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Thread: Persona- Burn On, Shining Souls!

  1. #276
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    Lace Condor

    Bellow High Stadium - Night


    Lace peeked up at Randy. "Oh?" she twisted, shaking the branches out of her hair. "You disgusting animal! There's nothing that gets you more excited than watching an absolutely sexy princess" she stood up and checked the hair in her eyes, "go splat and make ketchup all over the ground from your gladiator games, huh? Yeah, well I am completely against it!" She rubbed the top of the goggles and looked inside. "You know, I don't think I've ever seen you with your goggles completely off, yeah..." she backed off, shadow boxing at him.

    "We're tighter than wet spandex on a cheetah tonight, Randy, and I'm not gonna pop! Huh...” Lace's eyes shot around and landed back on Randy. "That might not have come out right. At all, and-," she couldn't scan a good spot for anywhere to sit. She rubbed the turf and paced around where Randy stood when she stopped and shot a finger at a spot outside the track lines. "Yeah, this is it. Come on, get!" Lace jogged to scoop Randy's arm. There wasn't any strength in those scratched up arms trying to pull him over to sit. "All your running around made my tire myself out, so I'm calling half-time 'fore midnight. You're being benched, and I don't want any crying' outta you," Lace let go and collapsed just outside the turf and stretched out on her back.

    Lace started to rub her eyes and patted the spot next to her at Randy. "Tell me all about your band. I think you guys're Free Candy? Heh, Randy Candy." She perked up on her shoulders. "What kind of songs do you play?"
    Last edited by Vivian_Bloom; 10th May 2013 at 8:27 PM.
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  2. #277
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    Sofiya Mikhailovna Ignatova
    Bellow High Stadium
    Night


    Sofiya stood and watched her newest recruit carry out her orders, a satisfied smile dancing on her lips. Not only was she happy her orders were obeyed - it always made her feel like a real commanding officer guiding a real private! - she was happy to see her teammate perform so well. They had all gotten so much stronger since this all started, even the latecomers! It was really amazing to watch. Some months back they were in serious trouble facing just one Shadow, nowadays they beat multiple of them a night. And even now the red headed kid in front of her, although small, didn’t seem to have any major problems with the warmups either. That was good. The commander in Sofiya was proud, the friend in her relieved. Despite popular belief she didn’t want her underlings to hurt themselves in her trainings - not too much, anyway. A little pain was all part of the deal.

    Around half-way through Russel’s pushups, Sofiya decided - or, more like, felt the burning need to - stop watching and actually do something as well. She was never good at staying still and watching in the first place, and the amount of caffeine still in her system sure didn’t help any. So, dragging the nearest dummy closer to her so she could still keep watch on Russel, Sofiya readied her mindset for a fight. She held out her knife, lowered her pose and focused on the target, not even blinking so as to not let its straw-y body out of her sight for even a second. Blessed with imagination incomparable to most, it wasn’t difficult for her to conjure up a monster to stand in the doll’s place.

    Before she could even properly start however, she noticed something from the corner of her eye; her Private had stopped doing pushups. A bit surprised, Sofiya turned to the boy and blinked. There was no way he could be done that fast! The last time she had made someone do finger pushups, they had taken a reaaally long time, and then they’d said they had left their oven on and had to turn it off only to run away and never come back. Come to think of it, he actually had never finished the training... This boy wasn’t about to give up midway through as well, was he? She could not accept such cowardice in her platoon, and she planned to let him know that!

    That was, right until her eyes met his, and she almost reflexively slapped her hands to her cheeks. The boy was looking at her, half-careful, half-deviant, and those eyes. He was the cutest cuter who had ever cuteted! She had to actively stop herself from opening her mouth so as to not squeal in excitement and miss hearing what he said.

    “Commander ma’am, sir. Requesting to replace this exercise for another. I am unable to currently do it properly and I would like it if I didn’t injury myself.” There was a slight pause. “I could continue after injuring myself, sir, but my effectiveness in training will drop and I will fail to show the full strength of my skill when it really matter, sir. I want to be at full strength when real battle begins.”

    Sofiya considered. On the other hand letting your soldiers off easy made them grow weak and undisciplined, but on the other, he was cute and he was asking for a favor. Had she been able to concentrate on her role as Commander Ignatova, she wouldn’t have hesitated for a second; she would have ordered him back down on all fours in an instant. But being mesmerized by the cuteness and still high on the drinks, she wasn’t exactly able to concentrate on anything. Should she consider that a weakness? Being distracted and losing touch probably wasn’t allowed in the army...

    “Well, private, I-” she began in an attempt to break the awkward, anxious silence that had formed between the two. She didn’t want to seem like she’d actually need to think for an answer. Hesitation was bad. And she had already started now, so she absolutely had to finish. But with what? What should she do?

    In her panic, her eyes happened to fall upon the dummy (which she had yet to replace with a monster). That gave her an idea. One which would both allow her to reply positively to the boy’s plea and keep her reputation. So, she spun to face the boy and pointed a finger (or rather a knife) like she always did when addressing someone.

    “Well, private!” She began again, this time a lot more confident, her voice deep and more serious - yet also somehow excited. Make of that what you will. “I’ve decided that I will replace your current exercise! Injuries are bad, especially this early on in the training. I need you in one piece so you can be cut to pieces later!”

    That last part came out of her mind before she realized it. Not that she realized she had actually said it aloud even afterwards.

    “BUT!” She shouted just then, turning the knife to point at the dummy. “In that case, you will need to take that thing’s place!”

    The more Sofiya thought about it, the happier she was things turned out this way. She had been itching for some actual sparring for a while now, and no matter how big and scary she could make the dummy look in her mind, it never compared to another living, breathing and moving being. It couldn’t fight back, no matter what. And she wasn’t one to go after stationary pray. She wanted a challenge; she wouldn’t improve otherwise. And she had long ago decided she would not stop improving, not stop growing stronger until she was powerful enough to stop any of her friends from ever getting hurt again. She was sure the redhead felt the same. All of them did, to some extent; otherwise they would have ran away from the Court, from the school and the town ages ago. Nothing was keeping them here but their own free will. And that’s what made the team so strong.

    Smiling, having almost forgotten herself to her thoughts, Sofiya took a readier battle stance and shook her head. Or maybe everyone just liked punching Shadows in the face and summoning pretty creatures! She knew she did. Horus was the prettiest. She still had a hard time believing he was a boy. He would have made one beautiful girl.

    Anyway.

    “Come at me!” Sofiya instructed simply, determination and barely contained excitement clear in both her voice and eyes. “Come at me with everything you’ve got! If you don’t, Commander Ignatova will introduce you to a world of paint!”

    ---

    OOC: Yes, that mistake at the end was intentional.
    Last edited by GoldenHouou; 7th June 2013 at 2:02 PM. Reason: Just realized I forgot the header
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  3. #278

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    Garret Wulfgard
    Bellow High Stadium
    11:40


    “You're good, Donnely, real good.” Garret groaned, slouching to the ground and breathing heavily. Dropping his sword, he began to catch his breath and flashed a smile at Halberd. “I suppose you got a me a few times at the end there. But let's be fair, we've been doing this for hours... I'm bushed. And I'm not as young as I used to be.”

    Honestly, not much happened for a while in their sparring. As Jones laid out the test, Wulfgard just had to avoid letting Halberd land any blows. So he was playing it defensive. Halberd seemed to have the same idea, eyeing Wulfgard to analyze his first move. That being said, Wulfgard was perfectly happy waiting for Halberd's patience to run out. After all, he just had to avoid being hit, not hit back.

    Still, eventually, one of them gave. Wulfgard still wasn't sure who. To be honest, he was drawing a blank on the whole fight. As if he were simply going through the motions.
    Not the best idea, given the handful of bruises, now glowing blue and purple in the stadium lights, on his arms and torso. It seemed he came up short in this match.

    “Tell you what. Court should be starting soon. Thirty minutes tops, right? We should have taken more breaks... so let's just relax for a few minutes, alright? Take a few breaths.”

    Testa Jones
    Bellow High Stadium
    11:45


    “Miyuki, try putting one mitt on your forearm, like your shield. See if that works better than your hands. Carry on.”

    “Hear that Russell? Better do what she says, eh?”

    “Randy, tie your shoes before you hurt yourself.”

    “That's it Halberd, keep at it like that, and you'll be seeing through Gary's defenses in no time.”

    As Jones patrolled, making sure the kids didn't hurt themselves more than they needed to, he didn't feel as good as he'd like about it. He wasn't able to get much done for himself, and it was starting to make him feel itchy. He'd much rather be part of the 'fun', but he was the oldest here, right? He should be watching them.

    ”In all due respect sir, I find this idea of putting us in pairs to train completely different skills asinine “

    Maybe she was right? What right did he have in giving orders when these kids had been through the Court for months now? He was just a teacher to most of them. If anything, they should be training him.

    “Hmm...” Jones paused in his rounds to stop and think. Scratching his chin, and looking into the sky with a troubled expression on his face, he looked at the moon for a few seconds. “... maybe I'm going about this wrong?”

    THWACK!

    JP and Josh didn't seem to have many qualms though. Or at least JP didn't. He was wailing on Josh like a red headed step child. That wasn't training... that's just anger issues.

    Jones smiled and walked over to them, removing his sweater. Well, he could be useful now, at least.

    Liza Monroe
    Bellow High Stadium
    11:50


    “He saw him in the hospital, right?” Liza mumbled, typing rapidly on her laptop. She had taken to the stands long ago, and made use of the school's wifi. She might not be training like the rest, but she was still going to do her part. She might be a mite colder to people for the next few hours, but she couldn't help that. She was to focused on piecing together the puzzle before her.

    The document on her screen contained everything she'd gathered today, from her house, the school itself, and anything else she could scrounge up online. So far... she wasn't comfortable with her findings. Especially with what the end result implied.

    Clicking back to her search bar, she scrolled down more to find anything on Haitani. So far, she'd just found awards pages. Nothing big, a spelling bee here, an elementary science fair there. All things that most kids didn't put much effort into. But one finally stuck out to her.

    Smoke Rises and a Family Crumbles: Only a Six Year Old Child Spared

    Hmm...

    THWACK

    The loud noise caught her off guard, and she looked up to see JP going at Josh with all he could muster.

    'Well, looks like more domestic abuse from Jerk Pants.'

    Her face began to redden immediately, however, as Jones began to step up to the two of them, removing his sweater vest, revealing his black button up below it. He tossed the vest to the ground and continued to walk towards the conflict.

    'What is he... oh my God, is this happening?'

    As JP pulled back for another strike, Jones reached out and gripped the wooden sword, halting JP mid-swing.

    “Stop right there, Joaquim.”

    'Wait, Jerk Pants has a name?'

    “This isn't helping either of you. Josh, get up and go take a break. You on the other hand Joaquim...”

    Jones looked at Josh's weapon.

    “... you get to fight me from now on. Novice to novice. I've had my fair share of crossing blades, and it's saved my life a few times. I wouldn't call myself anything but a novice though. I'm not trained in it. Understand? Tomorrow, we spar.”

    'So the removal of the sweater was for, what exactly?... tease.'

    There wasn't any time for that though. She took a look at her laptop's clock and quickly saved her work. In a few seconds, the screen would turn black on it's own, and she'd be somewhere she really really didn't want to be.

    Randy Clopin
    Bellow High Stadium
    Court of Miracles


    (OOC:Court's now in session. Seeing as Lace jumped the gun... into a bush earlier.)

    Lace is effing nuts. Randy knew that now. A few skittles short of a pack. You could fit what made sense in her words on a nickel and still have room for a dime.
    Still, when she offered to let him take a load off, he crouched near her position, refusing the command to lay down just yet. Court had started

    "Tell me all about your band. I think you guys're Free Candy? Heh, Randy Candy."

    “Actually we're... nevermind. You've got candy on the brain. Free Candy it is.”

    She perked up on her shoulders. "What kind of songs do you play?"

    “Crap, mostly.” He commented, only chuckling slightly. It wasn't a lie, really. “But mostly what we know. What we practice, what instruments we have gets taken into account... it's pretty random.”

    Standing up, he looked at the fresh white moon. He could have sworn it was more yellow when he first entered the Court. Probably didn't mean anything.

    “Still, we can't sit around forever. Shadows could appear any moment. Let's go get our stuff, kay?”
    Last edited by Zincspider; 20th May 2013 at 6:05 PM.
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  4. #279
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    OOC: Just before doing this post, I actually tried doing a push-up on my index fingers. I'm really light, and I couldn't even keep my full body weight on them for more than a second. Didn't even try it with the other fingers. I was like, how could Sofiya order Russell to do those? Much less a hundred regular(-ish) push-ups in a row. And now my fingers hurt.
    IC:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bryan "Halberd" Donneley
    Just before midnight


    Wow, what a practice session that had been. Of course, it got off to a slow start, since Halberd and Wulfgard-sensei spent the first minute or so stalling. Halberd, who knew that in fencing there was a penalty for stalling, decided to eventually break this stall by taking a jab at Wulfgard-sensei--though not a fully committed one, meaning for it to be a feint. To his surprise, Garret just blocked, and didn't bother with a counterattack. Well that was weird. He tried a different approach, going for a direct attack straightaway, and he just parried it. Sometimes when Halberd did this, he moved his blade around Garret's at the last second, then went in for a hit.. though sometimes he blocked the second strike too.

    All this went on for a long time, and not once did Garret ever go on the offensive. It had been Halberd dishing out all the attacks. Halberd interpreted this as a training-session setup on Wulfgard-sensei's part, with him merely testing him to see how effective he was at getting around blocks. He had tried such a thing himself in the fencing club, particularly for nervous beginners who were worried about getting hurt. Still, it was quite exhausting... at least on Wulfgard-sensei's part. Halberd was a little out of breath, but he still had some fight in him. Still, he was kind of relieved when Wulfgard-sensei asked for a break, as he was beginning to get hot inside his battle coat. Since he would be fighting in it all the time in the Court anyway, he figured he better practice with it on as well.

    But since they were taking a break anyway, the first thing he did was take the coat off, feeling instantly refreshed by the cool night breeze blowing past his sweaty arms. Then he walked over to Wulfgard-sensei.

    "You think you'll be all right once Court begins?" he asked him as he sat down next to him. "I do apologise if I hit you a bit more roughly than I would have liked... it seems I can't always be gentle when I want to be." A peculiar thought came to thim just now, something about something that happened a couple of months ago, but he quickly pushed it out of his mind. "Still, that was quite the invigorating warmup. Better than going right into Court after working on an essay."

    Just then, something caught Halberd's eye out there. It was his homeroom teacher, apparently breaking up the fight between JP and Joshua. From what he could tell, JP had tried to be a little too agressive towards the poor DC lover. Sigh. Typical JP. One of these days he would have to spar with JP, just so that they could be more of an even match than him and Joshua. Of course, Testa had just proclaimed that it would be him doing so from then on. Whoa. What a ballsy move on Testa's part. But still, poor Joshua. Right now, he reminded Halberd of one of the newbies in the fencing club being stuck in an unfortunate matchup with a more-experienced, overly-aggressive elite member of the club, and having to be subsequently sent to the nurse for a nasty shoulder bruise.

    So Halberd stood up and walked over to where Joshua was, for that blow JP had dealt to him sure sounded painful.
    "Are you all right?" he asked him. "Gee, that muscle-head can't seem to tell the difference between sparring and actual fighting, eh? Hopefully he'll learn eventually... after all, his Arcana is the Lovers, not the Fighters."

    There was a pause, and suddenly he felt as if the entire stadium had grown darker somehow. A chill ran up his spine. He glanced off to the side, looking towards the moon... which was now big and that familiar sickly yellow. For a while... then it turned white again, for some odd reason. Now this was different... But anyway, at that moment Halberd took a few steps away from Joshua, keeping a lookout for any Shadows that might appear. In fact, he decided to watch over him for a while, just in case. And he put his battle coat back on, and drew out his real sword. Shadows, beware.
    Last edited by Kiruria; 21st May 2013 at 1:53 AM.

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  5. #280
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    Mana Shizuko
    Before Midnight


    Mana drank deeply from his water bottle, watching the others. How far they’d come! In the span of a few months, they had become warriors. He watched Miyuki, mitts up, taking blows from Sigmund like a champ. Little Russell was being trained – or perhaps tormented – by Sofiya, and he hadn’t died yet, so he was definitely a strong one. Josh was holding his own against JP, even, despite the bigger boy’s strength and fury. Halberd appeared to be overcoming Wulfgard!

    But except for perhaps JP, no one would ever guess that any of them were fighters. But that’s what they were. They had fought near death, and had seen their comrades die. Could any of them really go back to a completely normal life afterward? Mana could hardly remember what life had been like before he had had to fight for his life every single night.

    Mana’s quiet soliloquy was interrupted by a whisper. He grinned; the Court of Miracles had begun.

    Down the Rabbit Hole

    It was never hard to tell when the Court of Miracles began. Even without the blood on the walls, Mana could tell. When the Court began, the shadows grew thicker, and vague whispers became words. As the world took a turn for the macabre, Mana himself found a new spring to his step. “I’m back,” he called out into the dark.

    “Hey!” a familiar voice chirped into his head. “Time to play?”

    “Damn straight,” Mana replied. The XIII tarot card sat heavily in his pocket, ready to be drawn. He hefted his bow as well, testing the string idly. He looked out into the night, watching for Shadows. “Get ready!”
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  6. #281
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    Ciara H. Wright
    Late Night
    School Field

    Ciara had been taking the opportunity to regale Snow with gloriously juicy tidbits of school gossip that she had picked up from various sources.

    "...And of course, he said 'I could never do such a thing, don't be silly' and she was like 'well, where else could I have caught it' and then she put two-and-two together and figured that he was getting awful close to Cindy Parkinson, Cindy with cold sores, and then he called her paranoid and then-" She broke off, finally looking at her companion for the first time in several minutes and noting that he seemed to be paying absolutely zeo attention. "Hello? Am I boring you?"

    “Oh, sorry, I was thinking of things,” he said, slightly sheepishly.

    Hadn't he realised how exciting these stories were? Who needed to open a gossip magazine when Bellow High itself was such a reprehensible hotbed of deceit, not even counting the Court of Miracles! Teenagers were fascinating studies in intrigue and treachery. Helena Carter in her Biology class had more secrets than even Wulfgard. That was indisputable. Maybe other people would call it vacuous and pointless when facing matters of life-and-death, but hey. This was how she maintained a grip on real life and why she hadn't driven herself off of a cliff.

    She opened her mouth, about to educate him on the importance of staying in-the-know, but at the last second she instead decided to count to ten and managed to achieve a look of calm. "It's fine, really. Nothing of importance." She tilted her head slightly to the right. Hmm, the kid looked troubled. Maybe she could be advisory in her new role as cool laidback older female figure. She could prise the secrets that plagued him so from those beautiful lips.

    "OK, how about we take a break from the stretching and watch the swordsmen? Something to entertain your brain." Even as she turned, she regretted it immensely. As the rather one-sided match continued, she winced. It was painful to watch. It would have been better to put Joshua with someone who could actually teach him some things, as opposed to Mr. Overcompensation.

    Deep breath. Expel bad thoughts. Replace with constructive thoughts. She looked sideways at Snow.

    "That's not exactly a fair fight, is it? It's like, I think I'd have a better chance. Even if he has the size advantage and probably the skill advantage, I've got a lot of speed and sass. I think that's equal weighting. Actually..." A new thought suddenly made itself apparent. No need to be self-centred, there was another person right there who could take on that challenge as well. Somebody who had the potential to have skill, speed and maybe even size in a few years, if they had the right conditioning now.

    She turned directly to face Snow, a glint in her eye; a plan was beginning to take shape. "I'm sure just some months ago you were shorter than me but now, look, you're sprouting. Turning into a real man. I wonder if by the time you're fully grown...? Hmm. You're at a very pliable age. The right work at this stage could have a massive pay-off. You know what they say, start 'em young! Don't worry, I'm not talking about anything perverse." Although, now that I come to think of it...

    Imagine, if she, Ciara H. Wright, could successfully train a potential David to beat a Goliath! It would be like one of those feel-good films and she would be the mentor who pushed her pupil out of his comfort zone into the spotlight of success and triumph! Then there would be an actual film adaptation of their story, and she would be played by an amazing actress who would win an Oscar for her performance because said story would be so touching and moving. She put her hand on her heart and shook her head, imagining the acceptance speech already.

    Bingo. She knew how she could work it all out. This was going to be an epic saga. "Let's adopt the Sofiya approach. You could be my personal pet project. We can draw up a fitness plan and a diet regime and by the end of it you'll be beating everyone else! The target is obviously emerging victorious in a three-round melee with Don Perrignon, but anybody else along the way we can use as stepping stones for your greatness." Ciara smiled triumphantly, confident in the righteousness of her plan. This would be so brilliant, a win-win situation in the truest sense of the term. He would gain the value of her valuable expertise and she would get the opportunity to impart her eighteen years of wisdom upon a younger ear from a different generation.

    She could give him advice on women. She could shape his romantic destiny. The power at her fingertips! Snow Fields, unknowing object of affection of tens of horny schoolgirls, as her puppet... OK, maybe that was a bit far. But she could certainly be a font of knowledge vis-a-vis the fairer sex.

    Ciara didn't even bother to wait for a response- who could say no to such a generous offer? "Snow, I can sense this is the beginning of a beautiful partnership. We're going to be best friends."

    She felt the familiar chill running down her spine before her brain even registered the beginning of the Court. Had time flown so quickly? Truly, evidence of it being spent having fun. She had a new-found sense of purpose and a goal which she would try to accomplish. Step one of positive self-image, complete. "Well then, we did a good job so far. Perhaps next time we can be more intensive. Time to go back to the daily grind. I'll look for some opportunities to teach on the job, but of course we have other priorities."

    She reached into her pocket for the familiar Moon card, playing with it in her hands as she went back to the van to retrieve her equipment. "OK, Kitsune, new night. Fresh start. Let's beat stuff up and be ravishing whilst doing so."

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  7. #282
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    Joshua Sands - Tower Arcana - Stadium - Aboard the Pain Train

    Joshua's initial parry had been effective, and indeed, JP seemed to be slightly impressed. Oh God how Joshua wished he wasn't. Now he knew that he could pose a threat. And immediately, blows began to rain down upon Joshua's wooden sword and his arms. The vibrations coursed through his arms, increasing the pain so much that he began to lose his grip on the weapon. He tried to fight back as best as he could, but he was so focused on trying to defend himself that his counters were few, far-between, and highly ineffective. And much to the surprise of literally nobody ever, JP was taunting him as he struck.

    “Keep it up! I don’t want to slow down!”

    "Speak for yourself," mumbled Joshua in-between parries. Did JP REALLY think beating the crap out of the local healer was a good idea? With the pounding he was taking, Joshua was going to be highly ineffective tonight in the Court, and much more vulnerable for it, because JP was lacking any sort of foresight. Brilliant. And by that, he meant '*******'. That's it, if he goes down tonight, he's not getting back up. Not from my spells anyway. Teach him a bit of a lesson. I took a knife for this guy. His opponent was just getting far too excited and into it, going from calculated strikes to a raw frenzy, as though Joshua were nothing but a Shadow. At this point, he decided he'd had enough.

    "Stop it, stop it, stop it, stopit, stopit, stopitstopitstopit- OW!" The last blow had knocked him to the ground, and his sword was about a metre from him. Ok, yeah, he was done now. Jones seemed to agree, kindly stopping JP and telling Josh to take a break for now. Probably a good idea to get a quick rest before the Court. He was already starting to bruise after all and to be honest, he felt slightly dizzy. So, he took a quick seat on the bleachers and put his head in his hands while he recovered. The next voice he heard was Bryan Donneley's, consoling him.

    "Are you all right?" he asked him. "Gee, that muscle-head can't seem to tell the difference between sparring and actual fighting, eh? Hopefully he'll learn eventually... after all, his Arcana is the Lovers, not the Fighters."

    He was trying to make him feel better, but it honestly wasn't much help. It was more than just Joshua's pride that was wounded, his arms were absolutely killing him. "You can say that again. Doing that to one of the group's healers... Great idea, right? Douche..."

    And in that moment, midnight passed. The Court of Miracles began, and Joshua rose to his feet. Weakened and currently weaponless. He was going to be a great help tonight, he could tell. He decided he had better stick close to Bryan for tonight, or someone else who could try and protect him. And preferably as far away from JP as possible.
    Originally Posted by scytherdude30
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  8. #283
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    ~ Miyuki Tachibana ~
    - School Field - Late Night -


    “Miyuki, try putting one mitt on your forearm, like your shield. See if that works better than your hands. Carry on.” Jones said as he walked by. He was doing that to all the groups, walking by and giving advice. This was like a supervised training session, as if Mr. Jones was treating this as another lesson for his class. Even if only about half of those present were actually in his class. It was kind of endearing how he took to looking out for all the kids so quickly.

    "I-I'll try." she stammered out. She held her shield with her left hand (she was left-handed after all) so she took her left mitt and tried sliding her arm through the strap. It took a little adjusting to get it to sit right, but she got it good enough. The mitt was shaped differently than her shield, it was flat and a little blocky, not round and concave like her trusty shield. And despite it being larger in size it was actually lighter since it wasn't made of metal. The changes were enough to make it feel just a little awkward to wield though.

    Still, Miyuki was determined to give it her best effort. She wasn't going to let Sigmund and Jones' efforts go to waste. "Ok, lets go." she said to Sigmund, holding her mitt-shielded arm up between them. Several minutes later, and she was starting to wear out. The mitts may have been lighter than her shield, but she didn't have Astraea to help out now and her endurance had never been the best to begin with. When Sig declared the start of break time, she almost sighed with relief. Almost. She settled for doubling over to catch her breath.

    "A'ight, let's call it good." Sigmund strolled over to his bag and Miyuki let her eyes wander. Sig had looked impressed that she had kept up with him the whole time. And looking over the other groups now, it was easy to see why. Everyone had trained in different ways, but they all looked like they had gotten a work out one way or another. With the court getting ever closer, and the likelihood of another Shadow Self popping up ever on the rise, perhaps it was wise that everyone was starting to take a breather.

    Well, almost everyone. JP was still going at Josh with full force. Until Testa stepped up and tossed aside his sweater vest like he was about to take someone to class, metaphorically speaking. The gesture reminded Miyuki so much of the anime heroes she used to watch that she couldn't help but blush a bit at the thought of Jones being some sort of manly hero figure, stepping in to save the day and defend the weak. Though heroes like that usually went shirtless after tossing a shirt or jacket aside, a thought that in no way helped her fight her blush. Jones of course didn't help anything either as, seemingly on a mission to recreate said anime, he proceeded to stop JP's wooden sword with his bare hand. It would have been hard for him to look cooler at that moment, with the moonlight reflecting softly off of his glasses, confronting JP.

    It was only Sigmund offering her a drink that finally snapped her out of it. She took the bottle before realizing that Sig had already drank from it. It was a bit of a middle school thing, but in her current state of mind she couldn't help but think of the old "drinking from the same bottle as your crush is kinda close to a kiss" cliche, a thought that made her cheeks turn even redder. She was thankful for her hood now, it made burying her head and hiding her face possible without looking like you were asleep.

    As a result, she nearly missed the ice pack thingy that Sigmund tossed her way, catching it at the last moment and just barely holding on to it. The chill sank into her fingers quickly in the cool night air, and she sunk her hands into the sleeves of her hoodie to put a layer of cotton between her skin and the ice pack. "Here. Put that on your elbow. A few minutes and you'll be right as the sun," he said. His face twitched. He looked confused for a moment before attempting to correct himself with "sure as the rain?"

    Miyuki wasn't entirely sure what he was getting at, as some of these idioms still escaped her, so she offered the only one she could think of. "Good to go?" She followed his advice and rested the pack between her elbow and her leg. She kept it outside the hoodie of course, it was just a bit too cold to do otherwise.

    "Gotta say, you're way sturdy for your size," Sigmund praised. Miyuki smiled. Then, jabbing, he asked, "So, what's the secret? Been lifting behind our backs? Bones of steel? That's it, you're a robot, aren't you? Knew it." He grinned.

    "A... robot?" Miyuki pondered that for a moment. What if she really was some sort of super advanced robot, designed to be just like a real person, but she didn't know it? And the reason she couldn't go out into the sun was because her outer coating would overheat and she'd shut down. That thought got a laugh out of her.

    "But then, wouldn't I shut down during the Court?" she countered, taking the joke seriously.

    And speak of the devil, the air suddenly felt like it weighed ten pounds as the real world gave way to that twisted reflection that was the Court of Miracles. Court of Horrors was more like it. "On second thought, I don't want to think about shutting down right now." she said.
    ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
    Watch your step! Sig Under Construction!

  9. #284
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    Lace Condor

    Bellow High Stadium - (Late-Evening) - 11/01


    The team whipped past their drills, and Lace's jacket sprawled out at her feet puffed out its last fluff of pride. "I got my knives and stuff right over there," she nodded to her goodie pile next to her jacket. Late-night workout gear. An undershirt, sneakers, and bright orange sweatpants from the dorm. A drop of sweat ran down her cheek looking at her trainers. It was almost midnight. "Randy." Lace was in her squats. "I was thinking about what Wulfgard and Teach said about our pairing' up tonight. I got a real boost out of that. I'm a part of this team." She lifted herself up and came over. "I don't think anybody can beat us." A low bass went through Lace's ears and the moon started to glow a familiar tint.

    Court of Miracles

    "Candy," Lace clapped both hands on Randy's shoulders. "I want to get faster and run crazy circles around all these shadows. We're not going to lose anyone ever again." She smiled and dropped and gripped her two lovelies in the ace ultra-one-two KO position. "No shadow's getting a free ride on my back again. I'll cook 'em in a second. Nope, next time--," she hopped back for a round of test swings, "they're getting a nice and warm beat down. Right here!"
    Last edited by Vivian_Bloom; 30th May 2013 at 2:08 AM.
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  10. #285
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    Sigmund Okonkwo
    Bellow High Stadium [Thursday, Nearly Midnight]


    "A... robot?" Miyuki appeared to be actually considering his suggestion1, before giving a cute little laugh and deciding on the counterpoint that "wouldn't I wouldn't I shut down during the Court?"

    Sigmund cracked a grin. "Suppose so." He was about to make a comment on how she was too something to be a robot, anyway, but couldn't come up with the right word before his train of thought was derailed entirely. He'd seen the Court of Miracles warp everything around him dozens of times now, but it still captured his full attention every time. Sent a chill down his spine and all that. Enough to make him strap his gauntlets back on straight away out of caution. You could never tell what was going to follow, after all.

    It got to everyone, of course, prompting Miyuki to comment that, "On second thought, I don't want to think about shutting down right now." Yeah, that would be-

    Wait a tic. The world gone scary, the heroine getting nervous, the hero standing nearby...

    Ooh, yeah, I've seen this before. This is the part where the guy goes...

    Turning so that his back faced Miyuki, he stuck his left hand on his waist and gave her a thumbs-up with his right, declaring over his shoulder, "Don't worry - no matter what, I've got your back." Flashing her a smile2, Sigmund turned and, not looking back, strode off toward the main group

    and promptly fell flat on the ground.

    Groaning, Sigmund picked himself up - a quick glance proved that he had fallen over his own bag. Figured. Least he didn't actually hurt himself. Regaining as much of his former air as possible, he stepped over it this time and resumed his march.

    Coulda been better, coulda been worse.


    1 Which in hindsight wasn't that ridiculous given everything else that he had seen in the last few months.
    2 What that a dramatic gust of wind he just felt?

  11. #286
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    </ JP – Lovers Arcana /3

    Suddenly, before his finishing blow could hit, JP’s sword simply stopped. An unknown, soon-to-be regretful force seemed to have held his sword in place while he was still in a backswing. Given how much momentum he had kept up, that in itself was actually kind of impressive.

    And, when JP looked, it was… Jones, of all people. Remarkably devoid of most of his upper attire. Well, JP knew a challenge when he was met with one. Particularly so when physical confrontation is followed by a voiced challenge.

    So, next time he was gonna go mano-a-mano with their prodigal explorer, huh? Sweet. Looking forward to that.

    “Is it getting hot in here? It’s getting hot in here, I need to cool down.”
    JP moved towards the bleachers, next to his duffel bag (cause he totally had brought one) and threw his jacket on top of it. His white t-shirt was already stained with sweat, and frankly it was kind of unnapealing. So, he just took that off as well. It was still early enough in the year for JP to bear spend a few moments shirtless in the night, especially after such a workout raised his body temperature so much.

    Then, he took a pack of smokes out of his duffel bag and lit one up, savoring the rush of chemical relaxation a puff or two brought. Oh, yes, this is the sweet stuff.

    He looked at his watch: 23:55. There was still some time before the Court began, but not much. He walked around the field a bit, scouting what everyone else was doing as he finished his cig. By the time he’d finished it, he was right next to Snow and Ciara, the later seemingly speaking of the former’s growth and potential. Now chewing on a mint gum to combat the bad breath his new habit caused, he approached them. Still shirtless. He came up behind Snow, not quite knowing how the conversation they were on had started (thankfully, for both of them,) and just put an arm around Snow.

    “You know, Ciara’s right, I can tell how much you’ve grown these past few months. And not just vertically. Check out these guns, you’re not half as scrawny as I remembered you, kid. Let me check these out,” and with that, he pulled Snow’s shirt up, revealing his stomach, seeing nothing wrong with the act, and being swift enough to not let Snow protest and stop it. “Oh yeah, the abs are already beginning to show up. Feel that, Ciara?

    “You have a cool body type Snow, don’t be fooled otherwise. Fast metabolism, I’m assuming, since you are perma-skinny… That just means you’ll have lots of ease turning gaining muscle. And with your low body fat count it’ll show fast.

    “I’m not as lucky, I had a little more body fat than you did when I first started working out. Took me a while before I could rock with this six-pack. Hey look, Court’s starting.”

  12. #287
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    Snow, Hanged Man arcana
    turning point, Bellows High stadium


    Feeling glad for any distraction, Snow opted to pay more attention now and talk with Ciara. It started out fairly safe, about the bout between JP and Joshua (why did people get that intense? He was only ever that way about music). “I think you could beat him if you wanted,” Snow said when she suggested that she could probably match JP.

    Then she said 'pliable age' and it got kinda weird. Then she told him she didn't mean anything perverse, which made him wonder what could be perverse in that. It didn't take long for that to get uncomfortable. However, she didn't mean it, so she had to be thinking of something else.

    Ciara then brightened her mood considerably and continued planning out loud, thinking that she should follow Sofiya's example and make him her personal pet. Thankfully she added the word 'project' after that, so it wasn't like she was going to put a collar and leash on him. It seemed that the ultimate goal was turning him into a fighter rather than someone who hung back mostly.

    “Uh, who's Don Pe-Perry?” Snow asked, turning to her. She couldn't mean JP. Could she? It didn't seem right, as Snow wasn't sure if he could get violent like that.

    Ciara didn't seem to notice his question. "Snow, I can sense this is the beginning of a beautiful partnership. We're going to be best friends."

    “That's good,” Snow said, but uncertain of if it was friendship or not. But he wanted to make sure the whole group stuck together and were loyal, so that they wouldn't have to worry about a betrayal like Wulfgard had faced. This could help in that.

    Then the world shifted, over to the time of the Court of Miracles. The large moon overhead was brilliant and white, giving an unearthly atmosphere as usual. Had it been changing over time? He wasn't sure, but he was sure that this was still a deadly time.

    Ciara then wrapped up their training time with a statement that made Snow wonder if she could do well as a public speaker. Certainly now that she wasn't quite as abrasive and cold. But then something got a strong hold of him from behind. Snow froze up in surprise; were the Shadows showing up so soon? Usually they didn't attack the minute time turned over.

    But no. It was JP. Who, for some inexplicable reason, started messing with Snow's shirt and talking. Was this... normal? Embarrassed enough that his face was getting hot, he hardly heard what JP was saying and just wanted to get away. JP's hold wasn't that firm, so if he shifted his weight like Ciara had been saying earlier... he put one hand on JP's wrist and twisted himself out of his arm so that he could face him. Now that he wasn't being held down, he could tell more of what was being said and, it seemed to be a compliment on his musculature?

    What was he supposed to do? One was supposed to be grateful for compliments, but was that really appropriate here? Was he supposed to like that? Or was it better to be thinking of Ciara having him on a leash... no, Ciara had a boyfriend and she was supposed to have Josh on a leash, only he wasn't sure if he should support his friend being controlled like that. Why was he still holding onto JP?

    “Aaa, urm,” Snow said finally, letting go of JP.

    “Hey look, Court's starting,” JP said, not worried or confused at all.

    Maybe it was normal? “Um, yeah,” Snow said, looking away at the ground because he was still blushing.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

    Fluer Noir- A story of a black flower, a shameful history, and magic.

  13. #288
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    Sofiya Mikhailovna Ignatova
    Bellow High Stadium
    Night


    Sofiya swept a few drops of sweat from her brow with one large, over dramatized motion, sighing contently and finally lowering both her weapon and her guard. She was slightly fatigued although it was probably pretty difficult to tell; if it weren’t for the few drops of sweat running down her cheek and the slight redness on her otherwise pale cheeks, nobody would’ve probably been able to tell she’d just come out from a sparring match for the simple reason she was still bouncing around with seemingly endless energy – and she most likely would be for the next few hours until the caffeine completely faded from her system and left her an overexerted wreck. But hey, what else was new.

    “Phew, that was fun~!” The girl chirped, spinning around on one heel before she allowed herself to flop down on the ground and stretch. Russell had been a surprisingly good opponent, she had to admit, even if he still had some trouble with his stances and reflexes when being stabbed at from behind. He had potential though, it just needed to be dragged out and put to use. In other words; more training! Harsher, longer, stricter training only she could provide! She nodded, enthusiastic. She had helped Mana improve and become a fine soldier, there was no doubt she wouldn’t be able to do the same with Russell. Next time, she should pit the two against each other. Maybe in a death match? Like gladi-gators or something! It would be so amazing; she could pretend to be an emperor and all. Ah but, she didn’t want to dress up like one. They had poor taste… Oh and which one of her privates would she dress up as lion and which one a soldier?

    Court of Miracles

    Sofiya was so overcome by the clothing dilemma she was faced with that if she hadn’t been lying on her back and looking right at the moon, she probably wouldn’t have noticed the arrival of yet the latest Court. As things were, the sudden change in the moon was luckily enough to make her snap out of her thoughts and rise to sit. She stared at the moon, blinking. It looked somewhat… strange today. Whiter than usual. Was it not feeling well? Or was it feeling better than usual? Was it because they had defeated so many Shadows already? She smiled, grinning to herself as she grabbed her knife and jumped up to stand again. Alright, then all they’d have to do was defeat even more! She was ready and pumped.

    “Shadoooows!” She called, hands cupped around her mouth for the lack of a real megaphone. She was spinning around on one foot again. “Come out, come out, wherever you aaaare~! We need you so we ca kick your butt and make the moon happy!”
    TumblrdeviantArt


    "I am not a bad man
    Even though I do bad things
    Very bad things
    Such horrible things"


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  14. #289

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    (OOC: You can cut the Homo-eroticism in the air with a spork. I love it. VB, I hate to leave Lace there, but I want to join in on it. We'll pick up on the interaction later.)

    -

    Izzy Simone
    Bellow High Stadium
    Court of Miracles


    Izzy stood in front of Wulfgard's van, the last student to put away his practice weapon, and actually prepare for the night ahead.
    He had to admit, when sparring with Mana, he felt like he had a bit of a purpose to fight.
    Not just to save his own skin, but to make sure no one else died because of him. No one else. Not like Kent.

    Izzy gripped the practice dagger and stared at it for a few seconds, before tossing into the van.
    He didn't need it. Not a weapon like that. If he was going to protect himself, it would be on his own terms. The knife left a bad taste in his mouth, no matter how well he was learning to wield it.

    And Snow was getting groped by JP.


    Nope. He couldn't keep thinking depressing thoughts with stuff like that going on around him. In fact, he let out a little chuckle, as the red in Snow's cheeks rose.

    “Dude, Snow's getting ripped! Check me out, do I look buffer?”

    Izzy's whole body went rigid as his hand was pulled up and pressed against someone's torso. He didn't have to look back, he recognized the voice. Still he turned his head slowly, almost robotically, his face twisted in horror to see Randy standing next to him, slipping his hand under his shirt to, apparently, get a good feel. He'd apparently just run over from talking to Lace, who was still punching the air. She seemed to be having fun shadow boxing at least.

    “Randy, what the-”

    "Come on, we're tighter than wet spandex on a cheetah! Whatever that means!"

    "What the hell's wrong with you?"

    "I just feel really good tonight! You know, come to think of it, you ain't so short anymore, either! Maybe even taller than Snow. Heck, I got to check this out.”

    Abandoning his previous line of questioning, Izzy had little choice but to follow Randy's lead, the older boy's hand pushing him between the shoulder blades.

    “Snow, I need to borrow you for just a second!” Randy shouted, interrupting JP and Snow's 'heartfelt' bonding moment without a second thought, and yanking him up to a standing position.
    Izzy felt his head getting pressed against that of another, Snow no doubt, as Randy threw them back to back and waved his hand over their heads.

    “Nope, sorry, Snow's still taller than you, Small Stuff.”

    '...What does any of this have to do with anything? Is this what happens when someone hangs out with Lace for a night? What'd he do with her?'

    Garret Wulfgard
    Bellow High Stadium
    Court of Miracles


    The kids looked like they were having fun. Of course, it was probably just a way to ease their way into the tiring experience of the Court, night after night, but even then, fun's fun, and dammit if people didn't need it some time.

    Still, there was one thing that needed to be attended to before Shadows starting breathing down their throats.

    “Here ya go bud, one Evoker, fresh and ready to go.”

    Wulfgard flicked the spare gun he'd brought out of his coat pockets and threw it to Jones. He didn't get one of the Jester's strange cards yet, so that was the best they had for him.
    Honestly, Garret trusted the gun more. He didn't really need it to summon his Persona anymore, it was more a force of habit than anything. And the guns didn't come from that creepy *** clown who showed up every night just to make life difficult for them.

    Jones jumped up and caught the Evoker mid air, seemingly excited. Without the sweater and tie, he still looked like the Testa he knew in high school. A lot less like a teacher to be sure. In fact, he was a bit to eager to get the evoker it looked like.
    Thinking back to what he'd found him doing last night, maybe Jones wasn't as happy with his new job as he thought.
    Maybe he'd like the Court a bit too much as well... could he really trust him around the kids?

    No... this was his sister's husband, his best friend, and the nicest guy he knew. He had to trust him.

    “Ready to see what you can do!”

    Testa grinned back at him, and put the gun to his head

    And.

    Pulled.

    The.

    Trigger.

    'click'

    Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No sound of breaking glass, no bright light. The only thing that had changed was the look of hurt confusion on Jones' face.

    'click''click''click'

    Still nothing.

    “Am I... doing something wrong?” Testa asked, lowering the Evoker.

    ”Well, There's one of three options here really. One, you're a pansy. I honestly think this one can apply to the other two, but that's neither here, nor there. Second, you're getting little to no emotional stimuli from that gun. Had a lifetime of weapons pointed your way huh? A bit jaded are we? Orthird. You're sterile. You have no Persona. You're mind has enough a spark to enter the Court every night, but not enough of one to produce a Persona. Doomed to walk through my carnival every night with nothing but children to protect you. That's my personal favorite.”

    Just as he had the night before, Wulfgard found himself staring at the Jester, perched atop his van. His mask was frozen in the white porcelain grin he'd come to hate.

    ”Sorry, Wolvesy, You crackerjacks meet in an open field. How else am I to stand above you here? Other than this a suppose”

    From his crossed legged position, he snapped his fingers and popped out of existence, with a loud crack, only to reappear with an identical noise, several feet in the air, lounging on his side.

    ”Honestly though, this just feels wrong. Kinda awkward too, everyone's alway's thinking 'Oh how does he do it, I wonder where the strings are?' instead of focusing on the very interesting things I have to tell them.

    In another second, the Jester had returned to the van, this time, the evoker Jones had been attempting to use in his hand.

    “What do you want this time? You're nothing but bad news, Clown.” Wulfgard replied, his fingers inching towards his sword out of reflex, knowing that it would most likely be useless.

    “Oh, that hurts! I think I'm doing you a favor! You see, where would you be without my warnings? Dead and gone, the remainder of humanity rotting husks. Where's the fun in that? I like you humans, you're interesting, you know? When you've lived as long as I have, you start to want something to keep you occupied.
    Anyway, back on subject, I'm guessing you've noticed that one of your number is missing? Well, that's not very good is it? I'd suggest looking in town for him. Around the Mall ought to be right. Might find a few more lost souls in peril as well. They might be able to handle themselves though. At least get out alive. You know, I hear there's a wonderful sale on shoes right now, and this pair is soooooo last century.”


    'One of our own... does he mean Levin? Oh God...'

    ”Anyway, Ta-Ta for now, I so do wish for a good show tonight. And be careful, or else...” The Jester raised the Evoker to his head, and pulled the trigger. A large bang erupted from it, and his head jerked sideways, but his expression didn't change at all, nor did he seemed damaged. "Bang!"

    “Well, if everyone else is ready.” Wulfgard announced, walking briskly towards the gate of the Stadium. He didn't seem to be waiting for anyone. “The Mall's not too far from here, we've got to hurry.”
    Passing by Jones, he remembered his troubles. The Jester hadn't even given him a card. He patted his shoulder and continued walking. They'd figure something out. But Levin's life was in danger... as were 'others' according to the mad man. But who?
    Last edited by Zincspider; 23rd June 2013 at 7:45 AM.
    WARNING!
    GM is prone to going for the throat. Poke at own risk. Continued poking or complaining in his presence may result in serious character injury or death. You have been warned.

  15. #290
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    Halberd
    Court of Miracles


    Well, this was unexpected. The Court didn't start with Shadows swarming all over the place, or a Shadow self appearing immediately. Someone did appear... but it was just the Jester. Unlike some of the other Court-goers, Halberd was pretty much indifferent to this crazy fellow, who he often called the Joker in his head by mistake. After all, the Joker had shown a little mercy for him during his first Court, though it was an awkward moment. Basically the Joker let everyone free from their prison-like space just because Halberd apparently said "please", which is as awkward as awkward can get. In fact, even now, Halberd had to crack a smile at the Joker's Jester's twisted speech. It added a sort of light and humourous twist to the otherwise dark and foreboding nature of the Court of Miracles.

    Oh, and now Levin was in trouble. Halberd hardly knew Levin at all--he was the newest one to the Court, right?--but it was never ethically right to allow a teammate to fall victim to the enemy alone. And what was everyone to do staying here? Moongaze? And what was worse, the mall was quite a walk away... A doable one, but not exactly a short one. Some of the group had Personae they could ride on, but what about those who didn't, especially with cars not working during the Dark Hour?

    As he was looking around the group, he spotted the solution. Or at least a possible one.

    "Hey, Izzy," Halberd called, hoping the band boy who was about Russell's size would notice him. "I got an idea. Do you remember during the last Court, when you made us all run really fast? Any chance you might be able to do that again? It might help us get to Levin sooner."

    "Think you're okay for a trip to the mall?" he added to Joshua. "Well anyway, I don't really believe in destiny or anything, but given what happened thus far, this night may be trying to force your confidence out. You're really good at healing the rest of us; think you can heal yourself?"

    All the while, Halberd still kept a lookout for Shadows, but it looked like none were appearing so far. How odd.

    I have claimed Celestia Ludenberg from Dangan Ronpa. --My Updated RPer profile--

    RPG's I'm in now: Gauntlet of the Greek God Guardians (Zuri), Castle of the Vampire King (Bianca and Lilith)
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  16. #291
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    Joshua Sands - Tower Arcana - Stadium - Court of Miracles

    Joshua's head was still spinning a little, and the atmosphere of the Court was not going to make it any better. As it descended, Wulfgard pulled out a pistol evoker and passed it to Jones. A new, hopefully powerful ally in all this madness at least. That raised a good question - would a more mature person's Persona be any more powerful? Wulgard's Kresnik certainly was, but he'd had years to train it after all. In any case, as Jones pulled the trigger, Joshua braced for the usual awesome-looking monster.

    It never came. Jones' summoning failed. So he was about as useful in the Court as he was at keeping Joshua awake in class with his tall tales. Just wonderful. It kind of seemed like Jones was going to be a liability. Wait, what? No, don't think of him like that... He was disgusted with himself for reducing Jones to that, essentially a big target they'd have to protect. Not a man, even if it was slightly true. Maybe he was just in a bad mood after the savage beating he'd just received.

    Man, he really hated JP right then.

    The explanation for Jones' failure came from a most unwelcome sight. The clown who seemed to fancy himself as some sort of god in this realm. The Jester. Joshua still refused to trust a single word this guy ever said, as he did with everything in the Court. Common sense, really. According to Kefka over there though, Jones most likely didn't have the potential for summoning, but somehow had enough to enter the Court. They hadn't seen a case of that for a while. The people who had had the potential to enter the Court, but not summon a Persona had only done so once. So that explanation didn't hold much water in Joshua's eyes. Either the Jester was lying, or Jones was just weird.

    Either was likely.

    Bobo, unfortunately, wasn't finished, implying that Levin Sanders , and some other people were in danger at the mall. Wulfgard, for some reason, took this at face value. Joshua, admittedly, felt slightly more skeptical, but there was nothing to lose, right? Unless they walked straight into a trap. Ugh. Damned if they did, damned if they didn't. But if people were potentially at risk, the group was going to that mall. And, his distrust for the Jester aside, a weakened Joshua couldn't afford to be left alone. He was just going to have to be on his guard more than ever.

    Still, that Jester made Joshua uncomfortable. It was clear that he had much more power than any of the rest of them, and probably as much as the Shadows themselves. Was he a Shadow? Someone's Shadow Self? If so, he seemed to be a rather neutral one... Though he hadn't exactly been active for most of it, Joshua had been told that the Jester was the one who had released Shadow Izzy's chained captives, allowing them to turn the tide on the creature. So essentially, something Joshua still had nightmares about, ie, plunging a knife into his gut to save the life of someone he deeply disliked, had been pointless. Tres bien. He'd apparently helped them to keep things interesting.

    He didn't get this thing, but ultimately, it was far from the major concern at the moment. The group was heading to the mall now, that was what mattered. Bryan took the moment to chime in, bringing Joshua back to reality, er, the Court. "Think you're okay for a trip to the mall?" he asked. As Joshua hesitated, not 100% certain of his physical state, Bryan seemed to take notice and continued, "Well anyway, I don't really believe in destiny or anything, but given what happened thus far, this night may be trying to force your confidence out. You're really good at healing the rest of us; think you can heal yourself?"

    He had a point. What if all of this stress was something of a trial? Or, worse than that, what if all his negativity triggered his Shadow Self? Then he would be putting his classmates in danger. Definitely time to lighten up a bit... He cracked a smile. "I'll do my best. Still feeling a little weak to be honest though. And, as we know, healing magic won't make me better than I currently am, just because I came in like this. But yeah. I'll do my best to keep us in top shape. Healing myself though? I've done it before, I suppose..." He thought back to last night, and the bright light that had burned so harshly, the Megido attack from Shadow Ciara. He'd not just got himself back up after that one, but Sigmund and Mana too. "Yeah, I should be fine, just need to be a lot more careful tonight..." he mumbled back, as he headed to the van, to pick up a fencing saber and a scabbard, which he tucked into his belt loop. That was more like it. The wooden sword was a completely different style to his usual weapon. No wonder he hadn't stood a chance in that sparring match.

    With all that, the team set out for the mall. Joshua wasn't quite sure what to expect, but he stuck fairly close to Ciara as he walked, keeping his hand on his sword at all times.
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  17. #292
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    Mana Shizuko

    ‘Tis now the very witching time of night, and what better way to start it than clowning around? There was no mistaking that cruel, cackling mockery – no, not Ciara – it was the Jester, a person that made the night a thousandfold improved by his delightful presence. Mana fingered an arrow with a grunt, warily eyeing the masked figure crouched upon the van.

    ”Well, there's one of three options here really,” the Jester began. He then proceeded to deride Mr. Jones, who was apparently incapable of summoning a Persona, despite his presence in the Court of Miracles. The evoker wouldn’t work, and neither would he receive an Arcana card. Thank you for playing the superpower roulette. Try again in your next life. “Doomed to walk through my carnival every night with nothing but children to protect you. That's my personal favorite,” the clown concluded gleefully.

    Terrible, Mana thought to himself. Being completely helpless… there’s nothing worse than that.

    Are you sure about that? Alice asked brightly. For a moment, Mana could see her cheerful grin before his eyes. Teeth… too many teeth…

    But Mana nodded. Yeah. I’m sure. I’m happy to put up with you… unlike most inner demons, you pay rent. Then again, Adventure Jones can probably handle a bullwhip or something. He’s not completely helpless, I guess.

    The scruffy man isn’t a complete loser, Alice agreed. He’s a silly man though. We’ll see him in our dreams soon enough.

    “Anyway, back on subject, I'm guessing you've noticed that one of your number is missing? Well, that's not very good is it? I'd suggest looking in town for him. Around the Mall ought to be right. Might find a few more lost souls in peril as well. They might be able to handle themselves though. At least get out alive. You know, I hear there's a wonderful sale on shoes right now, and this pair is soooooo last century,” the Jester drawled. Then he poofed away. To be honest, ‘poofed’ wasn’t quite the right word, but it took away some of the demon clown’s legitimacy. No self-respecting villain ‘poofed’, after all. More importantly, the new kid – Levin – was apparently in trouble. Mana cursed quietly. He should have showed up at the stadium. Wandering alone when the Court went into session was stupid. Even if he had wanted nothing to do with the Court – maybe understandable – the safest place for him was with the group.

    Nevertheless, the mall was their destination for the night. Mana was still suspicious. While the Jester was definitely 100% trustworthy and all, the whole thing could be a trap. Being cut off inside a building would mean trouble, especially if something like Shadow Ciara's sky-lasers appeared again. Then again, it wasn’t like they had another plan. Besides, Mana thought, slipping his bow over his head, I’d like nothing more than to meet some Shadows.

    No doubt his wish would be granted.
    Last edited by Niihyl; 29th June 2013 at 1:01 AM.
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  18. #293
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    Lace Condor

    Court of Miracles


    Brushing off her soaked neck Lace rolled up her pants cuffs. The daggers whipping around her neck in a string with Lace bouncing on the balls of her feet.

    The Court's atmosphere faded to a hospital. A quiet blue room with two visitors. Clarise asleep in bed. Lace's jacket, warm from the outside lying on her chair. She cracked the window and sat at the foot of the bed. Chips, apples, nuts, and a jug of tea by the pillow with a stuffed bear. Clarise was a good listener. Her face was still. Lace took the girl's hands. They flirted and danced about until the sun ended the visit.

    A voice bubbled up from the bed. A black wet circle spread in the middle of the sheets. The mess grew larger and damp, swamping the bed rotting into Clarise.

    The van moved after a loud gunshot. Wulfgard started to lead the group outside the gate. Lace blinked like a shutter camera and ran up with the group a little past Mana. Her mind went into tomorrow and what she might do if Shadow Ciara came again. They hadn't killed it and tonight she might return with other personal shadows. No one could explain Clarise's condition, but the death of those shadows would bring her some sort of answer. She wouldn't let friends down again and prayed for the enemy to reveal itself. The Star arcana card began to shine.
    Last edited by Vivian_Bloom; 2nd July 2013 at 12:25 AM.
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  19. #294
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    Snow
    CoM, school


    First it was JP, and then it was Randy... at least Randy didn't try to take his clothes. Was it the moon in this court? He'd heard that people used to believe lunatics were influenced by the moon, hence the name. That huge ethereal white moon certainly did make everything look kind of strange. Maybe it made people act strange too. Maybe not even limited to people, since lots of strange stuff happened during the Court of Miracles. Still, he'd sort of gotten used to the Shadows and Personas, plus the fact that strange things were to be expected at this time. But that? It was a whole different type of strange.

    “Am I the weird one, or is it everyone else?” Snow asked quietly. Or maybe everybody here was.

    Since they were in the Court, Wulfgard handed … one of the pistol evokers. He didn't even flinch at the idea that he needed to shoot himself with it, readily accepting that (another point towards the everybody's weird theory). But, it didn't work.

    Then the Jester had to appear and taunt him about it. It seemed to be that person or spirit's favorite thing to do. But he suggested that he was trying to be helpful. Which was also strange. If you wanted to help someone, wasn't it better to be nice and get them to like you, so that they would accept the idea and trust you? Then again, had the Jester really done anything bad other than the taunts and teases? Well, threatening them with death on several occasions... but he had said it as a kind of warning. So, maybe he was on their side? That didn't seem right either. It was more like he was a spectator who wanted things to continue for his own entertainment; he said just as much himself right then and there. Not a true enemy, not quite someone to trust... but likely someone they didn't want to tick off.

    And thus the night's destination was quickly given: the mall, where they'd be looking for Levin and possibly others who ended up in the Court of Miracles. That could be a chaotic place to battle. But if they had a chance to help Levin, they should try. Snow nodded, willing to go to the mall.

    Just, not around JP, not tonight anyhow.
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  20. #295
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    Ciara H. Wright
    Court of Miracles

    Well, this is awkward...


    Everyone had gathered, prepared for their teacher, somebody supposed to lead them through the world and protect them from dangers like paedophiles and talking to strangers on school trips, to once again prove why the parents of Quarterman put their faith in the school to safeguard their offspring with a flash of light and a totally awesome Persona... but instead, he proved impotent. Ciara rapidly halted the mental euphemisms about guns firing blanks as she realised that this was certainly not the situation for them. This was worrying. Poor guy. It was his job to keep his students safe, really.

    The Jester kept soliloquising, having his little conversation with Wulfgard. Really, it was like nobody else mattered. 'Wulvsie' and all variants thereof. How overly familiar and creepy. Then he helpfully mentioned the Sanders kid. Oh wow, she had completely forgotten about that creep with all the excitement of the day... Perhaps she had better stick to hitting what needed hitting and stop with the thinking.

    A 'good show', huh. The Jester really was very theatrical. Maybe it would be best to think of him as campy, it reduced the horror factor somewhat. Would it be too much to hope that it would be a completely new performance tonight? If there had to be one at all. An encore... would not be nice. Maybe she's in the audience. She's been in my head. Does she know what I'm thinking? Is she watching now? Is she already inside me? Or has she been hiding in there since last night? Where is she? Compartmentalise. Push aside. Forget.

    "Can't we get there faster than walking?" Reality, helpfully rearing its head in the form of Miyuki. She wanted to hug her.

    "There's no way we're walking all the way to the mall. Let's call a ride. Watch this." With an expertly practised gesture, she snapped her fingers with the Persona card between them so that it was crushed as she did so. As the Kitsune began to materialise, the tails nearest Joshua and Miyuki snared their ankles and then tossed them over the golden fox's back with the gentleness and grace of a tired baggage handler at a busy airport. At least the fur was soft. She herself was accommodated far more beautifully by several tails that formed steps to where she sat near the Kitsune's head, in side-saddle position, smiling serenely.

    "Sorry guys, max that can be comfortably accommodated is three. I'm the only one this beauty'll listen to, she's the one who asked and he's already a bit beaten up and tired, not blaming anyone or anything at all. Hope that y'all understand. We can be the first response unit, or something. Scouts. Recon. Toodles!"

    As they began to move off, Ciara let out a small yelp as she felt a tug of pain on one of her... tails? She wasn't exactly unfamiliar with the sensation, given that they provided nine extra targets for Shadows to paw at, but this wasn't exactly a combat situation and the surprise caught her very much off guard. Rotating in position as best she could despite the feeling of soreness, she caught sight of Izzy Simone clutching desperately onto the Kitsune's leftmost tail. As they accelerated more and more, she felt his grip growing tighter and tighter. The Kitsune's baseline response was to begin running more erratically than following a straight route, making for a much bumpier ride.

    Oh well, she could solve the problem easily enough. With a roll of Ciara's eyes, the Kitsune flung him off upwards and slightly forwards into the air, and then as they came beneath encircled him in a tight grip within her five central tails, which had shifted into more of a hand-like shape. It wouldn't exactly be a comfortable ride, but better than whatever he had been planning on doing as they got faster and faster. He would have been roadkill, really.

    "Full speed ahead, our destination is on the horizon!"

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  21. #296
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    ~ Miyuki Tachibana ~
    - Bellow High Stadium - Court of Miracles -


    So... Jones had no Persona?

    Miyuki thought that anyone who entered the Court could summon a Persona. That had been her experience so far. But if someone really could enter the court and not be able to summon a Persona, then that meant that her theory was wrong. When even something as simple as that could be proven wrong, it became a little worrying. Just how much more did she and the others have to learn about this place? And just how often would a surprise like that put one of them in danger? She preferred not to think about it. There were too many questions, too much that she didn't know. Too much that there simply weren't any answers to right now. It would make your head explode if you thought too hard about it.

    Still, Miyuki felt bad for the guy. He had essentially just been told that he didn't have the mental prowess to summon a Persona, when a bunch of high school students did. That had to be bad for anyone's self esteem, especially one with such colorful stories to tell as Jones.

    It was the other bit that the Jester, trustworthy as he seemed to be, relayed to them. Levin was probably in danger at this very moment. Another one of their number in danger of becoming a living corpse... She couldn't let that happen. She silently scolded herself for not noticing Levin's absence earlier. If she had noticed, she could have mentioned it to someone, maybe saved him from being alone and in trouble right now. But beating herself up wasn't going to do any good right now. Right now, they needed to save Levin.

    She spotted Ciara and Joshua up ahead and ran up to meet them. "Hey." she said as she joined them. "We should hurry if Levin is really in trouble. I don't want anyone to get hurt again, but... can't we get there faster than walking?"

    Luckily, Ciara had it covered. "There's no way we're walking all the way to the mall. Let's call a ride. Watch this." With a clever little flourish (Miyuki really should think of one for herself to use) Ciara crushed her Persona card and called out Kitsune. As she watched the giant fox materialize, she felt something grasp her leg. Her cry of surprise was killed in her throat as she felt herself get lifted up and tossed through the air like a plush animal in the hands of a three year old. She landed right behind Joshua, who himself was behind Ciara where she sat comfortably. Miyuki couldn't be too jealous, it was her Personae after all.

    And away they went, leaving the rest of the group to fend for themselves. Miyuki wasn't too happy about leaving the rest of the group behind, but hopefully they'd be inspired and find a faster method of transportation for themselves.

    Kitsune began to bob and weave a bit as she ran and Ciara looked back with a look of irritated confusion. There, holding one of Kitsune's tails in a death grip, was Izzy. Ciara sighed as Izzy was tossed again. Miyuki's heart jumped to her throat as she watched him fly through the air and she sighed with relief when he was caught up in Kitsune's tails. The tails held him in a firm grip so that he almost looked like a child's action figure. She had to suppress a laugh at the thought of "Captain Izzy: Defender of Earth".

    "Just hang in there Izzy!" she called back to him.
    ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
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  22. #297
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    </3 JP – Lovers Arcana </3

    Watching Jones bring to Evoker to his head, fail at producing a Persona, then be mocked to the ground by the Jester was... gruesome. JP kept the best stoic face he could muster. It wasn’t a good one, you could tell he had been affected, but it was unlikely anyone would be looking his way, what with Wulfgard, the Jester and Jones being quite in the limelight.

    He imagined himself in his position: stripped of all his worth, be rendered a weakling and a burden on the lives of the children he’d come here trying to teach and protect. To become useless… That pain hurt so, so much, and the boy feared if he could ever lose his own Persona himself. After all, Jones was psychologically stronger than quite a few of the Persona users that had come (and some gone) from the Court. This place was unstable, fickle and unpredictable.

    The teenager regained his appreciation for his Persona. He’d relied so much on it these months, used it non-stop for entire nights, it’d become as normal as the clothes he wears. This Jones experience had at least the silver-lining of him giving Pedro his worth.

    Snapping back to the real world, he realized there were more pressing issues at hand than introspection worthy of a Thanksgiving dinner. The Jester commented of people, including one Levin guy whom JP’d never met, being in danger at the mall.

    More people to protect. More chances to play the hero.

    Awesome!

    JP barely had enough time to curse at the fact his bike didn’t work during the Court before every started cleverly hitching rides on their Personas. Ciara, particularly, had chosen to take two – scratch that, three! – passengers with her. Well, Pedro didn’t really have the size to carry anyone fast enough… Except…

    “PEDRO!”

    The bloody knight shone forth, materializing while floating right in front of his master. Sharing one mind, he knew of JP’s plan, and he reluctantly proceeded to position itself horizontally and floating a few feet above the ground.

    “Surf’s up.”

    Using the claymore on Pedro’s back as some kind of hoverboard, JP hoped on his Persona’s back and adjusted his position. He looked back at the few remaining court goers who’d yet to leave, apologized for the lack of passenger seating, then pushed Pedro forward with his feet. The knight erupted forth, sliding through the streets, picking up speed the farther he went.

    Having the time of his life, JP surfed on Pedro’s back through street corners and empty roads. In little over ten minutes he’d reach the mall.

  23. #298

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    Garret Wulfgard
    Court of Miracles
    Running to the Mall


    They didn't have time to talk.

    In a matter of seconds, the group had been split, something that never seemed to end well. Izzy had grabbed Kitsune's tail as she ran by, effectively hitching a dangerous ride along with Miyuki. Hopefully the poor kid wouldn't end up as Pavement Pizza.

    In the distance, he watched as the fox jumped to the top of a nearby building, and tossed the small boy up into the air, and caught him in it's prehensile tail. Well, at least he wouldn't need to be scraped off the street any time soon.
    Hopefully.

    He was heading straight for the mall himself. He knew that Levin was there. That was his priority at the moment. At his heels, Jones followed, keeping up the pace, but looking slightly downtrodden. No surprise there. But as long as he stuck next to him, Jones should be safe. He trusted him to hold his own and not be stupid about it.

    From the corner of his eye, another group of students tore off and headed elsewhere into the city. Liza among them. Seemed they were on outsider duty. He didn't see an outrageous pair of goggles, so it was likely Randy was still following him. Everyone else? Not so sure about them.

    "We could probably get there faster... if I could drive." Jones suggested, a hint of dying cheer still holding on to his voice.

    "Absolutely not. If I'm gonna die, it ain't gonna be in a car." *You know, disregarding the fact that the car wouldn't even work in the Court.* No, running would have to do for them.
    Then Pedro passed, JP on his back, sailing across the road. That couldn't be easy on JP. And then Randy soon followed, holding onto the waist of his Chariot Persona, and the bike left a trail of smoke in his face.
    ...
    And then Lace was caught out the corner of his eye, speeding along with flames on her heels.

    Alright, MOST of them would have to walk.
    -

    Liza Monroe
    Court of Miracles
    Heading After Strangers


    Running. Why was it always running?

    It was obvious that she was getting left behind by the others. Not only were her legs shorter than average, but she- no. Don't think that.

    She stopped to catch her breath after only a few minutes of jogging, placing her hand on a nearby post box. She'd be fine... Shadows seemed to ignore her when she was on her own. Her only problem was being able to catch up to everyone, but the trail left behind Lace's feet seemed to be a good enough indicator of where they were heading.

    She wasn't going to get there with everyone else. But she was kind of ok with that... not like she ever liked being in the middle of the action. Coming in after was just fine. Plus, it gave her time to thing about what she'd dug up that afternoon.

    She'd figured out a few little things, she was sure of it. She just needed to confront that jerk. Jerk may have been to weak of a word, however, if he was guilty of what she suspected him of.
    -

    Izzy Simone
    Court of Miracles
    Being Defender of Earth


    Sure, he was bouncing up and down, screaming at the top of his lungs, and and had no idea where he was going, but damn if this wasn't the most comfy seat-belt he ever used.

    Josh and Miyuki seemed to be hanging on just fine, and Ciara definitely knew how to ride this beast, so it wasn't likely they were going to stop this thing for a break anytime soon. Just the thought of a prolonged ride brought today's lunch back into his mouth... however, he anticipated spewing on a giant fox, much less one that came from Ciara's head, would end up with him in several squishy bits. So he just held it in as his ride lept from building to building, the light of the moon flashing as the shadows of the structures changed rapidly.

    Why'd he do this? Halberd was right, he should have done something with Daedalus to help the others, but for some reason he dind't want to let Miyuki go off alone. His hand acted without his brain allowing for interferance.
    And now he was on a furry fanged death trap going faster, and faster, and... slower.

    For some reason, the fox began to come to a stop.

    Izzy found out why quite quickly.

    In the middle of town square, City Hall stood strong in the middle of it's lush courtyard. Well... at least something stood. In a courtyard.

    Where the large, regal building had been earlier that day, a giant stone spire rose from the ground. The grass around the base of the cinder covered monument had withered away, and where thick trees had once grew proudly, only twisted skeletons of the great oaks remained.

    The structure twisted up to the heavens, even beyond the two story building Kitsune stood atop now. It was crooked, and in the top, a broken window, enlarged by the missing mortar and stone, revealed a large rusty bell, lit by both the moon and a half dozen lanterns the size of pumpkins spouting the glow of orange fire through the black cast iron.
    "D-do you think that's where-" Izzy began. He decided that continuing the sentence wasn't worth it. There was little doubt in his mind that the demon spire wasn't their desired location. "Well... should we go to it?"

    "Oh, no need for that."

    Turning around, Izzy found himself looking at the silhouette of a man in the moonlight, perched on the lightning rod like a sparrow. A long cloak fluttered behind him, and the outline of a tall stovepipe hat was easy to make out. However... his face was a different story. Only a gleam of white was noticeable around the edge, lit by the moon.

    "After all, I'll only be needing two of you."
    -

    Shinai Haitani
    Court of Miracles
    Downtown Bellow


    *Stay close... please stay close. I can't risk anything happening to you...*

    Shinai's mind raced, as he paced along the street, flipping his lighter on and off. On and off. A nervous tick if there ever was one. Behind him, he could hear the conforting sound of familiar footsteps. She was still there. He had begged she stay at home, that she need not put herself in harm... but she refused. It would be dangerous to stay alone as well, she reasoned.

    He didn't want to argue that. It was true. But this was his problem he had to solve. And he had to be somewhere in this hell hole. Running around aimlessly didn't seem proper, so he instead returned to the place where he had met the bastard. A small cafe, open late into the night, to the point it was morning. It was quaint, and using how it had been described to him, 'adorable'. But the pleated awning and wooden outdoor dining sets made him sick to his stomach now. This was the place. Where he had met himself. If he was anywhere, it would be here. If he was going to find him, it would be here. If he was going to kill him...

    What was that?

    More footsteps. Not the one's he'd been used to. Coming from the opposite direction. Turning, he quickly stepped in front of his charge and shoved his closed lighter into his pocket.
    But it wasn't who he was expecting. Well... that's a lie. He'd expected to see these exact people in this place at some point... just not now.

    A whole group of them coming from the direction of the mall.

    Shinai put his arm up, an attempt to separate both groups. They had caught eye of him now and were heading his way.

    "Amissa... stand back."

    "Yes sir."
    Last edited by Zincspider; 3rd August 2013 at 10:22 PM.
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  24. #299
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    Sigmund Okonkwo
    Bellow High Stadium [Court of Miracles]


    Everything was going so smoothly. Giving Snow a good ribbing, all warmed up for the main event - even Jones was getting passed with one of the old "evokers" that Wulfgard had lying around. Gun-shaped things, supposed to scare the Persona right out of you. A bit unsettling in Sig's mind1, but they didn't come from the Jester, so he couldn't disagree with keeping them around. 'Sides, Sig was curious about what Jones' Persona might look like, anyway. Probably some adventurer with a swell hat.

    Click.

    Nothing. Testa fired half a dozen times, nothing but a bunch of empty clicking. Jammed?

    As if on cue, that inane Court Clown had slipped in quite literally from nowhere, lording over them all from atop a van and pulling his own half-lame-comedy-half-taunting that he always did, this time aimed mainly at Jones and boiling down to "Nyeh, nyeh, you don't have a Persona." Sigmund's hands were balling into fists out of habit, but almost nobody was really raising a weapon at the Jester or his campy outfit. Never did anybody any good, anyway. Thing always popped around too fast.

    He went on for a bit, as he always did, before getting to the important bits: Levin was being held somewhere in town, with a hint at a couple others as well, with an anvil-sized hint about their being held at the mall. An obvious trap, but they would probably have to spring it, anyway. Frickin' Jester always won, even when he didn't. Or something like that.

    The instant the Jester was finished talking, everyone took off - some faster than others. A giant fox - Ciara's Persona, he recalled - grabbed a few of the others and was gone down the street. Another group blazed past hanging on to their Personas right after. Hardly three minutes and the crowd was already thinned down to - Sig looked over his shoulder - himself, Snow, Halberd, Russell, and the teachers bringing up the rear. Enough to act as reinforcements, then. And they'd have to be. Out of the rest of the group, Halberd and maybe Snow were the only ones who'd be able to make it all the way to the Mall at anything faster than a mild jog, especially what with the workout they'd already been given. No sense in waiting around for that. Jester was already cutting into their time as it was.

    Pacing back a bit, Sigmund fell in line next to Wulfgard and explained between breaths, "I'm gon', go 'head, and scout... cool? See ya, there." Ignoring whatever approval Wulfgard did or didn't give, he pulled back ahead of the others and ran off down the street himself. This was practically the route for his morning run, anyway. He'd be there in, what, ten minutes?

    Fifteen. He overestimated himself. Whatever - at the mall, and a fair sight ahead of the others. Sigmund walked right up to the nearest entrance and stood in front of the doors. Nothing. What, had the shadows learned how to jam automatic doors now?

    ...

    Court. Electronics. Right.

    Then... this shouldn't matter... Sigmund took a few steps backward, clenched a fist, and ran full-force at the door. Landing a straight-arm punch at the window, he shattered the door into a veritable shower of glass and stuck his fall on the other side. Sigmund granted himself a chuckle and stood back up straight.

    "Dramatic entry. Always wanted to do that."

    A quick look around and nothing was out of the ordinary. Well, of course it was - everything was pale and the walls were bleed-y, but he was expecting that. No giant shadow lurking around or Levin strapped to a chair or anything. None of the others who ran ahead looked to be around, either, for that matter. The mall pretty much just looked like its day self with a creepy filter on it. Not a place he was about to explore on his own anyway. Fat lot of good going solo had done for him in the past. Instead, Sigmund flipped a blue card out of his pocket and touched it to his forehead. Practically had it all down to one movement now. On the command of "Hua Po," a shattering sound rang in his ears and the red-skinned fairy appeared before him, fluttering in place.

    "Give this place a once-over, see if there are any people?" Sigmund asked. Remembering the Jester's quips, he added, "Check the shoe stores in particular." Hua Po nodded, gave a salute that her face was just a bit too soft to pull off, and sped off down the line of shops. Hua Po was pretty useful like that - good for relaying messages or looking around. Pretty much all their Personae were good for at least something besides fighting. Unfortunately, sending her out left him standing there, not even close enough to the food court to snag something to drink. Nothing to do but wait for either Hua Po or the others to get there. At least he could spy the others running in from across the parking lot now.

    C'mon, guys, time's a-wasting.



    1 Discounting the fact that he couldn't really use one with his gauntlets on, anyway.

  25. #300
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    Joshua Sands - Tower Arcana - Court of Miracles - Hell if I know whereabouts, it's all a blur

    Off to the mall. A simple journey, if tedious on foot. They'd be wasting precious time travelling, even moreso if Shadows got in their way. Levin might not be able to hold out that long, especially since he was so new to using his Persona. It was therefore something of a double-edged sword for Joshua as he realised what was happening behind him. There was a slight, familiar smash of someone summoning their Persona, "calling a ride" as Ciara put it. It therefore wasn't so much a surprise when the Kitsune's tail grabbed him by the ankle as it was simply another showing of how she had him completely whipped. Not that that made the ensuing throw onto the fox's back any more pleasant. "You couldn't have asked if I was ok with this?" he half mumbled, low enough that she didn't hear him.

    "Sorry guys, max that can be comfortably accommodated is three. I'm the only one this beauty'll listen to, she's the one who asked and he's already a bit beaten up and tired, not blaming anyone or anything at all. Hope that y'all understand. We can be the first response unit, or something. Scouts. Recon. Toodles!" Well, at least she had the balls to make a snide remark at JP, probably more than Joshua was going to do any time soon. One of many reasons he needed her around he supposed. To be fair, this was actually a pretty reasonable plan, given that Joshua was capable of healing, and Miyuki's defensive skills would be great for protecting him and Levin as he did so, with Ciara on damage. A fairly solid recon team. Kitsune was off like a rocket however, but with one more passenger than they'd bargained for. Probably worried for Miyuki's safety, Izzy had grabbed onto one of Kitsune's tails and was being dragged along. Well, points for effort at least, but it was a pretty silly move, and was obviously causing Ciara some pain. She rectified it with some clever manipulation of the tails, pretty much grabbing Izzy in a fist. Having him around would be useful at least, assuming he didn't have the life squeezed out of him.

    "Seriously Miyuki, if he's willing to grab on to a giant, speeding, ethereal fox's tail to help you, he's probably worth keeping around." Sage relationship advice from Joshua Sands. What was the world coming to? Still, the Kitsune's continued acceleration shut him up for the rest of the trip as he held on for dear life. For some reason though, a song came to his mind. Damned musical theatre obsession!

    Tyre tracks and broken hearts- Wait, no, better idea. Paw prints and broken hearts,
    That's what we're leaving behind.
    Doesn't matter what we're losing,
    Only matters what we're going to find.


    Strangely appropriate. However, as Joshua began to improvise the rest of Paw Prints and Broken Hearts in his head, Kitsune came to a complete stop, almost throwing him from the creature's back. He was about to complain when he realised why.

    "Either politics has got awesome since I last passed City Hall, or we're looking at some kind of Shadow Headquarters..." The fox had stopped in front of an enormous stone tower, stretching up into the sky. The plantlife around it was dead and brown, and the tower itself seemed crooked and unstable. Almost ancient, given the hideously rusty bell that was barely visible in the top window. This place would definitely bear checking out if they weren't on a mission to rescue Levin right now. Izzy spoke up to inquire whether they should investigate anyway.

    "Oh, no need for that." Joshua's blood ran cold. Why now, of all times? We do NOT have time for another one of these things! The source of the voice was not wholly visible; Joshua could only make out his silhouette, backed by the sickly moon of the Court of Miracles, but at least he could tell he was in a stovepipe hat and cloak. It appeared as though they were dealing with Shadow Batman Professor Layton, and if it hadn't been about to try to kill him, Joshua would probably have found that to be the most fantastic thing he had ever heard of.

    "After all, I'll only be needing two of you." Wait, two of them? The horrifying realisation sank in. Shadow Miyuki had been killed. Shadow Izzy had also been killed. Shadow Ciara had fled, but was, y'know, a girl, and the figure before them was definitely male. Factor in the reference to going after a second one of them, the dramatic flair and the fact that he was backed by the moon (Ciara's arcana of course), and there was no doubt in Joshua's mind.

    His own Shadow Self now stood in their path.

    He immediately leapt off Kitsune and drew his sword and Evoker simultaneously, hands slightly shaking. Of course it would pick tonight of all nights to attack. Goddamn, if he survived this, JP was so... getting away with beating him. Well, Ciara might say something. Maybe. Again, assuming they both surviv- DAMN IT NOT THE ISSUE, FOCUS. Joshua locked his eyes on his target and pointed his saber at it.
    Originally Posted by scytherdude30
    no no no you need an empoleon as your powerhouse da listen to me man I AM THE BOMB
    Quote Originally Posted by Zincspider View Post
    Yes, someone is getting 'killed'... HOORAY FOR CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!....
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