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Seven: Mazerunner
(2013-12-05 - 2013-12-06)
No description.
Seith A Full moon hangs in the dark blue skies. It is a dark night, and much of the lights within Tycoon Castle have been snuffed out. The fresh grass that surroundsthe castle glistens mildly against the moon's pale light. It had rained less than a few hours ago. But that hasn't stopped a small party from approaching the literal 'hole in the ground' a little ways from Tycoon Castle itself.

A twosome of burning torches are held by the former soldiers of Tycoon Castle, as they lead a group to this particular hole. "We had someone look around in the maze this morning. It's a mess down there. The walls are broken left and right, and beasts have been felled within." One man indicates, as he stands at the end of the hole.

"Remember, if you jump in, you won't be able to come back out. Make sure you are ready before you do so." The other soldier indicates helpfully.

>>> Press O to jump down the Hole <<<

"The rain from the last few days created a small pool at the bottom. It should be safe." A third soldier indicates. A few others soldiers lead the way by jumping in.

"This is your only chance to try and find the girl. We are heading through here in an attempt to retake the castle from those strange... cards. Wish us luck."
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr has come on the trail of the missing Princess of Heart...mostly because the cards from other worlds are making a mess of things. An annoying mess that requires (eventually) some persuasian to submit themselves before diplomacy...maybe.

Angantyr follows with the rest of the guard, though probably making people uncomfortable, but generally being...well, positive. Angnatyr has been in better spirits lately, maybe even friendlier...though compared to what he was before...friendlier is a relitive term.

Still he gets to the rabbit hole, "Eh, that's why they brought me, I imagine. If things get out of hand." He says, shrugging. "Besides..good luck, and good fortune on your battle." he says to the soldiers.

Angantyr's player almost immediately presses O, as Angantyr immediately jumps down the hole towards the pool. Angantyr falls surprisingly fast, thanks to being a wall of armor and pain. Pain is heavier than it looks.
Aerith Aerith on the other hand is a bit more... cautious.

Pool at the bottom, great. The problem is the distance. Water hurts if you jump in from high enough. She lets the heavily armored dude drop in first, so as not to get herself squashed, then after using him to judge the distance, leaps in after him.

She's wet after the descent, but manages to make it down safely.
Mercade Alexander So people are looking for Alice. Something weird is going on and Mercade don't like it. Nope. Don't like it one bit. The rabbit, with the strange watch-pointer, and then the actions of the Queen of Hearts... Mercade had other things he had to work on (ugh, Purgos) but he couldn't stay away any longer.

Mercade walks up to the hole, a short time after Angantyr jumps in. The soldiers have directed him towards it as a way to gain entrance and deal with the situation.

Mercade shrugs to himself. All right, simple enough. He and Avira and Maira are going to get this done. He looks back to the others. "This is going to be an interesting trip." He nods to them. "Are you going to be ready?" He looks back to the hole, and stares at it for a moment. "Welp. No time like the present." He leaps, swivelling around to hang off the edge and propel himself down into the maze.
Avira Avira will not begrudge a positive Angantyr. Perhaps in a similar vein, Avira too is in a good mood. This is nothing unusual to the scarred huntress because she always gets a little too excited when embarking upon an adventure. Or challenge. Or daring rescue mission...regardless of the dangers involved. In fact, these past few weeks did mark a pretty good track record for rescue missions.

"Good luck." She politely offers their escorts before she follows after Mercade.

She doesn't dangle on the edge or anything, she just leaps down. Even though she can't see anything, she seems confident enough to take that leap. It might be because she's prepared to buffer her landing with wind magic just in case.
Maira A girl is missing. A girl and a princess of heart, likely along in the darkness, fleeing from the forces that seek to do who knows what, but it probably isnt a tea party. Not even a sinister tea party. Maira walks a bit behind Angantyr, a fully stocked bag over one shoulder, geared up for battle. She has managed to get some leather pants (yes, PANTS!) while shopping in Manhattan, and a shirt and jacket to match. Leather is at least fire resistant, if not completely flame proof, plus, she treated it with a bit of a potion she'd concocted. Hurray for not completely dooming her outfit.

The bag is well stocked with potions and other things, prepared to treat injuries. Hopefully, Alice is alright. "Heh...alright, lets go!" she says, then jumps into the hole after the others with a 'Weeeeee!'
Serah Farron Serah Farron hmphs a bit when the guards seem to be warning her about dangers "I can handle my own you know!" She flips that little dangly and curly ponytail over her shoulder with the back of her hand, which doesn't look very threatning on her either mind you, but still. She's not going to let the others outpace her either. Securing her bow around her shoulder, she moves to the side of the hole...

And peers down warily for a moment u.u Do I really want to do that? What if there's no water, or if I don't fall in the water even?

Everyone else is jumping down though... she inches toward the side... until some weird white creature with a pompom bumps into her from behind, sending her falling down with an audible 'EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeee---' sound as she disapears down the hole. The white creature peers down the hole, and leaning just a bit over it goes "Sorry kupo!" and then hops back to its business as if nothing important just happened.
Deelel Deelel knows a girl is missing one who got in a whole heap of trouble, that was enough for her. With the added complications it was just making things even more urgent that she be found and rescued so here she is with Avira, Ang, Maira, Mercade and so many others. The Program looks at the hole for a moment and away she goes down the hole after everyone else.

Well if things go bad she does have a drop chute now thanks to a trip back home some time ago. So triggers it as she falls the chute rezzes into existence on her back and kicks in to slow her decently to have he r land without much trouble barring there being any nasty surprises waiting for her at the bottom.

"we always keep getting into messes like this don't we?"
Chita Chita had a friend here who, before the occupation by the Queen of Hearts, had been working with the Castle Soldiers. Which is how he found out that there was a seemingly lost girl in an underground maze. Or something of the sort, it was all rumors as far as he knew. Thus, he was walking along the surface of the area with his associate from Jylland. A Judge Washout, actually, someone who hadn't made the cut to Judge proper.

"Still cannot believe the whole blind thing."

Chita nods in response to the remark as the now-guard says, "Well, here we are. This hole leads down in the maze. I... thought to ask you since I recall you used to have fun with this kind of thing. Used to be good at figuring out where to go in mazes. Plus with those ears of yours, perhaps you can hear something we can't."

Chita nods again and sighs. He didn't like the prospect of jumping down a hole, blind, and uncertain what was at the bottom. Sure, water, but... "Alright then. I shall... I cannot say I will see what I can do, as that pun would be terrible, but you understand." And with that he walked forward with the butt of his spear pointed at the ground until he felt the ground vanish and the hole happen and stepped into it after vanishing his weapon. Best not to fall down holes while such was out.
Seith A few soldiers nod at our heroes. "Thank you." They command, before jumping in.

After our heroes travel down the rabbit-hole, they land themselves within a pool of drab water. The light from the torches above provide enough of a light for a few meters in, but it turns dark rather quickly after that. Still, it's more than enough to see that clear line of utter destruction that runs through the Maze.

There's a few places still upright amongst the drab gray walls that show torches that can be lit -- but can't be removed from the wall without some serious wresting power. Further in - far further in - comes a dire noise. The sound of walls being smashed.

The water from the 'pool' the heroes stand within, has spread out quite a bit along the disheveled grooves. It almost looks like a darned sewer in here by now. A maze sewer. Luckily, the water only goes so far. This isn't an actual sewer level. But what this is... is a maze filled with beady yellow eyes that stare at our heroes from the further recesses of darkness.

A 'wall' of heartless, here to hold them at bay and away from whomever, or _whatever_ may be making such a huge ruckuss in the distance. The soldiers quickly take up their shields and form a tight formation as they begin to move towards the opposite direction.
Angantyr Vespar "Oh good." Angnatyr says as he hits the bottom and pulls himself out. He steps forward, looking at the wall of heartless round them... looking around...

"Still, shouldn't be too hard..." he muses, slowly reaching a hand out. Darkness and light flash for a brief moment as he holds the Tyrant breaker in his hands. Mercade comes, and he looks back towards the detective, "Well, about time. Got the speaches out of your system? Maybe you can tell us a rousing one about the evil of the heartless before we murder them?" He says, with a grin, teasing the detective.

"Well, lets clear them out." He says, and runs forward, willingly leading the charge. The blade swings, aiming to cut through heartless and stone alike, aiming to try and tear through their numbers before they're boxed in. "Come on! Whatever summoned you here, you should know better than to get in /my/ way!"
Aerith Aerith said nothing, simply stared at the Heartless with a mask of impassivity. She'd done this before, and definitely knew how to deal with these. The only problem of course were the fliers... which of course, she decided to deal with first.

And then, Angantyr strides forward, aiming to break through... which gives her a better idea.

A single materia flashes from one of her bracelets, and within a split second, a pale blue barrier surrounds her and the dark knight, along with Serah.
Serah Farron Serah Farron's landing is not perfect. Far from it. Slung down like that, albeit accidentaly, she almost crash lands into what little water there is to form the cushion. At least she's not dead! But she sputters in surprise as she draws herself out of the water... and then she pales a bit at the amount of heartless. She really doesn't like those! She seems to be a magnet for them herself.

But still, she unslings her bow, ready to snipe them out if need is to pass through... but she starts with the usual protection as well, increasing the speed and power of some of the teammates present "Let's clean them up quick and neatly."
Maira Maira uses some air magic to soften her fall, landing softly in the large puddle. The smile of pleasure at her actually graceful descent quickly fades once she has a chance to look around the tunnel. A swarm of heartless, hungry yellow eyes snapping open and turning toward them. Maira raises a hand to her chest, eyes widening as she takes an involuntary step back. This is what her ordinary nightmares look like. Yes, the ordinary ones. The extraordinary ones are much worse. "Oh <goosehonk>," she mutters, then looks toward the torches on the walls. She lights the nearest few with a gesture, then begins casting her protective magic on herself and a couple of her nearby allies. "Be careful everyone," she says, then lets a breath, a glowing green wisp of magic stretching forward to touch upon Angan and Avira.
Mercade Alexander Mercade sighs at Deelel's observation, looking around the maze. "We sure do, Deelel. We sure do." He sounds resigned, but he's smiling. He loves this crap.

He shakes himself off as he gets out of the pool, trying to dry a bit slightly. If that's the worst he's going to see here, that would be the best.

He's sure that's not going to be the case.

Ang teases Mercade and he shrugs. "No point in making a speech. By the time I got a sentence out you'll have murdered everything in the area." He says it jokingly, at least. He flicks a hand out as he focuses his Heart. The appearance of the Heartless requires a response. There is an explosion of light as the Twilight Seeker Keyblade appears, and he gestures at the Heartless. "Come on, everyone! We have to break through!"

He lunges forward, smashing towards the Heartless with gleaming blasts of light that arcs through the air towards them. Serah's magical augmentations surround Mercade, causing him to move faster and strike harder. He gives her a quick salute with the Keyblade in thanks as he dives right in.
Deelel Deelel is not expecting the walls to have eyes, she totally was not expecting something like this. A Programs mind even one as flexible as it is for her kind? Does not think about this kind of cosmic horror. It's just too without purpose, form, it's the stuff of uncontrolled chaos.

Her pack returns from which it came and now she's booting up a few command to help herself. Maira would also find something is happening to her as she's being effected by whatever Deelel is doing there's an apparent aura of 0's and 1's about her glowing green as this happens, same for Deelel as she gets her disc off her back as it powers up with a hum.
Avira Not long after landing, Avira pulls out a flashlight. A real, honest, from-the-city-of-Manhattan flashlight. With her left hand, she clicks it on to help light the way further since little wall torches can be blown out or doused. As she shines her flashlight around, she frowns.

This would not be the first time Avira has had to run around in a sewer. Sewer explorations seem to happen a lot to respectable's kind of sad.

With her free hand, Avira pulls the Spine free. "I doubt it'll be hard with two keyblade wielders here." There's a confident grin on her face before charging in behind both Angantyr and Mercade. She fights just as fiercely with both weapon and...flashlight. Avira has no reservation against using it to block or strike.
Chita Splash!

The 'descending' Viera a bit behind the main group lands in the water with an undignified splash. Thankfully due to his senses as a Dragoon, though, he didn't land on his back or head. He had a good idea which way was 'up' once he got out of the tunnel itself. Surfacing and sputtering a bit, he floats still and listens, unable to see anything going on. Something in the distance was making a mess, a few things were said, the sound of a few spells being cast, likely defensive, guards and armor and such... and a couple of voices that sounded familiar.
Turning towards the voices, Chita makes his way that way carefully until he feels himself properly back up on mostly dry ground and gives himself a shake. Meh, wet clothing sucked. No time to dry it, though. It was strange, though, the little sounds that he heard from nearby of a lot of things. What was that? Heartless?

"Of course they are here." And he pulls out his Judge Sword, holding onto it loosely and listening to see if he can get a better sense of what is where and how far away.
After all the heroes have gone down the hole, a dark figure comes to loom over where they once stood. Those red eyes glowing from the dark armor as the figure gently tilts his head to the side. Then with no hesitation in his step and all with an ease of a motion as if the armor itself was light. The figure steps down the rabbit hole.

It was not long till the dark armored figure lands on the ground behind the heroes who have come. The very dark armor seeming to absorb the light, instead of reflecting it. Tendrils of darkness move around his feet almost with a will of their own, but bound to his. As he slowly starts to stand, the pauldrons lower down on his shoulders and the cape sweeps back a bit. He hand extends out to the side and the crimson dark blade emerges from midnight blue flames of darkness.

No light can be sensed from the dark armored presence, but he does look to Angantyr, before giving the other dark warrior a nod of his head and then speaks with the dark echo in his tone. "Concern not-- I am here to aid." The voice carrying very little emotion, but that was common from the Dark Knight of Palamecia.
Seith The Heartless try to spread out and away from the incoming heroes. Angantyr's blade rends through heartless and stone in a fell sweep, cutting a good chunk of their numbers. They clear away in puffs of black smoke, followed by red floating hearts being cast out into the air, and clipping through the ceiling. Mercade's keyblade has the same effect on them, in that the moment those arcs of light collapse against the flying heartless' bodies, they explode and hearts rise from their bodies.

Still, between Angantyr and Mercade being the only ones attacking so far, whilst the others are remaining behind, the heartless manage to swarm enough that our heroes are not let through.

Avira in the meantime, manages to light the place up a little. Sadly, flashlights do little to light wall-torches, but it does seem like the Shadow heartless recoil a little from the flashlight she is using. Just a little. As creatures of darkness, there's no real particular _fondness_ of light after all.

They're also not particularly fond of that Spine of hers. One by one, she cuts down Heartless that fly a bit too close to her, or Shadows that try to pop out in front of her. In the meantime, the others have time to take in the sight that Avira's flashlight gives access to.

The 'hallway' of fallen walls goes in quite far. There's destruction left and right - fallen walls, felled beasts, /chests left closed/. Avira is moving a lot, so it's hard to get a constant view on things to make more precise details out. But it doesn't look like there's too many more Heartless remaining in the background.

Just a few more Heartless before our heroes can go. But in the meantime, the heartless do go on the counter offensive. And with Avira, Angantyr, and Mercade being the only ones on the offensive - the choice is easy to make for them. Three groups of them individually target each of our blade-wielding heroes, sending lightning and thunder down on them, while a small group of operas charge straight in, enveloped by a net of electricity!
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr continues to wade through the heartless...

Even as the heartless swar, he swings, aiming to be a wall of blades, dangerous to approach. As some come from his right, he punches out with a fist, which knocks one back even as claws tear into him...luckily, the magic from Aerith and Maira keep him from taking too much damage...

He swings again, once more aiming to tear through even more...

"Ha!" he laughs back towards Mercade, "Well at least you brought your A-game today, detective! Lets finish these off and get on towards the Princess." Once more, he swings over head, aiming to bring the blade down in a terrible arch.
The Dark Knight glances at all the heartless that are attacking out and he readies his blade. Though in common point, darkness should not be able to defeat darkness, but the Dark Knight does believe his own may be strong enough.

The very curved sword starts to glow slightly in its deep black crimson color to one of a slightly brighter tinge. Then he leaps into the very air, before creating a circle under his feet to push himself up higher, before twirling around and unleashes three slashes at the air itself. Each slash sending down a wave of dark energy right for the mass of heartless.

Once he lands down again, he turns himself around with ease and places himself into a defensive stance, slowly strafing around and observing the heartless closely.
Maira Maira will be going on the offensive, worry not! Oh rather, do worry, because she is most certainly going to light these <goosehonk>ers up.

Maira is fairly confident that Avira, Mercade and Angantyr can take what these Heartless are dishing out, especially with all the protection and enhancement spells that have been placed on them by herself, Serah and Aerith. She gives her fellow healer/buffer's a thumbs up and a smile.

A form saturated in darkness sparks her awareness like a gong, causing her to turn in surprise as Leon of all people appears. For a moment, she's afraid he's come to capitalize on the chaos and eat her heart or whatever it was he wanted to do. Then, she realizes, he must be here on orders. "Oooh boy..." she whispers. "Hello, Leon," she says. This is the first time she's seen him since he became the Dark Knight again. Its about as painful and awkward as you'd think.

"Well don't worry, he's with me, apparently..." she says to the others. "Now, lets light things on fire."

Maira raises her arms, flames appearing in her hands as she thrusts them froward, aiming two blasts of fire along the walls of the tunnel to attempt to clear out the remainder of the Heartless.
Avira Maglights are serious business. Never explore a sewer without one.

The powerful beam does unveil quite a bit about the environment around them in these tunnels. Those closed treasure chests are of great interest to Avira...but considering that they're currently facing a phlanx of Heartless, those can be addressed later. PRIORITIES and all.

Fortunately, the bold assault of the bladed trio seem to be reducing their numbers quickly. As Avira moves in, a electricity-covered Opera smahses into her, stunning her with the lightning magic momentarily. After enduring a few seconds of pawing Heartless, she viciously steps back in with an upward stroke of her weapon. Momentarily letting go of the Spine, she flips it overhand in the air, inverting her grip.

The weapon slams downward, point into the ground, upon which a line of ice crystals juts upwards from the contact, travelling straight out in front of her.
Chita With all the chaos going on, Chita quietly moves to the side of the area - that is, he stands still and walks sideways with an arm outstretched until he feels a wall, then waits there quietly until the chaos ends or something comes running at him. There was WAY too much going on for him to focus on finding things with just the sounds they were making at the moment. A foot idly kicks and he feels something. "Huh?" Patting around on what was beside him, he finds a chest. "Huh... well, not going to snoop, this belongs to the castle probably."

And that was that.
Aerith And then everyone started to beat the stuffing out of Heartless left and right. With that said, Aerith felt no need to really do much besides support the advance forces. And she did so yet again, with a pale green sheen of light around those who were on the attack.
Deelel Deelel generate enough light she normally does not need to get much of an actual extra light source but it can help some times. Her allies having such are very useful here but what she does not expect is Leon showing up. The Dark Knight is in the same league as Ang, on Deelel's short list of people she does not wish fight if she can help it. Ang is not so much a problem anymore but Leon? Who knows where that might go.

Having two Keyblade users here was a darn good thing after all given how many heartless there are she start launching her disc over and over again at the swarm of heartless.

"Glitched, Userspace viri!"

Is Deelel's reply to the Heartless is the disc being tossed into their ranks over and over.

"All right, Maira I'll trust you on this! Better we don't have to face him today, anyway!"

There's just so many of them and there could be far worst. She's also ignoring possible loot, given she suspect stuff might be infested, or who knows. Also it would slow them down from finding the girl they are here to help.
Serah Farron Serah Farron is thinking this might be a tad too easy... wait, no, she's not. Gonna jinx it. But probably too late for that. This is going to hurt soon no doubt, like a giant heartless lurking nearby going to jump them, right? She doesn't know, but she's going to keep the spells coming for now, so everyone is in top shape for... whatever is going to arrive. Soon. Maybe.
Mercade Alexander Mercade glances over as the Hearts are freed by the attacks of the Keyblades upon the Heartless. They're joined by Leon, which causes him to frown for a moment but he doesn't have the aggression that his associate has. As long as Leon behaves himself, he's not going to do anything to the Dark Knight.

They have other things to worry about.

Like getting zapped by Heartless. Mercade reels from the shock, yelling as he whips his trenchcoat aside and produces a shotgun with which he fires a spread blast of gleaming white power , running from the Keyblade down the weapon into the assaulting Heartless. He spins, striking out and scattering the enemy group as Avira strikes past him into the next cluster.

"We have to keep moving. Something is going on down here and I think Alice is going to need our help." Mercade says, stating the obvious to keep people on task. It's a useful skill.
Seith Angantyr's attacks are nothing short of brutal. But it's good that he's enjoying himself, that's for certain. The earth comes down so violently upon one unwitting Shadow, the very ground breaks partially beneath it. Rocks are sent flying every which way. Behind him, Leon ensures that nothing can be foolish enough to backstab Angantyr.

One by one, the blades of darkness cut through the air and flay through ranks of Shadows and little Operas - making them explode in black puffs! Maira's flames continue to light the way, clearing out heartless and making it ever easier to see into the distance. The earth trembles for a moment. Mercade joins her in her assault, finishing off a few of the remaining Heartless who dare step out of the wall of flames.

Something has noticed them!

Avira's assault is no less effective in holding the heartless back from the more squishy heroes, ice crystals literally freezing heartless, until they just can't move anymore. Well, short of blinking their little yellow eyes. Deelel's discs cut through the little mountains of ice-locked heartless, and finally shatter them to pieces.

Soon, the area is cleared out. But in the distance, there's one more thing to take care off. Slowly approaching the heroes is a floating purple sphere of sorts. Avira's Maglight would do well to illuminate the approaching presences. Within the purple sphere, just slightly off of the ground, lays a girl with a blue dress and pretty blonde hair. It looks like she is unconscious. Walking besides her is a man in deep dark armor. It takes some serious waggling of that maglight to get a good view of what is approaching them.

But it's certain some here will recognize the pale silver hair. "You're in my way!" A loud voice booms over the crowd, a dark power eminating from the man as he speaks. Purple lightning casts from his body, binding to the ceiling, ground, and nearby walls. "Do not seek to anger me today."

It would appear like he can see them just fine. And that should be no surprise. Maira has helpfully lit the torches nearby, and Avira is kind of shining a maglight at his face.

Mercade is right. Alice is going to need their help.

Seith The man continues to move forwards, bringing a hand upwards and is joined by a ninesome of heartless that appear from out of nowhere. Jagged looking stripes adorn their bodies, and yellow eyes gaze fowards. "Go forth and Strike!" He demands, sending the feline heartless forwards in a kamikaze run before him, trying to ruthlessly attack anyone who stands between him, and that exit he wants to go through.

There's quite a lot of distance between our heroes and Seith, but those heartless are rediculously fast, and ready to bear their teeth and claws -- and rend flesh and bone.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr moves, his eyes seeing perfect through darkness...the small benifits of being a Dark Knight, though it's more like low light vision.

However, once the heartless go down, and now there is...

"YOU!?" Angantyr shouts, his eyes narrow, "Well, time to repay you for the last time we met, elf!" Of course...the woman is next to him...and then heartless cats! They come for him, but Angantyr only answers their claws with iis own fist, aiming to punch the cats through the face as he moves to advance towards him...however, he starts to infuse himself with dark energy, aiming to grow stronger and more powerful, the darkness merges into his armor, aiming to reconstruct his plate with dark abyssal plate, covering his entire body, only leaving two red dots around the eye slots, that seem to bleed crimson.

"I'll give you a counter offer, drop the girl, and leave. I'm feeling generous, Seith, the only time you will see me as such /DO/ ignore me."
Aerith Oh yes, she'd seen this one before...

And the first time, they'd had quite the meeting. Now he had this helpless girl trapped, and there was no doubt that if he had her, the Shadow Lords wanted her. Badly.

Just like last time, Aerith was not about to let him have his way. Sadly, he knew how to put things between him and those pursuing, and Aerith had to reinforce the defenses she'd set up again.
Serah Farron Knew it. Knew it. Knew it. Called it. It can never be that easy can it?

She acks as the feline swarm around her, sending her down to her butt on the ground with a painful 'ow' following "That's no way to treat a girl!" Well she's not doing the fighting today, but she's working from the back row. Which is a good place to be at for her. "I've got your back everyone!" She cheers on, rolling to the side and on her feet, and readying the next spells. "Alice is waiting for us! We're not letting you get to her!"
The Dark Knight stands his ground. As the heartless come rushing in from the Shadow Lord who summons them, his red eyes narrow sharply. Attacking a shadow lord... could be trouble for Mateus.. but.. at the same time, Maira is in grave danger with her presence here. Given what the shadow lords have been up too.

He was informed she would not be involved in this mix.

The heartless feline rushes in and the Dark Knight races forward. His blade casting a ghostly edge as he quickly swipes it across the heartless. The feline creatures wracks across his armor, shedding tendrils of darkness away, but the Dark Knight's focus is on the prize.

Though moving quickly, each step is done with precise movement. No hesitation. No fear. Only sheer focus. He places out his hand and a blast of darkness in the form of tendrils blasts outward for Seith in attempt to hold him back. Mean while, he turns his blade around slashes at several more heartless with quick strikes as he just performed at the one that just attacked him.
Maira Maira lights up the scene so they can see what lies ahead--Alice, captive of Seith. Maira gasps. They have to help her! This is bad, but at least it isn't too late! "We have to help her! We can't let him leave with Alice!" she says, Captian Obvious. Seith is fairly well known to them, especially for the things he'd done to Avira. That adds a layer of personal vengeance. With Mercade, Angan (and hey, her too!) here, Maira hopes this isn't going to go well for the Shadow Lord.

Maira looks to Angantyr, watching the darkness surround him, eye bleeding red with fury. Remembering what Seith did and seeing him now with a helpless girl--Maira is feeling pretty filled with fury herself.

It is about to get very warm down here.

Seith's summoned Heartless appear, one right beside her. She jumps back but is too slow for the feline reflexes, and she is mauled soundly across the chest. The leather protects her some, but these claws leave angry red marks that reveal pale skin beneath that rapidly begins to bleed. Maira winces and clenches her teeth, recovering her balance in order to throw a fireball right into the nearest Heartless' face.
Chita The thing about cats, even when Chita was listening for things to come at him since he heard Seith's voice and heard the others starting to bristle and make threats of sorts, was that they were light on their feet. Light enough that Chita didn't even hear the feline heartless as it pounced at him and knocked him backwards, coughing out painfully and laying there for a moment in confusion.

"What was that?"

Actually rather worried now that he couldn't really combat it, instead he pushed himself to a stand and tries to step forward while avoiding anything else. He was listening, trying to hear anything, some sound he could go by while also preparing himself for any future attacks, ready to lash out.
Avira Combo attack! Mercade has got Avira's back! Clearing the way, Avira's quick to take up her flashlight again, scanning ahead. She catches a flash of purple and moves it back and forth several times, revealing Alice enclosed in a purple bubble of magic. Upon noticing that, Avira feels a stab of ice in her stomach. She recognized that.

The flashlight pans over to spot the 'demon elf' she's had the misfortune of meeting before. "...YOU!" she points. "He's a Shadow Lord! We have to stop him!"

Despite knowing full well when she faced this elf one on one she was soundly beaten, Avira charges. Casting the Spine ahead of her in a wide slash, she unleashes a blast of air magic that clears the area before her of speedy, attacking Heartless, giving her a straight shot to get in close. She leads with the flashlight, trying to blind the elf momentarily by shining it right in his face as she approaches.

Despite earlier experiences, she doesn't fear the elf. Mercade is here. Angantyr is here. Maira is here. If she fell here, her friends had her back. In fact, she sort of hoped he /dared/ to repeat their previous experience.
Mercade Alexander The Heartless scatter. Mercade looks at the horrible sight beyond, however. "... What?!" Mercade says. "Seith?!" He says in surprise.

"... And he's radiating an energy field bigger than our heads!"

Mercade grimaces. He's seen Seith act when he hasn't been really invested in the situation before, and it was fairly difficult to deal with. Even with the force they have arrayed here, could they manage? Mercade shakes his head and levels the Twilight Seeker at Seith. "Hand over the woman and surrender, Seith. I'll guarantee you'll be treated well." Sarah continues healing and protecting him, and hes sighs in appreciation moments before Seith sics his deadly feline Heartless on him. He gets piled on by the shadow cats and is dropped down, shredded. "Ugh..." He says, grunting. "We have to stop him!" He says, trying to throw off the cats desperately. He looks over to Maira, and thinks for a moment. Yeah, this can help. He holds up the Keyblade, and focuses his power. A soft shining light radiates outwards, rolling down over Mercade... And then he points the Keyblade at Maira, the light surging around her and helping to augment her own abilities. "You can do it, Maira. Stop him!" He says.
Deelel It seems that the Heartless have been thinned out enough for them to be able to press on at this point. Deelel is swift in her movements and she's not wasting much energy as she moves with the others. The basic is not fooling about today, Keyblade or not she's going to do what she can to stop this. It soon clear there is someone else here. She takes a moment as she sees there is Alice ahead of them.

She narrows her eyes as someone else shows up and she now sees whom it is.

"Anger? Too late, you already angered us."

She gets caught by the spell or whatever it is she's not sure what it is but she's hurt she is however not down and out of the fight. There's a few glowing injuries on her body as she keeps moving after Seith and launches her disc, not to try to do much harm, no she's trying to knock him down and trip him up if she can to make him easier prey for her allies.

"You just glitched up."
Seith "Yes, it is I." Seith answers Angantyr with a smug laugh, flaring in his direction as he walks forwards. "I don't care about your insignificant ideas of meaning in former encounters. But I will not accept your offer - Mercenary. You stand in my way, and I will crush you!"

Luckily for Serah, Angantyr picks up some of the slack in regards to dispatching the feline Heartless that Seith had seemed fit to summon for that single attack.

Small heartless felines fall to Leon's blade as he continues to approach, and the blast of dark power collides straight into Seith's armor. Sparks of purple fly from his body, and then suddenly are sent straight back. Little dots of purple energy that seem harmless - but none-the-less are aimed for those who dare to attack! Upon contact, they form eddies of pure gravimetric force, and attempt to /slam/ those they touch into the very ceiling!

The fireball that Maira throws ends up suddenly growing, enveloping not one, but a whole squad of heartless that were still rising from the ground! The beasts explode in a fiery explosion and are routed immediately before they even dare attack her.

It appears not even Chita goes unnoticed. Through the specialized heartless, Seith notices him as well. And as such, he's just as much of a target as anyone else here!

The man isn't surprised to see Avira either. In fact, this entire reunion of people is somewhat... normal by now. Heroes of the highest class that certainly are more than willing to prove their strength time and time again! And as Avira rushes forwards, the man begins to /laugh/. Like, you know the laugh. The rediculously evil bastard laugh only a villain can master.

You need at least a masters in villainy.

The light is annoying, but little else. "You want to stand in my way again, little Mut? You know what happened last time! And I held back that day! Today, you will not be so lucky!"

"AND YOU!" Mercade. He's learned of him gaining a Keyblade through /channels/. "Don't make promises you can't keep! Get out of my way! You will find me far more difficult to best than these mere Heartless!" The anti-gravity purple seeds continue to flay around the battlefield, trying to lift those they touch, creating enormous eddies of anti-gravity strong enough that they cause the entire structure to tremmor.

The man then suddenly brings out a massive two-bladed scythe; a rediculous weapon for a rediculous man, and slams the disk out of the way and back to the program.

"Do you really think you can withstand my power? I AM A SHADOW LORD, AS THE GIRL SAYS! BEGONE FROM THIS WORLD!"

There's a sudden 'flash' of darkness close to the ground, and seems to 'explode' inwardly... followed by an entire field of darkness expanding. The very realm around them seems to begin to bend. Stars become visible in the world around them. This is a thing so very rarely used by the Shadow Lords so far. The man is controling reality itself at this moment. Twisting it to his will.

Two gravimetric entities appear beneath and above them, even as they stand on the very plane they have been on so far. There is 'nothingness' beneath them, yet they can stand. Clearly, some of the true reality remains! But it's certainly disorienting.

What's worse, the massive black spheres of gravity begin to come down upon the group at large, prepared to crush their very bodies!
The Dark Knight is flung up, then crushed down, but yet in the sheer force of gravity, he breaks free with an explosion of darkness out from his form and the very tendrils snaking around like a wild animal ready to lash out at any second.

The Dark Knight stares directly at Seith, before pointing his blade in his direction. The very damage to the dark armor slowly starts to patch itself with the very darkness of the man's own being. "You," He says with a cold, calculative voice. "will not leave here.. for it is her will.. then it shall be done."

Who's will and the what now?

The Dark armor continues to rebuild itself as he starts to slowly walk around the room. Looking directly at Seith the entire time. Almost ignoring the heartless that are moving about. "You still have a heart.." He says still with coldness in his voice. "..I will destroy it."
Angantyr Vespar The power of darkness, of gravity and pain...of the stars collapse around Angantyr...Angantyr weathers the storm, attempting to push forward...Angantyr /only/ knows forward...only knows how to step forward...his eyes blazing as he attempts to challenge the power of the stars with his mind, body, and will...

He weathers the storm, coming out the otherside as he comes through it...his body battered, his armor shattered, but he stands...and the light of the keyblade starts to shine fiercely.

"You might have been holding back, but you were also not alone, elf." he says, growling lowly, "You had the advantage of numbers...and you could /afford/ to be lack luster in your, you know the price of your failure...and you want nothing more than to destroy us before we can.."

"LISTEN NOT TO HIS WORDS...he is afraid..." He says, with a laugh, even as his organs try to escape his throat...

"The truth is are out matched...even by one of us..." and the light starts to grow...

He stabs the keyblade into the ground, as it's own light starts to flare,..


Darkness radiates from his own body, as he once more attempts to grip the keyblade...the two forces do not explode in an antiplode of darkness and light, as he slowly brings the keyblade back...


"TYRANT..." he booms, aiming to cut through the remaining darkness, aiming to drive himself right infront of him...the darkness lashes out, aiming to tear through Seith...but this wasn't done...

"BREAKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!" he shouts, thrusting the sword forward, as a massive wave of light and darkness shoots forward, aiming to drive themselves through the Shadow Lord, aiming to drive him back, and away from Alice.
Aerith Of course, his specialty is being a gravity-controlling little snit.

As it is discovered, not too many are immune to this, and many hit the floor just about immediately, including Aerith. Yet and still, she stands up, even through the crushing weight, her teeth grinding as she gets to her feet.

No need to respond to him. Talking is out of the question for the Shadow Lord at this point, and so she does not give him the satisfaction of a response. Instead, she begins the work of reinforcing her allies with some healing.
Maira While whirling away from the Heartless, Maira spots Chita. She didn't even know he was down here in this madness! "Chita, be careful!" she calls, assuming he's still having a difficult time seeing.

Indeed, there is no way Seith is repeating anything with Avira! No way! Maira uses a blast of air toward one of the big cat heartless, giving herself some space to focus. Focus her /fury/. She turns toward Mercade then, feeling his energy through the keyblade wash over her, infuse her with a beautifully burning vibration of power that sparks the light of her heart, setting her aglow with its intensity. The flames surround her, flickering as flame does, but these as pearlescent, the power of Holy ready to be unleashed.

When he aims the gravity toward them all, Maira's light protects her. She weaves the Holy with a bit of Air and spins the gravity away from her, the light of her flames seeming to burn the darkness when it comes close.

Maira narrows her eyes and moves toward Seith. "SEITH! You may have seen them angry! You may think you've seem this all before! WELL YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN /ME/ ANGRY! YOU WILL NOT TAKE ANOTHER ONE!" she shouts, then blasts him, releasing Holy in a shower of sparkling light, right in time with Angantyr's retaliation it would seem.

In short, KABOOM!
Serah Farron Serah Farron also doesn't think that its going too well here. That guy is strong! But is he better than the combined might of a group of mismatched heroes?

Maybe. Serah sure is thinking that after that last scorch at least. She barely stands up against it, but she shows some of the bruises and marks from withstanding it. She really got tougher because of that l'Cie power. Well, she might as well make use of it at least.

And healing power is just what is needed right now to pick everyone's spirits up after that last wave. It does seem like everyone is letting the cannons loose after it too. Good for the good guy team, woo.
Chita It may be disorienting for those that can see... but for those that can't, only the changes in gravity from the spheres appearing are noticeable. At least, physically noticeable. As he steadied himself and felt the slight changes, then heard Maira suddenly yell for him to be careful, he did something that might be unexpected to everyone there. He leaned forward and leapt towards the sound of Seith's voice.

As he leapt, Chita vanished and reappeared a bit behind where Seith was before launching straight back to where the sound had come from with his Judge sword out, as well as a spear, which he attempted to sweep at where he thought Seith's legs were before spinning around with it and stabbing straight at him with the crystalline Judge Sword.

The sword itself wouldn't harm, but it would attempt to shatter away any defenses to leave him weaker. "Stop this madness, whatever you are after surely this much pain isn't worth it! Diplomacy can solve any problem if an effort is made!"
Avira "I WILL STAND IN YOUR WAY, SHADOW LORD!" Avira bellows back as she charges, her voice strong despite her size. It seems to echo down here in the maze very well. "TODAY MY FRIENDS STAND WITH ME! AND BECAUSE OF THAT, YOU WILL FAIL! HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

Charging in, she plunges right into the heart of an antigravity eddie. Flung upwards, she impacts the ceiling of the underground maze. The ground seems to disappear beneath her by Seith's distortion and she falls, a blast of gravity magic falling on top of her.

The magic suddenly shatters around her, superceded by the bright silver glow surrounding Avira. The glow is duller than her flashlight but seems to emit a power that the nearby Heartless would no doubt recoil from. With another roar, she finishes her charge.

Seith now finds the fiesty huntress right up in his face, striking with an overhand blow of the Spine. Another immediately follows afterwards as she immediately adjusts the grip upon the hilt of her weapon. The flashlight is tossed into the air as she makes use of her other hand to deal the next blow. A fourth strike aims for the hands of the elf to finally attempt to disarm him.

"I don't fear you! We don't fear you! And here, in this cave beneath Castle Tycoon...!" she roars as she deals a final blow that sends shards of ice crystals skittering everywhere, "...we will stop you!"
Mercade Alexander "You think I can't keep it?" Mercade says. "You haven't tried me." The Detective does his best to keep in the way of Seith, barring the way with his Keyblade... And then he gets flung back with the gravity bombs, cast into the Darkness. He yells, reflexively creating a hex-sphere of magic to defend himself... But as the huge spheres descend, the barrier breaks, and Mercade yells, smashed into the ground and left heavily wounded in the aftermath of the assault. He is dropped to one knee, leaning on the Keyblade as he hisses, blood dripping from him due to the impact of the gravity. "Gggh... Rrrgh..." He says eloquently.

The sparkles of Aerith's healing takes the edge off of the damage, however, and Mercade forces himself back to his feet. "You may be a Shadow Lord... But I still have to do my best to stop you. Alice doesn't deserve what you are all going to do to her." He focuses himself, channelling all of his power into his Keyblade, and the Twilight Seeker responds. Energy gathers around his weapon, and he lashes it out towards Seith, the neon light sweeping out to grapple at the man and draw him close... And then Mercade casts the Keyblade into the air to hang over him, a sparkling trail ofl ight descending.... And then a moment later, a burning beam of light explodes outwards, radiating out and scorching around Seith.

And then the Keyblade drops, descending and crashing into the center of the nova, disrupting the perfect sphere and sending it corcuscating outwards in thousands of tiny multicolored detonations.
Deelel The Fighting is a brutal and Seith is proving quite stubborn to deal with. he'd not have lasted long as a Shadow Lord if he was weak, he'd have fallen prey to political power plays, or been eaten by his own summons after all. However as her allies move in to let lose all the power they can she's charging after them moving to follow them up as the horrible power comes her wary. She flips into the air and parrying some of the force of the attack with her active disc and keeps on going.

As Mercade and Avira close in and do their thing, she also gets ready. She's not a Security program no, but she has a lot of experience and had two very good teachers when all was said and done. TRON had done well with what help he'd given her and Deelel sees an opening she makes for it and rushes at Seith with her armed disc she strikes rapidly and forcefully aiming with the soul intent to bring the man down hard and as fast as possible.

"To think users can go viral."

She'll attempt to pull back a bit after her strikes weaving away not wanting to stay too close in case Seith has some nasty surprise in store for anyone who stayed close too one. It wouldn't shock her at all if he did.
Seith "What matter is the presence of my heart!?" Seith demands to know as Leon speaks of it. He can only assume Leon speaks of 'someone' important. Likely amongst those present. But he should not make such wild assumptions. What is more important is that this Dark Knight seems rather... FAMILIAR.

The man continues to direct his sorcerous magicks upon the group, continueing to /bend the very world/ around them. Still, space envelops the room, making it impossible to see the walls and torches anymore. He could bend illussions far more disgusting around them if he so wished...

But first he must weather the storm of his enemies. Angantyr boasts of his own power, and the heroes at large of course call forth the power of friendship. "YOU MAY HAVE POWER IN YOUR FRIENDS, BUT YOUR FRIENDSHIP IS NO MATCH FOR MY MAGIC!" The man answers them. "Do not anger me further, you foolish youngling! I don't fear you one bit!" In fact, by his former behavior, it might appear he wouldn't even care that much if they destroyed him.

Angantyr throws himself into battle, and the man swings around the massive double-sided scythe and brings it up in a massive wash of dark energy. He cuts straight into the midst of the wave of darkness and light, rooting out te darkness and overwhelming it with the control only few have. Yet, the powerful light still shatters through and peppers his armor, causing the man to stumble mildly back!

Maira follows this up with her own furious flames, and continues to cackle even as the power of holy washes over his body. He spreads his arms and laughs as it pains his very body, and begins to reduce his powerful black armor. "HAHAHAHA! Yes, BRING ME MORE OF THIS!" He laughs. "SHOW ME YOUR POWER! MORE OF IT! AND BE SHOWN JUST..."

Chita decides to interupt, leaping in with the Judge Sword. The massive scythe swings in the things way and... /halts its approach/! The crystaline blade's light pierces his defenses, but it indeed does not dare truly touch him.

"POWERLESS YOU REALLY ARE!" The man swings the blade around, tries to slam its blunt end into Chita's face, and then grabs at his throat in an attempt to send a life-sucking wash of dark energy through the Viera's body.

Then, he notices Avira's faint light, and this only serves to cause him to laugh more. "YOU WILL NOT STOP ME!" He answers her, "CERTAINLY NOT YOU! NOT AS YOU ARE NOW!" The scythe twirls around, and slams into the Spine, holding the girl's strike at bay. The man lets out a pained hiss, but refuses to turn away from the light that faces him at this very moment, no matter how it pains him!

The second hit finds the blade of his scythe again, and the third, and finally the fourth strike finds itself held by the man's very hand itself. "What is this? Is this /it/? Is this truly the extent of your POWER!?" His hand tries to close around the blade, trying to crush its body. The man then lets go and backs off, twirling the scythe around and shattering the ice crystals as they attempt to land a blow on him.

It's obvious that the man is taking damage, yet he's still underestimating them!

"You don't even KNOW what we will do with this girl! You haven't even the faintest idea!" The elf answers Mercade, and rushes straight forwards into the beam that lances out from his Keyblade, and brings his scythe into the body of the beam. The light burns off of the darkness field around him, the ground breaking around him as gravity grows heavier around Seith. But the perfect sphere detonating against his armor forces the man to halt and causes him to go down on his knee for a moment.

And then Deelel comes in, hoping to deal further damage. Seith brings up his scythe once more, bringing the full power of his gravity power to the forefront and attempts to stop her strikes. The two clash, strike after strike bouncing off of the blade. The light of the Lightdisk carving forwards into Seith and leaving him with some gashes in his armor. With a slight gritting of his teeth, he finally forces Deelel back.

"Was that it!" He moves a hand fowards, drawing Alice's sphere forwards as if bound by a chain, but not going so far as to move her in the way. After all, he'd have failed if he got her /killed/!

"Now it's my turn!"

<< ATB: DING! >>

The man brings his both fists together, and an enormous globe of Gravity and negative colors suddenly forms around him, before a small spark of darkness forms between his fists. A tiny little sphere, and the suddenly sends forwards. It seems so harmless...


Air begins to suck towards it, as gravity creates an anomaly so powerful, it is sucking the very air out of the area, more than capable of choking those who aren't prepared. The absence of light spreads out, and tries to pull people into one another. Rocks begin to litter the room, forming meteors against the backdrop of this illusionary space, attempting to crash into people. More and more of them appear, as the 'true' room is being turn apart by his power, slabs of it attempting to crush into our heroes.

And in between it all, Seith lunges forwards with the massive two-sided scythe, brimming with purple dark power, and attempts to cut our heroes one after another, jumping from the massive meteor stone slabs, propelling himself from the stones that continue to pepper them.
Mercade Alexander "I know it's going to be bad news." Mercade replies. However, there isn't much he can do as Seith's turn comes up, and Seith fires the Degeneration Cannon- I mean, another huge gravity bomb. The Detective tries to protect himself against it, but there isn't much he can do as he is battered, bruised, and hammered into the walls, thudding unconscious against the stone and sliding to the remains of the floor. "ggggh...." He mumbles as his strength fades, and he falls into unconsciousness.
Aerith "No."

It was the first time she'd said anything, but it was all that needed to be said.

She refused to see this go any further, and Mercade falling set something off. It reminded her quite a bit of Chita and how he fell before her, and this was not about to go down like that. With that, she gritted her teeth, got to her feet, and used her materia to the best of her ability. "I won't... accept this."
Serah Farron Serah Farron is starting to get the feeling they can't win this one. Its just too much... too much darkness... Too much power. Nothing seems to be harming that man. If its a man, it might as well be a monster. She's barely holding on herself right now, but her teammates are in even worse condition. She stands up, extending her hands out to cure her teammates. Cant' give up, despite the unfavored odds.
Angantyr Vespar Angnatyr dives back, growling...he was strong...but...

Angantyr recalls lessons from to draw in on yourself...but these, these lessons are now how he fights anymore.

Angantyr pushes Avira out of the way, he has no choice in the matter...they need to all survive...

The gravity of the situation aims to engulf him, on instinct, he leaves Maira to the care of the Dark Knight...

The darkness encloses him...

For a brief moment, nothing emerges...and then...

A scream, a primal...pure emotionally charged scream...he tears through the darkness, the Tyrant Breaker cutting through it and the air alike...

"NOT ENOUGH!" he booms, "YOUR ATTACK HAS NO SOUL...NO SPIRIT...NO POWER!" He screams, and once more diving towards Seith... "If you think that was all I had to offer, elf, you are..." the light starts to glow again... "SADLY MISTAKEN!" he swings down once, darkness aiming to cut through the Elf, before he swings up, this time, a brilliant light aims to tear through his remaining defenses...and a suddenly monsterously clawed hand aims to grab Seith by the throat...


"Nor the LIGHT!" And then the entire area around him explodes in brilliant claws, aiming to consume Seith, aiming to take his life force for his own.
The Dark Knight held steady even as Seith come. The dark armored palamecian general did not answer however, instead he moved right for Seith. He went to parry one of the scythes, but the other came around and slashed in deep into the dark armor, ripping off the sheer protection placed upon it and even gouging into the flesh beyond.

The Dark Knight nearly staggered around to see Seith heading for Maira. Then with his dark tendrils, he lashes himself to the ceiling, swinging himself across before landing on the ground in front of her. Once more in Seith's direct path, but this time. He did not block, this time the Dark Knight eyes flared brightly with a hint of gold at the very edges. Then as Seith's scythes bit in once more, the crimson red blade became that of dark blue with a bright glow. The very sword plunging into the man on passing to veer him away from his world's heart.

But the damage was deep from the scythes. It ripping right into his chest and though the sword was able to slowly heal some of the bleeding wounds, the mighty Dark Knight feel down to his knee and gripped the handle of his sword with both hands. Trying to use it to support himself up.

The very darkness seeming to almost fade away as even the glow of the sword seems to be dieing. The Dark Knight slowly then crashes over to the ground.
Chita Feeling the faintest movement of the weapon that blocked his own sword, Chita leans back and manages to mostly avoid the weapon, falling onto his back before flipping around carefully and standing. Something most would find hard to do, but Dragoons /did/ have a good sense of up and down and Chita, with some experience, was used to figuring this out while blind for the most part.

Mostly through sheer bullheadedness of jumping and falling until he figured it out one day.

"Friendship IS Magic, and though the body may fail, the heart will continue on! This much I know! Even in the Darkness, the light can still shine through!" Hearing Seith making his way straight towards him as he's suddenly pulled back by the forces of the gravity attack, Chita flips his spear around and smashes it tip-first into the ground before dropping low and growling in pain as the spear caught the weapon and, still holding it, threw him sideways into a clump. Slowly standing and listening for Seith's movements to come to some momentary halt, Chita threw sword into the air and as it vanished, pulled out a second spear, "It is time... to talk some sense into you... WITH SPEAR DIPLOMACY!" And he jumped straight for Seith's noise once more.

Knowing his luck, it was probably a random floating rock that hit something else.

Both of Chita's weapons glew a hot white as he leapt towards the noise and he slammed them down, trying to hit Seith with blind luck, before the weapons exploded
Avira It makes no sense. Nothing was hitting. Here Avira was, fighting with literally all her heart, and nothing was getting through.

To her credit though, despite its humble origins, the Spine does not bend or deform when Seith grabs it. The edges, of which there are actually three due to the shape of spines, are extremely sharp and threaten to cut into him as he squeezes. With one quick jerk of the hand, she tears her weapon free and steps away.

Moments later she's shoved aside as Angantyr takes the brunt of Seith's devistating-looking attack. In that moment she feels both relieved and...kind of ashamed. She wasn't doing so great right now. Maybe she really didn't have the power to stand up to Seith-WAIT WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MERCADE.

Immediately, Avira breaks away and goes to him, stuffing her flashlight into a convenient leather holster on her belt. The Spine is stuck into the ground next to her as she gathers Mercade up, pressing both of her hands against his chest. Her healing skills are extremely basic, barely even qualifying for what would normally require a white magic license in Rabanastre.
Maira This man, is completely /insane/. Maira can't even wrap her mind around how utterly mad he is. How does someone become that way? What happened to him to twist him into that /thing?/ This madness goes beyond what she's seen even in Leon as the Dark Knight. His heart is locked away...but his just twisted beyond repair?

Maira continues to burn brightly, her anger growing. She watches as Mercade falls, screaming her frustration and worry wordlessly. Serah will take care of him, Serah's healing magic is powerful. Maira knows in her hear that her immediate desire to heal Mercade would be the wrong decision. They absolutely cannot let Seith leave here with Alice.

This resolve almost completely falls about as she watches Angantyr disappear into the madness of the void. She starts to rush toward him without even realizing she's moving. Oh, but he's not out of this fight yet. As she hears him roar and emerge once more it strengthens her resolve--which will be tested once more as Seith comes charging toward her and Leon puts himself in his path, taking yet another brutal hit, falling from the magnitude of his injuries. "Leon!" she yells, for he may be the Dark Knight now, but somewhere in there is a man she cares about; one she is still determined to get back.

Maira moves to stand in front of him, guarding him now as she tracks Seith with her eyes, eyes that simply glow with a furious brilliance. "He's right. Your attacks have no soul. No heart. YOU. WILL. FAIL!" she cries, then throws her flames forward in a wave, an inferno rushing toward Seith.

"And SHUT YOUR MOUTH about Avira! I am sick and tired of you talking about her as if she has been used up! The light of a heart is not something that can simply be unlocked and never regrown! So SHUT. UP!" she continues, throwing another wave once Chita is out of the way. "I will NOT let you hurt my friends any longer! Put Alice down and GET OUT!"
Aerith's holy magic washes over the Dark Knight as he lays there. With no darkness to interrupt the light of the magic, it begins to actually repair the damage that has been done. When Maira goes to attack. Perhaps even the call out of his 'original' name that has been forgotten, triggers something. Something that awakens the knight.

Slowly the Dark Knight stands up once more. His sword gently slides across the ground, the sheer darkness gathers around him once more before he looks toward Seith's direction. Those red eyes stare directly at the Shadow Lord, but the edges are gold and attempting to creep toward the center. Those same eyes narrow sharply, a tint hint of emotion from what many call the golem of darkness. Though he had no emotion in his voice, the eyes spoke the truth. Blood was desired. "You may be a shadow lord.. but you are no master of the darkness.. that is why you will fall."

The Dark Knight's sword glows in blue light once more, but this time. He slams it into the ground. Above the ceiling darkness gathers before it rips open a dark hole and from there a massive blue blade comes crashing down, attempting to trap Seith within it.

If the sword captures the Shadow Lord, that is when the Dark Knight unleashes two aerial slashes that send out a dark wave of energy to not only shatter the crystal blade which drains the very life energy from Seith to replenish Leon's own, but also to break through his very will.
Deelel Deelel has learned a lot about magic, she's learned quite a bit as Chita just unloads s shockingly brutally attack and the healers keeps quite a few people up in the fight but it's looking grim. She's still standing as is Ang, but things are back she's got her disc in hand as the magic comes at her. He continues to rant at them.

"I have heard that before, and I'm still here!"

Deelel's lunges after Seith even as he rants at them.

"We don't need to know, your group has no good intent towards anyone but your own power mad plans! Your totally glitched."

She is used to moving in strange environments she's learned how chaotic user space is and well she fairs well enough as Seith comes for her. With his attempt to cut her down like a fall crop, she moves and her disc is able to parry the attack and she launches a counter attack against him.
Seith "HAAAAH, YEEES! THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO SEEEEE!" Seith answers as Angantyr breaks out of the shell of darkness, and meets him head-on! The elf swings his scythe down against the keyblade, and the two clash. Light tears through Seith, and the man screams in gleeful pain, even as he brings all of his power to bear to try and stop Angantyr's blade. The power is not in his muscle, but in the magic that courses through him and his armor. The purple light of the scythe is like a set of thrusters on either side, trying to throw away the black armored man with the red glowing eyes.

"Ahhh, you say that now! But look at this! Look at how much this darkness gives you _POWER_! You use it ever still!" Finally, Angantyr's strength overwhelms, and sends Seith crashing into one of the 'meteors', which breaks up and explode outwards as his body hits it! He touches a second Meteor and pushes off to go for Maira this time, the one whom Angantyr had entrusted Leon to protect. And he was right in doing so!

The man protects the girl with his very body. Seith's scythe rends through the man's chest, and in returns, the Dark Knight's own blade connects with the dark armor of Seith's, carving a vile gash across his chest as well. The man is repelled but for a moment, before Seith finds footing on another chasing Meteor. This is where Chita begins to spout blasphemy about friendship and magic.

"Don't be rediculous! Magic has nothing even remotely to do with friendship! Do not speak insanity, rodent!" The man surfs the meteor around, and routes it towards Chita. "I don't care if light shines in darkness. What matters right now... IS YOUR DEFEAT!" But it seems that Seith is underestimating Chita in that moment.

With shining and searing white light, Chita carves through a meteor and straight through it all into a surprised Seith. The blade /literally pierces through his chest/, and the man screams out in pain. On reflex, he grabs at the spear as well as Chita. In fact, he grabs him by the throat even as that glowing spear sticks right through him. The man coughs, giving a pained look at Chita.

"You... DARE!?" He asks the Viera. "YOU... DARE!?!?!? YOU LOUSY... PITIFUL RODENT...!" Then, Maira distracts him. He releases his Scythe and whilst still holding the Viera, he slowly pulls the reddened spear out of his very body. It takes some serious willpower not to scream out in pain. Instead, he releases his pain in the form of corruptive dark magic, straight into Chita's body -- as if submitting him to a torture device!

With the rest of his body, he takes Maira's punishment. It appears he isn't cruel enough to put Chita in the way of Maira's attack! Though he very well could have. The inferno washes against his armor, searing the man's body within his armor, until he finally blasts the flames away with a wave of his hand and some severe effort on his side.

The man gazes up then, as Leon casts his sword magic. It seems he has recovered enough. A meteor swirves by and the man touches onto it and is taken away jut before the Dark Knight can manage to let it trap him. Seith is carried straight for Leon, and uses his telekinetic power to draw his scythe back. The moment it is in his hand once more, he sends an immense wave of cutting darkness forth to meet the slashes, followed by an immense explosion of darkness.

"WHAT DO YOU KNOW OF DARKNESS!?" He asks. "And you!" He points the blade at Maira. "Do not be mistaken! I can see her power regrow. That only makes her _more useful to me_! But as she is now, she is simply not powerful enough to defeat me! NONE OF YOU ARE!" The man then looks back at Chita, still holding the Viera.

"Except for maybe you..." He mumbles. "I might have USE OF YOU!" And with that, he sends a second blast of pure darkness through the 'rabbit'. But he's interrupted in his process by Deelel, who slams a disk into his armored hand, and finally forces him to release the Viera!

"You wouldn't even be able to BEGIN to understand our plans!" Seith answers Deelel. And you can bet that a villain like him isn't going to explain it either to someone as 'insignificant' as a 'hero'.

His both hands free, he lays his Scythe horizontal and then suddenly throws it, sending it spinning to the center of the room - forming a darkness TORNADO, using the force of gravity to try and suck everyone into one place, before he raises both of his hands and opens a 'gate' above him. Purple balls of magical energy rise from his palms and fire up into the gate above him...

And then gates open every which way amidst the tornado of darkness, releasing those very orbs from seemingly random locations, capable of slamming people into one-another and trap them against one-anothers' bodies like reverse magnets...

Only because of gravity.
Aerith It was not quite fair how he continued to try to blow them up. This time, he just couldn't seem to want to go away... but this time, she was ready for what he tried to do. She held her ground, even as the tornado made its best attempt to draw her inward, even as she was struck by debris. The rocks pounding into her did more damage than the darkness itself, though it took something else from her besides her stamina. As the storm ended however, she remained standing...

Only to fall to one knee. That could not happen again.

She could only do so much before it was time to do something drastic. Then again, it wasn't like she could do anything besides sit there. She withdrew a potion from one of her inside pockets, its liquid shining a golden yellow, and downed it in one shot.

Maybe she could prepare herself for what else he had...
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr is beaten by the orbs, but he refuses to move...he forces himself against the wind of darkness...

"You're a moron," Angantyr says, "The darkness I have in me is inherrant to my very being, a curse or blessing depending on your opinion." He says, blood running down his lips as the armor breaks. His eyes glow, as he slowly tries to move closer to Seith. Even as he jumps away, throwing himself up, Angantyr swings...

"I use darkness because I must, but I control it...I do not let it control me..."

"But you wouldn't know anything about it, you've become enthralled to it...but I? I can see the light, I walk the path between both...the light guides me, even though I use darkness. I am strength.."

"Strength tempered by compassion...My strength grows, the more I have to protect..." he says, and brings the keyblade back down. "I don't have to beat you Seith...I just have to arrange the meeting!" he shouts, running forward once more, aiming to try and tear through Seith.

They aren't his strongest attacks...but he doesn't need them to be...
Serah Farron Serah Farron can see that everyone's energies are wearing thin, but if they arent' giving up, she won't either. And yet, all she can do right now is offer more curative energies to everyone. And one that almost got sent to the sleeping world becomes the target of her spell. Yeah, dark knight, but if she can get keep everyone up before she fades out herself, she has no doubts about what to do.
Mercade Alexander Aerith begins giving him assistance. The gleaming light of Cure helps to make him stir, dragging him towards the light of consciousness. Avira drops next to him, giving him medical as well. There is a low groan, moments before Seith crashes the world down upon them again, the gravity orbs hammering through the destroyed area.

Finally, there is a movement amidst the yelling and the gloating. A single beam of light the fires forth, an attack that does little more than singe the powerful Dark Sorceror.

But it's something. Avira and Aerith brought him back from the brink... And he has to make their efforts count. "Thank you." He says, quietly amidst the chaos, to both of them.

"We're not the best. We're not the strongest, and we're not the smartest. But that won't stop us from giving it all we've got." Mercade says simply. "That'll just have to be enough."

And then he summons up what strength he has left, leaping forward lash out at Seith, pulling himself towards the man and striking with incandescent force, one more time as a tiny star blossoms in the crashing darkness like the sun setting in the night sky.
Maira When Leon gets up, Maira turns in surprise and delight. "Leon!" she says again, for that is who is truly is. She must never forget it. He protects her, he strikes back, but he falls again soon afterward. He's simply taken too much punishment--some of it for her. She can't let it be in vain.

The gravity shenanigans are repeated, this time flinging her into the air. She crashes into someone painfully, the wind knocked out of her lungs, ribs cracking. She gasps, which is a mistake, as it only bring more pain. "I won't...let you go...I will not...let you win," she says, her voice a his through clenched teeth.

Anger, maybe it just isn't the way to win. She's furious, she's hurt...her friends are down, hurt, and she can't get to them until she's stopped Seith. " don't get it, do you? You'll have to go through every one of us, and we'll keep supporting each other. But you? You're alone," she says, motes of light drifting from her to buzz toward Seith like little stinging fireflies.

Then Maira reaches into her pocket and pulls out...a gummi? Then she throws it. GRENADE TIME!
Avira "Go get him." Avira murmurs quietly to Mercade as she pulls herself to the side. Shuddering, Avira takes up her weapon again and stands, steeling herself. Listening to Maira stand up for her was comforting.

All she could do now was keep fighting. She starts forward, only to be slammed back against the wall, crying out softly in pain as she does so. With a herculean effort, she peels herself free and powers through the magic, calling upon her own as a small blizzard is summoned and leveled at Seith.
The Dark Knight would reply, but that was a Leon thing to do. He was not Leon and thus there was no reply. However with the strike down the Dark Knight was knocked sheerly back. The blade vanished form his very hands back into the darkness and he slams hard into a wall.

Though one of them attempts to raise him. It does not work. Perhaps because the sheer damage he has taken has at last truly caught up with him.
Deelel The fighting is brutal but Deelel does not tire in the sense a human does, so long as she's got enough energy she can keep going and she does that. She keeps going and is watches how hard everyone is is pressing themselves. She's going to need to find a healer asap when this is over, her extent of human healing is, bandage wounds apply pressure and get potions.

She ha to admit he's got quite a lot of power with the darkness but then she has something to say to Seith.

"I turned away from power to save a friend and crush the plans of one of your own. Perhaps I'll find a way to it again perhaps I will not. That does not matter what matters now? Is that I kick your bitmap!"

Again Deelel is moving like the wind and vaults up into the air evading the horrible power of Seith. She's again in range once more for melee and she strikes out with her disc before she's staring to drop away from Seith and there's a heck of a lot of things going on with all of the darkness and gravity being slung about here.
Chita Why, oh why, does Chita keep fighting Shadow Lords? As he felt himself impact and the sound of pain, Chita gave a little grimace but didn't do anything other than bear down. However, what came next - the grasp at his neck, caught him by surprise. Held off his feet, not being the tallest Viera, Chita's hands reached up to grasp at Seith's arm and try to pry it loose, but failed.

Instead, he was greeted by Seith growling out at him, then sending magic straight into him, causing him to cry out in pain and strain harder to get loose. Eventually with the second surge of magic, Chita fell still and his arms slackened, hands falling from their grip and hanging limp. Seems he met his limit, though as some may know it was likely due to his weakness to magic. Dropped, he landed in a 'lump' of sorts until the tornado of darkness drew him in and threw him back out near Seith's feet with a rather unhealthy-sounding thud.
Seith After that nasty hit of Chita's, and the utter impact of spell after spell on his body, not to speak less of the effort others have put into peppering Seith with their attacks, the man is most certainly slowly down. He puts a hand to the wound on his chest, feeling the severe jolt of pain and how he's being drained of energy. Only, he knows that 'energy' isn't the problem. He's losing something far more precious than that.

Healer or not, Aerith continues to be somewhat ignored, in that she's keeping the party alive; and while Seith may know the trick to destroying healers, he rather trust the power of his wide-area attacks than to concentrate on one person and be left defenseless. The same goes for Serah's role in all of this. If it wasn't for them though... this battle most certainly would have turned out far worse.

"I don't care if it is inherrant to your being or not! You use it none the less. But don't be fooled, I may love the power that Darkness gives me, but I too control it! Do you TRULY think this kind of magic comes from a darkness /consuming/ its host?! I am a sorceror! Not some third class magician!" Seith indicates. He's without his scythe at this moment, having flung it forth to create that vacuum tornado, and is left to use his armguards to block the blade.

It does little to stop Angantyr's attack, and he sends him straight towards the 'floor' of this space dimension. The world around them begins to flicker and fade slowly. And within his fall, Mercade catches his shoulder with the first beam, and then follows this up with the bright blaze of light within his strike, finally /slamming/ him into the floor! The dimension crumbles and begins to recede, giving view to reality once more; the fallen walls, the destroyed floor, and Alice floating in that ball of purple darkness.

Maira reaches into her pockets and then begins to blats Seith whilst her fireflies sting his body. Some of them manage to burn into his open wounds, leaving the man screaming for a moment as he's set ablaze. "Alone is how it MUST BE!" Seith answers Maira. "I will not let it be any other way!" He must be alone... for there are but two people to whom he ever truly opened his heart. His wife, whom was taken away from him... and a particular elf who resides in Corneria; the reason for his white hair.

The man falls to his knees, then begins to slowly rise again, raising his arm as Avira brings her little blizzard to bear. He lashes out blindly at her, sending a /spear/ of darkness straight for her chest. Deelel soon makes him pay for that one, vaulting in and striking her disc against the man's face, tearing into his flesh and sending him tumbling to the ground. Like a bubble, Alice's spherical prison 'pops' and releases the girl out onto the ground, unconscious.

The world having returned to normal again, Seith slowly comes to stand. Bleeding, hand at his chest, staring out against the heroes. "Tssk, you just got lucky." He warns them. "Next time, you won't be so lucky." He looks towards Alice. He could try and hold her ransom for his own life... he could use her as a body to guard himself. But...

No, he doesn't even consider it for a moment. Instead, he opens a portal into darkness right at his side. "You have earned the right to have the girl.... FOR NOW."
Seith > > > > > > > > > PRESS O TO SHUT HIM UP! < < < < < < < < < <
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr just runs at Seith full force, aiming to /drop kick him/ into the portal.

"SHUT UP NOBODY CARES, LOOSER!" Angnatyr shouts.

Ang's player mashes the /hell/ out of O.

"Seriously! You didn't even liste to me, why the hell are we going to entertain you?"

Angantyr, finally turns towards the others, and Alice. "Go team Valkyrie."
Aerith Bruised. Battered. Utterly beaten down. But somehow, she'd lived.

Aerith was left to her own devices, breathing heavily and sore in more places than she really wanted to be. And yet she stood, shakily, and glanced around at the unconscious and injured, taking stock of them. They'd won... but it was pretty bad what Seith did to them before it finally happened.

If the girl really was that important, maybe this was worth it. But no time to ask who she was or why they needed her out of Shadow Lord hands; she had a job to do.

Aerith began to spread her healing magics along yet again, making her best attempts to get people standing.
Avira Even for a blindly cast spell, Seith turns out to be painfully accurate. In the middle of her own magic, only her inherent light is there to defend her from the reprisal. It helps very little.

The spear slices through her chest, poking through the other side. Though the wound may not be physical, the magic may as well be for the overwhelming pain it brings to her. A startled gurgle escapes her before she collapses to the ground in a heap, unconscious.
I get back up-- I get knocked down again-- but your never going to keep me down???

Maira casts her healing magic with her heart, which as even the Dark Knight knows...its a very powerful heart. The energy of it flows through him and his hand twitches slightly, before his eyes open slowly. His vision was blurry, but he could see their silhouettes against the shadows, beyond perhaps one. He may have missed the O smashing, hell.. if he was in better shape he may join the O smashing.

He places his hand on the ground even where he lays. A dark corridor opening up of his own once Seith leaves. "..take her.." He says with an almost raspy voice. "..Take her and go.. it goes to Traverse Town.." The Dark Knight closes his eyes once more.

"Go before heartless come to pry on the weakened heart.."
Aerith If she heard nothing else, she heard the four words, take her and go.

If nothing else, she would do so, if only to find out what the fuss was about. "I got her." She trudged her way toward the unconscious girl and hefted her onto her shoulders. "Someone get us out of here."
Maira Maira is also totally hitting O. She blasts Seith with Aero to push him through, on top of Ang's drop kick.

"Heheh....go team Valkyri..." she says with a small smile before she turns to Leon. "You'll be alright...?" she asks. She knows he will be. Mateus will knit him back up, as will his darkness. "Thank you Leon...I know you're in there somewhere," she says, then turns to see to the others before she leaves. She isn't leaving until she knows everyone else is getting out of here too.
Seith Between Angantyr and Maira button-spamming, the elf is propelled straight back into the Portal he himself just opened, and it neatly closes off right behind him. Seith is going to be feeling that in the morning... and probably for a whole lot of morning after that.
Deelel Deelel is moving to chase after Seith but there's no time he gets away, however they have Alice for the moment. Also a lot of them are hurt. Deelel looks to those who are staning.

"Do what you can for the others, I'm going to go get help."

With that Deelel is off to do as she says.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr nods once, and hi-fives Maira.

And something explodes because /<GOOSEHONK> yeah!/

This scene contained 82 poses. The players who were present were: Mercade Alexander, Avira, Deelel, Maira, Aerith, Angantyr Vespar, Seith, Chita, Serah Farron, Leon