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Thread: Persona- Burn On, Shining Souls!

  1. #301
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    Snow Fields
    CoM, main mall entrance


    Even though they had a clear goal, it seemed different routes had been chosen. Snow knew Sig was a local, so it made sense to follow after him. Plus, he remembered this route from going to the mall previously. Ciara had her Persona take several others, so they probably would arrive first. Others like Randy and Lace were also able to rely on their Persona to get to another location quickly. But Melpomene was a human (well, a muse goddess), so Snow just had to rely on his feet.

    Sig had run ahead, saying that he was going to scout the area, leaving the rest of the group on this route (including Halbred and the two teachers) to catch up shortly. That could be dangerous; the Jester had warned them, so there could easily be an ambush. But there didn't seem to be many Shadows out on the road so far, nor in the parking lot they were running through. There were many cars, including a few stopped while driving around. As usual, there were no people aside from them. That was one of the creepy aspects of the Court, although once the action started it was easy enough to ignore. It would be worse if he was alone, though, like Levin probably was. Hopefully they could find him quickly.

    Coming up on the doors, Snow noticed that one of them had been shattered open. There were still sharp pieces of glass around it, so he opted to open the regular doors to go inside. Sig was standing near the entrance waiting. Again, no Shadows left. It seemed odd that Sig didn't have his Persona out at first, but then Snow caught a glimpse of a red light zipping about through the darkened mall. That's where she would be.

    Nothing stood out at first glance as being unusual for the Court. Past the entrance illuminated by the bright moonlight, a heavy darkness filled the mall. Things were stopped and so far he hadn't heard much besides the running of feet and the breaking of the glass door. Was their enemy here waiting to surprise them?

    “Anything happening yet?” he asked Sig.
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  2. #302
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    Lace Condor

    Downtown Area - Court of Miracles


    "Kitsune has the softest tushie. I'm going to ask Ciara to let me ride on her too next time," she pouted. Lace sat down on her heels, approaching the bottom of a steep hill at a dangerous speed. She didn't need to blink much.

    She had turned off from the rest of the group after they left the field gates. The street lights were out and nothing but the roars from Lace’s shoes sounded downtown. Lace stopped every couple blocks after getting downtown. She stopped skating and kicked one of the street lamps and fell on her butt rubbing the now bent shoe. Lace clenched her teeth and waved the flames away. The Star arcana card appeared and shattered in the smoke. The orange glow dissipated and Lace looked up.

    " What's going on? Why'd you stop?"

    Guilty. She crossed her legs and pointed to a small cafe across the street. "Can't we...," she lowered her finger and shot back at Saturnus. "Can't we get something to drink first? Please?" Saturnus' white eyes went to the roofed, probably abandoned store. His stripes grew hotter looking back to Lace who disappeared from her seat.

    CLOSED. WE'RE SORRY.

    "What!" she smacked the window and ran around the corner sending Saturnus away as her skates blew her down the next block. Every sign and door had the same hospitality. No burgers. No doughnuts. Not even juice. All the world's treasures snatched out. With nothing to quench her greed Lace, waving her arms with no attachment to her mortal body, now, could only shake the few Skittles from her pocket lint. Out the corner of her eye she spotted two dark figures turning into the next block. Her skates had taken her to another street intersection as she stopped and looked. "Student President?" Lace turned and skated back up the hill and turned to face the block below those figures had taken.

    Lace leaned down and was inching down when she heard what sounded like a plane taking off. She flew up the hill and a man riding a surfboard disappeared into the street. Lace turned and skated toward JP, almost whipping her head against the corner lamp. She was a little over twenty feet behind him and ducked her head at the man. "Hey, where's your shirt?" she yelled, but over her shoes and his board no one was hearing anything. She cursed and started looking about the street for a clue. Lace slide to the right side of the street and picked up speed. Sliding a dagger out drew a huge smile. "Sorry guys, but the first Shadow's all me!" Goosebumps waved down her back and she was now on the same block as the man.

    Lace was now inside of five yards behind her target at a comfortable speed when she spotted a lamppost at the next block's corner. Randy flashed in her head. Lace slowed down never taking her eyes off the target. As soon as JP passed the crosswalk of the next block, Lace stretched out her hand and shot up the pole. Just as her hand felt the light bulb she let go and had the block behind her shooting through the air. It was all inside three seconds and Lace's right shoe lit up as she spun around into a kick aimed for his back two yards away. "Let's do this!" she yelled, loud enough for the whole block to come and see. Shadows ain't fire-proof.
    Last edited by Vivian_Bloom; 8th August 2013 at 12:40 AM.
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  3. #303
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    ~ Miyuki Tachibana ~
    ~ City Hall (a.k.a. The Tower of Impending Misfortune) - Court of Miracles ~


    Kitsune raced across the city, hopping fences, scaling walls, leaping from rooftop to rooftop. The wind had long since blown her hood off and the wind was rushing through her hair, a sensation she so rarely felt. It was an amazing ride, the sort of thing Miyuki had never thought to do with a Persona. Astraea could levitate, but Miyuki didn't think she could move with as much fluid grace as Kitsune. Ciara was lucky to have such a graceful Persona.

    Tis a kindness to feel happiness for another's good fortunes. She heard Astraea say in her mind.

    Oh, you're lovely too. I couldn't ask for a better Persona. Miyuki thought back.

    Silence, then: Your truth lightens my heart.

    Miyuki smiled. It was odd, when she thought about it. Wasn't talking to your Persona like talking to yourself? Then again, she did do that a lot. But it made her happy to make Astraea happy. But then, wasn't she just making herself happy? It hurt her head to think about it too much. Best to just enjoy it.

    "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." Joshua's sudden interruption made her all too aware of Izzy's proximity, and she suddenly wished that her hood was back over her face. No doubt she was starting to blush, a fact that thanks to her pale skin would be plainly obvious. But... didn't he have a point? Lately, her and Izzy had been spending more time together, eating lunch or playing games or just talking. But... she had never actually thought of why they enjoyed each other's company so much? Did he like her? Did she like him? And suddenly, she realized that... she probably did. Just a bit. She liked Izzy. And not just as a friend, but as a "like" like.

    Her head was still spinning from this world shattering revelation when something slightly less shocking happened. A huge dark spire appeared in front of them, and Kitsune slowed to a stop on a nearby rooftop to take a look.

    The trees and plants around the tower looked like they were burnt up and dead. The tower itself was tall and jagged, and looked like it was falling apart at the seems. An old rusty bell hung at the top. But by far the most disturbing aspect of the tower, was the figure perched atop the spire.

    With its strange, if somewhat awesome appearance, there was no doubt it was another Shadow Self. A quick round of elimination made it easy to figure out whose as well. Izzy and Joshua were the only guys here, and Shadow Izzy was long since deceased... or whatever you called a dead Shadow. That only left one possibility, Shadow Joshua.

    "After all, I'll only be needing two of you." the Shadow said coldly.

    Well... wonder who that could be?

    Joshua was the first one off of Kistsune, and poor Izzy was still wrapped up in its tails. Still, this was no time to charge in blindly. Joshua could end up walking right into a trap.

    "Hold it!" she shouted, though it came out a little weaker than she had intended. She hopped off of Kitsune and reached for Izzy, helping him out of the fox's tails. She did however avoid all eye contact with him as she did so. Feelings were still sorting themselves out, and she did not want to get all googly-eyed or rosy-cheeked in the middle of a battle.

    "Wait Joshua, something's not right here. We need to hold our ground until we know what's going on." She said, trying to calm him down just a bit. It only needed two of them huh... well, she wasn't going to let it hurt herself or Izzy.
    ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
    Watch your step! Sig Under Construction!

  4. #304
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    Mana Shizuko
    Bellow High Stadium


    It seemed that some people were simply incapable of subtlety. The blazing firebrand streaking down the road and the boy surfing on the back of a war-bloodied knight could attest to that fact. The two of them were likely drawing the attention of every Shadow for a hundred miles. This, of course, left less attention for Mana himself. Aggro mechanics 101. Still, it wouldn’t do to fall too far behind the vanguard. It was his job to watch their backs. He drew his arcana card, flicking it into the air. “Trafuri!”

    The skull grinned at him for a moment before shattering, drawing Alice out of thin air. With the ghostly little girl at his side, Mana set out after his more enthusiastic teammates, slipping quickly from shadow to shadow. It would tire him, but not severely so. Besides, if all went well he would see trouble before trouble saw him.

    Sometimes it’s nice to be the one surprising the other guy.

    Downtown Area

    It seemed that they had split up. After all, nothing ever went wrong when they split up. Ciara, Izzy, Joshua and Miyuki had taken off on the big fluffy mutt; Sigmund, Snow, Russell and Halberd had run off together; and Mana had followed JP and Lace.

    Speaking of which, Lace was erratically bouncing off of the local businesses as she ran. Mana couldn’t help but chuckle at her antics, especially after she launched herself into a flying dragon kick toward JP. It was amazing how unaffected that girl was was by everything. Mana wished he could have a tenth of her vigor.

    A movement in the darkness drew Mana’s attention away from Lace’s antics. There were two figures near a café: a boy and a girl, it seemed. They must have been some of the ‘lost souls in peril’. A romantic moonlit walk gone sour, perhaps? Whatever it was, two regular people wouldn’t last long in the Court of Miracles, despite the fact that no Shadows had shown themselves… yet. Mana rose to approach the two, freezing in place when he recognized one of them.

    Who else but Shinai Haitani, Vampire Student Council President?

    Shinai looked just as wary as Mana felt. His arm was raised, as if he was trying to protect the girl behind him from something. Most likely Mana, to be honest, unless-

    Mana flicked his eyes over his shoulder, making sure no giant Shadow was sneaking up on him. Nope, nothing. He returned his eyes to Shinai, watching for any sudden moves. In all likelihood, Shinai had been dragged into the Court just like anyone else. But then again, hadn’t JP said something about running into him before? It was best to be suspicious. Always.

    “So, Prez,” Mana remarked. “Nice night for a promenade, ain’t it?”
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  5. #305
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    Flying through the streets on the back of a floating king was insane, they said. He would surely die, they said.
    It's ****ing fun as hell, is what it is!
    Bunch of haters. They just didn't have his genious brain, nor his swag.

    Ugh, did he just say that?
    Maybe the haters did have one or two valuable points.

    "What do we do with the one that is following us?"
    Pedro had noticed Lace's burning attemp at catching up with them while JP was too busy enjoying how awesome he was currently being. The glow from her flames made her stand out on the reflections in the windows of the buildings they passed and immediately gave away her presence.

    "Just... Ignore Ms.Spazz Human Torch over there. Pretend she doesn't exist. Worked for me so far."
    "She's trying to attack us."
    "She what now?"
    "JUMP OFF!"
    JP instantly bounced from the sword he was standing on as his Persona stopped its flight, turned around and parried Lace's attack with the claymore that was twice her size. He counter attacked by throwing her back the way she come with the same amount of force he would use on any Shadow.
    JP moved behind Lace as she got back up, grabbed her and put his dagger to her throat.
    "Bad idea."

  6. #306
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    OOC: You know, I seem to be fond of titling my posts lately. I think it's to become a new tradition for me.
    IC:

    Bryan "Halberd" Donneley
    Court of Miracles - Quartermain Mall
    "Forgot the Glue"


    Unfortunately, this group had no big quadripedal Personas, nor any that would be willing to function as a skateboard. So this group had to walk or run to the mall. Ah well, it wasn't anything Halberd wasn't used to, as long as he didn't have to sprint. A look back told him that the two faculty Court-goers (Testiana Jones and Wulfgard-Sensei) were bringing up the rear of the group. Good, this group had good support. Even if Mr. Jones didn't have a Persona. If he did have one, what would it be? Probably some famous explorer/conqueror from distant history. Like Ferdinand Magellan, or Marco Polo, or even Alexander the Great. Made sense for someone who taught World History, right?

    What am I talking about? Now is not the time to discuss history! Even moreso than it not being the time to discuss physics, as Ciara had cynically pointed out during the Court in which Halberd first summoned his Persona. Everyone was running along swimmingly (does that comment make any sense?) for a while, until Sigmund decided to run ahead of the group and check out the mall by himself. Immediately Halberd tried to run after him, and he soon regretted being among the slowest runners (especially in terms of acceleration) of the entire group. Within seconds, Sigmund had turned a corner ahead of him and was gone.

    "SIGMUND!" Halberd called after him, but it was no use. Flustered, he decided the only thing he could do was run to the mall after him. Just as he was about to do that, Snow ran right past him, but since he wasn't running full speed at the mall like Sigmund was, Halberd had little trouble catching up to him... or at least running fast enough to keep him in sight ahead of him. By the time he reached the mall, Snow was asking Sigmund about how things were going, and Hua Po was going inside the mall to check for shadows. And a quick glance behind him told him that Russell was not too far behind. Good.

    Halberd was slightly out of breath when he got to the entrance of the mall, but not enough to prevent him from speaking to Sigmund, rather loudly in fact.
    "What were you thinking?" he criticized sternly, placing a hand on Sigmund's shoulder. "Running off by yourself during the Dark Hour, when there could very well be Shadows hiding just about anywhere? You're lucky you weren't grabbed and dragged into the mall."
    He glanced behind him to see if Russell and the two teachers were still following.
    "I appreciate the thought of you scouting out the mall, and it was smart of you to have Hua Po look around inside. But still, the most important thing now is that we need to stick together. I don't want you ending up like Levin, after all."

    He backed away from Sigmund, now that he had pretty much made his point. When the others had arrived, he addressed them all:
    "Okay, it looks like the coast is pretty much clear inside," he mentioned, noticing Hua Po flying around without being attacked by shadows. "Let's all go in together. No splitting up! If one of us gets attacked, we need to have the rest of us as backup. If Levin becomes too hard to find, maybe we can split up into two groups, but let's look around a while first. Everyone, have your evokers at the ready..."

    And with that, he led the group inside.
    "Levin!" he called as he walked through. "Levin! Can you hear us? It's us, your schoolmates! We're here to get you out of there! Levin!"
    He had his hands cupped around his mouth to amplify his voice, but he had his Hierophant card held between his fingers, just in case.

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  7. #307
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    Lace Condor

    Court of Miracles

    Downtown Area


    The shirt-less man (JP) hopped off its board leaving a hulking-creature in Lace's confused view. Her view was completely taken over by the large claymore, and the kick's impact now absorbed led her and the creature to slide a few yards as her shoes cooled down. She'd eyed the monster during their slide and the conviction in its eyes sent goose bumps up her spine as it swung the claymore down. Cement debris flew up on its impact as Lace hopped off the sword, sliding a few yards away from her new target. She drew her daggers and checked her sides to make sure it was just the two of them.

    "Bad idea." She felt him snatch her throat up and Lace felt the cold steel of another dagger. Her eyes froze on the street as a bright blue glowed on her free shoulder. Her expression dropped. The Star Arcana card materialized and exploded sending Saturnus erupting at their side throwing a thick blanket of orange across the street. "Get off me!" she shouted, sending a whirl of fire up to just below her knees. As soon as the man's grip left Lace spun shifted and sliced what might've JP's head hadn't the man sense to duck and experienced reflexes. She cursed to herself at letting an easy end to this fight slip. Lace ducked down to skate a circle around JP.

    "Agilao!" Saturnus' face glowed and a fireball escaped to a few yards in front of the man, sending up smoke and small harmless debris between her and the enemies. Lace staring unblinkingly into the smoke, gripped her daggers when she noticed her hands shaking. As the smoke started to disappear, shaking herself ready and now faced the man clearly visible as she fought the rising fear in her arms. She didn't speak and stole a look to the claymore-wielding creature standing tall at his side as she fought out her words. "You tell me who you are right now, and don't lie to me!" she demanded with chattering teeth. "I'm n-not letting you sick cowards hurt anyone else. You're gonna slime your way back into whatever dark crap you freaks snuck out of, and leave me and my friends here alone." She was out of words and swung a look behind her at the street gripping her messy hair shooting glances at every block before spinning back.

    She started a careful step towards him and her shoe just tipped the street before snatching it back. "Come on!" Lace stamped her feet, "An-swer-me!" Nervously looking to her sides, she started a pace towards JP and his partner (Pedro). Quitting after three steps she turned a sharp direction to the left and began pacing a careful circle around her target with Saturnus floating just a few feet behind her. The man resembled one of her fighting partners, but the existence of the Shadows and their disguises were beyond Lace's thinking. In space of time, Lace's thoughts sent her back to the Mirror Maze. She needed them. But. It's so nice this way.
    Last edited by Vivian_Bloom; 23rd August 2013 at 4:28 AM.
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  8. #308

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    Testa Jones
    Quarterman Mall
    Court of Miracles


    Wulfgard and Jones arrived at the mall just a bit later than the kids who's Personae and (let's face it) youth let them make it faster. The door had even been nicely 'opened' by the time Wulfgard and Jones reached it. (Hopefully signifying that the kids were here, not that shadows we- Nah, screw it, shadows were definitely here, no point in hoping against that.)

    Wulfgard stepped through the broken door first, extremely slow, careful to not cut himself on any of the remaining glass shards. Jones on the other hand just kicked the rest of the glass out and walked in focusing more on the dark building.

    “Wish I had a torch at least... you should never walk where you can't see right...” Jones mumbled mumbled, taking in the environment the best he could, allowing his eyes to adjust to the dark. With a free moment, his hand pulled out a cigarette almost in habit, and flipped open his lighter to set it up. The flame gave him a small area of vision, lighting an idea as well.

    “Well, duh.” He might not have the material to make a torch with this (some cloth and a stick would do, but he'd need to find it first), but the lighter was better than nothing for seeing the immediate area. Maybe he could use it to find the right stuff.

    “Hey, Garret, is there a sporting goods store around here?”

    Garret didn't answer, plus he didn't really need to. The lights flickered on one by one in the mall, giving off a bluish tint, something that certainly wasn't normal for the building. Testa could see the kids running around, up stairs and such, searching for Levin, and all of them becoming bewildered for a second as the area began to light up. The subtle moon light from the sparse skylights had barely to find there way where they were, and now they were becoming flooding with an almost refreshing blue glow. Though if this was the Court, even Jones knew this couldn't be good news.

    Jones flicked his lighter closed. No point wasting it now.

    Plus, he needed to free up his hands. Cause Garret was staring ahead into the middle of the main floor, stiff and shivering.

    “Garret Wulfgard. Your suffering and mine end today. I've been waiting so long for this. Fifteen terrible years...”


    -
    Shinai Haitani
    In Front of Mana
    Court of Miracles


    “I suppose you could say that, Mister Shizuko.” Shinai replied, not letting his guard down. As Mana circled, he mirrored is movements, making sure to not expose Amissa. “Seems like you and I share the same taste in late night strolls, no?”

    “Sir, Lace is in trouble.”

    The voice behind him was no doubt Amissa. Partly recognizable by her insistence on using 'sir' still.

    “And?” Shinai asked, focused on the man in front of him.

    “She's a member of Student Council as well. We should help.”
    What? She wasn't a member of Student Council yet. Plus, what did that have to do with keeping herself safe? That was her main priority at the moment.

    “So what brings you out here anyway, Shizuko?”

    -

    Garret Wulfgard
    Quarterman Mall
    Court of Miracles


    “You've been living on borrowed time Garret. And your friends are here to collect their payment.”


    No... he'd killed him years ago. Along with everyone elses's shadows. But it was unmistakeable. That voice had haunted him for years. It mirrored his own, in a breathy pained way, as if each syllable was causing the owner great distress.
    But... but it looked different.

    It certainly didn't appear human. In the center of the mall, it erected itself, at least twelve feet tall. From the torso up, it was human shaped. Mostly because there was nothing below the torso, it simply grew into the ground. Dirty white bandages covered it's body, leaving nothing but pained, bloodshot eyes visible of the beast itself. It's arms were unsettlingly long, and the right hand seemed to be grasping something.
    Large silver grey tubes ran from the monster's back, segmented and pulsating, something moving through them into the monster's body. They seemed to be running off from different areas of the mall, and Garret could swear they were moving slightly , as if their source was on the run as well.

    It had come for him again. His Shadow stood in front of him, malice flowing out with every loud, ragged breath.

    “But, you... I killed you.”

    “And yet, here I am. Seems you still haven't changed. How many others have died, just elongate your own life since you 'killed' me? How many others have you stepped on to ensure your own safety? How many others put their lives on the line each and every night, while you stay in the back, afraid to risk your own damn skin?”


    The Shadow lifted it's and and flung it's captive towards Garret. The shape in the air was decidedly human. Testa jumped out and caught the body before it hit the ground. It was Levin. He was breathing... but his eyes were open.

    “Finally, you'll meet your reckoning. Then we may both find peace.”


    The beast taunted him. It was true... he hadn't changed at all in fifteen years.

    “Everyday of living is torture, Garret. For fifteen years I've felt every regret, every bit of pain you've experience a thousand fold.
    And I'm going to end it, right here and now.”
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  9. #309
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    Ciara H. Wright
    Court of Miracles


    Ciara was thankful for the Kitsune. The way its powerful legs just jumped between buildings, going up multiple storeys in the blink of an eye... None of the others' humanoid Personas could quite muster that combination of speed and power in quite the same way. Sure Lace was faster and some of the boys were stronger, but hey. In combat being the jack of these trades paid dividends.

    Working out how individual 1-on-1s would go down occupied her mind for some time until she was alerted to something unusual on the skyline... or rather, the Kitsune was. An incredibly high building. Really, improbably high. Given the complete lack of skyscrapers in Quarterman normally, it must be a paranormal phenomenon. She decided that rather than going around it, further investigation was advisable. This was the first time they'd ever really left the school. Imagine if this was the base of operations for all the Shadows, wherever they were (she was unfamiliar with the city layout from the tops of buildings). The four of them would vanquish the heart of the enemy offensive and win. Something. Lots of things. Maybe vouchers. Even just a nice new pair of shoes.

    Damn that Jester, getting her thinking of shoes.

    As they leapt up onto the final building and slowed to a halt, she realised where they were. That was town square, definitely. And the impossible tower was stood right where City Hall should be, in the middle of a sad desolate garden. It was kind of like a warzone, all the twisted trees withered away- as if the square had been bombed to dust and the tower constructed by the evil invaders on the ground of the old regime as a monument to their greatness. Or a desperate attempt at overcompensation. Who knew?

    "Oh, no need for that."

    Cue Shadow. What a massive surprise. Really, these things were so predictable. A tall hat, and a fluttery cloak were all that were visible due to the glare of the moon behind it. Like some sort of awful magician with all the showiness and theatricality, and the whole 'you can't see me properly but I can see you clearly' faux-psychoanalytic bull. But the Magician had been and gone, and there was a suspicious-looking Tower right there. I'm the Tower, so I stuck a tower there? See? Notice meeee, love meee, you'll only see me for one night so I try very hard.

    Really? Really.

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

    It only needed two of them? Whatever for? Maybe Joshua was repressing... No, bad brain. Bad line of thought. Stop that right there. That would be... just plain gross and weird and ew. All the unknown things Shadows could want... she'd rather just fight the thing. She pulled out her blades as she slid off the Kitsune and jogged up beside Joshua, who had drawn his blade out, ready for a fight. Good boy. Sensible boy. Nice. Not capable of thinking such terrible gross and weird and ew things.

    "Wait Joshua, something's not right here. We need to hold our ground until we know what's going on."

    There was an obvious threat, making threats, being all threatening. What was there to wait for? There was definitely something wrong here. And making it right was really too obvious. Poor Miyuki, thinking abstractly. How does a person solve the problem of a Shadow, huh?

    "Until we know what's going on... Jesus, you gonna talk to the thing?" At the end of the sentence Ciara merely rolled her eyes as the Kitsune transformed into a fist and charged the enemy at a high speed. Sometimes the obvious way of going about things was the best way.

    "Problem, meet solution. Just hit it until it stops monologuing. Ta-da."

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  10. #310
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    Snow Fields
    Court of Miracles, mall


    Halberd's suggestion (or scolding, rather) that they should stick together was probably for the best. It was rather spooky walking around this mall in the dark, few sounds save for their footsteps and occasional calls, knowing that the Shadows could be lurking anywhere in here. Even though Levin should have heard them, they didn't hear any calls for help. Or any calls back.

    That is, until some other words came through the air, mumbled and garbled until, “Hey, Garret, is there a sporting goods store around here?” Over by the doors, Testa and Wulfgard had come in as well, the former with a small flame near his hand.

    And then lights came on. Not their normal slightly-yellow tone, but a slightly-blue that made things seem not quite right without changing them at all. With that, something arose from the center of the mall that they really should not have missed, if it had been there before. It was a massive bandaged something. Maybe human underneath those wrappings, maybe not. Its eyes had jagged veins of blood, seeming insane from pain. Silver tubes that reminded Snow a bit of IV tubes ran out of its body into the mall. Without a doubt, it was a Shadow Self. With its first words, there was no doubt about who it belonged to: Wulfgard.

    Although they were warped in meaning, the Shadow's words caused some sympathy in Snow. Wulfgard had seen the deaths of his friends years ago, maybe other since, definitely those who had died or suffered this year. Tragedy was always lurking... but this wasn't the time to be thinking like that (he did have to dig his fingernails into his palms to remind himself of that). The Shadow accused Wulfgard of being responsible of putting his well-being ahead of the others, but it seemed mostly focused on killing him.

    With those accusations, Wulfgard didn't seem as strong as usual. Caught by surprise, he didn't seem ready to fight now. His words even seemed tinged by fear. The one who guided and helped them now needed their help.

    Snow thought immediately of something he could do. But the last time he'd tried it, he'd gotten hit rather hard. It made him reluctant to use that skill again, although this situation seemed ideal for it. They were indoors and sound would carry well without the multitude of noise competition the mall would normally have. “Sig, Halberd,” he said, trying to keep it so only they heard, “I can sing a song to encourage him. But I have to focus on it; would one of you watch out for me?”
    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.

  11. #311
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    Sigmund Okonkwo
    Quarterman Mall [Court of Miracles]


    A familiar red sprite came darting back around the corner, zipping right up in front of Sigmund. Without his needing to say anything, Hua Po held up her arms in an "X" in front of her. Nothing to report. They'd have to search the whole diggity-dang mall top-to-bottom, which they'd barely have time for. Or whatever was in here was just creeping until it had a chance to make a dramatic entrance. Knowing what the court jester had been throwing at them for the last several days, probably the latter. Meh.

    The others (well, the students, at least - the teachers were lagging a touch) arrived not three minutes later, all in varying degrees of panting. First things first, he was almost immediately grabbed and chewed out by Halberd for going off on his own. Which was a fair enough enough point. Sigmund put his hand on Halberd's shoulder in the same way.

    "Man, I can hold my own for a few minutes, but I 'preciate the concern. I'll stick with the buddy system from now on, promise."

    With that our of the way, Halberd suggested they head in, given in the form of a set of orders1. Sound enough ones at that, so the group ventured inside, sticking close to one another. They tried calling out for Levin a few times - of course, nobody answered. That would be too easy. The only sounds other than them were vague murmurs coming from the entrance - obviously Wulfgard and Jones.

    All of a sudden, the mall lit up with a vaguely bluish hue - just enough to see better, but not enough to make the situation any less off-putting. Sigmund's gaze jumped upward automatically. No jester. He heard a voice off down the hall from where they'd just come - turning on his heel, he caught sight of the monster du jour. Practically a mummy, except several times the size. And its torso seemed fused to the ground. And various shaking tubes were connected from its body to various parts of the mall. So not really that much like a mummy. But definitely like a shadow self - every word out of its mouth was some sort of cryptic taunt directed at Wulfgard. But the worst bit came from the doctor pharmacist himself:

    "But, you... I killed you."

    Sigmund's eyes went wide. An undead shadow. These things couldn't be killed. Immortal. At once, it seemed to make perfect sense and none at all. These things fed off people's psyche or whatever, so being able to resurrect themselves wasn't totally out of the question, but it still hadn't occurred to him that dead or destroyed wouldn't stick with these things, especially the bigger ones that liked to copy them. As far as they knew, then, every shadow self they'd ever fought was still ticking.

    But that became small potatoes. In the next moment, the shadow tossed something big toward the teachers - Sigmund recognized what the second Mr. Jones caught it. Levin. That solved that problem. No time for relief, though - the shadow was already rearing itself.

    Snow was first to act, saying just under his breath that he could back Wulfgard up with his magic, but would need cover in the meantime. Made sense - Wulfgard had beaten his shadow once already, apparently, so he'd be the best to do it again. And since hand-to-hand had a very thin history of actually working against the larger shadow selves...

    "On it," Sigmund said back, taking a few steps closer to Snow. He moved the blue card in his pants pocket up to the pouch in his sweater - the not-mummy seemed pretty stationary and too far to hit them, but hey, the walls were literally bleeding. The usual bets were always off during Court hours.




    1Sigmund was starting to wonder if Halberd hasn't been a sports team captain at his previous school or something.

  12. #312
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    OOC: I think I'll try copying Blivsey with the footnotes.
    IC:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bryan "Halberd" Donneley
    Court of Miracles - Quarterman Mall
    "Adding to the Plan"


    The group needed not search for long. For just after the two teachers arrived in the mall, something rose out of the ground. Or so it seemed, since the thing was literally in the ground, like some twisted sort of mole. It was covered in bandages and had unusually long arms and some sort of tube network on its back, but it was a person. Rather, the shadow of a person. Shadow Garret, Wulfgard-sensei's1 evil counterpart. Apparently he had been defeated before, but somehow came back, apparently because Garret hadn't learned his lesson from defeating him the last time. Now this was unusual. But in a way, it made sense.

    It's strange though, he thought. The Court of Miracles just seems to run on morality, doesn't it? I've noticed that each battle we'd had with a Shadow Self basically tested our morals and good judgment. What does that say about how it is destroyed though? It doesn't make any sense. As a scientist would say... more research is needed.

    Speaking of research, Sigmund and Snow were now researching a plan to stop Shadow Garret. Good. Halberd liked how the two stopped to think things through rather than just rashly go out there and attack the Shadow with everything they got. For a moment, he wondered a similar thing, stroking his goatee and getting a good look at Shadow Garret and wondering how this group could possibly defeat it. He also thought about what Shadow Garret said to the real Wulfgard-sensei. And suddenly, he had an idea.

    "That's a good idea, distracting Shadow Garret2," he whispered to Snow and Sigmund. "After all, I think Wulfgard-sensei is the one who must do most of the fighting. However, our job could be to scout out the Shadow's weaknesses, and find out what doesn't work as well. I think I might know at least one of its weaknesses. See those pipes he's attached to?" Rather than point, he just briefly tilted his head in that direction. "I'm willing to bet that those pipes are connected to the source of its power. So if some of us distract him, someone else can sneak behind him and cut the pipes. Russell, would you like to be the one to do the latter? You're small and good at staying hidden, and you have that axe. Sigmund, if you stick with Snow--I bet Hua Po's pyrotechnics can be another good distraction, especially in this dim light--then I could watch over Wulfgard-sensei a bit and help him with the fight."

    Gosh, this discussion was taking Halberd down Memory Lane. Especially since here were three fellow teenage boys involved with him in a plot to infiltrate something precious to someone. He remembered planning similar missions with his fellow Black Cat Bandits. And quite frequently, those plans involved Lupin actually doing the infiltrating, and Warren and Merlin setting up distractions. And it also involved Halberd either monitoring them on a computer or being a bodyguard for one of the distracters, depending on the crime3.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    1 - The Shadow Self doesn't deserve to be called Wulfgard-sensei, so he'll have to be just Garret.
    2 - Apparently Halberd was thinking the same thing I was.
    3 - Now here's something to add to the TV Tropes page: Halberd being the Big Guy and the Smart Guy in a Five-Man Band, in this case the Black Cat Bandits.
    Last edited by Kiruria; 24th September 2013 at 4:37 AM.

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  13. #313
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    Snow Fields
    Quarterman Mall


    The others agree to help him out, and it seemed Russell would get to do something else important. Now it was time to put the plan in motion. Taking his evoker card of the Hanged Man, he summoned Melpomene to appear. Solemn and serious like always, she faced Snow and nodded. Then the two of them began to sing, strongly so that it carried to their allies who needed it.

    This was a song without words, but both of them knew the music without deciding on it. Whatever power created the ice and fire his peers used, magic or otherwise, turned into something empowering with this song. Snow closed his eyes and focused on the song and what he wanted to express in it.

    This was not the time to give up. The mystery of the court of Miracles was far from solved, so there were still things to do. While it had been a surprise (even a shock) to learn that Wulfgard had been through this before, with disastrous results, that didn't change what he had done for them. He had guided them through this, protecting, teaching, and helping them adjust in the first few weeks of school. Now they were going to help him face the shadows of his heart, but he could not give in to its message of despair. The Shadow Selves seemed willing to do anything to lead to the destruction of themselves and their source. They could not give up because of these twisted beings.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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  14. #314
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    Russell Wilton
    Bellow High Stadium


    Fortunately Commander Sofiya went easy on him… probably because she thought he was cute or something but he’d take it this time. After their warm-up Russell had to figure out how to spar a person with a knife with an axe, it was a challenge as surprisingly she got behind a him a few times and had him at the blade's end... quite unsettling considering THAT court... Actually it wasn't that shocking, the axe was powerful but slow in its swings; he wasn't too great and making too many concessive strikes. He noted that he would need to work on that.

    Light-hearted conversation erupted as this court began it seem to come from Snowy's sudden increased in height. The same age boy did get so much taller in couple month time and with him still short he was quite jealous... But Snowy was still one of his best friends. It seems that happiness withered with Mr. Jones failure to summon a persona and the appearance of the Court's Jester. In which they were informed of a missing member.....

    There was Liza but he never saw her at these training sessions and then... ah the new guy, Levin, from his homeroom. He had just recently gotten his Persona the other day and was surly inexperience about this whole thing... If it was him they help him as soon as possible and with that group began to split staring with Ciara, Joshua, Miyuki and Izzy riding off on Kitsune... well most of them. He decide go with the people he was more comfort with; Sigmund, Snowy, and Halberd; rather than the group with JP in it.

    Quarterman Mall

    The four of them and the two adults reached the quiet mall in which the other with faster method of travel didn't seem to arrive yet... strange. Sigmund impatiently and probably worried went running off for the mall first to scout it. All of them felt it was danger idea and went running after him, which none of us could really catch up to him. The redhead lagged behind Halberd even if he wasn't fast, blamed his inability to keep up on his leg length and the weight of the axe.

    Reaching the location, Halberd reprimanded the dark-skinned teen for rushing off on his own... then they began their search for the missing teenage boy. They called for him, check stores but alas there was no sign of him. As they entered near the center area of the mall there was couple silhouette and red glow of fire as teachers approached. Suddenly this darkness turned a blue hue as light filled the area from the moon that shone in from the skyline above it. A large being appeared, crap a Shadow Self... maybe it had Levin somewhere...

    Much of a surprise, this one belonged to Mr. Wulgard, needless to say they were quite shocked at this development. The school pharmacist was the most surprised of all them as it taunted and sneer at him. His usually confidence and valiant attitude was diminished which worried Russell the most. His guess was right as Levin fell and was caught by Mr. Jones, but there was still a shadow to deal with.

    “Sig, Halberd,” Snowy whispered to those two he supposedly, “I can sing a song to encourage him. But I have to focus on it; would one of you watch out for me?” His feelings were slightly hurt that he didn't think of asking small redhead... They were the better choice but still... Sigmund got in position ready to fight back.

    “That's a good idea, distracting Shadow Garret,” the older brunet began to whisper back. “After all, I think Wulfgard-sensei is the one who must do most of the fighting. However, our job could be to scout out the Shadow's weaknesses, and find out what doesn't work as well. I think I might know at least one of its weaknesses. See those pipes he's attached to?” He did a slight tilt of his head and Russell merely moved his eyes to glance at it. Those things were pulsing like they are alive. “I'm willing to bet that those pipes are connected to the source of its power. So if some of us distract him, someone else can sneak behind him and cut the pipes. Russell, would you like to be the one to do the latter? You're small and good at staying hidden, and you have that axe. Sigmund, if you stick with Snow--I bet Hua Po's pyrotechnics can be another good distraction, especially in this dim light--then I could watch over Wulfgard-sensei a bit and help him with the fight.”

    “.....” Russell wasn't happy about the role suggested for him. It felt like Halberd was also suggesting subtly and politely that he wasn't good as a fighter and he should stay off the front lines. A part of him wanted to rebut it but... The moment was serious; there was no time for arguments when someone’s shadow self appears... unless similar tragedy happens and he would hate to be the cause of it. He would love to able to barrel through enemies barehanded like Sigmund but he didn't have height or strength... So this was probably all he really could do. The redhead was feeling rather negative this night... With a nod he agreed, “I'll... do my best...”

    With that Snowy began doing his musical number thing and Russell used that attention grabbing action to sneak into the dark spots within the blue hue within the building. He found himself wandering close to the wall, the blood covered walls of the mall that made his stomach turn... he hated being indoors during the Court of Miracles. He stayed low and slowly crept as he attempted to get behind Shadow Wulfgard without being noticed. It didn't acknowledge him so success? He got a better look at the pipes jutting from his back splitting into different directions into the mall... This thing was over twice his height and the pipes directly coming out of his back was way out of his range. Even if Eros could carry him up there be no way for him to generate enough power to break them and shadow would be quickly become aware of him.

    This meant one thing; the redheaded boy would have to venture off and a find spot he could hit it... Probably a bad idea but he had to do something to be of help since Snowy didn't want his help and Halberd thought this was the best for their small and wimpy member... The fourteen year old boy gave himself a hard pinch; he had to snap out of his current way of thinking. With his eyes full of determination again and choosing one pipe, Russell began to cautiously following it off to some place in the mall.
    Last edited by InnerFlame; 30th September 2013 at 6:32 PM. Reason: My battle against grammar continues
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  15. #315
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    <OOC> It's not Monday yet! I kept my promise!

    Mana Shizuko
    High Noon, or its Opposite
    Court of Miracles


    “I suppose you could say that, Mister Shizuko.” Shinai said, circling right along with Mana. He kept the girl behind him, warily keeping himself between the two. “Seems like you and I share the same taste in late night strolls, no?”

    Mana chuckled lightly, continuing the slow circle. It was almost dance-like, a danse macabre, perhaps. “We have so much in common. You and I should really relax. All this tension’ll lead to an early death, eh?”

    The girl behind Shinai spoke. “Sir, Lace is in trouble.”

    “And?” Shinai replied, eyes still fixed on Mana.

    “She’s a member of the Student Council as well. We should help.”

    Lace was in trouble? Mana turned his eyes away from Shinai for the barest moment, spotting JP and Lace in the corner of his eye. From that glimpse, he noted that they seemed to be caught up in some sort of struggle with lots of fire and incoherent shouting. There didn’t seem to be any shadows around, and the two seemed to be winding down though. Probably. Mana wasn’t entirely sure what was going on, but it all seemed fairly par for the course. Besides, he couldn’t exactly turn his back on Shinai right then. “Why the hell am I the sane one?” Mana muttered, turning his attention back to Shinai.

    “Excuse my friends. Some people just have no sense of gravitas,” Mana remarked with a wry grin. He shifted – Shinai moving opposite him – so that he could keep JP, Lace and Shinai all in his field of view.

    “So what brings you out here anyway, Shizuko?” Shinai asked.

    “Oh, you know, strange comas, ghosts and disappearances.” Mana remarked blithely. “We’re the meddling kids; ‘we help the helpless’; ‘who you gonna call’; that sort of thing. So, prez,” Mana gestured toward the girl behind Shinai. “We in the same line of work?”

    Though he made a play at sounding chipper, Mana didn’t much like his situation. There were two of them, and only one of him. The girl didn’t seem all too threatening, but that didn’t mean much. Besides, Shinai didn’t look much like a helpless victim. Shadows were the least of Mana’s problems. C’mon, guys, Mana thought to himself, making sure JP and Lace were doing all right. A little backup, please!
    Friend Code: 0404-6904-4521
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  16. #316

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    ???
    Court of Miracles
    Quarterman Mall


    Foolish boy, searching to find what the vein led to. The redhead didn't have to walk far to find the source of the pipe. After all, the source was already looking for him.
    As Russell walked near the dark interior of Bard's Haven, a chill surely ran down his back as the pipe was moving rapidly inside the inky blackness where the light in the center of the mall did not reach.

    As the boy inched closer and closer, gathering his courage, no sound other than the light shuffling of heavy tubing on tile met his ears.

    But a good predator make no noise.

    “Hurk!”

    Russel couldn't react to the quick first strike that flew out of the darkness. With an iron grip, a large hand had grabbed him by his small throat and lifted him off the ground completely. Russell struggled, trying to break the grip of his attacker as it walked slowly out of the shadow.

    It was a man... or it should have been. Only a deathly bluish pallor separated this man from what he knew as human. He was large, probably over seven feet, built like a truck, and a mop of unruly red hair fell over his eyes, shadowing them from view.

    Without a word, the man flung Russell like a rag-doll across the walkway, making the young boy skid over the slick tile.

    Slowly, the man advanced, a long cord slithering behind him every step of the way.

    -

    Garret Wulfgard
    Court of Miracles
    Quarterman Mall


    “Well then do it! I killed you once and I can do it again!” Wulfgard shouted, the taunting of his Shadow blinding him to his surroundings.

    “You fool. You think me to be the same? I've already told you that each terrible choice you've made in your continued mistake of an existence has made me grow stronger. Every thing you've done... and everyone who was lost.”

    Garret's concentration was broken as a soft thud met his ears. The sound of soft flesh on a hard surface. Glancing up, he caught Russell sliding around on the second floor. And advancing toward him.... advancing towards him was Red.

    No mistaking him. Those wide shoulders, flaming hair, and even the leather vest were all a match to how he remembered the gentle giant. All except for his skin... a waxy pale mess that didn't seem natural at all. That and the large metal ribbed pipe slithering out of his back.

    “I'm not the only one risen from the guilty grave of your past, Garret.”

    *THWACK*

    Garret spun around to see an elderly gentleman, fit, well dressed in a striped polo, striking Jones straight in the back of the head. A suckerpunch... Swanson did always fight to win.
    Jones stumbled forward, unable to retaliate, still clutching Levin's body.

    Setting the boy on the ground, Jones turned back up and held his fists up to his mouth for protection, ready for a fight.

    “We're all here.”

    Motion started around where Sigmund, Halberd, and Snow stood, a single figure snuck behind them. Lithe and ready to pounce, scarf pulled over her face, Black pony tail blending into the shadows, and tanto in her hands. Kay.
    Further pain crept into Garret's heart seeing her in particular.

    “LOOK OUT!” Garret shouted, just in time to allow Snow to turn around, barely avoiding a blade being shoved into his neck.
    With the miss, Kate merged back into the darkness.

    “And we will overpower you.”

    *Clang*

    Across the mall, on his own like a damn fool, Randy's shovel clashed against a familiar triangular broadsword. Even more familiar were the bat beanie, devilish grin, and wild eyes.
    Even Kenneth had returned to wreak havoc once more.

    At this point, Garret's stomach began to churn. No. This wasn't true. He didn't need to see this. He'd spent his whole life trying to move past this. And now it was coming back... not only to attack him, but the only people he cared for.

    “We will break you.”

    Garret's hands trembled on his sword. Tears begin to well in his eyes as the fights broke out all over the mall. Red walked right past Russell, and moved down towards Halberd's group instead. Behind him, further down the hall, a tall lanky fellow with blonde hair seemed to be approaching Russell with the intent of finishing him off instead.

    Collin had never been the most combat worthy, but Russell was still in a touch spot.

    “And when your soul finally burns up into cinders, you'll be allowed peace.”
    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.

  17. #317

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    Dapper Shadow
    Court of Miracles
    City Hall?


    "Your solution is... lacking."

    The man whispered, replying to Ciara's boast. Such a low whisper that she honestly shouldn't have been able to hear it. Of course, that only applies if he had stayed where he was perched a second ago... and not behind the girl leaning in towards her ear.

    "But, my dear... even with such low wit, I still desire you. And so, I will have you."

    A chill ran through the air as the children realized the proximity of their opponent, and his grin grew wider. He was glad to have made that deal with the clown. Power he required... and all he had to do was promise not to harm those he chose to use it on. Why would he? He wanted them safe and sound. But even more, he just wanted them.

    With a flick of his wrist, his cloak billowed out to his side, staying afloat in the moonlight like a great black wing. Then, with a twist, he covered both the chatty girl and the quiet one in a cone of darkness.

    "We'll be waiting on the top floor, Joshua. Come and have a go. [i]If you think you're hard enough" He taunted, knowing that at this point he was nothing but a spinning cyclone of inky blackness. And then *Poof* He popped away.

    Taking his prizes with him.
    -
    Shadow Josh
    Court of Miracles
    Top of the Tower


    "Isn't it beautiful, girls?" The dapper Shadow asked, staring out the weathered stone window, down onto the dried up and gnarled field below. It was nice to have others here. Especially these two.

    How long had he waited for companionship? How long had he searched tirelessly to no avail? But him... that Josh. He who birthed him into this wretched world of lonliness, he who derserved naught but to be put down like a dog... he not only had friends, but something a little more.

    And now, they were. His and his alone.

    "Just you and me, at the top of the world? Sadly, it'll be gone by the end of the night, so enjoy it while you can. Don't worry though. I'll be here, by your sides till the very end." Taking his eyes off the scenery, he turned back to his room.

    He'd done his best to make it presentable. He dusted off the organ, laid down a nice rug with real rustic and earthy reds and greys, polished his suits of armor, organized his weapon rack by type and size, and used only the highest quality chains to hold the girls hanging on the far wall, right by their wrists.
    They were struggling. How foolish. If a bit cute. Did they not understand he'd saved them from a insignificant bit of scat of a human being?

    "No harm will come to you, I'll make sure of it. Not as long as I'm around."

    The bell began ringing, the loud booming tone filling up the room with deafening certainty.

    Josh had entered the tower. The Shadow smiled, and turned to his guests.
    They would get a show tonight.
    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.

  18. #318
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    </ JP – Lovers Arcana /3

    Her flesh felt warm.

    In a stark contrast to the indescribable atmosphere of the Court and his cold knife, this Lace’s skin felt hot to the touch. Alive, even. His knife was resting against her carotid artery and he could feel her heartbeat quicken. Her breath stank of candy and sugar overdose. This… Wasn’t a Shadow, was she?

    JP doubt’s and hesitation gave Lace an opening to summon Saturnus. She freed herself of JP’s grasp when her Persona bathed them in flames. The summoning of her Persona re-activated JP’s fight-or-flight instinct, and he was (thankfully) able to dodge an attempted beheading.

    Her aim may have been questionable, but her speed sure wasn’t. Proving her worth as the most agile of the Court goers, Lace ran circles around JP and ordered a second-tier fire spell once she gained enough distance. Second-tier might sound not so threatening, but the fire ball was thrown with enough force it lifted up debris from the road as it flew forward. Its detonation (thankfully, Lace’s aforementioned lack of aim left JP nearly harmless, if a bit scorched) left a smokescreen separating the two fighters.

    "You tell me who you are right now, and don't lie to me!"
    JP heard her yell from beyond the smoke.
    "I'm n-not letting you sick cowards hurt anyone else. You're gonna slime your way back into whatever dark crap you freaks snuck out of, and leave me and my friends here alone."
    Immediately, Pedro threw his sword to the ground and abandoned his combat posture.
    “She’s not a Shadow Self, and I’m not hurting any more innocent woman,” he said before leaving.

    JP’s reaction wasn’t quite so chivalrous.

    “YOU STUPID *****!”

    Such a gentleman.

    “I’ve ALREADY had my Shadow Self! And you saw me exit the Stadium riding Pedro! For that matter, PEDRO WAS OUT! SHADOW SELVES DON’T USE PERSONAS!”

    His next words were a big mumble of grunts, swears, insults and violent groans. In other words, his brain rage-quit.

    “I need a smoke. Bad. REAL bad.”
    It was this that alerted JP to his shirtlessness. Not the cold wind hitting his chest as he rode on a magical, giant-knight-shaped hoverboard, not the heat from Lace’s fire being flung at him. It was the complete lack of any pockets on which to store his smokes.

    “Oh no. Oh nonono. Daddy’s not gonna function next to Mrs.Murder-Everything-She-Sees without his nicotine. PEDRO!”
    The knight re-materialized with a slightly perturbed look.
    “Go fetch me some calming-sticks. There, that’s a café, I think. There’s bound to be a cigarette machine there. Break. It. Down.”

    Accostumed to random acts of heinous property damage, Pedro calmly, almost nonchalantly brought his giant sword on the walls of the establishment and… Brought the whole **** down, basically.

    Not a moment after JP stepped inside, the boy located the ***-dispenser and pointed at it. Again, Pedro broke it asunder, spreading pack after pack of cigarettes all over the everywhere.

    The boy then located a lighter, picked up one of the packs, pulled out a cigarette and rejoiced on the rush of chemical tranquility and light-headedness the little thing provided. Off course, this is JP, and he was in the Court of Miracles. Relaxation can wait until after he completely and utterly flipped his ****.

    This time, it was him, not Pedro, that broke the window facing the opposite street by throwing a steel chair at it. He jumped over the newly made entrance with a “Sure! Now the Vampire ****er appears to mess with my head! HEY, UNIVERSE, IF YOU’RE SO INTO ****ING ME I’D PREFER YOU TAKE ME OUT TO DINNER FIRST!”

  19. #319
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    Sigmund Okonkwo
    Quarterman Mall [The Witching Hour]


    Sigmund snapped his head the the side more out of reflex than anything, hearing a guttural sound coming from Russell's direction. All he caught was the sight of Russell being tossed through the air like a sack of rice, his assailant too far away and too poorly lit for Sigmund to recognize him. Not that he probably would have been able to, though - he didn't know anyone nearly as enormous as that. Undoubtedly a Shadow of some sort. And from Shadow Wulfgard's monologuing, someone who Human Wulfgard did recognize.

    More than one, at that. In quick succession, three more showed up - an elder one behind Mr. Jones, a ninja-like woman just inches away from Snow's neck, and a lanky blond from the same direction as Red Hulk1. Some clattering was echoing down from one of the other halls, too - who else had made it to the Mall? Wait, didn't matter, a frickin' ninja and berserker were on top of him. Which would be totally awesome if not for, you know, the possibility that they could tear him apart at any moment.

    The earlier plan had completely fallen apart. Sigmund drew the card from his sweatshirt pocket and tapped it against his forehead. He had hardly finished saying "Hua Po" before the fairy was already circling above the heads of all three students, tense and awaiting an order. And she had one.

    Sigmund stuffed the card back into his pocket and shouted, "Marakukaja!" With a quick nod, Hua Po began to glow a faint pink and zipped back and forth between him, Halberd, and Snow, circling each a few times. As she did, he could feel his own muscles tense up, surging with energy - the others should be having the same feeling right now. It'd be a good edge for them2. Now, the best way to go would be man-to-man grappling for these two shadows. He opened his mouth to offer Halberd first dibs, but the slight glint of a knife from Snow's direction reminded him: ninja girl was still a girl. Still not entirely past that mental block, and definitely not in an uncontrolled setting. Not a good time to test that, anyway.

    "Let's hold 'em here, mano-e-mano" Sigmund suggested, baring his fists and turning his glare at the red-headed giant. "I've got biggie. Halberd, you've got smalls. Snow, do what you can."

    Not even waiting for an answer, Sigmund charged past where Halberd was standing and took a running swing at the redhead, nailing him full-on in the gut. Normally, there'd be a bit of give and he would follow through, but instead he felt as though his arm had hit a concrete wall. Sigmund reeled backward, looking up at his opponent's creepy-pale face in shock. What was this guy made-

    THWAK.

    In an instant he was sent tumbling to the side, head-over-heels and his shoulder throbbing. Built like a tank, that guy. Sig rolled back over, crouching on all fours. Not that he was down and out yet, but Big Red didn't seem much more than bothered. Which was kind of the point, that he wasn't about to rush in on Wulfgard or anything, but that approximately 1.2 metric truckloads of muscle was now bearing down on him. So direct attacks were probably a bad route. Plan 2, then: The death of a thousand cuts. Or burns. Whichever.

    "Agilao!"

    Drawing his card again, Sigmund threw his arm out toward the Shadow. Hua Po appeared again in a rosy glow, holding her arm out to mimic her master exactly. Sigmund popped a grin as a shimmering orb of flame appeared in Hua Po's palm, expanding to roughly the size of the fairy's entire body. Sigmund kept the blue card pinned to his forehead after Hua Po shot the fireball at Red, sending a backdraft that picked up the trails of her dress and heated Sigmund's arms beyond the point of comfort. The flames exploded against Red's skin, blocking Sigmund's view briefly, and that looked like it couldn't possibly be doing nothing, so he replanted his feet and queued up another round of fire. So long as he stayed out of Red's range, he'd be fine. Probably.



    1 Though probably not quite the size of The Hulk, in person he might as well have been.
    2 Honestly, he preferred Blazing Burst, but humanlike shadows tended to resist it somehow, anyway.

  20. #320
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    Joshua Sands - Tower Arcana - Court of Miracles - Outside the Mysterious Stone Tower

    Joshua's sword arm held surprisingly firm as he stared the figure opposing them down. Ciara was now by his side, having got off Kitsune, and was clearly about to sound the attack. It was at this point that his own personal shoulder angel and devil, Miyuki and Ciara, chimed in.

    "Wait Joshua, something's not right here. We need to hold our ground until we know what's going on." She had a point. This was such a brazen, vanilla assault, especially for one with such an over-the-top appearance. Shadows in the past had trapped them in a mirror maze, possessed one of their own, and attacked to a pounding techno beat. For one to literally just show up out of the blue... Miyuki was probably right. On the other hand...

    "Until we know what's going on... Jesus, you gonna talk to the thing?" Yep, Ciara sounded the attack. She also had a point - they couldn't really afford to waste precious time with Levin's life potentially on the line. His Shadow seemed vulnerable at least for the moment. Kitsune, now in the form of a fist, launched itself at their enemy. "Problem, meet solution. Just hit it until it stops monologuing. Ta-da."

    Joshua glanced to Miyuki. "I believe this has been decided for us. Perso- Where'd he go?" Shadow Joshua had, of course, disappeared. Yeah, like it was going to be that simple. Faster than a flick of the eyes, the Shadow was behind Ciara in the creepiest manner there had ever been. A pregnant pause of but a second. Had he said something? He couldn't quite hear. But he definitely heard a chilling ultimatum.

    "But, my dear... even with such low wit, I still desire you. And so, I will have you." Oh Christ. This wasn't going to end well. That was the single rapiest thing (was that a word? Well it was now) he'd ever heard in his life. Before any of the four Persona-users could even react, Shadow Joshua's cape flourished beautifully, almost mesmerisingly, and covered Ciara and Miyuki like a pair of magician's assistants.

    "We'll be waiting on the top floor, Joshua. Come and have a go. If you think you're hard enough." With this final taunt, the three were gone in a whirl of blackness, leaving only Joshua and Izzy. Kitsune had faded with Ciara, so no chance of help from the beast. Presumably the Shadow had meant the top floor of the large tower they were in front of. The Tower. His Arcana. Subtle. In any case, it was an obvious trap, but leaving the girls to the mercy of his Shadow was unethical to say the least. Mentally apologising to Levin, Joshua gave Izzy a nod and made a break for the tower's entrance.

    Inside The Mysterious Stone Tower

    (OOC: Here is my inspiration/backing theme for this part of the post if you folks are interested. You're welcome for the ear worm. Smooth McGroove is your new overlord.)

    Passing through the jagged entrance caused two things to happen at once. A bell began to toll somewhere above him, and a rusty portcullis dropped from the entrance straight behind him, locking him inside the tower. He turned, only to see that Izzy was not there, and thankfully, not impaled by the portcullis. In fact, he seemed to have gone catatonic. Helpful. Joshua gave a little sigh and called out to him, "I'm ok! I'll go up after the Shadow, if you manage to blow your way in, might be helpful!" Nothing to do now but begin the ascent alone, as quickly as he could. Keeping his sword ready, aware that he was potentially in some sort of Shadow nest, Joshua began to climb the red-carpeted spiral staircase in front of him, careful to look for each step. They were dimly lit by iron candelabras spaced along the way, and with no windows to the outside Court, these were the only lights he was getting. Things were actually fairly simple for the first twenty or so steps, nothing but a standard staircase.

    The purpose of this was to lull the boy into a false sense of security.

    At step 21, Joshua placed his right foot on what appeared to be a pressure pad of some sort, causing the previous 20 steps to become a terrifying slide. "WHOA BALLS" he cried before faceplanting the stone and sliding all the way down to the start again, his sword beside the gate. Ok, avoid step 21. He'd crashed into the tower's wall, temporarily winding him. "Still ok Izzy!" he called out once he'd got his breath back, though he was on his knees, panting slightly. Rough night so far.

    It was now that he looked up, having caught his breath, to see that he was on his knees below a painting, illuminated by a candelabra. Had that been there before? He didn't think so, maybe it had been activated at the same time as the slide. There was no mistaking who the portrait was of though, it was obviously an oil painting of Ciara, standing tall and proud, with a condescending, evil sneer plastered across her face. Above Joshua. Subtle, psyche. Very subtle.

    Still, he was briefly forced to wonder - would she be doing the same here for him? Last night had shown that, given the prospect of impending revenge, or her best friend's life, Ciara had opted for revenge. Strange how it was taking more than 24 hours to get over being left for dead at the claws of a goddamn bear. She was above him in his mind, and seemed to be in her own. She'd been softening, but he wondered, would things ever really change between them?

    But he had to put aside his neuroses for now, his friends were in the clutches of a shameless Phantom-of-the-Opera-ripoff of a Shadow Self, and he was the only one with any chance to rescue them. Joshua Sands had a big-*** tower to climb.

    Ciara and Miyuki were screwed.
    Originally Posted by scytherdude30
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  21. #321
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    Russell Wilton
    Quarterman Mall


    It was dark and eerie as Russell attempted to follow that pipe alone to a location easier to cut. The sound he heard was like metal scraping again the ground, which meant the tube was probably moving. This got him to the conclusion that its source was also moving, and seeing this was the Court of Miracles and Shadow Self what was on the other end was probably not friendly. Continuing to creep in the dark spot of the mall he tried to spot whatever might come at him. That was a failure as the moment he noticed the enemy he had already grabbed and lifted by his throat. Gagged and then thrown Russell had lost his grip of his weapon and it ended up sliding across the floor as well.

    It took a moment for the small redhead to get his bearing again after that sneak attack, but he saw a huge guy come pass him, with pipe a dragging. Then his attacker tall, skinny blond fellow with blue skin… he had a knife in hand. The guy came down to stab him but the young teen rolled out of the way before the blade got to him. Briefly adjusting his glasses that he nearly lost, he got to his feet. Russell kept his distance as he tried to locate his main weapon. The moment it was in sight he grabbed his card and summoned Eros. There was no exchange of words; just a glance and then Russell made dash for his weapon while his persona protected him and distracted the enemy with a wave of arrows. The man took cover by a column but under the upstairs walkway making it difficult for Eros’s attack to connect despite his great accuracy.

    With the axe in hand he was prepared to defend himself. From what he gather from his knife fight earlier with Sofiya, was that knives had a very short range but because his axe swings were slow it would makes it possible for someone with them to maneuver close to him and shutting down his axe attacks altogether. His best bet was to keep him at distance, as close as the end of his axe if possible. That would make his only means of attacking to be throwing the knife and that would leave him weaponless. Unless he had another one… he seemed otherwise unarmed but making assumption was never a great idea.

    “Eros, Garula” the winged god of love used his wind attack which was a surprisingly more powerful. Whether it had any big effect on the boy’s foe he was currently unsure but it did make him stutter a bit. He used that as the opportunity to get closer and gave the axe a nice strong swing about waist height; with that skinny built it should do fair amount damage as least if he didn’t quickly step away to avoid the attack all together. After the swing he came in knife ready to cut and stab. He swung it back but due his longer legs he was easily was able to step just inside the blade of the weapon and merely get it whacked the blunt handle of it. Russell back up as quick as he could to see the knife less than an inch from his face slashing through the air. He was in a bad position backing up and could not get off another swing of his weapon not that it help since he had gotten too close. As the knife came back again for another attack Russell instinctually closed his eyes…

    There were some step stagger steps backward, as Russell opened his eyes he saw the taller man got a nice arrow to the shoulder, thanks to Eros. More arrows came he swiftly made his way back to his is archery safety zone… This was going to be harder than he thought as he was at a bit of a disadvantage since Sofiya didn’t have this guy’s height and his opponent was thinking his actions through thoroughly. But the redhead couldn’t give up, this was life or death. He had to plan this out and outsmart him to get him in some compromising position…
    Let's eat Grandma!
    Let's eat, Grandma!
    Commas saves lives.





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  22. #322
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    Bryan "Halberd" Donneley
    Court of Miracles, Quarterman Mall
    "Pirate1 vs. Ninja"


    Halberd was about to walk over to check on Wulfgard-sensei when he caught a glimpse of Russell running off into the darkness, following the pipe he was supposed to slash apart. Before Halberd could react, Russell had disappeared. Great. That was just great. All his talk about staying together had failed... But then something interesting happened. The mystery of the pipes was revealed: each seemed to be hooked up to a person, each hell-bent on annihilating everyone not connected to a pipe. Watching Wulfgard-sensei's reactions to these people, Halberd wondered if he knew them, if perhaps they were his old comrades in the old Court. That would make sense, as he had figured out by now that Shadow Selves have a habit of distorting things or people one holds dear. Turning your old allies against you? Yup, sounds pretty distorted.

    There were several of these pipe-puppets (as Halberd decided to call them) around, some of which were attacking the teachers, two of which were after Halberd and Sigmund and Snow, and Halberd could glimpse a dark silhouette off in the direction Russell had run. The pipe-puppets nearest him were an interesting duo: a guy even bigger and brawnier than himself, and a little ninja woman. The latter was quite the sneaky sort: she almost slit Snow's throat right off the bat. Halberd immediately decided that everyone should beware of her...

    This time it was Sigmund's turn to come up with a plan, although it wasn't a very complex one. Basically he was saying that he'd take the big one. And he had Hua Po use some sort of strengthening spell on all three of them. It felt kind of like that electricity thing Izzy did last night that made everyone run faster, but with less... electricity. For a moment, Halberd was almost certain he could just outmuscle the big berserker, but who knew. Given the results of Sigmund's reckless attack against him, using brute force in that situation was probably not a good idea.

    In fact, at that moment Halberd wondered how to approach taking down Kate. Kate was probably going to hide in the shadows until she saw a good opportunity to strike. Her strategy would be to rely on not being seen much of the time. Simply finding her would be difficult. But, she did have one thing going against her, Halberd noted. That pipe. That pipe would lead to where she was, guaranteed. He spotted the pipe leading to Red, noting how it wasn't really moving much, while the other one seemed to move more frequently due to it supporting the faster pipe-puppet. Currently Kate's pipe was leading into a shoe store on the corner. Aha.

    Before heading off, Halberd turned to Snow, because Sigmund had left him completely out of the plan.
    "Hey Snow, you know, I bet Sigmund can use some help against Big Red. Do you think maybe one of Melpomene's songs could weaken him somehow? Meanwhile, I'll go after the ninja woman. She may be quick, but probably doesn't have a lot of defense."

    And so he ran off, following the pipe that lead into the shoe store. It was a good thing the lights in the mall were on, which would make it much easier to see her. What he said just now was probably true. Especially with his increased strength thanks to Hua Po's spell, he could probably easily slice her in half with his sword. The tricky part would be actually getting to her, and dealing with tricky counterattacks. But as long as she still had that pipe attached to her, she would have a hard time hiding.

    While following the pipe, Halberd took out his Hierophant card. As he did, Scathach appeared right behind him, watching his back, just in case Kate decided to escape the shoe store and launch a sneak attack while he wasn't looking. Once the two were inside the shoe store, Halberd stood on guard with his back against the wall, while Scathach blocked the entrance.

    "Mamudo!"

    Halberd had a sneaking suspicion that dark attacks might not be very effective on a ninja, but it couldn't hurt to try. With the incantation, Scathach rose a foot into the air, letting forth a mighty gust of shadowy wind that blew throughout the store, also darkening the place a bit. The force of it sent shoes flying among the shelves and even one of those shelves to topple over. Halberd half-hoped that Kate would be trapped in the shoe-rubble after this, but he still held his guard. When the attack ended, he took a look around once more, following the pipe from where it led into the store. When he saw it disappear behind the counter, he nodded in that direction.

    Obeying, Scathach withdrew the short rod she kept sheathed at her hip. When she drew it out, it grew into a spear with four barbs on the tip. This was the weapon she had the most accuracy with, making it the more reliable choice against a fast foe. Upon drawing the spear out, Scathach crouched behind the front of the checkout desk, then leapt up and over it to strike at Kate. In doing so, she let the spear guide itself at its target, to let it have its own aim. It was the same concept she had shown in the legend of Cu Chulainn, in which she gave him a similar spear that would not miss its target.

    Already, Halberd was running at the spot where Scathach attacked, hoping to corner Kate--if that was even possible.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    1. Referencing the fact that Halberd dressed up as a pirate on Halloween, and was called "Captain Halberd" at his old school.

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

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  23. #323
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    <OOC> Note: ‘aka-chan’ is a pun in Japanese. ‘Aka’ means red, but aka-chan means baby.

    Happy Halloween, everyone!

    Mana Shizuko
    Court of Miracles


    “Encountered any trouble on your stroll, prez?” Mana asked lightly.

    Before Shinai could give any sort of verbal response, a pale specter slithered out of nowhere, coiling itself suddenly around Shinai’s shoulders. Mana swore, Arcana card already in hand, with his knife drawn in the other. “What-“ Mana began.

    The serpent cut him off with a hiss: “Trouble approaches! Back up, boy!”

    Shinai moved with almost inhuman speed, shifting his position relative to the girl behind him, taking up a defensive posture. “What the hell is going on?” Mana asked, casting his gaze about to try and locate the threat. There was nothing out of the ordinary: no unusual sounds, no sense of dread, no overwhelming feeling of power. Aside from the standard time-stopping, blood dripping, ominous lights and sounds, it was an entirely ordinary night.

    “Are you deaf and blind, boy?” Shinai’s snake spat. “The darkness is thickly clotted here. A fool could taste it! Cease your stammering and ready yourself!”

    “Something wicked this way comes, aight,” Mana muttered. “I’ll take your word for it.” With that he lifted his Arcana card, briefly making eye contact with the grinning skull inscribed upon it. With a small grin, he invoked the name, “Alice!”

    Shinai and the serpent coiled around him both turned their attention upon Mana in perfect unison, heads snapping up toward him. “Stop!” they roared at once, leaping toward him.

    Yet it was too late, as the tarot card snapped against the air, what shattered was not the card, but Mana’s vision, breaking apart into darkness.

    ---

    Who Knows Where

    “Nii-san, come here!” A young girl cried, running into Mana’s room. She was quite the sight, wobbling about with two baseball caps, a beret and a top hat perched precariously on her head.

    Mana rolled his eyes, setting his pencil down. “Go play with Natsumi, Mai. I’m busy right now.”

    “Pleeeease? We need one more person at the tea party!”

    Mana sighed dramatically. “Fi-i-ine,” he groaned, following his little sister to the girls’ room. What he found there was almost as absurd as the towering stack of hats by his elbow. Several stuffed animals, a young girl and Mana’s mother were sitting around a low table. The girl was dressed in an overlarge, haphazardly worn blue kimono, while the dolls had been crudely wrapped with random bits of laundry. Mana’s mother was dressed much more nicely in traditional Japanese attire, though the cat ears on her head threw off the look. A priceless tea set sat on the table, neatly arranged as a counterpoint to the ridiculous affair.

    “Er, what?” Mana said.

    “Natsumi-chan is Alice,” Mai said cheerily. “I’m the Hatter!” The girl pointed at the tower of hats on her head.

    “No, really? I never would have guessed.”

    “Mom is the Cheddar Cat-“

    “Usa-chan is the rabbit!” Natsumi interjected, holding up a rabbit doll with a paper monocle taped to its head.

    “What are you going to be, nii-san?” Mai finished, looking up at him brightly.

    “Um, what’s left?”

    “The Red Queen!” Mai proclaimed, handing him a red scarf.

    Mana was dumbstruck for a long moment. After deeply considering his options, he sighed and wrapped it around his neck. The things he did for family, huh? “Alright, fine. I’ll be the Queen.”

    Mana’s sisters beamed at him. “You look good in red, nii-san! Oh! Oh! I mean aka-chan! Aka-chan! Aka-chan!”

    The girls began to chant in unison. Mana growled in mock fury. “Oh, I’m going to get you! Off with their heads! Off with their heads!”

    ---

    Who Knows Where

    Mana Shizuko sat in a pool of blood, gazing into the eyes of the three decapitated heads lying on the ground before him.

    “Poor, stupid nii-san…” a high, cold voice whispered.

    Mana turned to see Natsumi – no, Alice – standing behind him. “F**k you,” he spat.

    “Did you really not notice? Did you really not think something was different, wrong about us?” Alice asked. “Everyone else’s Personas were different. The mask that protects the true self… do I look like a mask to you? When you smile and laugh with your so-called friends, am I the face you show them?”

    “Wh-what are you saying?”

    “I’m not a mask, nii-san. I’m the real thing. I’m everything you want to hide from everyone else. I am guilt, and self-loathing, and hatred. I am that little voice wishing everyone else was dead. No, I am the little voice wishing that we were dead! My body is as weak and small as your soul is. I’m the thing that everyone would hate you for if they knew me. I am you, and you are me.”

    “Impossible…” Mana murmured, aghast.

    ”You’ve given me so much of yourself too! You’ve snuffed out your own light to let me in. Your Persona is dead, Mana. Whatever spark you had? Gone. All that’s left is me:

    A Shadow, the True Self.”

    ---
    That is not dead which can eternal lie.
    And with strange aeons even death may die.


    Mana gasped, falling to the ground. Shinai grabbed the red-haired boy by the collar, roughly hoisting him up. “The Shadow is yours. Call your Persona, and prepare to defend yourself.”

    “Can’t,” Mana gasped, tears in his eyes. “I can’t do it. I-I can’t do anything.”

    And it was true. Mana shook uncontrollably, feeling an unexplainable sense of dread. The darkness all around him was too thick, too deep. It asphyxiated him with its sheer viscosity, catching in his throat and filling his eyes and ears with mist. It wasn’t his, anymore, it was an oppressive, malevolent force. For the first time since early childhood, Mana was truly and utterly afraid of the dark.

    “Useless,” the student council president proclaimed, dropping Mana roughly to the ground. Mana remained there, shivering. Shinai checked his surroundings briefly, and then turned to the girl. “Amissa, we’re leaving.”

    “No, you can’t go home yet! We’ve only just started playing!” a voice called in a cheerful singsong. “Shinai Haitani and Amissa Silverman… I want you to do just one more thing for me… Would you die for me please?”

    Elsewhere, “Joaquim Pereira… Would you die for me please?”

    “Lace Condor… Would you die for me please?”

    “Sofiya Ignatova… Would you die for me please?”

    “Mana…” came the whisper. “Watch them all die for me.”
    Last edited by Niihyl; 2nd November 2013 at 1:56 AM.
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  24. #324
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    Joshua Sands - Tower Arcana - Court of Miracles - Mysterious Stone Tower

    He jumped step 21 this time, still slightly sore from crashing into the wall at the bottom of the Super Fun Happy Slide. And his earlier beatdown at the hands of JP. And the bumpy Kitsune ride. Really, Joshua wasn't in the best of shapes. But hey, hopefully there'd be no more of that, though he was expecting more wonderful traps to contend with instead. However, the next thirty or so steps were uneventful until Sands came to a flat area which stretched around the inside of the tower before continuing up another flight of stairs. It was on this flat area that the tower's "evil castle" motif stepped it up again. Lining the inside of the narrow corridor were a row of suits of medieval armour, all armed with large poleaxes.

    One didn't have to be a genius to see where this was going. Joshua Sands was in no way a genius, and he sure as hell could, after all. He replaced his saber into its scabbard, and pushed off his right foot as hard as he could, sprinting down the corridor as the axes fell one after another behind him, nipping at his heels all the way. The corridor almost seemed to loop a couple of times before finally, the last axe fell, just before the stairs. A looping corridor? Surely that was impossible. Had to be just his imagination.

    Joshua took a minute to catch his breath before assaulting the next set of stairs, where he spotted another oil painting, this one capturing his first experience of the Court of Miracles: cowering behind an upturned lunch table as the flames of Shadow Diego raged in the background. He'd only learned the identity of this Shadow and the student it had killed after the fact, and still remembered it as one of the most terrifying experiences of his life; one that still appeared in his nightmares. Powerless, pathetic and afraid. Sure, he could fight back a little now at least... But he was vastly outclassed as a fighter by many other teammates, including Ciara. Fighting his Shadow alone? Was Joshua really ready for this? Probably not. Looking more closely, the flames towered above the boy in the painting, who seemed positively tiny by comparison. The fire was about to consume the table, leaving him defenceless and doomed.

    As soon as his foot hit the next stair, a very faint noise began above him, a low, unidentifiable drone. As Sands continued up the stairs, he passed a few more unsettling paintings, including one of Shiva on fire, eyes that seemed to follow him up the stairs and some kind of twisted abomination that looked like it belonged... well, in the Court of Miracles.

    He really hoped he wouldn't run into the inspiration for that one.

    But these three paintings in particular were nothing but a distraction for a thin wire on one step on this flight, causing him to practically faceplant the stairs in front of him... before they all flattened, sending him back to the axe knight corridor. I'm getting absolutely nowhere... he thought, as he rolled onto his back, winded and bleeding from his nose. His hands and wrists ached from trying to catch himself, and he was fairly sure that the axe knights had somehow picked up their weapons and were about to attack hi- "OHGODNO!" He rolled backwards into the step which had raised again, probably bruising a vertebrae in order to avoid another axe. Joshua groaned loudly. It really wasn't his night. But he was damned (and more importantly, so were Miyuki and Ciara) if he was going to let this tower break him. He got to his feet and pulled out his evoker. "Shiva! Heal me up!" A quick Aria later, he was feeling relatively refreshed, though he was definitely still sore. And with that, it was up the stairs again. He had to be getting at least a little closer, right?
    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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  25. #325
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    Ciara H. Wright
    Inside the Tower (wait, what?)


    "Your solution is... lacking. But, my dear... even with such low wit, I still desire you. And so, I will have you. "

    Low wit? How dare he, I would like to think I'm quite intelligent... Wait, how-?

    His voice was so quiet, so how could she hear it so perfectly? A chill ran down her spine as she finally detected the presence, so close she could feel it. In the blink of an eye, it had gone from right over there to beside her. Paralysed by shock and indecision, she knew she should run, fight back, do something. But it felt impossible. If it wanted to, it could have reached in and taken her spine right there and then.

    She heard something behind her, the cloak billowing out. Had it drawn a weapon? Would that be it for her? Goodbye cruel world? An inky blackness engulfed her and for several seconds of terror she was convinced that she was dead.

    It was only when she felt the iron on her wrists that she realised she was alive, and breathed a deep sigh of relief... Followed promptly by a deep inhalation as she realised that perhaps death would have been preferable to the multitude of 'girl in chains, what happens next?' scenarios running through her mind. None of them ended particularly well for her.

    Was this going to be it? In a Gothic showcase, at the hands of some wannabe vampire? Well, there was going to be one 'it' or quite a different 'it'. Frankly, she would prefer the 'it' that resulted in her no longer existing. Less the other 'it'.

    It had apparently been monologuing. Or something. Now it was smiling at her, as some godawful bell sound reverberated around the room. If her hands weren't tied, she would probably have plugged her ears by now. Oh well, instead she would have to test the old mental fortitude, concentrate really hard on not having a headache. How could she get out of her predicament?

    Maybe it would be better to go for the flattering approach? The thing 'wanted' her, at least. Ew ew ew, best not to think it would do if it actually 'had' her. Well, it did 'have' her at its mercy right now, but best not to let it onto that. If it didn't already know.

    Hey, if it 'wanted' her but it wasn't doing anything about it then maybe it was like, the 'nice guy' friend-zone Shadow or something. This thought made her smile, and gave her a bit more confidence, enough to finally speak and try her hand at some negotiation.

    "Pardon me, um, it's just, you know... These shackles kinda hurt, it's really immensely uncomfortable. Being posed like this, I mean. I think my arms are being pulled out of their sockets but I'm really attached to them, if you'll pardon the pun, ha ha. Soooooo, if you maybe wanted to let me down, show me you cared as much as you say? I wouldn't run or do anything silly, promise. I'd be a good girl. It's kind of my birthday, I think. What day do we count this as? What do you guys, like Shadows, do? Do you have calendars?"

    She tried to look as innocent and demure as possible. God, maybe that thing had a point about low wit. Right now she was just word-vomiting, but at least it would make her seem harmless and vacuous. Even if she wasn't. Maybe? Hey, if she confused it enough, maybe its brain would just explode. Or it would just shut her up with some more of the bondage gear it had hidden somewhere. Ew.

    She held onto the hope that Joshua would appear soon, and he would valiantly vanquish this evil threat and rescue her. This scenario was so wonderfully anti-feminism.

    Of course she had faith in Joshua, right?

    Right?

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