/========================( - Tartarus - The Tower - )========================\
| The lobby is where logic and order hang themselves up on the coat rack. |
| From the second floor onward lies the ascending labyrinth where little is |
| certain, a veritable nest of deadly Shadows waiting to prey upon Persona |
| users... or at least those who have the "fortune" of experiencing the Dark |
| Hour themselves. |
| From the lowest floors, Tartarus looks like the twisted hallways of |
| Gekkoukan High itself. As the tower is unstable and twists itself from |
| within, no floor is ever the exact same in subsequent visits. The higher one |
| climbs, the further away from this "norm" as the various floors take on |
| interesting colors and shapes. What doesn't change is the amount of blood |
| splattered about everywhere, and the Shadows that roam the halls. Chests |
| full of helpful items and even one-way teleporters back to the ground floor |
| can sometimes be found while one searches for the staircase up to the next |
| floor, but one is advised not to linger for too long. The chilling sensation |
| of impending death always weighs heavily in the air. |
| None are sure how far up the foreboding tower goes, but it is the job of |
| SEES to find out. Every so often, one encounters a stable floor with a |
| teleporter that can take people to and from the ground floor. This is |
| usually accompanied by powerful Shadows standing guard, or a seemingly |
| impassible barrier preventing further climbing... for a time. |
|===============================( - Players - )================================|
|===============================( - Objects - )================================|
|================================( - Exits - )=================================|
| Teleporter <T>: Tartarus - 1F |
Early that week Kaoru, a Gekkoukan student in his second year, went missing. Today, he is suspected of being lost in Tartaurus, much like a great deal of other people. This usually wouldn't be an issue except for that fact he was also wanted by another organization.
An email read: "I want you to find Karou ******* and show him exactly why it's not nice to stand someone up."
The email was tagged as accepted and entered the Revenge Request archives. It was now a honored agreement.
The team from SEES should be arriving any moment. Too bad Jin and his team has already found Kaoru and is pointing a gun at his head. Jin looks coldly down at his target, looking up when SEES decides to show up. He was taking his time with this one....He wanted those punks to show tonight. He wanted them to see exactly what Strega was going to do them. The world was a cold place that was about to burn when Nyx finally woke up.
Finally when SEES arrives, Jin looks up and actually smiles as much as he can stomach. "Tch. About time you guys showed up. It's been awhile." Jin says evenly, clicking back the hammer as he pushes the gun against kaoru's temple. He pulls the gun away and gives the kid a swift smack in the back of the head with the butt of the gun. "Wait there."
Jin holds the gun upward and regains his cold expression. He brings his fingers to his lips and whistles sharply.
From the shadows there are several unfamilar sounds....Only one makes itself known.
From the darkness, a maingy, thin black cat with folded ears walks out and stares at SEES with greenish grey eyes. It tries to meow but it is either too quiet or unable to...it is an endearing trait. Jin presses his glasses to his face and points the gun at the student again. "You know what to do,..." He seems to hate what he says next. "...Scrappers."
The cat coughs a little before starting to lick it's paw.
TONIGHT'S FIRST BOSS!
SCRAPPERS THE ALLEY CAT!
But thats not all.....
There is a sudden loud splat that echoes through these particular halls of Tartarus. A familiar splatter, though far lighter in pitch and quieter than the usual noise that would signify the arrival of Mayas. On much closer inspection to where the splatter is seen, it is much too small to form into anything threatening.
It doesn't even appear to be made of whatever form of matter Shadows take. It is very wet, and has a hint of green and white coloration to it. It is unlike any other ichor encountered within Tartarus, let alone the Dark Hour.
"You shat the floor!" A voice calls from above, originating near one of the few light sources to be had in these dark chambers. A small figure shudders, a faint red coloration where it has... a tail? It leans downward into what passes for the light, two little grayish eyes and a black beak at last visible. A bird. A gray bird, some sort of parrot that appears to be missing several feathers here and there that reveal patches of pink, featherless flesh and the rare visible bit of white fluff.
"Don't shit the floor!" It screams again angrily, flapping its wings in an aggressive gesture that stands in bizarre contrast to what comes out of its beak next. "Welcome to Pet Shop!"
TONIGHT'S SECOND BOSS!
PETSHOP THE PARROT!
"Mm hmm. Hu hu - ufufufufu -" comes a throaty voice from the dim shadows. Something is crouching there, sounding like a disgusting parody of a woman. Light glints off of half-hidden eyes. There is a rolling sound...
... and a ball rolls out. The ball is of clear, cheap-looking plastic, cloudy in places. It has had some kind of red branch shape painted on it in several locations, although the paint is starting to chip. Inside of it is a gray and white guinea pig, scrabbling desperately to regain control of his home; he has done several loop the loops already.
He regains control, his hind end facing away from those gathered. He scrabbles around.
AND GUEST STARRING
"SCRABBLES" the guinea pig!
"End of the line," Chisaki Tohsaki growls at Jin.
She was in a great mood today -- but she utlimately decided to come out to help in Dark Hour. Akatsuki had been saved, but it didn't excuse not trying to save others. She was with SEES as they fought their way into Tartarus, when Jin issued his challenge. She now points her bat, a little like a sword, at him. Her goggles rest on her forehead, and her brown eyes narrow.
"We're gonna stop you right..." She pauses, and stares as Scrappers the Cat comes out -- and then sees the Parrot follow. She stares, and her lips twitch when the guinea pig comes right in."Uh...uhhhh."
She pulls out her Evoker; it goes, one-handed, up to her chin's underside. Blue light bursts out, as Beowulf comes out. The blue and white Persona takes terrible form; the silver armor glints, while navy blue looks icy and impassive. It crosses its arms -- and then pulses with bright green light.
Chisaki uses the distraction to send Mitsuru a text message.
Minagi is a resident of the Dark Hour like many of the members of SEES.
She's been set on training alot recently, killing shadows that moved into the town, or running from things bigger than an energy field larger than her own head. However, tonight, the large commotion of a lot of SEES members running for Tartarus caught her attention, and like a wolf tracking it's prey from a distance, Minagi decided to follow. Coming around a corner, she watched...so a...cat...a Guinea pig, and a bird.
Alright...maybe if she could sneak around and get to the poor guy...?
Yuuka /stares/. "... somehow, having Unicorn doesn't seem so weird anymore." Yuuka mutters.
A blue card appears in front of her eyes and Yuuka swiftly moves, crumpling it into glimmers as Pegasus appears over her head. "Or... a flying horse, you know, I'm not picky at all." She facepalms slightly, groaning the smallest bit even as the horse rears, wings flapping in the air as a green light wraps around Yuuka, then the horse fades away.
"Nyaroin." Yuuka mutters under her breath.
The twisted tower known as tartarus is quite the spectacle for first time SEES members. Deciding to follow in on some sort of operation that looked like was going down. Now, Yoh isn't a full member, nor does he have the red signature bandana, but he rolls in with the rest of the crew, so to Strega, it was probably a given. As he follows the others, he watches clsoely as they go forward.
This place was so strange... It is almost incomprehensible that it could be existing. Hopefully the others could guide him on this first excursion into this place. He kept his one spiked glove on, and his Evoker ready in the leg pocket of his jeans. he has yet to use it, so this may be an odd encounter.
From the back of the group, he tries to get a look ahead. Something big was probably going to happen... but what?
Having been flanking Chisaki, Hitoshi was with the rest of the small SEES team. His eyes had narrowed when they had finally come to where Jin and his little group were gathered, and he frowns a little bit, tilting his head. He shakes his head slightly.
"I think we're going to have something to say ab--..."
"What?" He blinks and tilts his head, watching the animals... sort of just make their way out, and he quietly begins to gape slightly. "You're... you're kidding?..."
At this point, he just focuses, the blue light enveloping him as he brings Calliope into light... The muse of epic poetry floats over his head, holding the tome she carries cradled in her arms.
Aigis has come to--
--okay. Okay, this is just.
"I am not fighting a cat!" Aigis says, crossing her arms. "That's animal abuse. I'm just going to walk past and--" She is about to say more when suddenly Koromaru darts past and starts running for the cat!!
"No Koro-Chan!" Aigis cries, "Bad dog don't chase the kitty!" She chases after Koromaru in an attempt to stop it.
This is not going down in history as Aigis's finest hour already. So preoccupied she is with cat she has totally missed the parrot and guinea pig!! "It might be an innocent conscripted cat!" She tells Koro-Chan, to no avail!
"SKITTERS" the tarantula!
Editors Note: Skitters couldn't make it tonight, as he somehow escaped his cage and is possibly scurrying around the Church of Nyx. In his place is his owner, Natasha Petrova.
Natasha stays hidden in the shadows as SEES approaches, feeling just a little disappointed when Jin doesn't go through with his honored deed. There's no point in letting that kid live, why give SEES the chance to rescue him? While part of her would be perfectly fine putting a bullet in him from her hiding spot, she decides not to interfere with whatever it is Jin has planned. Even if it's just one big drama. Who knows? It might be vital to the coming of Nyx.... somehow.
She's been looking forward to this, strangely enough. True she already helped interfere with SEES during Tomomi's little raid, but there was no danger there. Aside from inflicting a few wasp stings anyway. However this was different, this time conflict was inevitable. She was excited, the presence of her shadow in the back of her mind pushing to be released.
Natasha takes stock of the SEES forces from her hiding place, like a predator would casually eye a pack of gazelle, looking for the right one to pounce. Whether she silently made a decision, or simply got tired of waiting, Natasha steps out of the shadows.
There is not a lot of ways Minagi can get to Jin without her being seen by the Strega Lieutenant. He looks very serious about pulling the trigger if anyone gets close to him. Plus that cat...looks about as unthreatening as the come.
Scrappers coughs again, looking at Chisaki like it owns her....so like a normal cat. It doesn't do anything...until Koromaru gets near. The dog even starts to come at the cat, making it growl softly since it is one of those quiet cats that inspire moe feelings. Without warning the cat hisses and suddenly there is a blue flash of light. A large cat girl comes from the small cat and hovers over it before casting a red orb which fires at both Koromaru and Aigis.
Oh by the way...The cat has a persona. HAVE FUN! :D
Twelve minutes into the fight...
Fuuka calls in, "I think that cat has a persona! Be careful!"
The parrot almost seems like it would belong on the shoulder of a tall thin man in a striking yellow overcoat in another time, another place. Except for the fact that it's very much moving, irises narrowing at all the bright lights and loud sounds that go around.
"Shut up!" It shouts as it flaps its wings from its elevated position. Unless someone has a ranged weapon or wants to sling a spell, it might be a touch difficult to reach it from where it sits. "Stupid bird."
It starts to shudder and convulse on its perch, twisting its head about (in ways that are, for a bird at least, anatomically possible but still probably kind of disturbing to watch) as a blue light envelopes it.
"Say Persona." It speaks in a disdainful tone of voice that sounds very similar to Jin's, as a very large black and white bird raises its wings above the actual smaller bird. It raises its terrible wings and talons, summoning forth bolts of lightning towards Yuuka and Chisaki respectively.
Scrabbles races into action.
Actually, he just sees a blue light. He starts running forwards, the glyph-painted Liberty Ball he has been placed in keeping him from getting the full benefit of his stumpy legs.
He accelerates. He moves forwards. He stays focused with mad, red-tinged eyes straight ahead. His goal is Hitoshi Taniguchi and his Persona, and his means...
... are the Liberty Ball.
The rodent chitters angrily as it attempts to ram against Hitoshi's ankle.
Minagi cursed...she would only get one chance. She knew the man from Strega was no push over...however, if she could possibly distract him for but a few minutes. It seemed risky...but doing nothing was just as risky. Worse, he could use that hostage to make them not attack. Minagi frowned...
She didn't have much choice. Dropping down to all fours, Minagi activated her persona's special ability: Running hella fast.
She litterally moves on all fours for a moment, flying into the room like a bat out of hell and lept into the air. She aims to try and litterally put herself between Jin and the hostage, using her weight to try and shove Jin. She was more concerned with getting between him and his target, rather than actually hurting or disarming him.
"Yo, wassup?" she says, quoting one of Junpei's favorite characters.
"Wha--don't shoot--" Chisaki starts to spit. Electricity explodes out from the talons and wings of the parrot, and rains down electricity on the girl and Yuuka. She looks sideways at Yuuka and yelps, before she turns and looks back up at the parrot. She doesn't, really, want to hurt a bird. However, she sees little choice, and it feels rather annoying. Her eyes narrow.
"Okay, that's it, bird-brain!" she yells up at Petshop. Beowulf lunges forward; it flies up into the air, twists around, and leaves chains and smoke trailing after it. He does not draw a weapon; instead, he brings back one mighty fist. The knuckles and fingers are armored, andend in wicked spikes.
Beowulf grunts, softly, and tries to punch the bird out of the sky.
"Ow ow ow ow ow." Yuuka dances on the spot as the bolt of lightning nabs her and Pegasus. It's kind of funny.
"Okay, ow, new method... ow lightning hurts." Yuuka can be sort of obvious at times, even as her bo staff swipes through the air again, Lilim flitting up into the air, the pixie-like Personae hanging there, idly plucking at a thread on her little outfit. Yuuka glares at the Personae briefly before Lilim looks up. There's an 'oh, right.' moment passed between Lilim and Yuuka then Lilim, delicately flitting through the air, goes to tangle with bird.
Hrm. With Spirit Drain, does the parrot taste like roast fowl?
Or maybe Lilim didn't because she went "Ouch." watching Beowulf.
As Yoh moves forward, he is rather shocked to see just what thye were fighting. The hell is this? Pet animals? My gods, he has seen everything now. "You're kidding me. Animals? Really?!" He says this pretty loudly, holding the evoker in his non-gloved hand now. He was expecting to fight some big bad shadow-thing, not something you can buy for twenty bucks at the Sun Mall.
Of course he retracts this as action begins to take place. The boy jumps back a bit to get some distance. "Did that bird just shoot lightning? Awesome!" A typical teenager response. Now it was starting to look like a fight! Though, why did he have to hurt animals to do it? Ah well, black and white is not so clear... He watches as everyone begins to mobilize and attack, and things just go into chaos. Looks like it was time to take action!
"So, which to smash first?" he says to himself as he runs forward. Closest thing was that little furball in a, well, ball. First to be seen gets attacked! Jumping twice to get over near Hitoshi, he comes down with a heavy kick at the little rascal.
COMBAT: Yoh Yamagatani hits Yoiko Ijima with his Strike Attack - Hard Knuckles attack.
"We know!" Aigis tells Fuuka.
But that's a few moments after she is set on fire. The Agi isn't very deadly to Aigis (and certainly not to Koro-Chan), but it burns up smoe of her school uniform before she can pat out the flames.
Her eyes narrow faintly. She did not come prepared with a water persona to, well, spritzer the kitty but after a long deep frown, she looks up, and nods. "I will not battle a kitty with my full strength. Even if it has a Persona."
She straightens up, guides her arm forward, and starts shooting it with bullets instead. "Run kitty, I do not wish to hurt you!" Aigis declares.
COMBAT: Aigis hits Jin Shirato with her Pierce Attack - Inbuilt Gun attack.
Of course, Hitoshi was still sort of gawking in awe at Strega's... well. Unorthodox methodology. It was almost... comical, really.
And then the guinea pig starts to -bum rush- his legs.
"W-wait, what the fu--"
Bump. Hitoshi feels the ball clash against his leg. For a moment, it kind of causes him to wince, and he blinks at the ball as it bounces back... and Yoh comes in to essentially -football punt- the thing. "Nice," he comments lightly, nodding a little bit and thumbing up to the new guy. Then, his attention turns toward the bird in question attacking Chisaki and the like. He frowns, shaking his head... and as Calliope fades away, he focuses again... "Persona!"
This time, it's a bird-like Persona, with a woman's head. It swoops away from Hitoshi, moving toward... Petshop. It's wings flapping, stirring up a mighty air about the battlefield...
COMBAT: Hitoshi Taniguchi has activated Gamayun.
Just a few moments ago a text message was sent. But the receiver would never be able to respond in time. Unless...
The SEES team have already cleared the shadows leading up to this room so when the sound of an engine reverberates through the large room where Strega and SEES are facing off, it does not attract new shadows. The rumblings get louder and louder, then suddenly it's /here/. A familiar white motorcycle speeds into the room and the rider's long red hair trails behind her like a banner.
The motorcycle circles the room, rounding behind the creatures and there's a squeal of tires, black skid marks marring the nearly pristine marble surface. As Yoh kicks the hamster ball, undoubtedly launching it up in the air, the rider shouts, "HANG ON" to her passenger. She takes a corner /hard/ and suddenly the entire rear end of the bike is up in the air and turning on the pivot that is the front tires. It swings around, back wheel aiming to bat at the flying hamster ball before landing with a heavy 'woof!' The shocks are going to need to be retuned.
But the engine still growls and then falls silent as Mitsuru Kirijo unsheathes her rapier with one hand and removes her helmet calmly with the other. "Let the boy go."
COMBAT: Mitsuru Kirijo hits Yoiko Ijima with her Slash Attack - Rapier attack.
A figure in a cream uniform follows shortly on Mitsuru's heels, which surely makes no sense at all, bursting onto the scene, leaping into the air and somersalting right into the midst of the SEES battle!! Wait, crap, that figure - that red helmet, the featureless mask, the red cape and enormous gold sword!! It can only be--!
"Transmigrated Warrior Maiden, Ixquic has arrived!!" Ixquic declares, proudly holding her sword aloft.
What the hell is she even DOING here!?
SOME TIME AGO:
Akari Hoshi receives a letter from her handlers, presumably written by Chizuru Ishigami. It speaks of great destinies and innocent souls oppressed in a tower on an island made by men! Surely, Ixquic could not let such a legend pass her by!
The mighty Transmigrated Warrior Maiden stands tall, proud, undaunted! Against a couple of...stray animals...with Personas. ...you'd think she'd have trouble with that, but...
"Poor, innocent creatures!" Ixquic declares, sorrowfully. "Such villainy the minions of the King of Chaos have in their hearts! I, Ixquic, will not allow this fiendishness to continue! Creatures of darkness..." She levels her weapon at Jin, thundering: "CEASE YOUR CRUEL BEHAVIOR!"
Somehow, all the combat fireworks stop for about two seconds after this, possibly because the universe is asking itself, 'Did she seriously just use the Pretty Cure Splash Star pre-battle speech?' and realizing with horror that the answer is yes.
But soon, as the lull ends, Ixquic decrees, "My angel! Help me cleanse this poor kitty! PAIRIKA!"
The figure is surmounted by the unmistakable blue-green cylinder of summoning a Persona - no evoker card, no Evoker, the soul-creature simply bursting out of her body, a torsoless figure with long arms and long green hair expanding outward like wings! It flaps its hair at Scrappers the Alley Cat, causing a sudden shockwave of wind to burst up from the ground!
COMBAT: Akari Hoshi hits Jin Shirato with her Garula attack.
Natasha waits for a long five minutes before she realizes the obvious. The members of SEES were all far too interested in fighting/saving/blowing up the cute adorible animals. Perhaps Jin had them figured out after all. Remaining stationary, though tapping the sleeve of her coat for a few moments, Natasha grudgingly takes a small notepad out from one of her hidden pockets and makes a memo for herself.
-- Need to work on better entrances. --
Hiding the note and pen away once more, she takes stock of the situation again and finally notices that Kirijo has arrived. "Well, if you want to kill something..." She muses to herself "You go for the head."
Clearly Mitsuru's action-hero entrance has made Natasha jealous, so she's going for petty little payback! She pulls her magnum out of its hidden holster and levels it at Mitsuru, only taking a moment before pulling the trigger.
COMBAT: You hit Mitsuru Kirijo with your Pierce Attack - Magnum Revolver attack.
Taiki had been blown up last night - while this wasn't the sort of thing that affected him as much as other people, it still had not been something that had done him too much good. And so he had been out doing his usual rounds, hunting for shadows to destroy when the call had gone out. Being close enough to Tartarus, he had burst into the downstairs room right as Mitsuru had taken off up the stairs. And as such, he'd grabbed onto the back of her motorcycle, pulled himself into the seat behind her, and then held on for dear life.
Hopefully not in a way that will make Mitsuru execute him later.
But as the bike comes up on it's end, Taiki launches himself off the seat, his feet skidding on the floor as he comes to a stop. One hand is already reaching back for the intricately carved ash-wood bow slung across his back. As soon as he has it out, Taiki pulls out an arrow and nocks it with one smooth motion. The white arrow goes flying at the woman who has pulled a gun on Mitsuru, trying to knock the weapon out of her hands so she can't throw any more bullets around.
Of slightly more surprise to Natasha might be when the arrow explodes into flame a moment after it strikes - if Taiki manages to score a clean hit.
COMBAT: Taiki Himuro missed you with his Pierce Attack - Bows attack.
Minagi gets pretty close to Jin and Kaoru. The angry technology nerd doesn't let Minagi lower the gun however. It is immediately fired as he gains some distance, sneering at the girl. Does it hit Kaoru at point blank? Or does it hit Minagi? Maybe neither? Maybe both? "You know, usually I'd be more concerned with my job but all I had to do tonight is get you philistines up here. Mission accomplished. I'll kill the kid later."
Scrappers doesn't run on command. It seems to continue to battle even without Jin telling it to do anything. It hisses at Aigis when her guns come out and summons the Persona to slow the damage by using itself as a shield. Nekomata mimics the cat, growling in it's throat as it continues the fight, taking a few shots which knock it backwards.
And the Akari shows up and gives a speech. The Cat is unamused, mimicking almost Jin's expression of "what?" They don't get the referance because they have better things to do.
Jin: Be an asshole
Scrappers: Be a Cat(asshole).
The cat hisses again, charging forward to scratch at Akari with a extreme lunge. "ROWR!!!!!!!!!!" Will it hang onto the hero's face? Will that get infected?
COMBAT: Jin Shirato hits Akari Hoshi with his Intoxicating Scratch attack.
COMBAT: The Inaccurate status effect has been added to Akari Hoshi.
Yes, for some reason there is a parrot that can use the power of Persona. Of all the parrots that may have had the Potential, this one may have been far and wide the worst one to be gifted the power - if the evidence of it indulging in plucking is any one single indication to go by.
"Shut up!" It replies somewhere around the time of Chisaki calling it 'bird brain.' It may not in fact be saying this directly to her, though there is no mistaking its gestures for friendliness or a social faux pas on the grounds of it being a bird that's merely mimicking human speech it has heard.
This thing is outright malevolent, and Beowulf does exactly as its previous handlers believes is just and proper (which, in this given circumstance, almost unarguably is for the sake of the hostage's life) - smack it.
Beowulf punches it hard enough there's a loud screech as it flutters down into a puddle of blood after first smacking a wall, thrashing about in the pool to stand itself up. Lilim joins that fray a little too late to make the grab.
"Shut up or I'll hit you again!" It mimicks the legacy of a previous handler, flapping its wings and stressfully crying out a shrill noise, waddling forward in an aggressive posture. Parrots are typically prey animals, after all. These are way bigger, way scarier human beings that look an awful lot like other people it knows.
It is not helped when Hitoshi summons Gamayun. It may or may not be helping to guide Petshop to paradise with its winds as it is blown further back, even pinned to the wall for a short while with the watery blood splashing against it. This saves Yuuka, the closest to Petshop, from... say, maybe having it try to aggressively bite her shoes or something.
If only that were the only threat.
Its head shakes about strangely again, dipping itself into the pool of blood with the occasional errant twitch. "Say Persona." Comes the mimicry of Jin's voice as the blue column comes back again, summoning forth that awful human-sized black-and-white-colored bird that recently zapped the two of them with lightning.
Now three of them are about to get a taste of launched waves of blade-tipped talons and other such nastiness. Something like a rain of arrows.
"Go eat it on the floor." Petshop comments.
COMBAT: Nameless has finished their turn.
That brutal kick hits the liberty ball.
The guinea pig is bounced around inside of it, screaming in dismay as it flies towards a piece of durable architecture nearby. The ball cracks as it bounces backwards.
Mitsuru's sick bike trick sends it flying back. Now it shatters.
The shards of plastic, with their painted on glyphs, fall down to the floor of Tartarus. The guinea pig, suspiciously, does not. After several seconds of floating in mid-air, it pivots around one hudnred and eighty degrees.
Wisps float out from around it as it looks at Mitsuru, eyes filling with a certain terror mingled with outrage, but the expressions of a rodent's face may be lost on the Kirijo heiress's attention. It speaks a word of great portent -
Its eyes seem to glow with a luminosity that should not be. Its very words appear to emerge outwards, striking towards, with withering intent, the figure who had sent it flying in the first place. Scrabbles' legs twitch, running on the air, and it begins to descend... but only slightly.
COMBAT: Yoiko Ijima misses Mitsuru Kirijo with her Megidola attack.
Aigis raises her hands to continue firing at the cat--but it's on Akari's face! If she fires, she would probably shoot Akari in the head! Wait is that a bad thing? Yes! Yes it is! She only has one option here, to stop firing and... and...! Oh this is terrible, she can barely believe she is doing this. But she has no choice!
"Tr...transmigrated Warrior Maiden. You are able to overcome this challenge!"
She feels so dirty.
Yuuka sums this situation up in the three best words she can find. "What. The. Fuck." A pause. "... sorry, Kirijo-senpai."
Ojou in the room.
Oops, arrows. Sharp pointy object. Yuuka hisses, her slim frame turning and bouncing on the spot, getting some of them embedded into her skin and through her clothes(but hey, anyone that's in SEES knows that it's almost impossible to keep a good, clean, repaired set of clothes after a nightly run in Tartarus.)
"Come on Lilim, your faster then the bird is, try it again!" Lilim gives Yuuka a LOOK but flits off, dive-bombing the bird. ZZZZZZZZZOoooooom.
"Hi, Warrior Maiden Ixquic!" Yuuka adds on, noticing the girl in the back.
No. Mitsuru won't execute you. Yet Taiki.
She hasn't /quite/ removed the helmet just yet, only opened snapped open the clasps that bind it when the gunshot rings out. Instinctively, she whips her head towards the sound and faster than the eye can see, the magnum cracks into the helmet. It doesn't stop the bullet completely but slows it enough that it doesn't drill a hole in her skull either.
"Nnn!" The SEES commander throws the now useless helmet to the side and there's a trickle of blood where the bullet hit. That. Hurt. She glances for a moment, spying wisps rising from.. somewhere. The Squeak catches her attention but only for a moment. The hamster really is quite too small for her to see properly. And plus, she has bigger fish to fry.
Her evoker is in her hand and she lifts, pressing it into the side of her head. There's a shot and a block of ice flies outwards towards Natasha. Retaliation for the gunshot. "Himeru-san. Keep her busy! I'll see about helping the others!" Those animals. Where did they come from and what did Jin do to them?
COMBAT: Mitsuru Kirijo missed you with her Bufu attack.
Miangi internally knew that it was just a gun...
Oh wait...cutsce-OH SHI-
Jin's gun fires, Minagi's standing infront of the boy. For a moment, nothing seems to happen, Minagi still facing Jin down...but he knows what happened. Jin walks away, claiming to get the boy later, but Minagi's eyes burn in on him...however, once he is gone...she staggers to a knee. Blood drips down her body, starting to drip below her as she staggers towards the kid. She doesn't even speak, she doesn't have time to...she doesn't have the concentraition too... her body hurts so much.
Her face turns pale, but she picks the kid up, wincing as she takes him towards a corner, trying to keep him out of the way of the fight...and sinks to her knees with her back to him. She holds the wound...but it takes everything in her to not just fall over. Pure will keeps her even concious...
She can hold out for the rest of SEES...
"You're starting to make me feel bad!" Chisaki yells up at the parrot. Her eyes narrow as she looks up at the bird. She frowns as she looks at the bird -- but it does not last long. The Persona reappears, and arrows come raining down. Several lodge into the armor of Beowulf, sticking out of the Persona as it hovers there. Two lodge into Chisaki -- one in her side, and the other in her arm. She hisses and stumbles.
Then, she leaps and twists around. Her baseball bat swings -- and she tries to clobber Petshop before the others can rush in. As she twists in midair and sends the bat flying, Beowulf sweeps round to the other side. The Persona reaches a hand, silent and cold, over his shoulder. The huge claymore held there is pulled away, single-handed, and then he turns.
Light burns bright on Beowulf's sword. The parrot is, ideally, sent flying forward. Light grows and burns -- and then with a mighty chop, it tries to cut the parrot low, with a burst of white light.
COMBAT: Nameless has been knocked out!
Yoh cackles as the little furry thing goes flying. Looking over to Hitoshi, he gives the boy a thumbs up. "That was great! Got some air time, didn't he?" Of course, things start getting worse over time, as-- HOLY CRAP AIGIS JUST SHOT BULLETS FROM HER ARM. It must be a prosthetic arm or something. "That's awesome, Aigis-san! Shoot it up!" he bellows over. he would definitely need to talk to her about that later.
At about the time, he turned back to see Mitsuru fly in on a motorcycle, and bat the same critter with her vehicle, like some sort of spy assault move. Yoh mostly just gaped at that. Guess there was a reason behind her being the leader! Hopfully she wouldn't be mad he decided to fall in on this fight before his training even started. THe boy was getting bored anyway.
Even stranger is a... superhero flips out onto the scene? Yoh began to wonder if someone had slipped him hallucinigens in his soda. But it looked like she was helping, so go her!
Anyway, to the task at hand. the Petshop Horror Squad. The guinea pig or whatever that was wasn't around right now, but that still left a crazy cat and a fulgrating fowl. Might as well attack the ca-- AUGH GOD. Yoh is slammed with a sudden wave of energy. He manages to put up an X shaped guard, but it was /magical/. It didn't help any at all. The boy gets pushed a hood distance back, then loses his footing, and rolls backwards a few times. After a few seconds he comes to a stop, hurt and dizzy.
"I swear to the gods I am going to KILL THAT THING." Yoh, Yoh was pissed. He ran back over near the floating gerbil thing of doom, and yanked out the Evoker. "Let's give it a shot! Magni, come out!"
Yoh hesitated with the gun for a good five seconds or so, but by the time he pulled the trigger, Magni was already standing behind him, forced into manifestation by Yoh's anger. The gunshot does nothing. Looking back at the tall as all get-out giant with a big hammer, he points at the rodent. "Do something!"
Magni charges forward, roaring with fury. The giant lifts his hammer, and the shape and countour changes into a much larger, mor legendary looking hammer, coursing with red electricity. With a moment's pause, the giant brings the hammer DOWN.
COMBAT: Yoh Yamagatani hits Yoiko Ijima with his Thunder Crush attack.
"Y-y-you're kidding me!"
Hitoshi begins to dance through the rain of various sharp and pointy arrows, grunting slightly as they graze him, but otherwise miss him. One, comically enough, ends up stuck in his ponytail. Wait, what?
In any case, he's growling, pissed off. "Where the Hell did they find these animals?!" he cries out, and he lifts his arms toward the parrot, the trigger pulled on both of his little senbon launchers... taking aim at one of the other evil animals. Namely, the FLOATING GUINEA PIG.
COMBAT: Hitoshi Taniguchi hits Yoiko Ijima with his Pierce Attack - Senbon Needles attack.
Ixquic, the masked hero of justice, has no exposed skin on her face! The cat's claws simply fall off, harmlessly!
Until it reaches her shirt, where they sink in like crazy and Akari shrieks in horror because OH GOD, OH GOD, THAT HURTS A LOT, OH GOD, AHHH, AHH, AHH, AHHHHH, AHHHHH "OW OW OW OW OW OW" Ixquic wails, flailing as her shirt begins to get all bloody because CAT HAS HUGE CLAWS, HOLY SHIT
But she hears...a voice! A voice of encouragement and hope! "Y...yes!" Ixquic cries out, obviously in incredible pain. "I...can resist...this menace...!"
ANd then she swings her sword up and tries to just chop the damn cat in half.
Ice cold, bro.
COMBAT: Akari Hoshi hits Jin Shirato with her Slash Attack - Giant Sword attack.
Taiki's sudden intrusion doesn't seem to bother Natasha, though she does move swiftly to avoid that arrow. It harmlessly hits the wall behind her, though she makes a silent note of its combustion ability.
She lets Mitsuru go when she moves to help her comrades, instead keeping her attention focused on Taiki. "Coming to the aid of your Princess, that is quite noble. But I hope you are ready for the worst." The foreign woman places her weapon back into its holster, she won't be needing it for the near future. "I think it is time I let my other side show a little, it has not let up since this battle started. I hope you can satisfy it."
A black wispy cloud surrounds Natasha as her eyes glow bright yellow, a telltale sign of shadow possession. Darkness erupts from her body for a few moments before it all clears and she stands a few feet taller, with each of her now six arms decorated with long claws. A spider's abdomen protrudes from her lower back, and her legs become elongated by an extra joint. While her eyes are shadowed by her hair, the glow from her yellow eyes pierces that veil.
"Well boy, let us see if you are the guardian you pretend to be." Arachne wastes no time in leaping forward, swiping at Taiki with three clawed hands.
COMBAT: You hit Taiki Himuro with your Cruel Attack attack.
"Very well then, Kirijo-san," Taiki replies - if he was going to have to cover, then cover he would! No use in just sitting back and letting someone keep taking shots at them if he had a choice about it. He looks at Natasha for a moment - he's not sure who this person is, but the fact that they're here and fighting doesn't speak well for them.
...nor does the fact that they turn into what is, as far as Taiki can tell, some sort of freakish half spider woman. The fact that she's possessed by some sort of dark force is clear enough - and his own duty is clear. If there is a dark spirit that has control of this woman, then he needs to try and defeat it and free her from it's malign influence.
"The worst?" the young man in Shinto priest's vestments asks. "It is the duty of any person who would see to the protection of others to always be ready for the worst." He braces himself, ready for the next assault - and as Natasha's shadow form lunges at him, he tries to slide off to the side. But the claws rake along one arm, rending open a gash in his white gi, red blood dripping from the slash wounds, soaking into the formerly stainless fabric of Taiki's outfit, and likely dripping from Arachne's claws as well.
"It's clear that this dark spirit is a bit beyond the norm. I'll have to step things up myself as well." Taiki checks the wound on his arm - painful, but he'll live. Unlike Mitsuru, he reaches for no evoker. He simply lowers his bow, raising one hand in front of him, fingers spread open as is concentrates. "Come forth, Ho-Musubi!"
A black silhouette rises from Taiki's own shadow, the outline of a man without form or definition. The dark shape hovers ominously behind the priest for a brief moment... and then it's eyes and mouth open. Flame erupts from within, gushing out across Ho-Musubi's face like water flowing up out of a fountain. The coils of fire arc about, twisting around the Persona like great prominences of fire erupting from the sun itself, and Taiki closes his hand, leaving only one his middle finger extended, his thumb lightly touching the end.
"*BURN*" the Persona states, its voice like the deep shifting of magma under the surface of the earth. And from the flames surrounding it, a great bird of living flame spins itself into being - and leaps upon Arachne, swinging its fiery plumage about to engulf the spider in a mantle of searing flames.
COMBAT: Taiki Himuro hits you with his L'Oiseau de Feu attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 49 points of Fire damage.
The bird is nudged (this is putting it very lightly) back by the immediate defense, wings still flapping angrily with indignation that almost matches the distressed screeching the parrot wants to inflict on one's ears - only for it to be divebombed by Lilim.
It is quiet, for a time, as Lilim's Persona takes a sip of its very soul to empower its wielder. Fortunately, the vitality of a beast seems to work okay enough in revitalizing one's own (after all, humans are omnivores, so this can't be that great a surprise).
It is somewhat hard to get much. Is it because its body is so much smaller, or is it the influence of the Persona, Impundulu?
"Don't bite me you--" It is not interrupted. It is simply best not to print what the parrot finishes that statement with, but the follow-up to Beowulf's counter makes sure to force it to eat its words as the sword is brought down upon it.
Feathers fly everywhere. With one last terrified screech, it spazzes about on its back, its chest heaving visibly from the excitement and fear as its feet - one of which is missing a talon entirely - occasionally grasp helplessly at the air.
It doesn't get up to attack again. Any more outright excitement might make it die of a little birdie heart attack, which may be the kindest mercy.
That's one threat neutralized. Too bad the guinea pig there counts for like ten.
Even though Akari's face might escape Scrapper's hate but that doesn't make it any less determined. It attempts to leep again, thanks to Aigis not shooting at it. It hisses again...until Akari knocks it back and attempts to cut it in two. The kitty is airborn but manages to use it's Persona to keep itself from being two pieces. This doesn't stop it from being cut as it 'yelps' loudly as a trail of blood flows it's fall.
Scrappers lands on it's feet and hisses loudly. Nekomata hovers above it and fires a large orb of flames toward the Warrior maiden.
Jin doesn't give Minagi's sacrefice any sort of reward. He is actually moving to guard the Parrot. He points the gun in front of him.
"Hmph. This hasn't worked as well as I would've liked." Jin says as if he doesn't care either way.
COMBAT: Jin Shirato misses Akari Hoshi with his Agidyne attack.
The hammer comes down indeed. The guinea pig's forelimb cracks underneath ineffable, hidden pressures. Its attention shifts now, focusing upon Yoh. A needle lances through the creature's forelimb. Its Persona manifests more clearly.
A radiance washes over the room. It is not natural. It hurts to look at; it is like unto the very discoloration of the Dark Hour? No; the Dark Hour could exist, in a world of strange paints and UV lights. This is something within the bounds of light, but a colour that does not exist. Should not exist. One that is not from within the fields we know.
Scrabbles is not a smart creature. In his native environment he would wander as he would, exploring for food and hiding in crevasses. In his life he has lived in a cramped cage with his brothers, until the Man and the Woman came, came and bought him, bearing him through space and time and darkness and terror. The strange burning smells, from the woman, from the room they moved in, all of these things live on in the agonized rodent's memory.
Now they're hurting it.
Yoh receives the worst of it as the space in the room /itself/ distorts. What moves seems almost like a change in reality itself; Yoh may be of stalwart power sufficient to endure it, but even should be escape the suffering, the agony, the slow wasting, he may not be pleased at the grayish flaking hints on his skin. They will go away with time - probably.
By contrast, the immense flare of searing white-blue light coming from the squealing creature's location, washing out with agony over Mitsuru, towards the boy who speared it, towards Mitsuru's /bike/ (ugh!) and (yes) towards Yoh again, is probably far more comprehensible.
COMBAT: Yoiko Ijima hits Yoh Yamagatani with her Another Dimension attack.
COMBAT: Yoiko Ijima hits Mitsuru Kirijo with her Megidolaon attack.
COMBAT: Yoiko Ijima misses Hitoshi Taniguchi with her Megidolaon attack.
COMBAT: Yoiko Ijima hits Yoh Yamagatani with her Megidolaon attack.
Both Natasha and Taiki have a lot to learn about fighting for their respective sides, it seems, but at least they're both enthusiastic about their job. Natasha considerably moreso since letting her Shadow take the reigns for awhile. She tries hard to maintain a calm demenour on the surface, but that just makes her Shadow want to go wild more and more. Right now Taiki is the unfortunate target of her Shadow cutting loose.
Luckily he's able to defend himself capably, as Ho-Musubi's fiery attack hits Arachne hard. Her limbs flail about, frantically patting out the fire, as she screeches in pain. The flames are quickly smothered, fortunately for her, and she her composure. As much composure as a Shadow typically has, anyway.
"A surprisingly strong attack, from such a dull boy." She smiles broadly, revealing her sharp fangs to the young priest before lunging forward to take a bite. Her jaw moves swiftly and has a considerable amount of force behind it, far more than any normal human's. It's only a swift bite, at least, she's not looking to hold on or tear a piece out of him.
COMBAT: You hit Taiki Himuro with your Double Fangs attack.
"P-Poor bird," Chisaki murmurs. She runs forward -- and Beowulf vanishes. She kneels down and looks at the bird, putting a hand on it gently. Then, she turns her head -- as the explosion that comes from the guinea pig's Persona makes her go wide-eyed. She realizes many things, all at once. This could be very bad.
She sucks a breath in, and puts her Evoker under her chin. Another burst of light explodes from the top of her head. "You dumb bird," she mutters. "If you kill me because of this, I am gonna cook you."
She looks up -- and focuses on Yoh, Mitsuru, and Hitoshi. Yaksa appears; a huge, grinning fat man spins into existence and comes out to hover in front of Chisaki. He holds his hands up -- and a ring of green light /rips/ into the surroundings, washing over her allies in turn.
It also washes over the bird. "I'll give you a cracker, damn it."
COMBAT: Chisaki Tohsaki critically hits Mitsuru Kirijo with her Media attack.
COMBAT: Chisaki Tohsaki hits Hitoshi Taniguchi with her Media attack.
COMBAT: Chisaki Tohsaki hits Yoh Yamagatani with her Media attack.
"Minagi!" Aigis shouts as she, well, starts bleeding to death. Quick , use a persona with healing magi--oh wait, wait, she doesn't have any! Does Koromaru? She...she does not know! "Koro-Chan!" She says, "Which Personas do you have prepared, today!"
"Arf!" Koro-Chan says, eyeing the cat dangerously.
"No, we can't stop--Koro-Chan, you must...it's all up to you, you must use your Nigi Mitama! It's our only hope to save Minagi!"
Koro-Chan bobs his head seriously and darts over to Nepeta, summoning the mighty power--of a generic persona!
"Arf!" He shouts, attempting to heal the former comrade!
As for Aigis, well...
She attempts to punt the kitty! With her FOOT!
"Bad!" She says.
COMBAT: Aigis hits Jin Shirato with her Swift Strike attack.
Yuuka is backing off from the bird when Yoh learns why it's a bad idea to mess with a gerbil.
"Persona! Unicorn, save him!" She cries out, a second ring of green light springing around the boy as Chisaki has a braincell and does the same thing.
She then offers Yoh a hand. "Can't lie around in Tartarus, don'cha know?" She asks, brightly.
COMBAT: Yuuka Chiba critically hits Yoh Yamagatani with her Diarama attack.
So, it burned well enough. Taiki can't say he's happy about that - he doesn't want to kill this person, but the spirit they are using is strong. Breaking through it's control is going to prove to be something more than just simply blasting away at it, but for the moment he's not sure if there is a better way of going about it. And plus it's a damn huge spider thing - that always tends to be creepy, even if it was normal size, and not a giant sized person possessing shadow spider. Ew.
"I apologize for not titillating you, but I'm afraid I don't provide those sorts of services," Taiki replies, before Arachne comes roaring back in. The bite pierces his shoulder, and he staggers - his Persona absorbs much of the damage, shielding his body against what would probably be a wound bad enough to knock him unconscious otherwise. But that still hurts, and it's enough to drive him to one knee.
Ho-Musubi, on the other hand, is displeased by this. The Persona flares into existence once again, and Taiki looks at Natasha and her shadow for a moment. It seems he could not be as nice about fighting her as he might wish to be. One hand raises up, and the young priest looks Arachne in all her eyes. "Forgive me. This may hurt a bit more than the last one."
There is no manifestation of flame this time. Ho-Musubi simply looks at Arachne - and flames explode into being all around her, exploding in a rapid succession of fireballs.
COMBAT: Taiki Himuro hits you with his Agilao attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 54 points of Fire damage.
Minagi is covered by GENERIC PERSONA HEALING SPARKLES!
Ew get them off!
No wait...she stirrs...looking as strength returns to her...not much, that was a very bad shot, groaning she looks up at Koro-chan and smiles weakly at him, patting him on the head. "T-thanks Koro-chan...I'm fine." She says, and growls. She is fighting to stand back up, but she fails. She's at least not bleeding anymore...but the bullet still hit something fairly vital. It hurts, but she's in no danger of lets say death.
"Sorry..." she says, wincing in pain.
She turns her head to the kid that was still unconcious, then back to the battle... "I think I'm alergic to bullets, Koro-chan."
The fight rages on, and Magni scores a strong hit on the little weasel. Magni fades back to behind Yoh. "Take that, you crazy little bast--" Yoh is suddenly cut off by a strange happening around him. The same fog that permeates the Dark Hour seems to overtake him. Everything fades to green for a moment, then to black. Only the hamster(?) is visible. Suddenly, it disappears, and odd distortions can bee seen before Yoh loses sight altogether. And for a brief moment, in the flash of a light, he is assailed by something unknown. Whatever it was, it seemed to sap his energy, and inflict great pain. He almost felt as if he aged.
His sight returns a few seconds later, though dazed. He is too weak to move, and Magni has appeared to vanish. Of course, suddenly, a flaring light strikes Yoh, rednering him unable to do anyhting about it. THe boy goes flying backward into a wall, and after collision, slides down into a seating position.
"THe... How the hell..." He is dazed, hurt, and tired suddenly in the space of under a minute. He spits out a small bit of blood from his mouth. That damn guinea pig. Yoh tries to move, but finds himself unable.
After another minute or so, tw oforms of green light wash over him, much like the kind Thora used after the fateful encounter. It made him feel better, but he still hurt badly. At least he found himself with the strength to stand. As he moves to do so, a girl he hasn't met, but clearly boasted the SEES band stood over him with a hand out. He reached up and grasped it as he stood. "Thanks," he said between long pants. "Remind me to.. get your name after this." The boy took a few heavy steps forward.
BUt for now, he doesn't jump in right away. He needs to catch his breath.
Akari is apparently the victim of a very angry cat!! Ixquic is in a pickle!!
Once she swings that blade down to try and hack Evil Kitty apart, she manages to get some room to work with, skittering away. "Ow ow ow, that hurt!" she yells...and sees what's coming at her. "You...this is an evil kitty!" she cries. "To do such an awful thing to the innocent creatures of this world...I've had enough!!!" The world shakes with the power of her fury!!
Pairika bursts into being above, wings guarding her closely, and Ixquic levels her blade at the cat as the fireballs come in. And then she LEAPS!! The blasts of fire leaps past and blast into the ground behind her, while Ixquic, cape billowing behind her, sails overhead, and then yells, "My angel! Teach this kitty justice! GO!"
The wings flap; Ixquic swings her blade - and a SHOCKWAVE bursts out of her body, a shimmering, visible wave of force screaming downward and slamming into, hopefully, the cat, cratering the floor downward about six inches, and sending spiderweb cracks everywhere! Ixquic somersalts away from the backblast of force, landing neatly on both legs, sword at the ready!
"/Bad kitty/!" she rebukes.
COMBAT: Akari Hoshi hits Jin Shirato with her Zanma attack.
Mitsuru takes a quick survey of the field. The bird is down. Koromaru and Aigis are dealing with the cat and Minagi is trying to rescue the boy. She has some faint reservations in regards to that but.. she will leave it to that girl for now. Which leaves.. the hamster. Her eyes are drawn to the small creature and the persona that rises. The young woman is forced to advert her gaze then when it feels like needles laced with LSD are piercing her brain.
But that's not enough. Light, pure raw light washes over her and her bike. It's protected somewhat by the same equipment that makes it operate during the dark hour. But for Mitsuru, it feels like a heavy dose of nuclear radiation. It burns her skin, searing it and the young woman makes a quiet scream of pain. There is no protection against /that/ sort of burn. But she stays standing. The bike, on the other hand, is a mess. The external casing has melted as have the tires and some of the more delicate shadow detecting equipment exploded. The repairs will be extensive and it may just simply be cheaper to toss it and replace it with a new one.
The sight of her bike makes Mitsuru upset. She feels Chisaki's spell wash over her, soothing the burn and making the pain more tolerable. Her hand shakes as she throws her evoker towards her head again. Anger bubbles up inside of her. That was her bike. Her faithful steed that's carried her through for nearly three years now. And this /creature/ has destroyed it! "Penthesilea!"
The Persona appears, a queen covered in steel with a dagger in one hand and a sword in the other and with her appearance is a gust of winter wind, powerful enough to whip at her skirts. Another block of ice forms. This one larger than the one she threw at Natasha. It's the size of two humans standing side to side and weighs a ton. Gravity takes over and it's like a sack of bricks suddenly falling upon the poor (defenseless?) hamster and whether or not it hits, it shatters into a million shards.
COMBAT: Mitsuru Kirijo hits Yoiko Ijima with her Bufudyne attack.
The fact that the bluddy thing has a Persona doesn't help matters. It makes it odd, if anything. The fact that it's using a powerful attack, even moreso...
And when Hitoshi takes his cover, he winces when he feels the attack sort of just wash over him... However, does no damage. He seems relatively untouchable tonight, it'd seem. So, when he gets back up, he peers out past one of the stone pillars that dots the room, raising his senbon launchers again. He takes aim, and...
Hitoshi's eyes glow a bit, flashing orange for a brief moment, and he focuses -hard.- Click. Several more senbon needles go flying at the gerbil... and this time, they're flaring orange in color when they leave the launcher, almost glowing, as Hitoshi channels an elemental power into the launcher and the needles. He doesn't just shoot a few either... but he seems intent on emptying the launcher. The needles that go wide show what kind of damage they'll do... breaking stone, searing and melting into whatever they hit.
COMBAT: Hitoshi Taniguchi critically hits Yoiko Ijima with his Bloody Memoir attack.
COMBAT: The Physical Cost Up status effect has been added to Yoiko Ijima.
COMBAT: Yoiko Ijima has been knocked out!
The Shadow is amused by Taiki's desire to exorcise her, or whatever it is he's thinking of. He's certainly holding back for SOME reason, and that's just laughable. Is SEES really employing people with such a poor resolve? How do they intend to fight against the Children of Nyx if they're so concerned with sparing them? Though maybe this, too, is the will of Nyx.
"Pathetic." Arachne spits. "I can see it in your eyes, you are hesitating. The weak like you will be cleansed when Neeks descends onto this world..." There's that odd accent at work again.
Oh, and speaking of cleansing fire, Arachne clearly spoke to soon when it came to Taiki's resolve, as the flames burn hotter than ever. The fire is patted out as quickly as last time, but the damage is much more visible now and Arachne appears short on breath for a few moments. "You are, at least, persistant..." She gasps, as all six of her arms disappear into various pockets and folds of her now-burnt coat. "...but still unprepared!"
In a flash of movement her arms fly out, each wielding a different weapon. Her magnum is shot at Taiki at point-blank range, two knives of different lengths are aimed at him one stabbing one slashing, two blunt clubs are swung down towards his head, while her sixth hand flicks a rubber band in his eyes.
She, uh... she ran out of caltrops.
COMBAT: You have missed Taiki Himuro with your Aces Up Her Sleeve attack.
Akari seems very angry at Scrappers. Probably all that attacking it's doing! The cat hisses when Akari calls it evil. It seems to under Akari enough to be able to growl in response to her heroic speeches. This is cut short by Aigis kicking the cat and sending it flying. The Cat yelps in pain, going into the air like any air born animal. it appears quite cruel. If Jin brought a camera, he'd record this to show PETA. Fortunately for SEES, Jin doesn't seem to want to do that right now.
Scrabbles is unable to dodge as Ixquic's might shockwave strikes it, making the frail beast hit the wall near Jin.
Jin looks over at Petshop as it is healed. Doesn't SEES release these animals are like their dog. They are Strega's animals! They want the end of the world, just like Jin does. "PETSHOP! WITHDRAW!" Jin says, hoping that dumb bird is atleast smart enough to leave so they can go home after Scrappers finishes up.
Scrappers stumbles to it's feet, meowing again as it summons it's Persona again. It runs toward Aigis and attempts to grab her face with a powerful clawed attack.
COMBAT: Jin Shirato hits Aigis with his Power Slash attack.
Green sparklies wash over the injured and frightened near-death Petshop (it's hard to tell if it's about to die of injury or of a heart attack, really) as it lies in one of many blood pools of Tartarus. Its head twitches about a little as the amount of suffered shock subsides. It screeches again - it's still alive, even though it's likely not in condition to continue fighting.
Jin's shadow is not much of a comfort. Petshop is not a People Bird.
The guinea pig screams.
Ice. It hurts. It's like death; like being trapped out in the open, huddling away from the others, in the cold winds of the high mountaintops. It screams. It keeps screaming. A spear (from the pig's perspective, anyway) impales it in the belly. Its back arches.
There is a light.
What happens is like a burst upwards. A liquid flowing of blighted color ascending into whatever heaven dwells in the Dark Hour. A few droplets of blood fall, and splatter on the ground, even as the creature ascends to whatever strange Hell rests above. Perhaps it is simply fleeing, blind and agonized, to perish alone shortly.
Green sparklies wash over the injured and frightened near-death Petshop (it's hard to tell if it's about to die of injury or of a heart attack, really) as it lies in one of many blood pools of Tartarus. Its head twitches about a little as the amount of suffered shock subsides. It screeches again - it's still alive, even though it's likely not in condition to continue fighting.
Jin's shadow is not much of a comfort. Petshop is not a People Bird. It is the result of being raised by people who were definitely not Bird People. There is no water under this prospective bridge Jin has built - it is nothing but white-hot lava under there, for whatever means Jin has managed to do to get it to not immediately make threatening gestures at him.
It rights itself up on Jin's command. "You didn't die." It says in a pretty good take on Jin's voice, flapping about its wings on the cold Tartarus floor a couple times while leaving another present for the hidden hour to remember it by as it starts to take off into the shadows with more a series of low hops than a low sustained flight.
Was it of the mind to recognize what Chisaki did? It's hard to tell, beyond her helping ensure its continued survival... for better or for worse.
Neeks? That was certainly something different. Taiki's eyes narrow for a moment as he listens to the Shadow thing. He wasn't sure what was going on, but if these were people from Strega, it was likely something relating to their death cult. Which meant that it was probably not going to be any good for the other people in the world if they were able to carry out whatever their agenda was. And since it was clear that it was related to Taratarus and the Shadows... that made it twice as important that he find a way to stop this one.
But as Arachne comes rushing at him again, Taiki smiles for a moment. "I'm afraid that you have misunderstood me," he explains, holding up one hand as his Persona manifests once again. The flaming god stands behind him, both hands extended towards the Shadow possessed Natasha. "I have a bit of trouble controlling this much power. I simply do not wish to burn you any more than I have to in order to remove that thing that is searing away at you."
The spider thing is almost on top of Taiki when his Persona speaks again, it's voice grating, a sizzle of words passed off a heat distortion, echoes rising from a volcanic caldera. "*BURN INTO NOTHING, UNCLEAN THING*" And with a gesture, the ground opens up, a jagged crack tearing across the space between Taiki and Arachne. And from that crack rises a torrent of fire, the wall erupting right in Natasha's face and obscuring her view. A small hunk of melted metal splashes against the wall behind the black haired priest as the magnum bullet simply melts, and if the Shadow User doesnt check herself, she'll find herself caught in the flames as well.
COMBAT: Taiki Himuro missed you with his Maragion attack.
COMBAT: You hit Taiki Himuro with your Makarakarn counterattack.
"It's Yuuka, Yuuka Chiba. I'm one of the main healers for th' group if Yukari-san or a few others aren't around. Oops, duck."
Yuuka smoothly slides out of the way, watching the spider-woman thoughtfully, but makes no attacks for now.
Taiki's Persona is pretty potent, Natasha can see that clearly. She's not even particularly susceptible to fire and its attacks have really packed a punch. For what appears to be an inexperienced kid, he's pretty dangerous indeed.
But then again, Natasha also lacks experience with her power, but that isn't stopping her.
Arachne quickly retracts her arms when the flames erupt from the ground, though it was only a temporary retreat. As the flames subside Taiki might notice something entagling Arachne's arms. It's only fully visible for a moment, but a crystalline webbing in the vague shape of the shield deflects some of the final blast of the fire back at Taiki. The webbing shatters as soon as it is used, though. Just one of her many tricks?
"If you fear killing me, I think we are past that concern now, boy. There is no more point in playing." Her words are mostly a bluff, true, but that doesn't mean she isn't moving in for a killshot. Despite the ground still searing as a result of Taiki's attack Arachne still closes the distance swiftly, all six arms lunging forward. This time there are no weapons being drawn or bullets being fired, this time all six arms are poised to dig their claws into Taiki in a brutally savage strike.
COMBAT: You hit Taiki Himuro with your Primal Force attack.
Aigis's eyes widen as a kitty launches into her face. Koro-Chan, in the meantime, hangs with Minagi and keeps her company. She falls flat on her back, pulling on the cat who just won't LET GO OF HER FACE. She doesn't like hurting kitty, but kitty is apparently inconsolable.
Koro-Chan lifts a leg and starts pawing at the back of his head.
Aigis pulls the cat FINALLY away from her face and just chucks it away from her. Fine, it's a bad cat. She thinks it's terrible, but hey--Koro-Chan is obviously the best member of SEES.
And that means kitty is the worst. It's sad, but a fact of pet life.
COMBAT: Aigis misses Jin Shirato with her Kill Rush attack.
And once the self-made Needler is unloaded, the elemental power seems to fade, and Hitoshi's left with two smoking launchers latched onto his wrists. He looks toward them, and blinks...
And realizes -how hot- they've gotten. He winces, and starts to peel them off, wincing still and uttering a few pained 'ows.'
The launchers are pocketed, though, and now, Hitoshi goes to the old standby... they -can- be thrown, right? So, reaching into his storage pocket, he pulls out another handfull of the needles, carefully so, and he begins to chunk them outward, toward the -cat.- Since it's still standing.
COMBAT: Hitoshi Taniguchi hits Jin Shirato with his Pierce Attack - Senbon Needles attack.
"Water, Aigis-san! You have to sprits it with water!" Minagi says, groaning. She pets Koro-chan again, who is being a great best friend.
"I don't have water!" Aigis complains. She is starting to reevaluate her opinion on cats.
Yoh, still faint of breath, takes deep inhalations to try and regain his breath while standing near Yuuka. Looking over to the girl, he smiles faintly. "Nice to meet ya, I'm Yoh. Yoh Yamagatani. New member and whatnot." he turns back in tiem to see the hamster get laid out, and he points and laughs at it. "That's for doing whatever you did to me!"
Looking about, it seems that only the first man, and the cat remain fighting, and they are covered. Yoh, even with the heals, has about expended himself this day. That shifting dimension attack seemed to sap his endurance, something the heals ccan't replenish.
For the time, he remains at the ready with Evoker in hand, just in case things go bad. He could probably get off another attack or two before passing out or something.
Fear? There's no fear here - just a determination to get done what he needs to. Taiki can take satisfaction in one thing however - he has distracted this thing from the rest of the fight for quite a while already. The others will hopefully be here to back him up - and if he goes down, he'll count on them to get him out of here. Beyond that, he has nothing to do but try and defeat this monster.
"Indeed, it seems like you can take a lot more damage than I can dish out easily. But that's fine - it means that there's no reason to hold back any longer." Unfortunately, clothing doesn't prove to be terribly effective at fending off terrible claws, or anything like that - the brutal slashes from Natasha drive him backwards, tearing out chunks of his clothing. Gashes on his arms and legs, blood trickling from his wounds. This sort of thing might well have finished him before he had awakened to his power. Now, he would just power through and do his best to try and stop this creature.
Settling back on one foot, the young priests places one arm behind his back, the other held low, below his waist. Fingers spread, palm facing Arachne, Taiki concentrates for a moment. And all around the Shadow prossessed woman, tiny sparks of flame begin dancing across the floor, skipping here and there, each one getting larger and larger with each passing second. And then Taiki's hand snaps up, hand closing into a fist - and his Persona roars, throwing back it's head as it unleashes a massive burst of power. The sparks collapse inwards....
And a towering pillar of fire erupts up around Natasha, the searing blaze racing up to engulf her completely.
COMBAT: Taiki Himuro missed you with his Agidyne attack.
Ixquic has this thing where she gets mad at things that tear open major arteries. It's just kind of a quirk, you know?
The bleeding is slowing thanks to her enormous PERSONA MIGHT, but the pain from the wounds is still really distracting. Somewhere nearby, Belphegor is thinking, I wonder if I brought my first aid kit? (He did) Akari takes deep breaths as the crimson stain on her VERY NICE COSPLAY OUTFIT THANK YOU JIN stops getting worse, watching Scrappers as the kitty goes after Aigis. Akari is not really totally sure what to think of AIgis, but the point at the moment is less one of AIgis and more one of evil kitties. "A creature like you...yes, I see now!" she says, and oh boy here it comes.
She swings her blade to the heavens, a spark of light catching the end! "Powers like this...the King of Chaos gave you those powers to search for that treasure, didn't he!? The strength to corrupt and hurt these innocent creatures...yes, it could only be for such a dark purpose! It won't be allowed!"
She spins the blade around...and STABS it into the earth, as Pairika appears anew, rising from Ixquic's very soul to flap her wings at the devilkitty and blast waves of screaming wind in its direction!
This may or may not also be Aigis' direction. She's not really paying attention.
COMBAT: Akari Hoshi hits Jin Shirato with her Storm Nightmare attack.
COMBAT: Jin Shirato has been knocked out!
There's a twisted look of satisfaction in Arachne's glowing eyes. Is it the glee of a monster that's caught up in destroying its prey, or is it the more subtle sense of smug superiority of someone that feels she's figured things out?
Even while she's still bringing her arms back from her strike, Arachne is ready for her next move. Whether she really has him figured out or it was just a lucky guess is hard to say, but Arachne suddenly leaps into the air just as Taiki's Agidyne starts to form. Despite how un-aerodynamic her form looks she arcs over Taiki rather gracefully, landing behind him. He'd be wrong to expect some sort of stab to his back, though, and instead Arachne aims to take another bite out of his shoulder.
This one would burn a bit more, though. Is there more to those fangs than just their pointiness?
COMBAT: You have missed Taiki Himuro with your Venomous Bite attack.
The hamster is done. "Good Taniguchi-san." And so is that bird. Though when Jin calls to it, it seems to obey. That just leaves the cat, that is more spry and agile than it really has any right to be. Aigis is probably right. It's the /worst/ in the same way that Koromaru is the /best/. But something bothers her. Have Strega found a way to force animals to create Persona as well? She had thought Koromaru was simply a fluke. She'll have to do some research.
Then Akari actually takes care of the cat, hitting it with that powerful attack! "Taniguchi-san! Tohsaki-san! Support Shimizu-san and Chiba-san and keep Strega away from the young man! Aigis, with me!" Ixquic can do whatever she wishes. After all. She is beholden to no man.
The young woman picks up her rapier again, pointing it at Natasha and while she's busy with Taiki, simply rushes up from behind and quite calmly and cooly says, "Let him go. That one belongs to me."
Scrappers is struck by the needles, wincing as it wobbles away from Aigis. Aigis' attack luckily misses the poor cat as it moves backtoward the shadows. It looks like it is trying to hide so it atleast has cover. Akari's burst of wind stops it however, tossing it away from the Shadows as the wind catches it and tosses it around like a rag doll. It hits the ground finally mewing softly, as it crawls toward Jin.
Jin looks down at it and looks at SEES. He doesn't want to show weakness but even he can't let one of his allies die like this. Even if it was a dirty cat. "tch. Damnit it." He quickly seizes the cat, throwing down a smoke gernade to disappear like any STrega member will. "THIS ISN'T OVER!"
Chisaki watches as the parrot moves of. She tilts her head slightly, and frowns. Maybe the bird is grateful! Or maybe it feed solely on a diet of hate! She turns as she hears Mitsuru's order -- support Minagi. She frowns, nods, and starts forward. She kneels down close to her, and gets her crossbow off her shoulder. She keeps an eye on her, before she looks back at Jin.
She sees the smoke grenade.
"NEXT TIME!" she shouts. "You're not gonna get away with...with whatever the hell this was!"
"cough cough." Aigis says, to be polite. She frowns. These animals may be the most dangerous members of Strega yet!
"This is -ridiculous,-" Hitoshi groans out, still shaking his head as he advances forward, senbon needles poised between his fingers as he moves up with Chisaki to provide that said cover.
When Jin gives the yell out, he frowns a little.
"Get lost already, you cliche magnets!" he growls out, obviously irritated. It's not every day that people are assaulted with petshop animals...
As Yoh watches the others converge on the final targets, it looks like they have them bested, for the most part. Though Yoh did take a lot of pain, at least it was on him, and not the rest of SEES. Much vetter that way. He rubs his side, which seems to hurt more than the rest. Probably from colliding with the wall.
He laughs quietly to himself, before he talks. "I may need to borrow a bed from you guys tonight! Heheh." He could go for some pain relief right about now. Ah well, thsi was totally worth it! SEES had turned out to be everything he hoped it was. Albeit fighting petshop horrors was out of his scope of thinking, they were clearly ran by someone who seeks to hurt SEES.
Taiki rolls aside as Natasha bears down on him, doing his best to avoid those snapping fangs. What was it with trying to bite him with this thing! There was just no end to all of it. As he looks up, he considers what the best way to go about trying to hit her next is going to be. He doesnt have a lot of options... and then help arrives.
"Sorry for having to inconvenience you, Kirijo-san," he states as Mitsuru makes her own appearance. Taiki's bow comes up at that point, another arrow out and aimed at Arachne's chest. He's willing to bet that a sacred arrow will do a good job of burning away some of that shadow, but he can't use anything heavier with Mitsuru standing right there.
Of course that leaves the question of 'what now?' Mitsuru is in charge, and Taiki's willing to let her have the lead. For the moment.
That was completely ludicrous. The Transmigrated Warrior Maiden, protector of everyone's hearts, the great warrior Ixquic! has not apparently actually noticed that, because when Strega books it, she just watches them go from behind that impassive mask...and then nods, firmly, turning to face SEES.
"You've done well, today, servants of the Golden Man! Though we may be enemies, though I will never rest...nor can I allow such villainy to go unpunished!" She raises her golden blade into the air, power and heroism shining bright!! "We will meet again! But now, I must away, to seek out and protect that sacred treasure, the Espoir Bangle!"
ANd then she dashes off back into the bowels of Tartarus, there presumably to be eaten by the Reaper. Or maybe slip out the Access Point.
What the hell is her DEAL?
Oh, he's quick! Even with those injuries he can still get away fast enough. Perhaps he does have some raw talent. All the more reason he should be disposed of, SEES shouldn't get the chance to foster another potential heretic.
But then Mitsuru is suddenly there, and Arachne breaks out of her bloodlust long enough to take stock of her situation: It's not good. Jin seems to be retreating and Strega's new... animal friends have seen better days. It would be wise to back off.... though Taiki is /right there/ and he's /wounded/ and it would be /so easy/ to /BREAK HIM/.
But she has to keep the bigger picture in mind. Acceptable risks vs unacceptable risks.
Arachne straightens, as best as she can anyway, as Mitsuru makes her demand. She first responds with a toothy grin. "I suppose Neeks smiles on you tonight, boy. I'm sure we'll see each other again."
With a swift act, Arachne suddenly crouches and leaps upward, soaring high enough to hit the ceiling. Grappling onto that she quickly disappears into the shadows of Tartarus.
"Damn, wish I had that agility." Yuuka mutters, then double takes.
"Not-my-Y-- er... hey, Yamagatani-san." Cough. "Anyone need healing?"
Yes. Leave spider-woman. Mitsuru stands cooly, with her rapier still raised until both Jin /and/ Natasha are completely out of sight. She turns to Taiki then, looking him over. And without even saying a word, she raises her evoker one more time and fires. A powerful healing spell washing over the young priest. "Thank you," she replies calmly before turning back around to survey everyone.
"Good work everyone," she states calmly and now that the battle is over and people actually look at her, they might realize that her hair is four inches shorter than usual. "Let's clean up this mess and get everyone home."
"Can we take Minagi-san with us?" The question comes from Hitoshi as he begins to stand. "To make sure she's okay, and everything."
Mitsuru pauses for a moment and then nods, "For the night. Until she recovers."
Chisaki stands up next to Minagi and nods. She looks at Mitsuru. "I'll make sure she gets on her way in the morning."
Yoh can't help but laugh, though sounding pretty hurt. "Well that was fun! The opportunity to fight was nit disappointing, Kirijo-san!" He yells across the area at the leader, now from his position sitting o nthe floor, still slightly winded.
"But I am serious abotu possibly borrowing a room. Ouch." He rubs the back of his head. That started to hurt too. Again, most ikely from the wall thing.
"If we're rooming Minagi-san, can Yoh-san stay too, Kirijo-san?" Yuuka requests politely. "It's a mite late for him to be wandering home especially with Strega roaming around."
Mitsuru nods, "Yamagatani-san and Shimizu-san can stay in the guest rooms. PLease go easy on her when you escort her out in the morning Tohsaki-san. Despite everything, she is still our guest."
Taiki watches as Arachne goes. "...I must get stronger then, if that is the sort of dark spirit that is possessing people now," he comments. First there had been that thing last night, the one that had possessed the girl that had kidnapped Akatsuki, and now this. Clearly this was something he needed to know more about, and learn to face.
His wounds knit, and the worst of the bleeding is stopped. "Thank you," he replies to Mitsuru, returning the unfired arrow to it's quiver and listening to the ongoing conversation.
"She apparently still cares to some degree, or she wouldn't have followed us or tried to help tonight," Hitoshi remarks quietly, shaking his head a little bit. He glances toward Chisaki quietly, then down toward Minagi. He has a sort of sympathetic look on his face... but it's brief.
"Okay, then." He begins to move around to help carry her...
Yoh shakily makes it to his feet. Thanks to the heals, he only had a few wounds. Tired and a little battered, he would be fine by morning. He still had a big grin on his face, as he always does after fighting, whether he lost or won. It was like his ecstasy in life.
"Thank you, Kirijo-san!" he yells as he waves to her. Turning to Yuuka, he speaks up as well. "And thank you for suggesting that, Chiba-san? Did I get it right? Not very good with names right at first!" This kid sounded like he just came from an amusement park, despite having a tone of, 'Ow I ache' in his voice. He begins to walk over towards the leader as he holsters his Evoker into the side pocket on his lower leg sewn to his pants. He would need to find a better holder for that thing soon.