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Purging Chaos
(2013-05-10 - 2013-05-10)
No description.
Avira It's mid-day in Central Park. The weather is nice out so there is no small amount of people out here today, enjoying the scenery and relaxing. Picnics are popular and joggers fill the various paths that criss-cross and circle around the massive park.

Finding a secluded place was actually quite difficult, but Avira has managed to do so in one of the wooded areas-which was extra good because it offered some shade from the afternoon sun. She can be found, sitting there, cross-legged as she watches an object laid on the ground in front of her.

Said object is the spine, held within its sheath. The leather belt attached to the sheath is there too. From here, it looks normal, but those more astute to magical energies can easily sense the chaos-taint lingering about the weapon. It is unmistakably that of Garland, the feel of that 'man' like staring into a hopeless abyss.
Percival The journey back to Manhatten for Maira and Percival was rather uneventful. He tried to take Maira's mind off.. what happened. Truly he didn't blame her for it. He didn't care that he got hurt. To sum up Percival's feelings on it..

He doesn't matter.

They'd flown back, with him carrying her, making a few detours through portals to ease the journey. He'd already known about Avira's dilemma, and once she radio'ed them with the coordinates in central park, he made for it immediately...only to be blinded by the sun as they reached the city. He was a little shocked to find Manhatten at mid-day, and that his internal clock hadn't quite been reset yet.. This always set an all-consuming fatigue deep within his bones, so he had to briefly stop at the TDA office to make coffee. He even brought a thermos of it with them as they finally descended /very carefully/ over central park. Despite Manhatten's current situation, it wasn't... acceptable, for him to be seen. Once he landed, he'd set Maira on her feet, crossing his arms as he observed Avira. "So we meet again, Lady Avira. How have you been? All of this with Garland has been...trying, I imagine."

And then once Avira, he'd idly point at the spine, then mouth the words. /Light as a Feather, but hard as Dragon's scales./ Sort of like an inside joke between the two.
Maira Maira by now generally knows what is going through Perci's head and she doesn't approve, but she also doesn't feel like arguing about it anymore.

Maira got some coffee when the stopped as well, sporting her own thermos, which she sips from occasionally. She could use a dose of caffeine as well.

When Maira enters the secluded little area, she smiles widely to Avira and moves to greet-hug her best friend as was customary.

She has no idea what Perci is talking about, and thus looks between them with a raised brow in question.

Maira takes a seat in the grass then, looking down at the spine laid out there. A shiver runs up her spine. She feels the corruption immediately. Garland's touch. Fear grips her heart--darkness, blood, Isaac...--but she takes a deep breath and stuffs it down. It's natural to be afraid of Garland, but she couldn't let it control her, just like her magic she would have to keep it in check.

"You'll both want to move back," she cautions, the air around her growing warming.
Avira Fortunately, this spot /was/ secluded. It was unlikely that Percival in all of his gargoyle glory would be stumbled upon here-but getting here in the first place might have been quite tricky for him. Honestly, even in Manhattan, she should have expected Percival to be with Maira.

Avira looks oddly at peace. There was just something about being here, on her world, that brought her...peace. "...I've been alright." she shrugs. "All things considered. Ultimately, I'm just glad to see Garland focusing on me instead of random innocents."

She watches him mouth those words and snickers.

(The Spine is actually quite heavy!)

Standing, she meets Maira with that hug, holding her for a few seconds before pulling away.

"Hold up." Avira bends down and pulls her weapon free. There's a grimace upon her face as she touches the hilt, the feeling of Garland's essence like the sting of a jellyfish against her hand. The sheath and belt are tossed aside and Avira sticks the weapon in the ground by the point.

She lets go and steps back. A few seconds pass, "Wait-no, I can't-" she fumbles for a second and quickly yanks it out of the ground, staring down at the place where she had pierced the dirt. "I think I need to hold onto it."
Percival The russet-skinned Gargoyle would just grin at Avira as she snickers. Then that grin would turn into a smile as Maira and her hugged. He'd fold back his wings, allowing them to furl, then join at the joints at the end of them around himself. "We'll find a way to drive him back before that happens Avira. Don't worry."

The spine was heavy.. /to her/ at least.

His ears would fold back, and he'd grimace as he looked at the weapon. He didn't know exactly what to make of it, this whole exercise just gave him a very bad feeling. But he wasn't going to try to talk Maira out of it. Most of the time he acquiesced to what she wanted instantly, /except/ in relation to Leon. Yeah, the Gargoyle and him were going to have words, and likely fisticuffs before this whole ordeal was over.

When Maira told them to stand back, he'd walk away a few yards, staying at a safe distance. He had no talent at magic, that he was aware of. All he'd offer to Maira and Avira were words of encouragement, "If anyone can do this, it's the two of you."
Maira Indeed, she basically had a gargoyle body guard! For a while there had been Ulharisk and Deidra too, but they has likely moved on now that the Dark Knight wasn't waiting to eat her heart or whatever.

Maira watches Avira with her blade curiously. "Avira....I'll burn you if you hold it. I don't know if I can," she says, the very tips of her fingers catching flame and beginning to burn a brilliant white. Likely reacting to Garland's darkness.

"Doesn't exactly make me feel better to know he's concentrating on you Avira," she confesses with a frown. Of course, she can't help but think of Angan as well. How was he? /Where/ was he? WHY. She still planned to find him. She couldn't really rest until she did.

Maira looks back toward Perci, flashing him a warm smile at his encouragement. It's always nice to have someone who believes in you.

Back to Avira, Maira steps a little closer. "What do you think I should do, Avira? My magic is reacting to it...I can feel the light trying to leap out."
Avira "I damn well hope we do." Avira's quick to say, though she doesn't add that she has no idea where to start with this Garland thing and actually feels quite powerless.

She pauses and looks at Maira, confused, "But aren't you going to use your light to get rid of it? Not your fire? That's what you did with the Dark Knight, right?" The tainted blade draws her attention-it's definitely there, a dark stain or patina distributed in uneven splotches along its length. Avira looks contemplative for a long moment before she gestures Maira closer.

"Come stand here with your back to me."
Maira "I did, but its hard to separate the two. Fire is light, after all. But....I think with concentration I can control it. Let its thing but with a leash on," she offers. She bloody hopes she's right. She's going to feel pretty terrible if she burns Avira right after having burned Perci.

Maira does as Avira suggests and stands with her back toward her, wondering what she's got in mind. She's quite worried suddenly. "Avira, I don't know...Garland, he might have known you'd come to me with this. I can't even begin to know what he's really capable of..."
Avira "Nobody knows Garland." Avira says, with some frustration, "I tried to do some digging on him in the World of Ruin and didn't really find much. Nothing useful. There was a King in Corneria named Garland but he seems altogether unrelated-he is kind and benevolent. All they share is the name...which is probably why Garland took his son, the prince."

She makes a frustrated noise, "He says he's been around forever and faced thousands of heroes, but there is no history left of him. No evidence of anyone who HAS stood up to him before. I don't know where else to turn."

Well, there is Angantyr, but what is she going to do? Ask him? He burned his bridge.

Avira sweeps up behind Maira as if she were going to hug her-in a way, she kind of does and puts her arms around her, both holding onto the Spine in front of them both. "Alright. Put your hands on the hilt with mine."

The moment Maira does, she'll feel the sickness. Garland is nothing like what she felt in Leon. He's not /precisely/ the pure darkness that was drowning out the light.
Percival The whole conversation about Garland made him uncomfortable, to say the least. He couldn't fathom a creature that was that ancient, that powerful, that wholly evil...

He had to be a demon, or a god.. though he hated to admit the latter to himself.

"And with strange aeons even death might die.." He muttered grimly, mostly to himself.

And then he'd just watch the pair as they performed their work.
Maira Maira listens, closing her eyes. It is no surprise Avira has been researching him, hoping for something to light a candle of knowledge, some semblance of hope. Could Garland be brought down?

Maira takes a deep breath and puts her hands on the hilt of the blade, choking down the vomit that rises suddenly in her throat. "This is different," she says to Avira, biting her lip and closing her eyes again. "I'll try..." she says, letting her magic drift out of her cautiously, the light stretching toward the corruption to try to chase it away as shadows are chased from a room when the curtains are opened. Or perhaps, like cauterizing a wound. Burning out the infection. There had to be a way to do this, but Maira wasn't sure if she could. Leon had been different. He was a person. One would think this would be easy after something like that...but this is Garland, and nothing is ever easy--and if it is, you should be afraid.
Avira "Garland's...feel is very unique." Avira notes with an almost detatched tone as she looks ahead onto her sword. Once Maira grabs ahold, she'll find Avira adjusting her grip too so her hands partially cover that of Maira's. It serves as some comfort to the fire mage, at least, to feel her warmth contrasting to the stinging, corrupting sensation left behind.

Unlike shadows, the corruption does not just stand to be chased away. It's stubborn, as Avira had discovered earlier and as Maira discovers now. It hurts to come into contact with it. It's aggressive.

It pushes back, as if angered by the invasive light.

Avira lets out a hiss of pain, apparently also feeling the writhing of the chaotic energy within the blade. "Well you have its attention...try...try pushing a little harder. It's okay, I channel magic through the Spine all the time. It can handle it..." she thinks it can handle it.
Maira Indeed, its fighting back! Not that Leon's Darkness hadn't, especially with Mateus there trying to overpower him with it so Maira couldn't break his hold. This is unique however. It's almost like its a living thing?

She nods as she hears Avira. "If you're sure," she says, breathing out quick and opening herself to let more of the light flow from out of her into the blade, focusing on Garland's corruption. If this can be done, maybe the stand a chance. It is a small sliver of hope but she clings to it violently, her determination growing.

The light is growing brighter, even secluded as they are it might begin to draw some attention.
Percival The Gargoyle would watch for a moment as their light reached its crescendo, and then he'd have to tear his gaze away. He was literally blinded by the light, and he could do nothing but trust the two of them in the task.
Avira "Sometimes you gotta keep pushing forward. Push back. Don't yield." Avira adds, sounding encouraging.

With Maira pushing her light out further, she might start to notice that she does seem to attract 'attention', though it isn't precisely the human kind. There is the distant steady thumping that Maira can hear that Avira gives no indication of hearing herself.

Avira's hands tighten and the strange corruption can actually be seen by Percival, writhing and steaming along the length of the blade. A silvery glow overcomes the Spine as Maira-and perhaps, Avira as well, fight back against the persistant 'infection.'

Maira's power seems to reach a crescendo-an act that is extremely tiring to accomplish. With a final blast of light, the corruption seems to leap off the Spine and falls to the ground before them both.

Here it resembles an ethereal creature, squirming and flailing like a rabid flan or jelly.
Maira It is exhausting. When the corruption leaps from the blade Maira gasps, then trying to catch her breath as she takes a step back from the....creature? She stares with wide eyes, then looks to Avira. Well, they'd done it...but could they kill the....thing?

Tiredly Maira lifts her arm and summons a white-hot ball of flame to hand, casting it out toward the jelly, hoping to turn the thing to ashes.
Percival "I believe in you both!" And then the ritual would come to a crescendo, and the corruption would be exorcised, literally manifesting and flopping about on the ground. For good measure, the Gargoyle sticks a sword in it, after literally pouncing in it. It may be Ethereal Jelly of corruption. know, what the hell?

He'd then give it a good long look, to see if indeed, it was dead.
Avira Avira exhales a sigh of relief. One of her hands moves down to fully touch the hilt of the Spine, which no longer stings and feels unpleasant.

Her happiness fades a little when she sees the writhing creature left behind. "Oh god, it's alive!"

The squirming thing immediately squirms out of the way of the ball of flame, leaving a smouldering patch of dirt and grass in its wake. It has no eyes nor mouth to speak of but somehow manages to make a hissing, burbling noise. As Percival pounces upon it, he'll feel that it doesn't exactly have a mass, but he will get the sense of something being there-well, beyond the terrible corruption feeling that Avira and Maira were experiencing moments before. Percival can also feel that nothing was really -hit- with that contact, at least to him.

The creature wiggles away and rushes off into the woods.

Avira swears. "That can't be good."
Percival The Gargoyle would grimace, as his blade whiffs and bites only air, and the ground, passing through the ephemeral manifestation of Garland's blood.

He'd watch it run off, and for a time he actually even pursues, but in the underbrush, and with it's ethereal nature allowing it to pass through matter, he's unable to maintain pursuit. It gets away. "That's the understatement of the month... Avira."

He'd groan, audibly.
Avira Avira goes to retrieve the sheath of her weapon.

"We can probably track it." Avira says quickly, looking contemplative. "It feels very unique. Alternately, maybe we can get Garland to take it back." She sounds very dry, as in..yes, she doesn't want Garland to come to HER city. Her eyes narrow, " won't last long."

She looks to Maira, who will no doubt feel VERY exhausted from exerting her light against the remnants of fighting Garland. "I think you should take care of her, Percival."
Percival He'd just continue to scan the woods for a time, trying to pick out the creature, and not finding it. "Personally I think he'll just delight in whatever mischief it would cause, given what you've told me of him."

The Gargoyle would look at Avira briefly, then down at his hands, resheathing his blade within its scabbard, "I always will, Avira. I love her with all of my heart..." And then he'd turn back towards Maira. Starting to head back in her direction.
Avira "You are correct. If he is spying on me now, he's no doubt laughing uproarously at this." Avira sighs, her shoulders drooping. "But I do understand...everything he puts me through, he does so with purpose. He's teaching me, Percival. Brutally."

She looks over to the gargoyle now, concern on her face. "Then please, let her love you." she begs.
Percival He'd just nod at the comments on Garland, but then when she speaks on Maira again, he'd stop in his tracks, looking down, suddenly seeming ashamed. "And what can I do but hurt her, Avira? I don't deserve her love. She deserves better than me. And I deserve only to be alone. The best thing I can do for her is to find someone for her that cares for her as much as I."
Avira "Not THIS <GOOSEHONK> again!" Avira roars and suddenly whirls on Percival. Without warning, she advances on him and punches him right in the back of the head.

She immediately recoils afterwards, holding her hand, but she nonetheless looks pretty angry. "Maira has already been through /two/ guys that have let her down!" she barks, "Are you going to let her down too? Quit being a whining sad sack and man the <GOOSEHONK> up!!!"
Percival The Gargoyle would raise a hand, taking the hit to the palm. If Avira didn't snatch her hand away quickly enough, he'd grasp it gently. He wasn't really angry at Avira. He had nothing but respect for the woman. In fact he knew he deserved the hit..

But he decided to make a point, as he turned to face her, his eyes glowing white, a low snarl emanating from his throat. "At least with Ivo and Angantyr, she wouldn't be dealing with a murderer of a /child/! At least with Ivo and Angantyr, she wouldn't have to worry about her lover losing control at any given moment, and having to kill him, or be killed! IS THAT YOU WANT AVIRA? Because I can think of nothing more terrible than that!"

And then he'd close his eyes, releasing her hand if indeed he ever caught it. Tears streaming down his face, "So tell me to man up and try to make her happy. Tell me I'm good, and noble, and worthy of her love. That I've redeemed myself in some small way. But in the end, I know that I'm a <GOOSEHONK>ing monster!"
Avira Her effort to punch him in the head a bust, Avira instead opts to get right up in the gargoyle's face. She seems undeterred by his glowing eyes and low snarl. She meets his gaze without flinching.

"/Would I/?" she questions, knowing full well that she didn't trust either of those men (for different reasons) at this point. "From what I've seen of you now, how can you say you are so out of control? No, you are right, you /are/ out of control, but it isn't the emotion of rage I see that's out of control. It's guilt."

Avira pulls her hand back. "How is it that you can stand there, having convinced me that I was worthy of being forgiven, when you can't even stand to forgive yourself? How can you keep calling yourself a monster out of all you've done. Redemed in some -small- way? Try /large/ way."

Avira turns away from Percival, still smouldering with anger. "I'm not afraid of you. Neither is Maira."
Percival "Guilt? Shame? Regret? Certainly. None of them change the nature of a man, nor a monster, Avira. In my last battle against the Emperor, I woke up with part of PETE'S FLESH BETWEEN MY TEETH!" She gets in his face, and he does the same at first. "Because there are different levels of /sin/, Avira. Vanity.. that can be easily forgiven. Are you going to tell me that wanting your /appearance/ back to normal is the same as mauling a child to death with your bare hands? You didn't know why Hades was making the deal at the time, or you never would have made it. As for myself? I don't even remember my sin. And.. unless I have full knowledge of the choice I made to do wrong, why I made it, I can't be forgiven by God."

And as she turned away, he'd only reply mildly, "Of course you're not. Both of you are better people than I could ever aspire to be."
Avira "Oh I don't know, have you considered /not/ thinking of yourself as a monster for a little while?" Avira scowls, unable to really convey the exercise of willpower she's trying to imply. The same kind of willpower that drove her to become Avira was hers and hers alone, after all.

"It can't be easily forgiven. That vanity almost prevented this world from coming back." she says quietly.

She starts to walk away, off to meditate or just relax. This made her feel whole again. She wanted that right now. "All you really need is to be forgiven by Maira. Your pushing away is doing her no favors. Hmph."
Percival "Considered it? Certainly. Some days I even find that I like myself! Some days I find happiness in the happiness of my friends. And I think that perhaps.. everything will be alright. That this is the end of all that shame, and doubt, guilt and regret! But then I find out differently every time I go into battle again and it happens ALL OVER AGAIN!"

He'd turn away from as well with a sigh, "Your sin isn't anything /but/ simple vanity as you had no knowledge of that. Whatever choice I made, I knew that I was taking the life of a child. Even if I can't remember making the choice."

He'd take a deep breath, "Maira would forgive the water for making her wet, Avira. She is an amazing woman. I never... I never intended for this to happen. I knew that I loved her almost from the start... but it was intended to be a sort of courtly love. And then the Lady that was my inspiration became a Princess. And then the Princess fell in love with the monster..."

He'd rub the back of his hand against his face, "It just feels so wrong. Not her love mind you.. just, me."
Avira She can't deal with this, Avira realizes. He's just too wrapped up in those strange blackouts. "Then maybe you need a /doctor/ to look at that. Losing awareness like that is not normal." Unless it was normal for his species. There was still quite a bit she didn't know about gargoyles. "Do /something/ to move forward. If you stay like this, you're going to make all of us miserable."

She doesn't say anything more about her own 'sin', but she does let out a grumble.

So he did believe that Maira was a Princess of Heart as well. Now it seemed so remarkably obvious.

"You're impossible, Percy." Avira sighs, "I've had enough, we're done here."
Percival "Right, right. A doctor. I'll get right on that. A physician specializing in psychiatry and neurology for Gargoyles. Perhaps you could refer me to one here in Manhatten? Or maybe I'll just go to Cornelia. Their psychiatry branch is quite progressive, or so I'm told that they've progressed from simply executing the insane to locking them away for the rest of their days." He'd grumble about it sardonically.

"It seems we are, Avira."

This scene contained 31 poses. The players who were present were: Avira, Maira, Percival