Ciara H. Wright, Bad to Worse
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... ”
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.