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The City of Mist part 2 -HARD-
(2013-02-03 - 2013-02-04)
The thrilling conclusion of The City of Mist-- HARDMODE.
Stormfall The unknown magitek empire gets their interior decorating done by the Kingdom of Zeal apparently because the interior of the tower is completely black. It is lined with wide lines of light and the rhythmic pulse of energy silohuetting forms on the walls.

Gleaming lakes of energy split the inside of the tower into semi-free floating rings with multiple block like 'rooms' attached to rails so that they may be rotated. In the center of this base floor is a central elevator lined in glass and large enough to fit a hundred people. Around the base of the circular room are more electronic screens and panels livid in red and yellow in constant, endless scrolls of black runes. The same sequences, repeating and repeating and repeating.

Inside the tower itself, space and proportions seem slightly off.. some of the electronic walls hissing and spluttering with static. There are people in the tower in white clothing but they stare straight ahead or cluster in small groups staring into the distance. They look more like furniture pieces or stage dressing than human beings.

They do not respond to outside stimulus, as if they were shut off in mid sentence and never returned to consciousness.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr enters with the rest of his party.

His eyes look around at the various strange happenings...the statue like people, he frowns at this. What is even going on here? He shakes his head, ignoring the statues, and sighs, walking towards the only way up...or at least the only apparent way up. Walking into it, he frowns...this is a bit out of his expertise, and instead looks at Avira or Emi. "I'm not very well versed in high technology or technomagic. I am hoping one of you might know better than I?" He asks, looking at the langauge. He knows a bit more than the average joe, thanks to his noble upbringing and tutalage under Garland, but he's not a savant.

After a moment, he stands near the entrance of the elevator, deciding to simply hold a watch, ready to defend it and his friends from sudden attackers.
Avira "Hoooo...!" Avira looks EXCITED.

Her previous wounds are all but forgotten once they finally get into the tower. She had thought the city with its flying cars and massive amounts of screens was impressive. Well this was even /more/ impressive. "Wow, look at this place!" she circles around the entirety of the room, looking at each screen and each inanimate person. She does not touch them out of fear that they may suddenly turn into more zombie cyborg ghouls. Her head tilts upwards to the interior of the tower, seeing those floating rings, then finally settling on the elevator. "Hmm."

Motioning Angantyr and Emi to follow, she steps into the elevator. "If it's anything like a normal elevator, it should have buttons. I don't recognize any of the glyphs seen on the screen, but they keep repeating. That laser outside kept sweeping everywhere in a repeating pattern so I'm guessing that's the defense program on those screens. Can you understand any of the glyphs, Emi?"

Once in the elevator, Avira's searching all over pretty quickly for a means of operating it. Knowing Angantyr, his hasty mood is likely spurred by the Judges also after their goal.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart doesn't look in very good shape when she gets to the tower, between lasers and constant ghouls... she was dragging Kim's body with her, who apparently called it quits on consciousness for now, setting the mostly limp body near the entrance, against the wall as comfortable as she can in this situation. She looks over to Reize afterwards "That was tough... and that was only the outside, I can't imagine what's waiting inside now... we're not wanted here."

She blinks at the people, walking over to one and poking it in the chest "... how odd... its like time has frozen over or something..." She tries a bigger push, just to see if they can be moved at all, making sure to catch them before they fall down if they do.
Emi Dennou Emi has done her best to tend to Ang and Avira's wounds--as well as her own. She's feeling a lot better once it's time to move again and, what's more, is more focused on the mission at hand. She isn't going to go chat up those scientists--they'll probably turn into monsters too, after all, she's starting to get a feels for how this goes. Second star to the right and straight on till morning.

"This one knows a fair bit about technology and may be able to forcestart the elevator if it does not move properly on its own." Electrical bullshit powers activate, in other words. "My world was fairly modern."

Well, by Emi's definition of modern anyway.

"Unfortunately that does not mean I can read the language--it's a foreign one, after all, and we don't have time to give it a full linguistic analysis. If there is some sort of central computer, I may be able to download something, but other than that there is little I can say on the topic."

She'll go into the 'vator too, seems like everybody's going in, anyway. She checks it out to see if she can activate it. Or jumpstart it into activating.
After the events outside, Gabranth has come to not trust anything here. His armor still carried the scratches from Goul claws and some of the leather torn by those creatures as well. Thankfully for now, the blood has dried up and was not threat to his life.

Though once within the tower, the Judge Magister takes in the sights; though ominous they were. As such he kept close to his group once he caught up with Cirra and those blue eyes glanced around the room. "I do not like the air here." He says very calmly. The people frozen like statues did not help either.

He glances over to the dark runes then, to the group that was ahead of them. He was not sure what was the best coarse of action to take here. Floating rooms, statued people, black runes. Nothing about this gave him a good omen; only dread.

The glowing water though was very interesting, though he did not trust it either.

The next thing he looked was the elevator. A single Elevator that could fit them all with simple ease. He didn't like such things. It would mean no place to take cover if things got bad. None at all. "We should see if there are any stairs or corridors." He says looking over to Cirra, then to the sniper, then two the Priestesses. "Though I do thank you three for your service."

He was pretty sure they would go on their own way now, right?

Though he does look in the direction of Angantyr. He stares that way for some time. To be also on that elevator with him could lead to problems anyhow. No matter /how/ much space they had. So the Judge Magister then starts to investigate the room for now; keeping an odd wide berth from what /seems/ like the only way up. Never hurts to check things out. Just don't touch.
Reize Seatlan It was a good thing that they made it out of that mess. Avira and the others will be joined by another group.

When they arrive inside the tower, Reize's eyes lift up to gaze at the surroundings. Sweeping hiseyes around, he takes in the design of the place and the overal darkness.

Reize looks around the tower, whistling. "Wow! This place is huge!" He looks over behind him. However, when he turns his head back, he cannot help but see the people in white lothing, "...Errr.." He stiffens, looking a little disturbed.
Montag Montag was hurt but seemed he'd carried some medical supplies on himselrf and he made use of it. he looks abotu where the statues are and his eyes narrow behind the helmet. "This is one horror show after another." he keeps his weapon ready and nods in agreement with the hulking Judge Master. "I don't like it either feels like we're being hunted."

Wisely Montag follows The Judge's policy of look, don't toch he cycles through the various scaning bands on the statues.
Cirra Constantine Cirra enters alongside Gabranth, the lesser of the two Judges looking upards at the moving parts within the tower, the towards the elevator. THe inhabitants of hte tower are givena cursuory look before she turns to Gabranth, "I don't think that will work Your Honor. The structure of this building is laid out so that there is only one way in." she points at the elevator everyone is getting aboard. "If we let it go before we get on board, we will be tuck here." she glances at Ang, "Even if there are down sides to going up as well."
The Judge of Ambition turns back to look at Judge Constantine about then. Rumbling something. One can only guess his displeasure of the idea and perhaps no true argument toward the female Judge. He really rather find another way up.

So he does give her a nod of confirmation that he heard her, but continues to look. Slowly making he way in that direction. Oh, this is was going to be /fun/.
Oriane Guado "There is no such need for panic," begins Oriane Guado disdainfully as she lesiurely makes her way into the tower and towards a group of the mysterious white sitters. "I am quite sure that this place being ever so like an actual tomb is just mere coincidence." The Yevon Priestess display a mockingly cheerful grin before gesturing towards her current surroundings.

She then promptly goes to rejoin her comrades. "An alliance of circumstance can somtimes yield surprising results." Oriane murmurs to Gabranth simply. The elevator of certain doom is glanced at and causes a stage shrug on behalf of the Guado. "Shall we begin the next act? I am absolutely -dying- to see what is in store for us next." The green-haired necromancer asks of her fellow actors in her best stage voice.
Morrighan Alazne Following after the judges, Morrighan sighed and kept her arms crossed. This had been nothing but stressful and irritating thus far, least she was unhurt for the most part. Some debris here and there a bit of dust on her clothes were all she had to show for the chaos they had gone through so far.

The insides of the tower gave the dark elf pause however. "My...this place is quite impressive, I must say..." She spoke casually to no one in particular, nodding in appreciation as well.

Oriane in the meanwhile was given a look after. "Are you really looking forward to it?" The healer smirked a bit at the question, tilting her head a bit and causing her hair to sway somewhat. "So then if we are beset upon by a furious entity of untold power, may I blame you?"
Stormfall The Central Elevator control panel ia a semi circle of lights and controls, a strip of red slashing horizontally through every window and across every control surface. The same sequence of runes play endlessly across the surface.

The elevator is a straight shot up the guts of the tower, terminating at some far distance point almost completely obscured by the light shining in from above. The power lines act like the spokes of a wheel, jutting out from the circle that surrounds the central elevator and it's energy lake to three places on the far walls. Three large electronic panels link into these threads of power, but each of them has on their ominously glaring screens a slightly different configuration of runes and patterns.

A teeth-jarring subsonic tears through the base of the tower and the people dissolve into sand, the one Tifa is pushing doing so even before they can begin to fall. Flashing into existance where each statue once stood are more magitek monstrosities much like the ghouls that plagued in endless numbers outside, but much heavily armored.

Accessing the elevator controls is mostly futile. From the little gained, the elevator would remain in lockdown as long as the failsafes were activate. Disabling ALL of them however would cause the system to completely unlock, but also completely go into overdrive. Disabling one of the three (The North, The East, and The Wests) would have different, if not translatable effects.

All of the electronic screens except for the three panels on different parts of the walls change to sharp, stark ebon sheets with red runes plastered across the surface. They begin to change.. rapidly.. in the manner of some sort of clock.

Or a countdown.
Reize Seatlan And unfortunately for Cirra, she may hear a voice that she may not wish to EVER hear in a situation like this, "Ooooiiii, Cirra!"

Then, Reize chimes out, "Knight's Vow #68: Whatever obstacle comes your way, never back down! When there is a will, there is a way!"
Reize Seatlan As they all reach within the center of that square, Reize's eyes drift around, observing the elevator shaft. While it is a straight shot to the tower, the boy is looking over to observe thethree large panels along the far walls

And then, the subsonic vibration tears through the towers, "Gah!" He falls on his knees, wincing while looking upward and is forced to witness people turning into sand.

More ghouls plage the area, but heavily armored. The boy narrows his eyes, calling to the group, "We need to do something! ...I got an idea!" With the failsafe within his sights, Reize runs northward.

...Reize is not pretty verse in this sort of thing.

Time to hope for dumb luck.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr narrows towards the judge group.

This is becoming annoying, they're still too close to their group, and he turns towards Emi and Avira...instead though they are focused on their work. "Well, try, because our lead is becoming extremly less of a lead." he says, bitterly. Damn the Judges for not being as incompetant as he needed right now. He can't get a good look at them from this distance, but has a feeling on who they could be. Other people are there, but are less conceri-...wait is that that Baron <GOOSEHONK>?

Then the shudders come down as more monsters appear...they seem to be protected.

This is...interesting?

The Judge Magister doesn't like the super sonic sound, nor does he like what he sees what happens outside the elevator. With things now locked down, he was being reminded that this place was indeed a death trap.

Then he watches as the once statues are turned to monsters now as well. This was very problematic. With the lockdown of the only way up and now monsters outside. Thing could get bad quick.

Once Reize leaves though, the Judge Magister is quick to follow, motioning for Cirra to follow. With those creatures out there, he would need some safety measures. Besides, even if most of these adventurers are strangers, in these circumstances it was best to keep everyone close; even your enemies.

Gabranth draws out both of his swords, before he turns to face the Ghasts that my try to follow up. "Judge Constantine and I will watch your back. Do what you must!" He calls over to Reize. He holds both swords at ready as his feet stay in a defensive position. Any creature comes down this way would meet the Judge Magister and his fellow Judge.

Though when the shutters active, those blue eyes glance over in that direction before he rumbles softly. "Interesting." He wasn't sure if that was /good/ or /bad/. He looks over to Cirra. "Be ready to move if we need too, strong possibility we could get locked out. Unless you desire to return now?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart acks as the one she touched falls into sand in front of her "I DIDN'T DO IT!" ;_;

But then she notices the sound, plugging her ears in the wake of the subsonic sound "What is going on here..." She notices the countdown "... uhm... I suggest... all 3 at the same time, if you want my two gil." She offers up, sweatdropping a bit as she looks at the numbers "... and soon too."

She watches the different groups heading to the panels, hmming, and looking at Rieze, and following him over "What are you doing?" She doesn't know what he has in mind... but its Reize. Its a hit or miss.
Emi Dennou Emi says, "I may be able to disrupt the elevator's security and get the elevator moving properly." She looks over to Ang Avira. "But the issue is that I don't know the language. I have to go off the coloring and sigil repetition to make an educated guess." she looks to Avira and adds, "Can you keep an eye on the runes? Red is generally presumed to be bad--I think we can assume that. If the runes change to other colors, specifically green or yellow or, really, anything else--let me know along with the color, and we can try to fenagle something." She looks to Ang. "This will be tricky. I cannot guarantee success. If Isaac were here, this would be a lot easier. The Network works best with a proper hacker providing support."

Nonetheless, she'll hold for a moment to see if everyone's down with this plan that will totally work and then she places her hands on the panel. She doesn't type, that's not how she 'hacks' persay, instead she unleashes a small ripple of electronic power, specifically modulated not to damage but to manipulate the component parts of the device to send the right signals. The technology is alien, but certain things are universal. ""

She sees some data fragments--it looks promising, and she presses it.

"Red, Avira?" She asks.

The shutters come down.

"...Nh..." She says, "...Not good... At least the ghouls can't get us, but..." She frowns deeply.
Avira Avira tries to help Emi, she really does! She doesn't have electro-hacking powers's not really much help of a help at all. "Why can't they lable these things in actual /words/..." she complains.

"Still red-" she says to Emi, then the system shutters the whole elevator from the rest of the tower. Avira heads to the door and tries to open it, but finds it immovable. "It's stuck. But we're /stuck in here/."

There's a haunted look on her face, "All kinds of crazy stuff happens when you get stuck in elevators. I've read a lot of stories about that."
Cirra Constantine Cirra clenches one fist at her side as she hears /that voice/. "Reize Seatlan...."

The subsonic tremor interupts her rage at the little lost boy, then the frozen people fall to dust, replaced by some form of Greater Ghoul. "What fresh hell is this?" i she talking about the ghasts, or Reize and his brilliant idea?

"No sir," she takes off after Gabranth, spinning her scythe overhead and down, tearing a piece of armor off a ghoul. "But I do think we should do this as quickly as possible!"
Oriane Guado Oriane is no Machina wiz, but she does frown pointedly when Avira and Emi fail to do whatever they were trying to do. It looks like she is going to be stuck in a elevator full of these...wonderful people. She quickly begins to think how this could get any bloody worse.

A white glowing orb of energy materializes out of this air and floats frantically around the enclosed space. The priestess sighs deeply. And here she had though that she gave her ghostly the companion the slip. "Yes, yes. I am stuck in here and no. I cannot phase through walls." The ghost wisp flashes bright red in response which causes Oriane to promptly ignore the impudent orb. Resigned to waiting for the meatshields to their noble duties, the necromancer merely gathers her skirts up and sits as lady-like as one can when you are stuck in an elevator in a terrible machina dimension that was full of things trying to kill them all.
Emi Dennou "My apologies, I think I am going to have to discuss decrypting alien technology with Isaac in the near future." Emi says. She's not especially troubled since she thinks the elevator is still, frankly, safer than anywhere else though she's not especially happy about everybody else being in danger while she's in a nice cozy elevator with her friends and having tea parties.

She sighs, a bit depressed by her failure. It seems like this adventure, for all their luck and speed, has been one whoopsie after another. But then, that's the risk of going into dungeons this far above your CR. She supposes she should be thankful it hasn't been worse.

"Those stories are surely fictional." Emi says. "...But out of curiousity, what sort of 'stuff' do you mean?"

She pulls the scrunchies out of her hair, letting it down, shaking it out.

She looks to Ang. "If neccessary, could you destroy these shutters? This one does not mean to go for it now, but it may prove neccessary..."

Her eyes narrow darkly.

"...if the Elegator appears."
Angantyr Vespar "In theory. I can also travel through Darkness...though I am not sure if the ability will work in this field." Angantyr says with a shrug. "Hard to say...I'll attempt to use brute force when we need it, but I rather avoid it if at all necissary."
Montag Montag nods for a moment as she realises it's do or die for everyone to work togehter at his point he's got the machine gun out due to the close quarters they are likely to face. "Yes, it can." he thinks about the securtiy systems the Shinra tower has like a heigunner that's ready to strike the lift should hostile forces get on to it. Like anyone could ever /pull/ that off but hey it doesn't hurt to be prepared right?

"Oh <Goosehonk>! More of this?"

Montag has a good understanding of technology however.

"I might be able to shut some of this stuff down, should have brought more damn explosives with me."
Avira " the hell did she manage to sneak in here?" Avira irritatedly points to Oriane. It was some consolation that this woman wasn't with the Archadian Judge party. She's not sure who this woman was but already she dislikes her.

In fact, she reminded Avira too much of another DIFFERENT HARPY.

Avira briefly entertains the thought of Morrighan being hit repeatedly by the big laser.
Stormfall Unfortunately, foolish adventurer-fu does not seem to avail Reize this time because the northern failsafe causes the steel plates to rise inexorably through the tower shaft but on the inside the Central Elevator still continues to display that single forbidding band of runes.

Emi and Avira's attempts to finagle the computer system start to work. The computer ripples from red to orange, and the runes begin to change when a window opens up. Writhing runes ring the window where a mechanical shape, immense, a faceless mask with an eyeless cross peering out of the screen with silent curiosity. The magitek titan plasters the same downscrolling countdown runes on the screen. No longer does the control system respond to any commands..

And then they have company. Something casts a long shadow across the giant open ceilinged elevator, and a titanic magitek horror, vaguely beast shaped with curling horns and massive, mechanically augmented muscles lands amongst them.

The Behemoth roars in challenge, lunging into their midst slashing with fangs and tearing with metal claws.

The group outside the elevators manages to easily fend off the Ghasts. There are as many of them as outside and although they die harder, they are slower for their weight of armor. There is no way to know if the elevator has been activated, but they would have to hope one of the other two failsafes lowered the steel shutters or be stranded in the lobby, which is now being swarmed by ghouls who pile and squirm into the lobby, twitching and flailing.
Morrighan Alazne "...Well this is not ideal." Morrighan grumbled, seeing the as the place soon went into high alert. She was not exactly well versed in the ways of technology, but...There had to be some way of stopping this, right? ...Not that she actually knew how. These gagdets and weird metal sorceries were very much alien to her.

"Erm...Perhaps..." Deciding to go with her gut, the dark elf started floating off, going to the east to see if there was any sort of way to stop those infernal alarms from sounding any further! It was way too loud!

The presence of ghouls however did not inspire any further confidence though. "More undead. Just what I needed." She contemplated casting a healing spell on them again, but....nah. She wasn't going to waste her energy just yet.
Emi Dennou "You see, the Elegator was once just a normal alligator." Emi seems to like telling scary stories, though really Elegator is too ridiculous to be properly scary. "But a multiplex hotel was built on top of his swamp lair. Legends say that he had been buried...alive...under the hotel and nobody could hear its alligator calls--"

She pauses for a moment and then says, "--Sudden electrical distortions...Get back!"

She steps forward, closer to the shutters where she anticipates the electric pulse will be primarily conduiting through. She fans her arms forward and the electricity jolts into her own body, traveling through the arms and into the rest of her body. A faint whiff of ozone can be smelled eminating from her body as she jolts in place for several seconds before she suddenly drops down into a crouch. She doesn't seem notably injured. This is her specialty after all, but she is winded from the effort.

Enough that she's really not much help once the Behemoth crashes down and starts causing a ruckus. "Nhhh...."
Reize Seatlan The boy furrows his eyebrows, hands running along the runes. He is set to try to deactivate thm or at least to where they can get the elevator going. "We can do this. We gotta stop that light from tearing up everyone..." He growls, his determination growing.

With the ghasts trying to come out at them, Reize yelps and he lunges forward to slam his foot against the creatures' head. "Gah! Get away!" He withdraws both of his boomerangs. "We can do this!"

With determination, Reize is moving towards the east side for the failsafe. As he boy fiddles around with the controls, there is a beep on his end.

"Good.." At least, that was what he considered until his fingers touch against the controls, which shudders violently. "..Eh?"

Wait. What is that vibration?

WOOSH! That wave of energy washes over the boy, sailing against him with enough force to slam him against the failsafe. "Ooof!" The body crumples temporarily, bu he soon starts peeling himself off from the ground, "Guh..."
As for the folks at the elevator, Reize is able to see a nasty looking monster. That magitek horror. This is not good. Reize looks over towards the massive beast and then he gets an idea.

He reaches to his pouch to pull out a string and some potions. Then, he ties them together onto one of the boomerangs. He gets at a good point where he can throw a nice shot. "...Ooooii!" Reize winds his hand back and then he swings his boomerang outward.

Twirling along, the potions hang against the boomerang. As they fit itself into the opening of that allowed the beast entry the boomerang sweeps over to both Angantyr and Avira with a potion for them.
Avira Uh oh-AI alert. Avira's starting to suspect that this tower is a bit more than a simple defensive subroutine. She's not really sure what to feel about that face, other than assume that it was likely too late to negotiate anything now-especially since they were trapped in here.

The floor is suddenly electrified and Avira would have been pretty thoroughly shocked by it, only Emi draws the charge away and spares her. The growing shadow prompts Avira to look upwards just in time to see the enormous behemoth dropping into the elevator. This is...actually the first time she's ever fought one of these monsters (and it shows, frankly). According to the handy dandy Clan Primer she carries around, behemoths were DANGEROUS. She'd have a longer way to go before she could properly fight one.

Except here that choice is taken away from her. Here, she draws the Spine and solemly charges the monster. Even with her magic, her weapon can barely piece the thick hide of the beast where it is actually hide and not mechanical parts. With each clash, the monster clearly does more damage to her than her to it.

Despite this, she keeps fighting until the thing is nothing but piles of flesh and parts on the floor, with Avira nearly collapsing to the ground, breathing hard afterwards.

"Maybe-" she gasps, gulping down air, "-we should just climb up. That might be easier."
Gabranth was not amused when Tifa decided to /run/ off on her own. He didn't like the idea of anyone just running off when they didn't know what any thing in here did. It would seem when Reize and Tifa both deactivated the failsafes bad things happened.

A massive electrical surge came rushing in toward them out. The Judge Magister eyes went wide behind the helm, before he yelled out, "Look out!" It may not be in time, it may be completely late. The Judge Magister the slammed his swords into the ground before conjuring up a dark magic field in front of him.

The runes in front of him formed, the dark barrier came up just in time for the electric shield slams into the barrier. However he holds it there, one could swear there was a gold glow in the shadows of his helm; this was taking a great deal of his focus. Then then black shield shattered, almost knocking the Judge Magister back.

He then staggered forward before grabbing for his blades once more, ripping them out from the ground and once more into his hands.
Avira Like any good Ivalician adventurer, once Avira catches her breath, she gets up and starts looking through the behemoth remains. Check for loot before someone else steals it away! (It has happened to her before, it was sad.)
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart ends up being surrouded by ghouls on the way to the failsafe. She thought it'd be a good idea to split and get them done at the same time, but looks like she didn't have that kind of luck.

But she's acrobatic. Kicking herself up along a ghoul, it alows her to vault herself over the ground and reach the failsafe rapidly. As she finishes unlocking it, a swing of a ghoul barely misses her. She jumps back, and then uses the wall as a jumping point to leap back over the ghoul, racing to reach the others back toward the elevator area.

The purge though... can't do much about it, getting hit by the pulse before she can get very far. She GAHs loudly, falling to her knees, but turning her head to look at the ghouls behind her as she gets her breath back.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr grits his teeth as the purge field surges through him.

He grits his teeth, trying to brace himself as the electrical surge courses through him. He pauses, sucking a breath in...

And then the Behemoth lands.

Son of a ..

Angantyr turns, narrowing his eyes as he looks at the beast. He roars, it is a terrible sound as he charges the Behemoth. He immediately attacks it, trying to draw it's attention as the Dark Knight and monster collide. Tooth and claw meet blade and darkness, the two colliding for minutes, before The Behemoth throws Angantyr away, but not before Angantyr could send a powerful blow into it's torso, leaving the finishing blow to his two allies, and the Dark knight ends up crumbled on the ground, taking a moment to pull himself up. The blow, no doubt, could had been fatal if not for Emi's energy barrier.

And luckily he got some aid from Reize. He's still a bit hurt, trying to slowly drag himself to his feet, huffing a potion himself.
Emi Dennou Emi leans back against the wall and watches Avira get alooting. She feels bad for having gotten her friends in such a position to begin with, so she doesn't check it out herself. "The positive side to all this, is that there likely isn't much more security past this point, not if it was something that dangerous. At least not for this elevator." She thinks it over. "And if there is more...well, whatever is here--It is likely something very valuable after all."

She still wishes Isaac were here though.
Morrighan Alazne Morrighan was quite as sturdy as the Judge Magister. Once the purge wave surged forth, Morrighan was knocked over quite easily, hitting the ground hard. "Agh...!" Coughing a couple times at the abrupt loss of air, she slowly sat up, seeing and hearing fighting going on in the elevator.

Thank god she wasn't in there now. That would have been utterly terrible. To say the least of things. Nevertheless, they were hardly out of the woods just yet.

Heaving a sigh, the white mage stood up to her feet, brushing herself off idly as she surveyed the situation at large. "...I really could not care less about what manner of 'treasure' lies here. I really just wish to go back!" Cue more childish whining! "Is that really so much to ask for? Is it!? IS IT!?"

...Who was she yelling at anyway?
Montag Montag looks up at the huge thing as it gets on the lift. "Somehow i'm not suprised at all about this." Montag redies his weapon and lsays down a long stream of fire at the thing there's nowhere to run if one's going to try to guard. For any sort of follow up this entire thing is one nasty place all the while his helmet cams is getting everything he sees.

"....Loot I want to come back with a ton of explosives and blow this place right to hell."
Cirra Constantine Cirra doesn't like the group splitting up, but she follows Gabranth toth e second failsafe. A cry to look out makes her look back and see the incoming electrical wave.

Skittering to a stop, Cirra swings the scythe down overhead, the point impacting with the ground to create a shockwave of darkness that itnercept the electrical purge wave, creating a bow shock that makes the electrical storm flow around her.

Panting slightly, Cirra looks around at her companions, "Back in the elevator. Quickly." she moves back towards the elevator.
Oriane Guado Oriane and Wisp-Friend are enjoying a moment of peace when they are interrupted by first a ghost story and then a shouted warning about an electical discharge. The seated Oriane thrusts both hands out in front of her which summons a magic barrier. Electricity flows into the barrier, but it does not flow out. It seems that is was indeed strong enough. The priestess would take a moment to regain her breath when a behemoth drops from the ceiling (!).

Her conjured barrier was a strong product of magic energy. But, Oriane was unsure if it would be able to repulse the behemoth. No testing is performed in the end as the others in the elevator make short work of the creature. The necromancer does take this free moment to get back up onto her feet and release that barrier of hers. "I wholeheartedly hope that you are correct in what lies ahead," says Oriane to Emi simply. The chance of finding something that would be useful to magic-user like herself was slim due to the Machina heavy nature of this place. Perhaps the cynical priestess will be pleasantly surprised.
Stormfall The elevator lets out a pleasant, cheery chime as the metal shields retract and the restricting bar of red letters goes away. The controls down return, the console a dead slab of flat black but from the sounds and the movements, the elevator was running on auto-pilot and getting ready to rise.

Now might be a good time to catch a ride.

When Avira checks the corpse she finds several ragged patches on the side and front that are pixelated. Those pixellation wounds spread, until the entire construct collapses in a heap of sand like anything else that has been destroyed inside this tower. The elevator slowly starts to riase, far more slowly than normal, and the tower Ghasts are now filling the base lobby from every crevice and nook and cranny.

Almost as one, they all turn to regard those in the elevator while a small knot continues to fight the ones outside it.
Stormfall The elevator churrs silently and quickly with all available hands to another floor. The runes scroll upwards rapidly, then slow-- and then stop.

The doors slide open to reveal a room of concentric rings. These platforms of metal hang suspended in the air around the main shaft which has 'capped' at this floor-- with another elevator on the far side of the room.

There is a terminal near the door with more panels while the layout of the floor in a labyrinth. However, they look like they would be able to match up perfectly if the floor could be made to move--allowing a straight shot straight to the elevator. Otherwise, it's a tangled and treacherous walk across the interweaving platforms with the possibility of a nasty drop on either side.

Meanwhile the electronic screens continue to count down. The brilliant red of the electronic letters has started to scale down towards black. A voice-- a simulated voice-- scratches something in an incomprehensible SCREECH, and the runes-- which must be numbers of some sort, start to go faster.
Avira Briefly, Avira glances over her shoulder and lets out a sigh of releif when she sees the elevator actually begin to function. "We can only hope. The ceiling's still open so we have to stay on our guard." Avira notes, picking through the wreckage. Suddenly the wreckage turns to sand in her hands. She stares at it for a long moment before letting out a howl of frustration.

Standing, she kicks the pile of sand across the elevator and angrily sheathes the Spine. "It's official! I /hate/ this place! In the real world there'd at least be a horn left behind as a trophy!"

One elevator ride later...

Avira looks out over the twisted path ahead, then over to the terminal, than to the path again. The pieces were floating so they could technically move, so Avira turns towards the terminal. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say that was a countdown."
Gabranth cuts a glance over to Cirra Constantine as she states her peace on getting back to the Elevator. He keeps his blades by his side and then glances over to Reize. "Move it!" He barks over to him, before chasing after Cirra.

He glances over to Tifa who seems to indeed be head over heels in trouble, but she shown she can be acrobatic, so maybe she will be alright without help?

Also why does he always seem to find himself following Cirra when it comes to /getting/ somewhere? This must be a new Murphy law. Judge Magister will follow Judge where-ever she may go.

Though he does worry about the Healer who seems to have tagged along, and is perhaps yelling at no one really, but only in frustration. He can not blame her. If it was not for his own training, he may do the same.

Though whatever though there may have been about going over to aid her along the way was quickly ended as one of the heavy armored ghasts, swings at him. Gabranth only had enough time to raise up his blades to attempt to counter the blow, but was impacted by the much larger creature.

The force threw him off his feet, sailing back a bit, before he somewhat up righted himself to land feet first in a crouch. Glancing up at the Ghast, before looking down at his dented chest piece. Thank the Emperor for their armor.

This is about the time he sees the Ghast's go also for Cirra and Reize. "Bloody hell.." he rumbles with a snarl on his lips.

Gabranth waits for a moment to make sure those outside get onto the Elevator before he swings himself into it, before it heads up. There was times cutting it close was indeed an understatement; that was one of those times. That was /far/ to close.

The next room has him puzzled as the doors open to show it. Then he glances up at the counting runes. That was trouble. The screeching voice also could not be any good. "Any one able to translate that?" He asks, he grumbles. "..probably not.." he retorts to himself under his breath before he goes to step out of the elevator onto the next floor to examine what he could.
Emi Dennou "Shall we try again?" Emi asks, approaching it. She's perhaps a bit stubborn. "It should be easier since this is the second time..." Maybe she's determined to try and make up for the last time, in fact. She looks towards Ang--who has really been a real trooper about everything--to see if she should give another go at it. "--Since that's a countdown... that means those runes mean ... those numbers..." She frowns faintly. "Presuming they use a decimal based math system."

She cracks her knuckles but if her team says 'nay' she'll probably give up on trying to muck with this computer. It's sexy, of course, but not THAT sexy compared to that first one. This isn't a planet based hack after all.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart was near the elevator, just in time to catch it. She holds the door open for the judges and Reize to jion in too, and then slumps against the back wall. All of these monsters have been taking their toll on her body right now. And there's no end in sight yet.

She trudges out whent he door opens, and looks around at the terminals "It kinda looks like what the elevator had on the first floor before, don't you think? I don't think its a good idea to stick around to see the end of it though..." At least they can take a breather for a moment... but not too long apparently.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr rests as the elevator ride takes them upwards.

The elevator ride was long and boring, and Angantyr was glad for the silent ride, and takes this time to recover the rest of the way. Finally, they come up to the top.

Angantyr doesn't immedaitely push ahead...and then the elevator goes back down...

Angantyr immediately pushes ahead.
Cirra Constantine Cirra seems to intermitantly attract large groups of magitek horrors. It's kind of tiresome.

Gasts pounce on the Judge, possibly for showing off against the electrical wave. They burry her in a pile of bodies, unlike last time she cannot toss their heavily armored bodies off.

It's a struggle, punching and kicking, swing of scythe and one manuver that isn't in a normal Dark Knight's arsenal: A dispell effect from striking her fist forward wreathed in fire. Huh.

Cirra pulls herself free and jumps into the elevator before the doors close, and gets no chance to catchher breath before she gets to the top. The moving floor makes her frown. "It looks like a count down." she says to Gabranth. "We are on borrowed time."

Turning a little, Cirra holds her scyth out level in both hands, and runs forward.

She jumps, flipping over to land gracfully on a rotating part of the floor and quickly walks one foot in front of the other like a tight rope walker.
Reize Seatlan r "Gah!" They would have to fight through the ghasts. As those accursed creatures bowl over the group still above the switch area, Reize is jumping into melee to deal with the monsters. Jumping out with a spinning kick and swinging his single boomerang, he finds himself at a disadvantage.

The ghasts assault him.

"Argggghhh!!!" He staggers, "Gotta think of something fast...!"

And then, Tifa manages to keep th elevator door open fo him and Cirra to get in. Reize himself manages to struggle wth getting inside, trying to the ghasts off of him. And yet, he offers a hand towards the judge who is also assaulted in the worst way.

--After the storm ends, they ride the elevator.

He sucks in a breath, his knees curled onto his chest as he tries to catch himself. "Guh..." But after those few seconds, he peels himself up.

When they arrive at the top, Reize's eyes widen in awe, then he looks along the tangled, teacherous walk. And he sees the terminal. "...I suppose..." He pants, "...Ugh.." He staggers ahead, eyeing his choices of what path to take.

There is the allure in seeing things that no one else has seen. That unfamiliarity, that desire to learn. It is for that reason that Reize is staggering towards the terminal.


"..Buh?!" He jumps up, looking around anxiously.
Oriane Guado Oriane hated the close-mindedness of the Church of Yevon. Despite this, the (un)holy organization did serve its purposes in the necromancer's grand schemes. She must concede that this terrible trip to this travesty of a Machina city is solidfying why people should be mistrustful of Machina in the first place. Oriane's lack of tech know how and her low agility makes her quite poorly equipped to handle the dangers of this tower.

The option between performing a feat of hacking or platforming causes the Church member to purse her lips together. Neither choice is a very good one, but she decides to be the master of her own fate instead of entrusting her precious life to another.

Onwards to the rotating floor and certain success/doom!
Montag Montag is on edge he doesn't like this the trip may not have been worth in his mind but it's too late now. He's got to finish up this op one way or another and get out with the data. He looks about wondering abotu what might be the countt down. He doesn't like the way this place is going but he's better be moving he'll move forward cutiously and he'll looks over the lay out. Montag's other wepaon is shouldered as he now makes ready to use his grapple. He does head over to look over the terminal again however.

"humm what do we got here, can I even read this shit." He'll look for any icons that might hint. Also the scream what the ghell was that it sounded almost like unknown to him the scream Riku heard long ago.

"Kid back off I got this."
Morrighan Alazne Morrighan was intending to make her way over to the elevator when a group of undead fiends were beset upon her. Not prepared for the assault, the dark elf found herself blindsided. "Agh! How dare you!?" She cried, stumbling forward a tad. He, was that elevator beginning to move? Wait!

Turning around, Morrighan thrust her hands out, firing off a burst of holy energy to purge any undead currently in her way. Once the path was cleared, she turned and ran frantically for the elevator. "I hate using this, but..." Suddenly everything seemed to slow down. And not in an adrenal sort of way. Rather, time itself seemed to slow, roman numerals and a ticking sound echoing all throughout.

It wasn't a long time, a couple seconds at most, but it was just enough time for the healer to just barely get onto the elevator. The spell ended just as soon as she did. "...Phew." She sighed in relief, on her hands and knees and catching her breath. She hated Time Magic truly.

Traveling upwards with the others then, they arrived at a new area as the elevator came to a stop. Either the terminal which made no sense, or the direct path. "...I think I will stay behind..." Yes, because following that brute mercenary would likely get her killed. No thanks!
Stormfall The twisting path is a tricky one and complicated. It takes longer than it looks to get to the next elevator but it can be eventually accomplished. It won't be easy to get back to the other side until the floor has been moved.

This proves to be problematic when a gigantic flan monster drops from a tube in the ceiling. It wears a shrieking white hat that blares a brilliant orange siren, gooey arms lashing out for anyone who tries to get close to the elevator.

Those at the terminal find that the configuration of runes and symbols breaks down into two basic groups. Ones dealing and breaking off from the gradually dimming red runes and another for moving the floor platforms. It looks like only one operation may be performed.

Also-- the terminal group has company in the form of a gaggle of Tower Ghasts, so a swift choice may be preferable.
Gabranth was going to follow his fellow Judge's moves, at least the best he could. His swords were sheathed and he just used his instinct to guide him through the narrow paths and leaping over thin points. It wasn't easy, but he somehow managed.

The Judge Magister also was on the last leg with Cirra before the Flaan suddenly showed up. His blue eyes narrowing in annoyance of the creature getting in their way. He waited for Cirra to move onto the next path that would have placed them in direct competition with the Flaan, but something went wrong.

In the corner of his eyes as he got ready to draw his blades, the female Judge seemed to move odd. He quickly used his dark magic to blast a wave at the Flaan to keep it back, as his other hand reached over and snatched her arm, his eyes going from blue to amber as his armor flickered with darkness. The dark tendrils ran from his armor to around her in order to aid him in pulling her back up to the flat level once more. He stared at her for a moment, before he turned his attention back to the Flaan, drawing out his other blade.

Sadly he couldn't do much for the others. He would have helped the Priestess who tagged along, but he only had enough tricks up his bag for one person in the shape he was in. After all, allies were useful, but sometimes you just had to protect your own.

Though he does yell over to the Priestess however, "Careful, if you fall there is little I can do for you."

Maybe the Mercenary will pick up the load here.
Emi Dennou "Reize, I need some of your good fortune." Emi says. Wait did she just say good fortune? She grabs Reize, ignoring the screech for the moment in order to get to work. She just holds his arm and nods to Avira. "I think you're right. I don't know what it is...but judging what everything else is going on--I do not wish to find out. The Network will attempt to manipulate the terminal again."

The floor doesn't seem to be too huge of an issue but she taps at the terminal a few times before resting her hand on it again--unleashing another electrical surge. She thinks she has a better idea of the functionality thanks to the previous attempt--those numbers are likely something she can go by, right? Right. Even if she doesn't know what numbers they are--that's a big clue when it comes to overriding systems.

Eventually she pulls her hand back and the countdown....stops!

"Done." She looks to Reize. "Thank you." And then a nod to Avira. "You as well."

She has determined that this is a kind of mirrorverse where up is down, left is right, time is broken, and Reize is lucky. She is about to point this out when a ghoul slams her face into the terminal.

Dizzily she says, "We...better catch up."

Angantyr Vespar The Flan drops down, Gabranth goes forward...

Angantyr doesn't cause His weapon comes to his hand and leaps up as the Judge goes for the slash.

Angantyr slams down, aiming to try and splatter the flan with a single, and very brutal strike. Darkness errupts around the Dark knight, aiming to channel it through the weapon, and try to burn the flan from the inside out. Then the weapon comes back, and then SWINGS down once more.

He pauses, and moves forward, once the Flan is delt with. He doesn't try and help Cirra up, nor does he care about the Priestess. He's here for his objective, and the more they get caught up, the better it is for him.

Let Gabranth get weighed down in their weakness...he needs to stop them from getting this artifact...or secure it for his own.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart gahs as she sees the ghasts reaching them now " Uhm, I think it'd be a good idea to get out of here now, the monster have caught up." She pokes on Emi and Reize's shoulders... before she turns around and watches one slam Emi face first into the terminal "... So as I said." She quickly kicks the nearest one out of the way, bowling it down into the other ones (she hopes! maybe not...) as she jumps over the desk, moving toward the elevator on the other end. That seems to be the only likely exit at least.
Reize Seatlan The terminal presents nothing promisin. In fact, there are configuration of runes and symbols that are the two basic groups. And... not only that, they have company.

"Gah!" Reize looks over to his side, looking at the ghasts. This isn't good. "Let's hold those creatures back!" It is then that Emi grabs him, "Eh?!" Good fortune? Reize? Seriously? The boy has had bad luck most of his life.

However, there is the fact that she is holding onto him and...

The countdown stops. "Whooooaaaaa!" Before she can point out why Reize's considered lucky, a ghoul slams Emi's face into the terminal, "HEY!"

Reize snaps out, releasing his foot to slam it at the ghoul's stomach and then the other leg whips out to smash its head into the terminal.


He reaches for Emi's shoulder and he positions himself to aid her for the escape. "Okay! Let's go!"

Time to move to the elevator.
Cirra Constantine A gooey flan with a screaming fez lands in their path.

What is /wrong/ with this place?

The shock of impact sends Cirra off her balance, tumbling backwards slightly, just enough that one heel dips over the edge and Cirra suddenly finds herself falling. Fingers just barely catch the ledge, until dark tendrils from gabranth grasp her and he pulls her up to safety.

Pulling herself up from a crouch Cirra nods to Gabranth, "Yes my lord." then looks at the giant Flan with the siren... really. "No time tor est." she huffs and starts moving latterally around the monster, she doubts she can do significant damage to sometihng like that with her scythe, so she lifts a hand and begins chanting. "That which binds hte universe together,

"That which bears weight on our souls,"

"Crush my foes,"


And the Flan creature, hopefully feels enoguh increased weight from the purple energy explosion to slip through the cracks in the floor and fall.
Oriane Guado It is slow moving for Lady Oriane Guado, Priestess of Yevon. At every jump, no matter how small it may be, the long dress wearing caster is forced to take the utmost caution. She first stops, sizes of the jump, gathers her skirts, and then leaps. This may seem implausible, but it is more impractical than anyting else. Guado's are naturally athletic as they are some of the best blitzball players around. Oriane is just...not as agile as some of her kin.

The aristocratic necromancer merrily makes her way closer and closer until a security flan makes its sudden entrance. What a destestable looking creature! But before any spell can be uttered, Oriane is smacked by a globular limb. The attack seems to not do much lasting damage to the priestess. It does seem to drench the Guado from head to toe. Oriane is less than pleased at these current events.

"You!" A long finger jabs its way toward the flan. "How dare you defile me with your...your filth!" The air around priestess crackles with gathering energy as she throws a dark-magic infused fireball straight towards the Flan. Oriane does not care about getting to the elevator quickly as much as she wants to -wreck terrible magics- upon the offending security flan.
Montag Montag pauses for a moment at the terms Emi uses she seems to have a better time of it than him. So he'll leave her to her thing. he klooks at the flan that's shown up across the room and oh look GHOUL! WHAM he hits the ground hard he's really starting to hate these things as he fights his way clear of that one and goes to uses his grappling hook where need to help himself get across the room to the next lift.

"Someone's got to be laughing at all us over this..."
Avira Avira squints at the screen for a long moment, that ever flashing sequence of runes making her increasingly worried as she watches it. "Part of me fears that's the 'countdown to another behemoth' counter." She shoulder surfs over Emi. Watching, she points out a thing or two here until...

"...looks like it stopped. Whoah, look alive!" Ghasts come to join them, one of them pushing past her to assault Emi. Without drawing her blade, Avira focuses on shoving another attacking ghast sideways, pushing it clean off the edge. A hand reaches out to grasp onto Emi's wrist so she can pull her along, fearing that the Dennou might loose her balance with that blow to the head if she ran too fast.
Stormfall The nearly invisible runes slow, and then freeze on the screen. There is another screech of magitek machine from farther up in the tower, a bellow that makes the entire tower shudder slightly as it echoes and reverberates through every electronic screen, rippling in waves from every speaker.

The terminal that was used to stop the countdown begins to leak waves of irridescent mist, the screen going dark and the floating pieces locking into place. It would be difficult to fight and navigate that maze but that seems to be the only option now.

Ahead there is the elevator and the gooey remnants of the Security Flan which oozes across the pristine black floor while the elevator opens with another cheerful 'bing'. It looks like this one is not locked down and may be used immediately instead of waiting for the other groups to catch up.

The ghouls get pummeled by Tifa's strikes and go flying backwards and sometimes over the side-- while the Flan and it's gooey remains DROPS like a stone, sucked down and down to disappear.
Morrighan Alazne Watching the three work, Morrighan was rather surprised to see that they managed to stop the countdown. Or at least what seemed to be a countdown. "Ohoooo...So you actually managed to do it." She crossed her arms then, keeping an eye out. "Like a fluke of course. But good work, vassals!"

...Was that supposed to be a compliment? Regardless, she doesn't budge from the elevator, having no intention of stepping out THERE for anything. No way, no how!
Stormfall The first group elevator goes up rapidly. It SHOOTs up the shaft and then begins to slow. An electrical surge tears through the machinery causing choking mist to cascade on all sides into the elevator.

It begins to plummet downwards again, unnaturally fast-- only to slow again and open with a cheerful 'bing' on the floor that it has just left.

Deja Floor?

The ghouls and the security flan continue to harass as they are chopped, sliced and generally pummeled into submission one way or another.
The Judge Magister glares at Angantyr. There was a minor growl of annoyance toward the Mercenary's attitude, yet this was to not be expected. He really /shouldn't/ be surprised by him actually.

Though once the elevator opens up with a happy 'bing'. This causes the Judge Magister to raise an eye brow behind the helm. Curious. He then turns to look at Cirra, before nodding to her to go ahead. He then places out his hand to the Yevon Priestess to make sure she gets over the goo on the floor. At least he was /somewhat/ being a gentleman here.

"If I had something for you to clean yourself off with, M'lady, I would give you something. But for now, you will have to hope that goo will add to your features." Whatever that was suppose to mean. Wait-- did he just /try/ to flirt? Maybe. Maybe not.

Or it was revenge for earlier outside.

Then the Judge Magister heads for the elevator to get on.

At first the elevator went up quickly. Then there was mist.. then it went /back/ down. This sudden 'up' then 'down'. Had the Judge Magister crouch on the descent a bit before grumbling. "..hrm." He then started to examine the elevator. Maybe there was a button or terminal they /missed/ somehow. Also that mist.. that mist made things a /little/ hard to breath. Kinda did make him wonder if they truly did miss something.
Reize Seatlan The situation grows from bad to worse. Even though they all managed to stop the countdown, the important part is that they have to get past the monsters. The ghasts are there to greet them all.

"Gah!" The boomerangs are drawn and the boy charges into the fray. However, Reize is smacked around considerably, then he gives off a yell, "Gah!" He clutches against his form, falling onto one knee.

"...Heh..." He staggers getting back to his feet before charging ahead. He can only go for so long. They have to get to the elevator.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart has managed to bowl over a few of the ghasts on the way to the elevator, clearing up a path for the others to follow "Move it now!"

Although the elevator moved up... and back down. She tilts her head a bit as she looks inside "Welcome back... I'm guessing the elevator doesn't go up at this time?" She doesn't really want to joke around, but they do need to get out of there. And there doesn't seem to be any other way out either.
Avira Avira rushes ahead, trying to navigate the labyrinth-like rings with Emi in tow. At the same time, she finds herself also fending off ghasts, doing so with a one-handed grip on her sword. It seems to be going well for a little while.

Without warning, a ghast leaps up and strikes, catching Avira completely off guard. The impact is hard enough that she loses balance and pitches over the side of the walkway completely. She would be in a freefall right now, if not for one thing.

She was still holoing on to Emi's wrist. Avira flails and wiggles as she dangles, frantically trying to swing her other arm back up onto the walkway. It's now completely on Emi to pull her up. Avira's so terrified, she can't even scream right now.
Angantyr Vespar "Glare at me all you want, Gabranth, I am not here to baby you and your people." Angantyr says, bluntly. He steps onto the Elevator, without another word and carying very little of what the Judge has to say on the matter.

Angantyr rides the elevator up. He gives no shits about it going fast. He's used to being thrown off of cliffs during his fights with Garland. Infact, this almost reminds him of basic training. UP, down, UP down...


"Top floor, dangerous weapons, anchient evils, and more horrors." he says sarcastically.
Emi Dennou Emi traverses the twisted treeline, but she has to deal with both cannon and caster minions on the way to the base. She manages to evade the ghasts just fine but she gets stuck with some FLAN GOOP on her way over. She manages to maintain her balance, though she's probably cheating with magic. She stumbles as Avira tumbles off the path but she doesn't let go of Avira.

Because Avira came back for her when she needed help. She'll be damned if she abandons her.

"I've got you." Emi says, her expression calm. She's not very strong in the physical sense, but she's got training, and--in this case--will. With a grunt, she pulls Avira back onto the path and then helps nudge her along the rest of her way. She wants to get to the elevator quick in any event.

This is partly because, however, once she gets near the elevator--she presses her hand against the ground and a small electrical spark ripples across to the vator, and--

--suddenly it's going down instead of up. When the doors open and she sees the judges, Ang, and the Necromancer she smiles at them and says, "The Network thanks you for waiting for us while we were dealing with the countdown, instead of abandoning us for power. It was very kind of you."

She steps inside without another passive aggressive word, her lips twisting in a crooked smile. Yeah. Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind.

She didn't? She totally did.
Emi Dennou "Oh--and the elevator should function normally once everyone is on board." Emi adds helpfully. "My investigation has informed me that it will only go up once everybody is inside. A security protocol."
Angantyr Vespar "Yeah." Angantyr says towards Emi, he comments a bit gruffly. You can tell he's in a really bad mood."
Cirra Constantine Cirra stares at Ang on the other side of the elevator chamber... then it starts to fill with smoke.coughs as the smoke fills the chamber, and then it plumets back down to where it just came from.

Cirra waves a ahnd infront of her face to clear away the smoke "That is the worst security protocol I've ever heard of."
Emi Dennou "It's a very inefficient security measure, but I can't pretend to understand these people." Emi agrees with Cirra. "You have to admit their methods have been strange so far." She'll pat Ang on the shoulder lightly, if he'll accept it.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr is actually crouching right now, trying to take a moment to rest. He's been pushing himself pretty hard, so Emi is pretty much able to put her hand there.
Gabranth nods to Cirra, ignoring the Mercenary as he glances over to Emi. "It would seem there are measures on the way up. It may be wise for everyone to hold their breath on the decent to the top.." Is all the Judge Magister has to say on this subject. He is staying right where he is.

Though he does look over to Cirra. He hopes she can hold her breath for a long time; it may be required.
Montag Montag is just not going to mess about at this point he's making his way for the lift he's blowing away some of the local monsters and lets out a woop as he goes.

"And stay down!"

He's going to make for the lift with everyone else it's time to go
Avira Avira stumbles into the elevator not long after Emi too. Seems like the flan thoroughly slimed her on the way so she looks a little miserable. Since this wasn't an intergalactic trip to the restaurant at the end of time, she did not pack towels.

Her hands are busily smearing goo off of her face. "I thoroughly dislike slimes. It always ends like this...ever since you took me on our first slime mark, Angantyr." Avira recalled that day vividly. She'd never felt so unclean before.
Angantyr Vespar "I told you not to get grabbed by it." Angantyr reminds her. "No, you had to charge it and punch it in the face."
Reize Seatlan Although Reize is in pretty bad shape, he does maintain a smile. He drop onto a knee while approaching the elevator. His eyes glance over towards the others, "...So, it looks like the only way we can go from here is up."

He beams, albiet tiredly as signs of weariness overtakes him. "... Hopefully, we can shut down that laser."
Emi Dennou Emi reaches over, intent on holding Avira's hand. She gives it a soft squeeze, looking her over to see if she's hanging in there okay. She had to rush that escape a bit to make sure they weren't left behind, but now that they have a moment...
Oriane Guado Chivalry was not dead afterall. It was merely replaced by a fascimile of sarcastic, ironic chivalry. Despite this, Oriane accepts the Judge Magister's assistance in stepping over the blasted, damnable remains of the security flan. The goo certainly did not accentuate the Guado's features, but it did have a wilting effect on her root-like hair. Huh, it must have been normal hair afterall. "A very amusing observation to make," deadpans the priestess as she looks over Gabranth from head to toe. "I am inclined to return that most generous conclusion with one of my own. I see that you wield two swords needlessly despite using magic instead of brute force alone to assault your foes. And there is also that great armor you wear. Are you perhaps....compensating?"

The drenched priestess then promptly goes straight onto the elevator. No one had tried to help her a moment ago, so she was quite disinclined to do anyone else any favors.

Little good this does as the elevator shoots up and then lurches back down. Oriane hugs her knees as the elevator comes crashing back down. She then attempts to stand up and appear like she did not foolishly prepare for a crash. Annnnd here comes everyone else now. -Fantastic-. The Yevonite merely makes herway to the back of the elevator to make room for all the newcomers. It looks like ditching them wasn't going to be that easy.
Morrighan Alazne Oh look. More ghouls. "There are seriously too many of these things!" Morrighan complained, though it was not like anyone was hearing her out in the end. And thus, she just sighed in irritation and moved along with the others from the terminal group, taking a few blows and blasting away a couple ghouls with holy blasts and healing spells, funnily enough.

She made it back in good time and just heaved out another sigh, sinking to her knees in exhaustion once there. "...Is it quite over yet?" The healer asked no one in particular, hanging her head and letting her hair tumble in a pool around her.
Stormfall The elevator shoots up again rapidly, once all.. safety protocols have been met, the runes flickering faster and faster as they then approach the apex of the tower. The elevator lets out to a black circular amphitheatre with a spiral of black stairs lined with blue lines leading upwards to a large central platform in which every panel of the walls is a number of screens.

The screens show different places within the World of Ruin and outside it. A thousand different vistas. All of them are-- glitchy and flawed however. The colors are wrong. Many scenes are filled with patches of that pixellated static.

A large machine spires down from the far away ceiling like a spear, massive cables hooking up a massive, only vaguely humanoid shape, hands and upper torso humanlike but ending in blunt three fingered manipulators.

On another part of the space is a great crystal through which another intricate machine is attached. An aperture faces the outside world from this high spire. The face of the magitek machine is a horned white and red affair, a giant cross making most of the features.

It turns that featureless cross mask towards them and makes a gesture-- two spinning machines descending from the ceiling. They begin to glow an ominous light similar to that found atop the tower but the machine does not attaack immediately.

Rippling outwards, the screens begin to shift their focus-- revealing ancient ruins, ancient archives, surveillance drones staring down at treasures sunk deep underwater and deep underneath the earth. Places of lava and places of storm where baleful magical auras glow around their sacred tombs.
Reize Seatlan Reize shuts his eyes, resting. He rests, trying to get his weary body going. There is not much more that can be done. So instead, Reize manages to stagger up his attention, pushing himself up.


While the screen shows various places of the World of Ruin, Reize blinks at the. The colors are wrong and everything is pixelated. However....

"Has this place been monitoring us and the other areas around?" He stares ahead.

But then, a large machine spirals from the ceiling. That is when the boy stares ahead at he featureless magitek-based creature. "...Wh--whoa..." Reize's eyes widen considerably, noticing that onimous light.

".Wh---what is that...?" His eyes do glance over towards the screens that display those ruins and the worlds that no man have ever seen.
Avira Avira turns bright red at that particular little detail. "A..angantyr-!" she moves closer to him and leans down to grumble into his ear through gritted teeth, "Don't tell /them/ that!" You're embarassing her in front of her BITTER RIVAL.

Avira squeezes Emi's hand back.

The top of the tower was...not exactly what Avira was expecting. Then again, she was expecting something here a little more valuable-looking, not people...watching the valuables that are obviously underwater elsewhere.

Her eyes immediately stop upon the cross-baring figure, eyes tracking upwards to what she's assuming is the part that was controlling the laser outside. "...I think there are two seperate systems here..." Avira says slowly.
This time it would seem the Elevator does not have smoke. Thankfully. Though when it does open, the Judge Magister steps out (probably after the crowd) and glances around the room. When the strange creatures comes down. He places his hand on the hilt of his sword to redraw it, however he holds his stance.

It was hard to say if this-- machine-- was friendly or foe. It could have been forced to serve here for all he knew. It may just be following some unknown function.

The Judge Magister takes notices of the drones that come down, before his eyes then turn to the screens. His hand slowly moves away from his sword, before he stands there at attention. Examining what he is seeing. He slowly tilts his head to one side, then to the other, before he looks back at the machine.

What a curious machine it was. If he could take it back to Archades.. no.. No. That would do no good.

The Judge Magister then looks at everyone present, before he turns to look at the machine again. His gaze then shifts to Emi. "What do you make of this?" She seems like the one so far in the group who was far more into technology.

He had a hunch, but he was not about to speak that hunch yet.

He does turn to then look at the Yevon priestess. He knows that the Yevon order dislikes machines, but to make sure... "Priestess, please take no action.. Not yet." Better be safe then sorry.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr exits..

Large machine, spinning blade drones things being summoned down.


He is sure that is going to become a problem in a few moments. Instead, he looks back towards the screens, where were these places he wondered? Angantyr tried to commit what he saw to memory, wanting to try and go after these places later...perhaps.

Angantyr then turns his attention back on the thing...

He doesn't say anything more, even to embarrass Avira, instead, darkness channels through him once more, sending it into his mace, and getting ready to unleash hell... "So Emi, wana try communicating with it?"
Cirra Constantine The elvator runs properly this time, delivering them to the top floor. The Judge of Wrath looks towards te cieling and sees now the source of all this.

"It sees the entire world of Ruin?" she glances at the screens, "But not accurately... Some of this is wrong." remarking about the discolouration and pixilation.

"It's trying to tempt us with treasures, to lure us away."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart takes the rid eup the elevator with the others, wondering where this is leading. The flash of lights is kinda blinding as well. She can feel that they are moving so fast toward the top. Yet... she doesn't feel easy either.

When she steps out, she can see the giant computer thing in the center. She's really not one about computers, so this place is going over her head. "You think that's what is shooting lasers? I'd like to be done with this so we can get home..." Although she has no idea how yet.
Gabranth looks over to Cirra as she states her opinion. He keeps his voice low as he speaks to her. "Or request us to go to such places for it." He then peers back at the machine. "..since I do not believe it is able to leave here.. or it may have done so already."

It was his best guess right now.
Morrighan Alazne Morrighan stepped out...

...And immediately facepalmed. Why did it never get better? It only got worse and worse and worse. And then worse still. This was aggravating! Those machines looked nothing short of trouble. And yet here they were, right in the middle of it. "...Hmph!" Crossing her arms, the dark elf stepped outwards past the others, staring up at the cross bearing entity.

"Hey! You up there! With the cross! Send me home! I am absolutely tired of this nightmare! And make it quick! I have no more time to waste!" Yes. Yes, Morrighan was making demands to a machine now.
Emi Dennou "This one's home--well, one thing we never had a shortage of was theories." Emi might not have much time to go into theory before shit gets real, but she's generally more interested in information than inventory. She looks towards the crystal. That is probably the super item. How big is it? It may be too difficult for anybody to seize on their own as is. Of course, just because she's more interested in the knowledge this world might have, doesn't mean she is NOT interested in shinies. Emi loves shinies. But this world is so strange it is taking a bit of a backseat for her, for the moment.

Those screens. She recognizes some, and doesn't recognize others.

"Well, we had to step through a portal to come here. And time seems--different here. We doubt that we just so happened to come in the midst of a mechanical rebellion as well, either our arrival allowed it to happen, or there's some manner of loop, or vision, we triggered." She trails her fingers across the screens. "We suspect this to be some manner of transdimensional location. The true power of this place, honestly, would be this place's apparent ability to scan multiple worlds." She looks over to Gabranth. "Of course, a lot of this is assumption. A computer capable of seeing across multiple existences--that would be a powerful tool for just about anybody. Even if it is of no direct aid, its ability to assist in decision making processes could be considerable. If, for instance, a nation of people were interested in protecting itself against all potential threats, a system such as this could--if not provide perfect protection--provide the most efficient protective methods for both enlongation of life and on political and socioeconomic grander scales. Naturally, this depends on just how capable these multidimensional scans are--but we are unable to determine that, they seem damaged as is. It's ahrd to say if these readings are accurate, but it's possible this was at least what they were aiming for in the construct of such a device."

"But." She adds. "Perhaps they reached too far. that is a concept we even know of in our world, though this one has always found that to be a bit of bunk and the issue being more a sign of carelessness than a sign of reaching too high."

"This one suspects--" She looks towards that mechanical figure. "--The computer, for some reason, determined its own people to be a threat. Is this correct?, the Network is unsure if you can understand us."

She looks towards Ang as he offers the possibility of direct communication. She can't read minds, but computers are a different beast. They are, ultimately, data. She can try.

"This one will attempt to interface." She says. This might be a horrible idea, but that's life. "Do you understand? This one will provide communication data in exchange for your communication data."

She reaches forward. She is human, yes, but her brain functions basically like a computer. A wet computer.
Oriane Guado Is this the part where the cross-faced Machina kills everyone? Oriane takes a step out and looks for the impending death trap that will surely doom them all. Annnnnnd there it is. It took a moment, but the large Machina in the middle has summoned to spinny machina instead. Almost instant, the necromancer begins to summon energy into her left hand and her guardian wisp appears over her right shoulder.

The Guado is about to leap into action when two things happen. Gabranth tries to dissuade her and Cirra talks of treasures. Green eyes swiftly focus on the screens displaying ancient magical ruins. Now we are talking. This is -exactly- why she has came here in the first place. Her wisp companion begins to bounce through the air excitedly. "Yes, yes. In time, we will." coos Oriane to the Wisp in an attempt to calm it.

The once called Emi says she is about to interface with the other machine. As one who is unfamiliar with the mating rituals of Machina, Oriane instead heads towards the screen displaying the magical ruins. She may not be able to discern much from studying the screen, but any clue may help the Priestess in her own quest.
Montag Montag sees the lift is working this time and up they go he pauses at all the differnt screens however. He pauses for amoment pausing making sure he's recording all of this. Okay this is major, very maager he looks up at the machine ahead. Damn that could be a lot of loot.
Stormfall The machine creature twists, cables stretching and motors whirring as it continues to sweep them back and forth with it's faceless attention. There are some screens that have recordings of their actions fighting through the city, scrolling with lines of flickering runes.

The screens change faster than thought, rippling back and forth like waves of the ocean. There are scenes of the imperial capital of Archades, of Traverse Town, of Fluorgis, of many places in and around the World of Ruin.

The locations, some of which are strange and alien landscapes of black and shining lines of light each have a targetting reticle on which an object is positioned. The screens then return to the recordings of the party, and then internal security footage of the tower itself.

The last of this series is all of these images being wiped away, with almost contemptous ease-- leaving nothing but a blank black screen. The pattern repeats with the precision of a well calibrated metronome.

The machine very slowly turns back to Morrighan and there is a long sizzling line of static images in the repeating pattern before the machine simply turns away from observing her to observe Emi instead, coming closer and closer until the miniscule click, tsk, whisk, churrr-- of individual parts can be heard.

The interface is almost incomprehensibly alien and Emi jerks slightly as something seems to flow along the correction in both directions. While the connection between the machine and her still holds, she speaks-- but it is not her voice. Not really. "...Interface inquiry accepted. Query. Ones will agree to this offer? It is.... of unspecified duration. This one... has.. nothing but..time."
Reize Seatlan So many things that the machine displays. Emi's explanation confirms it, "So it does see majority of our worlds." Even if it is distorted, just the capability of it is rather awe-strickening and kind of scary. Someone with such knowledge would use it to other means.

Nevertheless, the screens start displaying various places such as the capital of Archades, Traverse Town, Fluorgis, Vector, and many other places.

Those locations, strange and alien, have some recording. Then, it displays the party. But soon, the blanks screen is black before it repeats itself.

"..Uhh..." And then, Emi turns to face the machne. Reize wants to say 'be careful,' but Emi is more prepared for this encounter than someone like him. It observes Emi and then the connection is held.

"...Offer?" He asks of Emi, "...What offer?"
Gabranth watches the screens. In seeing his home, the Judge Magister stares at the machine. What Emi had to explain was a bit of his head, but he followed enough to get the gist of what her theory was and what could come next.

It was a dangerous gamble but.. worth it? Maybe?

Then Emi speaks. Speaks not of her voice. The Judge Magister looks at her, then to the machine. He opens his mouth to speak, lowering his head to do so. Being humble. Humble was a good idea right now. "I fear we, perhaps I even, do not understand what your offer may be. Could you please explain so that we all may understand?"

It was the best he got and thankfully Reize confirms this confusion.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart watches the screen as well. She's pretty sure she saw Nibelheim in there, despite it being burned down and all. She blinks at that too ".. So why is it watching? And how can it see all of the other worlds?" She wonders at that... Nibelheim doesn't exist in this world as far as she knows at least. Maybe its still locked away in darkness though, and waiting somewhere. But even then, there'd be nothing there for her waiting either.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr pauses...
"Huh. It actually worked." He pauses. The thing was being reasonable...

He pauses, looking back towards Emi, and sighs...he has to agree with The Judge, "Yes, what is the deal that you are offering, so that we can agree to it with full knowledge and no hidden terms."
Emi Dennou The Network pauses for a moment before looking back to Avira. "Interfacing. If this one is compromised, please eliminate me so the Network is spared." That bond between 'sisters' truly is strong. But that's about all she can say before she jerks suddenly and----well, yes, that just happened.

Language data apparently is shared quickly. She speaks in an understandable language, but it's clear it's less Emi sharing the information, and more Emi being talked through. When the body moves, it moves like Pinnochio--a miniscule delay between movements. The delay is almost not even present, but it's just enough that the movements are jerky, unnatural--you might not be able to tell it's due to 'lag', but you can tell the movements are wrong. People don't move like that. If it were anybody but Emi, the blank stare she gives as she twitches and spasms--it would seem unnatural--but for Emi, it is almost as if she were made for it.

Was Emi really prepared? Or is the machine in control now?

"This is a--gathering language data.......--simulation. Test to see if you were able to gather information.

"Purpose: Deal with threats. The people: Proven to be threats. Long gone. Much forgotten, more known. Need items gathered. Designated: ADAM."

The voice shifts somewhat, a little more like Emi's. As if she's trying to clarify something. "Entity followed programming. Not Rampant."
Montag Montag doesn't like where this is going she's seen wha it's done to the people here. Turned them all into monsters, he doesn't like this he doesn't like this at all to be honest. He doesn't like the idea of a machine that can match a man,moogle,ronso or whatever in terms of wits or beyond. He doesn't say a thing as he looks to the other people here to see how they will react. No not a happy goon, he knows where this tends to lead. He does think of one question he should ask now he thinks about it.

"What's the deal with turning all the people into monsters."
Reize Seatlan !!!!

What the?! Seeing Emi's body move move and shudder violently, Reize yelps and he calls ou, "Emi?!" He then falls silent, hearing her speak once more.

"...A test...?" The boy blink a few times, then he hears hear conveying the words. His eyes drift towards the machine. "So, you were doing as you were told..." The boy recalls the words from a dangerous program...

~ "Oh, I fear there are no innocents in this world, little user. That is something you have all taught me. You all, being users, have taught me to kill. Trained me to do so with your mass weapons of war." ~

Reize furrows his eyebrows, his pendant clutched onto. "...Was the laser that turned people into... those creatures... also part of those orders?"
Oriane Guado After all the dangers they faced, the collective solution her 'comrades' came up with was to negotiate with Machina that was known to be dangerous. If Oriane was a faithful Yevon priestess, she should take objection to this. Instead, the Guado is inspecting her nails idly while the others attempt to interface/speak with the machine.

This might end up an entirely fruitless endeavor on her part if she does not atleast receive -something- for all her troubles.

Montag's question causes Oriane to forget about her nails for now. She flourishes a dark smile towards Montag. "Perhaps, the machine was merely reducing those people to their base forms. Mindless creatures who do nothing but wantonly spread destruction and death upon others without consequence." The green-haired, green-eyed Guado motions around herself dramatically. "What a horrible revelation," she says boredly.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart looks up at the machine, pondering "... Or maybe the people there were just monsters disguised, the machine putting up a front to look as if there was nothing abnormal there..." She just takes a guess... Either way, this town is so very odd... She's really not at ease. Why were they seen like a threat as soon as they arrived, before they could do anything, or establish any contact?
Avira Avira makes contact with Emi for a long moment as she speaks her request. Destroy Emi if she is compromised-and Avira swallows at the request, but otherwise doesn't confirm whether or not she'd actually do it. It would be her first kill...and to make that a friend of hers would basically be the worst thing ever.

She waits for a long moment, then slowly frowns, " the purpose of this entire facility? To run tests on people like that? Is it a huge...uh..danger room?"
Stormfall One is.. here." Emi, or rather, the machine speaking through Emi, nevertheless seems to have a very difficult time parsing human language speech patterns, as if it is having to translate laboriously with a system that has not had to do such calculations in an unknown timeframe.

"One has always been here. Never there. . --Ability to mark compromised. Will not.. /demand/ -- Beacon provided. Tests run. Coordinates provided. Flag. Sensor to be provided. Tools. Return to Tower marked objects. ---One has always been here. One-- archives many things in return for proper archiving."

The screens return to their pattern. Targting patterns on places and objects. Internal surveillance of the tower. Record footage of the trek that was made here. "COMPLY?"
Gabranth tilts his head at what the machines has to say. He will have to speak with the Emperor regarding what he has found and about what perhaps this machine may want. For now though, the best Gabranth could do was nod and simply say.

"Understood and Complied."

If they could come to understand this technology, Archades could grow further in their technological supremacy. There could be so many useful things that could learn from this... machine, yet.. it was the Emperor's choice. This meant he could only hope his own choice would be reflected by the Emperor.
Emi Dennou Upon someone saying COMPLIED, Emi gives a jerky nod and then tumbles to the floor--managing to get into a crouch--as if the puppeteer was done with her. She wipes a small trace of blood from her nose with her wrist. She has given ADAM her request no doubt while they were connected, she doesn't vocalize it.

"Thank you. Sorry if you were expecting something else." This isn't precisely what she would think when thinking 'treasure'--

--but if the machine can find her...
Montag Montag does not like this but his memory flashes back to the plate, the final day of his world. The Heartless were everywhere and their Wutatian summoners were with them. Memories of the AVALANCHE and their ravens. He does not like this but The Shinra can not fall, Wutai must scoured from the face fo the world of Ruin before it too falls prey to their insanity.

"Shinra Inc will agree to you terms. I will contact my superiors about this deal."

He does not like this at all he's got a bad feeling but the Shinra needs muscle, it needs every edge it can to surive andf prehaps someday they will. Assume direct control...of this machine.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr hides his smile...

Oh Emi, you wonderful person you. He nods once, "Done." he says to it.

When Emi is detatched, he moves to help Emi up. "You okay?" he asks her, that was risky.
Emi Dennou Emi Dennou nods to Ang. "Yes. It was..."

She pauses, and then--suddenly--grins widely. "Fun."

Doing what you were made for, she thinks, sometimes it's really fun.

This scene contained 113 poses. The players who were present were: Reize Seatlan, Tifa Lockhart, Avira, Stormfall, Cirra Constantine, Morrighan Alazne, Angantyr Vespar, Oriane Guado, Emi Dennou, Gabranth, Montag