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Thread: Persona- Burn On, Shining Souls!

  1. #126
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    Joshua Sands - Tower Arcana - Court of Miracles - Mirror Maze

    Emotions and tensions ran high as the group bickered over what to do. It seemed they were largely falling into two camps: The group in favour of killing Clarise, led by Sigmund, Mana and Halberd, and those who wanted to flee the maze with her in tow, mostly headed by the girls. It was all giving Joshua a headache. All this arguing, and they were just running out of time. He remained quiet, before drawing his evoker, staring at the lightning-struck tower on it.

    My arcana... The Tower. An ill omen of failure, ruin and catastrophe. A symbol of harsh reality not conforming to expectations. And this reality may be that we cannot protect our friends all the time. We will die. How futile struggle can be, and how brutally circumstances can cut us down to size. We may become as powerful and tall as massive towers, scraping the skyline. But all it can take is one simple catastrophic event beyond our control to bring us down. The lightning-strike. What a fitting metaphor. We're so much stronger than we were at the start of this; we've come so far as people and fighters. And yet still, we're powerless to fight this possession. It isn't fair. When exactly is life fair?

    But something was happening. Izzy used an Energy Shower spell to revitalise everyone (this seemed like a handy spell, Joshua resolved to try and work on it himself privately), and Lace and Saturnus began to carry Clarise out of the maze. They were desperately struggling against fate, once more, dashing for safety. Joshua smiled, put his right hand on the wall again, and sprinted for his life, feeling the adrenaline rush. Hey, if you're gonna go, go smiling.

    Life may not be fair. But to cease struggling against it? That would simply be inhuman.
    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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  2. #127
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    Russell Wilton
    Mirror Maze- Where is the exit!?


    Mirror, mirror, mirror, tic-tock-tic; this place was so frustrating to go through was he even close to out? Those thoughts were actually the last thing he was thinking; he was more worried the countdown and everyone else. The fact that the time was still going down meant that the bomb had yet to be disarmed no one was around so he assumed they were all still there. This made him more and more believe that they were going to kill Clarise if time got too low they would never be able to get out before the boom. Russell glance again at the clock... time seem to be going by quite slowly, he would think it would go by in a flash. It might have been because of his constant checking of it.

    The clocks made the mirror maze a little less disorientating yet he still kept plowing right into a wall every so often. That, however, didn’t stop him from continuing his sprinting through the maze searching for the exit. He looked to the clock again still there and counting down he swiftly adjusted his glasses... were the clocks get smaller? He wasn’t certain about it; he wished his vision wasn’t so bad. Once again finding himself face to face with a mirror, Russell had a shocking surprised; as Lace zoomed by him. The redheaded girl was skating fast he almost thought that they decided to just leave Clarise behind but he quickly saw she was wrapped onto Saturnus as he went by too. He was glad that she wasn’t murder yet confuse that she was leaving with them. Everyone that followed didn’t look like an angry riot trying to stop her so they had decided to bring the girl with them. Had they discover something while he was gone?

    “Someone get Russell! We can’t leave him behind.” He caught those lines because the girl had called out his name. Some people started passing him and catching him only because they had longer legs, he assumed. Was that the reason only he needed help through the maze? It was insulting and for his naturally stubborn spirit it was unacceptable. The redheaded teen refused to be treated like some helpless little kid, the weak link of the group that needed to be carried to safety. He was more than capable of getting through this accursed maze on his own power; he knew it.

    “You don’t have to worry about me,” he shouted back out rather obstinately to anyone that may attempt anything or may think he is some pushover. “I’m getting through here just fine and I have Eros incase things get too sticky.” If he felt like he was falling too far behind the rest of the group or needed a boost to get him out in time Russell wouldn’t hesitant to use his Persona. Eros most definitely could navigate through here better than the teenage boy because, despite being Russell, there wasn’t anything wrong with his vision. And also since he could fly the god was also much swifter than him. The freshman wasn’t stupid enough to risk his life and not accept help but he didn’t want it force on him unless he felt it needed.
    Let's eat Grandma!
    Let's eat, Grandma!
    Commas saves lives.





    Say hello to Rascal, he is a naughty little Articuno but he wants to be a true adventurer one day. Feed him lots of spicy berries and help him grow big and stronger.

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  3. #128
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    Sigmund Okonkwo
    Mirror Maze [Court of Miracles]



    Hua Po cringed at him, close to outright refusing the orders made against her will. Reluctantly, though, she turned around and raised both tiny arms, pointing her palms at Clarise's head. Burning wasn't a quick way to go, but hopefully she could at least burn out her brainstem or something first so that she wouldn't feel nearly as much pain. Taking so long as if holding out for Sigmund to change his mind, she screwed her eyes shut, she gathered a small ember in her hands, then a wisp, followed by flame...

    And left a clean scorch mark on the mirror.

    In the instant before Hua Po actually attacked, Izzy's Persona had flung Clarise, and Shadow Sigmund with her, completely across the room. Before he could gather his senses and take three steps toward where she had landed, the faerie had all but vanished, Lace had taken off into the maze with Sofiya and Clarise, and Izzy had hit everybody with some sort of bluish lightning bolt. At the last of these, Sigmund felt his veins pulsing with renewed vigor, but apparently he wasn't the only one - the girls had picked up speed and all but disappeared back into the maze. The others were scattering. Just under a minute left on the clock. The situation had now spiraled into complete and utter chaos.

    Even full on energy, he'd never catch Lace in just the minute that was left, especially if she used her magic. It was over - unless by some miracle the shadow was bluffing and there was no bomb, he had let Lace run off with an armed explosive1, or at the very least, carrying his crazy suicidal doppelganger2. Whatever happened now, it was out of his hands. The best that he could do was to get away from both this place and the possessed Clarise - completely diffusing the situation may be now be beyond him, but self-preservation was not. This in mind, he dashed into the maze and, at the first junction, pealed away at a full sprint in the opposite direction of the girls' path.



    1 But one item on a very extensive list of things which Lace Condor should not be allowed to have, including scissors, matches, and leather-bound books.
    2 A new addition to the list of things which Lace Condor should not be allowed to have.
    Last edited by Blivsey; 29th May 2012 at 7:13 PM.

  4. #129
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    OOC: Well goodness, I guess I'm stuck...
    IC:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Halberd
    Court of Miracles - Countdown to Inevitable Death


    Halberd listened as everyone else shared their opinions on what to do. Three opinions especially stood out to him. First was that of a girl Halberd had largely ignored all this time: Sofiya. She looked intent on hurting him the next chance she got. She was calling him a coward taking the easy way out, and that he didn't have it in him to fight. Just as he thought--the usual nonsense she spewed out. Although, he did bow his head a little when she insulted him. After all, his decision was certainly not the easy way out. Did Sofiya even realise how hard it was to kill someone? If anything, the decision to run away was the easy way out. And there wasn't even anything to fight now, making Sofiya's last insult invalid. Hence why Scathach, the ancient Celtic warrior who would be all too glad to fight, was just standing there doing nothing.

    Halberd thought about speaking up, but then he thought again. After all, Sofiya was clearly angry, and she was kind of insane to begin with. She was just teeming with irrationality right now. To that end, it was pointless to try and reason with her, especially given how difficult it was for him to work with irrationality.

    And then, Ciara's suggestion. She sounded reasonable at first--saying something about the whole situation being uncertain. Halberd had to agree--for a moment, he questioned whether this bomb thing was a fluke or not. But then she said something about not making rash and selfish decisions. And what did she do afterward?

    "I've decided. Let's give it a shot."

    Halberd facepalmed as Ciara said her words of agreement to Sofiya. Was that not her own selfish decision right there?

    And then, finally, Mana's opinion. The whole time while he was talking, Halberd nodded at him in agreement. Mana, of all people, truly seemed to understand how difficult this entire situation was, how hard it was to make any sort of decision. But then... he didn't want clarise to die? That seemed like a full 180 on his part. Halberd looked at him in a confused fashion when he started to run out of the maze.

    But Halberd was still intent on staying. He at least wanted to hear Sigmund's final word on things, and so far he was leaning more toward the side of just killing Clarise. As he summoned Hua Po and she prepared her fire spell, Halberd turned towards the two of them, silently reassuring the both of them that everything would work out in the end.

    But then the unexpected happened. That damn Daedalus ruined the moment, pushing Clarise to the side. And then he fired this funky blast of electricity that surged through everyone present. All of a sudden Halberd felt like he had suddenly lost over fifty pounds, like he had been lifted up and fully energised. It was a really awkward sensation, feeling so light on his feet all of a sudden, feeling so free and willing to move about. In fact, his body felt like running at that moment. But he didn't want to. His mind was still intent on staying. He looked over to Scathach to confirm this--but she had vanished.

    Everyone else was running now. Even Sofiya. Even Russell--but then again, that was kinda his thing. Even the new guy. Even Sigmund. With everyone else taking off, he was going to be the only one left. For a moment he glanced at Izzy, as if the boy was more than half as crazy as his Shadow self was. And then his attention re-focused on himself. Gosh, this felt weird. No amount of any sort of drug could make him feel anything like he was feeling now--no amount of anything he had tried, at the very least. What was he to do? Confused and disoriented, he flailed about in place, trying to get a grasp on things...

    And then instinct kicked in, and he started to run. Quite a bit faster and smoother than usual, in fact. Rather than lean forward like he usually did when he ran, he kept himself straight up, as if lifting himself into the air with each step. In a sense, it felt pretty good, actually. A part of him remembered him being envious of his two adopted brothers for being able to run so swiftly, particularly when he was younger--but look at him now! He was probably faster than both of them put together now, for all he knew. He was a little shaky, true, but still running... Gosh this was weird. He wasn't even himself anymore, was he?

    The second he thought that, he ran straight into a wall without even realising it. The first wall he came across, actually. He had been so surprised about the speed of his running that he forgot that he was supposed to turn--this was a maze, so it's not straight all the way. So he ran right into the first wall further into the maze, so that everyone else still present in the main room could see his failure. The next thing he knew, he was on the ground, feeling awfully dizzy, the electricity still buzzing around inside of him. He managed to push himself into a sitting position, but he was too dizzy and disoriented to rise any higher than that. In fact, for a moment he thought he was going to be sick. So he closed his eyes and rested his head against another wall nearby, adjacent to the one he had just rammed into. Heck, he was surprised he didn't break the mirrored wall, but his mind was in too much of a haze to think much.

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

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  5. #130
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    ~ Miyuki Tachibana ~
    - Court of Miracles -


    “RUN!” Izzy shouted, turning to face Lace and Saturnus. “EVERYONE!”

    “ENERGY SHOWER!” Daedalus shouted.

    Everything was happening so fast, that Miyuki had almost lost track of how much the situation had changed. It wasn't until Daedalus shot some sort of lightning from his hands that Miyuki snapped back into focus. No way would Izzy attack the group, which meant... as the weird lightning struck her, she felt the oddest sensation, like she had just instantly drank a whole pack of energy drinks. Energy Shower... so that's why he called it that. It literally showered you with energy!

    This revelation was pushed aside as Izzy ran past her... followed by everyone else. Wait, why was everyone running?

    The bomb. was Astraea's simple answer.

    Ah yes, that. Miyuki dismissed Astraea and bolted. She felt light, peppy, like she could keep on running for miles. She never really ran, so she couldn't remember ever feeling like this before. She didn't even know she could run so fast. Was that her natural speed or another effect of Energy Shower? That was quite the neat little trick Izzy had at his disposal. Come to think of it, hadn't Astraea only just revealed her lie detection ability? What other powers did these personae possess? Would Astraea keep learning new things, even as she herself learned more and more about the nature of the Court? Not being a runner herself, these thoughts proved distracting to Miyuki, who nearly ran headlong into a mirror wall. It was only the person ahead of her doing so himself that saved her from that fate.

    It was Halberd. Not the best way to keep your pace... It looked like it hurt too. Miyuki bolted past him at a pace that surprised her. When did she get so fast? If only Izzy could use that power outside the Court, even someone like her could make the Track Team.

    Something bothered her about Halberd though, and she turned back to see that he still hadn't resumed pace. He was just... standing there. Resting his head on a mirror. Like he had all the time in the world. Miyuki came to a stop, staring back at Halberd. He had been one of the first to suggest killing Clarise. Was he not running out of guilt? Did he not think he deserved to get out? Or was he just getting tired of all of this? Either way, if he didn't get moving, he wasn't going to escape this maze. And yet, he just stood there.

    I am not letting you die. Miyuki placed the card she still held in her hand to her forehead again. "Astraea! Carry Halberd."

    Astraea appeared in her usual radiant way and, seeing as how both of her hands were occupied, swept her arm down, propping Halberd up across her shoulder like a child. Without another wasted moment, Miyuki took off back into the maze, Asteraea closing the gap behind her as she hovered just above the ground. They would get out of this yet. They all would.
    ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
    Watch your step! Sig Under Construction!

  6. #131
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    <//JP- Lovers Arcana//3
    <//Quartermain Hospital//3


    Gasp!

    JP snapped out of that haunting dream, regaining consciousness and emerging on the ambiguous reality of the court with as much desperation as a drowning man resurfacing. He was already starting to forget bits and pieces of it - which, quite frankly, made him glad, - as each lost memory was replaced with the awareness of where he was(on a hospital hall’s floor, covered in the fake blood which oozed from the walls) and what put him there(Shinai).

    Painfully ignoring his aching body’s urging to remain still, JP raised a hand to the wall and propped himself up, the world around him beginning to twist and shift the moment he did so.

    “That bastard got me good,” he complained as he raised a hand to his temples and massaged them. He stood still until his vision recovered and he no longer felt he’d fall the moment he took a step, then proceeded to roam the hospital the moment it did so.

    He was not furiously searching for Shinai nor his trail, and he completely ignored whatever was still left on the storage freezer Shinai had searched for. He was simply attempting to regain a sense of his surroundings and find out just where the exit of this dark hospital was. He remembered climbing several stairs even after ascending to the resting rooms where Terri was, meaning he was by now probably closer to the roof than anything else. So, all things considered, his best choice of action was to go up?

    Well, what he truly needed was some fresh air to settle his nerves. A calming breeze would do wonders after all he’d just went through, after all.

    The trip to the hospital’s roof, while much longer than it should have been, went by rather calmly. JP nearly crushed his Lovers’ card in his hand a couple of times when the rustling of curtains resembled a shadow far too well for his comfort. He’d felt Pedro’s presence rise up a couple of times too (which just reminded him of how much the Persona was manifesting itself this day, considering he’d rarely done that outside of a life-or-death situation these past two months) but the presence subsided as quickly as it had came.

    When JP finally opened the door to the hospital’s roof (read: kicked it down) he was simultaneously relieved and disgusted. While the open air and cold winds made him feel much more comfortable than he’d ever felt on this court, the view of an entire city coated in green disgusted him…

    Though, truth be told, he’d always thought the city would look… greener. The entire court, for that matter, was oddly brighter than it had been in the beginning, now that he noticed it. The moon actually shone now, instead of just radiating a nauseating puke-green shade. It was awfully big, too…

    But the moon wasn’t the only thing radiating an oddly intense light. Off in the distance, some sort of… structure shone brilliantly. Far more intensely than anything he’d ever seen on the court, too. If it were not for the bustling street lights of big cities like Tokyo and Berlin (and Las Vegas, he reckoned, though he’d never been there) he’d say it was the brightest thing he’d ever seen in a night’s skyline, period. Though he couldn’t quite make out just what that structure was.

    The view of the city from this angle was something completely new to him, too, and it took him a good five minutes to make out what was what, and what was where. It was with the completion of this mental map of the city that JP realized just where the big light was coming from…

    Just inside the Bellow High Campus.

    It didn’t take a genius to connect the dots. A new, impressive structure forming around the school, where most other persona users usually did their hunting? That had to be the work of yet another Shadow Self.

    All of what JP had ran away from had returned. He thought he was free, too. But now he understood that, if anything, they were only just mocking him. Getting him nice and ripe with pride and false confidence and security, only to snatch it all away during a particularly terrible day.

    What a fool he was.

  7. #132

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    Shadow Sigmund
    Court of Miracles
    Mirror Maze


    4

    He couldn't see his timer anymore. This girl had him firmly in her grasp, and there was nothing he could do about it. Things were not looking up for him. No... he had failed miserably. There was nothing he could possibly do now, other than die a pathetic death in the body of some girl who didn't even matter. He flailed, spit, and even tried to bite his captor, but it was all for show if anything.

    3

    Turning his eyes as far as he could in this odd 'tortilla wrap' (such a shameful tactic to be caught by), he could see that every single one of his targets were now out of the range of his trap. Not a single person would receive their just deserts on his watch. Not any of these maggots, and certainly not his own charge. Maybe... maybe it was meant to be.

    2

    After all, all he is is a vessel to pass judgment on that which spawned him. And if he couldn't beat him. Maybe he deserved to live. Maybe they all did.

    1

    “Nah...”.

    The last sound he ever heard, nay, his last sensation period, was that of thousands of panes of glass shattering with a force liable to make those nearest to the explosion burst their eardrums. Even those with a good distance between them and the detonation would be knocked forward onto their faces, banged up a good bit.
    A few bruises and maybe a bloody ear... that's all he was ever worth, eh?

    Then he faded away, leaving the girl unconscious in the arms of his captor, and the blow knocked over the large burning Persona onto the ground, it's body protecting hers.

    Liza Monroe
    Court of Miracles
    Being Chased By her Shadow


    She couldn't run forever. She was surprised she had lasted as long as she had, fueled by fear and knowing if she stopped, she'd never start again... she'd probably never do anything again. He hand was staring to feel raw as it guided her along the right wall of the maze. She hadn't run into any walls yet, so she hadn't had to stop to pick herself up. But no matter how fast she ran, or how far ahead she thought she was, the monster seemed to always be turning the corner as she looked around. It was impossible to escape. She was beginning to even doubt there was an exit.
    No way out. All alone. Chased by something that wished to kill her. She was going to die.

    She could still feel it's cold eyes staring at her, unfeeling and lacking remorse. Is that what she looked like to other people? A sculpture given movement, but no emotion? No will? Nothing but a need to strive on?
    She... she knew she could be cold at times, but this was ridiculous.

    Then her hopes of survival plummeted, as the earth shook and the sound of something far off in the maze was blown to kingdom come. Unable to keep her footing, her legs already feeling weak beforehand, the tremor caused her to fall forward with a sharp cry downed out by the explosion.
    She skidded forward, rolling head over heels, until she met a wall with her head, creating a nice healthy 'thunk' noise.

    “Owww...” She whispered, attempting to pick herself up, tears from both pain and fear welling in her eyes. She began to lift her weight, but her legs gave out far to quickly. Falling once more, she did her best to flip so she could prop herself on the wall and get a look. Maybe... maybe her shadow was caught in the blast, whatever it was.
    No such luck. It seemed to have not even been stirred, standing tall not twenty meters away down a long hallway. Liza looked left to right, finding herself at a 'T' intersection. Even at the shadow's slow pace, there was no way she could crawl away...

    “N-no... help... HELP!”

    But no one seemed to be coming... no one but herself. And it didn't seem to care about her pleas. It didn't seem to care about anything.

    Izzy Simone
    Court of Miracles
    Freshly Created Clearing


    “Owww... M-miyuki? Are you ok?” Izzy muttered, unaware if she could hear him or not. His head was throbbing, and his body was tired. The side effect of the Energy Shower wearing off.
    Opening his eyes, he could see the ground was littered with shards of thick pieces of glass, from large to small. It seemed that the explosion had shattered a good part of the maze... and if he wasn't mistaken, it was enough to, to-

    “We're free...” he whispered, looking at the expanse of grass past the field of silver, angular flowers. The blast hod knocked away enough so that he could see the outside. Shadow Sigmund's trap had ended up saving them.
    Well... hopefully. He only knew that he was safe. Others might be a few yards further in the maze, but he swore he could see a few of them... and the lack of blood on the reflective lake gave him hope.

    “I-is everyone ok?!” He shouted, beginning to rise to his feet. “I think we made it!”

    Stumbling over the shards, he walked over to the opening. He wasn't so used to seeing normally again... he was too used to searching for the true path in the maze. It had put a strain on his eyes. In his dizziness, he could have sworn that he saw a mummy fighting large burly bears with large masks on their faces (standard shadow fare).

    Wait... that wasn't a trick of the light. It was Wulfgard, and he was fighting for his life against a horde of midnight blue ursine attackers.
    “Of course...” he whimpered. The night couldn't be over. The moon was only halfway eclipsed.
    The shadows didn't seem to interested in the man with a sword once the scrawny, weaponless boy showed himself.
    Leaving only one to deal with Wulfgard, no less than seven of the monsters turned and charged, lumbering in the moonlight, their blue fur swaying with their muscles, looking almost cuddly if not for the horrible bellowing and flecks of spit dripping from under their mask... and their broad meaty stature. This left Izzy nothing to do but turn back into the maze and run.
    Screaming like a girl, of course.

    -

    OOC: Well, Liza is trapped in a different section of the maze. You won't be able to find her.
    You should be on the edge of the new room, all of you barely making it out, and the slowest with several injuries. Healing might be required.
    The bears are pretty damn powerful, and there should be enough for each to have two players attacking them. Or one... I forget how many of you guys there are.
    They will mostly use strike attacks, but when hit a few times, they'll belch ice breath attacks
    Last edited by Zincspider; 3rd June 2012 at 5:47 PM.
    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.

  8. #133
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    Snow
    mirror maze ruins, CoM


    The strange timer was on every wall, it seemed, although their immediate reflections ran before it. Snow kept trying to avoid looking at the mirrors, but there was a worry about how much time they had left, plus how powerful the blast would be. Mostly following the others, Snow glanced up at one mirror in curiosity, right as the timer hit zero.

    And boom, the reflection in the mirror exploded into chaos. It was a weird mixed up image of fractures and movement until Snow was thrown into the mirror with the force of the impact, hurting his shoulder, nose, and forehead. For a second, he was dazed by the hit. There were beast-like sounds in the aftermath of the explosion, which was weird.

    Once he got his bearings back, Snow glanced around and saw several of the group there, getting over that hit as well. He took his Evoker card and crushed it. “Melpomene, Media!” A small white aura of healing hit those of his allies who were nearby. His own pain from hitting the mirror went away, letting him have a clearer focus on what was going on.

    There was an opening in the maze, as Izzy noted at the same time Snow saw it. In fact, there were large openings due to the blast from Shadow Sigmund. Much of the maze that they could see still stood; entrances back in were around. Mirror shards were everywhere on the ground, with sharp edges and points. By the light of the half moon overhead, they could also see where Wulfgard was fighting off a bunch of dark blue bears.

    Shadow Bears, it seemed. Hopefully not too tough; they had taken down some crazy looking Shadows the past couple of months. Izzy freaked off and ran back inside the maze, as a number of the bears decided to go after him instead. Snow grabbed his boomerang and threw it at the head of one of that group (although his heart started a frightful pounding at the thought of attracting them to him instead. But at least there would be less after his friend). “Come on, we can take them on together,” he called out, hoping to encourage the rest (and himself. But now was the time to dash off somewhere else to keep out of close range).
    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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  9. #134
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    Sigmund Okonkwo
    Mirror Maze [Court of Miracles]


    Ten seconds left. He'd been running for thirty. He might not make it.

    Five seconds left. He rounded a corner, gaining speed. He might just make it.

    Three. The clock was only one-third visible now. He was gonna make it.

    Two. Just a bit...

    One. Further...

    Zero.

    As the clock hit zero, the world behind him erupted into a torrent of concussive force and shattered glass. Sigmund found himself thrown violently to the ground face-first, forcing the breath out of him and leaving his back wide open to a dozen glass shards that left as many shallow cuts. Groaning, Sigmund began to push himself back to his feet. The cuts most certainly stung, but he had definitely seen worse in the Court. He had outrun the bomb, then. He could still hear some fighting, but it was still a way off. He was fine for now.

    Sigmund lifted himself to one knee and got a good look at his surroundings. The ground was strewn with a layer of glass shards, and several of the others were around, just getting up. A knot jumped from Sigmund's stomach to his throat - the girls had tried to escape with Clarise. They'd be at point-blank, and he had let it happen. Sigmund slumped to the ground. He didn't have the gall to see things through, and because of it they had gotten away, and now... He forced himself to look over at the others. Among those just pulling themselves to their feet was Clarise, laying just next to Lace.

    Waitaminute.

    By his reckoning, Shadow Sigmund should have exploded from inside Clarise. Lace shouldn't be safe, either, from point-blank range. But here they both were, just fine... He had been wrong, then? Clarise wasn't the bomb? And he was going to be tricked into... something unforgivable. One of the last things that he would have done. And that thing was claiming to be him? These "Shadow Selves" weren't really selves at all. How that Shadow was supposed to be him, he didn't know or care. He had been wrong and they had ended up safe. Except for the yelling around him. Shouting again already - couldn't they catch at least a little break1?

    Sigmund snapped his attention to the the source of the commotion. A couple of the others were already fighting more than a half-dozen oncoming shadows. Giant, blue bears, by the looks of them. But they had fought things both bigger and stranger things before. He stood and threw off his cape2 - he had done absolutely nothing helpful the rest of the night. Strategy and matches of wit weren't his strong points, but this he could do. Maybe make up a bit for being completely useless against "his own" shadow. If not, at least put down one of these shadows. Sigmund reached for his evoker and snapped it to his forehead.

    "Hua Po!"

    The red-skinned girl appeared above his right shoulder, visibly angered to the point where her dress seemed to be flaring up. Gathering an orb of flame in each hand, she seemed practically screaming for a command. Sigmund gave it.

    Maragi!

    Hua Po threw fireballs from both hands simultaneously, striking two of the bears and exploding on contact to hit two more nearby. Not enough to take them out by any means, but a nice start. His not-doppelganger had wanted his anger? These shadows would have it. Easing up his frown a bit, Sigmund charged at one of the Shadows at the side of the pack, Hua Po following just behind.

    Blazing Burst!

    His hands set ablaze, Sigmund leaped into the air and struck one of the bears in the head, leaving a burn mark across its snout and causing it to rear up on its hind legs. The instant that he landed, Sigmund pivoted back around and loosed two more punches, one to its ribcage and another to the gut, and aimed a kick at the inside of its knee. Before it could connect, the shadow bear, staggered by his assault, brought down a paw swipe at him. Sigmund barely raised his arm in time to block the strike with his gauntlet, protecting himself but still throwing him completely off-balance. Those things packed some serious power. Noticing someone else darting around off to his side, Sigmund raised his evoker card again.

    Marakukaja!

    Hua Po darted above Sigmund's head and spread her arms wide, causing Sigmund and his nearby companion to glow briefly with a warm light before vanishing entirely along with the flames on Sigmund's hands. His arm and back immediately felt a bit less sore, though the wounds remained as severe as ever. That would at least keep him intact. Still, best not to be hit at all by a one-ton demon grizzly. What was the saying?

    "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."

    Sigmund dashed forward again, rolling under the shadow's arm as it swiped at him and ignoring the bit of glass slicing at his shins. He got back to his feet in one quick motion and struck the bear in the small of its back. As it pivoted around to face him, Sigmund circled in the opposite direction to pass it entirely and strike its side, knocking it off-balance. He immediately ducked, the bear just missing his head, and threw another punch upwards at its elbow. Growling angrily, it breathed a cloud of ice at him, leaving a thick, cool layer of frost on his front. Growling back, Sigmund hit the bear once again in the center of the stomach, forcing to to hunch over, and threw a strong uppercut to its jaw, knocking the shadow bear hard onto the flat of its back.

    No bee ever stung like that.



    1No, they couldn't, and Sigmund should have known this by now.
    2All it seemed to be doing was sticking to his open wounds, anyway.

  10. #135
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    Lace Condor
    Mirror Maze

    - Shadow Bear Fight
    -

    They must've been just outside of the bombs and Lace, along with the others, were flying nearly a dozen feet in the air, rolling on the ground. Lace rolled off her back and after coughing from the wind knocked out of her, she got up and stumbled over to Clarise. Saturnus had returned inside of Lace, but he must've taken the brunt of the damage. She rolled the girl over and took her in her arms. "Clarise? Clarise, can you hear me?" She listened for her heartbeat and hugged her, relieved there wasn't anything serious. Lace piggy-backed the girl up and holding her legs; she looked around the now destroyed maze leading outside.

    The school gym was a little ways up ahead and Lace could see the town peeking from behind the maze's glass walls. Without looking at anyone in the group, Lace walked to the outside of the maze and spotted Wulfgard. So this is where he's been? All that time they were in the maze, she never thought of what Wulfgard had been up to. Good thing he wasn't just smoking and chatting up Ms. Halls somewhere.

    A group of angry, big, and blue?--some hungry bears were making way to the team. Out the corner of her eye, she saw Sigmund go up against one of them. Not wasting any time, Lace managed to get a free hand from under Clarise's legs and summon Saturnus in front of them. The bears were right at the new entrance now, but Lace and Clarise were already skating past the herd and now skidded to a stop at the street.

    It wasn't more than a block away, and Lace could still see all her friends. The two of them were outside a small closed electronics shop when one of the bears turned in her direction. Lace backed up and sat Clarise down to rest on the wall. Giving her one last hug, she wiped out her daggers and ran forward. "Agilao!" she launched the spell.

    Lace was standing on top of small car now, and with Saturnus floating on the ground in front, a fireball launched and smacked the creature in the chest. It flailed around in the fire and whether it was hurt, was now barreling towards her. Lace stopped staring and jumped off the hood of the card when she tripped. By the time she rose back up, the bear already had her in its arms. In one leap, it cleared over the car, and gripped Lace, who now had a good view of her team back at the maze, getting further and further away.

    The second time Lace had been knocked around by glass tonight, her and the bear busted through the display window, and Lace, lying on her back with snack food and candies, was in heaven. "No way," Lace, even with her now cut-up face, took in a deep breath at the sea of goodness. Stuffing two packs in her pockets, she took a moment and stumbled back up to see the bear getting up off the counter. "GRAAAAA!!" it screamed at her with glass and debris littering its fur. Lace had a nasty cut with blood going down her face, as she made her to the back of the store down the aisle.

    "Just stay over there!" she yelled back at the creature that now knocked over an aisle of goods and was facing the ice cream and desserts in the back, but no Lace to be found. The creature looked about in confusion and smashed the glass, but he didn't have the mind to look behind at the red-haired demon now standing on the knocked over rack. In the darkness and with daggers poised, she lunged and landed on its back. It ran all about the store in fury as Lace plunged her dagger again and again into its back, neck -- all over.

    - In the Streets -

    From outside, the store had a lot of commotion and soon, the bear leaped out the window back out into the street with his new angry, and smiling backpack, gripping his fur. The creature swung its arms wildly -- running up the street. She planted a dagger around its neck. The piercing scream deafened her as Lace pulled up to its face, rearing up her good hand for a brutal stab directly at the top of the head. Immediately, the bear halted its run and after dropping to one knee, Lace fell off landing on her butt, out of breath. Both daggers still planted in the creature, they were both soaked in blood.

    The bear let out a yell and made a fast, but sloppy charge to Lace. Backing herself up, she hit her head on a red pick-up truck. Taking a second to glance back at the bear she hastily pulled herself under the car. "Come on, come on!" she winced, as the truck rumbled as the bear tackled it. She fought to fit her hands up, but crushed her card and Saturnus appeared outside. From under the truck, she shouted out, "Agilao!" and a bright orange colored the ground beside her.

    The rocking stopped as Lace crawled out from underneath. Her legs were weak as she leant back and crawled over on to the truck. It screamed and fear went right to her heart. This thing was out for blood and with whatever life it had left, charged the truck. Lace, too weak to dodge, sleepily braced against the other side and was knocked into the air flying away from the van. Now a dozen feet away, bloodied on the ground and an upturned vehicle beside the bear, Lace blinked at a spark flare that lit up inside the truck's open hood.

    She couldn't move her body and Lace struggled to get her arm up and break the card. Saturnus, floating directly above Lace, faced the hunched bear. Lace peeked open and slapped the ground. "Agi," she whispered, and the inside of the truck was set ablaze and grew brighter and brighter. Lace was sitting half-way up when she was blasted back against the brick wall, landing beside Clarise's hip like a torn-up ragdoll when the van exploded. A mushroom of flames went up in the sky, and neither the bear nor the truck was visible anymore. The animal body of fur and claws still burning on the ground as the glow of the fire bounced off the girl's faces who were both fast asleep.
    Last edited by Vivian_Bloom; 4th June 2012 at 11:42 PM.
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  11. #136
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    Mana Shizuko
    Mirror Maze Ruins


    Mana's world was - both figuratively and literally - shattered. As shards of glass streaked through the air around him, he ducked to the earth, covering his vitals from the swarm of mirrored blades. The boy got to his feet, wincing as he tugged splinters of glass from his back.

    His eyes scanned the area, taking in the carnage. He tugged his bow off of his back, checking to make sure the string hadn't been cut by flying glass. It seemed as if everyone was all right… including Clarise.

    She hadn't been the bomb, and he had almost become a murderer.

    Mana sighed, rubbing his temples. "Goddammit. Or should I be thanking ya, you old sonova*****?" he murmured, looking up into the still-green sky. "They were right after all," Mana said, glancing over at Lace and Clarise. He watched Clarise closely. Was Shadow Sigmund's influence gone? Was she even still alive? "Were they right after all…?"

    The boy wondered to himself: what would he do if he was in that situation again? The right answer would be to help rescue Clarise… but without that knowledge, he'd make the same decision again. This time, they'd gotten lucky. The Court had chosen to be merciful that night. But who knew if they'd be so lucky again. Lace could have died that night.

    The sounds of conflict drew Mana's attention, and he looked up to see Wulfgard standing there, a horde of bears running from him, toward Izzy. Blue bears, but nevertheless, they were just bears.

    "No mind games. No fighting each other. No trickery, or bombs, or illusions. Just enemies to kill." Mana laughed. "I can handle that easy."

    With a sudden burst of energy, Mana felt his wounds close. He glanced over to see Snow's persona, and nodded a solemn thanks. Snapping his card against his brow, Mana dragged Alice from the darkest recesses of his mind.

    Snow had flung his boomerang at one of the bears, drawing its attention. Mana set his feet, feeling the glass crackle underneath his feet. Nock, draw, aim, then release. With that smooth motion, an arrow was sent flying towards the raging blue beast. The arrow sank into the beast's shoulder all the way to the fletching, drawing a pained roar. It turned away from Snow, beginning to lumber at Mana… with surprising speed.

    "I remember when I used to be scared of bears," Mana said conversationally, nocking another arrow. "Damned things are tough. They can soak up arrows without even stopping." He fired again, this arrow missing its mark, only clipping the bear's mask. "But I did hunt bears. Before I even got magic powers. Now? You don't scare me." Another arrow flew forward as the bowstring vibrated before Mana's eyes. The arrow sank into the bear's other shoulder, and it roared again, bellowing a wave of cold and ice. The icy wind flung shards of glass at Mana, and he dropped once more, covering his body.

    Mana's coat was torn apart, as well as covered in a layer of frost. The bear moved forward slowly, only a few feet away from Mana. The creature was confident. The boy was prey now, helpless. But then, Mana moved his arms, looking up at the bear with a wide, predatory smile. The girl at his side bore an identical smile.

    An evil smile.

    "You're the prey, little beast," Mana said, his voice mixed with Alice's. The mighty bear hesitated, struck by a sudden, irrational fear. A rabbit's fear. A deer's terror. A salmon's despair. In that moment, the Shadow became nothing more than food.

    That hesitation was all Mana needed. He leapt forward, his knife already in hand. The hooked tip of the blade sank into the Shadow's eye socket with a nasty squelch, cracking the mask and jarring Mana's elbow harshly. The two remained connected by the blade for just a moment longer before both fell back.

    The bear melted away, and a pair of arrows clattered to the ground. "Oh good, it worked," Mana said, sitting up. He tossed his coat away before the ice melted and gave him hypothermia or something. "Next time, I'll stick to shooting things that are far away, thanks." After a moment of sitting down on an immensely uncomfortable bed of broken glass, Mana got to his feet.

    Rubbing the cat ears around his neck for luck, Mana stumbled forward to reclaim his arrows. Everyone around him was still fighting after all. Lace seemed to have fallen unconscious, and Sigmund had just knocked a bear unconscious. He nocked one, straining to pull the string back. His elbow ached and the small cuts stung, making a steady aim difficult to keep.

    Mana sighed and relaxed. Trying to shoot like this, he'd only hit his teammates. Better to wait for healing.

    He didn't want to cast Mudo on these minor Shadows. The nights tended to escalate, after all, so there had to be something else around the corner. Shadow Liza was still around too. Better to wait, even if it did put a bad taste in Mana's mouth.

    "Just a weak Dia please," Mana called, plucking at his bow. "And I'll try and lay down cover fire."
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  12. #137
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    Joshua Sands - Tower Arcana - Court of Miracles - Mirror Maze

    All at once, the world behind him shattered as though struck with a wrecking ball, as the mirrors themselves exploded. And they'd only just made it out of the blast radius. The bomb had been the mirrors themselves then? Meaning that killing Shadow Sigmund there would likely have done nothing to prevent the blast. A dirty trick indeed.

    These are the thoughts that would've occurred to Joshua, if he could hear himself think. All he could hear was a massively irritating ringing in his right ear, and nothing at all in his left. The shockwave had sent him sprawling on the ground, and he could barely move. He groaned in pain, but luckily he hadn't landed on any broken glass, nor had any landed on him. Slowly but surely, he got to his feet. Several others seemed injured, but most of the group was fine. Well, he could take care of the rest. Snow was already in the midst of casting Media, and Joshua decided to support him by summoning Shiva to cast Aria. The combined healing gave Joshua hearing in his left ear back, as well as relieving most of the pain from the shockwave. Hopefully the others felt the same.

    Much better. Hello brain, welcome back. I missed you. Wait, what on earth-

    Bears. Shadow Bears. This was a joke, right? Obviously the explosion had sent him crashing into a tree of some kind and he was concussed. Shadow Bears... And now they were all coming for the group. Joshua counted seven, but at least Wulfgard was back with them, taking one on mano-a-mano. What a champ. Mana, Lace, Sigmund and Snow were already getting to work to face off with the ursine creatures, and Joshua got ready to support them. He was decent with his sword by now, but he recalled last night, and the minotaur that kicked the crap out of him. This would likely be no different - possibly worse. His best option would be to support the team with healing and his buffing spells. The sword was his last resort. Joshua pulled out his Tower card, and cried out: "Persona! Shiva, help our friends with Tailwind and Bracing Breeze!" The Hindu deity appeared, and blew twice, creating winds around the team. The first was a tailwind, to reinforce the team's fighting spirit and give them an offensive boost. The second would fortify the party's defences against the bears' attack. There wasn't much else he could do for now, but wait and see if anyone else was in need of help...
    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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  13. #138
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    Russell Wilton
    Mirror Maze- Explosion Opening


    They clear the explosion mostly those the shockwave knocked Russell down to the ground and luckily not into a mirror. The blast made his glasses fly off his face; his shoulder hit the ground hard that was going to leave a nice bruise. There was another unpleasantry, shards of glass in the side of his thigh, and in his arm. It was painful. He stared at them; they didn’t look too deep yet he found himself trembling. Felt sick to his stomach, worst than ever, as he looked at the bloody glass; it was like a terrible flashback from his past. The loud crash, the broken glass, the panic screams: they all just rushed back. The redhead ended up closing his eyes tight and taking a deep breath to try to calm down. As he clenched his hand tight a soothing power washed over him and the pain subsided. Someone had heal it really didn’t help as the wound was healed around the glass particles; the lack of pain had calm Russell down a bit.

    Something was happening and it was something big. The teen boy wasn’t sure what; he quickly shuffled for his glasses, praying no one stepped on them. He found them not too far from his location he snatch them and put them on. Crap, there was a crack in the left lens; ignoring that problem it looked like there were new foes in the form of mask wearing bears... Most everyone seemed to have sprung into action; and despite his discomfort Russell knew he had to fight too. First thing were the glass shards in him; though normally you kept it in to keep it from bleeding it out but he wasn’t sure keep it in after the wound was magically healed was a good idea. He decided it was best to remove it and to make it as quick. Russell swiftly began yank them out reopening his wounds blood gushed out. It was actually worst than he thought it’ll be. He felt nausea but he stubbornly swallow hard and fought the sickening feeling from the smell of blood. He probably would have wrapped them but he didn’t have time angry bears coming in his direction.

    “Eros,” Russell called his Persona and the God of love and appeared once more ready to battle. The redhead took hold of his weapon trying to ignore his bleeding arm and leg. His phobia was still acting up and as result he felt so ill at the moment but he knew if he stopped here, he might die and someone else. He saw Izzy running from the bears; some seem to go off from him but a there were a couple on him. He decided to lure one off to better his chance at least. “P-Poison Shot.” His voice came out with a slight stuttered; Russell wanted to stop his shaking but he couldn’t. He just gritted hard and glare intensely with a look serious and discomfort. Eros first looked to his summoner and though he said nothing the fourteen seem to understand the god without the words. Taking flight and shooting; his arrows hit its target right between the bear’s front leg and shoulder.

    The blue bear enraged came to a halt and stop look up at its attacker. Knowing it couldn’t reach him, his eyes turned the quivering youth nearby. It went charging and Russell stood strong and unwavering even though he was still shaking like leaf. When he got close the redhead swung and unfortunately his weapon just nipped its cheek. His depth perception was always a little on the bad side. The young teen swung it again a planted his axe into the side of the bear before it took a swipe at him. He managed to duck under the powerful paw; being short sometimes had its advantages. After his dodge his Persona shot some arrows into the beast’s back and the beast roar in pained. Then bear spewed out a wave of icy cold breath. Despite his warmer clothes the air pricked his skin painful like a terrible frostbite. It hurt a lot that biting cold and he ended up staggering back and falling. That last thing he wanted was to be down in front of a giant shadow bear but an ice attack along with bleeding trembling was a little too much for his body.

    “Russell!” His Persona called him which meant he was in trouble. The bear was going to attack again and Eros was a little too far to help. This would probably sting... a lot. He did the only thing he could do: hold his axe in the best blocking position he could get while sitting and prepare for impact.
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  14. #139
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    \\ Levin Sanders - Chariot Arcana //
    Court of Miracles


    He couldn't really tell what had happened. Or, he couldn't really remember... For some reason, he was lying on the floor, and... Bleeding.

    He tried to pull himself up, but to no avail. The pain that coursed through his body was too much to gather strength. On closer inspection, several small glass shards had dug into the flesh of his hands, and if the feeling of overwhelming pain in his legs was anything to go by, bigger ones were lodged there as well. That would explain the pool of blood around him.

    It was coming back to him now. He had set off on foot, invigorated by whatever hocus pocus was last cast on him, but he hadn't made it very far. An explosion ensued, catching almost everyone in the blast radius, but those farther behind had gotten the worst of it. He must've blacked out afterwards...

    There was commotion up ahead. Levin was considerably far from the action, but from what he could tell several of the most fortunate ones that had escpaed the blast were already at arms with a new opponent. It was blurry all the way from where he was lying, but they seemed like... Bears? Was this nightmare ever going to end?...

    I have to get up. The pain... it's nothing. I have to forget about it. Ciara will be proven wrong, I don't need to be taken care of, I'm not dead weight! I'm... Levin.. San... He collapsed once more, unable to get to his feet. The blood loss and the the stinging pain were too much to withstand. He closed his eyes... just for a minute, just... one minute to rest...



    "Weak."

    The voice in his head boomed, clear, deep and filled with disapproval. Levin opened his eyes, startled.

    "The measure of a man is weighed in the face of death."

    What? What is this? Get out of my head!!

    "Rise. Prove yourself deserving. You can hear the Gods, now I would see you reach us."

    The voice felt empowering, even in disdain. For whatever reason, Levin found himself able to lean on one arm, then the other, and get to his knees. Before he could make any further efforts to stand, he realized one of the large, masked bears was heading his way, cold mist forming in its breath.
    Levin was unarmed, save for his pocket knife, and even more powerless than usual... It had been a valiant effort, but at least his death would end this nightmare. Perhaps he would finally awaken?...

    "What you call "valiant effort" is but excuse to surrender. Comfort sought by the weak in empty self-reassurance."

    He clenched his fists. The bear was closer.

    Enough of this. Every step of the way, every minute in this hell I have felt belittled, mocked and looked down on... I am better than this; I am better than them. I am better than you, whoever you are that's in my head; I own you, and I will prove you and everybody else wrong... I am Levin Sanders, and I will NOT be patronized! ENOUGH!




    A blinding flash. The shadow bear was pushed several feet away. In front of Levin stood the large figure of a man cloaked in light, his body covered in a white tunic, except for half of his torso and his right arm, where golden plates of armour stood. In one hand he held a rod with a serpent entwined; in the other, a small shield with an embossed illustration of the Sun. His... Persona?

    "Stand."

    - Who... are you?

    The figure answered instantly, in a deep, monotonic voice, no doubt already expecting the question.

    "Thou art I, and I am thou. From the sea of thy soul I cometh. I am Asclepius, God of Healing."

    My... my own Persona. It's magnificent...
    A smile crossed his face once more, after being absent for so long. I told you.

    The light emanating from Asclepius felt warm, invigorating, and the pain was easing. He finally rose to his feet, albeit with difficulty, as the bear did the same and charged head first once more. And yet again it was repelled, as if it collided with an invisible wall.

    "Yours is now the power to heal and purge, ye who has reached the Gods."

    Words he never heard before formed in his tongue, as if he had always known them. Words of power and endless possibilities.

    - Dia, then cast Hama!

    And so it was done. As the aura surrounded him, closing cuts and healing bruises, another burst of light hurled the beast to the floor once more, each time taking it longer to regain footing.

    The lacerations, the blood... It's as if nothing happened, I'm healed! The smile widened as he looked up. My pain is gone, but yours is just starting...
    He began laughing uncontrollably.

    - This is what I'm worth, THIS is my calibre! I stand above death itself!!
    Last edited by MarbleZone; 10th June 2012 at 6:34 PM.

  15. #140
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    Snow
    CoM, outside mirror maze


    After hitting a bear again with his boomerang, Snow got out of the main fight and into the nearby street. The others were taking them out easily, so he'd best get out of the firing range, of the fire wielders. Some were hurt, so if he went to find them...

    BOOM!

    He jumped, and spun around, seeing a truck engulfed in flames. It was like the kind of thing one saw in movies (not like a real wreck). After the initial surprise, he immediately figured that Lace was probably responsible, somehow. He wouldn't be surprised if eventually she was able to make anything explode into flames. On the ground, there were bits of bear that eventually disappeared as whichever enemy she had drawn off died.

    It was weird, the mix of the cool Court air and the heat coming off the truck fire, but Snow walked past it to find Lace and Clarise lying on the ground by a storefront, the former in particularly bad shape. Trying to ignore the queasiness at all the blood, he summoned Melpomene once again. “Recarm, on Lace first, then Clarise.”

    The quiet muse nodded as they brought an intense white light around Lace (with ethereal downy feathers that quickly vanished when they touched her skin). It healed up some of her wounds and gave her the energy to come conscious again. A couple of weeks ago, he'd learned this skills and it seemed rather amazing (although it hadn't seen much use as they had the hang of things with regular Shadows by then). After waiting a couple of seconds, Recarm was used again on Clarise.

    “Are you doing okay now?” Snow asked, more to Clarise. “We might want to get back over to the group in a bit; I can cast a Dia for you in a moment, Lace.”
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  16. #141
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    <//JP- Lovers Arcana//3
    <//Quartermain Hospital//3

    “PEDRO!”

    The Persona manifested instantly as soon as the card touched the skin of JP’s forehead. The bloody, knight like king floated a few feet above the ground with its back turned to his summoner.

    “We need to go there. They need us!”
    Truly, if the new Shadow was as imposing as the last, they would. He’d seen them fight occasionally these past two months; they’d all improved, certainly, but few could honestly deal as much raw damage as him. Outside Lace and her explosions everywhere gimmick, Wulfgard, Ciara (who had simply astounded him by pulling a Persona as strong as she did) and Randy (who’d apparently manifested the ability to summon two personas, at least) mostly everyone was someone JP honestly believed he could take on and easily defeat.

    “Such pride… It feels wonderful. That is the attitude of someone in command of true power, and that of a true king. But, tell me, how is it you expect us to reach them?” the Persona queried, arm raised in the mirror maze’s direction.

    “Umm, well,” JP stuttered, somewhat confused. To him, the answer was obvious. It was literally right in front of him, too. “We’ll fly.”

    “What? How?”
    This was the first time JP’d ever seen Pedro ever lose that calm and collected tone in his voice.

    “Dude, you’re flying. Like, right now.”
    JP made a floating motion with his arms that only further confused his Persona.

    “I am FLOATING! I cannot fly! Do you see me sprouting wings? Remember that I am a spiritual creature given temporary physical form through will power. My lack of defined existence is what allows me to break physics laws and remain in a state of levitation. However, I am not able to fly! I can merely hover but a few feet above the ground Im supposed to be standing on. If I were to jump off this roof, you’d see me hit the floor just like if I’d have thrown a rock. To suggest I would be able to carry us both across town is simply ridicu-”

    Pedro’s speech was cut short. Even In this distance, the blast’s shockwave was palpable (nothing more than a rougher than average wind at this point, though) and the resulting shards of ice flying about caused a myriad of small rays of light to be projected across town. For a second, both human and Persona were able to glimpse the structure’s true form as a maze of ice, their vision unhindered by all the light being reflected previously. Yet, as light faded from the surface, thousands of little lights, like flying shards of glass from a broken mirror, did shimmer in the sky before disappearing completely.

    The cause of the spectacle couldn’t really be any clearer. There was no time to waste. JP sprinted back inside the hospital faster than he’d ran all month, not loosing anytime taking unneeded turns or stopping to unlock doors. If there was a door, he’d stomp it down. If there was an obstacle, he’d kick it away.

    If there was a wall, Pedro would bring it down.

    This was all possible due to the new word echoing in his mind. One who brought forth a feeling of tense, rippling muscles and erupting power. A word that brought forth the strength needed to bend anything to its knees: Tarukaja.

    He made it to the Hospital’s entrance in a record time of thirty seconds, and yet he didn’t stop until he was all the way back where the Court started for him: right next to his parked bike. Without even thinking his actions through, he rode it and attempted to turn it on. One time, two times, three times… seven times, and still nothing. His heart beat started calming down right as this happened, and rational thinking became somewhat more possible in this new state of mind. And then it hit him…

    SONOVA*****!” he said, kicking his bike in the process (which was something he regretted doing the moment he felt the steel bend under his feet. That better pop back into place later.)

    He looked around for something - anything - he could use as a means of transportation. He could hijack a car or something, but just like his bike those for some reason just didn’t work during the Court. If he attempted to run all the way back to campus, he’d only end up tiring himself (most likely for nothing, since he’d surely be transported back to his starting place halfway through the trek.)

    There was absolutely nothing he could do but wait.
    “God damn timing… why today of all days?”


    (OOC: Sorry for the horrid pacing, and sub-par boring post in general. I promise to make it up to you.
    Yes, I've been saying this for two months now. Just bear with me here.)

  17. #142
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    ~ Miyuki Tachibana ~
    - Court of Miracles -


    Pain. That was the first thing she was aware of. Her body ached and her head was in a fog. What had happened?

    Miyuki sat up, wincing as her body protested against the action. There was blood on her hands, dripping from fresh cuts. The ground was covered in glass. No, not glass, mirrors. Lots and lots of mirror fragments. That was when it hit her that she was staring at the maze, or what was left of it. Then... that meant the bomb had gone off after all! And she had been at the back of the pack since she stopped to help Halberd. Wait, Halberd! Astraea!

    Miyuki looked around, but caught no sign of her radiant Persona or her passenger. What she did catch sight of was the others fighting against a group of Shadow bears. After seeing so much of the Court these past few months though, things that that stopped surprising her. Something was off though. And what was making that odd ringing sound? She couldn't hear anything else over... it. She couldn't hear anything else. Even when something else exploded, she couldn't hear it. She could see it, could feel it, but she heard nothing more than that dull ringing. Had she gone deaf? For a moment, she was stricken by panic. What if it was permanent? What if she never got her hearing back?

    But then, she remembered something. They were in a magical section of time outside of time where they could summon magical beings. Some of which could heal. Would a Dia fix her ears up? Would they heal on their own regardless? No time to think, she had to do something. But what good was she going to be in a fight if she couldn't hear? She tried to stand and fell short as her leg buckled. Looking down, she found a rather large shard of mirror sticking out of her calf. She simply hadn't noticed it since her entire body was aching. Wincing, she gently grabbed the shard and pulled it out of her leg, stifling a cry of pain as she did so. Or she thought she stifled it at least. She couldn't even hear herself. She gave it one more shot and made it up, slightly worried about the new blood stain on her pants leg. She needed to find one of their healers, and quick. Before someone got hurt.

    There was a new Persona flying around, a robe wearing guy with a staff that looked a lot like some medical signs she had seen. Was that one the new guy's Persona? Was it a healer? Crap, where was Snow or Joshua when you needed them? Wait, Halberd had Dia too right? Where the heck was he? He had to have been tossed by the explosion when Astraea was dispelled...

    So... options. Go see the new guy, find a Halberd/Snow/Joshua, or... deal with the large ursine Shadow that was charging her. It was running right at her, fangs bared, mouth open as if roaring, though it was a silent scene for Miyuki. Which made it even more terrifying. If one of those things was coming up behind her too, she'd never hear it coming. No, it was time to act. She had to find herself a healer. But with a busted leg and malfunctioning ears, the odds weren't exactly in her favor.

    She was going to have to do the one thing she absolutely hated to have to do. The exact opposite of what she was trying to do every Court. She was going to have to adopt a classic role, as her Drama Club would say. The damsel in distress.

    Not wanting to chance running on her injured leg, especially not on a field of broken glass, she instead took hold of her shield and brought her tarot card to bear. Astraea! She called in her mind. The mental call worked fine, because a moment later Astraea appeared between her and her attacker. Sukunda!

    Astraea raised the Libra, the golden scales casting light across the mirror shards. Rings of light formed around the Shadow Bear before fading away. When they did though, the Bear seemed to be moving at half speed, as if it were tired or something. It was still charging, it was just charging slower. Which left her time for part two of her plan. The part that made her die a little inside, which was preferable in this case to dying a lot on the outside.

    "Someone help!" she screamed. Or she hoped she did anyway.
    Last edited by TheSequelReturns; 11th June 2012 at 12:26 AM.
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  18. #143
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    Ciara H. Wright
    Mirror Maze
    Court of Miracles


    The girl slowly came to, eyes flickering and immediately squinting in the harsh reflected light, something shining back at her and making her look away. Her senses were in overdrive- she tasted the sharp tang of iron in her mouth from a bitten lip, heard faint noises from far away as if they were right next to her, felt the blazing intensity of light even though her eyelids. What was going on? What had just happened? There was an argument, she had put her hands on her hips and then... No. She had been... running. There had been an explosive. Some sort of bomb. She had been confident, strong, far in front of the others- and then she had been struck from two directions at once as everything became noisy, shattered in a crescendo of pain and knives. She had had just enough time to hold her hands up, shield her eyes...

    Groggily, she became aware of an intense pain in her legs and the slight weight covering her- even as she struggled to sit upwards, a sheet of glass fell from her back and onto the ground all around her, spiking into her limbs. She closed her eyes and gritted her teeth as she felt the piercing pain all through her legs and arms, the intensity of it almost overwhelming. There was another, much more raw pain as well... she felt like she had sprained her ankle, or damaged it at least. Hopefully it was only mild and nothing too serious, but it probably wouldn't be advisable to walk on it- still, there was nobody else around. She would have to get help some way, if she wanted to survive. As she pondered, she drew herself into a sitting position and pulled herself so that she leant against one of the few intact walls remaining.

    She brought up a hand to brush her hair out of her eyes to think clearly, but even as she did so she felt slightly dizzied, her vision temporarily doubling- however, Ciara fought the urge to panic and the rising light-headedness, and instead remained calm. Nothing to worry about. Probably only a slight concussion. Somebody could patch that right up, if she got over to them post-haste. She winced as she tried to lift herself- but her balance felt strangely off, with no true way of stabilising herself; her wet, bloodied hands slid hopelessly on the mirrored walls and she ended up falling down where she had begun, the sudden jolting impact making her wince as she heard a crack beneath her. The throbbing and heat she felt in her ankle got worse, but she found herself focusing on something else to ignore these mounting worries.

    Oh lord, she hadn't just crushed her compact? Her own tiny mirror, the mark of her femininity and beauty? That thing was designer, it cost more than these peoples' houses. There was no way that just happened, she was just imagining things.

    Taking deep breaths to control herself and her now rampaging emotions at the loss of material possessions, Ciara looked around for the Moon card in the hopes of summoning Kitsune- and saw it a few centimetres away from her left leg, buried in the diamond dust of crushed mirror. Mentally preparing herself for the pain, she began scrabbling away, trying not to expose her palms and instead digging what felt like sharper needles (her nails, which felt so pointy now) into her palms as with only her fists she managed to scrape away the debris until only the card was left- a few sparkling fragments highlighting the perfect moon on the picture, as opposed to the green monstrosity that dominated this skyline. Even as she thought this, however, a drop of blood fell from her brow and onto the image, shading the moon a dark red and the mirror pieces distorting the image even further.

    Letting out a small yelp as she shook the card off and let the pieces fall into her lap, Ciara held the card up and remained impassive even as the great Kitsune materialised in front of her, consciously modifying its own shape and shrinking its expansive body to fit in the confined space; its red eyes met hers as the two re-established their mutual understanding, the belief in the value of the self and preservation at all costs. Get somebody who can heal me, make it quick. Noticing the flickering image, how the Kitsune seemed to be on the brink of dematerialising, Ciara pulled herself together and focused wholly on her only hope, channelling her sheer force of will into the being. Help me. The beast bowed its head, and immediately turned in the hallway, its long bushy tails brushing her face- and then it was off, galloping confidently away through the path at incredible speed. Closing her eyes, she could visualise it- she could hear sounds of fighting nearby, and so the Kitsune modified its direction accordingly.

    As the white-golden beast raced confidently away to get someone, the girl leant back. Catching sight of herself in one of the cracked panes on the wall, Ciara sighed as she looked at the mess, blood trailing down from her nose and her make-up ruined, streaks of mascara running down her face and lipstick smudged around her mouth; she now resembled a grieving widow and a tragic clown more than the belle of the ball. Lifting a hand, she saw the chipped nails, the callouses and blisters for the first time- the tiny lacerations made by the thousands of little pieces all adding together to the hands of a worker or some common fool. All that make-up, for nothing. She bit her lip and tried not to cry at the futility of her efforts, how easily that veneer had been torn away. Why did everything that was beautiful get taken away?

    What was the point of these stupid mirrors? Mirrors were designed to admire the beauty of oneself, to take pride in one's appearance. They weren't supposed to rip your body to shreds and turn you into an ugly-looking monstrosity, dirty and bloodied. This entire Court was just asinine, these people were stupid, everything else was beyond a joke. She wanted her eiderdown bed, she wanted comfort and warm baths and control over her circumstances. She wanted a life, not a constant war against vice and depression. Human emotions formed these Shadows- why couldn't everyone just be considerate and stop being horrible and opinionated and take these things' powers away? Why couldn't everyone just leave her alone until she was ready? Drag everyone else into this thing, but for the love of God, leave her in peace. This endless nightmare should never have been her responsibility, she didn't want a part in it.

    Aware that the Kitsune should be away, getting help that she now realised she didn't particularly want (even if she needed it desperately), Ciara turned her attention to her warped face in the cracked mirror, and began dabbing around her eyes with her handily-positioned emergency handkerchief to control the damage before anyone could see her.

    Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

    3DS Friend Code: 4253-3963-5379

  19. #144

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    Randy Clopin
    Court of Miracles
    Mirror Maze


    He'd been walking for... maybe five minutes now? Not long after he'd been tossed like the cable bill, the damn clown had egged him into finding Liza... something he wished he didn’t have to be told by a demonic harlequin to do. He was deeply ashamed by that fact.
    Hell, everything he'd done the past day or two had ashamed him.

    He faked the loss of his voice to get out of the band (eventually).

    He skipped school because of his fake voice loss as to make it seem genuine.

    And worst of all, he had hesitated before finally deciding to find his friends.

    He had no real excuse. He didn't want one. He just anted to atone for it. He had to help them...

    He needed to do his duty.

    Shinai Haitani
    Court of Miracles
    His Own Room


    Nothing had interrupted his trip back. Perfect... he couldn't afford another distraction like that JP boy. The moon was already fifty percent eclipsed. Time was running short before he'd have to wait a whole other day to complete his 'project'.

    Placing his new cargo neatly upon his desk, he began the process of setting up the equipment, and making sure the various candles around his room stayed lit, giving him all the light he would need. The moon was good and all, but with what he was attempting, the bit of light coming through his window wouldn't be nearly sufficient. He must have complete visibility.

    Finally, he was able to step back and look at his set up.

    His small table of tools stood to the left of a large sterilized table (It was just a regular dinner table, but he'd made sure it was clean). Surrounding it were several large candles, and a large metal rack with transparent plastic bags filled with red fluid hanging from it. Only on thing was missing.

    Turning his head, he took a look at the girl in his bed. He'd been sleeping on the floor for over two months now... but he didn't care about that. It was nothing.
    But she wouldn't have to stay there for long... if this worked. No, when it worked. It had to. It was the only option he had left.
    Carefully, he walked over to the bed.

    She was so still... it wasn't even peaceful looking. Her skin had become pale, and his difficulty getting her to eat had led to a almost gaunt and hollow appearance. She was about as close to a corpse as a living person could reach.

    He couldn't take it. It was the only reason he would even consider this plan of action.

    Gingerly, his lifted her off the bed, one arm under her knees and one supporting her neck. Her head lolled back over his forearm, and the single bell tied into her hair jingled for a second as she settled. She was light... almost non-existent in his arms. Turning back, he carried her over to the table and set her down carefully, making sure not to hurt her.

    “Now... we can begin...” Shinai muttered, his voice shaking slightly. He was nervous now. The weight of what he was actually attempting finally settling in on him as he looked at her lying on the table, and the all too real blood hanging at eye level. Steadying his hand, he attempted to pick up his scalpel, but before he could lift it a foot, it clattered to the ground. He soon followed, collapsing to his knees.

    He couldn't do it. It was... it was wrong.

    “What issss the matter?”

    “I-I can't d-do it...” He stuttered, answering the call of his Persona. A large weight slid onto his shoulders, as Ophidian appeared. He could feel the snake breathing close to his ear, as it often did. “... what if I screw up... I-I couldn't live with it...”

    “You wisssh to ssssave her do you not? Thissss issss your only choicccce then. Her body issss wassssting away. You cannot keep her alive in this condition forever. And you won't alwayssss be able to protect her.”

    Shinai knew it was true. She wans't eating or drinking nearly enough... and taking her to the hospital was out of the question. And he couldn't risk another incident. He didn't know if something would try to 'finish the job' or not in this hellish plane.
    Steadily, he began to breathe in and out. He stopped shaking, and after picking up his scalpel, he stood back up.

    “You're right... it has to be done. Quickly. Were to we begin?”

    The snake slithered down his arm, and wrapped itself firmly around it, causing slight discomfort. Shinai tried to adjust, but he seemed to have lost all control.

    “Do not fret... I will guide you mysssself. There will be no mistakes.” Ohpidian explained. Demonstrating, he contracted his own muscles, forcing Shinai's arm to move as he pleased. Slowly, he moved over Assua's face.

    “You're sure she won't feel anything?”

    “I can garuntee sssshe won't object... that issss all I can ssssay.”

    Testa Jones
    Court of Miracles
    Outside of the Hospital


    He was almost starting to worry. Not only did the lights seem to be out all around town, but the convenience store was unlocked, everything turned off, and no one was even there. Halloween was fun and all, but it was no reason to neglect your business.
    Still, unwilling to return home empty handed, he'd left the money for the milk and other items on the register and walked out carrying the groceries in a brown paper bag.

    He had decided to take the long way home as to avoid any large crowds of trick-or-treaters that might be out late, and he was happy to have not run into any all the way up to the hospital... although, the fact that he hadn't seen anyone on the streets was getting a little weird. Not to mention the cars that were stopped in place... in the middle of the street.

    That gave him pause as he realized the vacant automobiles. No one on the street, no one in their cars, and it seemed that everyone had bought the same decorations: some kind of thick red substance leaking from the walls. After putting it all together, it occurred to him that something might be wrong here.

    Wait. Who was that? He looked familiar...
    Oh, yes! It was a student from his homeroom! A mister... Jason Piquette? No... that's not right. He knew his initials were 'JP' and that's what most students called him. Rather than embarrass himself trying to guess the name, he chose to employ this nickname instead.

    “Hey, JP! How are you doing? Kinda empty out here, eh? Bit weird if you ask me.” Testa announced, walking up to the boy, waving with his free hand. As he moved in closer, however, he noticed that JP didn't look too... happy.

    “Hey... are you Ok?” He asked, a look of concern spreading across his face. JP was outside a hospital after all. What if someone he knew was hurt. Or worse, inflicted with that Apathy Syndrome. “Is there anything you need to talk about?”

    Izzy Simone
    Court of Miracles
    Being a Damn Coward


    The rest of the group seemed to be handling the bear threat just fine. He really didn't need to throw in his two cents. He was perfectly content staying in one of the corridors leading into the circle, and hiding until all the big blue burly biting bears were deaded.
    Of course, he wasn't allowed to hide and wait.

    “SOMEONE HELP!”

    That voice... even without the slight accent, he could tell it was Miyuki. He couldn't just sit here now. That... that would be wrong. He had to help her.

    Peeking out his head, he quickly located her just a few corridors off, standing in the mouth and watching and unnaturally slow bear advance towards her. She was hurt.
    Without thinking about it any more, he picked up his evoker and stuck it to his head.

    “DAEDALUS! ZIOGNA!”

    The bear never knew what hit him. Blindsided by a bronze titan charged with several gigavolts of electricity, it wasn't so much the force of the fist crushing into its side as it was the release of sparking power that sent it flying across the clearing, slowly evaporating along the way, dead as a doornail.

    Daedalus righted itself in front of Miyuki and looked down at her.

    “Target is safe.”

    “Good! Get her to Snow quickly!” Izzy shouted, a bit stronger than he should have. Daedalus's attack had drained him quite a bit. His head was starting to feel dizzy. But as long as Miyuki was safe he could deal with a bit of nausea.

    ---

    (OOC: SO much more I wanted to do here, but I'll settle for this piece o' crap post for now. Not happy with the lack of detail in them. But it's what I could do without sitting here for 7 hours putting every little thing down. I need to start updating more...)
    Last edited by Zincspider; 11th June 2012 at 9:10 AM.
    WARNING!
    GM is prone to going for the throat. Poke at own risk. Continued poking or complaining in his presence may result in serious character injury or death. You have been warned.

  20. #145
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    Feb 2012
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    \\ Levin Sanders - Chariot Arcana//
    Court of Miracles


    The bear fell to the ground, dead. It had only taken long enough for Levin to enjoy it.
    The power felt wonderful, inebriating even... but still, after the wounds had closed and the bleeding stopped, after fatigue was removed, the mental strain felt immense. He brought a hand to his forehead and closed his eyes for a brief moment; he was feeling dizzy and the headache was terribly intense. Still, a small price to pay.

    "Dominus, your attention."


    He opened his eyes again. Before them stood a white-golden fox with several tails, whose aura he could now identify clearly; another Persona. Whose?
    It hurriedly motioned for Levin to follow it. Moving quickly, steering away from the ongoing battles thanks to the fox's guidance, they reached Kitsune's owner after a while. Lying on the floor, covered in glass and blood, was Ciara H. Wright.

    The faintest smile crossed his lips. He approached the girl, knelt by her side and spoke in a soft, calm tone.

    - Don't worry, I'm here now. No need to act like a snivelling crybaby... It's alright now, I can bring you back to health.

    He paused a moment to look at her better. She was, no questions asked, a beautiful girl, even in such a state. Several glass shards had cut and pierced her skin, and she was in obvious pain... but that wasn't what shone through. Her embarrassment, her revolt for needing help was almost palpable; clearly, she resented having stooped so low as to desperately call for assistance.

    - I can make the pain go away, I can restore your strength. But you see...

    He ran a hand through her hair, then leaned and whispered in her ear.

    -... I could never do something against a lady's will.

    He rose to his feet, turned around and started walking slowly.


    "You would deny this woman the right to live, having the power to save her?"


    I would see this girl realize her place: beneath me, like all of them.

    He stopped and looked back over his shoulder.

    - Luckily for you, I don't think the weak are entitled to an opinion.

    As he began walking away again, a white glow surrounded her, slowly closing every laceration and washing away the pain.
    Last edited by MarbleZone; 11th June 2012 at 7:50 PM.

  21. #146
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    Joshua Sands - Tower Arcana - Court of Miracles

    The party were slowly but surely overcoming the bears. They were outnumbered, and while the bears probably had an advantage in raw power, the group had all the skills to pay the bills. Sigmund and Lace had managed to absolutely floor two with their fire attacks, Izzy had protected Miyuki from one with a huge lightning bolt and Russell and Mana were holding their own too. This fight wouldn't last much longer. Joshua cast an eye back, only to see Ciara, preening herself in a mirror. Now of all times? She was still a little injured from the blast, but to be fixing her makeup when they were under attack from bears? Really? Joshua was about to make his way over to her, but somebody else beat him to the punch.

    Newbie.

    He knelt beside her, and was whispering something, though Joshua could not hear what exactly. Was he about to heal her? Nope, seemed he was taking the time to... Be as creepy as possible. He'd never even met Ciara before to Joshua's knowledge, and chose to run his fingers through her hair. Were she at full strength, that would almost certainly have been the end of him then and there. Hoo boy. But Joshua twinged with something when he saw this, a twinge of anger and jealousy. How dare he do that, when... Well, yes, he had to admit it, his feelings for her were starting to blossom. It should be him healing and comforting her. He wanted to be by her side. She was his friend for one thing, arguably the best he had at Bellow High (though Snow and Miyuki were a close second). They'd danced together at the party tonight, and they'd both looked magical. It had been a lovely evening. Was she mean? Hell yes. Was she stubborn? Hell yes. Was she snarky? HELL yes. But it didn't bother him. It wouldn't really be her otherwise. In a way, they balanced each other out. Joshua of course had little backbone to speak of, and was comparatively kind or at least civil to everyone. He needed her around.

    But all these thoughts granted an opportunity to one of the few remaining bears.

    "OOF!" Joshua hit the floor, as one of the terrifying Shadow Bears blind-sided him with a powerful swipe of its arm. Luckily he broke his fall, and was quickly up again, drawing his saber. "C'mon then beastie..." He didn't have much breath in him, but he doubted he could outrun this thing anyway, and since it was so cold, Shiva's ice attacks would be useless. The bear took another wild swing at him, but Joshua managed to backstep in time, and strike back with a powerful lunge, stabbing the monster in its forearm. Unfortunately, the fight would not be won so easily. And it still had its other arm. It swiped again, catching Joshua's side and tearing open his jacket, though not connecting with his skin. He withdrew his blade, and used a horizontal swipe of his own, trying to force the bear backwards, but it was to no avail as he simply missed. He continued to combat the bear until he happened to glance sideways while blocking one of the bear's strikes to Ciara, who he now noticed was healed, though he couldn't tell if she was still fixing herself. "Ciara! Little help here? Might die!"
    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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  22. #147

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    Shadow Liza
    Court of Miracles
    Mirror Maze


    Origin in sight and incapacitated.

    Her target had been tossed by the tremor of unknown origin into the wall. The target seemed to be in pain, mentally unsound, and began to call out for aid. Unlikely. She was three yards away from reaching distance. The chance of help arriving in such a small amount of time was insignificant.

    Preparing to strike...

    She had reached the girl. Her origin had curled up in a ball, stuck a lollipop in her mouth, and had ceased her screams. Appropriate. As she would soon cease all other function as well.
    Raising her arm, she hovered over the girl for a full two seconds before bringing down her claw. The girl would be killed instantly, with punctures through the temple, the neck, the heart, and the stomach as soon as she made contact with her flesh.

    But she didn't make contact. Something had stopped her completely.

    Randy Clopin
    Court of Miracles
    Mirror Maze


    He could hear someone else. Randy wasn't sure if he was going nuts from all that he'd been forced to go through for the past week or so, or if it was genuine, but he knew he had to take his chances. The Court was relentless, first with this damn maze popping up out of no where, Liza's Shadow, and the explosion that had knocked him down just a few seconds ago, who knows what might be after them now. Izzy, Snow, Sigmund, Halberd... Liza. He had to find her fast. That Shadow was tough. No one of them would be able to handle their own against it.

    Even if it meant getting the crap beat out of him to 'give the others time to prepare' or whatever, it was the only thing he had left.

    Reaching into his pocket with his free hand, and gripping his shovel tight with the other, he pulled his tarot card out of his pocket and flipped it through his fingers, getting a good look at the image of the Fool. If that's what he truly was... he would just have to suck it up.

    “Persona! Vigilante!” He screamed, placing the corner of the card to his temple. A familiar buzz followed by the sharp sounds of broken glass (which he wish he could hear more of in his current environment) signaled the success of his summon. The figure of a tall man, wearing something along the line of a duster, that reached only to about his navel on the torso, but continued the very ground he walked on from the back, solidified in front of Randy. Two bright silver pistols gleamed from their holsters, drawing attention away from the man's face which lacked any features what so ever.

    “Liza's in trouble... so is everyone else, but it's her Shadow, it'll be aiming for her.”

    “If we're to save anyone, we have to move. Quickly.”

    Returning the card to his pocket Randy hoisted his shovel back over his shoulder, and began to navigate the maze with Vigilante. The Persona moved much faster than himself, and took to inspecting the twists and turns, pointing out the way that would lead Randy closer to the location of the noise, and making going through the whole thing much easier than he'd expected. Of course, he wasn't really looking for a way out... and there wasn't a giant sharp pop-sickle chasing him.

    ”Quick! I've found one of them... it's the short one.” Vigilante called from the intersection ahead of Randy. Nodding, Randy put an extra spring in his step, and charge around the corner.

    Under his feet he could feel the crunching of small glass shards beneath his sneakers... it wasn't exactly a mystery where they'd come from. Mirrors were shattered all over the place. The hallway wasn't even intact. The only thing that looked to be in one piece was,

    “Izzy! You're ok!” Randy shouted forgetting he was supposed to be mute for the time being. “Where's the others? Where's Liza?”

    Liza Monroe
    Court of Miracles
    Mirror Maze


    She'd given up. No one was coming. She was all alone. She'd stopped yelling, and slumped onto her side. She just pulled out the only piece of candy she'd brought with her for the night, stuck it in her mouth, and waited to die. After all, the sweetness was the only thing that had really provided her comfort in life... she might as well go out with it.
    Pulling her knees to her face, she watched her Shadow get closer. Tears were beginning to blur her vision, but she couldn't bring herself to raise an arm to wipe them. She just got one last glimpse of her Shadow raising it's hideous claw into the air, the blades shifting as if aiming for before closing them as hard as she could.
    She could still hear though, as every creaking body part in the Shadow's icy form ground across each other, slowly at first as it positioned itself. Then as if glass were shattering, it swooped down at her.
    She just... she just hoped it wouldn't hurt. At least not too much...



    Was she dead? She certainly didn't feel anything. Several seconds had passed. And she was still alive.
    Opening her eyes slowly, she could barely make out her Shadow still standing in front of her... but something else was blocking her view. And it wasn't just her tears.
    Sitting back up, she wiped them away with her hoodie's sleeve.

    “As long as I am here, you have nothing to fear...”

    “Yuki-Onna?”

    Long, elegant platinum hair fell down the Persona's back, small purple Brodiaea blossoms stuck from the feathered mane, frozen in time. Her silky black furisode was as beautiful as Liza remembered it, the sleeve covering her left hand... but her right was exposed, the pure white skin of the spirit pressing against the blade of her Shadow's claw, lightly supporting it.
    Or at least that's what it looked like. Scrutiny proved that, in fact, her Shadow's claw was dissolving into a fine mist at contact with her Persona's skin. The ice turned into a fine mist, and blew with the wind into Liza face. It felt heavenly. Just cold enough to stimulate her skin, and it smelled fresh, like the air before a thunderstorm.

    Her Shadow quickly pulled back it's arm and, for the first time throughout the night, took a step back. Turning it's head down, it gazed at the large valley in it's claw where Yuki-Onna had simply touched it.

    Slowly, with her new found energy, Liza rose to her feet. “I... I believe you.” She stammered, unsure if this was a dream. She was still alive. And now her Shadow was the one being pushed away.

    “Your heart is kind, no matter what this beast may show.” Her Persona crooned, gliding forward reaching out for the Shadow. Grabbing it's head, the same effect began anew. Her hand slowly began to press down into the monster's head, it's icy shell becoming a fine mist and flowing over Liza's face. “What you see yourself as, or what others see, is nothing compared to what is true in your heart. Just because you do not emote does not mean you lack feeling. But only you know that... .”
    Her shadow flailed about, attempting to escape from the snow lady's grasp. But it was powerless against her. Where it tried to grab, it relinquished it's grip as though it were burning. Liza could almost hear the creaking of it's joints as a scream, as it had none of it's own to offer.

    “You want to do something about it. You actively dream of overcoming this little fault. But you've never actually stood up to it. I know this, only because you know this. I can only say what is true to your heart. And that, is why this puppet could never harm you. Only those close to you.”
    Her delicate fingers seemed to have no trouble squeezing the Shadow's head hard enough to make it crack, fissures snapping off many bits of spiky ice that represented Liza's hair.

    As a last ditch effort to escape, the Shadow pulled back it's claw and stabbed forward, trying to impale the Persona. As it made contact with her slim waist, the ice shattered into a fine blue mist, sparkling in the moonlight. Not only her claw, her whole right arm was not in pieces, a glittering cloud.

    Liza looked at her feet, knowing what her Persona said was one hundred percent correct. She knew perfectly well she had a problem... but she did want to fix it. It wasn't a harmful problem, at least not directly. Having to see others look at her like she doesn't exist... like she's not important. Like they don't think she cares about any of them? That hurt her more than any knife could.
    But she could never take that final leap... even now, after experiencing the manifestation of her fears, and problems, it scared her.

    “Do not be frightened... that's this thing's job.”

    Liza couldn't see her Persona's face for the next part, but the terrifying, blood-curdling, elongated, high-pitched screech that emanated from her protector even caused her to be a bit frightened.
    But it was nothing compared to how her Shadow reacted. It had apparently seen something much worse than the scream, as it had stopped moving completely.

    Releasing it's grip, Yuki-Onna floated back, for a second and turned to look at Liza.
    She looked perfectly normal, a serene expression of joy covering her smiling face. Turning back to the Shadow, she lightly tapped what remained of it's head. Slowly, it tilted back, and then fell onto the ground behind it, shattering into several large black chunks, that couldn't look more different from it's previous form. Slowly, they disintegrated, as all Shadows did when bested in the Court.

    Randy Clopin
    Court of Miracles
    Clearing


    Izzy looked shocked at Randy's sudden appearance, even more so as he was talking... and holding a shovel. Two things he was not doing the last time he'd seen him. Not that Randy realized it.
    He didn't even see the fight going on not a few feet away.

    “So, where is she?” He asked again, grabbing Izzy's shoulders.

    “I-I don't know... I haven't seen her in a while...” Izzy answered, unsure of what to make of the situation. On one hand, Randy was alive... on the other, he didn't look to be in the best condition. Not just his appearance either. His eyes looked sad... as if he'd been going through a lot mentally.
    His answer didn't help. Dropping Izzy, Randy frantically took in his surroundings.

    Shattered glass, blood everywhere... that tremor must have come from here. An explosion. Liza no where to be seen. Her shadow also missing.
    “LIZA! WHERE ARE YOU!” He shouted, running into the circle. That's when he caught sight of the bears. Only three of them remained in the fight, but three bears is enough. “L-Liza... ?” He asked one more time, so low that no one could possibly hear it over the fight.

    Vigilante stood by Randy, awaiting orders, but they didn't come. Instead, Randy looked up at the moon. “Where are you...?” He whispered, his voice trembling. Was he too late? Did she... was this... was she... “You can't be gone... .”

    His fist became clenched, his knuckles turning white as he tightened his grip on the shovel. But his reaction was the least noticeable in the vicinity. Next to him, his Persona seemed to be having problems of it's own.
    It buckled to it's knees, shivering, and gazed up at the moon as well. Reaching up it grabbed it's head, and as if it was scripted he and Randy both bellowed in frustration together, Vigilante's being the stronger.

    “To conquer the anger and ravenous rage... to make it a part of your power...”

    As if switching places, Randy fell to his knees, and his Persona shakily stood up. Looking at it's hands with an eyeless face, it looked as if it were trying to back away from them, but was ultimately unable to escape its own limbs.

    ”To pummel them down... and let your blood-lust engage... .”

    Heaving heavily, Randy threw his arms back and screamed once more into the night. It was all too much. He was a useless piece of sh*t, unable to do anything, and now the only thing he was supposed to be good at, he failed. She was dead, and he couldn't do a damn thing. So fuck it. Fuck everything.

    “To feel the fury, so pure and so bright... I am nothing but a Beast.”

    “GODAMMIT! FIND HER!”

    Vigilante couldn't hold back anymore. As if his master's scream tore down his last shred of sanity, he threw his head back and began to howl.
    Quickly, his muscles began to ripple and bubble, popping out from the jacket, but even that wasn't enough. With one quick flex, and a flash of blinding red light, not only the jacket, but his skin burst clean off, revealing something much more monstrous beneath the surface.

    Blood red furred covered it's eight foot body, from it's long arms, to it's oddly canine legs. While it still stood on two feet, it was clearly not human. A large, wide jaw, filled with jagged white teeth slobbered without end, dripping large amounts of saliva onto the ground. It's black gums were clearly visible behind curling lips, but even though it's mouth was impressive, it lack any sort of eyes. It's head snapped back and forth with the sounds of battle, and it's nostrils flared as it took in the smells surrounding it.
    Upon it's thick, muscular right arm, several bandages wrapped around the monster's shoulder, looking a bit dirty, and bloody on top of that. While most of it it seemed to be soaked in, the letters 'XVIII' clearly traced in the center with the red fluid.

    Arcing back it's rectangular hear, it puffed it's large chest out taking in air. Then, with a fury proportional to it's bestial appearance, it released a roar, so loud that the force of the deep guttural boom sent saliva flying clear across the clearing and out into the world away from the maze.

    The fighting seemed to cease. The bears pulled back, lowering their guard for a second.

    Without wasting a second, the Beast flung itself at the nearest shadow. Like a shot out of a gun, it was on the bear faster than it could react, plowing the poor thing into the glass covered ground. It tried to defend itself, raising a single paw to swipe at it's attacker. The beast decided it was a better idea to grab the arm as it came swinging down, and began pulling back. With a sickening rip, the skin and muscle of the bear gave, spilling a black inky mess onto it's blue fur.
    But the monster wasn't done. Tossing the arm to the side, it held the shadow down firm, and struck out at it's throat, his mouth open wide.

    Garret Wulfgard
    Court of Miracles
    Outside of the Maze


    Garret watched in shock from outside.

    “My God...”

    He had just finished slaying the last of his own attackers, and was just fixing to help his students fight off theirs. But something had beaten him to the punch. From ripping out one bear's throat, the brutish thing jumped to the next, tearing it away from its battle and throwing it against one of the remaining walls. From there it leapt into the air and came crashing down on the Shadow, causing it pop out both ends, it's inky insides leaking onto the mirror shards on the ground before evaporating into the air. The last Shadow tried to take advantage of its preoccupance , and maul the creature from behind, but it had even worse luck than the last two.

    Ignoring the swipes made at it's flesh by the Shadow, the monster turned around in an instant, ears twitching, and grabbed one half of the bear's jaw with each hand stopping it's bite. Then it began separating the two. Garret turned away as the Shadow proved to be less sturdy under the brute's hand than he had expected. He knew it was just a manifestation of mankind's shortcomings... but he didn't think he could watch it get ripped in half... especially not with the sounds it was making.

    When the snapping of bone and flesh ceased, Garret turned back, making sure his sword was at the ready. The monster was sniffing around now, within an inch of each of the student's faces. It seemed to not care about most of them making only a small whimper next to a few (Snow, Izzy, and Mana), and outright ignoring several others. But on the new kid, Levin, it stopped in it's tracks. Looking at the boy it apparently found a smell it didn't like... or recognize at the least.
    As it had before, it reared back, and let out a fantastic roar, flinging it's spit all over the poor kid, and his hair sweeping back from what was practically a gale.

    Garret began to run at the Beast, but soon found there was no need. Without even raising an arm, it walked away from the boy, growling all the while.

    It didn't make it far, though. Passing by one of the abandoned corridors, the monster suddenly froze up. Garret was confused at first, but he quickly found the problem.
    He didn't have to be a doctor to see that the large reflective spike protruding from one side of the Beast's ribcage to the other was the problem. Slowly, it slid off the weapon and onto the ground disappearing from sight after a few seconds.

    “A Persona then...” Garret muttered, looking around at his students. “But more importantly, what took it out.”

    To his side, he heard Randy moan and collapse, running over to him, he tried to wake him up, but he was out cold.
    “Dammit... .”

    ???
    Court of Miracles
    Her Maze


    Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

    “Oh, how cliché, dear. Really, you couldn't come up with anything bearing more, pizazz for our thoughts? Or at least with less exposure to a Disney movie? My lord... ”

    Walking out from her hiding area, she stepped over where the wretched brute had been standing only a moment ago. She wanted to make sure that she didn't catch the mange from such a filthy animal. She was glad she took the chance to cull the stupid mutt early on. No need to worry about fleas and ticks now.

    ”Now, I've only thrown two useless pawns away, while you uncultured heathens have lost your will, your strength, and your puppy.”

    Reaching into her pockets, she withdrew a nail file, and held her opposite hand in the cradle position. As if it had always been there, the nail on her index finger grew to impossible lengths, reflecting the images of the mindless peons around her. How drab they all looked... and to go as far as to show themselves in her nails? How insulting.
    Lightly, she began to file the edges of the razor sharp spike.

    ”I do suppose I've also lost my perfect manicure... and, honestly, that's the saddest loss of the night.”

    Storing the file once more, her nail receded to normal size. Raising her hand, she cleared her throat, and then placed her hands on her hips.

    “Tonight I'll show you just how small and insignificant you all are. In comparison to my genius.” Slowly, not just her index finger, but all of her nails began to grow longer and longer, each one a thick needle reflecting the light of the moon. As if to emphasize her magnificence, she began to hover off of the ground, no noise what so ever.
    The remaining sections of the maze began to crumble as she rose higher and higher, her laughter raising in volume and producing more than just noise.
    From the wreckage of the now demolished maze, a thick fog of purest white rose from the ground.

    But changes didn't stop there.

    Slowly, as if it were being painted, ten large slabs of stone floated behind her, patterned out like a large cape. Raising her arms, the slabs moves with them, spreading wider as she raised her hands above her head. Then thrusting them out to he sides horizontally, the slabs flew into a shape not unlike wings.

    “I AM CIARA H. WRIGHT! AND I AM THE PINNACLE OF PERFECTION! BOW DOWN BEFORE ME AS YOUR NEW QUEEN AND YOUR DEATH WILL BE SWIFT! ALL OTHERS WILL SUFFER!”
    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.

  23. #148
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    <//JP- Lovers Arcana//3
    <//Quartermain Hospital//3


    In the state of perfect lack of mobility (and utility) JP found himself in, there was little left for him to do besides dedicate himself to fixing the damage he’d caused on his bike. At least while he fixed the benders and polished the metal as best he could.

    Needless to say the task did barely anything to ease his mind. At times he got so caught up imagining whatever terrible battle scenario had caused that explosion earlier that he ended up damaging the bike even further. At least this meant he had something to occupy himself with before the end of the Court, as nothing else but his own imagination caught his mind. That was, until the Court decided to throw yet another surprise at him.

    “Hey, JP! How are you doing? Kinda empty out here, eh? Bit weird if you ask me.”

    That voice was so out-of-place. Incredibly familiar, and just hearing it filled JP with a sense of dread and drowsiness instinctively, but such a voice had no place in this world. It was Jones, his homeroom teacher. Yet another popular character from school.

    The look of shock and confusion must have been plastered on JP’s face despite his attempts to cover them. The question “Are you ok?” all but confirmed it.

    A torrent of diverging thoughts spread away from that moment; some tried to understand if what JP was seeing was the real Jones, or some sort of mirage or… a Shadow Self of some sort. Others took for granted his authenticity and tried to figure out whether or not the man even knew where he was and what was happening, or if he was just one of those “one-offs” unlucky enough to spend a night in the court, yet lucky enough to forget it should they survive. This off course meant JP ended up staring like a fool at the man for longer than was recommended while he tried to gather his mind.

    Since he eventually lost track of his thoughts, he decided to simply answer the question. Problem was, even that was hard. What was he supposed to answer? The truth? No, sir, I’m not okay. I’ve just been beaten by one of the frailest kids of our school who has apparently transformed into a vampire kung-fu master while I was visiting my *****, the one who I pretty much killed-both directly and indirectly, SIMULTANEOUSLY- and now my bike won’t start even though I’m pretty sure everyone I know who’s ever given a single **** about me is dying?

    As much as he needed someone to hear him out right now, Jones wasn’t the man, nor was this the time or quite frankly the place.

    JP figured a lie would get the customary result.

    “Oh, hello there, Mr.Jones. I didn’t see you there. But, while you’re here, would you mind helping me with my bike? A well travelled guy like you probably fixed his fair share of engines, right?”

    He probably set himself up for yet another adventure story right there and then, but honestly this might have been the only time they would ever be welcome. They’d pass the time and clear the need for awkward student-to-teacher out of class conversations.

  24. #149
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    OOC: Sorry for my long absence! But I do have to admit, this is much more interesting than fighting a bunch of bears--though watching them be ripped apart by a werewolf was fun.
    IC:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Halberd
    Court of Miracles--Shattered Mirror Maze


    One moment, Halberd was running unusually fast. The next, he was sitting against a wall, feeling rather dizzy. Perhaps then he had fainted, and some woman--Scathach?--was carrying him out of the maze. Or maybe someone else; he couldn't tell. And now, he was lying face-down on a sidewalk, shards of glass or something everywhere.

    As he pushed himself into a sitting position, he gave a sharp cry of pain--it felt like someone had dug a knife right into the side of his neck. Well, it wasn't quite a knife--it was one of the shards, as he found out as he dislodged one from the base of his neck, and several more from his right cheek. Again he winced, as the bit of curly hair hanging over his face prickled against some of the cuts. Apparently the maze had exploded just as Shadow Sigmund had suggested, but somehow he had survived. And he was at least glad that all his injuries seemed to be in one place--apparently his rather thick coat had shielded him from the other shards. However, he probably had a few bruises on his back from where the bigger shards fell on top of him.

    Looking around, he saw a few of the Personae healing their users. A good idea, he thought. So without any further ado, he summoned Scathach and had her use Dia on him. Scathach really wasn't the best healer around, but she was at least able to patch up the wounds on Halberd's neck and face so that they didn't bleed all over the place. The resulting scars were a bit painful to the touch, but at least better than they were before.

    And then there was the scene around him. A bunch of big, mean-looking bears were attacking the city. And a creature Halberd could only guess was a werewolf was ripping one of them apart, much to a few onlookers' horror. What was going on here? And what happened to Sigmund and Clarise? Well, at least half of that was answered, as he looked around to see the previously very normal-looking cheerleader, unharmed. He had no idea how she survived the explosion, but now was not really the time to ask. Was that werewolf-thingy an enemy or a friend? Halberd was watching it closely, until it got skewered with a gigantic glass spike. Ouch.

    Pain followed by sweetness. Sick sweetness. It was another Shadow Self. Worse. It was Shadow Ciara.

    Halberd glanced around as the mirror shards vanished into a mist that wafted over the area. And then, before him, Ciara took flight, upon wings adorned by a series of stone tablets. These Shadow Selves sure had weird designs, he thought. It looked like a boss out of one of those weird JRPG's.

    And yup, it was Ciara all right. She asked everyone to bow down, like the queen she righteously was. Halberd briefly smirked as she said this.
    Ha! She expects me to bow down to a queen that is lesser than my own Persona?

    Strangely enough, that's just what he did. Once her words finished, he took a knee, though he kept his hand close to the hilt of his longsword in case of a sudden attack. For a brief moment he scanned around with his eyes, but didn't find what he was looking for. So for now he played along with the Shadow Queen's game.

    [size=1](By Shadow Queen I mean Shadow Ciara, not Scathac, though the latter certainly is an inferior version of one.)[/size=1]

    "My queen, I pray thee dispatch me with the swiftness of thy will," he said to her. "Now then, may I pay a visit to your inferior self?"

    It was a silly way to look for the real Ciara, and he knew it. There must have been something in that brain gelatin at the party, perhaps.

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

    RPG's I'm in now: Gauntlet of the Greek God Guardians (Zuri), Castle of the Vampire King (Bianca and Lilith)
    Current RPG Project: Earthbound: The Rainbow Omen (Sign-ups) (RPG thread) (Discussion)

  25. #150
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    Aug 2004
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    Sigmund Okonkwo
    Where the Action Is [Court of Miracles]


    Sonofa-

    Sigmund backpedaled furiously, not so much trying to escape the bearlike Shadow that had just left a gash on his right thigh as to avoid the bestial creature that had just left much deeper gashes in said Shadow's torso. Whether that thing was some new Persona or something else entirely, he wanted to stay way clear of the mess of razor fangs and crimson fur that had just ripped through a half-ton arcane monster. It had beef with the Shadows, it wasn't interested in him, and that was good enough for Sigmund.

    Feeling a growing pain in his limbs, Sigmund hobbled back toward where a few of the others had been fighting and began to take inventory of himself. Multiple lacerations on his back,1 several shallow cuts along his shins2, a bruised forearm3, and frostbite across a good deal of his chest4. Groaning, Sigmund silently thanked Hua Po. Her protective wards were a blessing in every sense of the word, to be sure. Still, he had let himself get to a point where he would be in no condition whatsoever to fight when they wore off, which would be seven different kinds of dangerous if it weren't for the absolute slaughter being laid down on the Shadows at the moment5. Either way, a look around proved that he could be worse off, given that he was in the company of several healers. Not that it was really helping Clarise, he noticed - Snow seemed to be trying to resuscitate her via magic, but she just wasn't responding. Sigmund grumbled and kicked himself again for completely failing to prevent this outcome.

    Frickin' shadow. Who did he think he was, anyway?

    ...

    Oh, right, me. Well, he was way off the mark, there.


    But now was not the time to root out every reason why he was so unlike his shadow. That could wait for tomorrow - as it was, the night had been long and he was growing a bit tired. That was the thing about the Court of Miracles - it started at midnight, giving him all day to wear himself out before even getting started on it. But this one had run its course, and the red beast was tearing through what little threat was left to them, or so he was assuming by the noises - Sigmund didn't particularly care to watch the carnage at the moment, and the howling was far enough away that he apparently wasn't its focus. One of the others would patch him up, then the night would be over and he could get some rest.

    Oh, how cliché, dear.

    Oh, of all the mizza-friggin-mazza-fraggin pains in the rear end that had to pop in now, of course it would be another shadow doppelganger6. Its comment wasn't directed at him, but its voice gave an immediate queue to who it was supposed to be imitating - this time, Ciara was up to bat. Sigmund admittedly didn't know her that well, but her shadow was at least doing a decent job of imitating her from what he could tell, capturing her abrasive self-assurance in full. But that's all it was - an imitation and a monstrosity. That's what all of these Shadow Selves were. They weren't some deep mirror into their souls. Just shadows, if a bit bigger and smarter.

    The shadow talked itself out fairly quickly, taking no provocation to turn on them completely. As if not to be draw attention from the shadow, the remainder of the maze slowly collapsed around them, making Sigmund a bit uneasy on his feet for just a moment until it had turned to chunks of glass. By the time that Sigmund had turned his attention back, the shadow had already gathered a set of rock slabs about itself and taken to the air, floating between them and the moon.

    Perfectly out of reach.

    Sigmund squinted up at the shadow effigy of Ciara H. Wright. Attacking it from the ground was right out. Sending Hua Po up close would be dangerous with it swinging several hundred pounds of rock around, and his aim with magic was spotty at anything farther than twenty-five feet (he would only be getting that close by standing directly under it, and standing directly under boulders was usually bad). What remained was a long-range, which was quite simply something that he wasn't capable of. And so, once again, he was proving to be completely and utterly useless against these Shadow Selves.

    Giving a quick look around, he racked his brain for the list of everybody's weapons and made a quick run down the list. The only people he could think of with long-range weaponry were Snow and Mana, and of those, Snow seemed a bit occupied by healing duty besides not being very attack-oriented in the first place. Mana it was, then. As Sigmund approached the upperclassman, it occurred to him that he still wouldn't be able to provide much besides protective wards and moral support. Really, he needed to be close enough to throw a fireball or a fist - or both at once - to really be of any use. Sadly, jet-fists were not yet an invention outside of comic books, and so the fighting would fall to someone else.

    Slouching a bit, Sigmund pressed his Evoker card against his forehead again and dictated, "Hua Po, set 'im up." Appearing in midair, the faerie circled around Sigmund's head once, coaxing him into groaning a bit less in spite of his injury and light-headedness before flying ahead and circling Mana three times. Then, staring the archer in the eye, she gave him a sweet smile and an encouraging pump of her fist before disappearing again. Covering the last few feet, Sigmund found to his surprise that Hua Po had taken a bit of liberty with his instruction - at the tip of Mana's drawn arrow, encasing the head, was a brightly-burning wisp of flame, not damaging the weapon but sure to damage the shadow in the sky. Yeah, that would do just fine.

    Sigmund looked to Mana and threw him the usual half-smile that was left during the last round of these long nights. "Hit 'em hard."




    1Courtesy of his own Shadow, damn the thing.
    2From his own stupid rolling around in glass.
    3From trying to block a bear Shadow's attack, but better his arm than his head.
    4Which he had been too stupid to dodge in any way.
    5Which narrowed his condition down to three kinds of dangerous.
    6Thereby setting the new record at three in one night, where Sigmund vehemently hoped it would remain unbroken.

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