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Knock Knock
(2013-04-10 - 2013-04-13)
No description.
Though the message was not clear from the Dark Knight to the two women back in Fynn. The warning would soon become clear enough. The Dark Knight finds himself wondering the streets of Traverse Town, yet in a very unique way compared to how many would see him.

There was no dark mist that stalked his foot steps. There was no dark flow that ran down his armor. Instead his armor was easy to see. From it mirror like polish of onyx black. To the gold trim that ran over the edges of the armor. The only part unnerving about the Dark Knight still is how he walks with his methodical fashion and those glowing red eyes scan over the people.

Soon he does find the Valkyri HQ and he walks around the building. He paces one way, then he paces the other. He soon spots a window and looks into it. So far there did not seem to be any activity. Then he gently walks toward the window, before a mist started to form under his foot steps. One by one becoming thicker and thicker. Then suddenly with a poof of dark mist the Dark Knight moved from outside to inside, stepping out from the dark mist.

His eyes skimmed around the Valkyri HQ, before he then moved into the kitchen. With quick scan of his eyes, he started to actually make tea of all things. So once the tea was done, he took several cups with a quick scan over to where they could be, placed them on the platter and walked it over to the table.

There he laid it down on the table and sat back on the couch. One leg crossing over the other armored platted leg, with his arms stretched out across the back of the Sofa. Now he was just wait for either the members to wake up or walk in.
Percival He was walking into VALKYRI headquarters carrying groceries. What appeared to be an uncooked sirloin roast, new potatoes, and carrots. Along with various other pastes, spices, and ingredients to cook it.

After he'd learned what sort of food that the members of VALKYRI generally ate, he'd been coming here more frequently lately to see that they actually had a decent meal every now and then.

He also was carrying an apron that he'd borrowed from Celina, that he hadn't yet put on.

So when he opened the door to the headquarters, he'd call out. "Is anyone home?"

And then he saw the absurd spectacle of the armored man in dark armor, making tea. The Gargoyle would put down the groceries on the kitchen counter, before walking out giving the man a bewildered look. "That's a new look for you Angantyr."

Yes he mistook him for Angantyr, he didn't think anyone else would be sitting there so casually.
Tifa Lockhart Its been busy for the barmaid. Between all of the adventures going around her, the troubles brewing with heartless, the planning of the third bar in Manhattan, and handling of the other bars, its nice when she can take a bit of time to herself.

It just happened that she went through the area for some shopping of her own, when she sees the dark man stepping inside the building. She tilts her head a bit, wondering to herself "That doesn't seem like anyone we know... noone that's part of VALKYRI at least." She's not part of the gorup but she knows most of the members. Some of them visit her bars often enough, others she fought alongside regularly. There's been enough truobles after all.

Curiosity has the better of her though, and she moves closer to the door to check what's going on inside, a few steps after Percival... It might look odd if anyone else approached.
Maira Maira had actually been sleeping, as it was apparently becoming tradition that trouble would come to visit when she was in her pajamas, still bleary eyed from sleep.

The young mage wakes with a fluttering in her stomach and a quiet feeling of dread. The dreams she'd been having are surely to blame. Darkness and glowing eyes....

Two bare feet hit the floor. She heard Perci's voice from the kitchen and knew he was here to cook. He'd been pretty put out by her eating canned soup for some strange reason and insisted he come to make a real meal. She wasn't about to argue! Had he said something about Angantyr? Huh? Why would he be here?

Maira stands, quickly brushes her hair, gets dressed, and wanders out toward the kitchen and main area--at which point Uist arrives and delivers a growl of warning. Maira freezes as she's sees Leon there, and Percival going about his business like it was no big deal. Maira goes white as a ghost, the color draining from her face.
Minerva Minerva had been sleeping like a rock thankfully with her meeting the wider worl she's taken to a few more thing such as using that I love Manhattan T-shirt she and Lusso looted long ago and using it to sleep in. She's just getting up and yawning at this point in whatever part of the HQ she sleeps in. You'd not know she was from Iveliace as he wakes but there's a terrible feeling she can feel the darkness and it's waking her up much like this new thing called Cofee does. She's quickly getting dressed as she's got a bad feeling about this...
Avira Avira is not home yet. But from the sound of things throughout the town, she is on her way.

"0When darkness comes to enroach on your home~
0And the heartless come to take your away~!"

The singing is spirited, clearly the sound of a rousing victory hymn. Avira's voice is clear and full of passion-she's definitely not singing for some mere performance, but to share the sheer joy she is feeling as she strolls down the streets of Traverse Town to the VALKYRI headquarters.

"0Hold on, hold on, hold on to your heart~!
0The dark of the night will yield to the day!"

The scarred woman looks exhausted and spent, her gear tattered and worn out from some struggle she had recently been in. From the looks of it, she'll need to pick up a new breastplate to replace the one she's wearing right now, which has all been shredded like the metal of a can. New wounds and bruises decorate her limbs, but none of them are bleeding and a few have even been bandaged. Her hair is down completely, not currently bound into the ponytail or braid she is commonly seen with. It must've been torn loose in whatever battle she had just engaged.

"0Hold on, hold on, the VALKYRI fly!
0Battle the Shadow Lords, put them in their place!"

Slung over her shoulder appears to be some kind of massive stone, or perhaps a hunk of bone. Upon closer inspection, it appears to be vaguely curved and pointed at one end. There are splatters of dried blood on the very tip. She seems to be slumping a little beneath its weight, but she manages to hold it still nonetheless. The gear upon the belts around her waist jangle with each step.

"0Hold on, hold on, the VALKYRI fly!
0Bring hope to your heart and a smile to your face~!"

With her song, she swaggers on up to the door to the VALKYRI headquarters, giving both Percival and Tifa a nod in greeting, completely unaware of the dark intruder within her Headquarters. "Hey!" she calls out, very unmusically, "Tifa can you please hold the door for me?"
TRON TRON has been back in VALKYRI Headquarters for a few days now after a pretty nice visit back to Manhattan. It wasn't quite something he'd wanted to talk about over the radio, as he'd wanted to tell his comrades in VALKYRI some good news face-to-face for once. Problem is, everyone has been busy lately.

He is down in the basement, so pays no mind to the assumed sounds of breakfast-making upstairs. He even ignores the smell of tea as it drifts down the stairs. No, it isn't until the doors open and Percival's voice echoes in the main hall upstairs that he glances up. "Indeed. Just a moment!" He calls up the stairwell before setting the computer on standby and getting up.

He scales the stairs quite easily, but pauses at the top with his hands resting on the railing as his gaze is almost involuntarily drawn to the Dark Knight. He has met Angantyr before, and this... armored one... does not quite act the same way. Then Maira appears, and her frozen and pale-faced reaction only increases the bad feeling in his core.

He carefully circles around the seating area where the Dark Knight and tea happen to be, his steps even and purposeful in their caution, on his way over to Maira. "Do you know who this is?" He asks her quietly.

Then Avira's incoming song number breaks the tension with a resounding /crack/, and the entering VALKYRI leader only gets a downright befuddled 'does not compute' look from the white-suit'ed Program. When he isn't distrustfully glancing over at the seated Dark Knight, that is.
Leida Despite the tall face of the small city's public clock indicating that early morning has rolled around in Traverse Town the sky overhead is dark as ever, a giant canopy of dark purples and blues filled with thousands of tiny points of light. It was said that each one of them was a different land and whenever the Heartless overwhelmed one of these worlds a star glimmered one final time and then went out.

Leida stares up at the beautiful expanse of the starlit sky in quiet contemplation from her seat on one of the various benches that fill the town's wide roads. Had her own star shone from above at one point too? Manhattan's restoration had brougth with it the glimmer of a hope she'd never even considered. One, that she might somehow slightly redeem herself for all of the atrocities that had been comitted in her madness. And second, the world that she both hailed from and personally destroyed might not be gone forever.

Her musings are interrupted as a pair of the black-clad guards that have taken up protectorship of the city stomp past in their strangely uniform and mechanical way. She does her best not to shrink away from them as such things would arouse suspicion but she cannot help but wonder if her meager attempt to disguise herself will be successful.

Instead of the pink dress that Legion had chosen out for her, Leida is now sporting a rather casual looking set of nylon slacks and a loose t-shirt. A jacket, which is clearly too large for her slight frame, is worn on top of this with the front left open. The main reason for this, however, is not the chill in the air but the loose hood that it provides. The slack ruffles of the oversized covering conceal her jutting horns fairly well but at the same time make her look fairly suspect due to the shadows that it casts over her face.

Once the guards have passed, Leida gets to her feet and moves swiftly into the nearby sidestreets, trying her best not to draw attention. She wanders for a while, making her way through the less used parts of town until a familiar voice draws her attention. "Is that... Avira-san?"

The demon girl turns and follows the sound of the strange melody, emerging from an alleyway beside the Valkryie's home base just moments after Avira herself. Leida stares quietly at the scenario unfolding, noting the presence of the others and the food being carried. 'Some sort of party?', she wonders.
Those red eyes that glow gently against the darkness of the helm watch as the strange creature asks refers to him as 'Angantyr'. A name he has not heard nor does he know. He tilts his head gently, before he sits up and then starts to fix the cups out as he hears movement from upstairs and sees Tifa walking in.

"I do not know this Angantyr you speak of." The voice says with a deep echoing boom. The voice calm and almost void of any emotion. "I am only here on.. unfinished business." He then starts to poor the tea. "Would you care for some tea?" So casual is he. Not even a sound of concern that at any moment this could become a rather big mess.

The singing can also be heard and his red eyes only slightly glance up. He is also aware of Maira's presence. The light of her heart is hard for him to not be aware of. It like a clawing force nagging at his hunger. To just wrap his arms around and take that great light from her. To crush that spark right out to make it his. Yet for now, he will ignore it; because something so bright could also be deadly.

He also is aware of TRON's presence as his eyes flicker in that direction. "I do believe I have enough cups here for each member present. Lucky that." He attempts to be 'dry', yet the emotion still seems to be lacking.

Yet he sense another dark presence near by. This causes him to look in that direction. Darkness after all, calls to darkness. Perhaps it was a territorial thing or perhaps some strange need to be like a pack. It was a primitive side of darkness that had yet to be full explored. However his eyes narrow only slightly, before he goes to continue to pour tea in the cups with his very steady hands.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart was TRYING to be stealthy around the door.. but Avira takes care of that part. She scratches her head, turning over to her "There's an odd man inside... not sure if we should enter..." She would open the door if Avira insists though, she's not that unhelpful after all. But she wonders if she SHOULD enter or not right now...

Although her cover is blown too, so yeah... too late for that. Not that its hard to miss, she's not a ninja after all. So she opens the door for Avira, but steps in herself afterwards, crossing her arms as she looks at the dark knight. Its not her house, but if it was, she'd be all 'State your business before I think you out myself', but instead she's just going to offer some support should they decide to do the same...
Percival Avira's light-hearted singing of what the Gargoyle now considered to be the /VALKYRI THEME SONG/ brought a smile to his visage.

Tron he didn't recognize, but he greeted him cheerfully as well. "Good morning, Ser." It still felt unusual for him to be up this late in the morning. It'd taken him a few cups of tea and several espressos to manage to /remain/ up regardless of the lack of sunlight.

This cheer would fade almost instantly the moment Maira entered and looked at the Dark Knight. It didn't take much for him to make the connection when he saw her face blanch in his presence.

This had to be the Dark Knight that was fascinated with her, and she in turn with him. His expression sombered immediately, his talons clacking on the floor of the headquarters as he walked a few steps closer to the seated man. "Sir. I don't believe you were invited here. I think it might be for the best if you depart." While there was an edge of anxiety in his voice, and perhaps even the hint of a threat, he took no other action against him yet.
Maira That's the trouble with having a headquarters. Say what organization you are with and it is pretty easy for someone to find out just where that HQ is located. Maira hadn't thought that he would come /here/.

What is he doing?! Helping make tea!? Was she mistaken? With this someone else? No one else feels like that. No one else offers the same repulsion, yet magnetic attraction. Maira tries to breathe, reaching out toward TRON as he crosses to her. "It's him," she says, hoping that would be explanation enough.

To make it worse (or better?) more people were arriving, including Avira! Is he here for her?

Maira tries to summon her courage. She spoke to him in Fynn, she can do it again. He just hadn't, you know, invaded her home and violated her safety there.

She's a little pissed! "What...are you doing here?" she asks. TRON may feel both the heat that radiates from Maira and the cold that radiates from Uist nearby, like an AC and an Oven side by side.
Reno Reno stood on a widow's walk on the second story of a patched up New England-style home diagonally across from VALKYRI's headquarters, sitting down and leaning against the slanted roof, a small pair of binoculars to his eyes.

"Huh... well this is gettin' interesting." The red-haired man in the untucked suit mused to himself as he got to his feet.

He had been there on lookout assignment since his corporation got an anonymous tip that VALKYRI would be attacked by agents of darkness soon. He had noticed the dark-armor guy walk in of course... but now others were showing up. Including... Tifa? What had AVALANCH to do with VALKYRI?

He certainly intended to fill in the intelligence gaps concerning these other organizations, but now it was time to get ready. Tucking his gear into an inside pocket, the ponytailed man slinked off to the side of the building, sliding down the water drain to the allyway below. As of now he was to observe, but he wanted to be ready should the time come to interfere with the fight that was sure to come, as per his orders.
Avira Avira is unmistakable. That shortness, those scars, that...spirit.

Tifa lurking around VALKYRI does not compute to Avira since Tifa is a friend. What reason would the hydra-suplexing barmaid have for sneaking about? "Thank you very much, Tifa." Avira grins, hauling herself and her prize within, only to presented with a most curious scene. Poor Tifa might wind up bumping into Avira from behind as she stares at everyone, her mind gradually processing what is going on. Her brown eyes fall upon Maira, so pale and terrified, before they harden immediately and she switches her gaze to the Dark Knight.

The change is immediate-a fierce, almost wolflike look overcomes her and she stalks forward, the large trophy from whatever hunt she just returned from rolling off her shoulder to slam loudly against the floor. "Maira, get behind me." she's quick to say, "You, Dark Knight."

Avira rolls her shoulder, which cracks as she works out the kinks from transporting her prize. A hand falls to the hilt of the Spine. "/Why are you here?/"
Leida Leida pauses from her place across the street, lingering in the shadows as they rise up to cloak her from sight, responding to her unconscious desire to remain hidden. Some company would not be unwelcome right now but to simply show up unannounced would be incredibly rude. Not to mention her current attire is hardly fitting for social calls; she feels dressed like some sort of hooligan rather than nobility from a proud land.

She turns to leave, not wanting to intrude nor be seen in such a state. A sudden surge of darkness assails the girl like the subtle touch of a finger running down her spine and she unconsciously shivers, wrapping her arms about herself as she stops dead in her tracks. The demon princess whirls about, staring darkly from her shadowy refuge. She catches a glimpse of the armored man through the tangle of bodies pressing their way into the doorway all at once, their eyes meeting for a brief moment as he in turn, looks towards her.

Leida cannot help but lets a soft gasp of surprise slip out upon realizing that the knight can see her despite her magics. A hand flies to her mouth to stifle the intake of breath but stealth proves to be a futile gesture now that she's been seen. Casting caution aside, the girl allows her curiosity to take hold instead and she strides out of the darkness, allowing her shadow to melt back into the ground where it belongs as she draws up behind the others at the Valkyrie HQ entrance.

She does not immediately make her presence known, some strange unconscious desire to be little more than a silent observer for the time being guiding her thoughts. Her footsteps make no noise as she approaches and Leida narrows her blighted eyes beneath the hood of her jacket on the one person here who interests her, waiting to see what he is about.
TRON If TRON notices the heat radiating from Maira as she clings to one arm and the cold he can pick up on her other side, he gives no indication of it. Instead, his stance straightens to one that is both defensive and neutral. He isn't quite blocking Maira from view, but he is clearly ready to react if the Dark Knight lashes out at her.

At Avira's order, he shifts his stance just slightly to continue 'guarding' Maira should she decide to move. He says nothing for the time being, not to anyone who has entered nor to the Dark Knight himself. A faint bluish-white glow overtakes his usually-black pupils, however, almost washing out his brown eyes in the process as well.
Minerva Minerva not a happy monk not a happy monk at all. She knows a figh here could be very bad, very bad. Still they know where they live? It may be time to move where they operate out of and not make it such an open bit of information. She's unaware of Reno's arrival as she makes her way into the mian rooma nd she doesn't seem to be happy at all she's also seeming to move herself along side Tron to guard Maira. Oh she's pretty much ready for this thing of darknes to flip out without any warning.
The Dark Knight does not reply to any of the questions. He just remains quiet and finishes pouring the last tea cup. He then places each tea cup on the table with a napkin under it and along side the tray. It would seem the Dark Knight only closes his eyes now leaving the eye holes of the helm in pitch black.

There was barely any sound of breathing from the man and the darkness that would surround his armor was missing still. Just the ominous feel for those sensitive to it that he was a man with no light; or so deep that it was impossible to sense. Like what would happen if you were staring at a Heartless.

He then slowly rises as Avira goes for her weapon. "Now. Now. I do not believe hostilities would be required." He places out his hands. "After all. I would dislike to start a battle within your humble of homes and before your own family."
Percival Something about the man raised hackles on the back of his neck, but with the fear, also came anger. A low growl escaped as a rumbling from his throat. "And I believe you're mistaking my civility for pacifism..."

The Russet Skinned Gargoyle would withdraw a darksteel runeblade from its scabbard. His other blade, a rapier, would remain secure within an oaken scabbard. "...When it was only tolerance. You are not wanted here. Leave."

He would take half a step to stand at Avira's side. "And since it is their home, I believe I'm well within my rights to eject you from it."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart doesn't realize there's a turks watching her either. She's never met them, in fact she doesn't know much about them either. o for her its just a guy in a business suit for now. Its not like she's trying to bomb Shinra right now after all, she's just trying to keep people from leveling up a house in the middle of Traverse Town. Well, if it comes to it. "I think that doesn't answer the question though, about what you're doing here, and obviously putting everyone on edge." She's never seen the dark knight though, so she doesn't know what's the beef with him.
Maira Avira can be seriously scary when she wants to be. She watches that wolfish predator gaze of her best friend narrowing in on Leon. Maira does not think they will escape a fight this time.

At Avira's orders to get behind her, Maira chews her lip and edges closer to Avira, placing herself somewhere between Avira and TRON as she watches Leon continue to lay out cups and pour tea. Is this really happening? Are they suppose to get sit and have tea with the Dark Knight!? Slayer of who knows how many people, agent of darkness....and he's pouring tea.

This is almost too much for Maira's mind to take. When the Dark Knight fails to respond to the many responses asking him to leave, Maira frowns deeply. She steps forward, her feet seeming to move of their own volition, pulled by that magnetism. Maira catches herself though before she moves further. "You can't just come in here and--and make TEA. You can't shouldn't be here. Please leave before someone gets hurt. We can go outside, or something, if you want to talk..."

Maira fears for her friends, the promise that he couldn't make foremost in her mind.
Avira It was as if the fierce, beastial mutate she was turned into was still very much a part of her, in spite of her apparently human appearance.

Ah. Interesting. So that is what he had meant by family during their conversation in Fynn. In a way, it was certainly true. None of them here really talked much about their 'parents', all lost to the darkness in some way. In fact, TRON making passing comments alluding to his missing creator was the closest they have been as far as actual "blood" relatives went. Perhaps the friends of VALKYRI were all something a bit more.

"I'd like it if a fight didn't break out in our guild hall." Avira says tersely. "Cleaning up after the last one was costly. Maybe you should step outside where you can explain why you've come in here. My warning about harassing Maira still stands."

Avira strides right up to the Dark Knight, undaunted by his dark countenance and stares (up at him, due to height differences) him in the eye. "As Miss Lockhart has succintly pointed out, you didn't answer our question. Why are you here?"
TRON TRON does not stop Maira from moving forwards towards the Dark Knight, though he does shift to intervene if nessisary.

This is the first time he has met this Dark Knight, and he can already /feel/ the wrongness, that similarity to the Heartless. The deep emptiness that could only be exceeded by Garland, at least based on his small band of experience. And that comparison sends a cold chill down his spine that likely has nothing to do with the unseen Uist.

He glances over at the others closer to the door--Tifa and Percival, just to name a few--perhaps even catching a minor glimpse of Leida framed by the doors itself. Avira marching right up to the Dark Knight to give him what-for would be amusing if the tension wasn't so thick due to the situation.
Reno with everyone inside the house, and the muted sounds of strained voices rising faintly in the distance, Reno makes his move. A double-check of his equipped materia, and a quick glance side-to-side tells him that the coast is clear. It is then that the crafty turk scurries across the street, just to the side of the VALKYRI headquarters building to the right of their front doorway, again hidden by the shadows of the perpetual dusk of Traverse Town concentrated in the small allyway.

A quick peek through the window tells him everything he needs to know. There's a dark knight uninvitedly making tea there... which is not /exactly/ the attack he heard about, but seems to be none-too well received anyhow. Everyone seems to be at some kind of standoff, not wanting to draw first blood. That was a bit odd when he thought about it, didn't the group have a rep to maintain? Or was this guy seriously that tough that they didn't want to fight him unless it was absolutely necessary?

While pondering these things out of sight, reno just happened to glance back across the street and notice...
...He wasn't the only one that was sneaking in the shadows? The turk does a double-take. Well well well, if it wasn't the alcoholic darkness-tainted hot chick that Sammy Colt completely failed to turn onto the gifts of ShinRa Co?

"Hey!" Reno whispers as loud as he dares, catching the girl's eye "Heeeeey!"

once meeting Leida's gaze, the turk gives her an open handed half-shrugging, half demanding-explination gesture, the universal language for 'and why the heck are YOU here in the same comprimizing situation as me?'

Reno gives her a moment to take in the situation before his cheeky nature returns and he gives a fox-like charming half-grin.

"Yo...'Sup Leida."
Reno with everyone inside the house, and the muted sounds of strained voices rising faintly in the distance, Reno makes his move. A double-check of his equipped materia, and a quick glance side-to-side tells him that the coast is clear. It is then that the crafty turk scurries across the street, just to the side of the VALKYRI headquarters building to the right of their front doorway, again hidden by the shadows of the perpetual dusk of Traverse Town concentrated in the small allyway.

A quick peek through the window tells him everything he needs to know. There's a dark knight uninvitedly making tea there... which is not /exactly/ the attack he heard about, but seems to be none-too well received anyhow. Everyone seems to be at some kind of standoff, not wanting to draw first blood. That was a bit odd when he thought about it, didn't the group have a rep to maintain? Or was this guy seriously that tough that they didn't want to fight him unless it was absolutely necessary?

While pondering these things out of sight, reno just happened to glance back across the street and notice...
...He wasn't the only one that was sneaking in the shadows? The turk does a double-take. Well well well, if it wasn't the alcoholic darkness-tainted hot chick that Sammy Colt completely failed to turn onto the gifts of ShinRa Co?

"Hey!" Reno whispers as loud as he dares, catching the girl's eye "Heeeeey!"

once meeting Leida's gaze, the turk gives her an open handed half-shrugging, half demanding-explination gesture, the universal language for 'and why the heck are YOU here in the same comprimizing situation as me?'

Reno gives her a moment to take in the situation before his cheeky nature returns and he gives a fox-like charming half-grin.

"Yo...'Sup Leida."
"Tell me something Maira, Maiden of Light. Would you beg again for their lives? For their hearts? Would you offer yourself in their stead?" Those red eyes look over to her, as he starts to step around the table. "..and worse, all this tea will go to waste." Though the state of words shows he really isn't upset by this.

The Dark Knight by the looks of it seems disarmed and places up his hands slightly as everyone now is drawing weapons. Moving from passive to aggressive. "It is interesting how those of Light will always stand tall when opposed to the opposite. They will be the first to draw weapons in fear that they could be consumed by what they do not understand." His red eyes scan over each one of them.

"You fear the darkness. You fear to be consumed. I suppose that is part of survival." Then the very clear armor starts to ghost over as the dark mist starts to form. It slides down his armored form and darkness starts to surround the area which he stands. His hands slowly slide down to his side as he opens his hand slightly. The darkness starting to form but it halts as Avira steps up to him.

Her bravery causes him to nod his head gently as his red eyes look into her own. They were lifeless. Their did not even seem to be anyone home in those eyes. Just a cold, dead stare. Not even a blink. "If I agree to answer the question, will you all step outside?" His eyes scan over the group. "..All of you? Then I will answer."

He then extends out his hand with open palm. "After you, Lady Avira?"
Leida By drawing closer, Leida quickly becomes apprised of the situation developing within the building. There are no smiles being offered to the dark knight, nor invitations of hospitality. The shadows carry the hostile intention of those gathered on their currents and immediately the princess begins to feel the absence of her own weapon.

Toting around a giant bow would have drawn suspicion. If things go sour here, the only thing she'll be able to offer in support is her own darkness and experience has shown her that the proverbial fighting of fire with fire often had little effect. Violence, fear, and misdirection were the ways of darkness and those that wielded it understood them too well to be intimidated by them, something that she was only now beginning to understand herself.

Strangely, the figure to whom everyone was baring their teeth was quite calm. No hint of malice radiates from his emptiness at present which means that something he did in the past must be what it setting everyone on edge.

Before she can contemplate this or attempt to glean it from the conversation, a soft hissing voice calls out to her from the side. Leida blinks and turns her head to stare at the fiery haired Turk. Her expression is mostly hidden beneath the shadow of her hood but it's obvious that recongnition has failed to set in. Most likely she doesn't even remember him, considering how far in the bottle she was. She does, however, know a Turk when she sees one thanks to Sammy's constant attempt to guilt, con, or bribe her into submitting to ShinRa's science department.

The girl frowns at Reno and turns away, shunning the man with a hint of snobbish disdain in the way she turns her nose up at him. "Does your employer not understand the meaning of rejection? I have no intention of submitting to your experiments!"
Minerva Minerva had been on her own for some time untill VALKYRIE and then she's had a what might be cosniderd a family again. She looks at Leon for a moment and he looks at him for a moment. She doesn't seem to give a damn she does not make a hostile move yet, the moment Leon twistchs funny in her POV? That's likely when she's gong to move. For no she hangs back guarding Maira like some ort of angry Fury.
Percival "She won't have to. Nor would we let her." As the man directed more, and more of his attention in the way of Maira, his irritation would continue to rise, giving way to anger. Yet still he wouldn't strike. His eyes however would begin to glow an eerie white, marking the anger of his kind.

"When faced by the opposite? No. When faced by a trespasser that is harassing our friends? Yes."

And then he speaks of fear of the darkness, and as the Mist starts to billow forth, he'd narrow his already glowing eyes. "It would be very foolish /not/ to fear a man who torments the lives of others for some grisly purpose."

He wouldn't step outside, as he wasn't about to leave any of them in there alone with the man. Only once /he'd/ left, would he finally depart.
Maira Maira inhales sharply as he steps toward her, though she does not step back. Maira clenches her fists, hearing Uist continue to growl, ready to spring. There is something about this one that sets the ghost on edge. Indeed, the spirit that guards her begins to manifest, an incorporeal form starting to coalesce.

"Uist...." Maira warns, eyes widening.

Maira looks back to Leon as he asks his questions, her mouth drawing into a thin line of determination. Is he really here for her? That's ridiculous. Completely ridiculous. Avira seems to think so and Avira is a smart girl. Maira swallows hard, working through the lump in her throat to answer.


It is then proposed they all go outside, at which point Leon would answer their questions--or kill them all.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart looks around to the others present, keeping her arms crossed. "Stepping outside is what Percival already asked." She notes, as she keeps a weary look upon the dark knight. If noone else is trusting him, she sure as hell won't either. She looks over to Avira "What's the deal wit this guy? Some ghost from a previous encouter or something?" She can't be everywhere at once and there's probably lots of other bad guys around.

"Fear the darkness? We don't fear it, we've been through it. But doesn't mean we like it, and surely won't be 'buddies' with it either when it tries to consume us." She knows that light does the same to the darkness in a way... but she's still betting her chips on the light.
Avira "You should have set up an appointment." Avira says dryly, regarding the offering of tea. "...Maira." she pauses, looking over her shoulder at the fire mage, a frown upon her face. "Remember what we promised to TRON the other day. You can't just offer yourself like that." Sucking in a breath through her nose, she turns back to the Dark Knight to resume her staring, no matter what dark mist leaks around his form.

There's a spark of curiosity in those deep brown eyes as she stares at him, probing for answers. There were little words of explanation for any of this, though his actions spoke louder. He wanted to provoke, clearly.

Something about those eyes though...maybe he really was undead. Or a demon. This would not be the first time she's stared into a void and only through staring back can the Dark Knight see the strange and empty void inside of her. At the center of that void was a small light that certainly shone brightly.

She hears Percival speak and a faint 'heh' escapes her. Very true.

"I will accept these terms." Avira says evenly, finally turning away from the Dark Knight and heading back to the entrance she just came from. As she walks, she hums the tune she had been singing on her approach.

"He's encountered Maira and I before, taken an unhealthy interest in Maira." Avira murmurs to Tifa as she passes.
TRON Talk about a no-win situation. They move outside, collateral damage could ensue. They stay in here, and their base would get trashed--again. Logically, their best option would be to stand down, but it seems nobody is willing to do /that/. There's too much hurt, too much fear. Like it or not, the Dark Knight has a point.

TRON does not like where this is going, but despises the effect such mind-games are having on his friends.

His form ripples as black overtakes white, the Program lines disappearing before the dots and dashes of his black suit flicker to life. Strangely, the neck up is unaffected, leaving his lack of expression unchanged and his eyes still glowing.

"Everyone." His voice is quiet, but there is a steeled logical edge to it. /Almost/ echoing the Dark Knight himself, but not quite that emotionless. "Follow Avira, please." He takes a step back, indicating his own intent to step outside, punctuating Avira's actions accordingly without abandoning those still close to the Dark Knight.

The only advantage of taking this outside is the possibility of DPS or other passerby's stepping in to deal with the Dark Knight accordingly...
Reno Reno rolls his eyes overdramatically and facepalms. The next time he sees Sammy Colt he is going to give that Rookie a serious talkin' to.

"Okay, so we got off to a bad start, huh? I dunno what exactly Sammy said to ya, but lets just forget about it, kay? I'm sorta on a mission over here, but if we both survive, how about we can talk it over at the corner pub- I'll even buy. No ---"

And in the middle of that, Reno cut himself off as it seemed people were stepping outside. Quiet as a stray cat, Reno backed further into the allyway and moved behind a trash can (or recycling bin? Nope, definately smelled like trash), and waited for stuff to happen, keeping a keen ear out for trouble.
Leida Reno's attempts to smooth over the rocky relationship the Turks have established between themselves and the princess flounder as she merely continues to ignore him, refusing to even acknowledge his presence by looking at him. It's going to take more than some honey-coated words to change her mind about ShinRa after everything that has transpired.

Unlike the secret agent, when everyone begins to shuffle out into the street Leida does not attempt to hide. If she wished to remain unseen she could simply cloak herself in the shadows once more but the unknown man of darkness would still see right through it and she does not care if the others notice her.
The Dark Knight will wait for everyone to leave, or at least most everyone. His voice remains quiet, no confirming who he hears, but he does hear everyone's remarks. Just chooses it would seem to not reply.

As Avira goes outside, the Dark Knight takes a step, before he seems to vanish into a poof of dark mist. Then appears outside. That very dark mist starts to grow around, slowly covering the very area in dark fog obscure the outside world which expands out from him.

"We will not be interrupted by outsiders. Only those within my range." This seem to include a one or two other buildings.

His hand extends out to the side as from the very mist a sword starts to form from it. Before he aims the tip of the blade down to the ground. "You ask why I am here. The answer is very simple."

His foot then slides back. "To bring you all suffering." Then suddenly he 'blinks' once more, moving away from the group, before the dark tendrils from his latch outward for all those in the open street and even extending into the HQ as well to snag those to pull them out into the street. The Very tendrils were attempting to hold them still.

"The Maiden of Light seeks your protection. She would not take an offer unless you were all safe. This is the price you all must pay for her choice." Those red eyes glow and narrow. "Weep and Despair."

The Dark Knight then suddenly blinks to each one, slashing his blade out at every person, once and then twice. The very edge of the blade taking on a ghostly form as it attempts to cut harm into the very being's essence.

It would seem none are spared; perhaps beyond Reno because he is hiding in the garbage like the brave, smart man he is.
Minerva Minerva knoww how it is and she now prpwares for a moment, she doesn't plan to hold any thing back. She shifts to head out sid enad he looks over Reno for a momen what an interesting man. She ponders for a moment before she moves to join the others outside she know how Leon fights he is infact prepared for what he may attempt to do and he's already focusing her own eneries inward to purge the foul touch that Leon has laid upon her.
Percival Once the others were outside, the Gargoyle followed him, his eyes still shining with barely contained rage.

It didn't particularly suprise Percival to hear Leon's answer.

His offhand was already slipping on a shield as he explained how Maira had brought this upon him. That only served to anger him even more.

With his rage heightening his reflexes, when Leon blinks to strike, he's already ducking under the man's blade. Answering his strike with buffet that screeched against his armor, raising sparks as the edge clashed against it. He was about to follow up, when the man had already moved on to his next target.

He was fast, but not fast enough to reach Maira before he struck at her. He'd take a swipe at him from behind, only for him to vanish once again. He'd growl as the man continued to raise his ire

"You're naught but a craven, to take advantage of her kind heartedness!"

Standing in front of Maira, he raised his sword at a high guard, holding his shield in front of him as he waited in anticipation of his next attack.
Avira As she steps outside, Avira seems shocked to see the Dark Knight already there. With her back turned as he vanished, she didn't see his particular means of conveyance but immediately assumes that it was a dark portal. After all, she's witnessed both Kaydin and Angantyr capable of such travel. A fellow dark knight would have access to that same skill, wouldn't he?

Exhaling through her nose, Avira pulls the Spine free of its confines and flips the blade over in her hand. Her grip upon the hilt is effortlessly manipulated. "And your answer...?"

What an answer. "Haha! You creep, you don't take rejection well, do you?!" A tendril of darkness wraps around her, but before it can do much, Avira cuts herself free with a quick stroke of her blade. She's about to charge when the dark knight comes to her and instead, they are suddenly locking blades with the much larger knight baring down on her. In an instant, the block is broken and Avira turns him aside, though before she can follow up with a second strike, he is gone.

Swiftly, she switches her sword to her left hand, the right clenched as she mutters to herself, concentrating on her ice magic and shaping the mist into a slightly different manner. Rather than casting it out as a projectile, she 'latches' it around the Dark Knight, using his quite palpable darkness as a homing beacon amongst the field. Ice begins to form, latching onto the armor, infesting the joints.
TRON It feels like no sooner does TRON step outside that the area plunges into Darkness. Not the perpetual night that this area of Traverse Town seems to always be under, but something... worse.

The change in scenery distracts him from the Dark Knight initiating his attack. He jerks back, the ghostly edge of the blade leaving two thin blue lines on black, but the lingering aftereffect gnaws at his core. Threatens to distract him.

"So. The truth is revealed." He removes his Discs from his back and decombines them, one Disc in each hand. "Darkness seeks to corrupt the Light by any means nessisary. We have seen this time and time again. Therefore, if the Light does not fall on its own, the Darkness will drag it down by force."

His eyes glow brightly, almost becoming whitish-blue optical lenses with the iris and pupil fully obscured. "However. As the humans would say..." His Discs activate with a unified crashing buzz as their lines glow brightly, "...Like HELL we will let that happen!"

He rolls his shoulders, pulling his arms back, then spins sharply as he sends his Black Disk flying first followed immediately by the Silver Disc. He snaps both arms up, fists clenched as if bracing for an impact, and the two Discs suddenly arc for a second sweeping pass.
Leida And straight to the action. Leida stares openly as the world around them is engulfed in a strange dark mist, her jaw hanging slightly as she watches all means of escape become sealed in a matter of moments. The area beyond the fog becomes shrouded and hazy and even without attempting to move through the dark barrier she knows it would be a futile effort.

"This is not good..." Leida mutters the obvious outloud just as the tendrils of dark energy lash out in a chaotic frenzy at everyone. Almost without thinking the girl's own demonic power flares to life to counter the encroaching threat before it can coil about her slender body.

Her shadow erupts from the ground like a living thing, surging up about her legs in an oily mass to gather in the small of her back. There it condenses and solidifies, a massive skeletal arm of pure shadow thrashing at the air like some hideous scorpion tail. It comes down swiftly, smashing aside the binding darkness but the knight's teleportation attack comes swiftly and unexpectedly, his blade only barely being turned away at the last moment by sacrificing the shadowy limb to its fury.

Leida staggers, barely stifling a shrill cry of pain as if part of herself has been wounded. Her hood falls away to reveal the young girl's face and demonic features as she whips around to face the dark knight, indignation and anger boiling up to sear away her timid nature.

"Ngh... another ruffian who seeks to sow dischord and despair to further a dark agenda! And you dare to strike a lady who has nothing to do with your foolish endeavors! When will your kind learn proper manners?"

Leida holds up a hand, her fingers twisting as balls of green eldritch fire erupt in the air at her beckoning call. Souls of those devoured by the demon wail upon being wrenched from their prison and she unleashes them like a swarm of angry piranha upon the knight.
Maira Proxy Maira flushes at the reminder from Avira. Of course...but if it meant saving them? If it really came to that? Could there be any other choice? But they have faced impossible odds before, havent they? Theyd been to Hell and back, stared down the Lord of the Dead in defiance.

Maira looked toward Leon and Avira, focusing on the Dark Knight, something in her trying to stretch out toward him as it does whenever hes close. There is something so /wrong/. She needs to understand!

Maira lets out a breathe she hadnt realized she was holding as Avira walks outside and everyone begins to follow, Maira included.

Maira steps outside to watch as the dark mist that usually surrounds Leon makes its reappearance, obscuring the outside world. Maira shivers....but she should flame be cold? The girl closes her eyes as she hears Leons words, flames summoned to hand, beginning to creep up her arms.

Uist protects her from some of the blow from Leons ghostly blade, but he could not yet be the physical buffer she needed, only a spiritual one. Not until he had the energy to manifest.

Maira gasps from the pain, but stays up, her eyes following Leon. "Pay for my choice!? You could not promise not to hurt them! If I had taken your offer, would that really have changed anything!?" she shouts.

She draws her hands outward then, the light of her flame reaching out to protect the people closest to her in vacinity.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart crosses her arms "Well then, if she's after Maira, I'm definitely not letting him get close, since she doesn't want it." She can tell Maira is affected by this, and Maira is a great friend of Aerith too. They have things in common from what she can tell at least.

She had barely enough time to step out before the wave of darkness engulfs everything and sweeps her off her feet in surprise, landing on her back on the stone flood with a sounding 'oof!'. "Hey, what was that for!? Some way you have of asking people to follow you huh, just getting rid of everything in the way instead?"

She bounces back to her feet, and then cracks her knuckles "She said no, I believe, so why don't you just stuff it and go back home like a good little boy?" Since her arsenal of attacks is limited to melee, that's expectidly what she does here, moving in for a series of punches and kicks to try to mellow him down some for the others to stab into the opening.
Reno Reno says, "Woah...That sure escalated quickly."

The area of the street was suddenly enveloped in blades and magic flying as the entire squadron of VALKYRI and Valkyri's allies assaulted the black knight. With a snake-strike-fast reach into his pocket and flick of his wrist, Reno has his electro-mag rod in his hand, and is ready for action...

...but not quite to give away his position yet. Focusing his materia-enhanced powers, Reno reaches out from his vantage point and pins down the tea-loving blackguard with twin strokes of electricity that coalesce from the sky and shoot down at him, followed by the translucent yellow triangles of force that form around him to attempt to trap him in Reno's signiture Pyramid. Reno knew it was unlikely anyone would stop hitting the guy long enough to keep him trapped for more than a second or two, but at least it might just throw off the dude's attack routine."
What sparks Percival sees is not that of armor, but that of darkness. Darkness that flicks off from the very strike that protects the dark armor they saw so easily once more. The very darkness starts to coat over itself. Once more moving in to protect the cut that was done to it. This was repeated even by Minerva and Avira as they two attempted to breach past the darkness that surrounded him. Protected him like magic; yet what was not magic at all.

He does not reply to Percival's response. Though he does take interest in the very weapon the gargoyle wields, before his eyes slowly focus on the Gargoyle himself. There was only a minor tilt of his helm.

The Dark Knight turns his attention to Avira as she starts to cast her spell. The ice freezes around him, attempting to contain him and the darkness within. However the ice starts to crack, then slowly breaker as the darkness slowly starts to devour it, destroy it. Soon however the ice completely shatters and a massive wave of dark lashes out like a sword strike toward the woman seeking to penetrate her very being in attempt to crush it within.

The TRON speaks his part, the Dark Knight's eyes glow softly. "Correct." He states. Though correct to what part was not explained. The Dark Knight deflects one of the strikes away, however the next kicks him into the air. He uses the same 'blink' ability to correct himself, his cape expanding into the air a bit as the darkness starts to gather around him. A whip of it extends out from him moving to drag himself right to Leida's direction. Her own attacks seeming to slip by him as his own comes dangerously close to impacting her.

Those red eyes turn to Leida. There was a glow in them before he speaks, "All will be judged. All will be tested. All will suffer. Unless you choose to run." He then blinks away and then looks over to Maira as she speaks. Attempting to protect her friends from the darkness. "I fear you will never know that answer, dear Maiden of Light."

Yes, even the Dark Knight was oddly pulled to how much light Maira had within her. It continue to claw at him. Pull at his very dark being. Yet here comes Tifa to pull his attention away from the Fire Mage. Her fists slam into the darkness. Each blow pulling back a bit of the darkness, but in return for her efforts the Soul Blade cleaves down as the ghostly edge once more cuts to damage the very essence of her within. His red eyes stare at Tifa. No emotion there. Just a predatory look as if peering into his next meal.

As soon as Reno goes to cast his magic materia, those red eyes quickly look in the direction of the man. The Pyramid is cast, the Dark Knight is already 'blink'ing to that location, The sword sweeps out for Reno just as the Pyramid forms around him, freezing him for a moment in place. Those red eyes looking deep into Reno; deep down into his very soul it would seem. Soon the darkness started to grow, the dark becoming like a heavy fog. Soon in the shadows a loud shatter of glass as the Pyramid breaks can be heard.

Yet the Dark Knight was no where to be seen. His voice does echo in the darkness. "Maiden of Light. This day you will not be able to plead for mercy or theirs. This day you will not change the fate of what will happen. Only hate will change my mind. Now observe their suffering!"

Soon there was a rune glow on the ground as a blue glow could be seen high in the air. The armored man of darkness comes down from the sky. His sword slams into the ground, shattering the dark rune. Suddenly the sky turns blood red, before massive ethereal crimson red, crystal swords start to fall from the sky. If they impact someone, they will encase them within the crystal blades. The Dark Knight then rises up his sword as the crystal swords that have formed start to flicker with dark electricity, before it zaps to the brightly glowing Soul Blade. Starting to siphon all their living essence to him.

Once he breaks his blade away, each of the crystal swords will shatter into crimson red shards, before turning into misps and the deep fog clearing up slightly.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart only had a moment to react, but it was right on time. As the swords fall from the sky, she manages to nimbly move out of the way. First a flip, then a twist, and finally a leap, getting out of range of the attack, an elegant flip that has her feet against the wall of the nearby building...

It looks like time has stopped for her, as she can see with perfect clarity the battlefield and plan on the next more, her brain going at 100mph with the adrenaline.

And then she's moving again, her boots kicking off the wall, and going straight at the dark knight. First her leg comes down into a hard impact, hoping to crush him down like a pancake with her hard boots. But that's only the opening move, as she uses the momentum to 'fall' behind Leon, her arms grabbing him, twisting him, and sending him head first into the stone-riddled floor into an airborne supplex.

And then while he's down, she flips over him, releasing an exploding fist that she was charging in her right hand, forming a small dome of energy around him as she releases it at point blank range like that. The force of the explosion is enough to send her back, flipping back to her feet before landing a few steps away "How about you leave Maira alone, jerk!"
Avira This method, Avira reflects, appears to be working. She'll have to hold onto this little magic trick for later since, of course, it could come in handy. Where she couldn't make up for it in power, she could at least get by with cleverness.

The darkness lashing back at her brings an unexpected cry of pain which Avira seems surprised to find herself uttering. Slipping back, she readies her blade, "It isn't like this'll be the first time I've suffered on behalf of others." She doesn't sound regretful at all, keeping that fierce cadence she used while staring down the intruder of VALKYRI's home.

Darkness rattles around within the empty void and Avira cringes, wishing she was free of it. She actually tries to attempt to rid it, turning the Ivalician version of first aid onto herself. Her efforts abruptly halt when a crystal sound drops down upon her and traps her cringing form within the crystal. When she's finally free, Avira wobbles for a second before dropping to her knees, shaking. For a few seconds, she actually looks afraid.

Steadily, she resumes her efforts to purge the darkness, driving it out of her form.
Maira Alright, seriously guys!? Why were they all acting as if he'd asked her on a date and she'd refused!? That was very much /not/ what had happened!

What had happened? A gift was offered....she's refused it. It had seemed like the right choice at the time, it really had.

Regret is a river that runs deep and cuts to the quick. Maira watches as her friends are assaulted, fighting because, apparently, she has done something to anger this Dark Knight--was that it? Or was this yet another test?

Uist has grown quite angry. Hate is easily summoned by the ghost. He wants so badly to lash out at this Dark Knight, but Maira's will is holding him fast. She needs him.

Hate is much more difficult for Maira. Anger, yes, that is there, but hate? Is there anyone she /hates/?

Anyone besides herself?

This is her fault. She did something wrong, and now others were paying for it. Tears rise, drip to her cheeks, and evaporate. " Avira," she whispers to her ghost, the cool presence of her companion blinking toward Avira to carry Maira's healing.

Maira stares toward Leon, trying to move closer to him, which is quite difficult considering how quickly he blinks around the battlefield. "I'm sorry...." she says. "I'm sorry! If I have done something wrong they should not have to pay for it!" she shouts, trying to draw his attention and keep it. Flames dance all along her skin now, growing brighter by the moment.
Percival An ethereal crystal shard would nearly impale him, shattering through the shield he carried. It was a desperate sacrificial defense, before to stop it before it impaled him in his abdomen. It bit into his innards anyhow, but prevented the wound from becoming more than a deep flesh wound.

It was the soul siphon that followed that caused him to roar in pain.

Wait, was that Leida too? Why was she here? He gave her an almost dumbfounded look, before he turned his attention back to the Dark Knight.

Casting aside the broken pieces of the heater shield. He'd draw a rapier from its sheath, tossing the runeblade from his left hand, to his right, and holding it in a reverse grip.

He was angry now, and anyone particularly attuned to the darkness or the light might hear it, like some sort of grisly heartbeat in the air.

Lub-dub. Lub-dub.

He heard it too, and he considered putting it away before this went so far.

Except now, Leida, Avira, and Maira were all in danger as a result of this man. He no longer cared about the consequences. Rushing forward, he'd strike at the man with his offhand, trying to trace a line across the gorget he wears, before raising both blades to pound into his armor with all of his strength, trying to shatter his darkness infused defenses. "I don't care if I suffer..

And then he'd thrust the accursed rapier into a gap he saw in the armor, hoping it found purchase in his flesh. "....but I won't let you hurt them!"

He'd actually snap out an angry reply at Maira. "Don't you /DARE/ apologize to this man!"
TRON TRON braces himself for impact as his Discs return to him while the sky goes red. Crystalline crimson blades fall towards them and one pierces the Program's leg, almost completely encasing him within it. The Dark Lightning that follows saps some of his strength with a surprised shout and the ensuing shattering of that imprisoning blade gouge his form before dissipating. His leg is left with a hole clean through it, but still he stands defiant.

His glowing eyes focus on the Dark Knight, his expression impassive. "I understand."

He rocks back on his feet as his stance drops to a near-crouch, his arms extended as he twists his torso. He brings his arms in, bending the elbows to draw his held Discs closer to himself, then he unwinds in a flurry of motion that sends both Discs screaming at the Dark Knight. The Discs act as if they have a mind of their own, swooping and ricocheting off of buildings to repeatedly rebound back at the enemy without seeming to lose momentum.
Leida "What?!" Leida's face contorts in annoyance at the flippant response, her fists balling up. "That is your excuse for wounding me? Who are you to test /me/?!"

The shadow arm's wickedly clawed fingers curl up into a massive fist in response to her outrage and the dark knight's attempt to strike back at the princess is knocked aside, leaving little more than a scratch upon the tenebreous bones. It lashes out at him but Leon vanishes before the heavy strike can connect.

Despite her outwards bravado, Leida's fear is running high. This fight has nothing to do with her and the knight has a clear command over the darkness he wields whereas her own powers are still restrained and weak. Not for the first time she silently wishes that more of the demon's power could be called forth to aid her but as usual her request for a miracle goes unanswered.

Hissing in frustration, the demonic girl digs deep into her reserves of meager power, drawing upon all of the shadows in the area to shield her from the raining crystal blades. Focus seems to bleed out of the air around her, her body growing hazy and indistinct as a thin layer of unlight surrounds it. The crimson crystal swords fall like hail but upon the barrier she has formed, they shatter into uselessness.

The effort this takes is etched upon Leida's face and sweat begins to bead upon her skin. A final deadly meteor destroys itself upon the shield and both of them shatter, forcing the princess to throw herself to the side at the last moment to avoid getting speared by the aftermath.
Reno Reno winced as the sword of sanguine-colored sword falls from the sky, glancing his arm. Hah, just a scratch! Well, until he was encased in soul-sucking crystal that shattered abruptly, dealing horrible damage to Reno and putting a few tears in his undershirt. His suit pants and jacket appeared to be fine, for some reason. Seriously, what DID ShinRa make those suits out of?

"AAAGH, Screw you too buddy!" came a voice from the allyway directed at the dark knight, a half-moment before another lightning bolt fell from the sky and struck Leon once more.

Not wanting to spend the entire fight unknown by allies and adjacent to garbage, Reno jumps into the fore-ground, using his

"Protect!" He calls one-by one, conjuring the magical barriers around himself. Hastily he scans the area for an ally to buff as well. Leida's the only other person he really knows, and she's half-hidden by shadows somewhere, so Reno settles on the girl who seems to be the center of the conflict. "Uhh... Shell! Protect, again!"
Minerva Minerva looks at Leon as he attacks, she knwos what he can do with the darkness she's not a fool after all.

"No... I think I understand but that will only earn you an unmarked grave. One such as you will recive no quarter ever form me. I swear i'll see you dead fallen one."

Minerva lets out a cry ashse moves to chage at him even as the attack coems ripping into her she uses her own control of the dark to bleed some of the enery she is hurt but not as bad as she should have been she contiunes her assault launching itno a barrage of icey punches at Leon. Her form is good, her strikes are powerful and she's not holding a thing back. She launches herself again after landing in a crouch and springs back at him as she contiunes.

"I will end you, blight."
The Dark Knight lowers his soul blade which still glows bright blue with dark energy as Tifa suddenly charges in. His red eyes watching her speed and her grace. "Your bravery is commendable." He states with still calmness in his voice, not even seeing tired in the least.

As he kick comes in, he blocks it with his arm guard, then moves around her strikes. No blinking in involved, just fluidly moving with her strikes almost like combat dance being performed. Oh the impacts were piercing through the darkness alright. They were impacting his amor and with each blow it was sliding him back a bit against the stone floor.

When she attempts to spin him around, he moves with her. Then he breaks away from her attack just as she goes to attempt to move further unclasping the shoulder pauldrons which vanish into dark mist as the cape is thrown up acting as a distraction for a moment, so Tifa's next blow strikes through it, becoming dark mist from her strike.

Then as she charges in once more, the Dark Knight raises up his hand creating a massive dark mist barrier. Her explosive punch slams into the dark barrier. His red eyes glowing brightly, almost consuming the entire eye slits of the helm with red light as he pulls on a good deal of his energy to absorb the attack. Before it shatters the barrier and knocks him off balance a bit, though he recovers as his eyes return to their normal red status. "Impressive."

Then Percival raced in as Maira yells to the Dark Knight. Begging for his forgiveness. Pleading that she is sorry. Yet the Dark Knight does not look at her. He does not even give her a glance. The Reaper slashes out, striking at the darkness, cutting it deep. Cutting down to the metal armor below as the Dark Knight attempts to pull away. The Darkness attempting to reform itself once more in the new gash brought by Percival.

Those red eyes locked on Percival. "..You are of light, yet there is darkness hidden within you." Those red eyes glow brightly then. "Let it consume you. Perhaps then you will make you vengeance swift. You will make me suffer for hurting the Maiden of Light's feelings. Look how she cries." Those red eyes narrow. "Now come and destroy me."

The Dark Knight then goes to 'blink' as TRON's attack comes in. He had no time to vanish away to a new location. The discs once more slam him into the air just as they have done before. Yet this time the Dark Knight was ready for it. A whip of darkness latches out for TRON, dragging the Dark Knight back down and using that Momentum to thrust his boot right into the Program's body before he pushes off to slide along the ground when he lands.

This does bring him in the direct counter that belong to Reno to be struck by the Lightning. Which crackles with a bright flash of light. It almost causes the darkness in the air to split, much like how Maira's own light was slowly starting to do. When the flash vanishes the darkness crawls back in and the Dark Knight was rising once more up from his knelt stance.

Then Minerva runs in. Her form, like Tifa, was well formed. Yet like Tifa, the Dark Knight manages to block away the blows this time actually using his free arm to knock them away. To not let the icy touch get close to their impact points. "There is no grave to send me too, Monk. You can not destroy darkness." He then blocks her attack one more time, before he twirls the blade to where the blunt edge of the blade is against his arm, before he strikes it with a swift rotation of his body. "You can only disperse it for a time."

The dark fog in the area starts to be drawn to the sword, before the Dark Knight looks at each person. With a quick back step and a hard rotation not only of the sword, but of his body. He starts to slash at the air with the blade. Sending one wave, after another, after another through the very air. The air slashes glow with dark energy as they attempt to strike each person here with dark energy. Yet Maira is exempt once more.

Though he does turn to Leida. He had no response to her, yet a simple question. "Will you continue to fight with them or run? Make your choice wisely." Yet he does not answer her question. He seems to hold back his attack, before he 'blinks' to a new location.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart gets pushed back so easily, and this doesn't please her at all. After all she just gave it a huge push, but just fell short of even scratching him. She gahs as she's sent flying back with the counter attack, landing in a heap, crashing through a wooden bench quite painfully. Tossed around as if she was nothing, nothing to make her feel good right now. Her ego is more hurt than her body, and her body is pretty much battered right now too from the looks of it.
She moves herself back up with a grunt, a bit out of energy for another heavy assault, but let it be known she doesn't give up either "Darkness disapears with the light, even a shadow is more resilient as it clings to a host even through the light. But you're content with just disapearing once you're done with your deeds?"

She moves in again, dragging just a bit more than usual as she attempts to kick some sense into the dark knight.
Avira Slowly her efforts begin to work, but she really manages to make progress when Maira turns her attention to the huntress. A faint sigh of relief escapes Avira as she feels a sufficient amount of lifeforce being returned. She mutters a few things, seemingly to herself, keeping her voice too low for the Dark Knight to hear before she forces herself to stand. 'There was barely a spark of what let her live left inside her, and she clung to it, nurturing it, not once allowing the despair and the darkness that whispered in her ears to sway her.'

Bracing herself, she begins to slog her way through wave after wave of darkness as she makes for the Dark Knight. Each slams against her harshly, endured, forbidden to send her sprawling. She doesn't give an inch despite the force and power behind each blow. Bit by bit, she preseveres and makes it within striking range where she smashes the serrated edge of her spine into his armor. By now, she is breathing heavily, sweat pouring down her scarred face. Staring him down unflinching, she suddenly hurls herself at him, diving low at his legs. A faint aura of silver surrounds her and she plows forward with a surge of strength unexpected from a woman so small.

Driving herself beneath him, she suddenly lifts, attempting to toss him behind her over her shoulder. Just as she does, she kicks behind her with a booted foot.

Whirling, she follows after him, leading with a downward chop of her weapon, then driving it back upwards in a two-handed grip. The two handed grip becomes one again as she switches to her opposite hand, stabbing into the Dark Knight with the inverted blade.

She slips around him, as if dancing, to bring the Spine down again and again, striking at different angles each time, manipulaing her weapon with deft gloved fingers that twirl and swing around the pelvic bone-shaped hilt.

The final blow comes down as an overhead chop, the silvery aura dispersing suddenly with a wave of force to augment the swing. Unwilling to give the Dark Knight a moment of opportunity to capitalize on her sudden exhaustion after that exertion (which is much more vast than usual), she leaps backwards shortly after her final strike.
Percival The Gargoyle would sputter at the man in his rage. "If you /INSIST/.."

While his words and assault may have seemed impotent in the face of the man's darkness, still he pressed into his guard. His anger fueled his speed enough that he just was able to lean to the side as the man sent a slash of dark energy his way. It glanced off his shoulder, but he did not cease, as he pressed in, slashing his offhand sword against the man's helm, attempting to blind him by drawing it across one of the eyeslits. "...I'm not of the light. Perdition already awaits me..."

He'd then drop low and unbalance the man, by striking his tail against the back of the man's legs, against his knees.

"...but I won't be going /ALONE/!" And then he would reverse both blades suddenly, driving them into the gaps of the man's armor, closest to his neck with all his strength.
Leida The princess hits the ground hard from her last-ditch evasive action, bouncing roughly on the cobbled street with a soft grunt. Adrenaline rushes through her, flooding her mind with stimulants and stoking the subtle flames of dark rage burning inside of her. She pushes back to her feet quickly, turning to glare at the dark knight as he continues to unleash his murderous powers on the others.

His question causes her to pause, her corrupted eyes shifting towards the others slowly. Many of these people she hardly knew, some she had met only once or twice and others not at all. Did she really owe them anything, least of all her life? The princess clenches her teeth, the jaw working back and forth as she struggles with the opportunity offered to her: flee or stand and fight.

Unfortunately, there was really only one choice available to her, no matter how much she wished otherwise. To simply abandon these people now would make them less trusting of her in the future and that would undermine the promise she has made. And if that promise was not kept, there is no telling what the consequences of that might be.

Leida stands up straight, doing her best to look unintimidated by the knight. "Your transgressions shall not be forgiven! I will see you humbled for daring to strike me!"

Without her bow, however, the girl's attacks are left hamstrung and she is forced to improvise. The demonic arm surges to life with fresh purpose, digging its massive claws into the ground and unearthing a chunk of the pavement. Black fire erupts about the rugged boulder and it is sent hurtling through the air like at catapult shot. The projectile explodes violently upon contact with the ground, scattering shards of rock and demonic flame in all directions like some unholy meteor. It isn't until the moment of detonation that she realizes that probably wasn't the best way to support her allies.
Maira Maira's eyes look briefly toward Reno as he appears, blinking with confusion. She's never seen him before, has she? But she knows almost immediately that he is using materia. He protects her though, and to that she smiles. Even in the middle of all this madness.

Maira stands for a while, her eyes distant as her lips move in response to the conversation on the radio. The young woman takes a deep breath, then lets it out slow. She lets go of the guilt and the fear, and as she does so the flames that surround her grow, glowing, shifting from the normal golden hue of flame to a white hot brilliance. She lights up the preternatural darkness as she'd done before, the darkness dispersing as it touches her, dissolving until only tiny motes of light sparkle and float through the air.

"I won't hate you. I won't apologize again," she begins, moving toward Leon, the light that surrounds her snaking toward him through the air. That magnetic pull she'd felt? She doesn't try to repress it. No, she tries to draw him toward her like a moth to flame.

Maira holds out her hand, a mirror to the gesture he'd made before on the beach, before he'd escaped.

0Show me YOUR light!
TRON TRON cannot dodge due to the hole in his leg, the shadowy whip wrapping around his neck while he is unarmed. The Dark Knight then knocks him down to the ground with a kick to the face, stunning him just long enough for the Dark Knight to initiate his next attack.

He rolls to a crouch and catches his Discs just in time for the waves of Darkness to assault him, nearly knocking back down. Almost.

His black body-suit is noticeably fractured, spiderwebbing cracks at particularly bad impact points. Fragments of voxels drop to the ground from the hole in his leg and places where his body seems to have 'frayed'. But his continued defiance has clearly not wavered, as he simply retakes his throwing stance.

There is nothing more to say.

He crosses his arms in front of his chest, elbows rising towards his ears, and sinks down slightly as if bracing for an attack. The Discs' glowing lights turn an almost sickly green, then TRON snaps down his arms in a chopping motion as he lets his Discs fly once again. These fly on a straightforward arc, ricocheting off of buildings and ground to constantly assault Leon--though not seeming to cause injury even if the impacts may move him around. No, the circular weapons almost seem to be attacking the Darkness itself rather than the person hiding within.
Reno Reno Darted back and out of the way of another of Leon's malign darkness attacks, deflecting some of it with the metal shaft of his weapon. Still, enough gets through to further wound the proud ShinRa warrior.

"Oh COME ON. For Gaia's sake, dude, DO YOU EVEN HEAR YOURSELF TALK!?"

Reno shouted at the man. Fighting someone way stronger than him, he could take no sweat. Pretention that borders between delusional and pants-on-head insanity was something he encountered at least three times daily back at ShinRa HQ. But combine the two in someone who was a jerk just for the sake of being a jerk? That kinda pissed him off.

"You think yer the personification of the color dark grey or somethin!? Well let me tell you, buddy-" Reno rushed in with his electropod, ducking low and then swoooping upwards in a powerhouse uppercut with his elecectrified baton.

Before the man even hit the ground, Reno had a ShinRa stun grenade in his hand, and had lobbed it at him.

The blinding flash of the explosion just so happened to conveniently coincide with Maira's "Show me your light!" implorement... But Reno was going to show everyone his first... Neo Turk Light!

The brilliant beam emitted from Reno flashed over to Leon, intending to scald that armor right off his back.

Reno pauses, steam sizzling from his fingertip... "--Nobody wears the dark suit better than me, yo!"
Minerva Minerva looks at Leon for a moment even as his blast drikes upon her again she aims to bleed off much of the fearsome force with her own abilities to save herself from being dropped then and there. She still stands as the blast fades she stands down Leon a she looks at him. She plants her feet now as she looks at Leon as Maira just holds the line and she aims to give her the suppiort she can.

"Earth's anger running through my arms! Earth Slash!"

She slams her fists together and into the ground sending a shockwave that would rip up the street heading right for Leon even as Tron makes his moves, he's proven to be quite the fearsome fighter. Even Reno whose been an unknown is standing with them and whatever else he's done he's earned Minerva's respect for this as he makes his move she follows up the shockwage with her own ight her right hands bursts into holy flames. She then lunches following the path of the shockwave for Leon.
Tifa moves in and her kick connects him. Each strike slamming into his armored form, moving him back, before he has enough and 'blinks' away while leaving dark tendrils to attempt to wrap themselves around her.

Yet the Dark Knight can not keep up this forever. He has drawn out a great deal of strength into his attacks and now he was starting to pay the price from all those who are standing against his darkness. With so many with such strong lights.

Avira suddenly comes in swiftly. Defying his attacks and strikes out. Her sword slashes the darkness from him. It quickly attempts to reform, before her next blows come in. Strike after strike, the Dark Knight attempts to parry the blows but each one breaking through his own defenses. Each of those strikes tearing away at his darkness that protects him; That comes from his heart.

He is knocked over before her very sword slams hard into his armor, piercing into it. Right into the shoulder. The blade digs in deep, to where blood can actually be seen releasing from the leather as she draws her sword away. The blood drips down even as he forces himself to stand and move away from her. Yet there was no cry of pain. There was no sign of how much that hurt. Instead drips of blood continued to fall to the ground, before the darkness seemed to sweep it away, as if the blood was devoured by it and the very darkness within him attempted to hide the wound.

Then Leida decides she will stay and fight. His red eyes glance over in her direction. "Very well." He simply states. Her strike blasts him, yet the darkness of her attack seems to be devoured by his own, only fueling his own dark energy from his heart, which he uses to try and repair the darkness that had been shredded away by Avira's attack.

Percival's own sword strikes go for the helm, yet they find that though it cuts into the metal, the metal is thick or the eyes are to far back to be gotten too. When the blow moves for the neck, the Dark Knight raises the already injured arm. Allow the blade to slash against the darkness and strike against the armor. The sword starts to glow blue as he attempts to slash it for Percival's body. Yet it goes stray thanks Minerva's sudden explosion of Earth under him. This causes the Dark Knight correct himself in the air and suddenly 'blink' down to her level, his blade with dark blue flames taking a ethereal form as it slashes through Minerva, moving to take her very life essence to replenish his own. Healing the wound created by Avira.

Tron's disc then slam through his darkness, attempting to rip it away. Yet what little the attack does rip away was enough to cause the Dark Knight to stagger almost back. This leaves him open for Reno to slam him with his own stripping attack. The strike surges around the darkness on his armor. The Darkness swirms, squirms, and attempts to break, yet rebuild as the attack continues to siphon through. When it over the Dark Knight staggers forward. Crashing down to one knee and resting part of his body weight on his sword.

The Light then starts to move toward him. The glow causing the weakened Dark Knight to look up. Those red eyes staring at her as she comes closer. He almost winces with his eyes, before he rumbles lowly. His hand gripping tighter on the hilt. Those red eyes slowly starting to turn orange in color as the very edges start to become gold.

His other hand grips hard into the stone, the metal claw tips carving into the very stone. As if fighting her. Fighting her light. Fighting his hunger. Then suddenly he lunges. He lunges, but suddenly pulls away as the light from her actually causes his darkness to almost become smoke. It actually 'burns' him back. "You..." He says softly. Almost sounding surprised. "" He then takes another step back. No hint of fear. No hint of it even in his eyes. "..fascinating.." He whispers softly, before he suddenly turns away from her. Leaping up to a building as he pulls in the darkness to him. The area starting to be seen once more from the fog.

"There is no light!" He calls down to Maira. Those eyes almost gold right now, though slowly starting to become orange in color, trying to snake back to red. "I am the Dark Knight. I am Darkness! Thy will shall be stripped! For no light is greater then the darkness!" He words precise. Powerful. Lacking any fear. This time he does not hide in the darkness. This time he summons the rune and leaps down to slam onto it once more. This time the Crimson Swords come yet again, but this time instead of waiting for them to shatter, he sends out a dark wave after to slash across each of the swords that remain. To Shatter them apart for him.

His red eyes glowing bright once more. "Because I forever will be, just as the darkness will forever be." The Dark Knight almost falls back to his knee once more. Her light was indeed taking a /far/ greater toll then he was perhaps letting on.
Percival As he saw the Dark Knight motioning, he'd look blearily in Avira's direction. She was hurting, and he couldn't find himself able to abandon her to her fate. Making a snap decision, he'd leap suddenly in her direction, knocking her out of the way, as two swords would fall from above, impaling the Gargoyle suddenly. He'd scream in agony as they began to drain away his very life force. And then in a swift motion he'd shatter both with a howl of unthinking, irrational rage.

Suddenly, as if to affirm the Dark Knight's statement to Maira, they would all hear the eerie sound of a heartbeat quicken. Growing irregular. All light over a wide area would be snuffed out, as the shadows slithered and expanded spreading out everywhere. In the sudden umbra, the only illumination that any would see is an ominous purple aura over each of them except for the Gargoyle.

And then suddenly Leon would feel his hot breath on the nape of his neck. As two glowing white orbs suddenly penetrated the darkness amongst the auras of purple light.

Leon would feel a taloned hand reach around his neck if he didn't act quickly enough, before he'd be lifted off the ground. With talons that could cut through stone, he would squeeze for a time, before casting him down to the ground. Howling in blind, unthinking rage, he'd pounce on top of him, beginning to try to tear away the plates of his armor, by ripping at the gaps with his hands and feet. And then those two white orbs would descend, and they'd see them over his neck, as the Gargoyle tried to bite into it with his fangs, going for the carotids and the jugular.

He'd continue this onslaught, with his talons and fangs digging into the man repeatedly, everything about him bespeaking his blind, unthinking, animalistic rage.

And like a cornered animal, all he wanted to do is /kill/ that which had caused him such suffering.

All of sudden, he'd pass out, collapsing like a rag doll on top of the man, rolling off him, entirely out. The shadows would all retract, and the area would be just as illuminated as before. It was as if nothing had happened, except that Percival was unconscious.
TRON TRON has no way to avoid the falling crystalline crimson blade, and actually emits a roar of pain that sounds more akin to a screech of audio feedback as the pulse of darkness shatters his crimson prison. He almost feels like he is derezzing in that moment, and his perception blanks out for a moment accordingly.

He falls to the ground, his Discs clattering at his sides as their glowing lines revert to their standard color--only the color is more of a slate-greyish-blue at best, and flickering at that. There isn't much of a surface left on his body that hasn't sustained damage at this point, even his face showing an almost wire-frame-like under-surface beneath the 'skin' in places.

Processor scalding pain assaults him, pulling him out of the momentary blue-screen, and his body twitches and jerks as crossed signals prevent coherant movement. With a long and low groan, he eventually crawls up to kneel on one knee, voxels and fragments of 'glass' falling in piles around him, and gathers his Discs.

"Well then..." He gasps, his voice raspy and teeth gritted as he forces himself back up to his feet. "...Logic dictates... That where... Darkness gathers... Light will disperse..." He coils, pooling all of the energy he has left into his Discs. "...And so... It shall be... right... NOW!!!"

He wrenches himself off of the ground in a vicious spin with far more power than his battered form would give indication of, both Discs soaring in arcing loops upwards, then downwards--and then they expend the last of their energy in a burst of light.
Avira " You are /not/ darkness." Avira pulls her blade back and stares at the Dark Knight. "You are a human. You bleed like any of us. Maybe you'll get that in your head once you find enough of your soul in there to realize this." There was no denying that this man was strong though. It was some comfort to see that their fierce group effort was taking its toll upon the man.

But at the same time, everyone else was much worse for wear too-Tifa especially. "Maira!" she calls out, "Lockhart needs help!"

For the second time, Avira calls upon her ice magic, though she is intent on keeping it contained to the Spine. The Dark Knight calls upon his magic and Avira looks skyward to see those crimson crystal swords descending. She onlt gets a momentary look before Percival knocks her out of the way, sending her tumbling forward. She looks back to see the gargoyle impaled upon two blades that had been meant for her.

"PERCIVAL!" She cries out, seeing him descend upon the dark knight in a fit of rage, then collapse shortly afterwards. Dread fills her stomach, but she steels herself, running to join her fellow VALKYRI-in-arms, TRON. Much like him, she is battered, though her own wounds remain more spiritual than physical, the heavy burden of the knight's darkness weighing heavily upon her heart.

With a battle cry, she brings her sword down repeatedly, her ice magic peeling off from the blade and weaving itself into the air, crafting spectres of wolves out of snow as they do.
Leida The princess feels a moment of triumph as her meager attempt to display defiance to the dark knight is met with success. However, his mastery over the darkness becomes quite evident as her demonic flames are absorbed with little difficulty, fueling his own powers in the process. Darkness begets darkness.

"Tch!" Leida takes a step back as the others unleash their own shows of rage and resistance, shielding her face from the waves of powerful energy radiating from the epicenter of the battle. Her hair flutters in the invisible force like a cloak and with the darkness filling her body the long locks flow together like oily fire around the demonic shadow arm.

"Darkness is eternal," she whispers. "But so is the suffering that it brings to those who wield it."

Her hand raises in the air and dozens more of the floating souls burst to life in neon green balls of fire. The crystal swords rain down all around her but, as if acting with a life of its own, the towering shadow claw rakes through the air in great swaths, smashing the deadly projectiles apart before they can threaten the small girl.

Leon's waves of darkness wash over her and Leida staggers against the onslaught as she pushes back with her own. Shadows rise up from the ground to shield the demon princess but each punishing blast forces her to take another step back and the barrier begins to crumble and shatter, motes of darkness chipping away like fragments of glass in a windshield.

"I-I shall not yield to you!"

Leida screams at the dark knight and her cry seems to empower the darkness. It solidifies long enough to weather the final wave of power that comes crashing down upon her from the Soul Blade, shattering apart but shearing the deadly force clean in half. The two fragments of energy rush past the girl on each side and explode violently at her back, throwing her forward several steps though she manages to maintain her footing.

A wave of Leida's hand sends the armada of ghostly will-o-wisps surging foward, dozens of cursed souls adding their sorrow and unearthly curses in a high-pitched wail that seems to cut through the very soul.
Tifa Lockhart And that's all she wrote for the barmaid. Unfortunatly for her, the amount of darkness frmo this dark knight was too overwhelming. Despite her best efforst, it clearly wasn't enough. Maybe its a lesson that he wants to teach her, about how you can't beat darkness?

Well she's far from caring at this point, projected away by the force of the blast, she slams hard into the wall of a building, and while it doesn't collapse, she absorbs most of the impact with her body, and ends up slumping down, knocked for the count. She wishes she could do more, but this apparently is beyond her power.
Maira Her friends are hurting. The Dark Knight is /so/ strong. Strong and utterly relentless. He doesn't feel pain, or has locked it away somewhere so deep inside he's almost forgotten it exists. He doesn't give up. He has something to prove now.

So does she.

At his words, Maira tilts her head slightly, staring up toward him from his perch on the roof. "You're wrong," she says, shaking her head. Then, she smiles, wide and bright. "You're /wrong/!"

As Leon sends the Darkness and the crimson swords toward her, seeking to rip through the fiery light that surrounds her, Maira prepares herself, still reaching out toward him with that light. When the attack reaches her, the darkness crashes against the light, burning away, dissolving as it tries to reach her. The swords, Uist appears to block those, manifesting in full majestic form, twirling a spectral spear to keep the blades at bay.

Uist rushes at Leon then, carrying with him some of Maira's light. Indeed, Maira looks rather surprised as her companion takes action. Uist is powerfully pissed off, after all. The ghost would try to slam into Leon, her spear whirling with light, striking again and again in a fury.

"Uist..." she breathes.

Then Percival 'snaps' as it were. She feels the explosion of darkness and rage from him, her eyes wide as she turns to watch him go for Leon with a fury she'd never have been able to imagine from him. So...this is what he'd meant.

As he passes out, Maira screams. Tifa goes down, and the scream continues. Everyone is falling....

Maira rushes forward, running now, still glowing as she plows through the darkness. This is it. She hardly even knows what she is doing. All she knows is that she has to run.

Maira reaches Leon, then slams into him like a comet, bringing all her energy against him, seeking to pierce him. Find his /heart/.
Minerva Minerva has managed to hurt him along side all the otehrs but the horror still stands and he comes again with more dark power against them. She'll not break, she will not break. She fought her way out of the dark between worlds when her world was sundered. The Darkness comes, again but this time she catches it is force back and holds the darkness in her hands before with a force of will she forces it to dispplate she's breathing hard that was not easy and it's doubtful she can do it again.

"Every night must end, nothing lives forever."

She launches herself into another combination of strkes her fists bursting into flames for a moment as she tries to set Leon on fire.
Reno the forces of "not-that-guy" seemed to be in rough shape at the moment. The girl from AVALANCH that Rude has a secret crush on drops unconscious, followed shortly by the gargoyle that just let loose a horrendous assault upon the man before evading his counter-attack, and then just falling over anyway seemingly from pure exhaustion.

By now, reno had gotten the hang of evading Leon's 'falling swords from the sky' routine, and deftly dodged out of the way of the falling blades.

"HA! 'S that all you got!?"
he catches his breath once they stop falling and Maira launches her assault on the dark knight.

"My grandma could conjure dark swords from the sky better than that!"

Time for final-gambit assaults. There was no holding back now.

Electropod firmly in hand, Reno launches himself up into the air in a leaping attack against the knight, flanking him from the other side and coinciding with the assaults of his allies so there was nowhere for Leon to turn but to find a hard steel edge or searing magic right to his face.

High-kick! feint- Underhanded shin strike! Kick out the knees! Bash to the back of the helm! Gouge the electrified tip into his wound! Bolt3 Materia and then spinning backhanded blows to the ribs like some business-casual ballerina of electrified death! Finishing with a final two-handed leaping blow with his weapon smashing right down on Leon, and Reno back-flipped out of range.

then he almost passed out from exhaustion. Geeze, would this guy fall over already!?
The Dark Knight was on his knees, so when Percival was sudden ontop of him, all the Dark Knight could do was defend himself, using his sword to keep the claws and strikes away from his neck. The darkness remaining in him trying to handle the rest.

Each claw slash was ripping away the dark barrier. The claws would scratch the metal. Tearing it down with each strike. Deeper and deeper, almost tearing it to shreds, before the Dark Knight was able to muster the strength as his blade started to glow brighter blue as he shoves the nearly passed out Gargoyle off him.

The Tron slams his disc into the Dark Knight, it slams him into the air and then the Dark Knight attempts to pull himself down like before, but the Disc coming back sends him off coarse and he slams hard into the ground. His red eyes flickering into an orange as they gaze at Maira and he quickly has to move his gaze away.

Then Avira comes, the Dark Knight forces himself to stand. He forces himself to take ground and continues to show how mechanical he is. How emotionless he has become. The monster that only remains of a once man hidden by the darkness; by the armor.

Her sword slams against his. Each strike parries the other. He suddenly finds strength somewhere within himself to parry each of her blows. Strike for strike. The two blades clatter and the Dark Knight locks her blade into a hold as he looks into her eyes. Those eyes once red, now becoming orange. Looking like a predator that has become very hungry; a starving beast. "No man lives here." He rumbles softly before he pushes her away.

This however leaves him open for Leida's dark magical attack which slams into him, causing him to crash down on his knee once more. He glances up just in time to see Minerva move in. He quickly forces himself to 'blink' back. His hand with the sword pointing to the side, attempting to create a dark portal of sorts. Yet the darkness fluxes and it collapses. His orange eyes glare at Maira. She was overriding his own power. Her /light/ was starting to cripple his abilities.

So when Minerva comes back in once more, he quickly blocks the blows, before he attempts to swing the sword. This leaves him open for Reno to come in with all the electricity in the world. It slams into the Dark Knight, sending the surges through him and he nears stumbles over. Yet he somehow forces himself up. Even as electricity surges over the armored form, even scattering across the ground. No darkness could barely be seen over the Dark Knight. Only the faint darkness at his feet remains.

He extends out his hand, once more trying to create the dark portal. His finger tips twitching as he tries to summon what darkness is in him to create it. Yet this also comes to an end.when he sees the light in the corner of his eyes. That bright summoning light. Maira's ghost slashes through the dark portal and she slams into him. Her hand slamming into his dark armor, the light engulfing his form and he actually /yells/, no /screams/. It was a mix of the deep voice to something almost inhuman. A scream that echoed across who knows where. The Soul Blade dropping to the ground before it vanishes into a stream of dark mist.

The Dark Knight's armored form crashes onto the ground. His eyes trying to turn bright gold, before he closes them. His hand reaching out along side him as if looking for something where he lays. A portal that does not exist under him.
Leida As Leon's heavily armored body hits the ground the dark princess lets out a girlish laugh that seems completely out of place on the battlefield. "Heh...ha...hahahaha!" A hand goes to her mouth, trying to stifle the outburst in a demure fashion but she succumbs to a fit of giggles upon seeing the dark knight laid low. The darkness was strong in this man but it was not infallable.

This was the first time she has seen one of these powerful warriors brought down and fact that their strength was indeed limited made her laugh for reasons she could not pinpoint. She felt... superior somehow, despite the clear gulf in their ability. It is not the first time emotions have bubbled up to the surface that she cannot reason out but even knowing that they are out of place, she still experiences them nonetheless.

The girl stalks over to the side of the fallen warrior, her eyes glittering with something akin to amusement but combined with the serpentine slits of her corrupted pupils, she looks positively predatory. Shadows billow about her feet with every step, a faint mockery of the dark mist that Leon commands and her hair ripples like oily water at her back in a breeze that seems to touch only her.

"And so you fall, knight of darkness." She stares down at him for a moment, contemplating something. And then the skeletal claw of darkness upon her back raises into the air. Its wicked talons flex menacingly, splaying apart with a scything motion. It's quite clear that she's about to put an end to the man at her feet.

"Allow me to usher you into the Underworld, you will find all the darkness you like there!"
Maira Things are happening. Yes, things. Maira is having trouble putting two thoughts together. She'd collided with Leon, then hit the ground nearby. He was down. He wasn't even using a portal to get away.

Maira gets to her knees and shuffles toward the Dark Knight. She doesn't know what to do. What happened? Did she do something? Did barreling into him like that...

Then Leida is approaching with a creepy as <GOOSEHONK> skeletal arm, ready to finish Leon off.

For some reason, Maira takes issue with this. "No," she says to Leida, her light flaring again like a flame that's been stoked. It lashes out, unconsciously, at Leida.
Reno Reno says, "Hey Leida Wait!" Reno calls out in alarm, with already his cellphone open and calling for air-pickup "ShinRa wanted to study dark energies or whatevertheheck, so why don't we just turn THIS guy in, and we can just drink mimosas until noon?"

True, if not for the wishes of his company, Rneo would have absolutely no reason not to let just about anyone behead this looser and finish the whole thing.

"C'mon.... ~mimooosaaaaas~!" he says enticingly
TRON The Dark Knight collapses to the ground and a few seconds pass with nothing further happening. Leida approaches to finish him off, Maira moves to stop her, Reno offers his opinons on the matter...

Suddenly, a Dark Portal appears right under the fallen armored form, wisps of Darkness rising around its perimeter. There seems to be a flicker of purple on the surface for just a moment, as if it is tracing a magical rune, then the Dark Knight falls through and the Portal closes in his wake.

TRON, however, sees none of this. He has about enough strength to clumsily catch his Discs as they return to him and redock them onto his back-spindle. Almost immediately, the light dies in his eyes, which roll back into his head and he collapses in a fractured heap to the ground. The fact he doesn't derezz right there on the spot is probably due to sheer willpower.
Avira For all the staring Avira has done into the Dark Knights eyes lately, a change in color is markedly noticable to Avira. She gets a fantastic look at it when she engages in several seconds of fierce close combat with the Dark Knight. Her own eyes narrow before she's pushed away.

"I don't believe you." she snorts. "There's a human-" or maybe an elf even? "-in there somewhere. Pure darkness does not bleed like a human."

Leida steps in. This actually marks the first time Avira's seen Leida fight, or more specifically, the first time she's noticed Leida bringing out the demon arms. She starts for the pair, up until the Dark Knight disappears. After that her destination quickly changes for the fallen, Percival.
Minerva Minerva is still standing she's not able to land any real hits on the being of Darkness. She has apprenly set him up for Reno and she makes note the Turk clearly knows what he's doing. She's just well very well hurt and she looks at the fallen Dark Knight he's not escaped. There would be a way to handle such things when all things are considered Minerva's world is a rather brutal place when all is said and done however Reno thankfully diswards her from doing something that would not be popular here and it is turley for the best.

"Come I think you are right Ser, I have a keg with our names on it in the HQ."

yes Reno you found a brawling brew master.
Leida Leida was not expecting interference, especially from the woman whom the dark knight has specifically come to torment. The burst of holy light sears into her chest, throwing the unprepared girl backwards with a surprised squeak. She lands on her rear and blinks a few times, trying to get the spots out of her eyes from the sudden flash of light.

"W-what do you think you are doing?!" She glares at Maira more out of confusion than anger. "He is our enemy! We should-- aah!"

The dark portal cuts her off, stealing away the prize of Leon's helpless body in a swift moment. This only serves to upset the princess further. "There! You see? You let him escape! He will only return to torment us further!"

Reno's offer of booze and beaches ends up falling on deaf ears. Even if she wanted to take his offer, the chance has escaped them. Pushing to her feet, Leida clenches her fists and storms off into the nearby alleys, shadows rising up to engulf her small body and she vanishes into the darkness just as quickly as the dark knight.

This scene contained 79 poses. The players who were present were: Tifa Lockhart, Avira, Maira, Minerva, Reno, Leida, TRON, Percival, Maira Proxy, Leon