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The Clash Of Balance
(2013-05-01 - 2013-05-05)
No description.
The voice of the Dark Knight breaks through the link pearl, "Maira, Maiden of Light..." his voice almost sounds off as if something is wrong. "...bright light..." there was a moment of silence before he speaks again, "..I desire your presence.."

"You dont sound like yourself...well, I meant to find you...where are you?" Maira asks, resolved that this is going to happen soon.

There was a long term of silence, people could be heard in the distance in the city of Fluogris almost yelling and even over the link pearl at the same time. "..The place where your heart resides.." and soon the link pearl then cuts off.

"Ill be there--Dont hurt anyone else!" Maira replies before the link is cut off.


The Dark Knight was indeed on the move and he was in Fluogris itself. He appeared from out of a dark portal, that seemed far too unstable than his normal creation. The very darkness off his armor was thicker than mist and where he walked it streamed off like vapors, moving like smoke with the very breeze, yet almost defy it. His cape almost blending with the very darkness, just as much as his armor.

No red eyes peered out from behind the helm, but this time gold. Gold like that of the heartless. Glowing brightly and a predatory stare that stared out at all those who ran from him. His hands extended out and he blasted the area with dark tendrils which latched out for people.

Yet her words, her words of 'Don't harm anyone else' perhaps fell on deaf ears. The darkness hungered, it no longer cared for the testing. For the holding back. It wanted to consume and eventually-- consume itself.

However though the people were being held, the Dark Knight did not pull them in closer. He did not pull them in close to take their hearts. He could. He /wanted/ too, yet he held them and he waited for Maira, because once he saw her light coming in his direction. That bright light of her heart that pierced out from her body like a beacon in a world of gray. Those very people were dropped down and the Dark Knight made his way toward that light.

Like a moth to a flame...

His steps calm yet still. Each step moving down, but not with a military precision, but one of a hunter. A hunter carefully stalking after his prey. For even if she burned bright of fire, that isn't what he saw. No, he only saw her heart deep within.

He moved closer and closer. His clawed gauntlet fingertips stiff and ready to tear into any who got between him and his prey. "Maiden of Light.." His voice echoed. The booming sound of the deep voice that so many had come to know, with one not so deep, younger perhaps. Both echoing together, both vibrating within the darkness. "...your heart will be mine.." He hisses out before he pushes off with his foot, his hand extending out as he vanishes in a puff of 'smoke' as he blinks and then appears nearly on top of her, his hand reaching for what he can never have...
Maira The conversation over the linkpearl disturbed her--more than the usual unnerved feeling talking to the Dark Knight usually elicits. Usually, he is patient. Normally, he is cool. He comes close to sounding emotional. He sounds desperate. He is coming for her.

No. She is coming for /him/.

Maira closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, standing and moving toward the window, calling over toward Percival. "I need you to take me down to the street now please..."

A few moments later Maira stands her ground as the Dark Knight approaches. His mere presence causes her magic to overflow, the flames igniting to coat her in a halo of fire--of Light. It burns brighter than a normal flame, white hot, lighting up the night. As the darkness radiates from him, the tendrils stretching their ghostly fingers toward her, the light reacts similarly. The flames reach out, flaring in intensity as the dark approaches, tongues lashing in defiance.

Maira is terrified, but Maira is fed up. Test after test after test. Heartache and worry and helplessness. She is resolved. This has to end, for better or for worse it has to end.

"No, it will not!" she cries, a spear of light flashes outward, aimed straight for the Dark Knight's heart, piercing the veil of darkness to seek whatever light is in him.

Seek the heart.

Bring light to the darkness.
Emperor Mateus Time almost seems to freeze as the spear of light lances from Maira's heart directly to the Dark Knight's, the two connected by a stream of pure light upon impact. Then... the shadows around them shiver and quail as a bright purple flash sparks above the group. A Corridor of Darkness opens, its surface and edges briefly flickering with a purplish-black runic symbols, the portal itself facing down towards the ground. Those who were present when the Dark Knight was teleported away would find a distinct similarity between the one then and this one now.

A staff pierces through the center of the Corridor, breaking through the purplish-blacklit surface as a needle would pierce through the surface of water, embedding itself in the ground directly below the portal before the golden orb at the staff's crown flashes like a Heartless' eye. What follows through the portal next is a man dressed in golden and purple armor, emerging from the portal feet-first and remaining upright and straight as an arrow, arms crossed over his black-and-white chestplate with golden hair and purple cape trailing in his wake. Long metal golden horns at each temple and a snake-like adornment dead-center above his forehead, both hidden by his hair, complete his appearance.

The portal closes above him as if it had never been there in the first place, with no apparent command to dismiss it. His descent stops in midair and his makeup-laden eyes snap open, lavender irises tinged around the edges with purplish-black anti-light. The expression on his sharp, youthful face is severe and cold, his lips pressed into a thinly tensed line, and his chin lifts as he seems to cast his gaze down his nose at Maira specifically. It is only the second time he has shown himself in this appearance outside of his home, the first time being the Shadow Lord attack on Traverse Town, and he never identified himself at that time.

"You. DARE."

His voice is colder than freezing, malice and condescension melding perfectly with tightly-controlled rage and indignation. The volume is surprisingly quiet and very calm, not shouting at all, but it is projected throughout the area clearly as if by microphone. "You... naive... foolish... thieving... childish... /Maiden/ of /LIGHT/!"

His arms snap outwards, fingers splayed and palms facing the ground. "YOU would steal from ME what is rightfully MINE?" His eyes narrow, his lips peeling back from over his teeth, but the ominous calm in his voice never wavers. "I shall show you the price of such folly." His wrists twist, palms facing upwards as his elbows bend slightly, dark purplish flames wreathing his hands. His voice then changes, stating only one word yet in a terrible voice beyond mere malice or anger:


The shadows roil upon the command and give shape to pure black beings with golden orbs for eyes--all with armor, some with claws, others wielding blades instead of hands. The Emblem Heartless gather by the dozens, their unnatural movements clearly regarding the helpless townspeople still trapped in the crossfire. He waves his hands forwards, wrists crossing in front of his chest, and the Heartless leap as one into the air intent on attacking any bystander still present--whether they be innocent civilians or would-be heroes.

They do not approach Maira nor the Dark Knight, their movements betraying a clear ring around them. No, the Maiden of Light is their master's opponent, and they will not interfere.

The staff shoots up into the air, hovering to a stop directly in front of the airborne sorcerer, and he moves one hand as if about to seize the golden orb within his grasp but not quite making contact. He whispers something so quietly it cannot be heard over the chaos, and the orb at the staff's crown absorbs the purplish flame around his hand. The orb itself changes color to a deep purplish-black, flaring like a 'black light', then a beam of Darkness fires from the orb directly into the Dark Knight. Seeking to overwhelm the light, repair the damage done, and undo whatever Maira intends /to/ do.
Percival The nights at his roost in Fluorgis had gone by at a languid pace. Their intent had been to safeguard Maira, to allow her to gather her strength, to rest. He was a guardian at heart, it was in his nature to want to protect. If it were in his power, he would have safeguarded her from this confrontation forever. Unfortunately, as a warrior and a believer in destiny, he knew that the confrontation was inevitable. Maira was far from helpless, and even if they wanted to, they couldn't run forever. The timing of the Dark Knight's appearance could have been better, but it could have been far worse as well.

Still, it was tempting for him to try and get her out of here. To have her make a tactical retreat, he might have even tried to talk her into it had he more time. For a moment he naively thought it might have given him the opening he needed...

He put the thoughts of a retreat aside when Maira asked him to take her down. Picking her up as gently as he would a child, he furled open his wings and stepped off the side of the tower, controlling his descent to keep them a good distance away from the Dark Knight. Once they were aground, he'd put her on her feet, before strapping on his shield, and removing a runed blade from its scabbard. He'd intended to stand near her, to prevent the Dark Knight from breaking through.. And then her flames burst into life, like a brilliant supernova blazing near him, and he had no choice but to move quickly, or be consumed. The Dark Knight continued his advance, and Percival began to flank behind him. He'd only get one shot at this.. When Maira's light burned away the darkness protecting him, a quick strike at the gap between his gorget and helm.. It'd be quick, near painless, and ultimately deadly. Then it'd be over. She'd be safe. As he moved into position, her light flared up into brilliance, and he had to look away. Rubbing his eyes, he waited for the spots to clear, only to find that the Dark Knight stood transfixed before Maira's power.

All thoughts of killing him, turned to shame as he watched in awe.

And then.. The puppetmaster arrived. The Gargoyle might have found it amusing at any other time, that this perfectly manicured figure, laden with motifs of darkness as if he were a preening peacock; if not for those eyes. That voice. This was not a figure to be trifled with. And yet, he still dared to do so, perhaps if only to draw his attention away from Maira.

The Gargoyle leveled his gaze on the man, still waiting for the spots in his vision to clear. His voice held a sort of deadly, resigned calm to it. "A thief? The irony is very droll. Your monster came for her heart, and /she/ is the thief? I name you thief master." And then a thoughtful pause, "No, worse, I name you child as you are nothing but a child playing with toys that cannot stand the thought of sharing them for fear of their plaything being broken."

And then his voice took on a biting edge to it. "As I told your toy, you won't have her! She is not some specimen to be studied, she is not some curio for your collection!"

And then he stood on guard, ready to face whatever reprisal Mateus had in store for him. At the very least, he hoped to break his concentration.. At worst? Well he was prepared for that.
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine has been going around the World of Ruin alot. Information gathering, rumoring verifying, treasure hunting, name it. She's done about all of them around here. And there's always more to get. In a strange world like this, every rumor is worth pursuing, very often it leads to other truths, or connects with other stories, forming a whole. So nothing is negligible, and everything is noted down in her pad.

So that's the reason she aws in Fluorgis. Who knows what wonders lay under the sands here. There's probably more stories attached to a single dune than an old castle would. But yet, there seems to be some disturbance. She frowns, patting the side of her chcoobo, calming it a bit, leaving it at the stables near the inn as she goes over to check what's going on... she has a hand on the dagger in her back, but tries to appear about as nonchalent and innocent as she can. She's a good actress too, believe it or not. She's just very careful.

And then, screaming. A dark knight, a lady spearing him with light, and a sort of wizard-wannabe shouting for possession. Great, that'll ruin the neighborhood alright. And then heartless. Oh, well that'll be fun! Insert irony here, will you. She grumbles a bit, pulling the two daggers out, not going around it. "Shall we dance?" She doesn't want to get close to the trio over there, but the heartless she can handle. A bit more than a warmup here.
Clayton In Clayton's Jungle Mansion:

"Everywhere I TURN, these damned ingrates, these...barBARians, oppose everything I do! For god's sake, I try to bring a little order, a little profit, to these savages and how do they repay me? ME, JOHN CLAYTON?" The englishman screams at his stuffed ostrich.

"They're probably just jealous of your multitude of accomplishments," The dead animal assures him. Clayton bit his lower lip. "Now my very reputation unraveling. These pontificating bastards are going to ruin me!"

"Then maybe it's time you stopped reacting and started acting, old boy," A mounted deer head suggested. "You can't ignore the power you've been feeling lately. Doesn't it feel good?"

Slumped on the floor, hair hanging askew, he nodded. "It does. It feels...why, I feel like a young dashing boy of 20 again. I feel the spirit of the Empire ITSELF FLOWING WITHIN ME!" He springs up, triumphant.

His bearksin rug looked up. "Now, I think you should visit Fluorgis again." The ostrich nodded. "Yes. Go to Fluorgis." One by one, the trophies in his den started to speak in unison. "Go to Fluorgis. Go to Fluorgis. Go to Fluorgis. Go to Fluorgis..."

Clayton, as if half asleep, went to get dressed and grab his shotgun. A few hours later, he stepped out into view of Mateus, Maira and Leon. He stood there, clutching his gun, silently watching.
Will Sherman A shadow of a young boy dives out of nowhere, dropping down from the top of a building and running towards the line of Darkness that The Lord Emperor David Bowie was aiming to channel into his dog. The shadow moves, punching the darkness challening it with his light...for a moment, the light looked to be overwhelmed...

And then there were TWO sources of great power eminating from the shadow...he can't stop all of the darkness...but he can take the edge off. THe hands of the shadow were glowing bright red, as fate itself tore against the shadows...causing the boy to be flung away from the spot as the opposing magics collided.

"Alright, David Bowie, you talk way too much." Will says, looking up at the Emperor, his eyes blazing as not one voice, but TWO voices resonating together as he stares towards the heartless coming out.

He doesn't see Clayton right away, instead he steps forward, walking slowly towards Mataeus and his hands starting to burn brighter. His eyes blazing, "Hey you," he says towards Maira, "You take care of him..." he says...odd this wasn't the woman in the visions...that was Maira, Avira's spunky sidekick. Whatever, she's burning like a bondfire right now, to his sight, as he focuses on Mateus. "You! I don't like your kind around here. The heartless using, dark beam shooting, pretty boy looking, David Bowie cosplayers." Will shouts, "I am Will Sherman, King of the Hobos, and the man that is going to break your butt."
Sydney Losstarot 'You know, maybe its time I take some time off from this 'hunt' nonsense' thinks Sydney to himself as he's seated at a high-rooftop, kicking his legs over as he watches the streets below. What a quaint little town. Sydney could've /sworn/ he'd heard the name somewhere, though. Oh, and he's...licking an Ice-Cream cone?

Well, Guess you can't hate /everything/

His attention turns as he sees the dark portal open, and...ohgodnothim. Sydney looks taken aback for a moment in surprise, before shaking it off as mere coincidence. Sydney came here for a /break/ from trying to figure out what on earth Leon is, not to fight him again. He sighs lazily, shaking his head. He's not in the mood to deal with this himself. Casting a glare at the scene below, he raises a palm.

Pale yellow eyes rise from his shadow, gaining form in a slow, almost liquid process until what they are becomes obvious. They're shadows...yet not the usual kind. These ones are branded with a Blood-Sin, amplifying them so that they're superiour (barely, not that Sydney would admit it.) to normal ones. They disappear into ink blots, travelling through the walls themselves as they attempt to reach The Dark Knight.

Before they're even /remotely/ within range, Mateus has made his appearance. Sydney raises a brow, curious by this new development. Who on earth could this man be? Could he be the hand that controls the leash this man is kept on? Ohohoho, all /very/ interesting possibilities to Sydney. He doesn't seem afraid yet, not while he's outside of the fray. Instead, he seems incredibly surprised/curious, watching the scene unfold as he enjoys his Ice-Cream
Vespa uddenly from an alleyway a large axe comes flying cutting a few of the he hearless in half as it embedds itself in the ground

"You all don't lisent very well do you? Maira said she doesn't want to go so she's not going! I'm going ot make sure of that... ", Vespa says walking out of the alleyway picking up her axe. She can't get to Maira too many heartless in the way, she not worried Maira can handle herself "I'm a little jealous Maira, all these guys want you.. Mind if I cut in?", she hefts her axe over her shouldes ready to fight. Also Vespa not wearing her usual maid outfit she's known for, she in normal clothing!


Pete hangs out on his boat. Next to him is Mickey, wearing an old steamboy's hat and whistling as he spins the wheel. "Gosh, Pete! It sure is nice minding our own business on our boat! Our unhaunted boat! And you're the best boss ever!"
"I know right?!" Pete laughs heartily. "Why, it's not like you're really a king or anything, no sir, you're just my little subordinate! The way things should be!"


"HWA HA HA HA!!! I AM THE FIRE PRINCESS!" Maira yells, bursting through the boat and setting it on fire and flinging Mickey overboard. "I'VE GOTTA BONE TO PICK WITH YA PETE! AND BY BONE... I MEAN GHOSTS! HA HA HA!! GO GET 'EM UIST!"

"OH NO! NOT GHOSTS! I'LL FEND IT OFF, MICKEY!" Pete swings a chair at Uist. "Just save yourself!"
"WAhh!! I can't do anything without Pete!" Mickey cried.
"And don't you forget it!" Pete agrees but it's too late--the steamboat explodes around him from the fire and ghosts! "OH NO!!"


"HAARRR HARRRR HARRR!" Pete bellows in laughter. "I like the cut of your jib, milady!" He bows flamboyantly towards Mateus, intending total respect but probably coming off as something totally different. "That lil' lady has no respect for personal property! Why just the other day, I was minding my own business, and she set my boat on fire! She's really gotta be punished. But luckily for me, I'm told I gotta kidnap that them ladies of light, and she lights up all the time! She's a verifiable firecracker! So let your Pal Pete lend a hand on this one!"

He spins on a foot, his gut wobbling as he peers towards Maira. "So don'tcha think you're gonna surprise me with a ghost this time. THIS TIME, I'm prepared! From the Shadowlord's Tech Team...AHAHA!!"

He reaches behind him and reveals a backpack with a vaccuum cleaner attached to it. "He tries anything, and he's goin' right in here! Ha ha ha!! I don't have to feel no supernatural en-ti-ties now! HAR HAR HAR!"
Faruja Senra Faruja had only meant for a quick stop to check up on the Shard Seekers in Fluorgis. With his recent travels, he's not had time to see them all that often. And with the news that one Sister Fisher was in town, his designated medic, he could hardly /not/ stop. Thus, the Templar is walking out of the Shard Seeker's headquarters just in time for the arrival of both Mateus and Leon. The twin users of Darkness give the rat pause. He's rarely seen such concentrated power. Around the ratling, as he stands outside the Seeker's front door, light shrouds him as it senses its own opposite, hungering to rip it away.

That's when he spies the pair of Percival and Maira. His eye goes wide, and almost at once, he starts a dashing charge towards the pair, spear at the ready. Unfortunately, there are Heartless and helpless townsfolk in the way.

"TO THY HOMES, CITIZENS OF FLUORGIS!" With that warning, he prepares to deal with the Heartless the only way he knows how; violence. Thankfully, noting Will and Vespa amongst the defenders, he at least has backup alongside a certain Squire. He intones into his linkshell.
Souji Murasame The streets of Fluorgis are in chaos.

Amidst the panic, there is a man who walks among the people, an island of calm amidst those who run. Perhaps it is the simple presence of the person, or perhaps it is something else. Whatever it is, no one touches or dares to trample Souji Murasame. He moves forward, walking towards the confrontation...

The booming voices, the confrontation. Souji frowns, looking between the dramatic personae as pieces click into place, and options become apparent. "Well well." Souji says to himself. "This is shaping up to be quite interesting."

He doesn't appear to be interfering... yet.
Arkham Fisher Sister Fisher is close on Ser Senra's heels; last time she let him out of her sight he came back with his tail in three pieces, and she is not having with any more of that whatsoever.

No, she's keeping close watch on him, in full field kit because she can't just leave that stuff laying around at the inn are you mad. She takes in the same scene that he does, and draws the same conclusion, it seems.

Blade drawn and shield raised-- an odd loadout for a cleric-- she follows her knight at tail's length, eyeing the opponents warily.

When she catches sight of Maira, in her full glory, she pales visibly, and backs toward the far side of the alley, even as this brings her nearer the Heartless. "Keep her away from me!"
Deidra Deidra had joined Percy in the vigil to protect Maira, but she had no view on fate really after how her life has been who knows but what does happen now she lands near the other and is looking at those who come for her friend she's not a happy creature of the night. She's not at all and she's already got her pad out and it's booting up.

Loading Spellbook

Appears on it's sreen for a moment.

"Your not welcome here." She doesn't like what he says even more and her eyes start to glow red ther's no talking out of this.
The Dark Knight suddenly is stopped in his steps as Maira does what he did not expect her to do. Those gold eyes go wide as her Light from her heart blasts out like a spear into the core of his darkness, to his locked heart that had been weakened by Will's earlier attempts.

The light pierces into the dark armor. The very darkness that was fighting with the fire magic and streamers of light, suddenly becoming overwhelmed in that sudden moment. His body starting to weaken as he collapses down to one knee. His reached out clawed hand twitching gently.

Yet there was no damage being done to his already scratched up armor from prior battles, including the slight puncture done by Dragoon Man. All the light, all of it, being pooled right past the armor, like a ghost light streaming through.

However Mateus comes, his master, his creator, and then the very Darkness blasts out from him, impacting the back side of the Dark Knight, who nearly arches slightly as the two sides of both light and dark now battle for dominion within him.

The memories locked away, starting to crack within. Splinter the locks, starting to shred slowly as the two powers fight for control over the one individual.

Yet the Darkness starts to loose slightly as Will suddenly intervenes, as the Light becomes stronger then the darkness combined. The Dark Knight's hand slowly starts to fall by his side. His eyes closing shut slowly.

Anyone else around him. The voices. The words, all become like hearing things in a underwater pool. Foggy, no longer clear. His mind falling to numbness. Coldness, even from the warmth of the light impacting his heart and the coldness of the darkness coming from the other side.

We are sorry, the man here in the dark armor is not available right now, please leave a message and we will get back to you soon as our operator comes back from break.
Maira All her attention was focused on the Dark Knight. His presence was like an aberration, the emptiness of his being. He was a shell. Someone had gone in and scooped out his essence, what made him human, and filled it with darkness. He was a hallow man, a scarecrow of darkness rather than straw.

Inside, wrapped so tightly even he was unaware of it...there is /something/. An ember, a spark, and echo of the heart. She feels it. She searches for it. Maira will grab onto that echo and pulls the Dark Knight toward the light--it may destroy him.

It may save him.

When another devilish presence appears from the umbra Maira's eyes turn skyward, widening as Mateus appears in all his majesty and malice. Oh...but she recognizes couldn't be--but what were the chances amiable Matthew had a twin? Shock shakes her, and for a moment she loses her concentration, the darkness overwhelming her. She's just one light, bared down upon by two beings of shadow.

Hopelessness fills her. She nearly sputters out.

"Maira.....I have a name, and it's MAIRA!" she screams then, regaining control as Percival moves to steal Mateus' attention and all manner of people show up to fight back against the Heartless. There are always people to help. She wasn't alone. Her eyes turn to Will Sherman, certainly happy to see him, then to Vespa. She hears the words, and perhaps inwardly she laughs and marvels at how absolutely ridiculous this really is--but Maira needs to concentrate. Mateus is trying to overwhelm her, and he will, if she doesn't concentrate.

Luckily, Maira has Uist, and Uist has been waiting. The world had been upside down for the spirit since the Dark Knight first made his appearance. Uist could never know why. There was some semblance of memory, and imprint that he just couldn't grasp...but he knows this is important. He knows everything will be changing.

When Mateus appears, he feels that resonance again, shaking his soul with the ache to /remember/. Drawing on his reserves, the raw will power that kept him in the world, he begins to materialize. The ghostly form grows more solid, a tall, red-haired warrior with a spear in hand looking up toward Mateus with narrowed eyes.

At least before Pete shows up. Oh <goosehonk>, Uist remembers this clown. Wielding a vacuum!? Pfft.

Uist charges forward, a ghost in the night backlit by the bonfire that is currently Maira, and simply aims to slug Pete right in the face. "<GOOSEHONK> that," she says.

Maira feels the Dark Knight's darkness cracking--she is reaching him! There is something there! The echo grows stronger!

Maira reaches her hand out toward him, the light growing brighter still, fueled by her determination and faith that the heroes who have showed up will protect this place, and each other.
Emperor Mateus Emperor Mateus did not expect someone to be foolish enough to step in and attempt to block the Darkness. He also did not expect this man to have two hearts, both blazing brightly and speaking as one. "You... are the man with two hearts. The one who weakened him to this state."

His Heartless are driven back temporarily under the sudden onslaught of defenders, giving the townspeople enough time to flee the area before their lives are truly forfeit. The floating sorceror pays them no mind, his gaze passing over each person in turn as would-be heroes rise against him. He catches sight of... something... near the Maiden of Light, but pays it no mind for now.
His lavender eyes narrow further to dark-lit slits. "I am not here FOR her. I am here BECAUSE OF her." His voice is still calm, but haughty--his tone clipped sharply with a tone not too terribly different than an adult speaking to dim-witted children. "I am HERE," he points towards the Dark Knight specifically, "for HIM. Preferrably before you foolish lot cause irrevocable harm to his very life."

As Maira's light brightens, the darkness deepens. The staff still channels the darkness to the Dark Knight, even without the sorceror's direct command. "Very well. If your blind righteousness will not listen to reason:" He lifts his hands as if about to begin an orchestral recital, and the Heartless regroup around the heroes as armor clanks and soulless golden eyes shimmer. "CONSUME."

Upon the singular command, the Emblem Heartless lunge at the heroes, claws and dual blades bared. But Mateus himself does not attack, regarding those who would stand against him as beneath his notice compared to the far greater implications of the Dark Knight's recovery.
Clayton "Consume, yes. Capital idea," Clayton mutters softly. He turns his head. "I say, quite noisy out. One might expect ol' Kurt Zisa to rear his head again, eh? Ha!" He pauses. "Yes yes, it's about time we got to the hunt, I agree. Don't be so impatient."

He steps forward, noticing Vespa with her axe near Maira. Ah, that would do nicely. He could keep the axe and maybe sell the scalp. Yes, that sounds just right.

Clayton lifts his shotgun and fires two blasts from both barrels at Vespa, announcing his presence. "Tally ho!" he cheerfully calls.
Will Sherman Will is caught by the various claws and such of the Heartless. He curses, not able to get away, too focused on Mateus to avoid such strikes. He dances, however, away from the heartless and finds his balance. Some claw marks on his chest for his efforts.

"No thanks, I just ate!" he says towards Mateus, "However, you came to the wrong side of the hood yo, this side ain't flashin' your gang symbols." He quips...and then...

He aims to leap upwards towards Mateus, aiming to jump off the heartless assembled around him and litterally leap RIGHT towards him. His fists come in viciously before aiming to drive both hands right into the man's head...and then immediately kick him down towards the ground with a brutal blow.

Will follows shortly after, aiming to land RIGHT on his chest. "Thanks for breaking my fall!"
Faruja Senra The familiar sound of Arkie's footwear certainly helps the rat's morale. Sister or no, Faruja knows he can count on the woman in the pinch, particularly with sewing people back up. Her familiarity with a blade, even if her holy vows keep her from using it on people, are a boon here as well. After all, Heartless aren't people. The pure brilliance of Maira's fire invigorates the Templar rather than frighten him. Arkie shrinks back, and Faruja swiftly moves to thrust his spear into the nearest Heartless threatening her.

There's no condemnations. He knows /exactly/ how she feels. At first, the woman had terrified him as well. "Lady Maira's flames are not the flames of purgatory, but cleansing ones meant to ward of Daemons such as these. Have no fear! 'Tis a gift from Holy Faram, Sister Fisher! And one we must protect. Stand tall, M'Lady! We've /work/ to do."

With that, his gaze shifts to the horned one, and the rat thrusts his blade. A line of Holy fury crashes down upon the Heartless in the way from the Heavens, seeking out Mateus.

"Be GONE then Witch, and leave Maira and this town in /peace/! Thy Fell powers are not wanted here!"

Then, the Heartless rush in, and Faruja is forced to favor fending off them with wide swings of his polearm, hopefully earning the pair of himself and Arkie some space. Even so, the many blades of the heartless do scratch him here and there given their numbers.

"So much for the thought of them merely leaving." Mutters the rat.
Sydney Losstarot Sydney sighs, shaking his head. He watches the scene unfolding below even more curiously. " many people. So many hearts. But will any of them be able to handle The Dark?" He wonders to himself, still seated above the battlefield. The shadows pause on their way down the building, Sydney not having the mental fortitude to decide what it is they should do while he decides what /he/ should do. ...Bah. Bleeding hearts of the world unite, Sydneys deciding to play the hero again. He takes a quick bite of his Ice-Cream, hoping to finish it off fast before he begins to fight.

"GAH." Brainfreeze.

Sydney rises, stretching for a moment. He sure seems to be taking his sweet time with this...finally, VWOOOM. He disappears with a quick, slight flash of blue, reappearing on the ground by Maira. "So you seek to swallow her into the darkness, do you? You shall have to pierce /mine/ first." He says, holding up a hand. Maira might feel a sudden burst of the heavyweight that is dark energy around her as his buffing spells take hold.
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine doesn't exactly care about the people of the city themselves, but she's not one to sit idly while everyone's getting jumped on. And even less by heartless, she despises those passionately, and considering how passionate she's about everything she does normally, they are in for a pounding alright. The attacks come her way, and she dances around them, a twirl and a flourish, and most of them jsut flow right past her. But the last one to jump in literally facehugs her.


She peels the dark critter off her face and proceeds to STOMPSTOMPSTOMP it into the ground angrily >_<### Clearly not pleased.

She turns back to the mass of them watching curiously what she's doing to their friend, until the one she's stomping disapears into a dark mist. She grrs and before they start moving again, she moves to strike first, making her dangers dance as they slice through the air repeatidly, cutting off pieces of them repeatidly. "You all go back from where you came, creeps."
Percival A radio buzzes into his ear from Faruja. 'Keep her /safe/ Percival! He says.'

Faruja might as well tell him to breathe. He says as much to him in reply.

Mateus' comment brings a sort of grim smile to his expression. "Your /toy/ was here for her. And you are here for your /toy/. Such a spiteful imp, you are!"

The heartless weren't advancing on her yet yet, and so he remained close to Maira, expecting that the man might bring his magic, or heartless to bear upon her. "Hey Will!" He yells out to him. "Save some of the fight for the rest of us!" And with that he salutes the man briefly with his sword.

A single emblem heartless makes its move at him, and he nonchalantly checks it with his shield, slamming it back into the crashing throng of Heartless. Even so, Percival whispered to himself, "I hope you know what you're doing, Maira..."
Vespa Vespa spots Clayton. "You look familar..", then she looks in surpise as she is shot at! She bring her axe up blocking most of the pellets from the shotgun thought a few get thought just lighty scrapig her arm.

"What was that for?", she doesn't understand why Clayton is attacking her but she can't let that go.

"Tally ho then! ..whatever that means.. She swing her axe at Claytion intending to strike him.
Souji Murasame Souji continues to watch this battle for dominance. The corporate heir watches the Light and the Darkness battle around Leon and squints slightly. IT's very flashy. "There are people who can do such things here..." And then he turns his gaze to Mateus, and he smiles. "Aha. So that's his game. The Dark Knight..." He shakes his head, and then he steps upwards into the air, walking along the wind as easily as a stairway as he ascends out of the immediate crush of the battle here. He steps onto a nearby building, a measuring gaze on his expression as he weighs his options.

A glance to one side brings his eyes over to Sydney, and he sighs, looking back to the combat. He doesn't have any desire to deal with the sassy mystic at the moment. The appearance of Leradine, however, causes him to blink for a moment. Why is she here?
Deidra Deidra looks at the emperor and she's made up her mind, there's so many of the things she's not got much else to say but damn she can't help but think about this one movie for half a second. She shakes it out of her mind and takes to the air while starting to follow up will and try to lay some curses down upon the drk Emperor. She knows what to do shall follow the hobo king into battle once more!
Arkham Fisher So off-put is she that the Heartless rush catches ARkham flat-footed. That, or she was expecting Ser Senra to field them more effectively. Whichever it was, she stumbles backwards under their assault, claws tearing at her cloak, and flails free of the horde some paces further behind him.

"By your right!" she calls to Faruja, lest she get caught on his backswing, and she engages the Heartless in earnest.

The only way to take a mass attack like this is one bite at a time; she needn't wait long for a target to volunteer itself. As the demon presses its attack, she steps in with a shield block, a thrust, and a heavy-handed slash for what passes for the thing's head. With these shortswords you really have to put your back into it.
Clayton "Did you not hear? A HUNT is on, and you, my dear, are unfortunately the fox tonight," Clayton replies jovially, leaping backwards away from the axe swing and landing on a cart. He fires his gun at her again, then pauses. "You what?"

He turns his head, speaking to no one there. "Oh, oh yes. Yes, that will work lovely, I think!" He turns his head back to Vespa, wearing a wicked grin. He lifts one hand out at her...and she'll find some invisible force slamming right into her!
Pete "Har har--huh?" Pete laughs and then huh?s.

"Ha ha ha! I see you clearly...! Not so that I have my ghost bustin' device!" He raises it up and though he's slugged in the face--he turns the vaccuum cleaner on, intending to SUUUUUUUUUCK Uist in. Will it even work? Will it do anything?! It's a great mystery, but Pete's a cartoon character, one shouldn't underestimate him!

Wiping his lips with his free hand Pete says, "Now I don't wanna hurt a lil' pretty lady like you." He tells Maira. "But ya darn burnt down my boat! That's private property, y'here! And I don't gotta take it! ... And besides, you know how it is, these days it's considered improper and rude to be chivalrous, it's all about the equal treatment so if I'ma gonna punch these guys over here, I gotta be able to punch you too, but me? I never really cottoned onto that, there's rules for engagement when it comes to kidnapping and such... So!!" He breathes out. "I'm not gonna do a thing! Unless I change my mind. Instead I'ma let these heartless of mine do th talkin'!! And nabbin'!"

He summons up a small squad of KNIGHT heartless from the ground, they chitter around a bit before charging forward, intending to tackle into Maira and try to hold her still and knock her about a bit.

"No no!" PEte says. "You have to grab her by the arm so she loses her power!" Pete complains.
The Dark Knight continues to be caught between light and dark. The two forces still fighting over his own heart. Still unaware of what was happening outside around him. Still unaware of the dangers that could befall him.

Yet someone within the Heart was indeed there. That person who has been locked away by heart and by memory. They were indeed there, yet they were not reaching out to take the light.

It was as if-- they did not want to see it. They did not want to come out. Like a child who had been scolded for to long or a hurt kitten that had seen nothing but cruelty.

They were not ready to take the light that was trying to pull them out by force.
Vespa Vespa oofs getting it by something! She not sure what it her but it stung a bit. She wonders who the heck Clayton is talking to.

"I think he a little crazy Al.",she says looking at her axe.

She lifts up her axe. "Careful this fox bites back!"
Maira Maira really hopes she knows what she is doing, too. This is more instinct than careful planning; clashing forces of the universe, really. It was inevitable. But which would triumph today?

Maira glances to the side and Sydney approaches, though he will not want to get too close to her. The area for a good six feet around her an inferno, and still terribly hot for a good ways further. Her brow draws together as she feels his magic embrace her--its darkness, but it isn't...Darkness. Well, this is something Maira is going to have to puzzle through later, no time now. She simply flashed Sydney a smile of appreciation.

Uist looks at the vacuum with a degree of confusion and amusement. Though when it is activated, it is actually kind of painful! Bizarre.

But now the cartoony villain is summoning Heartless, their target Maira, and that causes Uist to narrow his eye, aiming for another round of attacks before he can no longer hold onto his semi-corporeal form and dissapates back into his usual (invisible to most) state. His spear lashes out then, all flame and righteous rage, slashing, stabbing, bludgeoning, the polearm whirling around swiftly, blurred with the magical fire.

The Heartless that come for her would be a problem if not intercepted, for Maira is completely lost in her battle with the Dark Knight, the clashing of light and darkness quite a spectacle--but the real battle takes place within.

When Maira reaches that center, that scared and scarred creature that shrank from the light....she takes a deep breath and ceases her direct assault. She's reached through the darkness, she's reached /him/...but he needs a gentle hand, like a wild animal back into a corner. The light stretches toward him tentatively as Maira herself speaks. "It's alright...come out...whatever you have done, you can come back..." she says gently, her hand still stretching toward him.
Clayton Clayton, however, is already climbing the face of a building after Vespa tries to swipe him with her axe. He looks down at her, leering. "Oh, but the more dangerous the prey, the FINER the HUNT! A little blood shed builds character! Hahahaha!"

He leaps then, off the face of the building, firing a snapshot from the hip at her before landing in a roll. He finishes with a crouch, firing a shot at her legs.
Vespa Vespa swings her axe in front of her blocking Clayton's shots.

"A little blood? You don't know how much blood I've she for the people I care about!", she points the blade surface of her axe towards Claytion show the large blood red Gem on it,It glows with a dark red light for a second, then she brings her axe in a backwards arc behind her and throws it at him!

"Just stand still already!
Emperor Mateus Emperor Mateus does not expect Will Sherman to go Heartless-hopping right up to his level, and his thin eyebrows raise as the fists fly. A stiff double uppercut rattles his mental control for just a moment and a downwards heel-drop sends him spiraling to the ground. The heavy weight of the hobo landing on his chest drives the wind out of his lungs, only for his form to disperse into shadow as tendrils fail to find purchase on Will.

The sorcerer reforms back in the air, his upper lip curled in disgust as he brushes off of his dented chestplate and wipes a sliver of blood from a split lip. Deidra's magic seeks to tear at his control, but it does nothing that has not already been done and he sends a pulse of Darkness back at her for her trouble.

The Heartless are similarly pressured under the onslaught of the counterattack, their numbers dwindling quickly. Many disperse to mist under the whirling dagger dance of Annia and the double-team of Faruja and Arkham. But still they swarm, seeking the light being bared so readily against them, and more reform from the shadows to join the fight.

Mateus himself takes no notice of those who chose to stay out of his way, a blacklit orb full of darkness appearing in his tight claw-like grasp. "Would-be heroes chasing dreams," he muses audibly, seeming almost amused at the thought. He releases the orb, which channels darkness at the Dark Knight while he reclaims his staff and twirls it just beyond his fingertips.

He lifts a hand, brightly-shining orbs scattering to the heroes below before they explode within their midst. The Heartless use this moment of chaos to strike again, lashing out at all who stand in their way.
Faruja Senra A figure beside Maira catches Faruja's eye, one that would be quite familiar to any member of the Inquisition or it's agents. Sydney Losstarot, the Blood Sin upon his back making it more than obvious. Some part of the Templar considers lobbing a Holy Explosion his way out of the pure /blasphemy/. But the fact he helps Maira gives the rat pause. They've enough enemies on the battlefield today.

A grunted squeak is given to his fellow Church-goer as a particularly sneaky Heartless scrapes the side of his armor with its blade to relatively little effect. What this does do is pause the rat enough for several Heartless to try to pile onto his diminutive form. Being short has it's downsides, and the rat can do little to help Arkie as he goes down underneath said pile.

Just in time for Mateus' ball of Darkness to scour the area. Ironically, though it doesn't heart the beasts themselves, they prove enough of a shield for Faruja to avoid a blasting. Struggling from underneath, he's quick to throw them off.

"Lady Fisher! Stand strong!" Paladin in part, he proves it as he swiftly assists in trying to purge some of her wounds with his own magic, adding the same to a certain Gargoyle.

Pete's Heartless rush right at Maira, looking to hold her down. Well this Gargoyle wasn't going to have none of that. No fat dog man and his minions were going to get interrupt what Maira was doing or get fresh with him. He just stands in their path, with shield raised, and blocks, and then pushes back, with his feet talons dug in to the concrete. Slamming the Heartless backwards, he sends them flying at Pete, who dodges out of the way just in time.

And then Mateus sends magical mines and heartless at him. The mines explode, sending him staggering backwards, and the Heartless follow up by crashing into him. He takes an idle swing, but his blade isn't able to gain purchase.

Faruja's healing magic is much appreciated, and he says as much in the radio but he wasn't gaining much ground here.

He needed room to work with, and so he jumps backwards, bringing himself down on all fours, with his sword still being held securely. And then he leaps, slamming into the throng that were getting uncomfortably close to Maira. Dropping his shield briefly, he'd grasp the hilt with both hands, and turn suddenly to viciously swing at the Emblem Heartless ranging just a bit...too close for comfort. If it struck, the force of the swing would literally blast the horde backward, stopping their advance.
Will Sherman Will's blasted by the orbs...fate apparently was too tied in to trying to block the darkness shooting for the Dark Knight. Will's fist collides with darkness, while heartless grab at him. The aftermath, reveals a hurt Hobo, but not a defeated hobo.

Alright...two can play at this game. Will once more launches off the ground...if the man refuses to fight like a man, then Will will fight like a Hobo...ALL IN HIS FACE.

Will launches upwards, hoping from building to building aiming to launch towards Mataeus once more.

That staff...

Will moves, aiming to punch right for the orb ontop of the staff, his fate aiming to try and shatter the orb...or at least weaken it.

"NOW! SHOOT THE STAFF!" he shouts for the others, this might be their only chance to buy Maira some time. Will staring right into the face of the Emperor, he speaks..

"Isn't that what drives men? Dreams and the ability to chase matter how silly, evil, or bright they are. We /ALL/ chase them. What makes you better then them? What makes your desires more important than anothers? Nothing. You are just the same as anyone else, you pompus <GOOSEHONK>."
Sydney Losstarot Sydney braces himself for an attack...only to be ignored entirely. Oh, how convenient! Now he doesn't have to focus on dodging anything. Turning his attention to the rat, he sighs. Despite his strong dislike of the Glabadosian church, that rat is the only one here who Sydney can even remotely verify the combat skills of. So he might as well give it a hand. He blasts it with buffing energy, not even bothering to address Senra as he does.

He wouldn't dare waste the words.

Turning to Clayton, he grins. "Good eve, you psychopath. Would you like to play /another/ game?" He asks curiously, referencing a previous murder joke. SHINK. Sydney brandishes his claws towards Clayton once more, for effect. Mateus is getting ignored for now. Sydney likes the lack of attention from the one dealing the damage.
Clayton Clayton fires, shooting the axe out of the air with the practiced trigger finger of an experienced gunman. He reloads the shotgun quickly, sweat beading on his forehead as he moves. "Please, you sound like a character in a penny dreadful," he scoffs, clearly NOT impressed by her show of conviction. He stands up.

This time, Clayton takes careful aim, right at a spot on her torso that he knows will cause maximum bleed. He fires, hoping he hasn't paused for too long.
Clayton Clayton follows the shot by taking out a knife and throwing it at her, before he moves to climb back up to higher ground via the side of another building.
Arkham Fisher "I'm /not/!" Arkham's protest should be familiar to Ser Senra. She is, in fact, standing quite strong for a notional cleric; thanks be to Faram and Faruja and those soldiers she served with. With his aid, she rises to her feet where she had been knocked low by Mateus' assault.

This is the first she really /sees/ the dark Emperor, rising over his horde. Her eyes narrow with an emotion that, really, is as dark as its target. Turning it instead on the rabble that surround her and her knight, she wipes the blood from her lip, raises her blade and shouts a brief incantation.

"Vstanite! Veter in kamen!"

In the heart of the Heartless swarm, the pavement thrusts upwards, and around this cobblestone prong a whirlwind buffets the demons, forcing a clearing in their number.

"Ser Senra!" He should know what to do.
Deidra Deidra is looking to Will to lead the way to the Emperor. He comes at her not with blade or weapon but with spell and she's caught in iot but she's still comming t him. "We already dragged one world back from the darkness."

Sehs' up agian recoveing mostly from the spell she took it's suprising not all of it worked as planned she managed to flat out resist some of it and then? She starts to chant again in latin. Magic surges up about her not turely visable but causing a wind about her then she relasdes a spell aiming to sap the Emperor's ability to focus and use magic. Howling winds lash at him trying just pull it from him by force.
Vespa Vespa take the bullet to the torso, she winces a bit doing her best to ingore the pain for now.. She has no idea what a penny dreadful is!

"Well your a....a", she no good with insults! Whatever. She will let her actions speak for her! At least she didn't say that out loud. She runs foward picking up her axe and leaping up at Clayton!
Souji Murasame Souji is still watching the event unfold before him. "The world is full of people. All of them fight for their own desires, what they believe is the right path." He smiles faintly to himsllf. "It's impressive, really."

He looks over to Maira, watching intently as he considers the ramifications of this woman's... power, and how it interacts with that of the Dark Knight.
Annia Leradine This is what she hates about heartless. Its seems you kill one and ten more pops out constantly. But that doesn't mean she's not going to cut all of them out. No matter how many there is, they are all going down. And if they can't touch her, she can last like this forever. Or so she would like to think, everyone gets tired, but her movements are fluid, not an ounce of wasted energy it seems. That's how a dancer is, everything is timed and calculated it seems.

She moves swiftly through the swarm, cutting through, aiming for the 'master of ceremonies' of this little party. She might not reach him, but doesn't mean she's not going to try anyway. Those daggers are doing a mean blender right now.
Pete "W-w-why are ghosts always so problematic!!" Pete complains. "I just wanna kidnap someone! Is that such a crime??"

Yes kids, kidnapping IS a crime! If you see a kidnapping, please be sure to call up the police and provide any information you can! Don't chase the kidnapper yourself, you might just get hurt too! Goofy says, look out for others, but be safe!

Uist manages to rip through the heartless pretty readily, they don't have ghost protection after all! Three of the four Heartless are ripped apart quickly.

"H hey--stop that! Those are my minions! I'll summon more if you don't stop it!" He complaints, swinging his vaccuum cleaner and SUUUUUUUCK.

This isn't helping much, however, so ultimately he yells, "Hey! HEEEY! Y'idiot!! Help push him in!"

The Heartless jumps and tries to bonk into Uist but ends up flying through him and crashing into Pete, knocking him over as well. Dizzily, he shakes his head, knocking a few stars out of her head.

"Ugh." She says, standing herself up. "Alright. Alright..." He raises the vaccuum again and says, "SUPER SUCKAGE!!!"

Clayton Clayton, however, is moving once AGAIN, jumping back to the ground and completely avoiding Vespa's axe swing. "At a loss for words, eh?" he remarks smugly. "Don't worry. You won't be talking for much longer anyway." He waits until she which point a hidden trap activates! it's a concealed bag of poison that explodes all over her, to coat her in toxic powder. He follows that out with another blast from his shotgun.
Maira's voice calls out to the wounded heart. Yet there was no reply yet, yet a presence was looking at her. A presence acknowledged her within. The man locked away, could see her presence. He could see her.

Yet the way was almost closed up as a dark sphere slammed into the Dark Knight.

Outside the Dark Knight nearly went down on his other knee. His hands falling to the ground as his sharp metal claws started to dig into the ground. Pain. Pain was obvious between the two struggling forces. It was becoming hard to tell who was winning this tug of war inside.

It was impossible to see, beyond those who were reaching in, being Maira and perhaps even Mateus himself.

As the darkness started to claw back over the heart, Maira could see him for a moment, a man hidden away in his safe corner from the darkness that wish to consume him whole. That wanted to take his heart away completely. He stares at her, or so it feels like he was.

Perhaps words, faint words maybe fill her own heart as if he was speaking to her by the link, yet the words were impossible to make out. As if the very darkness filtering those words. Blocking them from being understood. Yet he was speaking. Was it good or bad was unknown.

Back on the outside the Dark Knight was starting to break the ground with his claws, there was a low rumbling. Like a man ready to snap. A man ready to scream.
Vespa Oh <GOOSEHONK>! She fell right into his trap dumb dumb dumb! She lets out a few coughs at the poison. She get it chest with the shotgun, again.

She looks a Clayton weezing a bit. "I don't have anything to say to someone like you!", she swings her axe sweeping it in front him then turning the axe 90 degess trying to knock him off balance.
Clayton The axe, finally, connects with Clayton, slicing through his jacket. "Argh!" he staggers backwards, clutching his chest. He looks up just as Vespa swings her axe at a different angle...and the flat of it smashes him in the face, hard. CLANG! Blood, and a tooth, fly from his mouth with blood flying from his nose. He is sent flying into the air, spinning. Shocked and dazed, he tries to correct himself as he comes back down.

He lands on the ground again, but hard, taking a nasty shock to his arm. He slowly gets up. "Well! You have some fight in you after all..." he chuckles. His expression switches back to 'angry' as he throws his hand out again, this time a huge wave of force barreling into Vespa from the side to knock her into a building! Four times as hard as before, too.
Maira Dreams...not the kind of dreams she has at night, not those bubbles of grim memories and sharp feelings of terror and despair. Dreams. She wonders, what were the Dark Knight's dreams? He'd had them once, surely. What were they?

Uist takes damage before he can fully disappear, wincing as his pain travels back to Maira, who winces slightly at the sudden draw on her essence, already so tied up with the Dark Knight. She had to defeat him--one way or another. It was her responsibility, somehow.

As Mateus throws his darkness into the Dark Knight again, the light shivers in the air, flickering, but not extinguishing--no, no no! She is so close, she can /see/ him there, he is looking at her, he is speaking! But the darkness mutes it out, lost in the nothingness that tries to consume. Maira rages against it, her fire burning the darkness away like the sun burns away a morning fog.

As he drops to his other knee she moves toward him, her arms reaching for him reflexively. She attempts to place her hands on either side of his helmet as push further through the gathering shadow, pleading, welcoming. "Come out...come will all be alright! Look at me...look at me," she says, her voice gentle and pleading as battle rages around them. She cannot burn like this forever--her energy is not limitless. Already, she is beginning to struggle, opening herself up further than she ever has before--the raw, wild magic, the Light flowing out of her that had been channeled through restraint flowed freely, gushing like a rushing river that had been dammed, suddenly set free. It threatens to wash her away in the flood.

Focus...if there are any gods, give her focus!

Maira's eyes rise, locking onto Mateus. The bright light of Holy snaps upward like a phoenix rising from the flame to smash into the puppetmaster, hoping to stop him long enough for the man inside the Dark knight to break free.
Emperor Mateus Emperor Mateus spots Will Sherman coming this time, and he drifts backwards as one arm raises in preparation. But the hobo lashes out not at him... but towards his staff, the orb at its crown still glowing brightly. Almost instinctively, the sorceror shifts his grip to protect his weapon, though it is only partially successful. The punch strikes true and the orb loses its light, a spiderwebbing crack running along its surface, yet it does not shatter nor completely break. It is damaged, but nothing more.

He stares at the man who would dare stand against him face-to-face, measuring his strength of will (harhar) and power behind his statements. "Dreams are nothing without the power to bring them to reality, lad. As worthless as a field of roses."

He lifts one hand towards the distant Gargoyle, Deidra, and a counter-pulse of wind negates her spell without a single word being uttered, his cape and hair barely moving as a result. But this keeps his attention from the whirling dervish that is Annia, her poisoned blade slicing deep into his leg as she weaves through his dark forces.

The continuing attacks upon the Heartless thin their numbers far faster than they can rise to Mateus' call, Percival having an especially notable effect with the tag-team duo of Arkham and Faruja rounding up the stragglers. The Shadow Lord notices this, notices his Dark Knight on his knees at the center of the tug-of-war between himself and Maira--who suddenly lashes out at him with a massive burst of pure holy LIGHT!

His staff swings around in front of him yet seems to do little good, the sorcerer being consumed within the holy fires. The exposed orb channeling darkness into the Dark Knight shatters under the strength of the light... But darkness grows within the midst of the fire, absorbing and negating the light. Only when the fires ebb away into nothing does the darkness fade away, revealing Mateus completely unharmed in its wake.

He levels Maira with a cold stare, emotionless and... disappointed? "I see." He swings his arm wide, attempting to knock Will back down to the ground with a burst of telekinetic force. "Enough of this."

A purplish magical circle appears below his feet as he rapidly twirls his staff above his head. "Heavens..." He murmurs, eyes closing as the staff spins faster and faster into a blur. Electricity arcs between staff and magical circle in small lightning bolts as the weapon glows above him, and a dark rift forms above everyone. "FAAAAAAAAALL!"

A massive meteor falls down towards the group, smaller fiery rocks following in its wake. Instead of causing an explosion upon reaching those in its path, those caught would find Fluorgis shatter around them like broken glass, their surroundings becoming roiling darkness. "All is mine to command." His arms lower downwards as he speaks, his staff whirling around his form whiel the Darkness rises as if to consume the light of those caught in its midst, those who cannot stand strong. Then a flourish of a hand swings the staff high above his head, the purplish gem flickering in eerie sporadic and fragmented 'black light'.


His staff lashes outwards and downwards, orb-first, and a wave of purplish energy dissipates into their surroundings. The Darkness responds--ripping into the enemy's minds, piercing into their very hearts--

And then it is gone, Fluorgis and their surroundings standing as if nothing had happened, the few remaining Heartless regrouping under the shadow of their master.
Sydney Losstarot Sydney looks somewhat amused as he sees Mateus snake his way out of the powerful looking attack like its no big deal. Congratulations, Mateus. You've done something no villain yet has been able to do in any major way: Impress Sydney. His amusement is rather visible, even if its for the other side. OHNOAMETEOR. ...Oh wait. He's /still/ ignoring Sydney. This is a /really/ good day for Sydney it would seem. He takes a moment to take a breather.

Sydney looks about curiously. He's already assisted the two most obvious ones in the group, who's left to shower with his glorious-yet-probably-evil magic? Uh...Will? By the gods, Sydney would sooner give Senra a hug and tell him he's found god. That...Gargoylian fellow looks like he could use some help, though. Sydney thrusts his clawed palm in Percivals direction, attempting to bombard him with another set of buffing spells. It'll feel incredibly dark to him, but it won't feel evil. ...Well. Maybe a /little/ malevolent.
Percival Protect Maira. Protect Maira. Protect Maira.

The Gargoyle was rather singleminded. Protecting people came as second nature to him. Battle was like a song to one who was trained almost from hatching to know its chorus and verses. Until dischord entered into the tune. Mateus causes the heavens to fall around him with a meteor, the concussive force of the explosion blasting him backwards.


It always started subtly. His senses became slightly more acute, the din of battle becoming more like a roar. The next step was that the adrenaline rush would take over, and time would appear to slow down. Except now, Maira was no longer Maira. She was a corpse of someone he once knew. And Mateus.. was no longer Mateus. He was no longer the powerful, malevolent, self-assured Sorceror. He was a boy that was cowering before him. A boy that had caused his failure.

Failed. Failed. Failed her.

To those attuned to such, they would hear a pounding heartbeat, that wasn't the Gargoyle's own, as shadows slithered and snaked out to join with the ornate rapier at his side. Darkness pulsed forth, covering the area in an all-consuming umbra. A purplish aura would cover each of them, except the Gargoyle, marking their location in the dark akin to the Fae fire of legend. Except for Maira and Leon. The light of her piercing his heart could not be quenched so easily. In the dark the only sign of the Gargoyle's location was two glowing, white orbs that marked the rage of his kind.

Rational thought no longer gripped his mind as he advanced menacingly on Mateus, and then charged. Heartless were no obstacle to him as he barreled through them, seeking his intended prey in a maddened bloodrage. And then he was pouncing at the figure of Mateus..

In his vision, talons and fangs became slick with blood. Fists tried to pound skull and brain matter into a pulp.

And if he managed to reach Mateus, he would attempt to make it a reality, as the rage of his failure, of his past trauma manifested.

In his vision, there was nothing of a boy left when he was finished.

In reality, he was trying to maul Mateus, like he was naught but a savage animal.
Faruja Senra Faruja's response to Percival over the radio might seem a bit clipped, likely due to all of the Heartless that seem to want to pile onto him and turn him into a rat snack. It's uncomfortably like the battle for Burmecia, and the barely restrained fear on the Templar's features would attest to it. At least /these/ Heartless aren't biting him. Yet.

A familiar protest from Arkie, and one that he can barely hide a smile. For all that she may seem weak from a glance, the woman never fails to impress him. She should've been a Templar in the rat's mind, if not for those vows of hers!

"At once, Sister Fisher." States Faruja, as her wall of wind opens a path. A blast of invigorating magic has him charging all the harder, little C icon above his head. A quick glance to its source has his teeth gritting, but only for a moment. He chokes down words and concentrates on the job at hand, though his tail lashes all the harder. Being ignored by the Heretic just makes him all the angrier, and it shows as holy energy practically seeps off of the Templar.

An ear perks. Destroy the staff? Faruja switches tactics, holy energy bleeding into his spear, before he leaps at the weapon Mateus holds! Just before letting loose, he incants.

"Demolish weapons with fury, Hellcry Punch!" Though he rarely makes use of the technique, he studied his Divine Blade skills well. A holy blade erupts from the earth, seeking to tear asunder Mateus' staff, as well as the man himself. Not to mention there's Faruja's raw physical power, that he puts into it, fully intending to pierce through staff and into dark Emperor.

Only then to leap away, as Maira's power lashes out, the Emperor's staff's orb seeming to shatter. Rocks fall, and Faruja leaps back desperately as the great sorcerous power erupts amidst Fluorgis, shearing away armor and cloth alike as he attempts to body-tackle his Church charge. He's too far away from Maira to help, he'll have to leave that to Percival. Even that may not be enough for Arkie under the fury of Mateus' dark sorcery, the rat's blood dripping down on her. Only after the storm subsides does he rise again. Ironically enough, it may be her that's worse for wear today.

Faruja's gaze turns to horror as he finally notes Percival, lost in his bloodrage. He knows what it's like to be against such savage fury. He calls out. "SQUIRE PERCIVAL, BE THEE A SOLDIER OR A BASE BEAST!? CALM THYSELF AND FACE THIS FOE RIGHTEOUSLY!" Screams the rat, trying to halt that desperate note, praying his words can bring the Squire to his senses.
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine has managed to get through the heartless army, and now faces the big boss himself. She glares at him as her daggers work through him. Those eyes can be scary when she's serious. But magic is cearly not her main strength, and even if she can move well, the sheer SPREAD of his attacks is nothing any mortal should be fast enough to avoid it entire. But she's caught pretty much in the center of the small-scaled dark apocalyse, and she's sent back flying on her back, browling through a few of the leftover heartless, before slowly crawling up to her feet again, grunting. She moves a hand, brushing some of the leftover darkness that feels like it was clinging to her skin like sand, wether or there was some there, its the feeling it gave. "Such power. But that's not going to stop me." She brushes the corner of her mouth with her wrist, and takes a deep breath, as if calming herself down, back to a stillness, like ready to go through with the show.

She then moves in, the first dagger coming in a series of stab toward the chest, the second a series of quick vertical strikes, up and down. And then both daggers move in a cross, a large X over Mateus' chest as the two daggers move upward, the movements sending her up, jumping up, and then flipping backward, elegantly landing on her feet just a step back from the emperor.
Vespa WHAM! Vespa get slammed into the wall hard. Ow. Her nose is bloody and possibly broken.

"Your 'trohpy won't look good on your wallk if its face is all messed up!"

Vespa drags her axe behind her with one hand rushing towads Clayton getting in close for punch, her fist glowing with a black light, then with her axe dragging behind her tires to trip him up..
Arkham Fisher The Emperor's assault is awesome, in the classical sense; Arkham can't recall its like, and as the stones rain down and the world shatters around her, she prays that she won't recall this either.

Something bears her to the ground, she doesn't know what. She holds her eyes shut as the barrage ebbs and the cacaphony fades, and at last all is right. Only her wounds remain.

She discovers Ser Senra shielding her, wounded, but already shouting down Percival for something, and wipes a streak of blood from her good eye. He's wounded, but he's not a concern yet.

Near to hand, though, is an urgent case; Arkham struggles to her feet, and crosses quickly to Will's side. No time to do this, ah, properly, she'll just have to make it work. She casts a hand over him; a drop of blood falls from her fingers, but this is purely incidental.
Pete Pete pauses and blinks. Uist has vamooshed?

He looks around rapidly. "Huh?" Pause. "What?" Pause. "...Hey what's goin' on?! Wait!!" His eyes widen. "Uist must be inside here." He nods over to his vaccuumpak. "HAR HAR HAR!" He points a finger towards Maira and says, "While you were worryin' about that Dark Knight--I've caught your friend!" He laughs heartily. "Now if you want him back, y'better come to Pete and let me take you back to uh...well your prison, that's what!"

He hrms at the vaccuum cleaner. "But it isn't being very spooky. We sure he's in there, Pete?" He pokes it a bit. Poke.
Will Sherman Will grunts, "It also takes the drive to make things happen, not just power. Power without control is jus-"

"Oh that's a meteor. That's completey <GOOSHONK>ing cheating!"

And then the Meteor, attatched to Will, cashes into the city. Will, under it, and then blasted by the darkness between the stars looks battered, bruised, but not out. His eyes flash up...that stare, that stare that isn't just looking at the Emperor, but /through/ him. The gaze that looks at it man, woman, king or pessant...the same.

Green sparkles wash over Will, nitting wounds closed and giving him some energy to keep up. However, he immediately jumps into the air after The Emperor.

His hands were burning, brighter than before...the two sides of Will Sherman working as one.

He aims to headbutt the Emperor first, aiming to try and stun him by hitting him with the HARDEST thing he had on hand... and then he brings both hands up. One hand channeling the withers bonds and shatters connections...the other is glowing bright red...strings and connections...a power to seal and mend.

Will slowly puts the two opposing forces together...and then drives the hands forward, aiming to try and catch Mataeus by the chest... "NO YOU!" and then fires a single powerful FATE BEAM through the emperor.
Clayton Clayton aims for Vespa, but she comes in fast enough to fly past his shotgun, punching him right in the face. AGAIN! He staggers, but steps back to avoid the axe swing that would've knocked him down. He holds his damaged cheek, the skin torn from the blow and already starting to well up. "Maybe I'll just sell your parts," he grunts.

He looks up as Meteors fall from the heavens. That person that resembled a lady was quite powerful, it seemed. But the power Clayton fills keeps him going, conquering any fear. He suddenly erupts with a fiery aura, eyes seeming to blaze as he prepares for his next move. He jumps up, looking down at his foe as he levels the shotgun at her. Instead of buckshot, though, he fires a massive explosive shell that will douse her in fire. "TAKE THIS!"

He comes back down, taking a moment to rest up.
Deidra Deidra is caught in a pile of madical pain there and suffer she does but it's not enough it's ripping into her she's fighting she's trying to fight her way back she does she's in pain but she's surived it she's looking a hell of a ot worse for wear though as she starts chantintg again. She's got no witty retort no real thing to say, yet she speaks not to the Emperor directly she's chaning again and this time about her ice is creinz ingo long jagged shards there's a large numnber og them and they fly at the Emperor intended to freeze anythin they come into contact with.
Vespa Meteors from the sky now. Lovely. She has better things to worry about as she get hit with the explosive shell, from Clayton's gun. There a few sortch marks on her from that attack but she looks pretty unfazed by it. .

"Is that all you got? My turn..", a dark aura surrounds and she lets out a primal roar and charges at Clayton swinging her axe as she rushes towards him.
The Dark Knight was losing to the one inside. To the true owner of the body. Maira's voice was calling out to him, in some ways in such a fragile state of mind it reminded him of another voice. Someone far closer to his heart. Someone he had failed so long ago. He had failed them all.

The dark energy is shattered by Maira's massive amount of Light from not only her magic but also from her heart. The darkness trying to channel back into the Dark Knight broken and suddenly as Mateus calls down his might dark spell and the world breaks for that instant, the Dark Knight suddenly roars.

When the world comes too, in that very moment the Dark Knight suddenly slams out his arms, the darkness of Mateus' magic being consumed by the Dark Knight, being consumed back deep inside. Maira's bright light that cast the shadows was suddenly pulled in and like an explosion of dark energy that was like a black hole, blasted outward from the Dark Knight moving to slam both Mateus and Maira back.

Then slowly, very slowly and off stable on his feet the Dark Knight starts to rise. Yet there was no dark tendrils around his form. There was no darkness hiding that human color tan skin behind the eye visor. There was no darkness at all flowing from his form that could be seen.

He reaches up with shaky hands, and he slowly pulls off his helm, before it slides from those clawed, metal finger tips clanking on the ground. His breath was heavy, sweat running down the slight side burns on his face.

Black, deep blue hair was kept short, with a few bangs that were loose over his face. He coughed for a moment, before he opened his eyes. Those red eyes restored, yet there was life in them. Life looking directly at Mateus, then at Maira, before at everyone.

"..where.." He then moves to take a step back realizing this was a battle he was surrounded by. "" Yes. It seems the Dark Knight was suddenly very confused man.
Maira The orb of the staff shatters, a satisfying sight--until the light fades and Mateus stands, untouched by the Holy. Crestfallen, she gasps. The failed. She wasn't strong enough. She's never strong enough.

Suddenly, rocks fall, everybody dies.

Okay, not really, but its pretty damn bad. Maira, entangled with the Dark Knight as she is, escapes Mateus' retribution. No one is ever aiming at her, it seems. Is she beneath notice? Is she not worth the time? Or do they do it to hurt her? Because it stings to have people wonder why she escapes while they bleed? To see her friends brought low....

Alone. The thought stabs her like a dagger to the heart. Fear grips her.

Soon though, that fear is over-ridden by another. Percival. She looks toward him, eyes widening. No! She's seen this happen before. He's snapped. It is the thing he fears most. Maira hears Faruja screaming at him, but she doesn't know if his voice will be heard. She isn't sure anyone's will be. There /has/ to be a way to break through..."PERCI! NO! STOP!" she yells, but before she can continue her efforts, Maia is blown back.

She screams in surprise more than pain, though it is certainly painful when she lands, smacking her head hard against the ground. The world spins and goes black for a moment, the light dimming.
Pete Pete notices, at this point, that Maira is on the ground and nearby and seemingly unconcious. "Hm..." He says, and strokes his chin as he looks at this. What exactly did he miss when he was thinking he sucked Uist up with a vaccuum cleaner? "Aw shyucks, doesn't matter! There is a protocol, everyone's got their role t'play!"

He clomps over to Maira, looks down, and then lifts her back up onto her feet by the crook of her arm.

"And now you're helpless! Har har har har!!" Surely this won't backfire in any way.
Clayton Clayton crouches, frowning. Vespa looks angry now. Reminds him of the charging bears and lions and whatnot when you shoot them enough times. He waits until she runs near, before he lines up a precise shot to blow out both her knees. THEN, a huge energy blast appears out of thin air once he sweeps his hand, to finish the combo.
Arkham Fisher Her work on young Will done, more or less, the reality of Arkham's own condition begins to sink in. She won't survive another attack like that; we grant that another attack like that is unlikely, but that isn't the point. Her sword is lost under some shadowy boot, back towards Faruja and the fighting, and even breathing is painful now.

"Ser Senra! I retreat!" The front lines are no place for a medic. There won't be anyone to glue either of them back together if she falls here. As for where she retreats to, who knows? Safely away from this battle. Certain that Ser Senra has any potential pursuers occupied, she slips away up an alley.
Vespa Vespa gets it once, the again, the shot do connect and did hit her, her wounds thought seem to be slowly heaing back up. She look at Clayton with rage as from the dark arua that surrounds her tendrils reach out trying to grab at Clayton, she then blindly swings her axe at him.
Emperor Mateus Emperor Mateus rises higher into the sky as the heroes turn their full ire upon him--the first of which is Percival, lashing out with claws and fang as if the Gargoyle were a wild creature set loose. Claws rip and tear into the sorceror's form, ripping apart metal and flesh alike while drawing blood. "ENOUGH, you beast!" He barks sharply, lashing out with a pulse of darkness to blast Percival back.

His gaze returns to Will as the hobo (without a shotgun) leaps back up towards him. He raises his arms to block the headbutt, the impact hard enough to cause the metal armor to ring and his bones underneath to ache, deadening sensation for a few long moments. His arms flopping to his sides, he watches in increasing realization as Will channels disparate energies into each hand before bringing them together between them.

"So that is how you put my Dark Knight in such a state."

Will thrusts his hands forwards, but Mateus drops in elevation right before the hobo releases the Fate Beam with his damaged staff rising to knock Will's hands further upwards. Thus, the powerful beam destroys his cloak and further damages his staff, but Mateus still remains.

Faruja's holy blade erupting from the ground decimates what remains of the Heartless, but Mateus himself avoids it easily with a twist to the side. However, this places him in perfect line for the incoming Burmecian, who knocks him down to the ground yet without causing true injury. The shards of ice pierce the ground around Mateus as the sorceror takes flight once again, creating a light frost on his tattered armor but little else.

Before he can achieve adequate height, however, Annia's blades find him once more. Stabs pepper his weakened armor, piercing his torso and the vital organs within, and vertical slices shear his shoulder-armor from their places. The 'X'-slash to finish her combination knocks him back, completely destroying his chestplate in the process, but still he drifts upwards yet back towards the Dark Knight--

Something is WRONG.

Mateus has barely enough time to look over his shoulder when the blast of combined light and darkness blows him away. He slams back to the ground, tumbling and rolling before bouncing back up into the air, looking downright shocked as the Dark Knight removes his helm. Raises his gaze to meet his own, red eyes still yet... that spark of life. That remainder of the man-that-was is no longer a mere remainder.

Mateus blinks once, twice, then a cruel smile crosses his face. "Fufufufu..." His shoulders shake as he almost doubles forwards, arms wrapping around his bloodied torso. "KukuwahahAHAHAHAHA!!" He throws his head as he continues to laugh--a terrible sound, full of scorn and amusement at another's expense. The heroes are forgotten, utterly ignored in the light of what has just happened with the once-Dark Knight.
Sydney Losstarot "Enough cackling."

Sydney says stoically as he watches Mateus fly towards the sky. Sydney thrusts his palm towards Mateus, and the weight of darkness grows heavy in the air. So heavy, that pure motes of it begin to fall like snow for a few seconds. They begin to swirl slowly, almost like a snails-pace whirlwind as they attempt to surround Mateus. Suddenly, every single mote condenses into a single, ultradense ball of darkness. It begins to vibrate violently for a splitsecond (the entire spell lasting little longer than 5 seconds.), before exploding violently, in what can only be described as a nuclear-Dark Elemental-Ultima spell.

"I've had enough of this nonsense. Rise, Shadow Knight, and remove the shattered mantle placed upon you." He says, taking a quick moment to address Leon. Then, he shoots a furious look at Pete. He flicks his claws outwards, creating a small storm of sparks on the ground beneath him. "Put the woman down, you Or I will flay the /flesh/ from your /bones/ and feed your heart to the shadows." Sydneys tattoo begins to flare violently with dark magic, rising like steam from his back.
Percival Both Faruja and Maira call out to him. Faruja's statement falls on deaf ears. Maira's.. causes him to hesitate, with his talons closing in on the Emperor's throat, stopping just short.

It was all the oppurtunity that Mateus needed. The Gargoyle was blasted backwards by the Sorceror, landing hard, screeching to a stop as his flesh was burned by the friction of him skidding across the cobbles...

Not far from Pete.

After the shock of the fall wore off, the Gargoyle would turn on Pete, snarling. And then he would roar, right before he charged right at him. Pouncing. And if he managed to tackle him biting. Yes, biting.
Clayton Clayton rolls to avoid the tentacles, gritting his teeth as she comes in with the axe. He then...catches the axe between his palms. He struggles, muscles taut as he fights against her strength. "Yes. THIS is what I LIVE for! This is a good hunt! Isn't it?" he glances to the side, then nods. "Of course, you agree with me. No one argues with me."

He then attempts to slam his knee into her stomach, then lunges away and fires another shotgun blast at her. Suddenly, several laser beams fly from out of nowhere to hit Vespa!
Vespa Vespa shakes her head coming out of her trance, she huffs the damage she taking from Clayton strikes starting to wear her down. He's so quick! It's getting frustating trying to hit him. She tries again anyway swing her axe at him sooner or later she has to connect.
Will Sherman Will growls... bloody ...

"Yeah, it was." He says, grunting...

And then the laughter...he looks down towards Leon, but he isn't sure what ha...


He much for that, whatever happened, the darkness was still there. Worse, he was defending the man again.

He had to strike now...or else it would be over.

He flies back towards Mataeus...and then swings once...twice....

And then fires a massive beam, once more aiming to pierce the Emperor...but he flips back, firing a second one from his leg towards The Dark Knight.

His beam moves to try and shatter the darkness' hold again.
Deidra Deidra is hurt pretty badly she's looking at the Emperor for a moment And she's just now starting to recover enough to realise what's going on. So was it something to do with Maira It's making a lot more sene now just as to what but she's too darmn hurt to to do much she's grounded the Emperor is just unl;eashing his full power and then something snaps she puts away her pad and then just takes to the air atain flying right at Empero Mataues etent to try to reach him and overpower him with brute force.
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine blinks confusedly as Mateus just stands there laughing "What the heck is his problem." Right in the middle of the fight... he stops fighting? Or he got something else that got his attention instead? She steps back, Mateus moving away. She frowns, pulling away. Well the heartless are gone right now, but she moves back a bit, keeping her blades in hands in case he decides to do more... like calling more of them...
Clayton Clayton, however, is just moving too fast. Too fast for a normal human at this point. He slides in a crouch, shotgun aimed right at Vespa. "I think it's time I wrapped this up, don't you agree?" He asks her. Another fiery aura springs up as he takes another shooting position. He aims not at Vespa, but the air, firing an enormous volume of small, dark looking bullets that fly about with streams of black like comets.

All of these comets converge upon Vespa and explode one after another. After this, he fires ANOTHER explosive shell to finish her off.
The Dark Knight, or perhaps, was(?) The Dark Knight is trying to get his bearings. He wasn't sure where he was, how he got here, what the fighting was all about. Those red eyes glancing all around, including to the young woman who was just knocked down to the ground.

..and some odd, fat creature taunting her downed body?

"..Where am..."

However Mateus cracks up laughing. He /knows/ that 'fufu' anywhere and the suddenly break into laughter causes dark armored man to pierce his red gaze right at Mateus. "You." he suddenly says with a low growl. "You bastard."

He then starts to walk toward Mateus, those red eyes. "YOU BASTARD!" He roars out even louder. Anger filled in his voice. Complete rage, for a moment Sydney's words almost go ignored, but the sudden rush of darkness is not. With his hand coming out to his side one some subconscious instinct,the Soul Blade emerges from the darkness within and he gets right in the way of the massive blast. The sheer force of the darkness slams into the blade he raises up to defend and nearly knocks him right over. It was enough force to knock the Soul Blade from his hands, which seems to vanish into dark mist as it spins in the air.

The Dark Knight yells loudly right at Sydney, "Stay out of this you <KWWEEH!>!" He throws his hand out to the side the Soul Blade emerging once more as Darkness starts to flow around his arm. "He is--" He then notices the dark energy swarming around his arm and the odd blade that starts to emerge once more. ""

His red eyes go wide as he suddenly releases the blade and almost staggers back. "..What.." He whispers as he spins to face Mateus, red eyes glowing with now anger, "What have you done to me?!"

However in that moment of distraction, Will suddenly fires a beam right for the Dark Knight. It slams into his leg and he tumbles right down to the ground. His teeth grit as it burns right through the armor. He tries to get back up, he almost stumbles over. Oh the darkness was there, but it would seem right now, he is an average man with the lack of knowledge that he had before? It would seem that way!

The Dark Knight then glares at Will, then he looks back at Mateus. His teeth grit and his hands into a tight fist. Tight enough that the metal claws were digging into the skin dripping down blood to the ground.
Vespa Vespa looks up. "Oh this is going to hurt..", the shells rain down on her there just too many dodge and there on way she can block them all! Clayton final shot knocks her down and she stays there not moving...
Maira Maira comes to as she is hauled to her feet, her magic responding accordingly to the surprise and unwelcome touch of Pete.


The flames flare in a burst, her skin like hot coals to the touch. You shouldn't stick your hand into the brazier, Pete. Didn't mother tell you?

Maira pulls her arm away from Peta and blasts him with a more conscious fireball. "No!" she yells, stepping back, suddenly inundated by another voice that somehow used one of her linkpearls to speak to her. Somewhere, he must be around here somewhere...

Maira's mind is fuzzy. Mateus is laughing, such a terrible, mocking sound. It grates like nails on chalkboard. Why does he laugh!? WHY!?

Maira looks then, seeing the Dark Knight, his helm removed--a man, just a man. Maira's breath quickens. Had she done it? Was he

More importantly, had she done the right thing? Souji's words brought her doubt, worry. Would it /ever/ end? Could he really offer her sanctuary?

Then, suddenly, Percival. He comes flying past, pouncing upon Pete like an enraged beast, fearsome and savage--but she never forgets his kindness, even now. Doesn't he understand? The fierce desire, he just wants to protect, and the takes him, just like her nightmares take her.

She understands now.

"Percival! Stop it! Listen to me! It's MAIRA! You're not /there/! That is /over/! I need you HERE! NOW!" she yells, trying to drag him out of his waking nightmare.

Then, Maira turns toward Leon and the others still attacking him. "Stop! Will! ...OTHER GUY! STOP! He's...he has no idea what he was doing! He's not the Dark Knight!" she yells. Other Guy, is Sydney. She doesn't know his name! She doesn't know Leon's name either, but she intends to find out.

Before that though....things! Maira has the feeling that a bunch of people are probably going to try to drag her in different directions now and she has /no/ idea what to do! But she won't leave without Perci, OR Leon.
Clayton Clayton rests the shotgun on his shoulder, the other hand on his hip. "I don't actually take human trophies. I just maim and or kill them. I AM a gentleman, after all, isn't that right?" he asks the thin air. He pauses, then chuckles. "Yes, thank you, that was probably my best performance yet."

He clenches his fist, the veins in his biceps standing out. He forgets about Vespa, instead wandering off to dissapear into the outskirts of the city.
Will Sherman "OH!" Will says, "...Sorry!" he says, "I was trying to shoot the darkness!"
The Dark Knight snaps at Will. "Do I look like that <KWEEH> bastard up there?!" He does indeed have anger issues. "I am not even Flamboyant!"
Will Sherman Will pauses, "Now now, that isn't very ni-hahahaha, I couldn't say that with a straight face," he laughs out, "Sorry! Really, I'll you a drink."
Souji Murasame Souji continues to watch. A silent conversation ensues, and the corporate heir smiles to himself at the response from his target. He waits for the proper moment, counting to himself as he taps the side of his head. Things get more complex. Souji is going to have to take matters into his own hands to somplify and bring this to an optimal solution.


Pete grabs Maira, only to be tackled by the rampaging Percival.


Emperor Mateus turns to look at the changed wrought upon Leon, who is confused... Stabilized, but confused. Who will he serve in this moment of crisis?


Wind whips up around Souji as he begins to channel a great force, a crackling gale growing around him as lightning arcs about his body.

A distant rumble of thunder grows as well, a thunderstorm manifesting above Fluorgis as a strange stormcloud sweeps in over the city. The clouds part, revealing the alien, sleek black metal lines of the Murasame Family flagship, the Ame-no-Torifune. Lightning crackles over the ship, coruscating towards the large lightning cannons on each side of the prongs of the ship... And then with an explosion, lightning blasts down into the plaza, spears of energy raining down randomly. They are not aimed at anyone in particular, simply designed to scatter those present a bit.

Souji himself moves, throwing out a hand. "Out of the way." The gale and lightning around him explodes outwards, slamming down between Maira and the melee with Pete, exploding outwards in a concussive, shocking wave. Souji himself drops into the middle of the chaos, walking towards Maira purposefully. She is panicking. She is not going to go quietly.

He simply twists, catching Maira by the arm, pulling her in and striking her at the base of her neck with the pommel of the sheathed Murasame Blade. "I don't have time to deal with your indecision." Souji says, catching her as she crumples like a sack of potatoes. He lifts her, looking over the chaos, and then looks up into the air.

A moment later, he launches himself upwards in a blast of air, sending himself flying towards the airship.
Faruja Senra "Faram's speed, Sister Fisher!" Calls out Faruja as the woman retreats, the medic doing her job and living to patch back the Templar another day! His focus turns from Mateus to Pete, Maira, and Percival. Whatever insanity gripped the dark man, the obvious prize was the Fire Lady.

Leap! Faruja takes to the air, even as Percival piles on the strange being. He's not entirely suprised Percival doesn't hear him. It's just his luck.

Landing beside Pete, the rat reaches out, as if to drag away Maira. It seems it's unnecessary, however, the ratling quickly stepping back away from the sudden flames.

Lightning strikes, and the sleek airship cuts through the sky. Faruja's attempts at stealing the girl are utterly upstaged by one Souji Murasame. Slowly, the rat smiles. At least now, vaguely, Maira is safe. A quick radio conversation towards the man, and he turns to the fallen Vespa. Warp'ing over, he picks her up, before peering at Pete.

"...Disgusting knave. Burn!" A thrusted blade, and the fiery sword of Crush Punch would assault the man, before Faruja makes off with the downed maid.
Percival And then Maira yells at him. And something she says this time sticks. As he sits back numbly in a daze, falling off the oversized dog-thing that Pete is. He'd look in her direction, his eyes filled with shame...

And then Souji would knock Maira out with a pommel at the base of his neck. And then he'd take off.

That spurred him out of his daze instantly, as he growled out only a single word. "MAIRA!"

He'd immediately run like the devil himself to the closest building, climbing it at ludicrous speed even for a Gargoyle. Once he got enough altitude, he'd kick off, and start to glide. Currents buffeting him upwards as he pursued Souji and Maira towards the airship. He couldn't glide as fast as Souji per se, since he couldn't truly fly, but he wasn't that far behind...
Sydney Losstarot Sydney laughs amusedly as he sees Leon jump into the way of the blast without a second thought. "Ha. So you would risk throwing away your life, just so you can end /his/? Kill him. Kill him for what he has done this day!" He shouts, offering words of encouragement to Leon. And then he turns his attention back to Pete, brandishing his claws menacingly once more. "While I admit, Cat meat does not sound very appetizing..." The shadows from earlier rematerialize in Sydneys shadow, rising up as their pale yellow eyes stare hungrily at Pete. "I like to think I'm the adventurous type. Kill him. Do what you will with his heart." He says, and the shadows all leap forth violently, intent on giving Pete a thrashing.
Emperor Mateus Emperor Mateus continues to laugh. The sound doesn't go away even as Leon lashes out to intercept Sydney's attack, even as the heroes split their attention between himself and Maira, even as Deidra swoops in only to get knocked aside with a strike of his battered staff. It doesn't even pause as Will charges him once more, though he cannot evade nor deflect the hobo this time.

One fist cracks against his lower jaw, rocking his head to the side, and the other fist slams solidly into his upper abdomen, knocking the wind out of him. This stuns him more than long enough for Will to drill him through with that beam, turning the mocking laughter into an extended scream as the Darkness within him is steadily burned away.

His form disperses into shadow, which immediately disappears under the onslaught of the beam, and he reforms closer to the rampaging 'Dark Knight'. "Such a fount of power..." He murmurs somewhat towards Will, lavender eyes bright and still grinning cruelly despite the pain. "How so very /intriguing/, this magic of yours..."

Leon's shouting is quickly overruled by the roaring appearance of Souji's airship, and Souji grabs Maira and disappears skywards towards it. Under the chaos of the thunderstrikes, Mateus drifts to hover directly behind Leon, leaning in close to murmur in the boy's ear: "Truly, you are free once more, Leonhart. But always remember: you will return to me someday of your own choice. And I shall patiently await that time, no matter how long it takes."

With a flourish, he drifts backwards and upwards, cruel laughter pealing over the chaos. "Enjoy your victory this day, would-be heroes, and may you curse it forevermore!" A Corridor of Darkness opens behind him, traced around the edges in purplish anti-light. Should none stop him, he would disappear within its depths and it would close in his wake.

He shrieks and tries to fwap Percival away but he gets a good tackle on him, slamming Pete on his back. Faruja is less lucky, as Pete literally punches the Crush Punch away from him and tries to pat out his flames on FAruja, instead catching HIM on fire. "GET IT OFF! AHHHHHHHH! WATER! HAVE TO FIND WATER!"

He turns and runs, "I'll get y'next time!! NEXT TIME!! OUCH OUCH OUCH HOT TAMALE!!" A smoke cloud follows him as he flees.
Will Sherman Will watches Mataeus leave...

He sticks his tongue out, making vaguely rude jestures as he leaves.

Will Sherman: Class Act.

Will notices Souji carrying Maira over a shoulder in a fireman's carry...he's up high, so he moves down, aiming to land right infront of Souji. "Hi, thanks for taking care of her, We're gona take her home now so she can rest." He says, not seeing what he did to her with the hilt of a sword.
The Dark Knight; Leonhart snarls at Mateus taunts him, He then spins around and tries to punch Mateus before he seems to vanish from behind him. His fist glowing in dark flames before he shakes his fist to get rid of it.

Though he hears Maira's voice over the link pearl before she is knocked out. The dear Dark Knight seems to be very one way focused. He tries to run, even though he is limping, before jumping up to try and snatch Mateus. Yet he can't get the jump up with the leg and just crashes down gritting his teeth.

He then slams his fist into the ground as Mateus leaves, before throwing up dirt in that direction. Snarling, cursing under his breath, and at last his red eyes look in the direction of where everyone else is going.

Well. At least it was good to know Mateus' spell over Leon's heart was still intact or things would have been bad rather quickly for the unlocked former Dark Knight.
Sydney Losstarot Sydney sighs, shaking his head as he sees Leon grow angrier by the second. "Your rage will be your undoing, Dark Knight. Those who seek the Darkness can never control it. Let go, before it sucks your soul dry." He states bluntly, narrowing his eyes at the Dark Knight. "You'll find repreive in his death, but you shall find no atonement." He continues, sighing. Jeeze, its like talking to a heartless!
Will Sherman "HEY! YOU! SHUT UP!" Will shouts at Sydney, "ADULTS ARE TALKING!"
Souji Murasame "Yes, because you've been doing so well about it so far."

Souji replies to the hobo with an irritated look on his face. "She is not my prisoner. She is going to be my guest for a short time. If you wish to see her, come to my ship." Souji turns away, continuing to fly away. Follow him or interrupt him if you dare.
Leonhart peers over his shoulder at Sydney. Those red eyes stare him down before he growls lowly. He then starts to walk toward him. A very slow, calm walk. It is much like what the Dark Knight has done before, but this time with the man behind it all in control.

"You may be trying to be helpful." He sneers. "..but your help is not wanted." His eyes narrow. "Leave here before I get close to you and punch you in the face just for your condescending nature toward my /own/ control."
Deidra Deidra is moving in to see what's going on as she comes in for a landing beisde Will and pauses looking to Sydney gets a look whil he may have some point she's just too tired and too beat up to do much.
Sydney Losstarot Sydney turns about, shaking his head. "Very well. Your destiny is your own." He says, turning about as he turns to watch Souji's escape. "...That man tries too hard to be grand, and comes off as naught but a child." He says, taking a moment to open a corridor of Darkness. ...But then that Hobo had to open his mouth.

Sydney raises a palm to Will, narrowing his eyes. "Watch your tongue, child. Before I remove it from you." The weight of darkness grows heavy once more as Sydneys tattoo flares with malevolent magic. Will might feel a crushing weight, both externally on his body, and internally on his organs...if the attack hits.
Percival And so he continues to follow after Souji, all the way to the airship. Once there, he would land at the docking bay. Once there, he give Souji a simple request. While there is a biting edge to his words, he's not otherwise impolite. "If she's to be your guest, then I insist that we are the ones to watch after her."
Deidra Deidra pauyses for a moment and she looks at Sydney for a moment her eyes glow red and she says "You are blind to the truth of things. If you only trust your eyes you are truely blind." She doesn't pull her itome out as she moces over to Sydeney and aims to slap him with the full force of of a pimp slap, oh wait she's got Talons too.

Souji Murasame Souji nods to Percival. "Very well. I have healers on my ship. Come with me." He pauses, and then he hears the sound of Sydney striking at Will.

Hobo the boy may be, but he /really/ doesn't like Sydney. He looks really irritated for a moment, a hand straying towards his blade again as he looks to Sydney...

"... You're still not worth it, mystic." Souji says to Losstarot, and turns, letting the others deal with the man as they will. "Come." He says to Percival. "I wish to see this woman safe."
The former Dark Knight keeps walking toward Sydney. "Your --" Sydney attacks Will and then suddenly Leonhart charges. "-- A damn idiot!" He leaps into the air and just goes to slam his fist down into the man with no shirt. With those heavy, metal gauntlet fist of dark armor and gold plating.

Then he goes to strike with an upper hand cut, before coming around with a hook punch for his face. His red eyes glowing brightly as he stares right at Sydney.
Will Sherman Will Sherman turns towards Souji...

"Sounds fai-UGH..." Will doubles over in pain...his insides turning inside out for a moment, and coughing up blood.

His eyes turn up, glaring right at Sydney. Those eyes...those eyes that stare in anger towards him...

They are not the eyes of a young man, they are the eyes of a being that has seen more years than a mortal should. Those hands aren't just channeling magical those who can sense such things, he is a litteral walking, talking, wise cracking leyline.

And you just <GOOSEHONK>ed him off.

Will flies, right towards Sydney, aiming to tackle him to the ground as Leon punches him across the face.

This will be followed by Will trying to straddle him, repeatedly punching at his face.
Percival Percival looks over his shoulder at Sydney attacking his friends... And then he draws his ornate rapier from its sheath. The damned thing was cursed, it would always come back to him. And so, he took careful aim and then threw a rapier infused with the darkness right at Sydney, enhanced by his altitude. Trying to skewer him. And after it struck, or even if it missed.

It would come back, it always did.
Sydney Losstarot Sydney sighs. "If a child steps out of line. You offer it a quick swat to the back of the head and move on. Only a fool would bring punishment to himself and then dare to act like it is not just." The Shadows that Sydney commands rise once more, eyes gazing hungrily. "No." Sydney remarks. "He is a fool, not a monster. You shall receive no heart this time." He says bluntly, ordering them to leap upon him.

Sydney Stahp.

Sydney disappears in a quick flash of blue, teleporting every time an attempted strike is made against him. He takes a moment to survey the scene before him, waggling his finger mockingly.

SKEWER. (I don't know the sound effect.)

The spear flies through Sydney, and his tattoo begins to flare violently as it attempts to compensate for the damage. It wasn't anywhere fatal, in the slight area that can qualify as a "Thigh" on Sydney, but it still hurt. "Agh." He grunts, leaning over to remove the rapier from himself and toss it to the side. "I have no more reason to waste my time in fools company. The child has received due punishment for his actions, and my necessity is gone." He says bluntly, taking a step back as he falls into the Dark Corridor. ...The Shadows don't disappear with him immediately, though. They try to give Will a good parting shot before they disappear into blots of shadow-ink.
Leonhart leaps out in front of the sudden bolts of darkness that go for Will, before he rears back his metal fist, his own darkness consuming his fist, before he slams his fist into the darkness bolt. It then impacts with a loud force explosion that cracks the air, as suddenly that same darkness bolt is sent right into the Dark Portal after Sydney.

The former Dark Knight slides on the ground to a halt, before he crashes down on his knee, cringing from the pain on his leg.

At least it wasn't an arrow to the knee!
Will Sherman Will suddenly speaks, a voice that is not just years older, but carries a weight that no normal voice should carry.

"0A fool I maybe, but that is the role I choose for myself, instead of being one on you!"

So the cowardly sage tries to leave, Will is surprised by the sudden intervention of the Dark Knight. He frowns... but isn't done.

Will reaches to grab a piece of the fallen building...and he chucks it through the corridor after Syndey, "Jerkass."
Deidra Deidra is faster than you might expect she sees Sydney run off she pauses at the voice and takes a step the hell back ya, Will is like pissed. She looks over at her friend. " all right...?" Man who was that guy?
Leonhart grunts softly and just stays where he is, he glances over at Will as the voice is used. He raises an eye brow, before he suddenly notices the darkness on his arm and goes to shake it off. "..going to bloody kill that bastard for turning me into a wraith.." he mutters to himself.


What happened to that girl?!

He glances up and sighs softly. "...and I guess goes my further answers as well.."

He then turns to Will, "Hey! Can you teach me that?"
Will Sherman Will grunts, looking to Leon, "Uh...she's being taken to that guy's ship, I think we can get a ride." he says,... "Which might be a good idea, I need a doc." he looks at Deidra, "It's fine, I can sometimes control the voice." he says, with a grin, "I just try not hurts my throat." he pauses, and looks back at Leon, "...No I can't actually. You REALLY don't want to be able to do it anyway."
Leon grunts and looks at his leg. "Yeah. Sure. Right." he the pauses. "I will still want that drink."
Will Sherman "...Damn, you remembered." Will says, "Alright, white mage first, Maira second, drink third..."
"Deal" Leonhart agrees and then smirks. "..and I don't ever forget a drink." beat pause, " also is she.. no nevermind. Lets just do this."

This scene contained 115 poses. The players who were present were: Faruja Senra, Deidra, Will Sherman, Pete, Maira, Vespa, Percival, Clayton, Annia Leradine, Souji Murasame, Emperor Mateus, Leon, Arkham Fisher, Sydney Losstarot