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No title.
(2013-06-27 - Now)
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Alberic Lux The magmatic research facilities of Dr. Abramson (we can't say 'volcano lair' anymore; rating concerns) still remain, left among the Hawaiian islands where any could plunder their contents. Of course, the 'NOT AN EVIL LAIR' sign seems to be deterring most would-be looters, given that people either fall for it or decide it's best not to bother... but not the heroic(?) students of Alexander Academy, who, today, may be out for more than just a little XP and a handful of gil.

The lair is, as far as anyone scouting it can tell, still clear between the lift and the entrance to the bio-labs. There's been a little more damage; the path between the 'waiting room' and the elevator is full of hot magma, requiring creative jumping across spits of solid rock sticking out of it at convenient, if hazardous, angles. The waiting room appears to have been thoroughly plundered, with anything that could've had information on it taken out of it. There are some chairs that look like they've been wrecked, but it's hard to tell by what by just passing by. The other doors, such as they were, have been blocked by rubble.

The bio-labs -- built in a space not unlike a golf course's green, except in a volcano -- is /definitely/ a mess. There's a huge spike of solid obsidian jutting out of the floor in the middle of it, and big chunks of it are scattered across the 'lawn.' A couple other places have been sunken and filled with magma pools, collapsed after the fight here. A row of specimen tubes are dark and nearly empty of murky fluid, apparently shattered, with glass scattered in front of them rather than inside.

The only person who has been further than this is Max, and only in a mysterious kind of way. The path continues, with a doorway into a corridor on the far end of the bio-labs. It splits into another wing that appears to be medically-inclined what with the sterile greenish walls, and one that contains bits of heavy machinery jutting out of the rock walls.

What do you do?
Alma Hyral So she brought Riku along. Riku and her had spent so many long hours making fun of every spy movie trope and little piece of insanity inside of Feige's volcano lair, sponsored by Insane Industries, that they'd both been almost in tears more than once.

Laughing about it was probably the only thing that kept her from fully allowing herself to register the repugnance of all that had occurred....

....there was one thing she left out until now, one thing that made the experience of infiltrating a literal Volcano lair, in a total non-sexual way not so hilarious. Namely.. the /Failures/ in jars. The unfinished business they'd left behind, courtesy of Alberic Lux, her least favorite Eldritch Horror of the Light. That he was the only Eldritch Horror of the Light that she knew was not the point, he was still at the bottom of the list.

The lab was sort of a mess, but she wasn't here to scavenge.. even if her sister wanted the oppurtunity to that. She just wanted to lay all the /failures/ to rest. She was dressed in her typical dowdy white mage robes, and was drenched in a sheen of sweat. She seemed relatively unperturbed as she looked at the state of the Volcano lair.. it was expected. She was just on guard, wondering when the other shoe would drop, and something would jump out to try and devour their hearts. She was remaining relatively close to Riku, but knew well enough by now when to fall behind Soan and let him do his thing. "So.. does anyone know what he'd turned them into? I'm not sure if they were heartless or something.. else."

She thought she heard a /scritch scritch/ so she gave a panicked look towards the ceiling.. just her imagination. She hoped. As she looked at the choices they had before them, she looks towards the alternate /medical wing/ which she recognized almost immediately, before giving Kyra an inquisitive look, in deferrence to her elder sister, "Where do you think we should go first?"
Annia Leradine World restoration, ghost towns, treasure hunting... is there anything that the Alexander Academy won't do?

Well, study, recently, no school building really.

But regardless, here they are, at the foot of a volcano... who still seems active by the looks of it.

Who's bright idea was this again? Nevermind... She's afraid it might be Jidro. Would just give one more reason to stuff him into trashcans. For fun, and for this.

She might still manage to pin the fault on him anyway.

She's observing the machinery, that is visible along the walls. "So people have been here, and alot it seems. Any idea what's in there?" She points at the back of the cave. She's actually not quite at ease in this envrionment either. Shivans don't like heat, even lightly dressed as she is, this isn't comfortable for her at all. She'd like to just get in and out as quickly as possible. But she'd hate herself for leaving anyone behind either.

She didn't say that outloud, and she'll deny it if you ask.
Kyra Hyral Fall for it or avoid it completely. Because a true evil lair, as the previous expedition team into this volcano had learned, is filled with deadly traps. Deadly SCIENCE traps. Of course, Soan's thorough efforts had done much to disarm them, not that the average person would know that.

Kyra has come prepared. Maybe she has come OVER-prepared. The important thing is she's carrying a lot of gear with her. She isn't lagging behind from the weight due to some creative applications of Float. Most of this gear is actually comprised of more bags to carry stuff in since Kyra plans to plunder the laboratory materials left behind in this place quite thoroughly.

Assuming that there was anything left. Kyra had half expected a failsafe mechanism to activate and flood the lair with liquid hot magma. She's easily able to jump the gaps as needed, mostly thanks to the float spell alieviating her burden.

A little later...

"Hm, let's go that way first." she says, a little unnerved she's seen no sign of the creatures that were here previously quite yet. "Let's go that way first."

Kyra indicates the split with the sterile greenish walls.
Riku-Proxy This was such a good story that he had to see this for himself. There was also the fact that things had not exactly gone the best the last time the depths of the magmatic research facility had been.. well. (Can we say 'Explored' on this show?)

Riku takes in the 'not an evil lair' sign and shakes his head. "You were not kidding." he says to Alma quietly, peering over his mirror shades for a moment before pushing them up again. He lays a hand on the hand and a half sword at his hip, peering around at the jumping puzzle left behind by the cataclysm that struck this place and spared not a single innocent chair.

He eyes the solid spike of obsidian with the curiosity of someone seeing lawn flamingos and deck chairs put out on a bare stretch of nowhere, wiping his face from the heat radiating from the Completely Not An Evil Ruins. He looks up at the ceiling when Alma jerks, but then looks at the shattered tubes with a thoughtful frown. "Sounds about as good of an idea as any." he comments to Kyra's choice.
Myla Mason Myla Mason had to say it she didn't think anyone would have an actual volcano lair, she was swiftly proven wrong however as they head to the land known as Hawaii, it was an place with a climate much like her home. If anything it made her home sick for a world she'd likely never see again. Those thoughts are quickly pushed out of her mind as she now falls in with the rest from the Academy who have formed up for the 'salvage' mission as Myla put it.

" So let's see here we should see what's left and if there's anything we can use here."

Aside from the salvage she would understand the need to lay the victims to rest one way or another. There's nothing sadder than someone dead whose not been laid to rest even if it's not in their people's own way.

"Humm I have no idea I'm afraid Alma."

She looks over at Kyra and nods as she falls in weapons holsters unfastened just in case there's something else waiting for them in the depths of this lair of evil science. She does take a moment to look over to Riku and nod slightly.

"She'd know better than me at least."
Alberic Lux The branch to the right quickly goes from rough-cut tunnels cut into the rock to smooth, tiled corridors like one might see in a hospital. There is the physical equipment for long white lights along the ceiling, but none of the bulbs appear intact. After about ten feet, the walls are broken up as well, with long marks sliced into them. It looks like it was made with claws... /big/ claws.

Every so often, down the length of the corridor, a single red bulb glows, surrounded by a rotating casing that casts it along the passage at regular intervals. It illuminates the whole thing, down to where it turns sharply to the right at the far end. Doors are set into the right hand wall, each one accompanied by a tall, wide window to the left side of each that looks into it. There are ten in all, each individual rooms. The first door looks like it's been hacked into pieces, but only a chunk of it with the attached hinges still remains standing. The hallway is otherwise totally silent.


/Almost/ totally silent.

A shape moves along it. It's short and squat, red lights gleaming off the metallic surface. It looks insectile, with oversized legs that click against the tiled floor as it moves. It has two long arms on the front ending in gloved hands, a raised box on its back like an engine compartment, and an open-topped bin behind that. It seems to be moving along the corridor /away/ from the group, picking up shards of glass and pieces of metal that are strewn about the length of the corridor. It has headlights for 'eyes,' pointed forward and shining a narrow beam of white light on the ground as it goes.

There's a second of the machines further along the corridor. It's on its back, legs splayed out with several missing. It's obviously destroyed. The engine compartment has been breached, and it looks like the 'guts' are hanging out; a fuel line has leaked a pool of black liquid onto the ground beneath it, with a shallow streak of it like a drag-mark trailing from the middle of the hallway. It's obviously been moved. None of the missing pieces are left with it.

There is a distinct feeling like you're being watched.
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine sighs a bit "I hope it wasn't heartless, we have enough of the real ones, if people manage to MAKE some, we'll never see the end of it." She hmms as she follows the lights, the red bulbs look rather odd... as if it was inviting into a forbidden area... Not to mention the feeling of being watched, and the 'shadows'... which could just be insects moving in front of the lights too.

She creeps forward a bit in the corridor, peering through any open door she might find for clues "... Are there cameras or something?" The 'eyes on you' feeling is creeping her out.
Kyra Hyral As they advance into the corridor and the lighting quickly becomes a bit darker due to the lack of lava and shattered lights, Kyra responds by arming herself with a flashlight in one hand and, shortly afterwards, a gun in the other. Those clawmarks on the walls are pretty telling. She doesn't turn on the flashlight just yet due to the rotating red lights-but dangit, she's prepared. "Seems like those monsters are still in here. Everyone ought to be careful." All the sudden Kyra feels like she's in one of those survival horror videogames. The kind with a lot of zombies.

Slowly, she slips around the bend, stepping carefully. Her eyes immediately notice movement and she lifts her gun, training it on the squat form scooting along the hallway. "Quite possibly...look at that..."

She nods at the autonomous creature. "...looks like some kind of robot." Kyra flips on her flashlight and points it at the moving figure, watching as it picks up debris. Her flashlight then moves to the smashed robot. "Looks like a trash collector of some kind. I bet that'd be right up your alley, Myla."
Riku-Proxy Riku inclines his head slightly to Myla. He rubs the back of his neck and sighs. "Yeah. Anybody actually creating heartless.." he trails off, shaking his head. "Nevermind." he looks calm and composed, rubbing a gloved hand against the other as he looks up and down the corridor.

He looks curiously at the insectile sweeper, watching the active one go about it's business before looking at the gutted one from which parts have been scavenged. "It'd.. probably be best not to touch anything we didn't absolutely have to. Even if this place is wrecked, we're still probably being watched." Riku looks towards Alma then walks over to examine the drag mark on the floor. He looks in the direction it goes before starting to look into each room through the windows.
Alma Hyral She follows the right branch onward down the hallway, taking a quick glance at the large gouges made by.. talons which could likely rend Alma Hyral to itty bitty bits with ease.

The eerie illumination by the red bulb by a rotating casing causes a strobe effect that she finds more than a little unsettling. The insectile machine crawling along the surface she misses at first, but turns her head quickly enough. "What in C-Cosma's name is that?" It doesn't.. attack, so beyond a little bit of apprehension, she just gives it a wide berth and nothing more...

Her eyes look around the corridor as she sees the second destroyed machine, wondering where exactly are the creatures that caused it.. everything was unsettling to her, she was even trembling slightly, as she felt as if the walls had eyes. She distinctly heard a /scritch scritch ... scritch scritch/ but saw nothing... maybe it was just in her head, all in her head. "Gonna have to a-agree with the n-no touchy the e-evil science s-stuff unless we have to."
Myla Mason Myla Mason has her goggles pushed up as she normally does when she's landlocked like she is now. She looks about the branch of the tunnel. She takes a deep breath as she continues onwards with some sense of caution she has about this situation. She takes another few steps forward but she sees something ahead of her she sees something moving. She's not sure what it is she not sure what it is. It's some sort of machine but it's cleaning up the mess still she doesn't like it she feels like it's being watched.

She shifts about uncomfortably for a moment then back to Kyra nodding at her once. "I think we need to well be alert and good idea. Just keep alert while I go route through the ruined one."

Maya goes for a few tools from a pouch and lower her goggles over her eyes at this point. She now shifts her weight a bit and now attempts to see what she can discover about the damaged unit by getting a look at it.

"Humm let's see what we got here. Anyone making more heartless needs to be shot."
Alberic Lux The 'trash collector' is bright red and chrome, polished to a shine. It is definitely wholly mechanical -- there are some similarities to it and an automobile, which makes the insectile silhouette that much less creepy. It is also definitely picking up the pieces of debris, though it still hasn't seem to have noticed any of you. Looking up and around /does/ spot intact black orbs attached to corners here and there, though; cameras?

The open doorway leads into what used to be a medical examination room. There's a metal slab on the far end, with built-in leather straps hanging off the sides. A sink is off to one side, with a closed cabinet above and below it, and a convenient bin for the disposal of medical waste. It is neatly laid-out. The window, from the inside, is a mirror. It looks like it's for one-way observation.

It is also a charnel house.

The room is full of bodies. They're stacked like wood, neatly laid across one another. It's difficult to make anything but silhouettes out, which is likely a point in the darkness's favor. They're at least three high and as many deep, male and female... but you probably don't want to go in to take a closer look, judging by smell alone. It looks like there are equally-neatly-kept bins of material on the other side of the room, looking much like the one on the robot's back. The rest of the rooms are dark and the doors locked. Flashlights reveal that there are specimens covered by sheets in two of them, and the rest are empty.

Myla heads forward and looks at the other object. Examining the fallen machine will show that it /is/ in fact some kind of robot, though it straddles the line between advanced and curiously clockwork. Poking around in the internals is possible, though it's splattered with that black liquid. She can see gearworks inside along with broken electronic components and cut wires and tubes. Half of it is neat and precise; the other half looks like it was dumped into it. None of the broken bits are present.

The smear on the ground is definitely the black stuff that's leaking out of the severed tube -- a fuel line, maybe? It looks like it got caught under it when it was pushed aside. Riku can tell that something definitely pushed it, likely the other machine. He can also tell that the fluid /reeks/ of capital-D Darkness, like it was some kind of liquid evil turned into a power source. Still, at the same time his sixth sense is telling him that it's dark, it's evil, it's /wrong/, it seems to be calling to him all the same. Like maybe he should just... poke it a little. Really, what harm could it do to /him/?

The roving cleaning-bot's headlights turn to Myla when she it passes near her. It sweeps them up, pointed directly at her face and staring for a span of a second or two. Then, he lifts its arms, throwing the broken glass and bits of metal strewn about into the air as if in a panic, waving its hands side to side. A compartment opens on its back, and a pair of bells pop out with a little hammer between them. It starts ringing them like /crazy/, and scuttles/runs straight down the hallway, heading for the bend in what seems like blind fear.

There's a light at the end of the hall; it comes around the corner. Two of them, even. They're at eye level, and both are 0yellow, turning slowly towards you atop a humanoid silhouette. The red light flashes over it, showing a girl with long, green hair, wearing a loose grey robe apparently made of some kind of tattered cloth, flowing like mist. Her fingers end in wickedly long claws, and she moves slowly, almost lumberingly. She tilts her head at you, almost as if confused, sniffing the air.
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine ews silently at all of the morbid picture here... She doesn't like this one bit. Where did those bodies come from, and how long have they been there? Not much tiem to investigate that though... because of what appeared at the end of the hallway. She waves a hand to Alma and the others to stand back, her other hand closing around the dagger at her back, just out of sight so she doesn't alarm it either. She doesn't want to put people (and herself) in needless danger... although she's pretty sure this thing is going to be agressive...
Myla Mason Myla Mason is looking voe the machine that's fallen it is a robot and somewhere it's between magitech as she knows it and clock work. She looks at the thing a bit more and wonders about what's the power source. She wonders what had been taken out but there's no way to check. She may work on it but there's other pressing matters to attend to she looks up from her work.

"Could be useful but we have other things to look for I'll get back to this in a bit it's strange its like magitech meets clockwork almost for lack of a better term and I have no idea what this ... material is."

She'll want to poke it under somewhat safer conditions after all so she gets up and follows the others.

She's unaware of the horror that is just ahead the medical nightmare but even worse the Charnel house and this is paces is just unreal there's that moment as he mind tries to process just what it is but it's she tries to not throw up which she barely manages too maybe she can get a better look at at the machine later but right now her mind's reeling with the horror shes has beheld.
Alma Hyral Alma Hyral continues in her wary trudging through the hallways at an even pace. Until they go through an open doorway.

Time stops for Alma Hyral.

Her eyes first spot how neat and sterile the room looks like from a medical standpoint. All laid out so neatly... until she spots the first body.

And then she noticed the great quantity of them. All stacked up, in an orderly fashion. All featureless, nameless ciphers in the midst of what she would normally regard as a place of healing.

Her pupils dilated, her insides rebelled against her. Everything told her that she should panic, and should flee. A moment later, she was on her knees, retching on the floor. She hadn't eaten much today, so it was more dry heaving, with a trickle of clear fluid rolling off her lips. And she was murmuring over and over in a broken voice as she choked back sobs, "C-Cosma save us a-a-all...Cosma s-save u-us all..."

These are things that could drive a girl of her age mad. But through all the roiling, chaotic thoughts, with all the sights which assaulted her mind.. she eventually did stand back up. Looking eerily calm, save for the tears rolling down her visage, and one final whimper as she finished composing herself.

Against such tragedy, what could she do? She did the only thing she could think of doing in this stage of eerie calm. She raised her cell phone and took pictures. Picture, after picture. And then she immediately pressed a button, uploading them to a storage site. Someone should remember them. Someone needed to document this. And then.. she would give them a fitting funeral pyre once they left.. it was the least she could do. It was the only thing she could do.

Then she calmly put it away, looking at Kyra briefly to see if her sister was faring better emotionally than she was.. this was the darker side of science. The side both of them could agree.. had no place in this world.

She gives the pool of darkness a wide berth, watching Riku carefully as they neared it. At the end of the tunnel, she sees it. /Failure/. Green-haired girls in tubes. Now animated. Now dangerous.. now /wrong/ in so many ways. These were not like the Dennous she knew. Every fiber of her being screamed at her to destroy them, to put them to rest. But she doesn't react, other than giving it an analytical look. She doesn't speak, she barely breathes. She just... observes it.
Kyra Hyral Engineering, though interesting to Kyra, is not her particular specialty. She's not so enamored with electronics that she would stop what she was doing right this second to look over the remnants of the second cleaner robot. Good thing too, as luck would have it.

For now, Kyra herself ignores these things and slowly procedes forward, gun clutched tightly in one hand, flashlight following its line-of-sight. She nearly jumps when the cleaning-bot opens up and sets off some kind of alarm but manages to hold on to the weapon and light. She looks back at it, then looks forward down the hall, her heart stopping when she sees it suddenly occupied. The flashlight is turned towards the ground right away, though Kyra sees enough to assess that this wasn't a normal human.

"...if we want to move forward..." she whispers, "...we have to go through it." Slowly, she lifts her weapon to point at the not-Dennou.
Riku-Proxy Riku spites the goo with a capital D for darkness, because anything with a sign that high that says 'completely harmless' is about as subtle as a jackhammer to the back of the head. Still.. Riku reaches out a gloved hand and then stops.


He glowers at the Capital-D Fluid, straightening up and after looking into one dark and empty room after another, stops to turn a flashlight on the shrouded forms inside, then moves to the medical examination room.

White Noise.

He blinks, then moves on to examine the neatly labeled bins. He's still glowering at the Capital-D stuff, muttering something caustic and inaudible as he rolls one shoulder and looks around. He examines the floor, then the ceiling. He puts his hands loosely behind him and looks distractedly around at Alma or Myla.

Alma on her knees and retching. He pauses, looking puzzled and he raises a hand to rub the back of his head. He looks away in embarrassment and looks straight at the bodies again.

"Alma.. are you---?"

Pause. Blink.

The smell.

Riku turns the flashlight off and on several times in his hand, looking at it idly and then at his gloved hands.

One way window.

The teenager turns the flashlight back on and makes another round of the examination room. His expression is completely blank, almost slightly abstracted as he comes back to pause every time in front of that window and then continue on. There is an almost audible sound of the gears in his head creaking. Catching on some obstruction and binding. Winding tighter and tighter like a spring. It's in the small micro expressions that pass over his face every time he faces the window or the fidgeting that he indulges in as he explores the rest of the room, seeming oblivious to anything else.

When he sees that Alma is back on her feet again, there is a moment of relief in that expression.

The calm is shattered by the squealing, chittering sound of bells. Riku's head snaps back and upwards and he gasps, then gags slightly on the smell. Anger floods his expression. The explosion ends in a second or two of low snarl as his hands reflexively spasm. He snaps his head around to look at the scuttling retreating thing with a cold anger, hand crushing the air and wrist flicking in a single annoyed 'SNAP' -- and a tendril of dark magic attempts to reach out from the floor to snag the whistling collector and do nothing more than tip it straight onto it's back.

"Wait." he says to Kyra in a deadened and monotonous voice. "Are we sure that it is going to attack?" something was wrong about this from end to end.. and he focused on that. He focused on that instead of the image seared into his head and was slowly eating away at one corner.
Alberic Lux Failure.

The animated body of the failed Dennou-clone stands at the end of the hallway, a mockery of life held together by a creature that should not be. The girl -- no, the creature, the /creature/ sniffs the air again, tilting its head back to try and catch a scent of some kind. What could it possibly be looking for...?

It tilts its head again, this way and that, very slowly. Its yellow eyes are wide and empty, staring blankly straight at them. It shuffles a step forward, closer to the group as the robot closes in on it. Riku reaches out with a tendril of darkness, easily catching the fleeing machine and flipping it end over end. It lands with a loud clattering on its back, pressing the bells against the ground as its legs kick futilely in the air. There's a dim clicking of metal on metal as the bell still tries to ring in alarm. It starts to claw at the ground with its wire-mounted hands, to push itself back over --

The green-haired monster at the end of the corridor suddenly whips its head down. It's shoulders slump, and it leans forward, locks of hair falling across its face. The robe of misty material billows as if in an unfelt breeze, revealing the bare feet and part of equally-bare legs that are tensed as if to spring. It slowly lowers itself even more, yellow eyes tracking... something. It stares at Riku for a long moment, focusing on him --


It speaks in a rasp, a slurred whisper, with a voice still remarkably close to one of the Dennous. It's as if it doesn't know how to use its mouth right. The drawn-out word sounds like a gutteral groan more than an attempt at communication, an animal noise, like it was reacting to the presence of a predator.

Or prey.

The failure suddenly springs forward, uttering a keening cry in the same dry voice. It crosses the distance between itself and the flipped-over robot in a split second. There's a low thrumming sound and a smell of faint ozone, setting hairs on end -- and then, its claws come down, slashing into the machine like a hot knife through butter. A sudden flash of blinding light accompanies it, and the sound of thunder fills the corridor, a deafening clap that rattles the windows of the examination rooms and causes the emergency lights to flicker unsteadily.

When sight returns, it comes to a strange one. The creature in the green-haired girl's body has torn the robot open stem to stern, ripping into its belly and sending pieces of hot metal flying every which way. Flickers of electricity arc across the machine's body, sending its legs into spasms. Its eye-lights burst, tendrils of smoke rising from the front of it -- right along with a sudden plume of greasy black smoke from its midsection, and the sight of more of the black fluid bubbling and boiling away from the inside of it, fountaining into the hallway near it.

There's a sudden click from a speaker on the wall, near the adventurers' end of the hall. A voice comes over the public address system, cultured and composed. He sounds intrigued. "I suppose I should have expected this, after their performance in Goug. Perhaps next time, I will not use Beetleworx to affect repairs to the facility. Live and learn, hmm?"
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine blinks at the voices on the speakers, suddenly cutting through the near silence... well, other than the failure ripping apart the machine at least. She backs away from the pair, not wanting to be anywhere close by in case something suddenly changes in either one. She creeps away slowly. She's sure that they were seen and found... but is it going to attack?

"What's going on here..." She says lowly, mostly to herself. She doesn't quite understand, and doesn't know who's on the speakers either "... Is he talking about the black beast that was in Goug?" She wonders. She heard the story, but wasn't there for it... She knows the city is not done repairing for what damage was done. It was a luck that the entire upper plate didn't crash down too. "Is he talking about us, or something else..."
Kyra Hyral Though she may have pointed out that the only way forward was though it, Kyra is not jumping to volunteer to push that envelope. Shew knew that there were a lot more of those cretures out there-A swarm even! So she allowsw Riku's words to stay her hand.

Perhaps not too soon either. The creature lunges, not at them, but at the mantenance robot from earlier. She doesn't fire upon it, even though the danger within the clone is apparent. Very very carefully, she lifts the flashlight so the edge of the beam is aimed just slightly at the bot and the clone. She notes the black fluid being...consumed? Her mind flashes back to the Legion BLOT.

Then the voice. Caught completely off guard she fumbles her flashlight and drops it on the ground. Shaking, she collects the flashlight and looks toward the speaker. "That sounds like that other man that was helping Feige's creations last time." Kyra pauses, "He sounds like he's talking about the robots in the halls." Trying to calm her shaking, she lifts her gun, pointing it at the head of the corrupted Dennou. "Forgive me but...we must do something. Now or never. It is going to attack us."

Kyra takes her shot.
Myla Mason Myla Mason has known horror as her world died without understanding why but this is something different something not right twisted. She's already nervously going for her weapons but what good could they do vs something like this? She has no idea but she's already bringing the weapons up prepared to try to do something but then something else happens and a speaker comes up even as the thing that was once a person is comes for them.

Then comes a voice who the heck is this this? She's not sure whom it is but she's trying to not lose it here and her weapons as she shakes the distraction and open fire her own eyes glowingly finally gold in the dark she was about to fire but she's frozen and Kyra does the job perhaps better as she opens fire.
Alma Hyral /Failure/

The girl watches the failure advance. She watches it react to Riku's darkness made manifest as a simple tendril within the machine. It tears the machine apart, hunks of gouged metal and sparks fly as it's claws cut through the metal like it's papyrus, rather than some hardened alloy. There's a blinding flash of light and ozone, and she is forced to avert her eyes, as spots dance within her vision. The sound of thunder booms within her ears, and she takes a step back as that horrific loudness assaults her senses.

When she dares to look again, she's staring at the twisted mechanical creation, at the smoke rising from it. The fluid dripping down into a churning puddle, before it's consumed. And the /failure/ standing in the middle of it. The salty remnants of her previous tears still sting her eyes, as the spots continue to dance, fading only gradually.

A hand crosses her eyes, as she tries to wipe away both the tears, and the spots.. one gives away shortly after. The other just persists..gradually becoming thin halos in her vision. Her voice is.. calm, almost serene, but.. there is an undercurrent of sorrow within it as she whispers, mostly to herself. It was a self-indulgent monologue in a way, but she felt like it needed some fitting requiem,

You never had the chance to truly be born, to live.. I'm sorry the world failed you.

The Dennous felt no connection to them. They felt no compulsion to lay these beings to rest. She felt differently, and it brought a sense of cold rage to her. Kyra apologizes and takes her shot. If she had time, she might have told her sister that no apologies were necessary. A yellow corona begins to lim her body with radiance. She had no tools to call upon, just her magic.. and while she understands that these creatures might react in an unexpected manner to it. She places a hand out. A sigil springs into life where her hand was once present. A moment later she presses her hand against precise places on that sigil, and it shifts in subtle ways. A moment later, a single line of penetrating light shoots towards it as the simplest expression of her magic towards the Dennou, which she did not regard as a failure. More commonly known as a laser.

I have no desire to listen to your ruminations Doctor Lux, and I'm sure the feeling is mutual.

Before the Sigil fades, she shifts her fingers against the lines of the symbol in an entirely different manner, and a second one fires out diagonally at the loudspeaker.
Riku-Proxy Riku throws an arm over his face, letting out a startled bark of pain as the searing flash of light rips through the corridor. He staggers one or two steps before catching himself against the nearby wall. He pushes the shades up into his hair in order to rub at his eyes for several long seconds before replacing them. Riku very slowly straightens, squaring his shoulders and looking vaguely annoyed.

He smiles and it is not a pleasant expression. It is a brief baring of teeth, head tilting slightly down for a moment and then up and towards the loudspeaker. The lips close and the smile becomes a different expression altogether. In a polite, composed voice Riku addresses the loudspeaker. "I think they are talking to us. May it be safe to assume you are the current holder of this facility? Could you--" and that is about is far as he gets before Kyra starts firing.

At this point another burst of anger floods his face but he only momentarily glares at Kyra before slamming a fist into the wall. Another tendril emerges from behind the creature, crackling and sparking off a chunk of debris as Riku attempts to quickly find a place to derive some cover from. "Nevermind." Very very calm voice. Precise. "Later perhaps."

A small sigh through grit teeth, a downtilt of his head and shoulders bunch and then relax. Riku attempts to get Annia or Myla's attention and directs it towards the black orbs in the hallway. As in 'do something about them' without saying anything. He presses himself against the wall, watching for signs of trouble or reinforcements.
Alberic Lux The ex-Dennou doesn't seem to be consuming it; quite the contrary. The flares of electricity and flickers of burning light it employs, along with its long, rending claws, seem wholly focused on /destroying/ it. It burns away, pushed into the air in a cloud as black as pitch, rendered into a scorch mark on the ground beneath the robot it is so brutally efficiently ripping apart.

"The 'black beast' -- ugh, what an /awful/ name -- was not my doing, no. It was made by Dr. Rhiannon Zellen for the purpose of collecting Hearts and forging them into a weapon of darkness; a 'dark keyblade,' if you will. She said something about receiving the necessary material from a man named Garland, though not having any say in the end wielder. Isn't that interesting? That someone would go to such lengths," he says, as the unliving clone rises from its hunched crouch, yellow eyes turned to the group, "without having a say in the end result. I suppose I'll need to have a /talk/ with her..."

The failure steps around the gutted shell of the Beetleworx, leaning to the side as it tracks the others in the hallway with it. It sniffs again, looking around with its glowing eyes. "Oh, no. My creations are much more interesting. Why, I'm beginning to suspect that, after such a long period of possession, humanoid vessels they inhabit gain some degree of --"


The bullet does not take the Dennou neatly in the forehead. It strikes her at a slight angle, clipping her nose and entering her skull through the right eye-socket. The yellow eye goes out with a spray of dark blood, accompanied by a greater gout of gore as it exits the creature's head from the other side. It jerks, once, its other eye suddenly focused on Kyra. It takes another step forward.

The laser lashes out. It strikes it in the breastbone, boring a hole straight through it. The robe parts around it, and skin and muscle char and burn away. The smell of burnt flesh fills the hallway, an acrid, unpleasant scent atop the sickly-sweet stench of death. Her chest cavity lights up, her internal fluids boiling and bursting. A ray of light pierces her spine, sending the uppemost portion of the clone lolling to and fro as if it were a puppet with its strings cut.

The clone continues to stare for a long moment. It tilts its head slightly, quizzically. Its brow -- what's left of it -- furrows, and it takes one more quivering step. It makes a noise, hot air escaping its collapsed lungs through its dessicated throat. It sounds confused, like it doesn't know what's happening. Its head jerks forward, and dark liquid pours down its chin and neck, splattering across the floor.

The yellow eye goes out. It collapses into a lifeless heap.

The loudspeaker sizzles and sparks, burnt away. There's a high-pitched whine from it that grows dimmer until it fades into silence. The entire place is as quiet as the grave. What looks like steam rises from the corpse on the floor, leaving a thin, cold fog that rolls along the ground.

Another speaker clicks further away. There's a long moment of perhaps stunned silence. The voice on the other end exhales, along with a single word, finishing his thought.

"... sentience."
Annia Leradine Sentient or not... that thing was an abomination it seems, and probably served little purpose in life... Its a bit heart wrenching for all present, no doubt, but an artificial life like that... could it even find any kind of happiness? She has no idea, but its too late to wonder about that. It falls dead...

And she picks up on Riku's signal quite readily. She didn't want to get close to the failed dennou, but once it collapses, she uses all of her speed to zoom down the hallway toward the black spheres pointed at, unsheathing both of her daggers at the same time, an elegant cross-shaped dual strike over the sphere to shatter it. Let's just hope its not some kind of bomb or something... because explosions inside of a volcano is not something she really wants to experience either.
Kyra Hyral It could be experience with the world. It could be Kyra's possessed of a far more analytic mindset. It could be that the last time here she witnessed Kamon being torn apart and that was somehow much worse than a pool of distilled Darkess (insert jazzhands here) or a room filled with cadavers.

This man, whom she still has no name for, continues to pontificate, delivering some extremely useful information on the Goug attack a few weeks ago. Even a name is attached to the deed and her alliance with that 'Garland' individual. "She may not care where the end product ends up." Kyra reasons, "She might just be doing it to see if it can be done. Short-sighted but very focused."

Her gun is fired. Several things happen at once, involving Riku summoning interference that doesn't entirely deflect the bullet but instead diverts it from what would normally be a clean headshot. Being well on her way to a medical professional, she knows that head wounds at certain angles are not always fatal. There may be serious damage to higher brain functions involved but in the case of certain monsters or even people, that was barely a hinderance to living. Kyra instead reacts with shock, not only due to the interference from Riku but the fact that the Dennou is still lurching forward.

Instead, the laser performs the kill in a decidedly Spy Action Flick sort of fashion. Kyra would be relieved and her tense breathing slows in the darkness and silence that follow. Except the words over the revived PA system hit her in their entirety, that one S-word sending shivers down her spine and an unpleasant, guilty feeling roiling in her gut.

Her hands shake and the gun and flashlight clatter out of her grip.
Myla Mason Myla Mason had held back her fire she was too stunned by the horror of the creature before them she looks at the creation she's not sure what to say she's sees the thing working to wreck the machine she's not firing. She hears the man speak of someone named Rhiannon Zellen. Who the heck is that she's got no idea but she sees the Failure coming in for a moment. Lux speaks the thing may become aware as Kyra fires a shot stringing the thing down it's not a pretty death as she tries to not lose it as the shot has just done terrible things to it. Why is it looking at them like that it dies slowly in pain it doesn't understand and then it's dead. She just stands there pistols raised still in stark horror both she knows on one level that hing was a danger to everyone but on the other that niggling little bit was there another way just stacks on all the horror she's already suffered today.


Given her own creation Swimmer she's thought long about the created but she's slowly snapping out of it as Riku has some good sense about the orbs as she now turns to them anything to get her mind of what's happened but how can she help?

"What...what do you need me to do."

She asks Riku still shaken by this experience.
Alma Hyral Alma Hyral vaguely takes note of everything Alberic Lux is saying. She'll replay her recording later anyhow. She'd taken to recording everything as of late in her paranoia. Thanks Insane Industries.

The name /Garland/ though hits her like a hot knife. A searing pain in her skull. She actually staggers, like it was a physical blow.

Kyra, Myla, and herself fire. The result is.. as expected. She stares at a smoking corpse, when moments ago there stood a /failure/ that was not a /failure/.

She watches the dark liquid roll out of it's chin. She watches the last light fade from it's eyes. She listens to another loudspeaker sound out that single word..


Her hand drops to her side, and then she lifts it up, slowly, trembling... She stares at it. Then back at the smoking heap on the floor. There's much she could say about this. There's much she could say to refute it. Tonberries are sentient too. So are many other /monsters/. But she hasn't killed anything sentient before.. and it all rings hollow. Every retort would sound self-righteous and trite. She just keeps her head down for some time.

A moment later, Kyra is dropping her gun and she sees that she's just as shaken. And despite her own feelings.. she feels an overwhelming desire to comfort her sister, Alma walks over to Kyra, and puts a single arm around her back. She doesn't say anything. She doesn't fully embrace her.. she's just, there. She tries not to think about the fact that she probably needs comforting as well..
Alberic Lux LAST TIME

A body fell, and a mist filled the hall. A single word echoed through the facility, filling the silence with something altogether worse. Everything fell hushed again after that. It was a moment for awful truths and what comfort could be gained in a place like this. The exit looks that much more appealing.

Now, though...

Doctor Lux's voice comes back over the crackling intercom after a few too-long seconds of quiet. "Well." It's just one word. He pauses for a moment longer, and starts again. "Well, well, well. I suppose you could not have survived in this patchwork world of ours for this long without being willing to fight a few monsters. I would be grateful if you did not feel the need to exercise your... heroic tendencies," he continues, speaking the last couple of words carefully, "on my creations. I cannot measure the impact on my Empties if you destroy them before I have a chance, now can I?"

The fog thickens at the end of the hall. A lump rises up out of it, the mist coalescing into a shape like a hollow grey robe kept aloft by a breeze from below. The interior of its hood is black as pitch; a hole passes through its chest, with ragged threads hanging down from there. Two yellow eyes split the darkness of the hood, regarding the party. Its hood lifts, like it was smelling for something.

It darts forward. It starts slithering along the wall, pressed against the glass and rushing towards the group. It looks like it's going for the first room. The room without a door. The room with the bodies.
Kyra Hyral Last time....Kyra had just shot a creature. A strange monster made out of a failed Dennou that, by the words of Alberic over the intercom system, had apparently began to become sentinent.

"Heroic?" Kyra mutters angrily, lowering her weapon just slightly. She looks around, perhaps for one of the intercom speakers, half tempted to shoot it out and silence this man's voice. But at the same time, if she disabled the system, she'd be missing out on all of Alberic's helpful exposition. As infuriating as it was to hear this man gloat and talk, he was saying some very useful things.

Some other spectre rises from the end of the hall that reminds her far too much of the Heartless, given its yellow eyes glowing within the hood. Kyra keeps herself armed, but does not fire. "Make no mistake, if this thing lays hands or...mass upon me, I will shoot it." she warns in a cold tone.
Riku Riku speaks Evil-ese.

It's part of his character sheet. However, without that option he believes he's going to simply try to survive this encounter. Once the cameras are taken care of, he unsheathes the sword at his hip and goes after the vaguely formed creature that is slithering towards the group.

A flicker of dark energy runs along the blade as he steps in front of the room with no door and is going to take a slash out of it if it tries to get past him. "I think we're past that point, don't you?" Riku says in a flat and disinterested voice.
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine sighs audibly. Yeah, she's not trying to hide it at all. "How many more of his 'creations' do you think we're going to have to face before he gets bored with them..." She shakes her head, moving to pick up the daggers she tossed in the last encounter. The black balls they had to get rid of, Riku asked at least, so they were stabbed.

She holds her stance though, not wanting to be taken by surprise... and hopefully not sentient enough to feel pain this time. Although she won't hesitate to send it back to whatever purgatory it was pulled out of for those insane experiments.
Myla Mason Myla Mason had been left a bit gape about what happened with the horror that had been clone of one of the members of the network? Or was it of the one they were all based off? She honestly does not know but what she does know her skin is crawling and she's trying to keep it together. The scale of the horror is the sort she is having a hard time grappling with this actually happening.

The fog is getting thicker and something is rising up she pauses staring at it for a second and she does not like where it's going. She doesn't strike out yet, She's really got nothing to say at this point she keeps with Kyra and Riku as they go onwards. They said enough and she's too busy looking about fearing what else might come out of the wood work at her.
Alma Hyral Last time... Alma was locked down in horror mode from the aftermath of killing a sentient monster.

She slips her arm from being around Kyra to falling back to her side, her voice tremulous as she finally replied, "A-Alright. I'm g-going to spare you the p-petty insults and m-moralizing. But I won't s-stay my hand if they t-threaten anyone here. N-Now why don't c-continue the e-exposition by g-giving us the typical s-serial villain e-exposition about the b-beauty of your m-monstrous creations."

. She mumbles to herself, "One p-promise broken a-already." She quietly observes as the Empty advances on the Murasame charnel house, her voice dropping to become very quiet, "Oh s-sweet Cosma, please don't tell me t-they..." She suddenly feels very nauseous again, and makes a queasy sound like she's about to...


Yeah that amounts to more dry heaving.
Alberic Lux The Empty /does/ try to get past Riku. It ignores him right up until his sword flickers with darkness; then, it stops for a bare second, staring at the sword. It scrambles towards the door, trying for the ceiling... a little too late. Riku neatly bisects it with his sword, the thing falling apart like it was cloth indeed. It makes a pathetic whining sound as it dissipates, breaking down into mist again. The fog fades with it.

There's a sigh as it gets destroyed. It doesn't stop him from talking. "They /are/ monsters, Misses Hyral," Alberic replies. "I'm a little insulted that you think what I'm doing here is 'villainous exposition.' I like to think I'm providing useful advice to those who would use it. The gods know that /I/ hold no love for those wielders of weapons dark and terrible; it runs entirely counter to my purpose to see /them/ succeed at... well, anything, really."

The hallway continues. No more monsters come down it. It turns sharply at the end. There's no sound of movement from there, either.

"So what is it you all /want/, precisely? I can assure you, this facility lacks the almost-obligatory treasure chests and colossal, man-eating monster at the end. I would rather you turn around and leave than continue to disrupt my efforts."
Riku Riku lets other people do the talking at this point, he seems almost completely out of it, his look abstracted. He no longer has any urge to speech check.

He stands with his back up against the doorframe so that he can look both into the room and into the corridor, keeping the sword at the ready as the cloth falls in two pieces to the floor.
Alma Hyral Miss Hyral wipes off her mouth, and gets up just in time to watch Riku bisect the Empty.

She makes an irritated sound, "Treasure? N-Now I'm the o-one who feels i-insulted. I feel no n-need to explain my m-motivations if they a-aren't already a-apparent."

A moment later, she's moving to stand beside Riku, her expression one of outright concern. But she doesn't say anything to him, she just stands nearby.
Kyra Hyral Kyra grows confused. Should she feel bad for these monsters? Should she hesitate to slay them? Should she just kill them out of spite to disrupt Lux's research? Kyra doesn't know anymore. She seriously doesn't know what the 'right' thing to do here is. But she does know one thing.

"Really, it depends on your definition of treasure." Kyra says, checking how many bullets she has left in her current clip. "While it is traditional to consider it as nicely crafted chests overflowing with gold and gems, some of us value other things too. Knowledge. Research. Lab equipment."

She doesn't say anything to the others outwardly but she does motion with her head to indicate 'going ahead in that hallway' before she moves.
Myla Mason Myla Mason does not make a move against it she's got her weapons out still sure, but she's not making any act to fight not yet. Given Luz is talking and may indeed give some information. The question is how much could that information be trusted he seemed smart enough he might throw falsehoods into a seemingly normal villainous rant. She's listening as much as she can. She's not sure what the man's up to. She didn't come for loot, as so much she came for cleanup duty really. There might have been some things useful to salvage but she'd not expected a horror show like this. Nor someone quite like Lux.

She isn't talking now she admittedly is a treasure hunter at times but this is something beyond that really. She takes a beep breath for a moment. She gets the hand signal and moves, Alma and Kyra are doing a better job at talking. She's just trying to keep it together and focused. So someone giving some form of order is very welcome.
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine isn't even sure what they were here for in the first place anymore. No treasures, but monsters, maybe for information? There was still the school rebuilding to think about, but she doesn't think its the right spot for it either. She looks at Kyra, understanding her hesitations after the first one was killed before her eyes. She whispers to her, hoping that the 'insane scientist' doesn't hear it either. Doesn't need him to add more fuel to the fire. "No need to hesitate, there is no way to restore humanity to any of those, at least without sufferings that are probably worse than death. A swift death is still better than a lifetime of inhumane suffering, don't you think?" She's cold as always when it comes to this, like a true Shivan.

She moves after Kyra down the hallway at her beckon.
Alberic Lux "Mm. I see," Alberic remarks, voice flat.

The distinct hiss of static from an idle public address system abruptly ceases. There is no more semi-villainous (okay, completely villainous) taunting or exposition. You're all alone, now.

The hall around the corner is cleaner than this one. There is no row of doorways, or room full of bodies, or anything of the sort. The only feature of the sterile-looking corridor /is/ the sterile-looking corridor. A ways down, there's an intersection, one hallway turning back towards the way you came -- to the other chambers, maybe? -- with two others branching off. Both are marked: one has a sign reading 'Housing,' and the other reads 'Command and Control.'

Notably, a few feet down the hall labeled 'Housing,' there /is/ a door. It's ajar, opened into a dark room with a carpeted floor. From the intersection, the group can see the back of a couch, some shapes that might be old arcade cabinets and the corners of various other entertainment devices. Some kind of rec room?

There's somebody inside it, sitting on the couch, in front of a big-screen TV stretched across the back wall. The person stares straight at it, swaying slightly to the hissing from the television. The screen is nothing but snow, bathing the front of the couch and the person in a dim luminescence. It's what is letting you see anything at all from the outside of the room.

The green-haired girl on the couch does not seem to be aware of anything else but the screen. This is, perhaps, a short moment of good fortune.
Alma Hyral Moving down the sterile hallway, which she notes is especially sterile. She wonders if they went to great effort to clean up this area to keep it free from the stench and decay of rotting corpses in full rigor...

When the intersection is reached, she breaks off into the housing hallway, creeping towards the ajar doors. She notes the many arcade game cabinets, noting them but giving them no more thought.

Her parents never let her play video games. And that's when she catches sight of the green haired girl on the couch... swaying to the static. She doesn't move, doesn't breathe. She looks for the telltale sign of yellow orbs glowing with a hollow light in her eye sockets..

Hoping, even silently praying that she'll see nothing of the sort... but knowing somewhere deep down that she will not.
Kyra Hyral Well that was unfortunate. That bit of truthfulness on Kyra's part seems to have silenced Alberic. This isn't entirely a good thing, Kyra realizes as she moves quietly down the hall and into this room labeled Housing. When she identifies the purpose of the room, she almost wants to turn around and leave right then and there. In fact, she almost wants to turn around and leave period.

Especially the case of abandonment is on Kyra's mind as she peers into the Housing area, making out what she can see without directly shining her flashlight upon it. She sees that hint of green and recoils, motioning for the others to not go any further. She starts gesturing towards the doorway marked Command and Control.

Fight another Dennou Empty? No thanks. Kyra does not want to go anywhere near those things. Though in the command and control area, maybe there was a way inside to contain them...?
Annia Leradine Annia Leradine doesn't know what the girl is looking at... but she has the feeling she shouldn't be getting close to her... Probably the same feeling Kyra had. She gladly moves to the command room instead. She can pad around silently. She's not a ninja, but dancing feet are light. As long as she doesn't scrape the daggers somewhere anyway.

But yet, its nagging at her. On one hand, the girl might just be a prisoner or an experiment subject. Housing doesn't sound very 'lab-by', so maybe there's reason to save her too.

In the end though, she really can't help but get closer to the housing area, and tries to peer around before calling up the girl's attention... from behind the door, knocking on it to see if there's any reaction. It might not be the smartest thing to do, but she rather slay a monster than leaving an innocent girl behind.
Myla Mason Myla Mason sees the term housing and doubt that's its' actual living quarters? From the looks of it wait it's actually a rec room? This leaves he even more off balance as she sees that ht housing actually seems to be what it says. However someone's there and that puts her on edge more now. She doesn't move to try and disturb the TV watcher. That would end baldy given the last one. She looks at the Alma's reaction and feels perhaps much like it, they don't want to startle the Dennou. It would end in bad things for everyone.

She looks to Kyra and nods and looks towards Command and Control region. She now gets ready to move while eyeing at Annia for a moment.

This scene contained 46 poses. The players who were present were: Riku, Annia Leradine, Myla Mason, Kyra Hyral, Alberic Lux, Alma Hyral, Riku-Proxy