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No title.
(2013-01-09 - 2013-01-09)
No description.
Cronus Goofy has given out megalixirs to the injured from the earlier battle at Hearts Intertwined, but someone had to keep an eye on Dr. Chambers to make sure he wouldn't escape or do something drastic so, unfortunately, the Captain won't be able to help you out this time any further than that.

Umi meets up with the TDA (and whichever friends have gone with them such as Avira) and attempts to lead the crew to the Train Station. Max, who left earlier than the others, may have a few moments head start on them (though being a Phantom Thief he could probably turn this into extra time if he so desired just fine).

The scene in the train station isn't pretty. It's gotten dark and while the Heartless haven't become a problem yet, they ARE starting to stir in the area. This has not put a stop to the fight and, indeed, Will Sherman--Hobo King and Manipulator of Fate--has been frozen in time. Can he be broken free? Well, Cronus seems to think so. He is exultant and is chasing a Legion--probably Emi--around the station. One train has already been flat out destroyed, several holes ripped through it. Glass and metal shrapnel are everywhere. One objet is immaculate however--the Akita statue named 'Hachiko'.

Cronus, for those that haven't seen him before, is a young man with shaggy black hair and symbolic clock pupils. His build is not especially muscular and, in fact, probably looks a bit flimsy to the more STRONG oriented folks. But to first arrivals, his speed appears immaculate. He easily keeps pace with Emi who is bounding around the station, just trying to survive through the use of electromagnetic jumps. Will, if he is capable of seeing, would have seen Emi take partial hit after partial hit throughout the fight, a steady beating that has yet to end with her demise, but is clearly taking her toll. Emi, in turn, without Will's assistance has had trouble even touching Cronus and had not Will delivered a solid beating to the man before, it might have already been over. Holding one arm, bleeding copiously, she hops into the fountain lightly and--waits there.

Cronus jumps in after. Again, she leaps away, electrifying the water Cronus is stuck in--zorching him good. He chuckles however and pulls free a chunk of the fountain and flings it at her at high speeds, catching her upside the head. She slams into one of the remaining trains and slides down it.

"I kept tellin' ya, not to fight me." He says. "You could've gotten away. But I guess those programmed notions in your head--you can't stop heeding them even if I give you the chance, huh?" Cronus chuckles.

"Perhaps..." Emi rasps. "But you keep giving us opportunities, the Network accuses."
Will Sherman Will, can only see parts of the combat that actually come across his sight.

Right now, Will is stuck in a strange position, looking like he was about to attack. It is completely natural...but not to be holding a position in. He struggles against the time stop field, but can do little more than watch. Silently cheering on Emi, who doesn't stand a chance without his intervention. However, there are...odd things happening to the field around Will. In and out, like a flicker, strange stings can be seen. Those who are in the TDA can see a strange, prismatic string appear for a brief moment. Even Max. Those who are not in the TDA, like Faruja and Leida, can see the string for brief periods.

However, the strings die down again, even fate can not overcome time it appears, as Will continues to be held by the field. It is like hell, to Will, who wants to save Emi, but is now physically incapable of it. The same thing that made him able to fight Cronus has locked him solidly into place.
Aerith And since Will is incapacitated, it appears others have to pull some extra weight. Of course, due to the fact that he's crazy fast, Aerith has trouble getting a proper bead on him. A single shot would be rather nice to get off if he'd just sit still... and yet she can't quite get a good angle. So she does the one thing that would probably not work otherwise, and probably won't work now... try to anticipate him by leading the target.

So it is that bolts of pale green spirit energy begin to fly even as she attempts not to hit the one getting chased. This is going to be a long day...
Mercade Alexander It's Go Time.

Mercade Alexander exploded from the Hearts Intertwined entrance moments after helping to recover and reconstitute their allies, leaping onto his motorcycle and hammering the throttle. He explodes through Traverse Town, engaging in Sweet Air as he rushes forward. Mercade smashes through a few materializing Heartless as he roars into the Train Station, launching through a hole in the train and hitting the ground, coming to a slide-stop.

He flicks his pistol out, the pearl-handled revolver that he's been using since the Fall of Manhattan, and he narrows his eyes. "CRONUS! EMI!" Mercade yells. "STOP RIGHT NOW! We've got Chambers, there's no need to do this anymore!"
Isaac Hanlon The only reason he's not still looming over Dr. Chambers is because Goofy has sworn to keep an eye on the guy. It's enough for Isaac. He's got a good feeling about this Goof. It's probably the only good feeling he'll have all night.

Isaac expedites some of the TDA and Their Amazing Friends' travel from the Hearts Intertwined building to the train station by way of hanging back until the really hurt people are fixed up and then door-portaling. He assumes Max is already there, so he doesn't worry about him, but getting everyone else going fast is important if Will and one of the Legionnaires are in trouble. It isn't particularly taxing to do, but it does require a fair amount of concentration -- doing that sort of thing in a fight won't happen. Using it to get /to/ the fight on the other hand...

"HOLD IT!" Isaac bursts out of an (out-of-order) bathroom, the door flinging open and revealing a side street across Traverse Town. He looks a little ruffled, and his hair is about as mad as one might expect out of a crazed wizard, but that just might make it more frightening. He glances across the station -- trouble's already started. If he can get to Will, though...

"Step away from the girl and you get to walk away, Cronus." Isaac is using his favorite Terrifying Wizard voice. It projects /really/ well in this particular building. "It's over."
Maximilien Maximilien Amadeus Renaud-Sylvianne is a proper gentleman. He doesn't leave a lady in trouble, he doesn't let bullies have their way, and most importantly of all, he's not the sort of man to look the other way when there's trouble, even if he has vowed not to take lives or any of the other pitfalls that tend to come to people in the profession he practices. Of course, that's the funny thing, isn't it? There's a curious sort of pragmatism to normal thieves - you go in, you slit someone's throat or you shoot them or what have you - and then you take their stuff. If you're the sort of thief who doesn't like getting his hands dirty, carrying a weapon at least ensures that no one will mess with you - and the life of a thief is a dangerous one, not just from the cops but from other thieves.

But Maximilien Amadeus Renaud-Sylvianne isn't a pragmatic thief. Pragmatic thieves are boring; they're a dime-a-dozen, all the same, all dull and uninteresting, ready to become murderers over something as silly as treasure. No, Maximilien Amadeus Renaud-Sylvianne is far from a pragmatic thief - he is a Phantom Thief, a Gentleman Thief, a man who lays restrictions and rules upon himself that no one will ever know of for no reason but his own honor, veiling himself in lies and disguises despite an unrelenting sense of honesty and proper ettiquette. It makes life harder for him sometimes - like when two of his allies (one of them his friend, the other...well, Will) are being threatened by a ferocious time-controlling monster man, and he's unwilling to strike with a real weapon, or anything that might make a serious physical difference.

But then...maybe there is a certain pragmatism to nonviolence when the taint of the Darkness hangs about your soul.

As Mercade starts shouting, Max takes the opportunity to drop out of the sky onto the train Emi just got smacked onto. He digs into his cape, drawing forth a rose; it slips up to his face, barely hiding his smirk.

"How uncultured, monsieur," Maximilien observes, "Attacking such a fine young lady." Then he drops, putting himself between Emi and Cronus without a second though. He glances over his shoulder and winks at Emi - he's already ready to get her out of there without a second thought. Will...Will might be a bit tougher, but he'll figure that out.

Even if he cannot fight, this is something Max can do better than anyone.
Avira "FREEZE!!!!"

Wait, Traverse Town doesn't have any police, does it? No. It has something BETTER. It has the Twilight Detective Agency.

Avira is not the first to arrive by any means. In fact, in light of her recent change back to a human she couldn't help but notice just how darn slow she really was now. Maybe there was some way this could be remedied in the future, but for now she remedies this by HOPPING ONTO THE BACK OF MERCADE'S MOTORCYCLE.

When she does arrive, she only spends a moment or two figuring out what's going on. She sees one of the Legion, recognizing Emi easily enough. It's pretty obvious that the super fast guy that is fighting the Legion is Chronos. Will seems utterly frozen in time.

Her shouted demand is the first real commotion she's made now, but not after setting herself to aim a pointed finger at the quickly moving man. The other hand draws back, as if she was holding a bowstring, and along the length of her arm a trio shimmering ice spears has formed.

The projectiles, when they strike, explode into a coating of ice that clings to whatever it hits. It's definitely not lethal, though one had to wonder if Avira could make it that way.
Deidra Deidra has been happy to get some healing items from Goofy, she's all healed up from the savage injuries dhe'd had eariler and she's back in the game however she's never seen Cronus before. Now here is is and she's looking Cronus down for a long moment and preparing herself, she's got a book in hand. She's preparing others are doing the talking and she needs to well? Get ready her friends have made a hell of an entance and she just follows them in.
Faruja Senra The mysterious posting on the Shard Seeker's bulletin board, combined with the sudden dissappearance of the newest boarder/'spy' amidst their ranks certainly has piqued the interest of one Temple Knight Faruja Senra. Things like this, in his experience, tend to only result in Bad Things Going Down. Thus, he's in full armor, robes, and spear when he links up with the group from the TDA at the entrance to Bodhum's Train Station. No doubt, he'll be glad he did so.

Particularly once they reach the battle site. The darkness in the area is ameliorated somewhat by the Light filtering off of the albino paladin-rat, adding to the clanking of armor. Clearly, the Burmecian isn't going for an ambush. Rather, the ratling assists in finishing off any Heartless that get too close to the group until they get to Cronus and Emi.

Whereupon there's Dynamic Entry by Mercande! On one of those two-wheeled carriages! For once, being somewhat out of the loop anyway, the ratling decides to focus his efforts on the person clearly in danger: Emi. First, a burst of green, as Curaga settles over the Legion's wounds, only to followed up by a litany of other spells: Shell, Regen, Protect all flash over the woman even as Max valiantly defends the Legion! Leap!

The ratling lands to Emi's flank, spear leveled; prepared to back up the suspiciously non-armored Max. There's a brief nod, and look to respect to him and various others. This crew's certainly pulling together.

All the while, he tries to not be distracted overmuch by strings of Fate.
Leida The sound of soft footsteps echoes throughout the expansive train station as a solitary figure makes its way along the gently curved tunnels of the loading docks. Though the tranquil peace of the eternal starry night sky hangs overhead through the faint sheen of polished glass domes, the scene within is anything but serene.

Leida quickly works her way through the strange landscape, the sight of so many neon lights and expertly machined architecture still feels foreign and alien to the princess for some reason. She is alone on this side of the train station, having come immediately from the city of Fluorgis when she found the message posted to their board without waiting for Reize or one of the people more familiar with travel through the worlds to guide her. There was no time.

Ominous sounds called out from the shadows all around and the occasional flash of yellow was a constant reminder that this place wasn't safe for someone like her to be on her own. She paused, unrolling the simple note that had driven her to come all the way out here. The words on its surface spoke of the vows of Knighthood, promises and codes that her guardians had chosen to live by. Leida drew strength from those words now, clutching the paper to her chest as she glanced around nervously.

Imi needed help right now. Her sisters needed help. She wasn't sure what it was that she could do or even what they were running from but one thing was for certain: she would not sit back and let her friends die.

The princess took a deep breath and gathered her courage, before scampering along with renewed vigor as the sounds of battle drew closer and scratching of claws from behind grew more insistent. "Please do not die..." she whispered.
Cronus Cronus looks down at Emi, approaching her. "Why do I...? Acting like you know me, man you lot've gotten really impertinent. Your protector's gone. Your plan's failed. VitaTek ain't so weak to be handled that easily by a bunch of detectives."

Suddenly SPIRIT MAGICU and Ashe's ultimate slam into Cronus, sending him flying away from Emi and providing another room for Maximilien Amadeus Renaud *BREATHE* Sylvianne to drop down and get between Cronus and Emi.

"Max..." Emi smiles at him, struggling to get up--this would be impossible, but Faruja--RAT KNIGHT--unleashes some healing magic and it's enough to get her onto her feet, much of the wound across her arm dissipitating away. "Faruja...?" This actually shocks Emi. She hadn't heard about him dropping by.

Others come and Cronus looks away, pretty surprised himself. His immediate response is, "Who the <goosehonk> are you guys??" Of the people here, there's only a few he actually knows. "Who the <goosehonk> is Chambers??" He glances over to Isaac, whom he seems to recognize.

"...You..." He murmurs. "You managed to survive the fall as well, huh? Haven't seen you in a while." He rubs the back of his neck, dusting off ice shards from his body. "Tch, I gave her plenty of chances, don't know what this has gotta do with you. Man...with you here...this has gotten really dangerous..."

His lips twist into a smile. "...Good."


He turns away from Emi and shrugs his shoulders. "That's fine. She can just lie there..." He turns around and walks away from Emi which--lets face it--doesn't seem like a victory which means, naturally, that what he's planning can't be anything good.

Umi busts out of the out of order bathroom and shouts, "Will!!" She runs into the battlefield. "The Network had to walk through the walls of a bathroom apparently?, They are very concerned and asks you to move!"

"Chambers..." Omi steps out after along with the other Legions who hang back for the moment. "...Was pulling your strings. Nobody is continuing the experiment that actually has any authority."

"They are correct. We were both played--" Emi says. "You do not have to fight anymore, Cronus..."

Cronus's left eye twitches and he spins around on a heel. "Ugh!! Why can't any of you mind yer own business! Who gives a <Goosehonk> if they're not in on it anymore? What? All those dolls I killed were for nothin'? Give me a break!" He shakes his head. "That's not a funny joke... I can still finish this stupid thing... But I think it'll really speed things along... If I just take care of all y'all at once! HaHa! HAHA! I might lose!!" He grins. "That sounds real exciting... I'm gonna... gonna show you my appreciation!" He flips back and onto the mostly broken train--and then slams his fist into it with enough force that it SHATTERS, sending shrapnel spraying towards the group...Only WIll is really spared for the time being, ironically that time field prevents Cronus from casually assaulting him--the shards headed his way just ... stop.
Will Sherman Will watches people show up to the scene...good, they made it! He breathes in relief, they were here...and they were going to save Emi.

Will, however, isn't content with just staying here. Those strings, once more, start to appear and disappear, like a light being turned on and off repeatedly. For brief periods of time, people that look directly at Will can see them. The strings that Will has...they often could see the strings of others when Will punched people, affecting them with his powers for brief periods. They were tangled messes...

"...move!" Will hears Umi's plea...

But it is litterally impossible to see Will. Each string, prismatic in color, Glyssomer and extend out farther than people can see. Everyone here has a string to him, rather positive or negitive, but...

How many strings does Will have? How can Will possibly have that many connections? Well, YOU live for three hundred years among the city of Manhattan and not know a lot of people. The strings give him strength, shining like a beacon in the darkest moment of Legion. And then...

Time shatters around Will. Will moves again, walking slowly out of the time field kept by Cronus. His eyes blazing, as he walks, the strings extend around and behind him. Will does not often reveal his true nature like this, he often hides in the rags of poverty, but for this moment... you didn't see a little hobo lad, you saw a being of power.

"Cronus! Witness the power of connections. Without them, I would not be free of your spell. They are my strength, as I am theirs! Allow me to show you!" The strings flare out, releasing uncontroled magic through his bonds. Each and every person here can feel it, their fates reenforced by order of magnitudes, for this one purpose and one purpose alone...

Saving Legion and Cronus from this badly written fate.
Aerith And of course, Aerith is not satisfied with just hitting this guy. All this talk about the experiment going on... she'll have to inquire about it later, if there's anything left of him to talk to after they're done. And then the train goes boom, glass goes flying everywhere... but none of it seems to connect with the staff wielder as she begins to execute a figure-eight with her staff, knocking the shards of glass away from her.

All the while she does not bother to retort, taunt, or look too worried. Instad, she slams her staff into the ground after the assault ends, and the next moment sees pale green streams of light seeping into her. It's time to get serious.
Avira Secretly, Avira is mightily proud of her awful pun. She doesn't say very much about it, though and quickly hops off of Mercade's motorcycle. While she could keep this guy at a distance and keep plinking away with magic, she'd rather get up close and personal...that is if it was going to come to that.

For a long moment it seems like this might actually resolve without a fight. Avira doesn't entirely understand what was going on-something about a science test and this guy being hired to kill Legions? But now he doesn't have to? "...but why even bother-" Avira starts, her hands lifted out at her sides as her shoulders shrug.

Then this guy explodes the train by punching it. It's a remarkable feat that Avira would be admiring right now, had a large chunk of sheet metal not just suddenly hit her square in the face. Her head snaps backwards and she falls over abruptly, crumpled in a heap on the ground.

There's no response from her until Will starts to pluck at her strings of fate, each which glow a variety of reds and whites around those here. One of her hands twitches, then clenches as she forces herself back up onto her feet. Her head is bleeding and there's an enormous, jagged cut down the length of her nose, criss-crossing one of the older scars on her face. Avira looks...angry.

The Spine is torn free and Avira closes the distance between them, wheeling the spine between hands with each blow, slipping to his flank and plunging her odd weapon sideways. The final strike is aimed at the side of his knee to brutally kick him down.
Mercade Alexander "Will. That's so cheesy that it belongs on a pizza." Mercade says... But he's grinning anyway. "All right Avira, let's kick some ass."

He waves, and then looks over in shock as the fragments go flying. "LOOK OUT, AERITH!" Mercade calls as he kicks the motorcycle into motion, powersliding under the scattering hyperaccelerated projecties. Several glance off of the used motorcycle, deflecting off into the air and leaving heavy dents. Like bullets.

He rights himself and leaps off of the cycle, sticking to long range and hoping that Cronus is too distracted to screw with his ranged attacks.

Mercade fires rapidly, firing several quick shots. "Seriously, Cronus, this doesn't prove anything! Is this what you want? Is that all this means to you, just a chance to prove your strength?"
Leida It takes another minute or so of blindly wandering forward through the dimly lit tunnels for Leida to find her way, the girl silently praying to all of the spirits of this land to guide her in the right direction, Imi's message held tightly like a talisman against the evils of this place. The Heartless are close behind, nipping at her heels like wild dogs sensing a straggler from the herd, weak and unprotected.

It is Cronos himself that opens the way. The wall explodes before her in a shower of glass and ceramic, her shriek of surprise drowned out as several chunks of the shattered train blast into the adjacent tunnel with a great crash. Fresh voices spill out of the makeshift archway of twisted steel, voices she recognises and many that she does not.

Leida hesistates only a moment before plunging into the cloud of dust, squinting her eyes against the foreign particulates. The obscuring fog of powdered porcelain is thick enough to make her stagger, coughing roughly as she searches for some signs of the others. What greets her, however, is a shimmering band of light.

The princess pauses and stares in awe as the magical energy rushes into her body, multi-hued lines weaving and interlacing with her slender frame. It felt wonderful. But she did not stop to enjoy it.

Forging ahead, the girl bursts into view from the wreckage of the far wall behind most of the others. Her gaze dances about swiftly, picking out the important elements in the scene; people, faces, threats, all highlighted in her mind as if by neon lights in the span of a few moments. Still, there were too many unknown elements for her to act just yet.

Reaching over one shoulder, the great bow slung upon her back was brought about with care as she stood up straight. Arrows filled a leather quiver at the small of her back and she drew one forth, easily the length of her entire arm, nocking it to the string with practiced ease. But she still needed a target.

"Imi-chan! Shida-chan! I am here! What should I do?"
Maximilien Max has no desire to tell Cronus who he is. His priorty is saving Emi and the others, nothing more - when Will breaks free, Max ticks Will off his mental checklist. As Will empowers him, Max mumbles a little thing under his breath; magic flows through him, enhancing him, empowering him. The train shatters, shards coming towards him, razor-sharp and ready to shred him to bits. Fortunately for Max, he's fast - lightning fast. He dances between the shards as though they were as harmless and slow as newfalling snow, each one sliding past him effortlessly. Then he hops backwards, mumbling something to himself again.

"Ordinarily, monsieur, I would scold you for your violence, but I think you will be hearing quite enough of that, so instead..." Max flicks the rose up into the air; it scatters, flower petals falling across the battlefield as he swings his cape about. "I will let them do it for me. Much more efficient that way, I find."
Faruja Senra Faruja isn't one to forget his manners, at least when it comes to his allies. "Ahh, but you have me at a disadvantage, M'Lady! Proper introductions after, hmm? Hardly shall the Shard Seekers leave our allies 'out to dry' as you humans say." Seems the rat hasn't yet gotten to grips with the whole 'Network' business just yet.

Throughout Cronus' rant, the various Legion's words about an experiment, the whole thing just comes off as absolutely insane. Thankfully, by now, he's used to dealing with insane. Unfortunately, this is the brand of insane that can punch really, really sharp debris at people. Several bits of train are parried and battered away with his weapon, before part of what might have been a pole skewers the Burmecian in his side like some sort of javelin. The force of the blow sends him flying several feet away. No more flanking bonus for Emi. Whispered words, and in a flash of white light, the massive scaled form of Arista the White Wyvern appears beside Cronus. The great beast hisses her angered upon smelling her master's blood on the air. Teeth and claws descend, intending to make a meal of the time mage.

Landing with a pained squeak, the Burmecian coughs up blood as he notes his own companion's wounds. Ignoring the bit of metal now in him, he glances to Will. Strings. Appearing and fading, almost innumerable to the rat's admittedly poor vision hampered by pain. Not one bit of Will can be seen. Faruja frowns. Was /this/ part of Loki's power?

At least it's being used against someone who deserves it. "If you truly must know, I am but a friend of these valiant people. Cease your struggles. No matter how much power, or skill one has, 'tis but a trifling compared to that of one's /allies/. Against so many, you shall be overwhelmed, Witch."

Perk. An ear lifts up, even as Faruja rushes to heal those injured while (hopefully) Arista can help keep cronus at bay. Standing, even as his own string to Will empowers the young Burmecian, he roughly yanks out the pole-end embedded in his flesh.

"Lady Leida, defend thyself and Lady Emi!"
Deidra Deidra feels something changing, for the better she feels stronger now thanks to Will. It may be what keeps her from being hurt as baldy as the hellish atack comes in from Cronus she stares him down for a moment after she recovers for a moment. "If thats how you see them then you get no farther here." She's already got her book open and she's chatning in latin. The winds pick up about her as she now starts to send huge gusts of air at Cronus and attempts to force him into the air.

"Enough of this, you had enough blood."
Isaac Hanlon "Yeah; me and me alone," Isaac says. He stares down the man with the timepiece eyes in a way normally reserved for old adversaries. "It's been a while, Cronus. Maybe not long enough, though."

The train car basically explodes. Isaac barely gets a shield up, the worst pieces of the shattered train stopped in mid-air. Slivers pepper him, the fine shards slicing into his vulnerable flesh where they manage to bypass his coat. Isaac bleeds. Not much, but enough. Glass and steel shards stabbing into someone makes it very difficult for that someone to concentrate. He stifles a cry, exhaling a hissing breath -- and though the shield wavers for a second, it sharpens back into crystal clarity almost instantly.

"Is a fight all you really want?" Isaac asks, straightening his stance and fighting a wince. "Is all you're after some killing, for a fool's errand and a hopeless cause?!" Chambers' words flicker through Isaac's head. "All to see his family. At least Chambers had a /reason/. What's your excuse?"

Suddenly, Will's power washes over the room. The strings of Isaac's fate reverbrate with the sudden reinforcement. Several that remain barely intact amongst a cluster of severed strings that were once amongst the strongest he had shine the brightest, rising to the surface.

Isaac blinks. When he opens his eyes, they glow with a sudden luminescence, a blue inner light. "Magic?" he asks, a brief word, the question entirely rhetorical. His voice takes on a strange reverberating quality, full of barely-constrained fury. Isaac lightly kicks off the ground, drifting into the air and leaving an inky silhouette where he travels. "I'll show you /real/ magic."

A great man once said, do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger. Isaac has taken these words to heart. Today, though... "<Goosehonk> subtle," Isaac whispers.

A pillar of blue light manifests in the air above Cronus and the shattered remains of the train car. It drops like a hammer, slamming into the fragments and casting them upwards and inwards on him like the jaws of a self-propelled bear trap. The raw magic shakes the ground it touches, and tines of solid light fire upwards and outward, a web of energy with the solidity of steel shooting up and around Cronus, each individual strand barely missing the combatants trying to keep him in melee. They strike like needles and spin closed like a cocoon, pressing inward in a field of distressingly solid lasers that won't stop for anything but themselves.

The Magician floats near the top of the dome, watching and weaving from on high. The shield around him resembles a tapestry of the same strands of light, growing and shrinking with eerie fluidity while his voice booms with words of deep sorcery.

Shit may have just gotten real.

Will Sherman breaks free from his imprisonment. This is rapidly spiraling out of Cronus's control, but he doesn't seem to care. He just sees this as the shortest path to getting the power he needs. Normally, one might suspect an ambush by this many super tough badasses would not count as stop the experiment but since a certain super computer got blown the hell up and the man behind them captured, well, it might just work. What's at stake may not be just that anyway, but rather Cronus achieves his goals--or what you have to do to stop him.

Cronus says, "Wh--whaaaaat? You should've been frozen there forever...Rggghh, I must've messed up the calculations or SOMETHING..."

Meanwhile Emi can't help but laugh at Max's commentary. Sure that sort of humor is a bit arrogant, but that doesn't mean it's not funny. Cronus seems severely disturbed by Emi laughing.

"Laughing??" He says. "You're gettin' real odd, Legion..."

Someone shouts out Shida's and Imi's names. Cronus turns his head and sees...five more Legions? "What..." He says. "...That can't be right, there were only supposed to five left..." He must've cottoned onto Umi surviving earlier. "...They making more behind my back or somethin'? Really leaves a bad taste in my mouth."

He taps his foot rapidly. "Well Will... I didn't really enjoy beating you like that anyway. You say it's your bonds right? So to beat you I just gotta beat your bonds. Seems simple enough!!"

Avira dashes at Cronus. As she strikes, she notices that there's a bit of deceleration with each of her strikes. She manages to hit Cronus, but not quite where she hoped--thus preventing them from being the crippling blows they ought to be. He lashes out with a hand--but Avira can pull back before whatever he was going to try goes off. Clucking his tongue in annoyance he adds, "Man you all don't get all I gotta do is get you once and it'd be over, all that's been stopping me so far was me not feeling like it..."

"That is the question you've yet to answer! Why don't you??" Emi shouts, uncharacteristically emotive.

Why doesn't he? Mercade snaps him with a few bullets. The bullets decelerate upon hitting his shield but still dig into his arms. He must still be tired from his earlier battle with Will Sherman.

"'s not about me showing off... I just... HAVE TO...break these BONDS OF FATE!" He grabs at his own body, shaking rapidly. "You don't understand, you can't feel can't feel it you can't feel it..." And for a moment, with Will, he was able to SEE IT too. It makes him angry, so damn angry!

Isaac Hanlon gets his sorcery on. It is perhaps one of the most beautiful and terrifying displays of magical power that Cronus has ever seen. A web of laser becomes a block of laser and slams down upon Cronus, obscuring his body in pure brililant light. Even decelerated--and Isaac can tell he slowed that down as much as he could--it's still an agonizing blow. Cronus collapses to his knee, his back burnt to a crisp as he lets out a ragged breath--but in retaliation he adjusts Isaac's time, ripping further open the small wounds he's already had--doing the same to Deidra as well even as wind carries him across the ground, slamming him into the floor a few times for good measure. Even if he's not done yet, he couldn't last much longer, could he?

"Heheh....hahaha..." Cronus laughs bloodily. "Just 'cause you don't have to obey no rules, doesn't mean you're stronger than me, Isaac..." He smashes his own face into his own knee with frustration. "You might even know pain, almost as much as I do..." he turns his head, grinning like a maniac. "But I've been in it all my liiiiiife...!!"

The world seems to slow, but Cronus doesn't, he just speeds up, lashing out at those present. Legion barely has time to fling HEALING LIGHTNING towards Avira, Isaac, and Deidra, almost hitting Cronus with it rather than her intended target. For whatever reason, the Legions and AVira are left be. The rest aren't so lucky, as each strike seems to burst open wounds that were never there, or perhaps were there long ago.
Aerith And of course, the effects of this attack are not so good as far as Aerith is concerned, and she gets hit full on... yet doesn't stagger back more than two feet. She wastes no time in moving to make her own attack, tired of him talking nonsense. All she wants to know is what the experiment is and how to stop it. If beating him is the way to do it, fine. If not, there's always time for talk later.
Will Sherman Will looks towards Cronus, as he picks himself down, and he sighs.

The threads finally fade as he is freed, his eyes narrow towards the man as he rants and raves, shouting and continuiously trying to fight fate. the issue with his powers? Did fate choke at him, for his powers over time? This would explain somethings..but he couldn't stop now. He looks towards the Legions, shaking his head. "Alright, lets end this." he says to them, and leaps into the air, aiming to litterally soar towards Cronus.

He doesn't speak, as he follows fate, jumping from high point to high point before trying to get right Above Cronus. His fist crackles with red energy, once more trying to tear through those lines of fate. Then he flips off of Cronus, before trying to bring both fists down, aiming to litterally slam him across the top of the head, trying to brain the /hell/ out of him.

Mercade Alexander Mercade watches Cronus' technique. This is the first time he's really had a chance to see it in action. It's powerful, there is no doubt: Someone who can alter the path of Time itself? He can't fathom what it must be like to see the world throught those clock eyes. "Cronus... Just stop, damn it! We don't... You're just as much of a victim in this as Legion is. You've been altered and manipulated by these bastards too!"

Cronus strikes out, but Mercade inexplicably is slowly flipping theough the air, the strike from the time master putting a gash in his trenchcoat instead of through his body. Once he hits the ground, he slides backwards, maintaining distance. "You have power... A ton of it... But no control. They just set you loose, didn't they? They just let you figure everything out on your own, just told you to do this and that. But they never really got to know you, did they?" Mercade says, looking up. As he stands, rose petals (and the subtle boost from Max) washes by, and he nods to the Phantom Thief in appreciation. Max will make sure as many members of Legion remain safe as possible given the circumstances.

"You murdered the members of the Legion, Cronus. But you are just being manipulated. Doing this isn't going to bring anything back, and this... This isn't supposed to be how you get stronger!"

What's this? Mercade is trying to contravene RPG logic?!? After looking at the situation, Mercade nods, and spins the gun in his hand, using his gift of gun to fire with quick, accurate strikes at Cronus, using several feinting shots before he bounces the real attack off of the wall of the train station in a trick shot.
Avira "And that's supposed to scare me off?" Avira hisses as she slips around his hand and moves behind him. In these close quarters, she's going to make it very difficult for her to actually turn and face him..well, until he pulls out his Time BS and focuses on her specifically. Doing so would give the rest of the TDA ample time to hit him, of course!

Her head throbs, the concussion threatening her balance and focus. Avira is about to back off when Faruja's timely intervention wipes away a good portion of the ongoing head trauma. Even the bleeding slows, no longer dripping off her chin. Then, with Legion's healing lightning, it stops completely. With some luck, it won't be a new scar!

"I feel sorry for you." Avira murmurs, leaning forward suddenly to jab the Spine into his lower back. "You're trapped, aren't you?" Is Avira actually listening? Trying to understand?

Maybe. But she's still trying to stab him. Still fiercely getting right up in his face and striking. Though she ends with another kick, but this one aims a whole lot higher. Avira can certainly jump and with that, she can certainly kick someone in the head.
Leida Which one was Emi?? Leida feels a sudden pang of guilt at not being able to distinguish her friends apart despite them being entirely identical! However, she can guess from taking a quick look around that Faruja was probably referring to the Legion that was seperated from the others and looked injured. That realization causes her expression to become pained.

"E-Emi-chan! Please stay safe! I will aid yo--!"

However, as if to deny that very notion Cronus bolts into action, once more bending time to his whims as he accelerates beyond the bounds of normal reality. The princess can only watch in abject horror as the angry man comes sailing at her with no signs of pity or remorse in his unusual eyes.

The time-punch slams into her gut like an anvil, every last gasp of breath hammered out of her body in a single devastating blow. Time seems to distort as the fist makes contact, giving Leida a strange slow-motion view of her own body ragdolling in the presence of this collossal force for a few heartbeats. The lapse catches up just as violently as the attack and the small girl careens into the wall behind, smashing flat against the metal panelling with a sickening thud and a blossom of dark blood.

Her feet hit the pavement a few moments later and by some miracle the princess remains on her feet, though she looks dazed and confused at what she just witnessed. This was the thing that hunted her friends? A person who could do things like that? The girl immediately fell to her knees and wretched, more dark black fluid staining the ground as the sheer thought of how over her head she was hit her.

The blood, for that was what it must be, hissed and bubbled before her and that sight shocked Leida even further. The others, they would see what she had become. The Legions had accepted her but the rest of them, the ones she had hurt before. Doubt gripped her and the princess tried to crawl away, hiding behind one of the fallen piece of train wreckage as she battled with the desire to help her friend and the fear for her own safety.
Maximilien Ow.

Max isn't perfect at dodging. It''s why he doesn't fight people very often. And that's really apparent right now, because as Cronus hits the field with the time slow, wounds just explode open across Max, wounds he never had. In the middle of his dance, he stumbles, falling forward and holding his chest as his white tuxedo soon runs to red. Max lands on his knee, fire that he never experienced burning around him, a knife wound he narrowly avoided slicing open his stomach, a bullet he dodged lodging itself in his shoulder. This is pain, true pain, magnificent pain, and Max is not...designed...for pain. He is thin and lanky and tall and swift, and this is something for men like Tom, men who were made to take pain and suffering and bundle it up. Max is...Max is not one of those men.

To his credit, he does not scream. He wants to scream...but he does not scream. He simply bites his lip, hard, clamping down everything and swallowing it into himself. He can feel every slice, every cut, every burn that he ever evaded, every trap he ever undid, all rushing back to him at the same time. Also to his credit, he does not pass out, though he truly wishes he could.

Max's eyes go black. It would be easy - there was an easy way out of this. An easy, eay way. The shadows around Max suddenly flare upwards visibly, and Max reaches out as if to grab them, his blood-covered hand going towards them, towards the shadows and the darkness and the terrible terrible night, and-

And Max slams his fist shut, the darkness vanishes, and Max rolls over in pain, his eyes fading back to normal in moments.
Deidra Deidra has just had the hell knocked out of her at this point if not for will's supporting her who knows what sort of condtion she'd be in. Emi heals her and that helps her for what comes next. There's pain theres a whole lot of pain s she's cast a barirer which does little more than slow Cronus assault prehaps even slightly she's horribly ripped apart she's bleeding at this point from several wounds and doesn't eem too happy at all. She's just hurt to the point she's actually /backing/ off and trying to recover.
Faruja Senra Faruja, even as experienced as he's become, can't help but be awed by the magical prowess of one Isaac Hamilton. This man is /truly/ a mage! Unfortunately, this gives Cronus just the right amount of time to /act/. Reflexively leaping into the air to avoid whatever pain might be heading his way, the Burmecian screams as visions of his burning home fill his mind's eye. Along his arm and burnt face, flames briefly erupt, burning away bandages and renewing old, crippling wounds. Landing on a relatively un-smashed bit of a train, he stops and rolls, before smartly applying healing to his own limb and face.

The brave Templar for a moment stalls, old fears haunting least, until the sound of battle and his friends and allies being harmed roughly slaps him out of a phobic panic attack.

Whistle! Arista takes to the sky...ceiling before landing amidst some rubble. Her jaws reach out to pick up some ruined train with her tail, roughly tossing it at Cronus. The Burmecian himself leaps once again to Emi's side, taking up a guarding stance, before leveling his blade. "Holy Explosion!"

A column of white light will descend upon the time-god, seeking to tear into body and soul! If they can't /convince/ him to lay off, they may just have to force the issue. Faruja doesn't pull any punches, quietly praying that their combined powers and words will help dissuade further violence towards Emi. It doesn't help that Cronus is slowing down the world. Faram-blasted time mages!

At least attacking has him missing Leida's boiling black blood. The shadows flaring about Max, then seemingly squashed by the man's closing hand, is a bit more overt. It's filed away for later, as the rat concentrates on there /being/ a later.
Isaac Hanlon Isaac unleashes power that he didn't even know he had. The blue tines of light whip across the floor, this way and that, hammering into Cronus and ripping up the ground around him with reckless abandon. It halts for a scant handful of seconds when Cronus throws another temporal pulse at him. Isaac cringles, his body shaking and the relatively minor wounds suddenly splitting open. Blood flows freely, dark stains growing on his torn shirt. Droplets fall from his floating form in a gentle rain onto the floor below. It's because of Legion that he doesn't instantly bleed out.

The tamed strands of mana dissipates back into the world around him almost instantly. Cronus' pursuing prison of laser light vanishes, leaving a vague haze. Isaac doesn't move from his spot in the air, the intricately-woven shield doing nothing to protect him from the ravages of time used as a killing tool. He needs to reconfigure it, he realizes. He can't do it unless he sees it done more, though; he has to get more data, and then change the spell. Changing the spell shouldn't be hard, though, not for the Ma--

--for someone like him, Isaac thinks, shaking his head suddenly. He takes a breath, doing his best to ignore the agony of breathing and moving and /living/.

"I've got to obey rules, Cronus. I've always had to. I'm thinking that that's what you've never really understood." Isaac's hands rise. His tablet hovers before him, the pages of an ancient text open before his eyes. He splays his fingers, twitching them little by little, and then moving them through a slow, intricate dance. The power he calls begins to gather again, a low thrumming sound surrounding him. The edges of his barrier glow, individual patterns worked into the quilt of defenses lighting up and merging with one another, one by one.

"Stop fighting us, Cronus," Isaac rasps, voice heavy with pain and the difficulty of focusing on the maelstrom he has in his own two hands. Flickers of lightning lash across the train station, bleed from the power called licking across the floor and walls and chasing Cronus by it's own volition. "Just stop, and I'll do everything I can to make this right. You don't have to be in pain, and you don't have to be the puppet of these people."
Cronus Hard to say what Cronus means. Perhaps they just reveal to him that he'll never be free. The strings are always there, he always feels them even if he cannot see them. Are they choking him or does he just feel that way because he's a bit of a psychopath? It's hard to say. Legion hasn't exactly been forthcoming about Cronus's past and nobody was especially curious about that aspect of him. Perhaps Dr. Chambers knows--Cronus doesn't seem too interested in revealing the rest of the backstory.

Time Is Ticking

Max goes down. Emi rushes to his side and works on his injuries with healing magic. "Max..." She whispers worriedly. Her eyes go wide as Max's eyes turn black. "No--no... you won't...Not like this... We'll bring you out, The Network vows. The Network vows this." She repeats. But it seems he doesn't need help--he manages to beat back the darkness on his own. Emi grabs at his hand with a free one, trying to keep him chizzle.

You can see his resolve wavering. But this is when someone is at their most dangerous, where they do things without being able to think clearly about it. "It had to have been for a reason..." He says. This is why he can't stop. If he stopped, then weren't those lives wasted? If he stopped now, he'd have to admit they were people. If he had to do these things, how could he even get up? Perhaps deep down he already knows.

The last person Cronus is about to avoid is Avira. Isaac's magic licks at his body, draining him. IT won't be long now before he can't even move. But he still hasn't used his trump card and that trump card has taken many of Legion before. Avira doesn't get counterattacked. PErhaps those words had some resonance with him. "Sorry--for me?? Nhgg... Just...get outta here already. You've gotten hurt enough."

His movements have never been refined. Now they're getting downright sloppy. He always had tremendous power. He never had to learn to refine it. Instead, he just expanded it and expanded it.

Time Is Ticking.

He raises his arms to block Will's attack. Will's practice easily pierces his defenses and slugs him about the skull. He stumbles away, Mercade snapping him with a few more bullets and pushing him away.

"Never wanted this power..." He growls. "Never wanted these chains... but i'll punch through them..." And indeed, Will can see that he's finally succeeding. His bonds of fate are starting to break. He's removing himself from the world, from existence. Or something else. Either way, it can't be good.

Aerith clobbers him a couple times, this doesn't hurt him much--but it does leave him open for




Time Is Still Ticking.

The assault on Leida draws Imi's attention to her. She runs to try and help her. Umi moves, ready to help Will if Cronus gets near--

Suddenly, the train that landed on Cronus evaporates. No, that's not just right. It's time was just sped up so fast that it naturally decayed to such a point, creating the illusion of simply...vanishing away.

"YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGH!!!" Cronus screams, launching himself towards Leida first--

--but Imi gets in the way, raising an electric barrier that shoves Cronus back. He spins on his heel and recklessly throughs himself at Will. Umi throws a punch to try and stop him, but this time Cronus is ready for it and simply kicks Umi away. She suffers superficial damage.

Time Is Ticking.

Instead he throws his palm for Will, intending to use the same move that killed Shida, that nearly killed Umi--right on him. He spins and leaps for Aerith, throwing a snap punch for her body, finding her bothersome. If he manages to catch her, wounds that have yet to come will burst open across her body. It will hurt.

He snaps forward, trying to catch Mercade--using his own speed to close the distance--but will he manage to get to him in time? Either way, that man who was taunting him before--that last one. The TDA these annoying people they've all gotta--

He throws himself at Max. But this time Emi stands up, intercepting Cronus's path. A hand is thrown out and Cronus touches Legion lightly against the chest.

"Wwwwwwwwwwhhhhhy????" He hisses.

"A detective helps those no--" Emi begins.

Will she get to finish it?

0The Heartless take form, pushing out from the shadows

0Time Is Up
Aerith And yet it's always the bothersome ones that are the most effective.

Aerith slips the attack, his fist nearly grazing her face. And in comes tail end of the staff in an attempt to send him flying... just before she leaps into the air and tries to kick him back down to earth.
Maximilien Max can feel Emi grab his hand; he can feel strength flooding into him, can feel healing power enhancing him. His groans a bit, coughing up some blood; a moment later, he reaches for the handkerchief tucked in his suit pocket.

Oh wait. That's covered in blood too.

"Merci beaucoup, petit," Max replies weakly as he stands. He holds up his hand. This was going too far - too far, too fast. As Cronus comes charging at Emi, Max slips his hand into his pocket, and pulls out...a piece of paper? With...some gold in it? What's he up to, as he wobbles there on his feet?

Max bites down on the metal, confirming it as real. Then he throws his hand to the sky. "LET US HONOR THE BARGAIN, MONSIEUR - I HAVE NEED OF YOU ONCE MORE!"

The sky turns black. Clouds fill the air as cherry blossoms begin to rain down around the battlefield, inexplicably; Japanese drums begin to beat in the distance, as two figures begin moving out of nowhere towards Max, two massive, fearsome figures that are difficult to make out in the shade. Max lowers the piece of paper as they approach, and suddenly, everyone can see them - everyone can see what it is Max has done.

One of them is tall and proud, clad in beautiful robes, with three great swords at his side. He is taller than any human; his face is covered by a great mask, and a wide-brimmed hat hangs across him, casting shadow over that terrible mask. The other is a great Foo Lion, or a great hound - it is impossible to tell which, but it is a hound massive, more massive than any save Enkidu, and it stands at the samurai's side without flinching as Max holds out the coins wrapped in metal. Max slowly closes his eyes and smiles, holding his side. "Take your coins, and assist us; I name you, Yojimbo!"

Yojimbo takes the coins. They disappear into his sleeve, and time begins to flow again as Yojimbo takes hold of one of his katanas and advances on Cronus. In the air, Japanese symbols float, the words of ZANTETSUKEN echoing through the battlefield as the katanas seals begin to break. Those massive clawed fingers wrap around that equally massive blade, and rip forth the seals, and the blade shines in the light of the moon that was just now conjured forth by Yojimbo's power, and it rises, it rises, ancient power rising above Cronus...

And then it falls, fierce, swift, the Demon-Cutting Blade, the ultimate sword earned long ago in a life no longer belonging to the samurai, a life before his new life of servitude and obedience. The blade falls, and Yojimbo slides it back into his hip and turns back to Max. No words are exchanged; the Samurai simply nods, and disappears like a fine morning mist as Max stumbles and falls backwards, all his strength drained by the power of the Aeon.
Will Sherman The force of the strike is enough for force Stright down to the ground, but the actual attack...the killing blow aims for Will's chest...

Will moves, punching right AT it..and for a moment the two powers collide. Fate and time once more clash. The area shudders under the assault of two metaphysical concepts trying to claim dominance...before it ends in simply...nothing. Will is still untouched, and his counter attack leaves nothing behind. Will stares up at Cronus...%r But his eyes are caught by the heartless...and then back at Cronus.

"...Oh god you idiot!" he shouts at Cronus.

Suddenly, he turns, and the Heartless finally take form...their eyes all focused on Cronus.

Will's eyes narrow, and instead of attacking Cronus, go right for the heartless, trying to drive his fist into them repeatedly! "THE HEARTLESS ARE AFTER CRONUS!" he shouts, trying to warn the everyone.
Faruja Senra Faruja glances back as the Heartless take shape. They're simply out of time. Glancing to his allies, some of whom are badly injured, the ratling calls out! "Sers and Dames, let us end this! He is /mad/!" There's no more time for mercy. Whatever Cronus may have gone through, it doesn't excuse the fact that he's trying to harm a woman. A woman who so happens to be one of Faruja's allies, practically a Shard Seeker by extension.

Fate and Time clashing. A mercenary esper drawing his blade. Things that the Burmecian would never have thought to see in his life. For a moment, he's breathless in awe for the second time. Against such forces, the rat feels tiny, miniscule, as if nothing.

He pulls himself together, however, as Will warns the party. The Heartless, getting a person of such abilities? He doesn't try to think on the consequences. Faruja knows he has to help end this. It /has/ to end now.

No more words. Just movement. Leaping into the air, Faruja's body glows as he summons up the rest of his strength. Reaching the cieling to the tunnel, he flips, footclaws clack-clacking against concrete. Thrusting his glowing spear, a crescent of purple energy descends upon Cronus, seeking to rend both body and the defenses protecting the man as well as thrusting him into the air! Then, with a mighty /shove/ of his powerful legs, he becomes a speeding ball of white Holy energy, seeking to slam into Cronus spear-point first and drive him back into the ground, concrete giving way as he lands.
Mercade Alexander Chaos reigns in Bodhum. Everything explodes! Fire rains from the skies! Cats and dogs are living together!

Mercade is not having any of this crap. He's undergunned for this situation, but he still has options. The Detective levels his gun at Cronus through the warping time manipulation. He wasn't sure if he was even going to be able to hit the man, but his power seems to be getting pushed to its limits. "It was a desperate plan by selfish men and mad women. Seriously, have you ever listend to Feige? Did she ever rant at you about 'Evil Science'? That woman needs professional psychiatric counseling. And maybe a few pounds of chocolate."

"If this is how you want to do it, Cronus, so be it... But we're not going to kill you. We'll just beat you until you are willing to listen to reason! We can help you, Cronus! BUT YOU HAVE TO LET US!"

Cronus turns and strikes at him. He reaches out with that snap punch, unleashing that deadly temporal strike to Mercade's center mass. Mercade can't get out of the way. There's no escape. That flash of blood and water passes through the Detective's mind. The horrifying sight... The fist impacts.



That's when the frying pan Mercade had tucked over his chest buckles and explodes outwards, shattering and fragmenting... but preserving Mercade's tender Detective flesh. The explosion also sends him flying, landing over next to...

Leida. "/You/." He blinks, looking up at the wounded, frightened, confused girl, and freezes. Cronus could not have elicted the expression of pure horror that crosses Mercade's features, and he staggers upwards, pulling the jagged, circular rim-remnants of the frying pan out of his coat and tossing it aside as he backs away from the girl.

Then Yojimbo roars. Perhaps roar is a misnomer; after all, Yojimbo does not roar. But the passage of his blade does. The massive, strange entity, the summoning ritual inexorably draw his attention, and he stares for a moment, shocked. "What. The hell." He says, simply... But he files it away. IT's helping, that's all he needs to know right now. Will brings him to business.

The Heartless are coming. That's an opponent Mercade has no need to hold back against. "Isaac, you've got this!" He calls, leaving he time manipulator to the wizard. He levels his gun, firing at the Heartless and working to winnow down the incoming assault before they can destroy the object of their goals here.
Leida More vile ichor erupts from Leida's mouth as she is overwhelmed by a fit of coughs, the injuries of the past opening up within her body and flooding her lungs. It was becoming difficult to breath. She was helpless here.

A hand touches her shoulder and the girl manages to look up, her vision swimming until it manages to focus on a familiar face. "I-Imi-chan..." Her body jerks suddenly as the Legion's control over electricity is turned to less destructive purposes though from the pain assaulting her chest, she would almost believe it if Imi told her that her touch was literally burning the wounds away.

The searing energies cause the princess to cry out; unlike Max her tolerance for pain is not merely low, it is non-existant. She has no false illusions of manliness to uphold. This HURT. Tears welled up in the corner of Leida's eyes and she wedge them shut until the crackling tingle faded away.

The sudden screams of rage and subsequent explosion of light that results from Imi's defense causes them to snap open again. Instead of the light amber irises, dark globs of yellow slit up the middle like a lizard or a cat stare out at the ruined train station, the girl's vision focusing anew.

It was no longer fear that filled her as she witnessed the enraged man striking out at her friends - but anger. A snarl overtakes the girl's delicate features, tiny hints of too-sharp teeth visible beneath her lips for a moment. Pushing to her feet, Leida rushes to where her bow lies fallen in the dirt and snatches it up, pausing only an instant as she comes face to face with the man from her past.

The Demon Princess stares back at him as he backs away, no hint of worry or fear in her corrupted eyes. There was no time for him now. Whirling about, she drew arrows from the quiver at her back, nocking three of them at once even as black fire began to dance upon their wooden shafts.

"You will not take my friends!" The timid voice of the girl is gone, replaced by a shout of defiant rage. The bow is pulled taut with surprise ease and she takes aim, eyes narrowly slightly the moment before release.

The trio of projectiles soars like ballistic missiles into the Heartless and Cronus, each exploding in a conflagration of demonic eldritch fire upon impact with whatever they happen to hit.
Avira He...wouldn't strike her? Avira finds this a little surprising, even as he manages to avoid her strikes. That's not all that surprising since she did notice how he seemed to slow and redirect her earlier blows to lessen their effect. "Yeah-" she still tries to remain moving, if only so she doesn't get in the way of the others taking shots at him. Though it seemed that Isaac's magic was of such a refined level that it was keyed to only attacking Cronus and not her in spite of being in his vicinity.

"Isn't this just perpetuating your fate?" Avira asks, slipping around him again, yet remaining within striking distance should she ever choose to actually hit with the Spine. She doesn't. "Stuck in a miserable cycle, it's so sad. But maybe there's a way out..."

Avira actually looks concerned as he stumbles away, muttering about how he never wanted this. Then Faruja chucks a train at the guy and Avira quickly dive-rolls the heck out of the way. The game quickly changes and Heartless appear.

With a burst of silverly light about her weapon, Avira takes off. For a few seconds she actually blurs as she plows through the forming heartless, Spine held horizontally so she cleaves as she runs.

"Did Max just summon a guy?" Avira calls out, the silvery shimmer having spread now, tiny motes of mist flickering off from her body as she works. With another pass-through, she unleashes a second strike, though afterwards she actually stops to fall to one knee, panting and gasping for air.
Deidra Deidra is very busy trying to not die. Cronus hunt of the parts of Legion, really need to end. Prehaps they can end it today or at least make him no longer to desire to do as such. Things get badm, things get bad for her friends. She's stepped back and this seems to have got her out of the his crosshairs for a moment. She takes this time to prepare a longer spell. Emi is still in danger as Cronus prove he has terrfying power. The chanting starts again it's latin once more and oddly it's longer. Will and Mercade should remeber this, she's just taken the gloves off and is unleahsing the most powerfull spell she's got control over. She brings up one taloned hand and then drops it a moment later causing a pillar of raw arcane energy attempting to form about Cronus.
Isaac Hanlon tick tock
tick tock
tick tock

Cronus gets his ass beaten six ways from Sunday. Isaac can do little more than watch. Divine power erupts from one figure on the shadow-soaked battlefield. Two more appear at the behest of another, striking with the perfect killing stroke. Another swings a clenched fist, and the Conceptual, that place that Isaac claims holds his power, where he works his wonders of magic, shudders as if in fear. Will had --

"Don't think about it," he hisses, voice barely travelling past his shield. Desperately clinging to the gathered storm, he forces his concentration back to that place, the strings of his nearly-inhuman fate played like a well-tuned instrument. Ignore the people. Pick out the powers. Sudden movement, once, twice from another. Is it two? A figure closes, uses a piece of nature but not in the same manner. It is incomprehensible. Still another sight, fire that howls with the voices of the Underworld emerging from one more. The bark of a metallic hound loosed on the creatures of the deepest depths of the blackest sea, yet they do not come from afar.

tick tock
tick tock
tick tock

He hears it. It's a clock, of a sort. It's man-shaped, yet no, no, not to his sight. So few of these things below are man-shaped. Clusters of power, magnitudes of magic, all of them beneath him. Not far, though, no, not combined, not puzzled together and fitted and how does it work, he wonders, if he can just find out, then it'll be so much easier, so how does it --

"/Don't think about it/," he repeats, a mantra of necessity. The spell goes ever-onward. The words wind together, the shield rolling itself into a disk of totally incomprehensible sigils and symbols. They fit together perfectly despite human eyes finding them difficult to define as real shapes. They layer in ways that others may not call layers, criss-crossing in one dimension and sliding smoothly across one another like a well-oiled machine in another. Perceptions. All perceptions.

tick tock
tick tock
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The body of The Magician rebels against the power coursing through it. The sheer amount of mana contained in and around one vessel is enough to simply break him down, destroying him and annihilating the area all around them. It's precise, though, and that precision, that same precision Avira has already noted, is what keeps it going. It moves, ever spiralling, ever twisting, never stopping. The entire pattern vibrates, humming and pulsing with a precise tune. It follows the same notes that the sorcerer above dictates, his lips pressed together and humming a little tune to set it dancing along.

The pattern he holds slides past the edge of his fingertips. He pushes it gently forward, like he was setting a model sailboat into a current. It drifts away and floats downward, falling like a cloud with the same silence. He twitches his fingers this way and that. The creature with the terrible fires keeps pulling it out of balance, keeps attracting it. He can't have that. The intricate, artful weaving descends, passing into the alarmingly large pool of blood that has gathered beneath the mana-wielder pulling the strings. It fades from sight.

tick tock
tick tock
tick tock

Suddenly, the entire train station lights up. Brilliant cyan light erupts from the floor, the delicately traced pattern filling the entire building. It is perfectly placed: Cronus rests on a major intersection of the lines, a crossing within a crossing within a crossing, while each and everyone else stands in gaps between. The pattern is more complicated at the edges, filling the spaces where the Heartless begin to manifest almost completely.

And then it exanathema and erases them. It's a death of a thousand cuts compressed into a span of seconds, a blinding radiance accompanied by a roar of a hurricane.

tick tock, goes Cronus, the man of the clocks.
tick tock, goes Cronus, not of the same darkness, but unnatural all the same.
tick, says the Magician, reaching out and catching the note, grasping that curious sound.

There is a pause.

The light fades. The pattern dissipates. The man above, wreathed in blue light, has one hand outstretched. He reaches it for Cronus' chest, as if grasping for the thing that resides within. He tries to hold it, to clutch it in his hand and keep it from finishing that strange, rhythmic beat.

Just for a moment. Just a second. Just enough to let all that carefully-controlled time... stop. Just so he can't fight them anymore. Not to kill him -- never to kill. Just to... stop. It's all he needs. To stop.

tock, goes the man of the clocks, released from his grasp.
Cronus Emi pauses for a moment and then says, "A detective helps those nobody else can help. One should not need a reason to help someone. Everyone needs a hand sometimes, there is no shame in that, The Network lectures and insists it be memorized."

Cronus snaps his hand back as Yojimbo crashes down, swiping through him, a thick red mark flashing across his chest and across his back. He sinks down, that one blow rendering him practically unable to move.

Isn't this just perpetuating your fate?, that scarred girl asked him. But maybe there's a way out? That's why he wanted all this power. Wasn't it? Wasn't it?

Deidra blasts him with magical might, his body wobbling about as he's struck more and more. He tries to summon more power, but he's spent. Even Aerith kicks him in the back while he's prone, interrupting him. Arrows of darkness certainly surprise Imi who, at this point, turns her attention off the scene and back onto Leida.

"Leida, Leida we're okay!" She says. "It's over... We think it's over, The Network believes."

She also draws out a small napkin and dabs at Leida's cheek because there's company, after all.

But it's Isaac that probably does the most incredible thing of all even if, in a sense, it's the most simplistic. Real magic, Isaac calls it. Umi calls it DJ Power but that's neither here nor there.

There's a beat as Chronos's time is seized. If that's even it. Maybe it's closer to his essence that's held firm. He manages, "DJ......Zero..."

Before the clock strikes nothing. The DJ holds back a beat.

The others fight back the Heartless, but they're well rested, healthy--nobody else is--they do, however, manage to keep them off Cronus and--really--anybody else. But for a moment, even with all this power here, they'll eventually just push through in a moment of weakness. It's just a matter of


Time. The beat is let go, just after that moment. Faruja dives for Cronus, really it's a good time to. He's frozen, and all he has to do is touch someone. He just, as of yet, has not really gone for it. And he could. At any moment. He could kill just by thinking it, wanting it hard enough. Just hoping to not be there, or for a frying pan, is that enough?

But Emi steps forward, at this point, around Yojimbo who had been protecting her. "I am sorry, Max." She says, looking back to him. "This one has..." She looks up to Yojimbo. "...something to gamble."

Cronus, sweating bullet, pants, breathes, that one moment that Isaac gave him may have seemed like little, but it was a moment where he didn't feel time, he was free from its grip. He was free, even though he wasn't moving, even though he couldn't move. Faruja moves to stab him in the back--

--Emi raises a hand, missing the grab and instead getting her hand sliced open for her troubles. She blinks briefly, but then grabs the shaft tightly, twisting her arm into the tip enough to hold it fast, though she does bleed from the strike.
Cronus "I am sorry, Faruja." She says. "But I cannot bear to see him hurt anymore, this one apologizes." Even if he's a mad time mage?

Apparently. She looks into Cronus's eyes, defeated. Nobody else can see it, but Will can. All bonds are broken, but Emi holds a little piece of string in her hand, and reaching forward, pressing a hand on Cronus's, gripping it tightly. She can't actually do this, it must be just happy coincidence that she's putting her hands where Will sees them. But she holds them fast.

"I refuse to let you be free from me, The Network tells you." She pauses for a moment and then shakes her head. "Emi. My name is Emi." She says. "I am the administrator for the Network. Do you remember when we met?" Those string scraps grow slowly, unfurling as they threaten to attach once more.

The Heartless continue to push until, suddenly, there are no Heartless anymore. Something broken in the area is not there anymore, at least for now, eradicated--utterly by Isaac's might. Not a single drop of Heartless remains. They're gone.

"What the hell is wrong with you...?" Cronus breathes. "This is some ridiculous joke... I killed so many of you--"

"When we first met." Emi ignores him. "You were uninterested in the experiment until they said you would be a weapon otherwise. You were uninterested in fighting us. You told us to leave and run. We did not understand at the time. You taunted us, played with us--gave us many chances to escape the fights. We did not understand at the time. It was not until after we appeared in Traverse Town we started to understand, and until we met Mercade Alexander that we understood entirely."

Cronus jerks his head and looks towards Isaac like he's the scariest person in the room (which might be true) and then Mercade like he might--for different reasons entirely--be a close second.

"A detective helps those who can get help from nowhere else. For a long time, we were in such a position." Emi says, shaking out her injured hand. "It became clear to us what you had been trying to do once Mercade explained this and then, further, explained that the situation was more complex than simply defeating you. The Network further explains that this was done through reasoning and listening--listening for himself, rather than relying simply on information we provided. We were curious about his work as a detective. We observed him, and his allies, and grew to understand the methodologies of its work. You cannot be blamed for not knowing these methodologies, but you were trying to help us even as you were trying to break free yourself. I am sorry, Cronus." She says. "That I did not understand until so recently what it was you were trying to do. Please forgive me. I hope we can be friends, The Network offers sincerely."

The bond is complete, white--both ways.

"Tch... you're some kinda idiot." Cronus murmurs. "Why should I care--"

"The Network will then neglect to mention that you repeated that we should avoid fighting you in every single one of our encounters to protect your Tsundere soul." Emi says heartlessly.

"Ghkk" Cronus grunts, and then flops onto his back, too weak to move. "...Whatever. You've won. It's over."

Emi smiles at him. It's the sort of smile you might expect from someone who just won a triathalon. "Mercade Alexander." She turns back to him. "Our probation period has been over. Will you please accept us officially as members of your detective organization. We wish to do what he tried to do. We wish to help those who have nowhere else to go. Will you accept us?, The Network pleads?"
Aerith Aerith takes a few steps away, wondering just what she'd gotten herself into... and yet she doesn't ask. It's not the appropriate time anyways. A lot was cleared up, sure enough, and perhaps that was all she needed to know for now. She'd ask Mercade later... when she wasn't busy recovering from the injury reversal she'd suffered earlier.

She then takes notice of what she hadn't before... someone she'd met once, but never really had the pleasure of speaking with. There was Leida, who'd come to help as well. Flowergirl made her way over and knelt next to her.

"Hi." Cue bright, warm smile here.
Will Sherman Will is struggling to fight with Heartless...he's been fighting a while, so has everyone else. But as he moves to punch yet another heartless...

Isaac goes /magical nuts/ on the Heartless and everything around them. Will turns to stare at him...and then he falls over.

He sighs, walks over to Aerith, and shoves her towards Isaac.

That will solve that, if not, he'll write a paste it note with HEAL ME, and stick it on Isaac's forehead.

Then, slowly, he turns towards watch the scene between Emi and Cronus play out. He can't really interfere here...can't or won't is a good question, but Emi's ties are stronger to Cronus...infact the thread turns white. It is...good. The heartless are gone, and Cronus is still here.

Will shrugs, things will turn out, he thinks, and he lets the Tsundere and Emi have their time alone. "This is all your fault." he accuses Mercade with an amused look.
Mercade Alexander "HEY! THAT'S MY LINE!" Mercade calls from the background as Emi has an epic and profound summation of her recent experiences in these new and strange worlds.

However, everything appears to be resolving. Mercade folds his arms, and looks at Emi as she looks to him. "Hmm. So you wish to officially join the Twilight Detective Agency?"

He makes a show to consider this, rubbing his chin. "You've learned a lot during your probation. You've gotten along with us and showed you have valuable skills to lend to the cause... And you also are showing that you have even farther that you can grow too." He holds out a hand. "From this point on, you are now a detective, a seeker of truth. Welcome to the Agency."

Mercade looks over to Will with a grin. "Guilty as charged."
Faruja Senra This mad, seemingly murderous time mage yet lives, all due to the hand of one mysterious woman. An ally, and a curiousity.

For one so used to wielding a blade, to taking justice in his claws for the sake of others, the overwhelming act of mercy Emi performs in the midst of battle causes the rat to pause. Rarely does he balk. The Templar, so tired from the battle, cannot summon the strength to argue.

"...Do not do anything foolish. I do believe I owe one of your companions dinner. 'Twould spoil the mood were you to die by this Witch's hand."

Utterly exhausted, the Temple Knight and his draconic companion set about using the last of their strength to try to patch up the worst of the wounded. The supremely powerful Heartless-banishing Isaac gets the first round of Curaga, as he seems the most hurt.

"Faram save me from identical humans!" he mutters as he does so. At least Cronus admits defeat.

In the most half-hearted manner any present might have heard him say it, the rat speaks: "Victory for the righteous." Utter deadpan. With a touch more feeling, "All's well that ends without utter catastrophy, I suppose." Cue hip flask. Glug glug. He needs a drink. It's promptly offered to Will, Mercade, or the nearest non-Emi Legion. "Congratulations. Well earned, I must say." He finally compliments amidst drinking and healz.
Leida The princess' eyes are frightening things to behold when they turn upon her friend. All of the pent up hate and aggression and fear that has been bottled up inside the small girl seems to have manifested into those yellow-stained orbs, finally given an outlet in the surge of emotion that prompted her to action against the thing that seemed to be threatening her friends.

Her chest heaves with each breath, teeth grit tightly together as if to bite back some snarl or grimace, and for a moment it looks like she might not be able to turn back the dial on this thing that she has unleashed. But a sudden fit of wet coughs overtakes Leida as the weave of truly immense magical energy rises from the floor, the raw power playing havoc with her unique sensibilities.

She collapses to her knees, falling straight into Imi's arms as the other girl tries to make her more presentable in the presence of the others. Of all the things to worry about. Leida can't help but smile back at her in between hacking up the rest of the chunk of lung that Cronus dislodged earlier.

"R-Really?" The bow slips from her fingers, clattering noisly to the tiled floor. "I am so glad..."
Maximilien Max is unconscious, covered in blood that is entirely his own, his tuxedo stained quite thoroughly red from injuries that are mostly healed. He's exhausted; the act of summoning Yojimbo after getting hurt by *everything he has ever avoided being hurt by ever* is apparently just a bit too much for the thin, fragile young man.

But he's in no danger of dying!
Isaac Hanlon Isaac might be the scariest person in the room.

He doesn't really consider that a possibility, though. He spends a long moment simply appreciating the works he's created. The spell he put together, half of it completely on the fly, was a thing of beauty. It lasts for a second, and after that, he simply closes his eyes and pictures it, a smile slowly spreading on his face. He looks content.

Will's fate-strengthening mojo abruptly wears off.

Isaac opens his eyes, breath escaping in an explosive -- and wet -- exhalation. He looks down at himself for a second, feeling himself drifting towards the floor. He's soaked. It's warm. He touches a finger to a spot on his shirt, and pulls it away, rubbing two fingers together. Everything feels very, very slow. How did he not notice he's this --

Isaac abruptly hits the floor, landing half in the pool of his own blood. He has the presence of mind to land with his tablet on top of him.

Curaga hits him. He is probably no longer in immediate life-threatening danger. He is, however, still pin-cushioned with glass and metal shards, still bleeding, and absolutely and totally exhausted.
Avira Avira doesn't put down her weapon until every single Heartless is gone. Even then, she remains on her guard for a few seconds before sheathing the Spine.

She only catches snatches of conversation, really, because she's busy taking issue with the fallen. Isaac was reportedly bleeding out and she's intent on doing something about that! She also quickly notices that Max seems to be covered in blood too!

She actually visits Max first, gently placing a hand over his forehead, allowing the power of Ivalician First Aid flow into him. By this, of course, we mean a regen spell.

Isaac is next. She doesn't immediately go for the healing 'magic' though and instead sets about the task of gingerly picking out the pieces of glass.
Legion Emi sticks out her tongue at Mercade in a manner almost akin to playfulness. "It is a good line. I stole it." Okay it is totally akin to playfulness you got me.





Ami scootches over to Faruja--She says, "Thank you." to him. "...Sorry I'm--um--thank you!" And then she runs off again, covering her face with her hands--and also to start helping out with healz and general care-taking opportunities.

Imi goes back to hugging Leida in public, it's really the worst.

Emi's smile widens to near bursting. She shakes Mercade's hand with both of hers and says, "Thank you, thank you sir!"

NEW PARTY MEMBERS: Ami, Emi, Imi, Omi, Umi 'Dennou'

Deidra Deidra looks on as things finally play out she lowers her spell books and puts it away she's got no desire to keep fighting if Cronus has stopped she relaxes a little bit fanning her wings out a bit to stretch but she looks like she's pretty badly off. "Focus on the others I'll be fine after some sleep." She notes Also Leida is noticed and the gargyole stares for a long moment at her but she seems to be ... normal. No real tait she can see, a marked change all thigns considerd but now she wants to go sleep. She'll sleep like a rock...
Legion Playing with portals!! A Mercade plummets... TO HIS DOOM. But so does Emi. She tumbles out of the portal moments after Mercade and--notably--does not scream but instead is clearly nonplussed about the whole ordeal as she crosses her arms lightly even as she tumbles into the lakes.


She immediately starts splashing wildly in a way that suggests that as far as swimming goes, she is perhaps not very good at swimming if at all capable with regards to swimming. Survey seems to suggest that no, she does not know how to swim.

But even so, she struggles not to drown nonchalantly.

This scene contained 54 poses. The players who were present were: Faruja Senra, Deidra, Will Sherman, Mercade Alexander, Avira, Cronus, Aerith, Leida, Maximilien, Legion, Isaac Hanlon