get one thing straight here. That 'man' that sits nearby Gunther Hermann is anything but. The helicopter would approach as previously stated, but sitting.. no resting beside Gunther Hermann is a book. Just a simple book. Oh. It also has demonic fire and a face, but that's not what is important. What is, is that it's propped up nearby him with the straps on, being held against the sides quite tightly. He wasn't about to have risked losing himself in the ocean!

     And he looks up at the grafted man and his seriously business attitude, and wonders to himself. ( Man. The heck am I in this helicopter for? I could be floating. ) Nothing of importance though. Really.

     He might need a parachute though.

<Fac-EVIL> Zio says, "Well then, I believe I have a raid to conduct.
<Fac-EVIL> Overlord Zetta says, "Space zone? I read that. Could be useful. Count me in."
<Fac-EVIL> Etoile Rosenqueen says, "Hm.  What's your objective here, exactly?"
<Fac-EVIL> Zio says, "One, to preoccupy the Palace. Two, if we're successful in holding the area, I'd like to set up a branch of my following, to see if I can't leech some more followers out of this otherwise useless piece of rock."
<Fac-EVIL> Etoile Rosenqueen says, "I see.  Excellent, then."
<Fac-EVIL> Etoile Rosenqueen says, "I /would/ like to request something of a favor, if you succeed..."
<Fac-EVIL> Overlord Zetta says, "Like what?"
<Fac-EVIL> Etoile Rosenqueen says, "... Let's discuss this privately, actually."
<Fac-EVIL> Zio says, "I'm sure something can be arranged."
<Fac-EVIL> Etoile Rosenqueen says, "Or -- later.  It'd be better not to count our chickens... o/`"
<Fac-EVIL> Shadow the Hedgehog says, "Hmph.  We'll win, don't worry."
<Fac-EVIL> Overlord Zetta says, "But how will you know how many you have?"
<Fac-EVIL> Zio says, "More willing.. or not so willing even, followers is all I'm after. If it's money or treasure that belongs to this island that you want you can help yourself."
<Fac-EVIL> Overlord Zetta says, "It's important to keep track of everything. More followers huh? Oh you have to do it the old fashioned way. Actually getting them"
<Fac-EVIL> Etoile Rosenqueen says, "Well, I won't say no to money, but -- well, we can discuss this later, like I said."
<Fac-EVIL> Zio says, "For human followers, at least. Yes. Of course, I have a number of bio-monsters and demons at my beck and call, but they're less faithful and less competant in most cases."
<Fac-EVIL> Zio says, "You'd be surprised how useful an army of brainwashed zealots can be."
<Fac-EVIL> Overlord Zetta says, "If I want to make my army larger I usually just use the dead ones that have experience already. A life time of them."
<Fac-EVIL> Zio says, "Hm. Well I don't have the benefit of your abilities, so I make do with what I can."
<Fac-EVIL> Overlord Zetta says, "Don't we all wish they have what I do? That's why being an overlord is so much fun."
<Fac-EVIL> Shadow the Hedgehog says, "And then there are those of us who don't need underlings to do our bidding."
<Fac-EVIL> Overlord Zetta says, "It's a temporary thing. I usually don't rely on them."

Sitting in the helicopter, behind the book, crossing his arms across his chest, Shadow the hedgehog glares outside the window. The Ultimate Life Form decided to come with his fellow villains to invade the island, but he didn't know what their purpose was, nor did he care. He has his own goals, and he's just coming along for the sake of convenience. "Pathetic," says Shadow as he looks at the relatively small isle. "This will be too easy."

From the south, the news report said? Entering the city somewhere around the middle, Anna's running through the streets towards the south. Ayla should be enroute, from what she's heard over the frequencies. Running through the streets, boot heels lightly clatter while the guardian, on prompting, quickly checks her inventory. There should be a pair of slashers gifted to her. Moon Slashers, if correct. Sadly, she doesn't even know how many Palace forces are on their way. Only that if the troops are numerous, the advantage might be hers.

Rushing from one of the in-town warps (beautifully placed in front of City Hall), Anakin Skywalker moves through the town with the traditional high speed of a Jedi Knight. He has a vague idea of what to expect from his opponents, thanks to a great deal of discussion on the Palace's factional band; in spite of some of the terrifying powers mentioned, Anakin knows he has to help stop this. It is, after all, very evil. He rushes south as fast as he can, doing a variety of impressive jumps and tricks to get there faster -- most notably, he swings off of a lightpole to clear a great deal of distance very quickly.

It is unclear when exactly it was that Faris arrived to those just showing up. It turns out that today she was in the right place at the right time, earlier having been exploring the zone and most certainly not conspiring to steal artifacts found in the city. No. Of course not. Faris would never do that, especially since this area in particular is home to a palace ally.
 
Regardless, the woman wastes no time in rallying for the fight, rushing through the streets, drawing something from her coat in the process. A faint aura of red light marks the path of the woman as she runs, indicative of some sort of speed-enhancing object from her zone.

    Having received word from Anna that she may need help, Ayla decided to respond and help out the friend. And so she bounds, pressing against all four limbs, her long blonde hair flowing backwards as it goes. She still wasn't exactly sure /where/ she was going. Anna had only given her directions, after all! Nevertheless, she continues on, racing through the street at an incredible pace. Just keep running Ayla.. You're bound to get to your destination.

WEEOOOWEEOOOWEEOOOWEEOOO

No, that's not the sound of the Wilysaucer. This is the Rollsaucer, a design of Roll's allowing her to be a radio spotter while still being close enough to the action to occasionally deliver power-ups via the Power-Up Cannon. Payload delivery at its finest. She sends a quick radio burst to all /known/ Palace allies in the area: <This is Roll Light, I'm here to help out with scans and powerups.>

Zio's army arrives at the southern gate of the town, the Mall District. If Zio were at all witty, he may say something here like 'Knock Knock' before he explodes the entryway. But he's not, so he just settles for the action, removing the gate with a potent Nafoi tech.

"When the heroes come save the mightiest warrior for me. Do what you what with the others, but I'll handle the supposed leader. In order to send the proper message to the worms here, they'll be easier to mold into followers if they learn to fear my power right from the beginning."

Most powerful he's after? Well there happens to be that newcomer who so conveniently showed up for this spectacle...

Meanwhile, the black helicopter crosses paths with Zio's army at the southern gates. It was flying quite low, over the heads of Zio's army, over the gate, and behind some buildings, out of sight of whatever's coming north. Once the SH-187 is stable and behind a building, the UNATCO pilot looks back and speaks to his three passengers.

"I'm picking up signs of insurgent agents moving in this direction. Looks like they also got a support craft of their own,"

He says.

"I don't think they've spotted us yet. Pop the hatch, Agent!"

Gunther nods, and reaches for the passenger hatch controls as the SH-187 lowers to a height from which its occupants can jump--around five feet or so. The hatch opens and slides back, allowing the three to get out. Gunther takes initiative, removing the ... book ... from its restraints and carrying it with him as he jumps out. Once Shadow follows suit, the SH-187 will be quick to back out of the hot zone and head southward to avoid getting caught in the fight.

The death of Warrant Officer L. Jenkins at the hands of the Jedi terrorist is still fresh on the minds of many at UNATCO.

     The book nods, which is kind of odd, bending over, and struggles about in his harness. Eventually Zetta should get free, hopping to the floor of the helicopter and trying to find exactly where the exit to it is. He'll crawl to it, rotating the edges of the book to make progress, and then hopefully leave without any problems. In a free fall. Now if he could just get out of these straps!

     No-one said the plan was perfect. And as the helicopter moved over the armies and the city, the pilot turned right about when he was still struggling. "It won't matter. Really. It's just a vehicle. If it comes to it I'll get rid of it somehow. Well. One of us will." And as the hatch is lowered, Zetta gets a surprisingly good bout of luck. The other man grabs him, carrying him as he jumps out. "Hey. Thanks. It's easier then crawling." Once out though, the book attempts to squirm free of his grasp.

     Sure. He's out, but he can make it from here. Really! And the book tries to escape his grasp. "Now. Put me down, okay?"

Shadow does not wait long to jump out of the chopper. As soon as his feet hit the ground he begins to race out from behind the building without even looking back. Shadow crosses his arms as he looks down the street, stopping off to the side of the main gate. "So you want the biggest threat to yourself? Very well, it's not like it matters to me." Shadow has heard about Anakin Skywalker, and so far, he isn't impressed. Then again, maybe that's just because he doesn't know what the Jedi is capable of. "These weaklings aren't any challenge at all. But the enemy will be coming soon. They aren't known for wasting time."

In Anna's experience, it's the less witty that cause more damage because they're not trying to be funny. Hearing Roll's message as her hands close around the Moon Slashers, she replies, <I hear you loud and clear, Roll.> That's of course before she also hears the explosion at the gate. That's.. it's one way to remove a door. And while she's running, there's no mistaking 'someone' swinging from a lightpole. New face. But he doesn't attack, hence he has to be a good guy. Right? She certainly hopes so!

Approaching the gates, the Palman has no idea of the copter's passengers. Except for the hedgehog that looks like Sonic's long-lost twin. Just darker. Kinda. Anna's not insane to go after Zio alone. Thank goodness. But there is an army to stop and Shadow's in the way of her and a whole lot of troops. Some might call this a good thing. She simply shifts the bladed weapons into more of a ready position as she closes the distance.

    "Anna! Ayla here!" The cavegirl pants slightly, approaching her from behind. Breaking off her sprint, she rises to stand on two legs. She was driven in this direction due to the explosion too, yes.. But she doesn't feel nearly as lost now. "Anna no worry. Ayla fight." Getting her breath back quickly, she herself takes a good look around. At Shadow, she tilts her head somewhat. "Animal look weird." Well, she did always state the obvious like that! "Anna tell Ayla what to do. Ayla do it."

As Faris runs, a clear crystal is quickly slid into a gold bracer on her left wrist, secured with a satisfying clinking noise. Moments later, there is a bluish flash of light around the woman. Once it clears, Faris is still running, somehow, in a set of full-bodied red armor. The armor is pretty unique, the helmet stylized into a dragon, upper mouth of the mythical beast pulled back to form the top of the helmet's visor. Upon the backside, there is even a short plated "tail" built into the armor. Whether or not it actually has a function is unknown, for all everyone can tell it's merely ornamental.
 
Faris leaps into the air, impossibly high in fact, sailing through the sky over buildings. She arrives at the gates moments later, touching down on the ground roughly with a somewhat jarring impact. Wordlessly, she stands, removing a spear from her back. The spear is gripped firmly in both hands and Faris looks unpeturbed at the process of fighting an army. She didn't have to worry, after all. Her allies were here with her! <I read you, Roll. Shall we be expecting weakness data shortly?>

The Rollsaucer floats slowly towards the ground. Roll, inside, is busily working at a computer. At the moment, she's just tagging allies to keep track of their health so she knows when to fire off E-Tanks. <I hope so! I'll be doing scans and such of the enemies as soon as I can. I'll keep you all posted!

Anakin, likewise, does not recognize /too/ many of the helicopter's passengers -- save, of course, Gunther. "<<Thank you for the assistance, Roll,>>" the Jedi Knight radios back to Roll, as he follows just behind Anna. Something about this man's powers intrigues him, in a rather morbid sort of way -- he wants to know just what 'fuels' them, in a sense. A brief flourish of his blue lightsaber leaves short trails through the air. He seems surprised by the cave girl; everything he'd seen so far seemed at least reasonably 'technologically oriented', so something so counter is a surprise.

At this point, Zio's army starts flooding into town, with Zio himself wading through the sea of minions. He finally spots the one hero whom he DOES recognize, Anna Zirksi, and scowls slightly. Not that he's intimindated by her presence, but even Zio can't help but feel that sensation of bile in one's throat upon seeing an advasary one knows.

Thinking for a moment that he's found his target, Zio is once again distracted by another newcomer. A youth, shaggy hair, ominous presence about him, he fits the description... "Is that the one they're making a fuss about?" There's a smirk on Zio's lips, that is rarely a good thing. The latest world to be opened by the Riftripper brought with it a boy whom the Gamemasters insisted had a powerful destiny, and that he not be killed. "Let us see what he is capable of."

Waving his hands at his troops, a signal for them to clear out of his way, Zio strides forward, cutting a path through his peons, approaching Anakin, Anna, and Ayla. "I suppose you've come to tell me that you'll stop me?" This he says to Anna, yet his gaze turns towards Anakin.

Once he lands on his feet (and registering Shadow zooming past him), he nods to the book and grants his request. "If you insist."

Gunther kneels down briefly, sets the book onto the ground, and then takes off running. He doesn't even notice that the book suddenly warped out as he ran off ...

Before the Palace insrugents arrive, he skirts around the side of the building, looking for a door while prepping his plasma rifle, recovered by Gameshark and Etoile once they had secured the station during the earlier assault.

Upon seeing one, he kicks it in and heads inside, and up the stairs to the second roof. Good thing the occupants aren't home right now ... but if they had been, he would have had to invoke his UNATCO authority in order to enter the house, especially for what he intends.

Noting a window on the second floor, he quietly opens it, and, leaning against the wall, looks outside to see the coming of the agents.

Mostly women ... all three of them melee specialists. One of them some high tech soldier, judging from her armor (how ironic she would fight up close) ... another some spear-wielding soldier from possibly an alternate classical or medieval reality ... and one of them a cave girl ... Were this his first day in VideoLand he would have been surprised, but he's coming to expect things like talking constpiated books, brooding pudgy hedgehogs, and roadkill-wearing female bodybuilders as trivial ... except ... Mein Gott! The young Jedi terrorist! Not without a vehicle, but he is glad he did not order his pilot to stay and provide fire support, however useful the Sunfire missiles might have been.

Manderley would surely have blown a top if the Jedi slaughtered a second pilot. To say nothing of the damage to the precious SH-187 Dibbuk.

The rifle may not be the best choice for sniping, given its random conical spread, but at least he is well protected from his position, or at least, will not be seen until he opens fire. He carefully stabilizes his aim, sight drifting from the Jedi, the spearwoman, the soldat, the cave woman ... The leader of this operation wanted to fight the Jedi alone. Therefore, he must concentrate on the women ... For now, as the battle has yet to start, he tries to further still stabilize his aim, and remain out of sight the best he can ...

One by one the heroes come, and they'll fall before the day's done. Shadow the Hedgehog stands and waits as the opposition shows up as predicted. "Typical," is all he has to say about it. The black hedgehog's eyes scan the area, looking out for enemies hiding around the corners. The hedgehog fails to notice Gunther taking a sniping position, but he does notice the warrior's absence. As his eyes fall on Anna, he smirks. His target is chosen.

Vanishing in a blur of speed, the black hedgehog appears behind his selected opponent and says, "You shouldn't have come, but we all knew that you would." Shadow's arms drop to his side, and he tilts his head downwards, giving Anna a sideways, cocky gaze. "Care to see real Ultimate Power?"

As the darkness deepens on Kattleox Island the night life becomes more active. What this means in terms of native animals isn't clear, but at least one foreign animal seems to be out and about. A black bat flaps through the air, as it crosses over the ocean, heading towards the the city. Below, its red eyes observe a group of people approaching the South Gate. The vampire bat flies lower to the ground, and seems to be growing and changing shape, so that it eventually takes on the form of a man.

Mathias glances around as he stands beneath some trees, observing the situation. Help was requested by EVIL forces, but he isn't quite sure what assistance is required. For now, he waits for Zio's forces to get a bit closer, while watching for any signs of the island's defenders.
As an Algolian, there's simply something to be said about recognizing someone related to the star system's dark evil henchman on first sight. A cold tension filled glare from the young woman, falls squarely on Zio as she returns the not too brief recognition. The fact that she's overlooked is one thing. That Anakin looks to be the intended target causes a bit of concern on the Palman's part.

"Ayla. Doesn't he look like Sonic a little?" Asked lightly without looking in Shadow's direction, Anna's quick comment to the other Angel is exactly that as one wrist slightly eases the slashers loosely between her fingers. They're really boomerang-like weapons with a very sharp blade all around. Zio's comment and description of the jedi in their midst is more than enough for her to quickly aside, "Be careful." That's before she's approached by Shadow. From behind, no less. How did he get over there?

Pivoting about slowly, one blonde brow quirks with an expression of not being impressed. Not one bit. That always irritates the cocky ones, so it seems. It also means her back is to Zio, but there's the matter of the hedgehog to deal with. "Ultimate power, you say? I can't say that I'm interested. You are, however, in my way."

    Anakin gets a weird expression from Ayla. The lightsaber in particular, gets a look. That looked like it would hurt! However, when she notes that he is looking at her in a likewise peculiar fashion, she smiles. "Ayla sniff boy out later." She meant that quite literally. Sometimes the best way to identify people is through their scent! Then, Zio talks.. The armies get a small frown, but she draws no weapons. Heck, she hasn't got any weapons. She barely has any clothes! She just raises her fists. "Ayla strong! Ayla fight!" There is a gleam of excitement in her eyes -- the adrenline beginning to kick in. Now, probably able to tear apart sheets of steel, she sets her sights on the soldiers. Zio after all, seemed to want to fight the boy. And the animal wanted to fight Anna. That left her against everyone else! "Group fight, but group no kill." Ayla reminds her friends. Her tone makes it sound like an order -- not a request. Of course, she has no idea about Anakin and his history. He knows not to kill, right? Right. Then.. Shadow simply dissapears. Ayla blinks for a moment, turning to his new location. Insane! She could hardly keep up with him! Dino's from her time weren't /that/ fast.

Anakin doesn't know that Ayla is speaking figuratively, of course; he just thinks in terms of a brief talk. On the other hand, she does remind him a little of that Wookiee chieftain's daughter, who /did/ try to actually sniff him out... so he can't be /altogether/ sure. Her strong desire for them not to kill is also a bit of a surprise. Such matters are, of course, peripheral to the task at hand. "As a Jedi Knight, it is my duty to defeat evil," he replies to Zio, pointing his lightsaber at the dark man's neck. "Leave, or I'll have no choice but to attack." For some reason, this reminds him that he has yet to return Dooku's lightsaber to the Council for -- likely -- proper disposal.

Roll continues her scanning - and sends out a radio message. <Yeah. No killing, killing is bad. We're heroes, we don't /have/ to kill.> Roll then flies the Rollsaucer up and begins to scan the enemies for weaknesses and such. ...even if getting a lock on Shadow is hard. Dang teleporters.

Zio doesn't flinch when Anakin points his lightsaber at his throat. Instead he merely replies "You make that threat as if I'd be adverse to fighting you, boy." Swords are not his thing, he won't be using one, at least not right away. Instead he merely waves his hand in the direction of Anakin, sending a blast of wind at him. "Hewn."

Phantasy Star tech names never made a lot of sense, ah well.

"Let me make a different offer. You had best defeat me, boy. And do so quickly. Else, for each attack you land, which doesn't put me out of commission, I shall kill one of the residents of this town once we take over." Grin. "I can up the stakes further if you're still not convinced to go all out."

Zio strikes Anakin Skywalker with his Hewn attack.

Oh Gott. His allied forces just /had/ to get within melee range just as the fighting started. Still, the women are still in a cohesive group and no one on his side is in the middle of it. He was too busy steadying his aim to hear the usual philosophical bantering about evil and good anyway--the propaganda can be flung back and forth for all he cares. It is no different from centuries ago in his own time, the World Wars, and how every side built itself up as the worthy cause. But he trusts UNATCO to know who is the enemy and who is the friend, and these "Palace" insurgents, those who so cruelly disposed the original benevolent government, will be torn asunder if he has anything to say about it.

Wasting little time as Zio makes his first move, he opens fire, focusing on the spearwoman.

Or tries, anyway. The rifle lets out a very sci-fi "WHUP-PSHHHHHHHH!!!" and green light flashes outwards as the superheated magnetic shells of plastic are ejected forwards, quickly vaporizing into the deadly plasma that the rifle's all about. But ... they're diverging too far! /Verdammt!/ He misjudged the spread ... Now he has given himself away, and all he can do is watch as the blobs soar downwards in the general direction of his target and the other two women ...

That is, until he thinks repositioning is a better idea. He stays only a moment to see where the blobs hit, before retreating back into the house and heading for another room to snipe from--hopefully he will keep the insurgents guessing.

Gunther Hermann misses Faris with his weak PURAGUUMAAAAA attack.
Gunther Hermann strikes Anna Zirski with his weak PURAGUUMAAAAA attack.
Gunther Hermann strikes Ayla with his weak PURAGUUMAAAAA attack.

"...not kill?" Faris looks at Ayla like she's daft. Like hell she'll "not kill". Her entire attitude about the subject firmly cemented why Faris never, ever worked well with Captain N.
 
Given that there is plenty of "cannon fodder" hanging around, Faris happily stalks off to thin their numbers, and will continue to do so with the deadly efficiency of dragoon jumping. She doesn't appear to be doing anything aside from trying to attract attention to herself or, upon closer inspection, herd them into a large enough mass.

No killing? No one ever told Shadow about such a rule. The black-hearted hedgehog won't hesitate for a second to kill, and he's proud of it. That's what separates the Heroes from the Villains. Heroes have weak stomachs. Shadow the hedgehog's smirk doesn't fade for an instant as Anna comments. He doesn't really expect her to be impressed /yet/. On top of that, he's used to people who don't know of his power. He's used to having to give them first hand experience.

"And you're in /my/ way, miss." Shadow falls into a battle stance, locking his eyes upon the girl. "You don't want to see my full power? Fine." In a sudden burst of speed, Shadow dodges the plasma blobs that Gunther fires. Before another second passes, Shadow leaps at Anna and sends his knee towards her stomach in a single, fluid motion. "You wouldn't be able to handle it, anyways."

Shadow the Hedgehog strikes Anna Zirski with his I'm only using 52 percent of my power! attack.

Mathias Cronqvist teleports from the cover of the trees to the smashed gates. He spots some people that seem, from the way they look and speak, to be EVIL-aligned. He approaches what appears to be the center of the action, though the vampire stays back from actual melee range. He doesn't really want to get involved in fighting personally.

Speaking to Zio, Mathias says, "I heard you required assistance here. Perhaps some reinforcements would be useful?" Then he gestures and a few Poison Zombies rise up out of the ground, and stand there with toxic smoke wafting off of them as they await orders.

No killing. That's alright with Anna, given that it leaves the door open for massive physical injury and harm. But she doesn't give a reply towards Ayla's request. There's Zio's threat that could very much turn into reality. Narrowing her eyes, it's a costly distraction as she attempts to dodge the green blob aimed in her direction. Did she say how much it hurt? No? Well, it does shock her into focusing even more towards the impending fight.

Shaking off the attack, the slashers in her hands are quickly released and thrown towards Shadow just moments after recovering her fighting position. His actions may have been fast, but.. maybe he really is related to Sonic. It doesn't matter right now, one arm lifting across her waist as the knee makes contact. Exhaling suddenly, she takes a few steps back. Not in retreat. She's waiting for the moon slashers to return. They are boomerang-like after all. What goes out, must come back. "Then one of us has to get out of the way, don't you think?" Ah. She sounds so dangerously sweet when she says that too. "And you're right. I -could- care less."

Anna Zirski misses Shadow the Hedgehog with her Move! I'm still not impressed! attack.

Roll continues her scans. Time to check for weaknesses! Unfortunately, the Rollsaucer's scanners have to /target/ people for this. <Okay...weakness-scans start...now.> She taps a few buttons on the keyboard and several antennae on the saucer start vibrating. Scanners...go! It's all quantum, you know.

Roll Light misses Gunther Hermann with her trivial Scan! attack.
Roll Light strikes Mathias Cronqvist with her trivial For! attack.
Roll Light strikes Shadow the Hedgehog with her trivial Great! attack.
Roll Light misses Zio with her trivial Justice! attack.


Anakin takes the gust of wind square in the chest, and is promptly knocked back; he doesn't associate such a move, however, with 'gust of wind'. "... Sith," he says to himself, "Or at least something like one." This is the most efficient way he can internalize the sum of Zio's powers -- at least, for now. With no further words, he steps forward once, twice, three times, and swings his lightsaber at Zio's midsection. It's arguably butchery, especially under the old customs of lightsaber combat, but it's /efficient/ -- and Anakin doesn't want to see any lives lost due to his indecision.

Anakin Skywalker strikes Zio with his Vwrr Vwrr Kssh attack.
You have taken 20 damage.

Zio takes the blow square in the chest, not moving mostly due to curiousity. Zio really wants to test the boy, to see what all the fuss is about. Though, for all his cockiness, lightsaber wounds still hurt like hell. A sign of pain is absent from his face, though, as he calmly says "That's one."

The word 'Sith' strikes a chord, as the Dark Gamemasters have mentioned that in previous reports. Specifically they warned all of EVIL to be careful with their magic usage in front of the Jedi, lest they be mistaken for one. Zio simply exudes magical power, though, so such caution would have been near impossible for him.

Zio quickly grabs one of his own men who happened to be running by, and snatches his weapon from his hands, and carelessly tosses him aside. The Laserswrd in question isn't so much red as it is orange, and the shape is entirely different from Anakin's, but it will give Zio something to melee with for the time being. Zio charges at Anakin, with a haphazard swing to his opponents midsection. Swordplay is not Zio's strongpoint, he knows enough to hold his own against someone of moderate skill, but chances are it won't be long before the sword is ditching fighting Anakin.

Zio strikes Anakin Skywalker with his *VIORNT*! attack.

Something red suddenly joins the ranks of the poisonous zombies as Faris plunges from the sky, landing squarely on the back of one of the noxious undead. The woman looks mildly confused now, and gives her spear a spin. "Odd, I clearly recall somebody mentioning his forces weren't undead." Cursing herself silently as she suddenly finds herself doding out of the reach of one of the ghouls, the dragoon quickly launches herself up into the air again.
 
She lands once again, this time well behind the army, or at the very least, the direction the invading forces had come from. This may put her somewhere near Mathias, but she's hardly paying him any attention right now. She slams her spear into the ground in front of her, then extends her hands. She murmurs to herself, chanting some sort of ancient incantation passed down by mages throughout time. Green rune etching appear scrawled in the ground around her in a circle. Suddenly, her form disappears with the dispersal of several green orbs of light.
 
Hovering a good five feet off the ground in her place is an old man with a rather length beard clothed in grey robes. Lifting his gnarled staff to the sky, the very tip begins to glow and spark. Waves of lightning spread across the battlefield, originating from the staff at first, though large blasts descend from the sky to join the onslaught.
 
Faris had done what she normally does when faced with a rather large group of opposing forces. Having know that they would be facing an army when responding to this event, Faris had equipped the summoner crystal in her other bracer. The result, naturally, was the summoning of Ramuh (who would vanish soon after).

<Fac-EVIL> Zio says, "Are any Gamemasters listening?"
<Fac-EVIL> Dual grunts.
<Fac-EVIL> Zio says, "I'm curious about these 'Sith' that have been mentioned."
<Fac-EVIL> Dual says, "I don't know a lot about that."

"Too slow!" shouts Shadow as the slashers fly past him during his attack. The hedgehog lands on his feet again and leaps back to get some distance between himself and Anna. "That was your attack? Pathetic," says the black hedgehog, discounting the weapons as 'lost' and keeping his back to them. He smirks at his target, and gets ready to pounce, only to hear the 'swoosh' of two objects cutting through the air behind him.

Quickly falling down to lie on his stomach, he waits for the two slashers to fly over him, barely missing the tips of his quills, before he springs back up. "Not bad, but you still missed." The hedgehog charges towards Anna, raising a fist as he rapidly closes in. Shadow's gloved hands become blurs of white as he unleashes a rapid series of punches at his opponent.

Shadow the Hedgehog strikes Anna Zirski with his Watch the hands! attack.

<Fac-EVIL> Zio says, "Ah. I happen to be fighting one of those 'Jedi' warriors, and he seems to have mistaken me for one. I was wondering if I could use that to my advantage."
<Fac-EVIL> Dual says, "Probably not."
<Fac-EVIL> Alessa says, "They're not that smart."
<Fac-EVIL> Alessa says, "Like, they shoot this lightning, right?"
<Fac-EVIL> Alessa says, "The Sith guys."
<Fac-EVIL> Zio says, "Then I shall continue with my original plan."
<Fac-EVIL> Alessa says, "So, I shoot the lightning, and do you know what he decides?"
<Fac-EVIL> Alessa says, "He decides it's Gameshark. Are black people all evil there or something?"
<Fac-EVIL> Zio says, "I wouldn't know."

He doesn't seem /quite/ like a Sith -- the differences are obvious -- but Anakin does resolve to fight as if he /were/ a Sith. The differences are slight at best, so the world certainly won't /lose/ anything if he goes all out. Anakin is lightly tagged by the attack, as he strains to parry it with his own blade; Zio is /good/. Flesh sizzles, and Anakin pushes back harder. He doesn't speak; such only contributes to internal and external chaos. Stepping back, he gives his blade a small flourish and jabs for Zio's neck. He pays the rest of the battle no mind, even as things like the Poison Zombies and sniper bullets are added to the fray -- focus. He needs /focus/.

Anakin Skywalker strikes Zio with his Vicious Little Stab attack.
You have taken 25 damage.

Sure. Shadow's comments are meant to be snarky, but Anna doesn't seem to be reacting much, if at all. Smiling faintly as the bladed weapons return, the guardian is pleased to take the hedgehog off guard. If only for a moment. But this is proving something: Slashers are not helping. Not yet. That much is apparent as they return in time for her arms to lift in defense of her face and upper body as those punches are landed. And yes, those punches hurt. A lot.

Droppng to one knee abruptly, it might seem as if Anna's down for the count. Except for the leg that lashes out in a sweeping low-kick towards Shadow. With one hand touching the ground, the other is keeping her balance. If the gamble pays off by connecting or even if it doesn't, there's one tightly clenched fist aimed for the hedgehog's face. A left hook? Well, it's always possible in her line of work.

Anna Zirski strikes Shadow the Hedgehog with her Watch the hands? What about the feet? attack.

<Fac-EVIL> Alessa says, "Dual?"
<Fac-EVIL> Dual says, "Huh?"
<Fac-EVIL> Alessa says, "Are all the black people evil in Jedi-land?"
<Fac-EVIL> Alessa sounds like she may be a little drunk.

The Rollsaucer floats higher, trying to get a better lock on the targets it couldn't scan well. <Hm...I've got some data. On Shadow and the weird vampire guy...hold on.> Roll taps some more buttons. Maybe soon she'll start firing powerups, but it's Scanner Time now! Scanscanscan! This short pose was brought to you by the letters 'C' and 'U,' and the number 9.

Roll Light strikes Zio with her trivial Scan, Mega Man! attack.
Roll Light strikes Gunther Hermann with her trivial For Everlasting Peace! attack.

One of the Poison Zombies is stabbed by Faris as she lands on it with her spear, and it slips back into the ground with a wail, defeated easily by the powerful attack.

Mathias waits for the summon to finish, not being familiar with THIS method of calling up help from beyond, and then he decides that someone needs to take Faris DOWN before she can wipe out all of EVIL's forces by herself.

He teleports over to the pirate (or is it Dragoon now?) and looks silently at her for a few seconds before saying, "Good evening, miss. It seems that I must disable you in order for my allies to be successful in their endeavor." Then Mathias holds out one hand, and a sword of black flame forms in it. He closes his hand around the handle of the blade, and carefully moves himself into the fighting stance he was trained to battle in as a knight.

Though he is not a warrior per se, he knows how to use a sword somewhat. Mathias waits for Faris to respond before doing anything, though from his calm demeanor, he seems to be confident he is not in any danger.
Sith, not Sith. Zio is evil, Zio is powerful, so in the end, that's all that is important, right? Unless Zio is intentionally playing off what little he knows about the Jedi and the Sith in order to provoke Anakin, but to what end? Well, Zio is fickle like that.

Zio takes the second stab with a slight grimace. He's gotten used to pain, if he were a weaker man then it would probably show more. Damage is still being done, all the same. While Zio has to acknowledge Anakin's skill, he still fails to see why the Dark Gamemasters are so interested. He'll need to push him further...

And he does so with a feint attack with his sword, which was just a guise to set himself up to blast Anakin with dark, corrosive energy. Like an acidic cloud of dust.

Zio misses Anakin Skywalker with his Corrosion attack.

<Fac-EVIL> Dual says, "I don't think so."
<Fac-EVIL> Alessa says, "Huh. Maybe it's like San Andreas."
<Fac-EVIL> Etoile Rosenqueen says, "-- Elaborate on that a little?"
<Fac-EVIL> Alessa says, "OK, you know Lani?"
<Fac-EVIL> Alessa says, "Get her to drive in San Andreas for a day and ask her how many times she gets pulled over."
<Fac-EVIL> Etoile Rosenqueen says, "... /ah ha/."
<Fac-EVIL> Eggplant Wizard says, "Someone is being unPC!"

The distinct red cybernetic eyes pop up once more from another window in the building. There he is, our favorite neighborhood German mech-aug.

He watches the battle for a moment--the cave-girl seems to have vanished, but the sudden carnage at the front line shows that she's taking on the commander's army by herself. He ducks as one of the unfortunate soldiers is sent flying from a powerful bash to the crotch, through the window, and onto the bed in this room, causing quite a commotion.

Mein Gott.

Gunther creeps back into view and readies the rifle, trying to ignore the groans of pain coming from the half-dead minion behind him. The hedgehog seems to have the full attention of the soldat, and with the speed that duel is going, he cannot risk providing fire support without the chance of hitting his ally.

He turns and looks down near where the familiar Mathias is, just in time to see the electric light show and that tall bearded man. But just as soon as he is able to acquire his target, the man vanishes. What was /that?/ Holographic illusion? No ...

The spearwoman appears underneath where the bearded man was positioned--perhaps she took that form? What happened to her? No matter now. His target has been picked.

A few seconds of aiming and Gunther fires a shot. Due to the conical spread, there's the obvious chance he'll miss (again), but also he risks hitting those ... BC constructs.
Gunther Hermann strikes Faris with his weak Maybe You Get Sniped, Too! attack.

<Fac-EVIL> Vollinger says, "..."
<Fac-EVIL> Eggplant Wizard says, "Someone needs to get 'beat'!  Because first you start being unPC to other humans, and THEN you start on the plants and the 'living impaired' people in Castlevania. JUST BECAUSE WE KILL CHILDREN DOESN'T MEAN WE SHOULDN'T BE UNPC!"
<Fac-EVIL> Eggplant Wizard says, "Or should be unPC.  Darn those negatives being all confusing."
<Fac-EVIL> Alessa says, "I don't know if they're 'PC', I'm just saying they probably don't like black people."
<Fac-EVIL> Vollinger says, "This is that addle-brained 'political correctness' concept, isn't it."

"I am afraid I cannot allow this to pass, sir." Faris replies crisply, the remnants of the spellcircle disappearing into the ground, leaving a faint trace of ash in the area. She notes his weapon, a tad annoyed knowing that summoned weapons can rarely actually be stolen or broken. Shoving that strategy aside, Faris goes for the quick and dirty method.
 
This being, Faris lifting that spear of hers and stabbing Mathias in the chest with it. She seems all too interested in dispatching Mathias quickly so she can return to dealing with the numerous enemies running around and thus reduce the damage the invasion will have upon the locale and populace.
 
Though in her concentration upon her new opponent, she is completely unaware and completely open to being sniped from a far-off source. A bullet strikes her armor, not penetrating but inflicting a rather deep dent into it that jabs into the skin beneath rather painfully. "..bloody hell!"

Faris misses Mathias Cronqvist with her ker-stab attack.

<Fac-EVIL> Gunther Hermann has a tone of disgust. "How unfortunate that this war forces the employ children on both sides."
<Fac-EVIL> Alessa says, "Obi-Wan's all like 'aha, a black guy, SITH LOOORD'."
<Fac-EVIL> Hulk Davidson says, "Stop before you give me a headache, veggie."
<Fac-EVIL> Vollinger says, "...unfortunate?  It's /easiest/ to train a child."
<Fac-EVIL> Gunther Hermann says, "That may be so, but I take it the nations involved here have not signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ."
<Fac-EVIL> Vollinger says, "Besides, humans and the related races have such /short/ lifespans, the best training is gotten in at a young age."
<Fac-EVIL> Eggplant Wizard says, "We don't force evil kids on our side.  We bribe them with nudie magazines and candy.  And Political Correctness is the WAVE OF THE FUTURE!"
<Fac-EVIL> Vollinger says, "...no.  I'm afraid, sir, that Tarant has /not/ signed that."
<Fac-EVIL> Vollinger says, "And, in fact, is not a member of the United Nations.  We have a similar body, however, the Industrial Council."
<Fac-EVIL> Gunther Hermann grunts.

Anna doesn't seem to be reacting at all to Shadow's comments, not that it matters. Shadow keeps his fists flying until Anna manages to sweep his feet out from under him. The black hedgehog falls down on his butt, using his hands to soften the blow of his fall, but when the punch connects to his chin he's sent flying backwards. Shadow bounces along the ground before he manages to land on his feet, skidding as he spins around on the ball of his foot, kicking a trail of dust into the air.

The second he faces Anna again, he activates his shoes and skates towards her. The cocky smirk he once had is gone, replaced by a more serious, brooding expression. He says nothing as he speeds towards his enemy, suddenly turning his body so that he skates sideways at Anna, and tilting his feet back so that the energy flies up at the hero while his arms move to balance his weight.

Shadow the Hedgehog strikes Anna Zirski with his Light Skates Burn! attack.

<Fac-EVIL> Vollinger says, "I'm afraid you /must/ understand, however, that our society is...I believe you may have ancient history recording a time known as 'Victorian?'"
<Fac-EVIL> Iggy Koopa says, "... besides. It's /fun/ wrecking the Palace's stuff."

    Luke was called in by Anna for a simple mission. Sniper surpression. Usually, people try to keep the older Duke boy out of these battles for the simple fact that Luke isn't really used to the whole Videoland concept. However, with exposure has come experience. And hearing the sniper is a cyborg helps clear his mind. That's like a robot. Means he's not alive.
    Then as Faris seems to be struck from nowhere, that catches the former Marine's attention. His head immediately snaps up towards the rooftops, scanning them quickly, looking for a good sniper roost. It has to have certain things. Camoflauge, a good vantage point of the fight, and cover. A few buildings fit these profiles. So, he'll have to start from another building to outsnipe the sniper.
    Pulling the compound bow and arrows over his shoulder, Luke leaps onto a fire escape and starts up a building's fire escape, looking to get to the roof. Once there, he takes cover next to the elevator maintenance building, and settles down to one knee, watching the buildings, bow in one hand, already drawing an arrow with the other. "...stick your head up, my friend..."

<Fac-EVIL> Gunther Hermann says, "Yes, I understand the term and time frame you refer to."

The more Anakin hears about this guy, the more he seems like a Sith. As the 'cloud' creeps toward him, he launches himself high into the air and backward; kicking off of a town building, he lands behind Zio. He steps toward the dark lord again, looking around for something he can use to distract his opponent; not finding anything, he elects instead to use the intended tactic on the man himself. Thrusting his free hand out, he exerts a great deal of concussive force through the Force at a point centered on his opponent's chest. He keeps his lightsaber ready, but focuses his attention on his little Force trick instead.

Anakin Skywalker strikes Zio with his Force Strike attack.
You have taken 23 damage.

<Fac-EVIL> Vollinger says, "Well...our culture is very similar.  It's a necessity of the zone."
<Fac-EVIL> Vollinger says, "You understand, of course."
<Fac-EVIL> Eggplant Wizard says, "Does that mean you have ladies in the big butt stuff, Voldo?"
<Fac-EVIL> Vollinger says, "...'Voldo?'"
<Fac-EVIL> Gunther Hermann replies only with a simple "I see." He sounds preoccupied now--there's faint signs of fighting going on through his infolink, and in fact a man can be heard groaning in pain.
<Fac-EVIL> Eggplant Wizard says, "Yeah, I figured it was a catchy nickname for you."
<Fac-EVIL> Eggplant Wizard says, "Better than Volvo."
<Fac-EVIL> Vollinger says, "...just call me by my name, sir.  'Vollinger.'"
<Fac-EVIL> Eggplant Wizard says, "How about Little V?"
<Fac-EVIL> Eggplant Wizard says, "V-ster?"
<Fac-EVIL> Eggplant Wizard says, "Da V?"
<Fac-EVIL> Vollinger says, "..."
<Fac-EVIL> Vollinger says, "You have...name issues, don't you."
<Fac-EVIL> Eggplant Wizard says, "Volilo?"
<Fac-EVIL> Gameshark says, "Eggplant. Shut up."
<Fac-EVIL> Eggplant Wizard says, "I'm being trendy though!"
<Fac-EVIL> Vollinger says, "..."
<Fac-EVIL> Hulk Davidson says, "Maybe I should try going vegan once or was that fruitarian."
<Fac-EVIL> Eggplant Wizard says, "I have those baggy pants and everything on!"
<Fac-EVIL> Vollinger sighs.  "In any case.  Gameshark, sir...I am willing to meet with the Chancellor, as you suggested, if it is still needed."

Zio is a master of most magics, and as such, has a formidible magic defense. But the Force isn't magic, and as such he is totally unprepared to defend himself from Anakin's unseen blow, and is sent flying. Thrown back well over 15 feet, Zio hits the ground with a hard thud. The only thing keeping him from rolling a distance is the fact he retained enough composure to stick his sword into the ground, allowing him to come to a stop on the spot. As a result, though, the Laserswrd is broken. Ah well. He wasn't a swordsman anyway.

Standing up, Zio wipes some dust off his cloak, and just stares at Anakin for a moment. Now he's starting to see.. but surely there's still more to the boy. Time to push him further. "That's three, I believe." He continues to use his threat from the start to mock him. "Let's stop playing around then, shall we?" Badguys ALWAYS say that. Especially when they're right about to throw a quick attack at the hero. This time is no different, as Zio sends a massive fireball in Anakin's direction. "Nafoi."

Zio strikes Anakin Skywalker with his Nafoi attack.

Mathias Cronqvist swings his blade down, shoving the spear to the side so that it passes by harmlessly. Not being one to fail to take advantage of a distracted enemy, when Faris is struck by the bullet, he then turns the deflection swing in the opposite direction, and attempts to cut across Faris's face with the midnight blade in a backhanded stroke.

If it hits, then he will attempt to take a step back, to give him some room to maneuver. His strength is in finesse rather than brute force, after all.

This is one smugly pleased Guardian as the blows connect, following thru with the momentum which moves her from kneeling to standing. The look on her face is clear: She's not playing anymore. Then again, when was she? Keeping both of her hands free, the slashers are back in her inventory as something else materializes to correspond with the faint glimmer of the yellow gem on her armor.

..A whip. Adopting a fighting position, one question runs through her mind. Just how does Anna keep him in one place long enough to make any semblance of an attack? She may get her chance as she's literally run over. Going with the backwards motion, her wrist quickly turns to angle the whip towards one of Shadow's legs. Just long enough to get him disoriented for an attack to be made with a firm 'yank'.

Anna Zirski misses Shadow the Hedgehog with her Wait? Is that a speed bump? stun attack.

Just as Faris pulls back, she turns to the side just slightly, trying to get a sense of where the sniper shot her from. This, unfortunately, is a mistake. Before she can react, Mathias scores a deep gash between her eyes and down the bridge of her nose, which is incredibly infuriating as she had expected her helmet to guard from such things.
 
Scowling, Faris rapidly lifts her spear and swings it at Mathias, aiming to return the favor by raking the point across his face.

Faris strikes Mathias Cronqvist with her Right back at you, Seifer. attack.

Roll stops her scans, now that they're complete. Eeeeexcellent. She then floats over the battlefield, loading up the powerup cannon. It's time to be BUFFSPAMMER GIRL! ...okay, no. But still. <Okay! First shot - glue! Firing in five...four...three...two...one!> Roll aims and fires the Powerup Cannon into the melee, aiming for...Shadow! Glue gun, away!

Roll Light misses Shadow the Hedgehog with her Glue stun attack.

/Fire/? That's a new one on Anakin, to say the least. He rolls to the side, but is still scorched by the edge of the fireball. He does make note of this particular power, so he can ask around a bit about it in the Palace, but again -- peripheral concerns, much like the sniper bullets and the zombies. Focus. Anakin stands back up, narrowing his eyes at Zio... and then leaps toward Zio, preparing to finish this. If he keeps the 'big bad' occupied, or even brings him down, that's a little more focus people can exert on their own issues.

As he begins to lose upward velocity and gain downward velocity, he begins to spin vertically, lightsaber held outward. If Zio isn't careful, he could be cut neatly in two just as Anakin lands; he would join such luminaries as Darth Maul, though his cut would obviously be perpendicular to that /particular/ Sith's. As he moves through the air, Anakin says quietly, "There is no emotion... there is only peace." Trying to steel himself, perhaps?

Anakin Skywalker strikes Zio with his Attempted Bisection smash attack.
You have taken 42 damage.

Gunther Hermann is impressed with his plasma rifle's handiwork. He sees that the gothic man is now fully engaged in melee combat. He decides to inspect the current situation with his other allies.

He looks towards the soldat and the hedgehog ... still thick in the speedfighting. No possible opening for a sniper shot. Thus, he turns and, rifle still shouldered, brings his aim over to Zio and Anakin. Zio sure is standing his ground well, even with a deep lightsaber cut across the chest. His aim is brought momentarily on Anakin, though he doesn't intend to fire. He watches for a moment when ...

Mathias Cronqvist flinches as the spear tip is dragged across his face, leaving a long gash that oozes black blood. His red eyes narrow, and he decides that staying back was a bad idea. A spear has a longer reach than a sword, so he needs to keep in close to reduce the useability of his opponent's weapon, even if it reduces his own maneuverability.

Mathias Cronqvist misses Faris with his Go for the jugular! attack.

With this in mind, he steps forward and makes a quick chopping motion with his blade, aimed at Faris's neck. If this were the Real, such an attack could kill. In VideoLand, if the blow even gets through Faris's armor, it will probably just wound.

Even so, the attack is aimed awfully close to the jugular... A bad place to get hit in any situation.
Shadow's serious gaze doesn't fade for a second, even as his attack lands. The second that the damage is done, Shadow quickly changes direction to get out of the guardian's melee range. The whip does not go unnoticed, but instead of /dodging/ it, Shadow grabs the end of it that was intended for his leg as he /bursts/ away from Anna. As the black hedgehog skates away, he pulls on the end of the whip, in an effort to either disarm her or drag her along for a ride.

The oncoming glue projectile fails to escape Shadow's attention, and as it closes in on him he quickly dodges to the side, losing his grip on the whip as he focuses on getting out of the way. After he lands, he turns to Anna and says, "Get all the cover fire that you like. You still can't defeat me."

Shadow the Hedgehog strikes Anna Zirski with his Keel Haul attack.

    Luke, having been fed radio data on the sniper, is actively seeking him out, arrow not pulled back yet. He's waiting for the sniper to show up first. Once he does, then the counter-sniper will have his opening.
    And that's when Gunther makes his move, drawing a bead on Anakin. Luke catches that sight of red eyes on the edge of the building, and drawing a bead on Gunther, pulls back a normal arrow, fast, taunt, and then lets it fly.
    It whips through the air, heading for Gunther, and...

Luke Duke strikes Gunther Hermann with his weak Counter-Sniped! attack.

A well aimed strike, a powerful strike. Yes, Anakin hits Zio directly. This doesn't fell the so-called fake magician, though. If anything, his thick black armor saves him from being totally bisected. He IS wounded, and bleeding heavily. One would note his blood is pitch black, almost like tar, and seems to burn the ground when it hits it. But that is besides the point. The important thing here is that it seems Zio is done playing around.

(Four.) He makes a mental note. "I see... it seems there is something to you afterall. Then, I'll stop playing around. It is time to push you as far as you'll be pushed." Zio's hands suddenly ignite, as he lifts them towards the sky. "Oh my lord, the one and true god, Dark Force!" There's a terrible silence, and a terrible noise, as the air above Zio becomes pitch black with a dark miasma. In the center of the cloud, a grim visage appears, that of Dark Force himself.

Zio levels his black, gauntleted hand towards Anakin. "Let us see how your destiny fares against the power of Dark Force." Zio says grimly, just as a torrent of black and red energy is shot from his arm, towards Anakin. Sheer dark, evil power. The anti-life.

The Black Wave.

Zio strikes Anakin Skywalker with his Black Wave smash attack.

Anna isn't giving up. As long as she's distracting Shadow, it means one less person fighting and trying to take over the city. That's one way to view things as the whip is yanked on in return. "Hey-!" Bracing herself for a forward skid of at least a few feet, the guardian releases the whip quickly as she winces. This is going to hurt in a little while.

Nevertheless, even as there's the all too noticeable red marks along her legs and arms, there's a coolness in Anna's eyes as she extends one hand towards Shadow. As the winds begin to pick up around herself, it's only a sampling of what's going to be in store for the hedgehog as she murmurs, "Zan."

Anna Zirski strikes Shadow the Hedgehog with her Zan smash attack.

Mathias is shown that Faris does indeed have the advantage of reach-and experience from the looks of it.The weapon is quickly withdrawn from it's reach and brought up, swiftly blocking the potentially life-threatening strike.
 
Suddenly, Faris jumps..very, very high. One has to wonder how the hell she pulls off such in a full suit of armor.
 
Just as suddenly, she descends from above, spear-first.

Faris misses Mathias Cronqvist with her !Jump attack.

Roll, hearing pain via radio, has decided that someone needs a pickmeup. She is the healer and buffspammer in the flying saucer, and it is her job. She flies the Rollsaucer away from Shadow, over towards Zio and Anakin. <Mister Skywalker! Heads up, life energy!> The little robot isn't taking no for an answer. After all, alphabetical order says Anakin is before Anna.

Roll Light strikes Anakin Skywalker with her HEAL CANNON GO! healing attack.

Anakin's breathing becomes labored as he is wracked with pure dark energy. He staggers back, looking to the sky, seeing the face of Dark Force; something gives inside him, and he hunches over, vomiting up a rather impressive amount of blood. He mumbles something mostly unintelligible in spite of the sticky, nasty sensation in his throat. He begins to walk back toward Zio, lightsaber still in hand; reaching into his robes, he produces another one. One he's loath to use... but desperate times call for desperate measures.

The red blade of Count Dooku flashes in the evening darkness.

"There is no death," Anakin says quietly, staggering toward the villain with the motions of a desperate man, as the battle rages around him. The healing cannon strikes him, and he feels a little energy begin to come back thanks to the capsule; he makes a mental note to thank Luke for dealing with the sniper, and Roll for the obvious, if they survive this. "... There is only the Force." Doing quick flourishes with both blades, Anakin feints with the red, and then slashes with the blue.

Anakin Skywalker strikes Zio with his It's Just A Flesh Wound! attack.
You have taken 19 damage.

/CHING!/

Gunther is totally taken off guard by this. What just hit him?! What just--

Bolt? Mini-crossbow? No, it's ... bigger. Longer. Uncut. It's a full-fledged arrow! And it just left a ding in his augmented bicep. The arrow itself ricocheted off and is half-heartedly stuck in the ground. A freaking arrow! Does someone think that lowly of him, that he must be stuck from such shafts as a hunter would with wild boars? The ultimate insult, for sure!

Find the sniper, Gunther. Quick, he'll change his position soon. Using the direction the arrow came from--or rather, how it hit him when he was positioned--as a reference, he scans in that general direction quickly, trying to keep as protected as possible. Thank Gott he has augmented vision, the very thing he didn't know gave him away.

/There./ On a rooftop not too far ... but too far for the plasma rifle to matter. Verdammt!

He retreats away from the window, muttering curses as he gets that plasma rifle holstered and fishes out the assault rifle. His hands, of course, aren't so graceful. This draws the one phrase Gunther is known for.

"... Need a skull-gun ... "

Finally, he gets that verdammt assault rifle out. Its strange bullpup design doesn't allow him to shoulder it like a typical assault rifle, meaning his aim is going to suck--but at least it doesn't have the conical random spread of the plasma rifle, which wouldn't hit his counter-sniper /at all/ from this distance. Nevertheless, he pops up from another window, quickly re-acquiring his target once he's spotted him. He didn't move much, it seems. Trying to aim the best he can, he gives this haughty hunter a taste of his own medicine.

(And yes, this being an assault rifle, fires typical bullets. You can all relax.)
Gunther Hermann strikes Luke Duke with his My Aim Sucks When My Rifle's Like A SMG :( attack.

Mathias watches as Faris leaps high into the air. Since she has to come down sometime, and she wouldn't be leaping into the air if she wasn't planning on landing on him like she did with one of his Poison Zombies, he waits for Faris to begin her descent, and then also shoots into the air. For him, this is due to vampiric flying powers rather than jumping skill. As he rises into the air, the results are the same, however, as he holds his blade out in an attempt to slice up Faris's side as he ascends.

The flight ability while not in bat form is limited, so he quickly drops back down to the ground, whether he hits or not.

Mathias Cronqvist misses Faris with his Vampire Sword Technique: Darkness Rising (No there's no such thing as vampire sword techniques) attack.

Zio remains standing after being torn by the lightsabers once more. Is it due to his own impressive stamina? Or is the summoned presence of Dark Force giving him some amount of strength? Perhaps a bit of both. "Five." He spits. He's not vomiting blood, at least, but some does escape his mouth. Taking a moment to wipe his lip, Zio stands upright once more, forcing a grin.

Oh yes. There IS quite a lot to this boy. Zio may not know what destiny lies before him, but he can tell the boy is on the road to power. And the fact that the Dark Gamemasters seem convinced it is a path that could lead him to join THEM makes it all the more intriguing. He's decided not to kill Anakin. But he still needs to put on an appropriate show. Afterall, he's not going to be disgraced before his lord.

"You are right, on one account boy. There is only the Force...." Zio raises his hand, and it glows with blue energy. A small sphere of icy energy is shot towards Anakin. "Dark Force!"

Zio strikes Anakin Skywalker with his Nawat attack.

    Zip! TANG! The bullet catches Luke in the upper arm, tearing the flesh there. He winces in pain, yelping out a "Yowch!" as he goes dropping backwards for a moment, and holds his arm, frowning. Fine, the sniper wants to play that way.
    "Alright, ya jackass." the older Duke boy grumbles, taking out one of the other arrows. Not a normal one. This one has half a dynamite stick attached to it.
    After standing up again, Luke draws back, not seeing the Cyborg, but seeing the window he was in. So, time to bring the bird out of his perch. He draws back on the explosive arrow, and sends it down towards the window, hoping to drop it into the room, and blow back Gunther.

Luke Duke strikes Gunther Hermann with his Fire in the Hole! attack.

Gunther Hermann strikes Gunther Hermann with his Weakness! Ow! smash attack.

One of the advantages of having a light frame is that it allows one to run around pretty fast. One of the disadvantages is that you get knocked around pretty easily. The black hedgehog's red eyes suddenly widen as he feels the air vanish from around him, right before several sharp winds cut into him and send him flying through the air. Shadow's flight ends with him embedded upside-down into a nearby building, covered in fresh bleeding wounds. "Gh. That hurt."

Curling into a ball, Shadow escapes from the wall with a quick spin. He let up for one second, and it cost him. That's why he doesn't let up. Charging towards Anna once again, Shadow narrows his eyes as he is determined to fell his opponent quickly. Just as he finishes closing the distance, Shadow vanishes in a burst of speed, appearing behind the guardian and sending a kick at her back, before vanishing again and sending an uppercut at her chin. Vanish, punch, vanish kick. His attacks become more rapid, and the expression on his face is quickly filled with anger has he keeps up the pressure.

Shadow the Hedgehog strikes Anna Zirski with his Too fast for the naked eye smash attack.

Unfortuantely for Mathias, Faris manages to twist out of the way of his flaming sword, which is excellent for /her/, though annoying since she never got a chance to stab Mathias. Landing, crouched, she is quick to rise and whirl around on Mathias. She doesn't charge, instead taking advantage of the distance to chant rather rapidly.
 
The woman disappears again, this time replaced by..fairies. Several little fairies swarming around in the spot, their attention is suddenly diverted to the vampire. They rush him in en masse, doing something faries usually don't do. They latch onto him and bite him and..drain his energy? Perhaps their vampire fairies. Summons can be strange.
 
Should this actually work, Faris will reappear, looking rather refreshed.

Faris misses Mathias Cronqvist with her Summon: Sylph, the fairies of DOOM drain attack.

The ice is almost welcome at this point; it does dull the pain of his various wounds somewhat. However, it /does/ add frostbite to the laundry list of wounds the Skywalker boy is racking up. Anakin keeps moving toward Zio with that same deadly sense of purpose, trying to defeat his opponent while /also/ suppressing his gradually increasing anger. He continues to save his words for another time; he turns to give a brief nod to Luke, and another one to Roll, before slashing with the red blade, keeping the blue one ready to parry.

Anakin Skywalker strikes Zio with his Red Vs. Blue? attack.
You have taken 16 damage.
Zio has been knocked out!

Alright. The Guardian is no longer smug. They both know that one of them has to drop out of this fight soon. Punching doll. That's what Anna feels like as the kick squarely hits her in the back, making her stumble forward in time for the second, third and fourth hits. She's losing count quickly. This isn't good. Before Shadow makes an about turn for another attack, her hand begins to glow with a faint orange-red hue before she unleashes the fire technique towards the hedgehog as he approaches..

Anna Zirski strikes Shadow the Hedgehog with her Foi? Yeah. Foi. attack.

Roll flies around the field again, over towards Anna. She's in bad shape - even if she claims otherwise. Roll isn't about to let someone kill themselves out of selflessness. It's bad! <Miss Zirski, heads up! I'm good at aiming healing items!> She fires off another life energy capsule - they have mystical hero-seeking qualities, you know. It's all to do with the gravitic vectors of the morality equation, as exemplified in Mazersky's Third Postulate.

Roll Light strikes Anna Zirski with her TECHNOBABBLE, AWAY! healing attack.

Perhaps Zio shouldn't have relaxed his guard so easily. No sooner that he decided to take it easy on Skywalker and let him live, he finds himself fatally impaled on the red lightsaber. A look of anger washes over his face for a moment, before it subsides, and Zio smirks.

"It's useless, you know..." The smirk turns into a grimace, as he backs off of Anakin's sword. "I am one with Dark Force. And I will. Not. Die." A chuckle escapes his lips "Enjoy your victory for now. It is a shallow one."

Upon saying that, Zio explodes into darkness, his entire body becomes a black miasma, which is swallowed up by the grim visage of Dark Force he summoned earlier. That then fades, and it is as if it wasn't there at all.

As for Zio's men... upon seeing their leader be defeated they all flee like rats, those that are able to break away from Ayla, anyway. Most carry a Telepipe and warp out of there. Those that weren't so fortunate hide in dark corners of Kattelox, and assuming the Reaverbots don't get to them, they'll make their way back to Kadary once they can.

<Fac-EVIL> Zio says nothing, but Juza says "It seems Lord Zio has fallen. Those of you at Kattelox may act accordingly. Flee if you wish, or if you want to remain and fight for the island yourselves. The choice is yours."

Gunther Hermann, seeing that he struck his target by the hunter's reaction on his augmented vision, decides not to run and let fly another shot. But before he can, he's distracted by the operation commander's fall to the Jedi terrorist.

Verdammt. It's all going downhill now, with the army running and fleeing from the cave woman who had been laying into them. And what was that thing that ... that sucked him up like a vacuum cleaner?! Such a hideous--

/Shnk./

/BOOM./

A fairly sizable explosion rocks the building that Gunther was in, the windows where Luke fired the arrow near shattering. Someone's going to be angry about that property damage ... but now Gunther is nowhere in sight, not visible from any window Luke might see. And surely that loud explosion caught the attention of Gunther's allies ... and his enemies as well, no doubt.

Mathias Cronqvist sees... Faeries coming at him. He blinks, but doesn't stare for long, instead choosing to draw upon the power of the Crimson Stone to briefly immerse himself in an aura of red energy that should burn away the faeries, or at least dissuade them from attempting to drain him. Failing that, maybe drain attacks just don't work very well on the undead.

Seeing that Zio appears to have been defeated, and that the EVIL forces may be outnumbered, he decides to get ready to depart. He wasn't interested in fighting to begin with, and with the leader of this mission out of action, sticking around to stubbornly fight it out would be foolish.

So he throws his cloak open, and a cloud of bats issues forth, attempting to swarm around Faris and distract her so the vampire lord can retreat.

Mathias Cronqvist strikes Faris with his Tonight On Fox: When Bats Attack - 3! stun attack.

    Luke, like any good sniper, is keeping an eye on the battlefield below and above. He knows that Gunther could show up at any moment, but for now, someone else needs his assistance. He knows that Shadow has been tearing into Anna. And Anna said no to help. Well, you know what?
    She can just yell at him later. Taking out a bottle, Luke pops the cap, takes a quick swig for the pain, stuffs in a piece of cloth, and lights it on fire, before flinging it over the side and into the path of the speedy blach hedgehog. "Sorry about the waste, Uncle Jesse.."

Luke Duke strikes Shadow the Hedgehog with his weak Faster than Fire? attack.
As Faris reappears, she's treated to a rather /loud/ explosion. She stares in awe at the building where it came from, realizing that her sniper probably just got annihiliated. This thought doesn't bother her very much since people dying is common in her line of work. The pirate is about to advance upon Mathias when she suddenly finds herself being accosted...
 
"AUGH BATS!" she growls, swinging her spear about to get them away. Luckily for her her hair is protected beneath her helmet and cannot be nested in by the flying rats.

Anakin begins to pull away, mulling over Zio's words as he begins to retreat. His retreat /starts/ in Luke's general direction, since the Duke boy did say he'd be the one covering Anakin's escape; he does pause to momentarily vomit up another large amount of blood. Suffice to say that even though he 'won' by momentarily banishing the Big Bad, he's still in a pretty nasty state. Trying to keep his breathing relatively level and unobstructed, he heads back toward the warp.

Shadow's merciless barrage ends suddenly as he is engulfed in flames from Anna's attack. As the black hedgehog lands on the ground, he stops, drops, and rolls. You can't be the Ultimate Life Form without knowing that simple technique. The black hedgehog notices that his opponent must be in a lot of pain right now. At least enough pain to cause her allies to be worried about her. Shadow, on the other hand, is only beginning to feel his wounds creep up on him, and he still has a few more hits before he has to worry about blacking out.

Shadow doesn't even glance upward as he hears the explosion rock the building near him. Instead he uses the sudden distraction to his advantage. Curling into a ball, Shadow shreds a hole into the street beneath him, digging through the asphalt and burrowing through the ground. A few moments later, he suddenly /bursts/ upward through the ground, right where Anna is/was standing, and as he ascends into the air his sharp quills shred through anything that gets in his way (Anna included, if he hits), and a shower of loose dirt and rocks fly through the area.

And right as he lands, a thrown bottle shatters on his back and explodes, dousing him in hot, painful flames. Despite the amount of pain, Shadow stands strong, gritting his teeth to keep from screaming, as the anger in his eyes grows more and more.

Shadow the Hedgehog strikes Anna Zirski with his Taking you down from underground! attack.

<Fac-EVIL> Gunther Hermann says, "r ... rrrrrgh ..."
<Fac-EVIL> Overlord Zetta says, "And that's why I decided to just watch."
<Fac-EVIL> Gunther Hermann says, "Need ... a ... skull-gun ..."
<Fac-EVIL> Shadow the Hedgehog says, "That molotov cocktail.. came out of nowhere."
<Fac-EVIL> Gunther Hermann says, "What ... has happened to the commander?"
<Fac-EVIL> Overlord Zetta says, "Probably from one of the others. Overwhelmed?"
<Fac-EVIL> Overlord Zetta says, "Someone said he fell."
<Fac-EVIL> Overlord Zetta says, "You sound like you need an army."
<Fac-EVIL> Gunther Hermann says, "I ... will not ... retreat ..."
<Fac-EVIL> Overlord Zetta says, "So. Shallow grave or deep."
<Fac-EVIL> Gunther Hermann says, "Neither! I will not ... I will not!"
<Fac-EVIL> Overlord Zetta says, "Or can I use you as a soldier later."
<Fac-EVIL> Gunther Hermann says, "Rrk. Brrrgh."
<Fac-EVIL> Gameshark says, "Gunther, you will withdraw. We don't need more bodies."
<Fac-EVIL> Gunther Hermann says, "But ... !" 


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