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Thread: Persona- Burn On, Shining Souls!

  1. #151
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    Ciara H. Wright, Bad to Worse
    Mirror Maze
    Court of Miracles


    Of all the people to heal her, it was that atrocious child. In future, she would give to prerogative to the Kitsune to get a human being and not a freak. She was distracted by the revitalising feeling of the healing, but she was still conscious and aware of him. She wasn't up to moving yet, but all she wanted to do was to strangle him with her bare hands, and then stab him over and over before burning him alive and stuffing a bomb in his stomach so then he would explode. When this fictional Levin had exploded, Ciara would then gather up all the tiny little pieces and stomp them into dust.

    "Ciara! Little help here? Might die!"

    Ciara paused, as she slowly regained her footing and noticed Joshua requiring assistance. Her first thought was to go and clean up his mess, as per usual, but this was overtaken by a second, far more treacherous yet appealing idea. The pervert had turned his back on her- big mistake. Such a big mistake. After how he had just treated her, she could do so many things to him. She had two months' worth of combat experience under her belt, as well as easily the best Persona ever (everyone else's were all humanoid and looked immensely lame). Her adorably cuddly killer fox could charge right through his weak skeleton in a single strike and scatter all his components to the wind. He would regret ever touching Ciara H. Wright.

    She merely shot Joshua a strangely smouldering look, before focusing back on her target. Moving oh-so softly, oh-so swiftly, she was behind him, and his neck was within her grasp. Ciara thought of all the things she could do with Levin Sanders- all the ways she could make him weep for mercy, and regret that he had ever been born. She would be so slow and considerate as she inflicted all the pain she could without even flattening a hair on his lovely head, and then she would teach him how worthless he really was, and he would learn his place. He had been crying last night- tonight he would face his worst nightmares.

    Just as she prepared to reach out, stop that awful squawk once and for all... she took a step back. And frowned. What was that, over his shoulder? A beast, tearing indiscriminately through foes, with brutality that could have been beautiful if it wasn't so... primitive. It wasn't stylish like the Kitsune- it seemed to be something that only cared about bloodshed, and just straight-out tearing things to pieces. There was no targeting, no greater strategy- it just... ripped the bear in half. Like it was made of paper. It was destroying Shadows, but was it an ally or just a powerful foe demonstrating its strength? Realising that she was nervously clasping her hands together, Ciara separated them and started carefully regulating her breathing, thinking about all the things she had read in magazines and books about large mammals before.

    How to deal with them... Was it not showing fear? Or did she have to play dead? She couldn't think in that much detail about things she had read what felt like aeons ago, the adrenaline was pumping fast and a basic fight-or-flight response was the only one she was capable of conjuring in her mind. Flight was winning.

    Becoming increasingly aware that the creature didn't seem to be changing its course any time soon and was likely headed in her direction, Ciara flexed the Moon card with her hand, prepared to squeeze and deal with the new threat at a moment's notice- however, she couldn't stop herself from wondering about the what ifs- what would happen, if her mind's embodiment got ripped in half too? She had confidence in the Kitsune's abilities- but this thing? It was unprecedented. There were exciting challenges, and then there were impossible feats. This seemed to fall into the latter category. She hadn't reached the stage in her training where she was confident she could avoid something so... merciless. It seemed enraged, but it also seemed strangely focused despite that. It was dually unpredictable and strong, the most dangerous combination to prepare for.

    Luckily for her, the torture of hypotheticals stopped as it stopped too- right in front of the new boy, and she took several more steps back, ready to run. It wouldn't be much good, but some headstart would be advantageous if it went for her after splitting his skull. It reared back (she had to mentally prod herself to continue breathing normally), and then roared directly into his face, an ear-splitting sound that she managed to block out a small proportion of by flinging her hands to her ears. Time seemed to stop, yet Ciara felt thankful to be at least in the shadow of the new boy, his body acting as a remarkably good barrier against whatever had been in the thing's mouth (it was probably gross and diseased) and allowing her to avoid the brunt of the sheer force of the roar and hopefully some of the sound- it had almost seemed to sweep him off his feet. And then after a few seconds that felt like eternities within themselves, it moved off, growling.

    As soon as she was sure it wasn't in the immediate vicinity, Ciara's brain worked quickly, deciding that 'out of sight, out of mind' was the best strategy. The boy was surely in the throes of some sort of delirium, and completely distracted. Stealth wouldn't be necessary now. If his eardrums were intact, she would be surprised. What a curiously opportune, if disconcerting, circumstance. Karma worked in mysterious, disgusting ways. Quickly, too.

    And then she heard a voice.

    “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... ”

    Her voice.

    Ciara froze, just momentarily, and felt her blood chill. It was her now. Of course, it always would have been her- the mirrors. Nobody else knew a mirror like Ciara did- they all looked so slobby and underdressed in comparison to her constant perfection, all as a result of a good mirror. And before the explosion, these had definitely been good mirrors. The girl managed to regain her composure, but was still troubled- the Disney movie line. That thing seriously couldn't read her thoughts? It surely couldn't. It was just frightening her, it knew how much she loved fairytales and just thought of that. That made sense. Far more sense than... anything she wouldn't want to think about.

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

    Of course they were pawns. They couldn't have been the biggest threats, they were so dumb and simple. Ciara felt secretly glad that her Shadow had been the night's mastermind. Clear proof of a sharp mind if there ever was one. Liza and Sigmund were both so dim that their Shadows wouldn't be able to get together a coherent plan if their lives had depended on it- and their lives had, and they were probably dead. Could Shadows die? Well, this one was definitely getting sent right down to Hell, and Ciara wasn't prepared to argue over such concepts with one of these fools- none of them would understand the intricacies of philosophical thinking. Still, she definitely hadn't lost her will. In some ways, the lack of earlier fighting meant that she had been conserving her strength, and already being pumped to beat Sanders within an inch of his life transferred well to this scenario.

    Ciara found herself disinterestedly wondering if she had such an obnoxious laugh. She found this thing so incredibly irritating- she was bored and had just missed the opportunity to rip a complete weirdo to shreds but was now facing the perfect target to unleash all her pent-up aggression on. Perfect.


    “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!”


    Ciara rolled her eyes. God. Could she stop talking? That yelling was driving her demented. Of course, Donneley predictably went for the coward's method of avoiding conflict and 'playing along'. What a sap. After she had finished with Sanders, Ciara decided that she would slap some sense into him, or just push his dopey face off a precipice and be done with it.

    "Stand up, you simpering fool," snapped Ciara at Halberd, as she walked carefully over until she determined she was in the perfect position, judging distance as she moved in order to match up the angles. Every tactic had an optimal environment- this was no different. From the place she was standing, the Kitsune could easily make a jump to tear the thing's head clean off, and there were always contingencies to ensure that the advantage was maintained. "I'm pro-actively dealing with my own problems, rather than causing anger issues with explosions like Princess Peach over there," she raised an eyebrow briefly at Sigmund before she began looking up and down the opposition.

    I'm not going to let her launch on some boring monologue, some tirade about how awful I am and how I deserve death and blah blah blah. These things are all the same. I was expecting fireworks, but this is a shitty disappointment.

    Ciara merely smiled at the Shadow, taking in the caricature- a rather loud being obsessed with being bowed down to as Queen. What an awful exaggeration. Knowing rightly that she was destined for greater things and had ambition and drive to get to the top was completely different to this. Yes, there was also pulling others down and trampling them even further downwards, but this method of using that tactic was just showy and a bit tacky. She was actually a bit disappointed- she expected something a bit better than some floating woman with a broken artefact behind her and being all loud. This thing was so me-me-me; what a big target it made itself. She expected such baseline things of somebody else's Shadow. What a cliché.

    For one thing, real geniuses knew not to state 'my genius'. This was basics.

    How tiresome. "Honey, your manicurist ****ed up big time. Look at those talons, I mean eeeeek, darl. You call them perfect, but you don't know perfection. In any case.." Ciara clicked with her left hand as she summoned the Kitsune with her right, the large beast snarling and baring its incredible fangs, "I think we'll give you the ultimate makeover. Have I mentioned I love your clothes? I'd love to tear them off your back, and all that goopy Shadow goodness with them. But you know, we can't ignore how you look. I think Botox is required; Kitsune, let's start with a facelift."

    The massive fox bowed its great head, then after momentarily tensing its haunches launched itself into the air with a great leap right at the adversary's head. Its body was prepared to follow the standard procedure- shapeshift and redistribute mass in order to ensure the least damage possible from attacks.

    Or a headlift. Same difference.
    Last edited by Wordy; 28th June 2012 at 12:38 AM.

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  2. #152
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    Lace Condor
    Court of Miracles


    Woken by a cool breeze, Snow was down in front of her and Clarise hadn't stirred. Lace ignored the slight pain in her back and sat up against the wall, rubbing her head. There wasn't any glass on her, and the blood had now dried up with spots all over her shirt. Ignoring her messy hair her she turned in Snow's direction. “Thanks Snow. I'd hug you right now, but...”She motioned to her bloody shirt. Her legs fully stretched out and head resting on the brick wall, she looked over the street at the still going fire. Her eyes grew hot. Absorbed at the smoking pile of metal, Lace blinked hard and flicked her head to Snow, then to a treasure, resting in her pocket.

    Her right hand still in her pocket gripping the treat, she broke off staring at the boy -- licking the warm blood around her lips she rubbed Clarise's hair and swallowed at him;. She opened her mouth but cut her off when she took one of his hands and opened it. A second later, he was staring at the green, red and brown M&M's family. She watched him and rustled her pockets, letting out the sound of crackling sweets before rising up. She wasn't that generous.

    Clarise was alive and seemed to be mumbling to herself. Nothings. Lace knelt down in front of her and scooped her up on her back. Just as she stood up, a sharp pain went down Lace's leg and she feel to her knee. Clarise was her responsibility now and they'd ride this whole night out. She recovered and was fully standing now, taking small, measured breaths as she slowly made her way across the street. The remaining bears left her mind, leaving nothing but a chance to rest. Standing in the middle of the street, one of the bears rumbled past and bumped her, nearly knocking them over as it went. Her eyes were getting heavier and she was just about to nod off when...

    "You uncultured heathens, have you lost your will...?" Was that, Ciara's voice? Lace at best managed to keep her eyes half open as she sleepily stumbled around to face the alley that hid this voice. She blinked a couple times at it as the figure came closer. "I am Ciara H. Wright! I am the--"

    "Somethin' about..." Lace swallowed and closed her eyes. "Orderin' pizza. Heh heh. Hey, Clarise..." She turned her head up and started mumbling to her as the Shadow lifted into the air. The others could see it now. Shadow Ciara now off the ground with a row of stones connected by an invisible thread. A fox leaped at the target. Coming from the side, the sound of shattered glass along with a large fireball from the alley. The two were on their way to greet this Shadow but whether they made contact or had any great effect, she didn't watch.

    Still in the street, to her left was a wide brown building that Lace was now stumbling through its double-doors. Electricity was out and there wasn't a soul inside. Minutes later, on the rooftop, Clarise lay softly on her back as the red-head girl looked down over the side at the Shadow that looked no more than two feet down.

    That's ridiculous. You're guessing...

    Saturnus' flames crackled in her ears as he floated behind Lace. It was like a small sun on the roof. The glow grew brighter as he came closer.

    You think she'll be alright, up here?

    Saturnus looked from Clarise, back to his partner, and then the edge.

    She'll have a good view of our mess. That is quite a drop.

    It's a lil' hop.

    Clarise's body was once again absorbed in Saturnus' heat as she was lifted off the ground.

    Lace said nothing and readied herself.

    Her daggers out, she saw her eyes, Saturnus, and Clarise, asleep in the reflection. She had to grab hold tight. Saturnus moved closer as her legs flared up and she stepped back to the middle of the floor, and tossed Clarise a quick glance. The girl paused, blazed forward to the edge, and flipped over. There were a good two or three stories between Lace and the enemy. Her leg's -- scorching as she fell through the air, Lace aimed her shoes directly for the back of the Shadow's head.
    Last edited by Vivian_Bloom; 22nd June 2012 at 11:38 PM. Reason: All-Star Dunk Contest? Go for broke?
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  3. #153
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    Joshua Sands - Tower Arcana - Court of Miracles - A World of Pain

    Joshua's cry for help to his friend fell on deaf ears. She simply looked at him before sauntering off towards Newbie, either hellbent on revenge or incredibly somehow turned on. If Joshua had been a gambling man, he'd have placed money on the former. Even so, he had bigger problems to worry about. His saber was pressing into his hand, opening a wound, and he was being pushed to the floor by the brutal bear, but suddenly it backed off - for a moment, only to crash down on him with incredible power, and Joshua buckled to the ground. The Shadow roared ferociously in his face, and swiped across his stomach, leaving a deep gash and a bloody t-shirt in his wake. Death was coming, and he was positively terrified, and dazed from the blow to boot. Everything was a blur, and he was bleeding out. Wonderful.

    Even so, only one thought came to mind: how could she? How could she, his friend abandon him to certain death to pursue her own revenge?Silently, he cursed Ciara H. Wright and braced himself for the final attack.

    It never came.

    Something, another beast of some kind yanked the bear off him. He didn't see what happened to it, but he could sure as hell hear it and it didn't sound pretty. But what was responsible? Kitsune? He couldn't think of any other Personas the group had that was some kind of furry beast, but then again, he was kind of seeing stars. Had Ciara changed her mind and saved him at the last moment?

    He was coming back around, slightly - enough to feel the horrible pain from his gaping stomach and hand wounds and to realise that if he didn't get a shot of Dia, he was going to die anyway. He tried to reach into his pocket for his evoker, but he could barely move, and couldn't get at his pocket. Something else was going on, he could hear a familiar, but loud voice. Another Shadow maybe? He couldn't be sure, but he could hear fighting. He wanted to get up, but he was simply too dizzy to move. And the whole bleeding out thing. Joshua needed a heal, and now preferably.
    Originally Posted by scytherdude30
    no no no you need an empoleon as your powerhouse da listen to me man I AM THE BOMB
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    Yes, someone is getting 'killed'... HOORAY FOR CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!....
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  4. #154
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    Sofiya Mikailovna Ignatova
    Court of Miracles


    A powerful gust of wind knocked the huge bear on the ground, back first. For a while it couldn't but struggle there miserably until it finally managed to roll onto its side and get back up again. Its paws were shaking a tad from all the attacks it had been the victim of, but it still had enough fight in it to let out a ground-shaking roar as it got up on two legs and aimed a powerful strike at the raven-haired girl’s head.

    Sofiya placed her hands on her hips and leaned forward.

    “No, no, bad teddybear!” She scolded, snapping her fingers at Horus who floated some meters above the girl. The bird rolled its eyes but flapped its wings regardless, sending the bear stumbling backwards once again.

    “I told you not to shake until I told you to, okay?” Sofiya said, now sounding more empathic than before. She sighed and folded her arms, looking down on the fluffy creature with compassion. “I know you’re very enthusiastic about this training and all, but you need to stay until I tell you otherwise, okay? Okay, teddy-beddy?” She asked, reaching to scratch the fluffy creature’s stomach.

    For a while Horus contemplated on letting Sofiya try. Then he figured listening to her crying over a detached arm would be way too irritating for him to bear, and so he knocked the bear back as it attempted to sever the offending arm.

    “Horus, no, now you’re being bad too! We need to be gentle, otherwise he’ll never learn!” Sofiya instantly snapped at the bird, shaking a disapproving finger.

    That monster is no dog to be trained, human. Frankly, I find this whole situation utterly-

    “Cottonboo’s just upset because you keep being too mean to him! Only slight gusts so he doesn’t get hurt, okay?”

    … Cotton…

    “Cottonboo!” Sofiya repeated with enthusiasm. “Cute name, huh?”

    Extremely.

    The bear roared again, this time trying to breathe out ice to make the annoying human die or at least go away. To begin with, the poor bear hadn’t even wanted to fight – not ever since it had seen the girl pretty much hug one of its kin to death. It had just tried to flee, but no, the human had insisted on following and treating him like a dog. And now he was far away from the other bears and the other humans too, all alone with the crazy human.

    He was scared, damn it.

    Unfortunately for Cottonboo, Horus just rolled its eyes again and countered the bear’s breath easily with an ice attack of its own. He had intensified his attacks progressively ever since they had started this little farce in hopes of ‘accidentally’ killing the bear and ending this stupid little game, but of course Sofiya had noticed. Well, it made sense; her mind was the one being strained after each attack, after all.

    And then all of a sudden, it happened.

    A some sort of malformed beast leapt into the middle of the fight and tore the bear away before either Sofiya or Horus could even properly react. Cottonboo was smashed against a wall and torn to shreds, and Sofiya couldn’t but gasp at the sight.

    “No, bad puppy!” Sofiya protested, grabbing her card. “Horus, use-“

    Hold. That is no Shadow.

    “What?”

    It… is a Persona.

    Sofiya blinked in confusion, lowering her card as she eyed the bird. A Persona? Whose? She couldn’t recall having ever seen anyone wield something like that before. But Horus was smart, so if he said it was a Persona, Sofiya was inclined to believe as much.

    But wait, if Horus was smart, and he was part of her, did that mean she was smart too? She beamed at the thought, completely forgotten about Cottonboo and its miserable fate, as well as the Beast that was now sniffing at some of the students quite the distance from her.

    And then the third Shadow Self for the night decided to show itself. It was Ciara, complaining about her manisomething being ruined. Sofiya was confused. Shadow Ciara talked funny. She eve said something about pineapples.

    “She’s just like you!” Sofiya exclaimed to Horus with a giggle, but the bird was not amused.

    Hardly. I do hold a certain sense of refinement, after all.

    Ciara’s persona pounced on the floating Shadow, and not late after, Lace went on to perform a very risky move to attack the Shadow head on personally. Sofiya watched a bit uneasy. That could be dangerous.

    “Horus, if she falls or gets thrown off or something equally bad, catch her, okay?” Sofiya pleaded, and though the bird didn’t answer, she knew he had heard him.

    Now it was time to get in an attack of her own!

    So with that Sofiya ran a tad closer, bringing up her card once more. She was just about to shout out her attack when she caught a sight of Joshua lying some distance away, in an awfully bad shape. Instantly Sofiya stopped on her tracks. Uh oh, what now? Attack, or heal? He seemed to be in pain. Alright then.

    In a split second decision Sofiya ran up to Joshua and knelt down, both hands curled up into fists and raised against her chest as she peeked down to examine his wounds.

    “It seems like one of Cottonboo’s friends got you pretty bad!” Sofiya exclaimed, quickly shaking her head. “But, but I’d like you not to be too mad at him, I mean, it was just the lack of training-“

    Human.

    “Ah, right, healing. Stay still okay?” She brought the card to her forehead and crushed it. And at that, Horus spread its wings.

    “Dia!”
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  5. #155
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    Snow
    CoM

    After giving Lace another Dia (she still looked injured, but seemed to be getting onto her feet well), Snow tried to wake Clarise again. But Recarm hadn't gotten her alert, not fully. Her eyelids seemed to be clenched tightly shut and her lips were moving. Her words weren't loud enough to hear, though her occasional weak struggles indicated some kind of nightmare going on in her mind.

    “Thanks Snow. I'd hug you right now, but...” Lace indicated her rather messy clothing, a result of her having taken the bear head on.

    “That's fine,” he said. “I can't do much more with Clarise; wish I could. I'm not sure where to have her.” Because the others were still fighting those bears and she wouldn't be able to defend herself. There was shouting going on over there; strangely, it sounded like Randy. But that couldn't be right, because his voice was really hoarse.

    Lace seemed to have something figured out. She gave Snow a few M&Ms, then indicated that she would handle taking care of Clarise. While she was an odd one, she seemed confident and he was worried about how the others were doing. So he nodded, ate the candies, and headed back over to the main group.

    And ended up face to face with a dark hairy... whatever kind of beast it was. It was leaning over, sniffing him nose to nose; Snow could smell its bloodied fur and hot breath. It had sharp looking white teeth and sinewy strong arms that could probably rip his arms out of his chest. And to top it all off, the beast didn't even have eyes. For a moment, it was like his heart had stopped.

    But then it whimpered and moved on to check someone else out. Snow caught a glimpse of a Roman numeral as it did. so... was it not a threat? Was it that new guy, Levin's Persona?

    He didn't get long to think on that, though, as Daedelus approached him, supporting Miyuki. An awful lot of blood seemed to be on her leg, as well as other cuts from mirror shards. Feeling for a moment that he'd gotten quite lucky in comparison to the others, Snow called on Melpomene again and ran over towards Miyuki. This was going to take several rounds of Dia to take care of, if she didn't pass out from blood loss... the thought of that made him feel a bit light-headed himself in sympathy.

    “Calm down and focus,” Melpomene said calmly, putting a hand on Snow's shoulder. “If your desire to help is strong, you will find the power within you already.”

    Right, he didn't need to be the one panicking here. These were all his peers and friends, and he wanted to make sure that none of them ended up in the hospital from this. He focused on healing Miyuki and said, “Di...”

    “Diarama,” Melopomene said, changing the spell on him. The light that came off the spell was brighter than that of Dia, and its healing was similarly stronger. All of her wounds cleared up, although some of the larger ones still left temporary pink scars.

    That was good. But before Snow could say anything to her, a loud commanding voice called for their attention. Now it was Shadow Ciara who appeared, plus wherever Shadow Liza was now. Snow gave Miyuki a smile and a nod, but then glanced around to assess the condition of everyone else. Sig was looking worn, moving over to Mana who seemed okay. Some others must have gotten healed... Josh was down, with Sonya rambling to him. She got him with a Dia, but Snow went over and added Diarama to make sure that he could get back onto his feet. Another look and he spotted Wulfgard with someone on the ground... Randy.

    When had he gotten knocked out? Worried, Snow ran over there to use Recarm on him, and see if he wanted any more healing. He was starting to feel worn, but he had to make sure that the others were okay first.
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  6. #156
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    <OOC> Sorry for the lack of quality. I just don't feel good about my writing for some reason. Maybe it's just summer lethargy?

    Mana Shizuko
    CoM


    Mana had recovered enough to begin shooting again when the cavalry arrived. The sight of a large hairy thing roaring and barreling in nearly got it shot for its trouble, especially when it violated Mana's personal space in order to smell him.

    Mana caught an eyeful of large, slimy teeth and wicked claws, but noted that its eyes were either hidden by the crimson fur or nonexistent. Then it hit him, and he chuckled. "A crimson beast. Well, I'll be damned, Randy, you've done it again."

    The creature leapt into the fray, tearing apart the remaining bears like tissue paper. Mana whistled at the carnage. Beautiful. Visceral, yes, and just a bit terrifying, but at least it was on their side. Mana made a mental note to be nice to Randy, then continued covering the team.

    And then the Crimson Beast was killed in a single blow.

    Mana swore loudly. "What is it this time?" he spat, casting around for the perpetrator.

    “Oh, how cliché, dear. Really, you couldn't come up with anything bearing more, pizazz for our thoughts?”

    "Not appreciating your sense of humor, your honor," Mana grumbled, eyeing the mirror-clawed woman floating above them. It was - who else? - Ciara H. Wright. Or her Shadow, although the only way to ascertain the difference was that one was flying upon wings of stone.

    “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!”

    Mana couldn't help but laugh at the melodrama. "Who the hell is gonna bow to…" His words trailed off as Halberd knelt and began to swear fealty or something. Mana massaged his temples with a sigh. Halberd was a good guy… just… a total ham actor. "Well I'm not going to kneel to a half-rate bimbo who thinks she's a smart little princess. Shut yer trap, sit back, and let us give you a couple of shots. We might be able to fix your face, but everything else is a lost cause."

    Mana checked his quiver. He had around a dozen arrows remaining. Not a lot, but hopefully it'd be enough. After all, S. Ciara wasn't a thirty-foot tall dragon or even a bear. The arrival of a little red fairy distracted Mana for a moment.

    "Hello there," Mana said to Hua Po quizzically, glancing at Sigmund. The fairy twirled around Mana thrice before stopping, causing an intense wisp of light to glow at the arrow's broadhead. The red-haired boy nearly dropped the arrow, but caught it in midair. The flames didn't seem to be damaging the arrow much, the shaft wasn't warping at all. The metal tip was glowing white hot though.

    "Thanks, Sig!" Mana said, a smirk twitching at the corners of his lips.

    "Hit 'em hard," Sigmund said.

    "Best idea I've heard all day!" Mana nocked the arrow and aimed at his target. Ciara's persona was mauling it - probably the reason he hadn't gotten attacked yet - so getting a good target wasn't exactly easy. Relaxing, he quickly slapped his Persona card against his brow. "Could use a little help here, Alice."

    The girl appeared slowly, looking rather petulant. She eyed Mana through dark eyes, crossing her arms with a huff.

    "Oh quit being stubborn, you can be stubborn tomorrow. Now help me kill this *****! Double Fangs!"

    Mana nocked, drew, aimed, and fired in quick succession. The arrow split into two in midair, two gleaming flecks of flame that arced around towards Shadow Ciara. Mana felt a pang of pain in his chest, a little too much pain for a simple skill like Double Fangs. Alice had taken a little extra. Mana glared at Alice, who smiled back innocently, a disconcerting spot of blood at the corner of her mouth.

    "This is what I get for dealing with the devil's daughter," Mana muttered. "Mudo!"

    Streaks of blackened blood snaked across the ground, leaving the familiar arcane symbols in their wake. The lines lunged into the air, striking at Shadow Ciara. Mana hefted his bow once more and continued to fire, one - sometimes two - arrow at a time.
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  7. #157
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    Halberd
    Court of Miracles - vs. Shadow Ciara


    "Stand up, you simpering fool!"

    Hey, it worked! Ciara came to him! Well not really. After throwing an insult at her Shadow, she summoned Kitsune and had him charge at the tablet-winged flashy devil. Halberd stood up as he was instructed to, but what Ciara did afterwards worried him. While the great fox charged at Shadow Ciara, Halberd looked from the Shadow to the real Ciara, a disdainful expression still on her face. While the whole concept of how the Court worked was still uncertain to him, one specific aspect of it was. Shadow Selves. They are manifestations of all the bad qualities of a person, and they use those bad qualities to consume not only their "inferior" self, but everyone else nearby. This part had become evident to Halberd every time one of the Shadow Selves appeared. But as Halberd now looked at the real Ciara, he saw the same sort of attitude that her Shadow Self was sporting. She was going about it the wrong way.

    That was enough to make him rush right over to her side, right to where she was holding her tarot card. The Moon, specifically. Halberd made a mental not to ask his friend Merlin about what each of the tarot cards meant the next time he talked to him. And how appropriate it was for Shadow Ciara to now be flying right in front of the half-eclipsed moon. The moon that was much brighter than the sickly green it had been before. But anyway, this fight was not about the moon--it was about Ciara and her Shadow Self.

    "Ciara!" Halberd said to her, standing right next to her and glancing between her and her Shadow Self. "Remember that your Shadow Self is a manifestation of all your negative qualities. Namely, that selfish and disdainful attitude of yours." He stepped backward at this, in case Ciara tried to snap at him in some way. "I have no doubt that Kitsune will be a powerful force against your Shadow. However, insulting it with the same attitude she embodies is a dangerous move that could cost you! To win this battle, you will need to focus on the good side of yourself. Something your Shadow Self does not have. Ciara. You are the most crafty and intelligent person I know. Use that to your advantage, without putting anyone else down, and you shall win this fight."

    After finishing what he said, he pressed his own Hierophant card to his forehead. Scathach, the caped warrior queen with her skimpy leather armour, stood firmly before the two, her back to them, her wide-brimmed hat silhouetted against the unusually bright moon. Without a word, she took her little rod and transferred it to her left hand, where it materialised into a large circular shield.

    "Scathach, I would easily bow before you rather than her," he assured while pointing upwards at Shadow Ciara. "While her Persona attacks, would you please shield Ciara from any harm her Shadow tries to bring?"

    Scathach merely nodded as she moved in front of Ciara, ready to interfere the second Shadow Ciara tried to come at her, ready to block any of her attacks.

    "Ciara," Halberd continued, now standing behind her so that she was sandwiched between him and his own Persona, "you have insulted me many a time, yet my impression of you has never strayed from that bright and wonderful lady beneath. I don't mean it in that way, of course," he added, placing his hands up before him as he took a step backward. "Anyway, go on. Go vanquish that Shadow of yours. You can do it."
    Last edited by Kiruria; 26th June 2012 at 4:09 AM.

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  8. #158
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    \\Levin Sanders - Chariot Arcana//
    Court of Miracles - vs Shadow Ciara


    Having saved the spoiled brat's life, Levin prepared to offer his help to the other teammates. Why am I calling them that?

    Before he could reach any of them though, another of those worthless beasts entered the battle. No, on second inspection, this one was different; canine in nature. Almost like a werewolf...

    The creature with red fur began attacking the remaining bears, ripping them to shreds with little effort in a gory display of power and ferocity. Was this thing on their side then?
    Having disposed of the remaining threats, the beast turned its attention to the students, moving up to them and sniffing them, no doubt looking for a familiar scent... one that it didn't find in Levin upon reaching him. As it reared its head back, he could do nothing but reach for his inner pocket in sheer terror, and as the beast roared loudly directly in his face, covering him in spit, Levin realized that he was too scared to even pull the knife of the pocket, let alone complete its intricate opening system. If the creature had meant any harm to begin with, Levin would have been dead by now.

    But as it were, the thing didn't strike, and merely growled as it stepped away before finally fading. It was only after Randy collapsed that Levin realized it had been a Persona all along, and the panic he had just felt had been unwarranted. Yet another moment of embarrassment to mark the night, even after his own glorious Persona had awaken and he had vowed to himself never to be ridiculed again.

    As the thoughts of shame began creeping in once more, a strong yet feminine voice echoed throughout the maze, snapping him out.

    “Oh, how cliché, dear. Really, you couldn't come up with anything bearing more, pizazz for our thoughts?”

    Ciara's voice. But the direction of the sound was wrong...
    He was picking up fast, though. If previous events were any indication, this could easily be explained as another similar phenomenon.

    “Tonight I'll show you just how small and insignificant you all are. In comparison to my genius.”

    The "other self", no doubt. He turned around to face the new enemy... but this was an entirely different kind of challenge.

    “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!”

    As the maze crumbled around them and some of the others began attacking with arrows and their Personae, some idiot wasted no time in making a suicidal move of her own, jumping toward the head of the creature from above. If any comfort could be taken from her ridiculous, inevitable death, it was the thought that at least they wouldn't have to deal with her other self in the future.

    Dominus, does the Chariot join the struggle?

    Not yet. Not until we've seen what this thing can do.


    Turning to face Ciara, who now stood no more than 20 inches from him, he tried his best to hold his emotions in. He had saved her from certain death, yes, but seeing her back to health wasn't necessarily a pleasant sight, especially not so up close. Why was she so close to him anyway? Did she... try to sneak up on me?
    Didn't matter for now. The real threat was the other her.

    - This is your mess. Hopefully you have a better plan to deal with it than sending your fox for a head-on strike?
    Last edited by MarbleZone; 28th June 2012 at 2:07 AM.

  9. #159
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    ~ Miyuki Tachibana ~
    - The Court of Miracles -


    She was done for, she was sure of it this time. The others were too busy or too far away to help in time, the bears were too strong for her to fight one off in her condition. All she could do was hold it off as long as she could and pray for help. The Shadow Bear charged, slow as it was, and raised its paw to swipe at Miyuki's raised shield... and promptly exploded in a flash of lightning. Out of nowhere, Daedalus appeared, standing strong where the bear had been just moments before. Izzy must have heard her! He had really saved her this time. She gave a silent prayer of thanks as Izzy's Persona lifted her up and carried her off towards Snow.

    As she was moving along, she caught glimpses of how the others were doing. The bears were holding their own, for the most part. At this rate, the bears would wear the group out before too long, and judging by the moon, there was still time enough for another deadly surprise before this court drew to a close. The bears were falling, but it was taking too long, taking too much energy. At this rate they could end up getting hit by another powerful Shadow after they had worn themselves out completely. That wouldn't end well.

    Something apparently agreed, because a large red monster of some kind tore in out of nowhere and began dismembering the Shadow Bears with its bear hands. The monster or beast or whatever the big hairy red thing was was incredibly strong, pausing for nothing as it reduced anything that even looked like a bear into black sludge. In a matter of seconds, it had reduced the horde of ursine Shadows into little more than evaporating goop. And then, standing tall over the remains of its kills, it was slain by a single bolt of ice to the chest. It toppled over and promptly faded away, revealing that it was, in fact, someone's Persona. But who's? She had already seen the new guy's, which meant... had Randy acquired another Persona? Was that three now? What made him so special?

    His power is not like our power. Astraea said cryptically. Not knowing how to respond, Miyuki was content to leave the explication at that.

    Daedalus sat her down beside Snow, who thankfully still had the energy in him to patch her up. Rather than the series of Dia's she had been expecting though, Snow instead cast a single spell on her, that seemed to fix her up far more than a normal Dia. Was that a new trick or had Snow simply gotten stronger? Either way, she could stand on her leg again, and with an audiable pop, her hearing returned, bringing with it all the sudden sounds of the battle. After spending several minutes in silence, it was almost overwhelming. The sound of all the movement on the glass shards was particularly grating. Still, she was grateful. She'd listen to it all night if it meant she'd get to keep her hearing again. Snow gave her a smile and a nod, and Miyuki hastily bowed in response.

    Okay, the bears were gone, so that just left whatever killed the beast...

    That was when Ciara's voice came out of the maze. And it was insulting Randy apparently. Naturally, this didn't initially raise any alarm. The crumbling maze, levitation, and giant stone slabs on the other hand...

    “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!”

    Shadow Ciara. Well, Miyuki had figured this time was coming eventually. Given Ciara's general disposition, she was honestly a bit surprised it took this long. Then again, her own Shadow Self had been one of the first, and she didn't think she had that much darkness in her heart. Reguardless, the others had started their assault on the new and hopefully last Shadow Self of the night. But they were so far away. Snow had run off to help the others, and Lace had vanished... only to reappear on the top of a nearby building and proceed to jump at the Shadow. Someone, anyone, please catch her. And give her a scolding about jumping from high things while you're at it.

    Miyuki needed to help the others. Or rather, she needed to help Ciara. Ciara didn't have a lot of friends here. Joshua and herself aside, Miyuki wasn't sure Ciara even spent time with any of the others outside Court related activities. Ciara had helped her find the strength to stand up to her own Shadow, and for that Miyuki still owed her a debt. However, try as the others might, she didn't think Ciara would listen to anyone besides herself or Joshua, and even that was a fifty-fifty at best, but she had to try. But would motivational words and emboldened speeches help her? Probably not. She'd just spit them right back at their origins probably. Ciara was a lot of things, but she was also tough. She didn't need the motivation or the will power to stand up to her Shadow. Quite the contrary actually, she'd probably just return its insults two fold. But that wouldn't do anything to get rid of her Shadow. To do that, she needed support. And the only kind of support Ciara would likely accept was...

    Miyuki ran up to Ciara's side, Astraea in tow. "Don't worry, I'll cover you, so go all out okay?" Miyuki said with a nod to Ciara.

    She held up her arm, "Astraea, Hamaon!" The goddess of justice raised her silver sword and leveled it at Shadow Ciara, sending flashes of light magic across its body. "Get ready to use Tetrakarn to defend." she added. Astraea nodded, and held the scales of libra at the ready, waiting for Shadow Ciara to make the next move.
    ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
    Watch your step! Sig Under Construction!

  10. #160
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    Joshua Sands - Tower Arcana - Court of Miracles

    “It seems like one of Cottonboo’s friends got you pretty bad!” A familiar, friendly, foreign accent. Joshua was still bleeding out, but his senses were at least starting to come back a little, so he recognised who it was: Sofiya. But what the hell was a Cottonboo? Oh God, she named a Shadow. Well, if by some chance she's tamed it... “But, but I’d like you not to be too mad at him, I mean, it was just the lack of training-“ Training? Holy crap, Sofiya's tamed a Shadow bear. That almost makes up for the fact that I'm dying. ... I'm losing so much blood right now. “Ah, right, healing. Stay still okay? Dia!” The warm light enveloped him, starting to close and heal his more serious wounds, but he was still feeling weak, until Snow joined the effort with a much more powerful healing spell, something he called Diarama. With their spells combined, Snow and Sofiya had brought Joshua right back to fighting shape. Such was the power of healing magic. If they could use their magic outside the Court...

    He was still slightly shaken from the whole thing though, so he used Sofiya as a support to get to his feet. "Thanks Sofiya, you're a lifesaver. Literally. Where's-" Snow had already gone off to heal an unconscious Randy. When did he get here? Not important, but it was good to see he was reasonably unharmed. "Okay, that works. Now then... The situation..." He scanned the battlefield. First: the bears were gone. Good. Sofiya's apparently tamed bear Cottonboo was also gone. Bad. A Ciara with a manicure gone horribly wrong and gigantic stone wings was before them. Worse. Mana, Ciara, Miyuki, Sigmund and company were facing off with it. Good. Lace was in freefall towards it. Bad.

    So, this was Ciara's Shadow Self. Three in one night? This was a first. He'd have to note all this down later. Which reminded him, Shadow Liza still had to be out there somewhere, but they couldn't worry about that now. Miyuki blasted the Shadow with a Hamaon, and Joshua was next to follow suit. The Tower Card came out, and with a sharp cry, Shiva showered the Shadow Self with a rain of icy shards - his Frigid Blast attack. Joshua was beside his two friends in an instant, giving them a confident smile. "Miss me? I'll stand against this thing with you Ciara. We're friends. Don't forget it. Whatever it claims you are... We'll beat it. Right Miyuki?"

    Christ that was corny. She'll be mocking me in 3, 2, 1...
    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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  11. #161

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    Shadow Ciara
    Court of Miracles


    How darling.

    I'm not going to let her launch on some boring monologue, some tirade about how awful I am and how I deserve death blah blah blah. These things are all the same. I was expecting fireworks, but this is a shitty disappointment.

    “Funny, I was fixing to say the same thing!”
    Shiara shouted, watching her origin's feeble attempt to attack her current form. Such a weak little creature leaping at her, tails arced... she did have to admit it's fur was quite glossy. Perfect for a coat.

    Turning to the side, she allowed the fox to fly past her. And right into a girl who was falling from the sky.

    “Well... I'll admit, that wasn't expected...” She began, watching the girl and beast ball together as the fox continued its ascent, and twist even more as they fell to the ground. “But that just goes to show how futile it is to oppose me.” Gazing back at her prey, she ignored the flaming arrows that had been shooting up to her.
    Twas a simple matter of keeping her slabs rotating around her (which she had started back up the second the fox fell to the eart. She had learned back when the twitchy red-head fired the first few rounds into her chest to keep this trick running. It wasn't exactly pleasant.
    But his supply of arrows wouldn't last forever.
    Either that, or his Persona would kill him first.

    Without moving from her safe cocoon a voice whispered into the boy's ear, his lips not even moving as a soft coo called:

    “Aww... how sad. I might not even get a chance to kill you before... No. Wait. I don't care anymore. Another little boy's Persona has been pulling off the same trick for months now. Forget I said anything. Toodles.”

    Turning to look at the rest of her enemies, she began to recollect the thoughts she had collected over the past minute.

    “Ha! She expects me to bow down to a queen lesser than my own Persona?”

    Like the last boy, her voice traveled down to the boring skirted one who had pretended to follow her instructions. Really, if he wanted to fool her, he should have at least done a convincing job.

    “A queen lesser than your own? Lesser than a dead pagan godess? Not only that, but the pale imitation of a dead pagan godess that has spawned from the mind of a teenage boy. You seem to think highly of your little mask, child. I'll be sure to rectify that soon enough.”

    Raising her arms, her shield of stone began to spin faster, and spread wider. The blur of her surroundings were lost in a wall of grey.

    “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.”

    “Still in denial, you weak minded fool? Can't accept that even you have faults? That even your sins can harm those around you? I have a secret, so keep quiet... but we aren't just for show. To call even my pawns simple shadows is a vast underestimation. Surely, they aren't on my level, but a mirror to your soul? That sounds about right to me.”

    She began to move positioning herself over the group when a flash of light struck her from the bottom. Clenching her teeth, she suppressed the urge to cry out as the light magic crashed into her form, causing her stone to almost slow to a stop as she teetered.
    Nothing to be worried about. It simply slowed her rotation for a few seconds is all.

    Finally, she was in the position to strike. Curling up, and tensing her muscles, she felt the slabs begin to slow once again until they came to a complete stop. A purple aura flowed around her body as she continued to raise her tension, until she finally trust her chest forward, screaming in the process.

    The tablets dropped like... well, rocks, forming a wall around her victims. The boring boy with his 'Queen', the black boy who's skin color was his only defining trait as far as she was concerned, the red head with a suicidal Persona and horrible comebacks that get worse each time he opens his mouth, and Joshua Sands. A stone wall kept a good two feet gap between him an the little albino.
    Good, it was time for him to realize just what his friend thought of him.

    “MEGIDO!”

    From the heavens a beam of light, more than fifteen feet in diameter, crashed into the stone circle, burning all inside with an almighty force. For a solid ten seconds, the cylinder of white energy pressed against her enemies, making a mockery of their defenses.

    Finally, the light began to reduce until a beam only the width of an inch remained. And then it was gone, leaving behind four moaning bodies in it's wake. The dizziness would soon wear off, but the blow was nothing to sneeze at. Most of them had been freshly healed, but Siggy was left in a heap, still breathing unfortunately. The rest were covered in scuff marks, and laid against the wall, the contact areas on their bodies already beginning to bruise where not scraped up.

    “Oh, and by the way Joshua. Ha. Ha.”

    The stone slabs rose into the air once more, forming her wings.
    She wouldn't have to worry about the arrows for a few seconds.
    Last edited by Zincspider; 2nd July 2012 at 5:23 AM.
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  12. #162
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    Joshua Sands - Tower Arcana - Court of Miracles

    Evidently, moving to stand with his friends had been a bad move. A very, very, very bad move. The Shadow began to glow with a purple aura, charging some kind of power, than roared furiously. At once, Joshua was trapped in a stone circle - her "wings" were surrounding him, Sigmund, Mana and Halberd. Oh, this couldn't possibly bode any worse for us. Shadow Ciara's voice rang out above them: “MEGIDO!” Joshua looked up, and his mouth gaped open in disbelief. Surely not...

    A gigantic blast from the heavens themselves was bearing down on the stone circle, and the four boys were trapped like cornered rats. "Hit the deck!" he called, but there was simply no time, and they were hit with the almighty light, and good Lord it burned like hellfire itself was upon them. It couldn't have been more than a few seconds that the attack lasted, but it felt like an hour, such was its sheer brutality. What the hell were they up against here?

    Oh, and by the way Joshua. Ha. Ha.

    With that, the stones lifted, giving the Shadow back her monstrous wings, and revealing the four fighters, all pretty badly wounded, though Sigmund had copped it worst, and he was barely breathing. Anywhere the blast had struck was already beginning to bruise. Yeesh. Joshua struggled, and not for the first time that night, to his feet. Ha ha, she said. He had a horrible feeling that she was about do to something unspeakable to him, but he stood firm, clutching the tarot card. "Shiva, let's recover!" The ice bass appeared in his hands once more, and Shiva began to sing, Joshua playing along. Shiva, Sigmund really needs help... You have to boost our healing!

    At once. We shall soothe your group's wounds. Already the burns were beginning to feel a little better, and Sigmund, Mana and Halberd would likely be on their feet behind him shortly. "Oh, and by the way Shadow Ciara. Ha. Ha."

    ... He was going to pay for that one, but it felt deeply satisfying.
    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. #163
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    Lace Condor
    Court of Miracles


    The back of S. Ciara's head was lighting up! Lace's sneakers beaming in. Another second and there'd be a nice bald spot and, maybe, a smoking check on the back of her neck. Saturnus lifted off the edge and just as Lace's smile widened in her coming victory she noticed S. Ciara turn around. Oh, come on.

    It all worked in slow motion, and when she looked down Lace cursed herself as she passed S. Ciara and rolled onto Kitsune's body.

    "You think you're so smart?! You got lucky! I'll--" the two smacked the pavement.

    It was like a tree had snapped, or she'd failed to kick it in half. Some words, if you could make them out, ran there way out of the girl's mouth, and she was squeezing her leg like it was the only one she had. She tumbled off the fox, back on to the street, and still hadn't opened her eyes. If there was one, she'd apologize to Ciara for this. Clarise touched the ground in her heated blanket. Lace fought to peek open her eyes and through what was hopefully tears, probably sweat, saw a strong area of light doom something in front of her. "MEGIDO!" the Shadow just wiped out the guys. After the blast died Lace, with one leg kneeled up, had Clarise, dragged by the shirt, resting on the curb. She couldn't stand up and Saturnus had no healing spells. Lace stared up at Shadow Ciara and slammed her fists on the concrete.

    CRACK!

    "AAAAGGHH!!"

    Okay. Lace might've broken something else. Every now and then, she'd take a break from her screams and crying, sit up, and belt out an unknown language blended with spit directed at S. Ciara before falling back down. Somewhere in there, Agilao 'oh the poor spell' crawled out from her breaking body. Saturnus didn't catch it.
    Last edited by Vivian_Bloom; 3rd July 2012 at 10:00 PM.
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  14. #164
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    Sofiya Mikailovna Ignatova
    Court of Miracles


    Not late after Sofiya had practiced her healing for the first time in so long, Snow ran up to her and Josh, adding his own spell into the mix. But the spell was… strange, somehow. It was a lot more powerful a spell than her own, and even its name had changed. ‘Diarama’, was it? So cool, Snow looked like an angel in that light. Snow angel! Sofiya giggled to herself, only snapping out of it when Joshua stood up with her support.

    “Thanks Sofiya, you're a lifesaver. Literally,” he said. He was about to ask about someone’s whereabouts, but seemed to decide against it in the end, so Sofiya just ignored it and focused on what he said before that; ‘thanks’. Sofiya smiled widely. Someone had thanked her! It had been a good decision to come heal him instead of fighting the Shadow after all, then. Especially since none of the attacks being dished out seemed to really work on Shadow Ciara anyway. Well, except for Miyumiyu’s Hamaon…

    Hamaon… wait, what was that? Like Hama, but… but stronger? Sofiya felt a sudden sting of envy somewhere in her heart. First Snow and now MiyuMiyu… They had such strong attacks, while she… she only had the basics. Garu, Bufu, Hama and Dia… Others were getting stronger while she remained weak. Well, she had Mabufu, but even that was still as weak as Bufu, just spread out on a larger area.

    She hung her head, looking down at the card in her hand. She hated this. Hated being weak. But… but no, she hated hating herself even more. This was no time to complain. She had Tarukaja, right? If she used that first, she could-

    Her thoughts were cut off by screams from somewhere in the distance. It took her a while to recognize the voice but as she did, she froze. Lace. She had forgotten about-

    “H-Horus, you were supposed to-!” Sofiya gasped desperately, but the bird nonchalantly cut her off.

    I would have only gotten injured, myself. She lives. Now fight.

    And Sofiya was about to, but a giant light from the heavens made her take a few steps back and raise her arms in defense instead. Megido… that’s what the Shadow had said, right? And it was coming down on- Oh, no!

    She could do nothing but keep her eyes shut and listen as the attack made contact, leaving behind four injured men. That… that looked like it really, really hurt. For a moment she contemplated on running up to them and offering some first-aid healing, but luckily it seemed like Joshua had it under control. Lace, though…

    Sofiya dashed off and run to her, casting a Dia on the way. And, as she arrived next to her and Clarise, she walked in front of them as if to shield them from the Shadow should it decide to attack.

    “Take care of Lace and try to get somewhere safe, okay? You saved Clarise, so now I’ll save you!” She announced, before focusing back on the Shadow adn snapping her card in half. “Tarukaja!” She shouted, and in that instant red light surrounded her, spiraling down across her entire form before it vanished, leaving her feeling empowered.

    “Alright, that should do, now, Hama!” She shouted, extending her arm in the air if not for any other reason that it looked cool and watched as her light spell shot forward.
    Last edited by GoldenHouou; 4th July 2012 at 3:54 PM.
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  15. #165
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    <OOC> Hooray for writing in a bumpy motorized vehicle!

    Mana Shizuko

    Mana really should have seen it coming. Glowing purple auras, screaming, spinning stone tablets of doom… but he'd been too busy trying to find a chink in the spinning stone armor. By the time the tablets fell, there was no time to cast Trafuri. Although to be honest, melting into darkness might have only made things worse.

    A ray of light fell from the heavens. Mana gritted his teeth, falling to the ground before it. He'd faced burns, frostbite, and blunt trauma, but none of those things matched the searing, soul-purging effects of light.

    Alice grimaced and vanished into smoke just as the beam struck, burning the contents of the stone circle. The light burned, and had a terribly oppressive weight. It simultaneously burned him and constricted him, as if he was drowning in heavy, white-hot molten steel. But to be honest, it wasn't as bad as that. This light was different… the searing, cutting rays of Hama were worse than this. Light affected him far worse than it did the others… luckily, those Shadows that wielded light were often weak to darkness.

    The light shrunk and ceased, letting Mana gasp: "It's not light… it's something else."

    A shadow that dares wield the power of the almighty! Alice hissed into Mana's mind with unusual venom.

    Almighty? Like-

    The gods! The power of mighty angels and demons, the power of gods, old and new!

    Mana was pulled from his thoughts by the sound of a soothing melody beginning to play. It calmed his mind and filled his very bones with a sense of warmth and security. The red-haired boy stood, feeling his wounds fade away. He gave Joshua a thumbs-up. "Thanks bro. Now how about we scatter? Better not stay clumped together."

    A glance back at Shadow Ciara revealed that she had retracted the stone tablets into wings. Unfortunately, without Sigmund's flames, his arrows would be… less than effective. Sure, the arrows sticking out of S. Ciara's chest were delightfully painful looking, but they didn't seem to be impeding her much. She seemed content to wait, at least for a little while. Best to act quickly.

    Speaking of Sigmund, the boy hadn't been in the best shape before the Megido, and now he'd been taken out. Best to keep attention off of him.

    "Oi!" Mana called to S. Ciara, still a little giddy from the healing magic. "You call that an attack? I've tasted worse from regular Shadows. Almighty magic? I wouldn't kneel to that sort of thing if God himself showed up and said please. You? You're not even as tough as my dad the priest."

    Can we shut up and kill her already? If she smites us before we get to flay her, I'm going to be very mad. You've already denied me tonight. We're real hungry for blood.

    "Definitely," Mana muttered, cracking his Persona card against his brow. "Mudoon!"

    The spell was like Mudo, but even darker, even stronger. Tinged with fear, misery and loathing, blackened tentacles of blood and mist whipped towards the floating figure of the Shadow. Mana grinned viciously at the sight, an expression of glee that was mirrored on Alice's face. Despite the headache, despite the fatigue, there was nothing quite so euphoric as wielding the Dark. "Now, Die fo-"

    Not yet! Alice whispered, wide-eyed with glee. When she's a little weaker… we can end the game then. We want to scare the Proud One. Her pride is ANNOYING! Holier-than-thou… We want to break her, fill her with dread as we hunt her, as we eat her alive! It was a little unnerving, the morbid words spoken in the high, soft voice of a child.

    "I think I'm a bad influence on you," Mana said drily, eyes still focused on the Shadow.

    Alice giggled, apparently mollified. Same! Let's keep playing!
    Friend Code: 0404-6904-4521
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  16. #166
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    Russell Wilton
    Court of Miracles


    Knocked down by a bear, he was guard position that attack was luckily reflected back by some weird undetermined chance. The shadow animal growl in pain by it and filled his back with a couple more arrows and the creature collapsed and fade away. Russell let out a breath he was a bit lucky though that ice attack was really painful. He force himself back to his feet, his stomach felt really queasy. The redhead swallowed hard and tried his best to ignore it. Then a blood-red werewolf thing came out from somewhere and defeated what remain of the shadow bears. The creature... wasn't a shadow due to it's lack of a mask, though it could have been a shadow self as well. It went from person to person sniffing before it stop at new kid Levin and snarled right in his face. Levin currently wasn't the highest on his list of people he liked but he didn't hate either; court tend to bring out the worst of people, quite literally at times. Luckily the beast let him be and continue to walk off until it was pierce through and then it vanish. That is when the condescending and familiar sound voice spoke out... The third shadow self of the night.

    “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!”

    Ciara's shadow... was actually much like herself, which was a little on the intimidating side but her arrogance made the freshman want to defy her will. Halberd on the other side just went along with it. Russell came to the conclusion that all they ever see of her, except maybe Joshua and Miyuki, is her bad points since shadows are suppose to show ones shortcomings and faults. The mirror disappeared, thank goodness, she took fight on wings of stone and had giant talon nails... Well at compare to the other shadows of the night she actually looked somewhat beatable though the whole flying thing put most at a bit of disadvantage seeing a good amount of them wouldn't be leaving the ground. Mana shot flaming arrows thanks to Sigmund's help, people threw magic spells, flying Kitsune, free falling Lace..... Free falling Lace?!! What in the world was she doing, Lace really had to think these things through even just a little. Luckily her falling momentum was slowed by the giant beast but she still roll off and fell a bit out of Russell line of vision. The boy hoped she was okay and might when over but a powerful wave of an attack knocked him down. That hurt but he wasn't in direct area of it. Russell sucked it up and got to his feet rather painfully. Joshua seem to help those that were injury in the area around him and evil(?) Ciara stone barrier that had earlier blocked Mana's arrows return to being somewhat normal wings. Shadow Ciara's focus was toward them and not him. He looked to his Persona and Eros back at him and he nodded as he drew back on his bow.

    Twin Shot! Eros fired his two quick shots at the distracted shadow that continued to ramble on and also was being assaulted by Mana though if it hit depended. Eros was a more skilled archer than dyed haired teen but sometimes even that won't change the result. He fired a couple more shot after before he held his held bow up and perform some magic. It was a small tornado only compare to a normal sized one but compare to his other wind attack this was much powerful. Garula! After that series of attacks Eros was ready to attack once more; Russell too stood ready even though there was nothing he could do from where he was. He firmly continue to hold on to his tarot card and glare towards the shadow self in defiance.
    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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  17. #167
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    Sigmund Okonkwo
    Court of Miracles




    Sigmund looked skyward, trying to get a sense of what was going on with regards to Not-Ciara. What he saw was kind of a mixed bag - on one hand, he wasn't seeing much actually hit, and the attacks that did were hardly having any effect on it. Some figure1 made an airborne pass at it to little effect. But at least it had to keep moving - they were keeping the thing on its toes, and maybe if they could just do that until they wore it out, they could finally be done with these mockeries for the night.

    "Still in denial, you weak-minded fool? Can't accept that even your sins can harm those around you?"

    At the sound of the voice in his ear, Sigmund didn't even try looking over his shoulder2 but instead raised his gaze and stared down the Shadow-girl as though glaring up at her could provide their team a psychological advantage. This little brat was just trying to trip them up with insults while dancing right out of their reach. Just like a certain someone, it seemed - this shadow was doing a good job on mocking her target, it seemed, if only on a superficial level.

    Flicking his eyes up, he caught sight of several of the rock tablets which Not-Ciara had been protecting herself with, now plummeting straight toward Mana and himself. He had hardly enough time to duck and cover his head, let alone attempt any sort of magical protection, before the torrent of hard stone came down around them, leaving Sigmund and Mana completely buried.

    Now, getting your finger slammed in a door is painful, a throbbing ache that persists and demands your attention. But then it's only your finger, and so it's manageable enough that you can put ice on the bruise and ignore it.

    Getting your body slammed under a rock is kind of like that, except for not at all. Instead of just your finger, your entire body is one giant, aching bruise, every part of it yearning for attention and none of you able to tend to it. On top of that, you very probably have a sprain or break underneath all the bruising3, which screams at you even worse, ever louder if you're foolish enough to try and move it. In short, being under a boulder isn't a fun time.

    Luckily for Sigmund, his consciousness was truly slipping after having his body put through its paces and more that night. He could at least pick up muffled, indistinct pressure coming from most of his body below his collarbone, but there was no telling what they were for, only that they were very firmly keeping him from moving. Of course, moving would be the main thing to keep him alive and out of the reach of those stone slabs, but that route had disappeared, and so collapsed he would stay.

    Drawing shallow breaths in his collapsed state, Sigmund closed his eyes4, trying to block out his nagging body. He couldn't help himself as he was, let alone do anything truly useful even if he could get around. Even if and when someone came around with healing magic for him, all he'd be useful for was wards, and he hadn't even been quick enough to use those for himself and Mana. His fire-arrows had been useless, too, at that.

    As he felt the familiar cold breeze unique to Joshua's magic, Sigmund brought himself to a kneel, still nastily sore but not to any debilitating point - at least he could get around and move his right limbs properly, and the wounds down his front had been mended. That left him free enough to do the one thing he could think of that would still probably be useful.

    "Maragi."

    Sigmund kept to a slouch against one of the mirrors that had half-survived as he called again for Hua Po. She appeared as ever, hovering just above Sigmund's right shoulder with a weary but stern look on her face as she raised her arm. As if commanding it forward, Hua Po pointed directly at Not-Ciara and produed a bright orb of flame from her fingertip, launnching it into the air.

    The Shadow was nimble, of course, and so the fireball missed entirely. But as it reached the spot where Not-Clarise had been, the fireball erupted into a wide but weak explosion, still enough to blind anyone caught or set their clothes aflame. Grinning at the firework, he called to the panting Hua Po for another. And another. He slid down the mirror a few inches, but reminded himself that neither could the Shadow run forever, especially not against most of a dozen spell-casters.

    Now, let's see who runs outta juice first, huh?




    1Probably one of the more physical Personae, though he couldn't tell at this distance or level of dizziness.
    2That trick had stopped working with the last "Shadow Self."
    3Sigmund had two sprains - a shoulder and a hip, both on his left side.
    4These, at least, still responded.
    Last edited by Blivsey; 19th July 2012 at 3:18 AM.

  18. #168
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    OOC: (@Blivsey) Not-Clarise? Don't you mean Not-Ciara? (@Zincspider) Also, the bowing-down line in italics I mentioned earlier was supposed to be something Halberd was thinking to himself. I suppose Shadow Ciara can read minds?
    IC:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    And then it came. Shadow Ciara's attack. For a brief moment, Halberd saw her emit some sort of harsh light. But he didn't have time to figure out exactly what kind of attack it was. For it was FAST, much too fast for him to process. Before he knew it, he was caught in a sea of pain as the blast knocked him down, causing him to fall on his back. As his head hit the floor, he floated out of consciousness...

    And all of a sudden, he was in a dark alley behind a bar, facing a group of thugs. The biggest and brawniest thug of them all stood directly across from him, cracking his knuckles and flexing his muscles, a smirk starting to spread across his face. Halberd stood by, unphazed by all of this. While he extended his left arm outward, trying to make the three smaller boys behind him step backwards a ways, his right hand reached for the hilt of his sword, starting to slowly draw it out...

    WHAM. The first punch came, landing right into the blade Halberd had just drawn. Halberd uttered a "Ha-HA!" of satisfaction at this lucky block, but then the thug punched with his other hand, right into his stomach. Halberd staggered backward, bumping into one of his fellow Black Cat Bandits, cringing in the pain of the blow. Yikes, that was painful. But after he sank to the ground, he launched a surprise attack: a low cut with his sword, right to the thug's knee. This time it was the thug's turn to cry out in pain and fall over. He heard a little cry of approval behind him, and saw a hand extending from the side--he proceeded to high-five it.

    Without a word more, he stepped away from the scene, motioning for the other Black Cat Bandits to do so as well in case any more violence came up.


    And then Halberd was lying on the ground again, in quite a bit more pain than he had been just moments ago. But it, just like the previous pain, was short-lived. Especially thanks to a healing melody that Shiva played nearby. He could still feel the aftermath of Shadow Ciara's attack, but at least it didn't hurt as much. However, as he looked around, he saw that Scathach was gone. Well that was no surprise. She probably vanished when he blacked out.

    Actually, yes, that was true. Though she did a decent job protecting herself from the attack with her shield beforehand. Too bad Ciara wasn't there.

    Anyway, at this point Halberd turned to his teammates, having noticed something else.

    "Alright, good, distracting her with several attacks at once sounds like a viable strategy. But those stone tablets... Did you see what Ciara looked like when the tablets surrounded me and the others? She must've momentarily lost her wings at that point... Do you think that could be a weak point of hers? If we can just lure her into another attack, maybe some of us can attack her while she's naked--I mean, wingless."

    Halberd's cheeks turned a very light pink after that correction, and for a second an image of Ciara naked crossed his mind. And man was she hot--whoops, it was only a second, and much peril is afoot in the Court.

    Embarrased, Halberd walked away, deciding to look for Ciara again. Thankfully, she didn't appear to be harmed by the attack. By now, he could hear spell incantations from his schoolmates all around, and he saw a few attacks fly up to her Shadow Self. Unfortunately, none of them hit.

    So what can I do here? Halberd thought, feeling rather helpless for the time being. Scathach specializes in melee combat, so she has nothing that could reach Shadow Ciara unless Shadow Ciara lands on the ground--which I don't think she ever will. Oh wait a minute...

    "Mamudo!" Halberd announced as he pressed the Hierophant card to his forehead. The caped warrior queen Shadow Ciara had unknowingly insulted appeared once more. But she didn't draw any weapons. Instead she jumped into the air. She couldn't jump very high by herself (though she was able to barely clear Halberd's head with that jump), but the spell she cast whipped up a wind around her that brought her a few more feet up. Wisps of darkness materialised around her and began blowing around with the wind that had formed. With a sharp battle cry to accompany it, she threw her palms forward, sending the dark wind skyward. As it ascended, it spread out, covering an area wider than Shadow Ciara's wing span. In fact, it would have bumped into most of the other spells that had been cast had they not completed already. It wasn't a particularly powerful attack, making it useless compared to her melee attacks in most battles, but it did cover a wide range. Halberd hoped that this would at least disorient Shadow Ciara for a bit, making it easier for other attacks to hit.

    Meanwhile, Halberd re-sheathed his sword. It probably wasn't going to be useful now. Heck, the long and heavy crimson coat he was wearing provided more protection now than that sword did--in fact, it probably shielded at least part of his body from that light attack Shadow Ciara launched on him and the other boys earlier. And now Halberd was ready to this time use his own body as a shield for Ciara--if it was even necessary.
    Last edited by Kiruria; 10th July 2012 at 7:20 AM.

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  19. #169
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    \\Levin Sanders - Chariot Arcana//
    Court of Miracles - vs Shadow Ciara


    The display of power was nothing short of terrifying. In one blow, she had taken out several fighters, with a bolt of energy from the Heavens... Not only that, she could shield herself with the stone slabs, rendering most ranged attacks as useless as melee attempts.

    And if that was the case, why on earth were these idiots going for it again? It was fairly obvious that launching attacks from a distance without any sort of coordinated tactic was futile and a waste of energy. Then again, expecting them to even come up with a strategy was giving them far too much credit. In their defence, the enemy could apparently read their minds, as if the deck wasn't stacked against them enough already.

    He looked around. The students were in progressively worse shape, even if some had means of patching up more serious wounds. But the rate at which Ciara's other self inflicted damage was much higher than that at which they could heal...

    Apparently, he had been made a dedicated healer. Fitting, as he would in fact be moving from high school to join Harvard Medical School next year. But it did brig about a curious thought... He didn't want to heal these people, not really. Did he still have to? If he was bestowed the power to save, shouldn't he be able to freely choose who was worth saving? So why did it feel so wrong to just deny them his gift?...

    But enough with the troubling thoughts. If the fighters, however incompetent, weren't healed, he would die just the same. As long as he needed them to survive, he'd do his share. Problem was... he knew inside that his healing spells could be cast on several people at once; the word was somehow familiar to him. Media... But he still needed to gather them to cast the spell, and clustering would only make the groups ideal targets for another of those dreaded attacks. The only chance was to keep on the move.

    Right now though, healing wasn't a priority. Make-do as they were, the other students' healing methods served their purpose for the time being. A more impending necessity was letting somebody with half a brain know that they couldn't keep this strategy - or lack thereof - going on for much longer. They had to split up and focus on doing what they did best. Now, to relay this information to Sigmund without catching the other Ciara's attention...

    He made a dash towards where Sigmund, Joshua and the others hit by the bolt were standing, still in a group. Were they asking for another round? Idiots!
    As he reached Sigmund, who was flinging fire spells as frag grenades, hoping to... what, graze the monster with some erratic sparks?, he touched his shoulder to get his attention and whispered just loud enough for him to hear.

    - Don't stop and just listen, this thing can read minds so keeping her busy with your fire barrage might give me an opening to talk unnoticed. The monster will just block everything uncoordinated you throw at her by blocking with her slabs; she drops the slabs when hitting that attack, and that is the best opening she has given us so far. My Persona can shield me somewhat from most attacks, and I'm sure some others can buff up their own defences well enough to withstand that blow, so I can heal them up afterwards. The strongest attackers can use that opportunity to throw everything they have at her, while she casts her spell. Acceptable?

    Even if Sigmund agreed, they'd still have to get that information across to everybody else. He wouldn't expect them to pick up on the plan just by watching their movements, particularly not people like Sofiya, but keeping up wave after wave of random attacks like this just couldn't work.
    Last edited by MarbleZone; 10th July 2012 at 11:54 AM.

  20. #170

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    Shadow Ciara
    Court of Miracles


    She merely looked at the red headed boy, and laughed. Without her opening her lips, words flowed into the brat's mind, flooding his thoughts:
    "The Persona is a manifestation of one's mind, given form. Leashed somewhat, but still powerful. However, when one's will is not strong enough, the leash becomes loose, and the Persona, the mind itself begins to rebel against its soul. Do you know the truly horrific fates of those whose minds begin to revolt against their flesh and bone? Ah-ha, of course you don't. Your situation is without precedent- your mind is unstable, your leash and control under par. What an interesting test subject. Shall the fiend force you to rip out your own eyeballs in euphoria, or will she decide to tear you apart from the inside out? By the end of the year, which parts will remain intact, and will you be a gibbering wreck? Look to your fellows. See how none of them mirror your concerns. Their control is absolute. You, on the other hand, have a far more equal ground with the demon. If this does not already scare you, you should be terrified, because it is already taking hold."

    Next, she turned to Sands, who seemed to think a cycle of obliteration and healing was victory. Soon, either he would run out of his fairy dust, or his team mates would lose all will to fight from experiencing so much pain in one sitting.

    Testa Jones
    Outside of the Hospital Staring at a Motorcycle


    He had to be honest, he had no idea how to fix any sort of vehicle, much less a motorcycle... but the way JP phrased the request kinda gave him a reason to frown a little.

    “Do I really seem like I'm tooting my own horn that much?” He asked, putting the brown paper bag on the ground. “Sorry, I just have no idea else how to keep you kids interested. World History isn't the most dynamic of subjects...” Sliding over to the bike, he got on his knees and began to poke around. Not sure what he was doing, he amounted to tapping the gas tank a few times and flicking the tires with half-hearted force.

    “I just realized the my wife knows more about this kinda thing than me. Um... have you tried attaching the tube thing to the tank thing?... Sorry. Not being helpful.” Jones mentioned. Looking to the bags at his left, he rummaged for a second, letting the sound of a carton popping open and wrinkling paper seem much louder than it was in the silence of the night. Finally, he pulled a white peace offering from the depths and held it out to JP.

    “Egg?”

    Shadow Ciara
    Court of Miracles


    "Really? Well, I must say, the joke is on you, Joshua Sands. Lies and jest. Smoke and mirrors. You've been fooled from the beginning."
    She began bombarding his mind with information, the girl's most intimate thoughts and feelings laid bare. Just as Ciara knew Joshua, her Shadow knew him- but the Shadow was capable of so much more. She was selective with her quotations, perhaps lying by omission, but there could be no mistaking these thoughts as anything but Ciara's darkest. All she wanted to do was let the boy see her as she really was.

    "What an adorable distraction this shall prove, until something more worthwhile comes along."
    "Does he have no spine? He never wants to confront me, no matter how deep I cut."
    "Nobody is truly that nice. He's probably a trickster, a thief. He just wants to break me and discard me like all the rest. I'm not falling for any of it. My heart is shut tight."
    And the most damning of all- "What a fool! How could anyone rely on him? He's too easily swayed, he goes along with the flow. He's too passive and I refuse to be dragged down with that."


    And on, and on. She firstly blanketed the surface of his mind, and then at every insecurity and channel of weakness and doubt, she forced through and infiltrated, until eventually all he could do was listen. She paralyzed his every other impulse, his mind's desire to shut it all out. The voices, although at first separate, began to merge and meld until eventually the sounds became meaningless, only the message underneath. It felt so worthwhile, letting all her unbridled power flow. The limitations she had set on herself, the warnings- all were thrown to the wind. Unmasking the girl for the true ugliness that lay beneath to the one who believed in her 'hidden good' so much- it was pure satisfaction. As he died, he would curse Ciara H. Wright, her cruel mind having birthed his murderer.

    Randy Clopin
    Court of Miracles


    He woke, with a pain in his chest both literally and metaphorically. His rage had subsided, mostly due to the sudden unconsciousness that had befallen him at the hands of... well, he really had no idea of who it might be. He remembered his Persona mutating and destroying the menial Shadows about the place, but he really hadn't paid attention. His mind was preoccupied. Now, however, he was thinking clearer (in comparison to his state of mind before, that's not actually saying much) but the only thing he could make out was the blurry image of someone bending over him with white hair. His mind automatically thought of one person, “Li-” he began, stopping only as the face became clear. It was Snow.

    Behind him, flashes of light glowed through the mist, and the sounds of an even larger battle could be heard. Groaning, he leaned forward, and stood himself back upright. “Thanks...” He offered Snow, forgetting his lost voice ruse. He honestly didn't care about it at the moment. No, really he just felt mad. It wasn't something he was used to. His fists clenched, and he began to grit his teeth at the thought of something else still assaulting his friends. Hadn't they taken one already tonight? Wasn't that enough? It couldn't end there? There had to be more? He wasn't even given the chance to mourn properly before being thrown into this bullsh*t.
    This maze, the shadows, the Jester, the explosions... it was all so annoying. And to top it off, they'd done something to Liza. And he didn't want to accept what the most likely 'thing' was.

    “I'm really, really pissed off right now.” Randy seethed, words hissing out through his teeth. “And to piss me off... .” His voice trailed, and he stared at the ground, as if contemplating his words. Finally, he turned his eyes to the battle to get a look at their foe. Ciara. Well, Shadow Ciara. Of course. With a swift kick, he flipped his shovel off the ground and plucked it out of the air. “Actually, I think I'll demonstrate instead of running my mouth this time.”

    Flipping his card out of his pocket, he pressed it against his temple, nearly bending the thin evoker.

    With an enormous howl, the Beast erupted from his mind, forming into existence at his side once more. However, it didn't jump into action without orders this time. As long as Randy kept a cool head, it seemed, it would stay still.

    “Now, attack that Shadow!” Randy ordered, pointing the spade end of his weapon towards Shiara's floating form. Against a floating opponent, Randy couldn't do much, but hopefully his Persona would be able to distract it somehow... and let the others get a chance to take it down.

    But the Beast didn't listen. Instead of leaping at the Shadow, clawing at it's stone, or generally just being feral as it had done earlier, it completely ignored the enemy. Instead it chose to search behind him. It passed by Snow and several others before disappearing into the mist, ears twitching and nose flaring. Maybe it didn't see the Shadow? It didn't have eyes after all... but it should have been able to hear it's shouts, and the cries of battle. Why did it insist on searching elsewhere?

    Turning back to the fight, Randy took a good look at the progress. They hadn't damaged the Shadow in the least... nothing so far had been this tough. So why was Ciara's Shadow so much tougher? She couldn't be so damaged that her Shadow was invincible. So, there was only one possibility left.

    “A mirage...” Randy whispered, remembering Kitsune's strong association with illusion.

    Quickly charging behind his Persona, Randy arrived in time to watch his partner charging at what seemed to be a large pink dome. With it's large arms raised, it grasped its fists together and slammed them from overhead into the object.

    Randy didn't get to think too long on what the dome was. As the Beast's blow came down upon the shell, it began to crack from the point of impact. Within a second, the fracture had spread to the remains of the object... and it burst.

    The force of the blow flung Randy and his Persona back into the middle of the fight, a large flash of pink energy blinding them temporarily.

    Shadow Ciara
    Court of Miracles


    After the momentary flash of pink, a cold, cruel laugh began to echo around the area. Even as the sound continued, in the air Shadow Ciara looked at the girl, and choosing to forego her usual mental techniques instead said, out loud, taking on a thoughtful tone: "I wonder, is Ciara H. Wright already dead? Perhaps you were the one who killed her, sacrificing the girl inside so that something else could rise in its place. Something stronger, smarter and fiercer, but something without a shred of human compassion. What are friendship and empathy but weakness, you asked the girl. That is the decision you made so long ago."

    Suddenly, as if she had never been there, the airborne monster and her talons began to dissolve into white mist which slowly dispelled, the last sentence was taken up by the cackling figure in the shadows, which was walking slowly but determinedly ever closer: "Have you ever regretted it, child?"

    There could be no mistaking that voice. Every word was spoken with maximum disdain, and icy precision.

    And then she finally came into view.

    "After all, you are still only a little girl, in so many ways."


    The Shadow did indeed seem to be Ciara. But only if she aged eighty years or so, with all the water sucked out of her body. Wrinkled skin, attaining a grey hue in it's age, clung tightly to her slim muscles and bones, making her face appear hollow and her eyes sunk back into her skull so far, you'd be forgiven to think they were blank sockets at first glance.
    She supported herself upon a simple wooden cane, liver spotted arms resting upon the head. Her back was slightly hunched, and her steps weren't especially large. She seemed to be shuffling rather slowly to the group, her dry grey hair unmoving.

    She tilted her head, and smiled, "Ah, the mirage. Just a parlour trick, yet one that seemed to present you with significant difficulty in perceiving. A pity, I would have thought that you would have been more accustomed to such things by now. Ah well, it did its job admirably enough, but it is time for the curtain call. Regrettably, the mirage could have no part in ending your lives, so instead I shall-"

    Ciara, with a roll of her eyes, brushed the Moon card to her temple with a sigh, and sent the Kitsune out to deal with the pontificating problem, the large beast racing quickly to the target with teeth bared. However, with astonishing speed her Shadow reached out and grabbed the Kitsune by the throat. After gazing into its red eyes for barely a moment, the Shadow snapped its neck whilst seeming to exert barely any effort at all. The effect was immediate- Ciara fell to the ground and clutched her head, trying desperately not to scream but fighting a losing battle. Tears were in her eyes as she tried to repress the agony, and under her breath she began murmuring to herself, trying to keep it together. However, the earlier wounds were still present and she began shaking from side to side.

    With a raised eyebrow, Shadow Ciara clicked her fingers, and the effect was immediate. The white mist, which had been subsiding until it now only circled their ankles, suddenly gathered and swathed Ciara where she knelt- within seconds she was engulfed, and the soft moans of pain were stifled by a strange, eerie silence. Eventually, the blanketed mist began to evaporate, and in its place was a pure white crystal, six feet high. Frozen in its heart was Ciara H. Wright, hands clasped over her heart and head demurely down. For once, she looked almost peaceful and contented, as opposed to the permanent smirk that often adorned her face. She was locked in place, and didn't seem to be moving.

    "Interrupting one's elders? Tut tut. Children should be seen and not heard,"
    remarked her Shadow, with a wry smile on her lips, "True helplessness. There is no escape for her, and there is nothing she can do to help you. You cannot reach her, not even to kill her. That would be in breach of the rules, I'm afraid. Be assured, she shall die, but only at the last, when I have ceased to draw amusement from each of your lifeless corpses. There is plenty of entertainment in the meanwhile, and she has a front-row seat. Gaining some perspective in her final moments will be good for her soul."

    "I ask you, what right do you have to stand before me and challenge my right to exercise power? Prove to me your worth with only the true virtues of humanity, and the strength of your convictions will be revealed by who stands victorious."
    The old woman carried herself with complete confidence in her own abilities, and the tone of her voice suggested that she was curious as to whether the same could be said for them.

    "Accept your plight."


    Raising her cane, she aimed at the nearest of her enemies. The loudmouth and his pooch who had discovered her little charade were still lying on the ground staring at her in disbelief. He would be the first to die. Best to get him out of the way quickly.

    “Megi-”
    She began, the end of her cane beginning to glow ominously. The light began to shake, the energy gathering at the single point becoming too much.
    Still, she found herself unable to finish her sentence. Something had grabbed her shoulder. Something cold. The sensation grew, and she felt the ice running down her arm onto her walking stick.

    “I don't think that's a very good idea.”

    “Hmm...”
    Shiara mused, a smile curling on her lips. “Interesting. It seems someone didn't do their job right.”


    Ciara H. Wright
    ???


    The girl shook her head out and looked blearily at her surroundings- a room. As she became more accustomed to the light, she realised that it was her bedroom- but a strange version of it. All the walls had fraying wallpaper, the posters and books peeling and decaying. The desk had collapsed, woodworm infiltrating its body. Facing her was a mirror- her mirror. It was filled with a strange white substance, which slowly subsided even as the reflection of the room appeared in it. She could see herself, staring back- tired and exhausted. Seeing that there was nothing behind her, she tried to stand, but realised that she couldn't. Her legs felt like two-ton weights, immoveable objects. Her arms flopped uselessly by her sides as she tried to shuffle- in fact, the only thing she could move was her head. But soon she felt her neck tightening, like she was being strangled from within- all she could do was blink feebly at the mirror.

    Then, something begin to swirl in the mirror and took form, walking out until it stood there in the room. Stood before her, in all her glory. The sheer age of the crone seemed immeasurable- countless wrinkles, hair thin to non-existent, nails chipped and broken. Yet it couldn't be denied. She couldn't tear her eyes away. She couldn't scream. She just stared.

    "That is your future. The comical grande dame, the old woman convinced she is young at heart. Yet another fool in the eyes of others, the truly young. No matter how much wit or sarcasm you may employ, it will come to the same end. Eternal loneliness. Nothing more than oblivion. Your fortitude will forever compel you to shun suicide, that weakness. To give up on life. Because you'll know what awaits on the other side. Yet you shall continue to mock others, assert your own superiority. That is pride. You will put yourself above others until the end, and even then..." The Shadow broke off her narrative and sat herself on the bed next to the catatonic girl, placing her arthritis-ailed, wrinkled, liver-spotted hand over the delicately manicured and moisturized one.

    "It will all have been for nothing. You see now? How you seek so desperately to define yourself with others, no matter how much you distance yourself from them? You seek superiority, which can only be achieved with the help of others weaker than yourself. If you were to be alone, then you would be nothing. All that you do, you put on for others. I wonder, which is the real illusion? The setting of tonight, or you? Hiding behind a compact mirror, that make-up. Your strength, your intelligence. It's all just deflection. Fear. You fear humanity. It's pitiful. Your mind is so strong, your will so absolute, that it appears effortless. But it is killing you inside. The ultimatum is simple. Accept this fear before it engulfs you, and you truly become empty on the inside and the outside is all that is left. What will come at the end for you? True helplessness. How do you think it feels, to be unable to communicate with the outside world? Now you know. Treasure the gift of speech, my child. Our age takes it away from us, and when it is taken away... when we are powerless, what happens to the suppressed? The meek shall inherit the earth. Perhaps that is true, but you will not know. And what happens to the once-strong? What do the newly powerful oppressed do to the helpless oppressers...? Hee hee."

    The Shadow stood up, and as she did so her form seemed to morph, until finally another Ciara dressed exactly the same as the real one stood before her. "Show the world who you really are. It's not weakness. Accept yourself and you will become a thousand times stronger. But enough about us, sweetie..." She stopped mid-sentence to yawn, "Alas, I grow weary. It appears that forming this maze, using my magic so adeptly has drained my reserves significantly. The mind-link seems to have sealed the deal. Power I could have used to destroy your friends, I instead expend upon you. The centre of my little universe. A pity, but perhaps it is for the best."

    "It's quite simple, really,"
    sighed her Shadow, as she walked over to the mirror on the far wall, which was starting to glow, "I'm tired of you now. Your allies, this world... it all sickens me oh so much. Your rag-tag bunch of no-hopers is quite simply not good enough to face what is to come. What you encounter in the coming months could extinguish me in a heartbeat, and yet you struggle to break my spells, shatter the illusion. How little hope you shall have going forwards. It's simply too much effort on my part to exert even the tiniest fraction of my powers upon those such as yourselves, when others could do so much more easily. Pragmatism, my dear. We all must wait for our moments to shine."

    The girl pulled out a nail file, and continued to muse, "I suppose it could be said that I'm being merciful, showing you a small kindness. But everything has its price. What you've given me in return is a most valuable insight into your little group dynamic. The data gathered from this incursion will be better used by others more accompanied to this type of warfare. So I'll be there, sat in the audience. Watching you. And when you slip up... oh. Your soul is mine. What can a mortal girl do against her own worst feelings? And I'll always be there. In every mirror, when you see something out of the corner of your eye.... do you think the Court of Miracles vanishes from the soul? Only your body leaves it, truly. Your mind is forever here, with me."

    With a derisive laugh, the other her punched unflinchingly through the glass of the mirror. Even as an ominous white mist began to seep into the room, the woman turned around. "Well, then. Perhaps we'll see each other time, yet for your sake you should hope we do not. Your consciousness and mine... just two sides of the same coin. Remember that. If you are too set in your ways, then we shall return to this room. Next time, I shall not be neat in removing the barrier between our minds. What do you fear most, Ciara? More than losing your looks? Losing your wits. Ah-ha. Becoming a vegetable. I look forward to it."

    With a final cackle, the mist engulfed her smiling form, and as it swallowed her too Ciara felt like she was falling through the air.

    "Happy birthday, Ciara H. Wright. Here's to a better year than the last."


    She let unconsciousness swallow her.

    Liza Monroe
    Court of Miracles


    She was almost relieved that the fight had ended before it even began. She found her way to the fight thanks to the large pillar of light than fell from the sky, but she was in no condition to battle. But it was not a victory. Despite Yuki-Onna best attempts to freeze the Shadow, she had vanished before she could do more than distract her from blowing Randy to pieces. Not that was a bad thing. Randy in one piece was better than a splattered one for sure. He'd be damn useless as a puddle of goo. But the Shadows disappearance was troubling. Why did it leave? It had the advantage. They were all worn out. Tired.
    Maybe it didn't want to put it's life at risk, given that another adversary she hadn't expected appeared?
    Liza had no idea. Neither did anyone else by the looks of things. She stared at the rest them, switching the lolipop in her mouth from side to side. Everyone but Clarise seemed to be around... but due to the fact no one was crying or throwing up, she'd probably be fine.
    Even Ciara didn't look hurt. That crystal thing had shattered when her Shadow left, leaving her on the ground unconscious, but breathing.

    The small amount of ice that had begun to crawl up the Shadow's arm now laid upon the ground, shattered into a few soggy bits. Randy stared back between the ice and her rapidly, mouth agape, and tears beginning to well in his eyes. Strange. Last time she'd seen him cry was over two months ago... and that took a lot of work. Maybe something did happen to Clarise?

    “You okay there? Oh, right. You can't talk. Well, nod once for yes and two fo-” Liza began, allowing Yuki-Onna to fade back into nothingness. The moon was all but eclipsed now. There would be nothing else to worry about before the night was through.
    Except for the crushing hug she was now experiencing. Without any sort of warning, Randy had jumped to his feet and launched himself at her.

    “LIZA! YOU'RE ALIIIIIIVE!”

    'Wow... deja vu... wait, is he talking?' She wondered as the air was crushed from her lungs. She tried to tell him to at least to loosen his grip so she could breathe. Instead, the blood rushing to her face, and her sucker got in the way.
    So she did the most lady-like thing she could think of. She spit the sucker out on his face.
    “let go please...” She whispered. Slowly (a little to slowly for her tastes) he let her go, a big grin crossing his face despite the purple candy sticking to his forehead.

    Shinai Haitani
    ???


    Blood stained his hands. He had finished. He stared down at his dark masterpiece. Surely... he would be forgiven for what he'd done. By both her and any higher power who might feel the need to judge him. It was necessary... it was either this or death. And he'd rather be tormented for eternity than let the latter occur so early.

    Candle light had grown insufficient for him to fully grasp what he'd done. In the dim light, she looked perfectly normal... in fact, she looked serene for once. Her breathing was steady... and her eyes were closed. She was just sleeping. And for once he could tell himself that in complete confidence. It was no longer a lie to keep him from going off the deep end.

    You are not finisssshed yet. There'ssss still the isssssue of energy to conssssider.

    Correct. As always.

    “Right... quickly. Do it.” He ordered, relaxing his body. He would need to be prepared for anything, so it was far better to harden his mind than try to protect his body.

    The snake slithered down his arm, and onto the table, pushing aside the mess of discarded slag and used tools that no longer held any significance to the boy. It slid up to the wrist of the girl, and looked upon it for several seconds. Then, quicker than a whip, it launched itself upon her exposed flesh and let it's fangs sink deep into her.

    The candles blew out.

    There was a flash.

    And then it was all over.

    Shinai Haitani
    12:01


    Shinai sat in the chair of his desk. The candles in his room stayed cold and dead, as the 'reset' button that time provided seemed to forget objects pertaining to people actually partaking in it. Therefore... therefore, she should still be... yes.

    In the dark room, he silently flipped his lighter off and on... scared of what he might find behind him on the bed.
    Looking at the silver device, he focused on its reflective surface changing from orange to black as the light changed.
    Orange. Black. Orange. Black. Orange. Green.

    Green?

    Looking at the lighter, something behind him had begun to glow a deep acid green.
    Smiling, he dropped the lighter, and turned.

    Success.

    -

    (OOC: Oh dear. I'm finally out of this Court. I CAN WIRTE THINGS I WANT TO AGAIN! Sorry for the sudden ousting, but me and Wordy both agreed to work together to get out of this thing with this post. 6 pages. We've been in this Court 6 PAGES! I promise to never run a Court like this again. One Shadow. TOPS.
    I wanna pop a cap in my buttocks for even conceiving this idea.
    But now we're out.
    I leave it to you to settle what you need to, and pop up were you were when the Court began. If you changed out of your outfit or costume, you should not have it on still, as the costume is yours and all that noise.
    I hope to move into some real character interaction and fun stuff now.
    Sorry for the Shiara disappointment, but that's how Wordy and I worked it out. She can still return if she so pleases. In fact... she probably will. But without a mirror maze and such.
    GAH! Forgive me!

    Well, at least I can tell you guys about the 'Something Special'now.)
    Last edited by Zincspider; 17th July 2012 at 7:33 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.

  21. #171
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    Snow
    CoM, at edges of Shadow Ciara battle


    Randy had been knocked out too, but a Recarm was able to get him back onto his feet. He thanked him, but oddly enough, spoke normally like there was nothing wrong with his voice. For a moment, that puzzled Snow. So it had been Randy shouting earlier, even though his voice had been hoarse at the start of the Court. But why? He knew that a lost voice didn't recover that fast. Randy was good enough in mimicry that he might be able to fake it. Snow couldn't think of a reason why he'd want to do that, though.

    Angry, Randy then went to face off against Shadow Ciara by summoning that blindfolded beast as his Persona. Then that was yet another of his, and Snow really had nothing to worry about earlier. Actually, now it kind of reminded him of the first time he'd been on stage with the band and Randy had startled him by introducing him. And the other Personas he had, they were also like him at different times. Maybe a Persona had something to do with a person's voice? Because Randy had such a wide range. Although that didn't explain Ciara's multi-tailed fox, or Joshua's icy Persona.

    A couple minutes later (relatively), the stone-winged Shadow Ciara was gone, replaced with an old crone Shadow Ciara. She had been using a mirage, which could explain why they were having such trouble dealing damage (after all, a mirage wasn't really there). But since her attention was on Ciara and the group near her, Snow glanced around to check on how everyone was doing. The guys that had been hit by the stones and light attack earlier were mostly back on their feet; Josh had probably gotten them already. Of that group, Sig seemed like he could use another healing, but going to him would draw attention, not to mention that Snow knew that using just Dia was not an option for him now. Ciara herself wasn't looking good either, but she was encased in a large white crystal. Sofiya seemed to be away from the main group with Lace and Clarise. So he went over there, trying to keep out of notice while the Shadow was talking.

    He got over there and saw that Clarise was still trembling from her nightmare. Sofiya might've healed Lace, but Lace still looked rough. After Snow healed her, he heard Randy shouting back with the main group. A glance showed that the Shadow was gone, Ciara was out of the crystal, and Liza was back (being hugged by Randy). So was this finally over? He took one of the juices out of his bag and twisted the cap off. “I keep having to heal you tonight, Lace,” he said jokingly before taking a drink. “Look before you leap next time, huh?”

    Then he yawned. He hoped this Court was over, because his mind felt like he could crash out asleep any moment now.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  22. #172
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    Lace Condor
    Court of Miracles


    Sofiya stomped in front of Lace and Clarise, tossing a bright healing spell her friends’ way. Lace's arms shook as she slowly pushed herself off the curb. Her leg still in shock, Lace turned to Clarise and shook her with her free arm. She wouldn't stir, and after a while Lace lifted herself off her. "You're going to be okay," Lace whispered as she brushed the debris sitting on Clarise's face.

    Shadow Ciara was still floating up and down by the building Lace had just jumped off of. There wasn't much of a difference between this shadow and Ciara. They both loved to talk, but no matter how much she spieled, Sigmund, herself, no one had been able to do any kind of damage. It would've been so much better if Lace landed on top of one of those floating rocks she had rung around her. She could look back and laugh in that mirror all she wanted, but this shoe would still get stuck down her throat!

    Is this the only way you can keep still? Why couldn't you have broken your "other" leg?

    Saturnus shot that idea down. Lace's weak argument on how fast they could crawl back up that roof dissolved when out the corner of her eye, Randy popped back up. This guy's timing! Man! He must've gotten a new Persona and Lace tried her best to keep track of the fight. "Yeah! Go Randy, go!" The cheer-leading, cut by a big jolt up Lace's body dropped her right down on her back.

    Lace stretched her arms up as high as they could go. She yawned and sucked up all the air she could steal, when to her side, an ugly -- aging, elderly woman walked out of an alley into the street.

    The old woman, speaking to the others, put Lace in panic as she couldn't hear a word she said. Still flat on her back, Lace stared with those huge eyes and pounded the pavement with her fists. "Hey, old lady! Err -- ma'am! What are you doing out here?!" Lace was kicking her good leg and directing hazardous air traffic. "Go back inside before you're something's dinner! N-now!" Lace stopped her pounding and continued staring at the woman. Exhausted she scrunched up her face and whispered to those around her. "Why isn't she listening? Is she deaf?"

    Now they had a handicap. Great! Drop the stone-tablet-carrying Shadow demon and make sure Granny gets across the street okay. Lace rolled over on her side as far as she could, burying her face in her shirt and bit into it. From the inside, Lace heard ice shatter, what was hopefully a scream from an animal, and just all things she didn't need to see. It's that bear again, isn't it? He must've brought his cubs, too! Oh what does it want?! I'll give it all my candy and all my Holly-Ranchers. Don't come for my blood, please. Scream somewhere else!

    Lace stiffened inside the turtle shell as a heavenly glow wrapped around her body. She's got to be dead. Did they take what they want and leave? I really don't want to look. Inch by inch, the top of Lace's head crawled out her shirt along with the rest of her. Her eyes, now in the open, giving Snow complete body scans for signs of fur and or honey.

    "I keep having to heal you tonight, Lace."

    "Snow!" Lace, a silent clapper-monkey, rolled herself back on one knee.

    "Look before you leap next time," he told her, pulling out, a juice?

    "Uh huh..." Lace licked her lips at the container and edged over to Clarise. Her leg, now slightly rejuvenated, still gave Lace a lot of pain as she had the girl's arm around neck, and hoisted her up. Lace gave a quick kiss on Clarise's cheek and turned to Snow. "Hey, Snow?" She swallowed. "Since the nights over, I just wanted to know if, you're doing anything, tomorrow." She lifted Clarise back up and gave a quick check at the others. "It's just that, we've never had any time to relax, you know? We can go get something to eat, look around town, do something fun. If that's alright with you. Just -- anything's okay."

    Lace's eyes wavered to an invisible spot besides Snow's head and floated back to his shirt, preparing for his answer.
    Last edited by Vivian_Bloom; 21st July 2012 at 6:27 PM.
    On Army-Training Leave:

    I'll be gone from Serebii/Internet from Sept 10th - Dec 15/16th. If you want to contact me, send a PM by the first of September. Coolio!

    See you guys. Be back soon. Enjoy BOSS!

  23. #173
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    Joshua Sands - Tower Arcana - Court of Miracles

    He awaited the Shadow's next move, ready to react at a moment's notice. Lace was still on the ground though, probably with something broken... But he had no opening while her attention was trained on his group. Hopefully Snow or someone could fix her up. One hand was on his saber, the other on his tarot card. He was ready for any physical attack she would throw at him.

    But not a mental one. There was no way he could've anticipated it.

    "Really? Well, I must say, the joke is on you, Joshua Sands. Lies and jest. Smoke and mirrors. You've been fooled from the beginning."

    She wasn't moving her lips. The Shadow was using some kind of telepathy to communicate with him, and him alone. She was inside his head, where she could do the most damage of all. Fooled from the beginning? What did she mean? The realisation hit him like a ton of bricks. "Ciara... She- She's not my-" This moment of doubt was the opening the Shadow needed - if indeed she did need it. She was flooding him with Ciara's innermost thoughts.

    "What an adorable distraction this shall prove, until something more worthwhile comes along." Obviously something from the beginning of their friendship - but she had just been using him? Was she still doing so, just waiting for someone else to come along? Someone more handsome, more manly, more to her taste?

    "Does he have no spine? He never wants to confront me, no matter how deep I cut." That was a fair point, he had to admit. He didn't have it him to confront people or stand up for himself. This didn't just apply to her though...

    "Nobody is truly that nice. He's probably a trickster, a thief. He just wants to break me and discard me like all the rest. I'm not falling for any of it. My heart is shut tight." This was the one that hurt the most. She didn't trust him? How could she feel that way about him, despite how well he'd treated her? He knew it was hard getting her to open up, but they'd been friends for almost two months now... He would never do something like that! This one would burn inside him.

    "What a fool! How could anyone rely on him? He's too easily swayed, he goes along with the flow. He's too passive and I refuse to be dragged down with that." Dragged down. She was above him. He was a hindrance, a nuisance, not even of any sort of use.

    These were the choicest snippets of the bombardment of abuse, all of which together made Joshua's head feel like it was about to pop. He grabbed his temples, and felt his knees begin to buckle, though he stayed upright. "Get out of my head, GET OUT OF MY HEAD, you witch!" he yelled at her, not that it would do any good. Everything was swimming around in his head, and he couldn't focus on the battle. When he looked up though, the Shadow was gone. Killed? Vanished? He didn't care. The Court was done for the night. He was back in the gym again, back in the party. For some reason, he didn't feel much like partying. Too much had happened tonight. They had narrowly escaped death three times. Clarise had been possessed, and her fate was currently unknown. But the group itself had almost murdered her for nothing. He'd been mauled by a bear. He'd been blasted by almighty light. And then he saw how someone he considered a close friend supposedly really saw him.

    Could he trust Shadow Ciara though? Was it all true? He had no idea how to feel right now... Then again, he was rather drained. Almost numb. He looked across the crowded hall towards the real thing. Where did they go from here? He had no clue... But the dominant emotion right now was anger. He sniffed, turned, and walked off towards his dorm room. He had no intention of going to class tomorrow. He figured "mauled by a bear" was a good enough excuse for anyone.

    "Happy birthday Ciara," he muttered bitterly under his breath.
    Last edited by Son_of_Shadows; 23rd July 2012 at 9:44 AM.
    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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  24. #174
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    Sigmund Okonkwo
    Court of Miracles



    Another murmur came to Sigmund's ear, this time from Levi1. He murmured a quick plan that, for Sigmund's part, largely involved him keeping up his barrage. His knees were weakening a bit and his head was seriously starting to throb, but he had been to this point before. He could keep the Ciara imitator on its toes for another few minutes, at least, just so long as Levi kept up his end up to speed. At least, assuming that the Shadow cared - he could swear that it had been caught in blast range at least twice already and not been harmed...

    Levin's plan of drawing attention to himself wasn't working, in any case - the Shadow seemed to just harass whoever it felt like at the time, not breaking its pattern of dodge-and-taunt for anything until it finally began to descend. Then things began to degenerate quickly into a twisted mess, beginning with Joshua suddenly clutching his head without being visible cause. Upon landing, the Shadow morphed itself, apparently aging sixty years at once without missing a beat in its banter and easily beating back Ciara's Persona with a quick grapple. There was a flash of red - the beast from earlier - as it ran off with Randy2 in some random direction. Sigmund fell to a knee as Hua Po gave up her assault, coming down to settle by his shoulder as she frequently did in lieu of orders. The old crone looked to have them all in for a lecture, no form of frontal attack was working, and other workarounds weren't his strong suit, as this Court seemed to love reminding him. Yet the shadow seemed to be in a stalemate, at least, as it was focused on keeping Ciara entrapped in some white crystal.

    As Sigmund watched, one of the others - he was too tired to tell who - came from behind with their Persona and began casting some freezing magic. Bracing himself for when it retaliated with some new form of trouble, the final few of the Court of Miracles passed, and before he even had to deal with a counter-attack, everything snapped back. In that instant, it was to the world around them as though nothing had happened. There Sigmund stood at the entrance to the gymnasium, exactly as he had been about an hour ago save for a dozen of the inhabitants. If any of the students noticed something unusual about him having suddenly gained scratches and bruising in the last few seconds, they didn't mention it. It was likely that none did - too absorbed in whatever they were doing. It was unlikely that any would ever notice the inane hour that went on every night, right under their noses. Lucky them.

    Recalling that Clarise would suddenly have passed out in the middle of the crowded auditorium, Sigmund gave the crowd a once-over. Already he found that Lace was at her side, getting her propped up so that it might seem as though she was just tired and nauseous. At least now she wouldn't be making a scene - not that Sigmund had been able to do much for her the entire night. Another casualty that he had only encouraged, and that nobody would ever know the truth about. One of the worst things that he had ever had a hand in, and he could only act as though it had never happened. Everything about this court was beginning to look like a huge exercise in futility. He had thought that he was getting stronger. Perhaps he had physically, but in the end he was still as far behind as ever. After all this time, they were still stuck in the same song and dance until someone inevitably bit it. It was sickeningly frustrating.

    Too drained and distressed to do anything else, Sigmund snatched up his tattered cape from the school yard and headed back to the dorms, trailing after a few of the others as best as he could. He would pick up his equipment bag and sort everything out tomorrow.

    For now... sleep.



    1That was his name, right?
    2Which seemed oddly persona-like behavior, despite the fact that Randy's persona looked very different.
    Last edited by Blivsey; 22nd July 2012 at 7:06 AM.

  25. #175
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    Mana Shizuko

    "The Persona is a manifestation of one's mind, given form. Leashed somewhat, but still powerful. However, when one's will is not strong enough, the leash becomes loose, and the Persona, the mind itself begins to rebel against its soul. Do you know the truly horrific fates of those whose minds begin to revolt against their flesh and bone?"

    The words flowed into Mana's mind unbidden. The red-haired boy shook his head, gritting his teeth. The words weren't painful, but having the Shadow in his head was unsettling.

    "Look to your fellows. See how none of them mirror your concerns. Their control is absolute. You, on the other hand, have a far more equal ground with the demon. If this does not already scare you, you should be terrified, because it is already taking hold."

    Hey, stop it! You can't play with my toys without asking! Alice whined, her voice echoing around in Mana's skull just as S. Ciara's voice did. But the Shadow was already gone, she had moved on to someone else.

    Mana exhaled slowly, cracking his neck from left to right. "What a *****," he murmured lightly, despite the little seed of worry in his thoughts. It was true, none of the others seemed to have problems with their Personas. "Equal footing, huh?"

    Equal? No, silly. I've got you wrapped around my little finger… nii-san.

    A flash of anger crossed Mana's face. He swung his hand through Alice, returning her to smoke, but she simply reformed, smiling brightly. No, you can't send me away. You need me! You need to keep me close to heart, or you'd lose everything. You'd lose all the magic and wonder. We wouldn't want to die, would we?

    It seemed as if Joshua was under attack. He was having a much worse time of it - reasonable, she knew him best. Mana fired an arrow at the Shadow halfheartedly - it didn't do much, as always. It was true; he needed Alice. Eyes torn out and mind broken or not, he needed her. He needed the darkness…

    An old woman. A crystal. Some acid trip Disney ****, then it was all over. Mana furrowed his brow, wisps of darkness still at his fingertips. The old woman had been the Shadow. The floaty stone-winged chick? A fake. As illusory as the Kitsune. Was there a link between Persona and Shadow? Miyuki's Shadow had used light. JP's shadow had been a physical fighter. Sigmund's shadow… well, something. Mana glanced at Alice. The girl looked back at him with dark eyes, and smiled. For once, it was an innocent smile, devoid of horror or darkness.

    It was even more disturbing than usual.

    And then the clouds parted, revealing a clean white moon. Mana Shizuko had vanished from his spot, reappearing in his car. There was a regular cacophony of thoughts in his mind, but also, his mind was too silent.

    Clarise. He had wanted to leave her for dead, nay, kill her even. He had been more than willing to do it himself. But in the end, had that been worth the risk? The Shadows were fully capable of just nuking them. Blowing the maze up without warning. They didn't have to fight. They didn't have to play these games. Why, dammit, why?

    Mana punched the steering wheel, causing the horn to go off loudly. With a sigh, the boy pushed open the door. He was in no condition to drive, and the dorms were close anyway. Might as well walk.

    A shower, then sleep. Was there school the next day? Didn't matter, he'd skip. Sleep in, maybe. Mana really couldn't give a damn about his education at the moment.
    Friend Code: 0404-6904-4521
    Ghost Friend Safari: Shuppet, Phantump, Spiritomb


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