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What Is This?
(2013-02-25 - 2013-02-26)
I Don't Even
Seith The nights in China can be treacherously cold, and this is one such cold night. Yet in the far northern reaches of the country, there lies a massive wall that lights up the place. It looks alien against the dark sands - the clouds not even giving the moon a chance to shine its pale light upon the surroundings short of some faint bits that pierce through here and there.

A Mako Reactor. What was it doing here? And what was it drawing up from the ground below? Sammy had rightfully asked that question when he'd come here with Kuzco - but had little chance to find out thanks to a 'plague' that had beset the massive structure. When Leida and Sammy arrive, they however find something that might startle the latter.

The metalic thick gates that would certainly have kept anyone from this country out, is wrenched to pieces. It doesn't look like some massive beast, nor does it look like some weapon was used. No, something /bent/ these metalic doors almost beyond recognition. They're barely hanging on to their hinges - and would likely comedically fall over if someone touched them.

Within, the lights still burn however, and there is no sign of an intruder...

Other than the lift no longer being at the top.
Leida The harsh and bitter cold of the mountainous countryside reminds Leida of home. Here the civilizations of advanced worlds have not yet spread their glowing neon signs or paved roads, leaving nature to thrive or fail in all of its unmarred splendor. A slender delicate hand runs along the frost-covered bark of a tall tree, letting the feel of the rough craggy wood touch her skin and that simple sensation brings a smile to her face as the bite of winter ice runs through her.

Despite being dressed for a far more temperate climate, the cold doesn't seem to bother the small princess at all. She strides easily through the snow, sinking almost up to her knees with every step. Thick cloth wrappings encase her legs from the knee down to her pretty pink shoes to ward off the danger of frostbite but the frigid winds seem to hamper her not at all.

She pauses to pull out the map given to her by the funny looking man, using it to guide her path through the foreign wilderness and within a few hours the massive complex comes into view. Leida's eyes widen a little as she takes in the sheer size of the reactor, suddenly realizing the monumental scope of the task she has taken onto herself. If this entire place was choked with Heartless...

The girl takes a deep breath and puts on her best look of determination. "That just means I will have plenty of work to do!" Bravado seems to have replaced her common sense in the last few days, a side-effect of her decision to stop running away and be brave.

Tucking the precious map away in her satchel, Leida unslings the massive greatbow from her shoulders and careful slinks towards the edge of the facility's ruined gates.
Sammy Colt Why oh why did that stupid girl ever agree to do this alone? Rhiannon wasn't a big help on that front either. Sammy, being the ever bleeding heart, could not let this inexperienced girl go alone. After all, she might overload the reactor by accident, or maybe she'll jam the elevator or fall into the pit - any justification could be used in his mind to warrant tailing her.

The girl is moving towards the reactor as Sammy's eyes focus through the lenses of his binoculars. The gates had been sealed previously, locked down and supposed to withstand one helluva pounding before letting anyone inside, but these gates? These gates were wide open, torn asunder by some massive force.

(Great.) thought Sammy as he lowered the binoculars. (Not only is she alone, but there's something big using the reactor as a lair... Better not be a Weapon.) Sammy silently grumbles to himself as he hops down from his perch and runs forward.

"Hey!" He exclaims from behind Leida, his voice getting lost in the wind. The little guy moves quickly to close the distance of the now bow-wielding princess. "Hey!" he exclaims again, this time probably audible enough to draw her attention.

"Are you seriously planning on going in there alone?" He asks, his fingers pressing down on a relay beacon before he places it into his pocket - just in case everything goes south.
Seith For all the two can see, the main room is still clear of heartless. Sammy at least knows how to get downstairs or to bring up the elevator at least. Other than the chugging sound of the Mako Reactor itself - the place is quiet. Deadly quiet. After all, there's nobody working here. And there's not an army of monsters to plague people around the reactor.

Just a sea of heartless far down in the depths, from what Sammy may remember.
Leida The soft crunch of snow under her feet and the dull thruming heartbeat of the metal beast looming before her is the only sound Leida expects to hear over the wind as she approaches. Her body is hunched over to make herself a smaller profile against the ground, as if that would somehow overcome the bright neon pink clothes against the white of the snow. She makes it all the way to the edge of the outer wall before Sammy's excited shouts finally touch her ears.

The girl tilts her head to the side in confusion, wondering if the wind is playing tricks on her but she slowly turns about and peers behind. Finding the figure of a man she's never seen before tromping through the snow at her sends a shiver of alarm racing up her back. "Wha-wha-wha?! Where did you come fro-?!"

In her surprise the girl leaps back and bumps up against the shredded gate. With a sharp ear-piercing squeal it shifts and tilts, the frame only barely holding it up before and Leida is the straw that breaks the camel's back in this case. The massive slab of metal slowly but inexorably falls inwards, landing with a great resounding crash that echoes throughout the courtyard of the facility.

Leida stares straight at Sammy the entire time, a look of 'I didn't do it' on her face. If there was ever a possibility of stealth, it's likely gone now.
Sammy Colt The ear-shattering metal on metal shriek that pierces through the howling wind is enough to cause Sammy to stop his approach and haunch his shoulders as he grimaces. The attempt to brave through the sound and not cover his ears is painful and the finaly THWUMP of the door landing on the ground and sending dust and wind in every which direction is more than enough for the Turk to realize that the 'quiet' approach is impossible.

Looking to Leida, Sammy raises a hand to his mouth and simply does the 'shush' emotion before stepping through the doors and perking an ear, as if listening for some sort of alarm to ring or perhaps the sound of a gajillion Heartless scrambling up the elevator shaft.

After a minute, Sammy lets out a sigh of relief. He knew how far down that shaft went and more than likely, the sound would become so dampened by the pure distance it had to travel that they could get away with some stealth.

Luckily for them, there WASN'T a weapon making a neat little domicile inside the Reactor's main room.

Sammy turns his attention back to Leida, whose expression seems to indicate that she in fact did /not/ touch the precariously perched porthole.

"I'm... the caretaker of this reactor." Sammy says, lieing through his teeth and not doing a very good job of hiding it. "I saw you coming this way and thought you were lost. You should leave now. This place is dangerous." Sammy states, still not getting the whole 'hero mode' Leida has entered.
Leida Leida just gives a swift wide-eyed series of nods back to him when he shushes her, not even bothering to brush off the coating of snow that rains down on top of her in the aftermath of the noisy crash. She turns in place to keep the stranger in view as he does a quick check to make sure nothing was stirred by their less than subtle arrival, taking that short period of time to absorb his appearance. The fact that he was wearing a suit and tie, which she has come to understand is the equivalent of a dressy kimono, in the middle of a frozen wasteland makes her wonder.

When the coast is proven to be clear, the girl exhales a little and wanders over to stand before Sammy, offering him a curt Japanese bow in greeting. "I am Leida. It is nice to meet you, Caretaker-san." She smiles and shakes her head at his attempt to ward her away though. "Sorry, but I cannot leave until I have completed the mission that I was hired to do! You should know, this place is full of Heartless! The children will not be safe until this threat is dealt with so I have to do my best to help them!"
Sammy Colt Dammit. The Children. He knew his makopoint presentation was just too moving. A feather in his cap, but also a really big misstep because of it, too. Sammy watches the bow and doesn't quite get the woman's politeness. After all, wasn't she supposed to be adventuring? Ah well - professionalism.

In a similar manner, Sammy gives the girl a professional ShinRa salute before pausing to wonder exactly how he should handle this 'hero'. She and he couldn't possibly take out all those Heartless alone... But if they could, he might just get that raise! Not that he used money, but it would be a nice addition, raises mean you've done the company proud, after all.

"Yeah. I know. The Heartless have made a home at the Reactor's base." He states, examining towards the elevator, only now noticing that the flat is missing. There's no pause as Sammy's knives pop out of his sleeves, immediatly held by the aforementioned clothing as he narrows his eyes.

"Last time I was here, that thing was up. Someone's gone down there." (And maybe they've taken care of the heartless problem. These things do draw heroes like moths to a flame, so maybe there's some goody-goody group down there that's cleared it out in search of Epic Lootz? That reminds me, I gotta get that gear so I can beat Reno in Super Monster Slayer...) His mind wanders for a moment before Sammy shakes his head and moves towards the elevator.

The panel to call the elevator looks intact, so long as the green button glows, Sammy gives it a press to call the lift. His eyes look back to Leida as he gives a brave smile. "Name's Sammy, by the way. Just figured it's easier to say 'Sammy' than 'Caretaker-san'" Sammy explains with a determined glare towards the elevator, waiting for a sign that it's ascending - hopefully with heroes who are on their way out.
Seith There's a loud click downstairs, before the lift's engines start up and the trolley gets drawn up by its massive cables. Just as before, the speed at which it comes up is rather rapid, and when it reaches the top - it comes to an abrupt stop! There's a loud click, and then a thoomping sound. And when the metalic curtain rolls open to give access to the lift, there's a single shadow - cute - tilting its head in a rather confused manner at the two.

These two would certainly not even break a sweat routing this lone single shadow. The inside button of the elevator is still broken though - featuring a nice hoove-print. Did Sammy bring a repair kit?
Leida The whine and grind of the motors kicking to life sends a tremor of recognition through the girl and she tenatively steps towards the lift, peering down at the gaping black shaft as the platform slowly rises up. That sounded much more like a automobile than she cared for but they couldn't be using one of those to get down there, right? It was much too steep for those infernal machines.

Glancing back at Sammy, Leida bows to him again. "Well then, nice to meet you Sammy-san." Her eyes drift back to the slowly raising elevator and she gives him a brave smile, "So... um... what is this thing we're waiting--"

She is cut short by the arrival of the car. That was fast! Leida turns to investigate further and finds herself staring at the lone Heartless, its beady yellow gaze matched by her blank one. After a moment the air clears from her head and she hops backwards in surprise, pointing a finger at the little beast. "Ah! A Heartless!"

The bow is brought up swiftly and an arrow flies into the little shadow with incredible velocity, embedding itself into the metal bulkhead of the far wall after it completely punches through the creature's head, leaving nothing but a puff of black smoke lingering in the air for a moment. Leida's face takes on an unsually serious expression as she unleashes the attack but it melts away the moment the Heartless disappears and she giggles a little. "Hehehe, no problem!"
Sammy Colt Sammy doesn't react when the heartless shows up. He wanted to see what Leida could do. Sure enough, the girl plants one of her primitive misiles into the icky black thing's head and in an instant, it pops back to the nothingness whence it came.

There's a glance at the bow as Sammy notices the waggling arrow in the elevator shaft. For it to have penetrated the metal backing of the car meant that this girl's either got enhanced strength or that bow is something else.

The giggle makes Sammy return a faint smile. "Yep. No problem." He states, his eyes glancing at the broken activator. "Looks like we have to go with a manual override." Sammy states as he stands over the console outside of the shaft.

"Get in. We're going to go take a peak down there." Mentally, he noted to get that llama back for hoove-kicking the controller into oblivion. He waits for Leida to oblige before he presses the big green button, which causes a rotating orange light to indicate that the lift is about to descend.

Quickly scrambling under the closing metal curtain, Sammy stands in the elevator, prim and proper as he glances at Leida. "You'll want to stand up straight. The lift is kind of 'fast'." He says as he flattens his tie and holds it down, waiting for the sudden plummet.
Seith When Sammy and Leida have made their way into the elevator, and the thing has finished buzzing its warning that it's about to descend - Sammy's words are given truth. The thing plummets towards the depths of the Mako Reactor, quickly getting to that point where comedic llamas may end up clinging to the ceiling rather that being able to stand on the floor.

As they get closer, Leida may naturally notice that there are a /lot/ of heartless down there. But what's worse is that when they finally arrive at the bottom... it is dark. Completely, and entirely dark. There are the sounds of heartless scuttling and rattling around, and soon that automatic metalic curtain removes the only barrier that stands between them at the heartless...

And then, from that pitch dark, there comes a voice;


A voice only Leida would recognize. That of Seith's.
Leida Leida once more peers uncertainly at the elevator before stepping into its confines. The bow is clutched tightly in her hands to keep them from shaking. She really doesn't like modern technology all that much. So much noise and shaking and OHGODITSFALLING.

The princess gives a girlish cry of surprise when the floor seems to practically drop out from under them. However, she clings to Sammy's advice and stands bolt upright as they plummet into the depths. If she follows instructions the machine can't hurt her! She hopes. That is until about halfway down she realizes that the updraft from the descent has lifted her skirt up around her hips. Leida flails and pushes it back down with a fierce blush but otherwise spends the ride in silence.

Once they get deep enough that the darkness rises up to engulf them, the girl steps forward a little to scan the floors below them. Her eyes, tainted with ancient shadow magic, pierce through the veil of blackness with little effort and she breathes out a soft gasp of awe at the sheer number of the creatures squirming about. "There... there is quite a few of them..."

A few moments later they arrive at the bottom with a less than gentle deceleration that floors the small girl. She groans softly and pushes back up to her knees, glancing up to peer into the corridors ahead just as the voice comes echoing forth. Her eyes widen and she whispers, "You...?"
Sammy Colt Sammy is a professional and it shows. As Leida panics and tries to remain still, he keeps his eyes front and center. Her skirt flares up, he does the same, not even a glance towards the wardrobe malfunction, just this professional stare forwards.

Leida's gasp does bring Sammy's eyes to glance about the darkness as she states the obvious. 'a few' was an understatement as far as Sammy was concerned.

The elevator comes to a stop and Sammy draws his blades once more, spinning them idly in his sleeves as his eyes attempt to adjust to the darkness.

Then, there's a voice.

The Turk's stance falters for a second as Sammy tries to identify whether to voice is recognizable to him and afrer he realizes it's not, Leida's comment draws his attention.

"Friend of yours?" He asks quietly as he resumes his combat-ready stance, waiting for the heartless to approach.

"I'm guessing I have you to thank for the door?" He asks aloud to the darkness, obviously unable to see too well.
Seith "Welcome, Leida." Seith answers her voice, just as green lights begin to burn and the heartless move. It's all atmospheric and kind of over the top midboss behavior. Those flames forming a path slowly towards him, and the heartless dividing from the middle to free up this path. Clearly, Seith is showing off his control over the black creatures - most of them shadows.

When the green lights finally light up Seith, it's obvious that he's sitting in a stone throne of sorts. His heavy armor donned as always, he taps the index-finger's tip of his right hand's gauntlet to the handrest. "How do you like my new room?" He waves his other hand around, and the room begins to change. More machine appear out of nowhere. Computers. Scientists begin to wander around like ghosts, passing through the heartless.

"I am pretty sure this place would be quite useful to the more technologically inclined Shadow Lords, don't you agree Leida? Maybe LEXUS would could set up shop here."

His gaze then tilts to Sammy. "Tell me, what is this place?"
Leida Scrambling to her feet as the eldritch fires blink into life, Leida stares around in wonder at how the Heartless seem to move without command to make way for the showy introduction. She knew that Shadow Lords could summon and command the monsters but this level of control was beyond anything she'd seen before.

Her gaze drifts back to the armor-clad elf once his throne is cast into light and she swallows hard, remembering their last encounter. He had been rather angry with her for being weak and encouraged her to get stronger but she had never really understood why he would care about such a thing. Nor was his purpose here clear, though she didn't really know much about the place.

The sudden appearance of the ghostly scientists and the shifting bits of technology makes her take an instinctive step away. None of this made any sence to her. She glances over at Sammy, hoping he'll have better grasp of the situation. "He... He is a Shadow Lord. We should be careful."
Sammy Colt "This place- " Sammy begins in an authoritive tone, "is property of ShinRa corp. As such, you are trespassing. I hereby request that you, your scientists and your pets vacate the premesis or I will be forced to pursue this matter to the full extent of ShinRa law."

(This never works. He'll probably monologue for a bit, laugh and then sick his pets on us. At least I gave him a chance to surrender.) Sammy thinks to himself, still having his knives at the ready as he looks towards Leida. "Shadow Lord nothing. He's just a namby-pamby elf." Sammy states, but gives a head wobble, "Thooough, his introductions was pretty impressive." He admits silently, more to himself than to the room. Taking a step forward, Sammy gets off the lift and advances towards Seith's position. "I suggest you take my offer." Colt says coldly as he attempts to stare down Seith with a giant lump of healthy fear in the back of his throat.
Seith "Oh. ShinRa corp. I believe I've heard about them. Weren't you the ones who stole some of /our/ property?" Seith reminds Sammy. "I believe it sounds like we might be able to trade something here. You give me back what you took from Manhattan, and I give this place. Sounds like a fair trade, now doesn't it?" The man is smirking at Sam, not reacting one bit to the 'namby-pamby elf' thing.

His gaze then travels to Leida. "What about you, Leida? What are you doing here. I can understand the little corporation hound - but you? Are you here to check up on the heartless? Or have you come back to join us?" The man sits a little further up and leans forwards, moving his elbow to the armrest and lays his chin into his hand - tapping his clawed gauntlet finger against his lips, pondering this.

"How have you been? Any... 'voices' telling you what to do? Any more 'dark powers' awakening?"
Leida "W-what?! No, ofcourse not!" Leida shrinks a little under the Shadow Lord's gaze, tapping the tips of her index fingers together timidly. "I came because this nice man who works for the Super Honest Investigators of New Reactors Agency said this place was infested by the Heartless." She glances around again. Pretty obvious that part is true. "I just came to clear them out so they would not threaten the lives of the children who live in this land."

The girl shakes her head vehemently at the last two questions as well. "N-no. The voice has been quiet ever since the seal was put in place. And I am learning to control my darkness... s-so there will not be any more unwanted surprises!"
Sammy Colt "I'm sorry but you do not have the clearance to access that information." Sammy states regarding the 'acquired' TRON world equipment. His eyes glance over to Leida at the mention of the 'voices' and 'dark powers'. Not a good sign. He's used to having reliable people backing him up, but this Corporate Espionage Elf seems to be indicating that Leida was a friend to the inky little intruders.

Of course, fate would find this hilarious, considering Sammy -

Back to the problem at hand! Sammy watches Leida with some worry on his features, but the kid is still professional about it. "Listen, Leida -" he says in a low whisper. "don't listen to a thing he says. This guy controls the heartless." He states, his eyes glancing about the room for something in particular.

(Where in the world is that datapad?) He asks himself while he steps between Leida and Seith, like a real fool. "Alright, buddy. I provided you with a warning. You've objected. I am in my full legal right to 'assist' you in vacating the structure." He says with gusto.

"Are you ready?" He asks over his shoulder to Leida as he keeps his knives held in a defensive way infront of him, flats of the blades out and up, just in case a heartless decides to jump him.
Seith "/S/uper /H/onest /I/nvestigators of /N/ew /R/eactors /A/gency?" Seith actually repeats the entire thing after her. "S-H-I-N-R-A. /ShinRa/. You were tricked, it seems. Also, there are no kids within many a mile radius of this place. And neither have these heartless left this place. And I am curious why they are here." Seith notes to Leida. "And what's more..."

The man pauses, and then adds, "You are controlling your darkness now? Well, I guess if you came back with all those powers - but the ability to control /all of that/... quite useful. I do hope you are not lying to me though. You know very well not to lie."

"So your company now hires young girls to clear an entire room of heartless? Such pitiable people. But don't you worry - if there's too much heartless for you to deal with, have Leida take up their control. Maybe she can even wrench my control over them, and send them at me - like the good Shadow Lord she is underneath all of that." Seith grins widely.

The man remains seated. "And you are welcome to try to remove me from this place. But I warn you... you are grosely outnumbered and outgunned. How about you change your mind and try to keep yourself safe by just telling me what I want to know?"
Leida The princess stares blankly at Seith as he points out the digustingly obvious correlation between the name of the public works group that came to her with the problem in the first place and that of the company that she now knows owns it. "S.. H.. I... heeey."

Leida turns and looks up at Sammy, squinting her serpentine eyes at his face for several seconds. Cut to LeidaVision: Sammy's face is frozen in its current position and a little Chibi Leida runs into the panel and scribbles some black squiggles that look like a moustache and a bowler hat on the picture. A lightbulb pops up over her head after a moment.

"You are the man who hired me!" She walks over and levels a sharp kick straight at Sammy's shin. "And I did not see signs of civilization anywhere on my way through those snowfields! You lied to me!"

Turning away from the Turk in a huff, the girl puffs up her cheeks and refuses to look at him again. "I cannot believe I feel for such a thing..." She glares over at Seith again. "Just because I am cursed does not make me a Shadow Lord!"
Sammy Colt And the big reveal comes that Sammy's made up company name wasn't exactly as ingenius as he had thought. The Turk goes to explain, but there's a sharp pain in his shin all of a sudden.

(Ow! Okay. I deserved that.) Sammy says in his head as he hops on one foot while rubbing the other shin.

After a moment, the Turk puts his foot back down and points upwards. "I was /trying/ to get your entire crew to come here to deal with these pests!" Sammy says in defence before looking back towards Seith and picking up his knives.

"But you're right. I lied. Either move on or get in the elevator. Either way, I'm going to deal with this." Sammy states in a serious tone as he makes a note to install shin guards in future suits.

"And we don't send little girls to do our work. One of me is more than enough to take on the likes of you." (Good bluff. Maybe he'll buy it!).
Seith "No, you are right. Being cursed doesn't make you a Shadow Lord. Controlling the darkness even after leaving us - that does. So many deaths, so many people who have fallen to darkness. I remember you in Manhattan. And now you seek to control and use those powers again - those very same ones, aren't you?" Seith asks her, that smirk growing wider as he continues to speak. He even tilts his head down a little to look darker. Those horns he wears really do show right now. The illusionary scientists continue to walk through things, including solid objects, just working on things and pressing random buttons.

And then Sammy goes on to bluff. And Seith... Seith just starts laughing. "Ah, but you are right. THIS little girl /would/ be enough to take on someone such as me. That is, if she dared to use her Shadow Lord powers. If she was not 'sealed'. But this here, /this/ little girl? No. No, she will do me no more harm than you could."

The man finally stands up from his throne, and the green flames burst to further brightness. The illussion of the laboratory grows more real. The Heartless fade from view, until they are standing within a white room with bright lights shining down. The scientists leave 'the room' through the door, where the elevator once was. There's one empty spot. A large spot that doesn't look like it quite matches with the device that was stolen by ShinRa. It's obvious that Seith doesn't know what it looks like. Something Sammy might pick up on.

"Bring me the device, and you will have your 'Reactor'. And Leida... you know what I've told you about liars. If he's lied this much to you... he even wanted to make the rest of your friends come here and get hurt. Maybe /you/ should help /me/."
Leida Leida's show of royal disdain crumbles quickly under the damning words of the elf. Her determined look fades to one of surprise as he points out that she is once more pursuing the same powers that caused all the deaths and suffering before. "W-well that is because I do not have a choice! If I let them run free then there is no telling what kind of things I may do! I am trying to control them!"

The princess looks away when he goes on to point out that she would be more than capable of destroying all of these Heartless - if only she had her full power back. That is in all likelihood very true but the consequences of unsealing that dreadful entity within would be worse than simply leaving them be. As he points out, she is merely a shadow of her former self.

However, one thing he says does resonate within her. Turning back to glare at Sammy, her corrupted eyes narrow even as the room shifts around them to a stark empty white. "...what he says is true. You tried to lure me /and/ my friends to this place on false pretenses. Do you somehow think that successfully convincing me to bring them along to such a dangerous place would have made your lie less severe?"
Sammy Colt Oh good. Now the angry little princess, who is apparently a Shadow Lord underneath all the cuteness is mad at Sammy and more than likey, that damned Elf is getting a good laugh. Sammy's attention is now split between both Leida, Seith and the Heartless.

"Listen, princess - He's more saying this out of mocking Leida's stature than addressing her, "- my 'lies' were there to hire adventurers to help save the reactor. While there are no children /nearby/ I guarantee you, if this reactor goes under someone else's control, there WILL be starving children and homesless people." Sammy says through grit teeth as he tries to re-tilt the tables in his favour, his eyes glances at the elevator/door behind Leida for a moment.

"Especially if this ponce actually gets what he's after. So do me a favour. Either get back up and go tell your friends that a 'shadow lord' is down here, or give me a hand taking him out AND THEN we can talk about my lies!" Sammy declares, pointing a finger directly at Seith, his head constantly moving to keep both in view as he keeps his defences up.
Seith Seith slowly moves towards the two, and then comes to stand still amidst the center of the room. The white of the walls begins to erode then, the room turning brown slowly. Aging. The metal begins to erode, the wallpaper turning brown, peeling, turning into this disgusting yellowish color. Flakes of dust begin to flick through the air, and the scientists simply get replaced by larger Shadow heartless.

"You are wrong, ShinRa pawn. There are no children around this place. And nobody /relies/ on your pitiful electrical power. Their lives are just fine without it. or are you going to try and make them 'need' your power - Shinra?" he's just going ahead and calling Sammy: Shinra, at this point.

The room finishes its 'Silent Hill'-like transformation finally, and the heartless come up from between the dirty planks that now litter the floor. Pieces of ceiling fall down and more and more shadows appear. More, more, almost like an entire wave. Then suddenly, a twosome of Large Bodies bound up right between the two of them, appearing from small gates of darkness and forcing the two apart.

"Show me Leida. Show me how far you've come!" Seith then calls out, and waves his hand. The Heartless all charge in, concentrating more on Leida than they are on Sammy. In fact, the two Large Bodies are standing in the way, stopping Sammy from easily getting to her. "And eradicate the /LIAR/."
Leida Leida's ire at being deceived is manipulated easily by the dark mage for he has watched and learned enough about her to know what it takes to push her buttons and urge her in the direction he desires. Her normally kind and timid features have contorted into a dark frown which is leveled at the ShinRa special operative. The pupils of her corrupted eyes narrow to thin slits which stare up at him with grim intensity.

But before anything can come of the sudden tension the entire room begins to change and melt as if time has been set to fast-foward. A fine rain of powdered rust flits down in flakes from the withering ceiling and walls and Heartless rise up on all sides, forcing Leida to abandon her anger for the moment in favor of self-preservation.

Almost before she knows it the bow in her hand begins to sing as arrows rip into the growing mob of shadows. Each shot takes out several of the small creatures but for every one that falls more seem to take their place. Seith's command rings out over the sudden sounds of battle but even if she wanted to exact revenge on the Turk, the two of them are cut off by the massive Bodies and she's got her hands full just trying not to get overwhelmed in close combat.
Sammy Colt Sammy's got a bit of worried look on his face as the world decays into its nightmarish tone. Between that and the glares his possibly former ally had been giving him, Sammy was starting to not feel comfortable with the whole 'being between two super powers'.

Then again. He was a Turk.

The heartless swarm up and before Sammy can move, a large, bulbous mass of inky black evil shapes itself into existence between he and Leida. The young man lets loose an annoyed growl as his eyes dart towards Seith, who proclaims Leidra should eradicate the 'liar'. Truly, that could mean either of them, but Sammy liked to think that Seith was talking about himself.

Who is he kidding? He lied to her, he got her into this mess and what's worse, he's totally NOT going to get that promotion at this rate.

What's left to do? Well. Sammy's more worried about Leida going darkside at this point. Even as he hears the arrows being plucked and can hear the 'pouf' of the heartless being taken out, he can't help but do the math.

Short of a miracle, they were pretty much boned. Now comes the moral implication, what would be worse? Sammy getting caught, or this Seith guy fully corrupting this young girl Sammy had brought there?

Well... Sammy was a Turk. He signed up for this. Nay. Volunteered.

With grim determination, Sammy gives a shrill whistle and darts forward, tossing one of his daggers into the air, which the heartless follows, trying to bat it out of the way.

As the creature's weight lumbers after the distraction, Sammy slides between the small space between the Large Body's legs and goes into a roll as he yanks on a sleeve, retracting the dagger back towards him.

He ducks passed the second second large body's arm and spins about as he parkours over two, three, four of the small shadows, his figure dissapearing behind them with ever leap in order to NOT get an arrow into his person. As he clears the distance to Leida, he doesn't slow, rather, he lowers his stance and shoulder-checks Leida into the elevator. Spinning about and slamming his hand down on the panel, Sammy calls out over his shoulder .

"Get out of here." He says to the elevator as the metal grate descends. "I should have never lied to you and for that, I'm sorry. But this is my problem now." Sammy yells as he turns his gaze around, not really wanting to see his means of escape about to leave.

"Alright, loudmouth." Sammy exclaims in Seith's direction, which he can't rightfully tell anymore. "Let's see how tough you are." A heroic sentiment of course, but Sammy is well outnumbered and at least he had the presence of mind to plant that relay beacon on Leida when he checked her.
Seith The Heartless continue their merciless assault upon Leida thusly. It seems that while under the control of this Shadow Lord, they grow smarter. Shadows dive into the ground before her, and then grow out of it once again in a circle around her - grabbing for her legs! Another twosome of large bodies wobble her way, forming a guard for some of the other heartless. But that's when Sammy outmaneuvers the slower heartless, getting around and pulls Leida out of the way. In a ways, his approach is quite heroic.

The Heartless then suddenly begin to change, as Seith uses his mastery over the Heartless themselves. He squishes some together with mere motions of his hand, and a fivesome turn into these gigantic bird-like beasts that stomp towards Sammy, and then try to suddenly peck at him while more and more shadows surround him and try to grab at him! He doesn't have much room to move around.
Leida The arrows ripple out from the eye of the storm around the small girl in a steady rythm, only a second or two passing between the sharp twang of her bowstring. Each of the deadly projectiles carves a ravine in the surging tide of Heartless but the gaps are filled almost immediately by the shadowy creatures as they move in an almost literal wave towards her. Their display of unusually advanced tactics combined with the sheer number disadvantage allows them to land several hits and the princess' new frilly pink dress sprouts several slender gashes as their dark claws rip into the fabric and the flesh below.

Leida's face is a mask of grim determination as she she back pedals from the approaching bulk of the Large Bodies, their resilence to her attacks shielding the others from harm. However, one of the smaller Shadows circles around behind her and she feels its cold hands wrap about her ankles arresting her movement. She whips her head down to glare at the creature but before she can attempt to struggle free Sammy's shoulder slams into her chest, sending the small girl careening backwards into the open elevator where she lands in a heap.

The warning klaxons blare as he hits the button to send the car back up the shaft. A deep metallic grinding fills the air and the shutter begins to slide down so as to seal it off from safety hazards, eventually making a dull click when it locks into place to be replaced by the motorized hum of the elevator moving up.

However, the noise is abruptly interrupted by a loud rending crash and the entire room shudders for a moment. A secondary slam rocks the ground as something comes slamming back down into the bottom of the shaft, buckling the shutter outwards a little. There is a horrific squeal of rending metal as three dark black claws easily the size of sword blades pierce through the protective wall and begin to methodically peel it open like the petals of a flower.

Leida steps through the newly created iris after a moment, her eyes glowing with a deep purplish black light. The claws are revealed to belong to the massive shadowy arm that sprouts from her back, wreathed in the same eldritch fire as it waves menacingly at the air.

With a shrill battle cry, the girl launches herself once more into the fray, firing deadly lances of black fire from her bow while the tenebreous arm slams about, swatting aside Heartless in droves and anything else that happens to get in her way.
Sammy Colt The bird-beast beaks peck forwards and Sammy raises his daggers to deflect the heartless' attacks. He's obviously skilled with the weapons, as he's able to push aside some of the attacks. He's giving it a good effort, but those beaks still tear into his arms, but luckily, that suit is rather spiffy and obviously made to take a beating.

Then, there's a sudden pause as the elevator decides to come BACK DOWN at a breakneck pace. Sammy glances back at it for a moment to see the back-claw, bow-wielding incarnate of 'not so niceity'. He holds his breath for a second as the bird-brain biting on his knife has its attention ALSO drawn to the now obviously tainted Leida's presence. Both of them are probably waiting to see whose side she's on.

When the girl goes crashing into the heartless swarm, Sammy lets out a relieved sigh before smiling at the bird and giving it a shove back, allowing him to 'stylishly' trip over the panel and land on his rear.

Replace stylishly with 'accidentally backpedal over the damned thing' and you've got what really happened.

The distance is enough to give Sammy a reprieve and the Turk takes these precious seconds to grab a pair of sunglasses from his breast pocket and put them on his nose.

With a snap of his fingers, the Turk re-establishes his defensive stance, all the while that strange fingersnap has triggered a small bit of his concealed power to trickle out between Leida and himself.

It's all about being professional.
Seith There it is! There she comes. Seith turns to face Sammy as the little Turk tries his best to 'complete his mission'. He can only trust that this young boy has far better intentions through that single selfless act of trying to push Leida out of there. "I suggest you start climbing the elevator shaft when the door clears." He tells him and then begins to move through the masses of the Heartless. While Leida may be thinning their numbers, it looks like the black poofs are just being used by Seith to reinforce the Wyvern like Heartless that are still aiming their intentions at Sammy.

The man continues to walk forwards pointedly towards Leida at this time. This display of power is quite impressive. "Now, Leida! Show it to me! Show me how you take care of this liar while you have the chance!" It is important to note that Seith /hasn't/ actually lied to either of them so far. Even when he'd first talked to Leida when she'd been ''sealed''...

"Show me your strength, and take care of the one who forced you to use this power. Take care of the Shinra liar, Leida! Come back to us! Fire your arrows, use your power, force the heartless to turn away from you as you always did."
Leida Sammy's relief is likely to be short-lived. Leida is like a rabid dog who has been caged up and left to starve for weeks only to find that the chain binding her to the post has slipped free just as the ones who bound her have returned to wave sticks and laugh in her face. Every release of her bow sends her screams of frustration and rage tearing after the deadly projectiles and every swing of the demonic arm is puncuated with a gleeful cry of delight as the Heartless fall before her in droves. No matter how many she kills there always seems to be more and unlike before she drives a wedge into their formation rather than retreat to their numbers.

His professionalism and magical spirit manages to seep into her essence despite the berserker rage but this only throws fuel onto the raging bonfire and she tears across the room with renewed fervor. The arrows in her quiver are no longer even necessary for the girl merely draws back her bow and lances of dark fire spring to life. Their arcing paths through the sea of Heartless are wanton and chaotic and she fires away heedless of who they might hit, striking out with the claw in tandem when her hail of death proves inadequate.
Sammy Colt (Left side of brain, status report! So far so good, Right side! Looks like the crazy Leida Shadow Lord girl is tearing up the heartless! That's good. Why do you seem so worried, Left? Because once she's out of heartless, she's going to come after US).

Sammy's mental problems aside, the Turk is already getting back up to deal with the beaks in his way, but he's also yemmering loudly, as if trying to counter Seith's continually blathering.

"Leida! If you just act out of rage, he's going to win!" He exclaims, keeping a cool head himself as he gets his knives ready and takes a few swings at the birds to keep them at bay.

"Take a second to think! This guy wants you angry! He wants you to be so blinded with rage that you're going to fall directly into his trap!" A few more swings until Sammy's had enough and he somehow produces a ShinRa Standard Issue rifle from his sleeves blasting it in a machine-gun burst towards the endless sea of heartless.

"You stopped being 'like him' for a reason, didn't you?" Here's hoping she wasn't just sealed away because some heroes beat her and saw it a fitting punishment.
Seith "Darkness begets darkness, Leida." Seith calls to the young (possessed?) girl, before glaring back towards Sammy. "I once again suggests you leave. Unlike you, I will be able to handle her." The man continues to walk forwards cooly, managing to avoid most of the arrows flung towards the heartless. And in a moment where it looks like one of those dark fire lances may get too close and hit Seith, the man flicks a finger and a magical barrier of sorts sends the dark flamed lance shattering into a wall, where it disappears.

The heartless continue to concentrate on the two, putting more and more pressure on the two. The large birdlike heartless even go so far as to spread out their wings and start charging something. Their wings flicker with an electrical current, which soon begins to burn brighter than your average /sun/. Sure, it's small spots, but it's still one of those times you wish J.J. Abrams would not be trying to direct this scene. Sammy manages to destroy a good number of Shadows with his machinegun - but that doesn't help with the Wyverns.

Then, with that annoying zapping sound, lightning claws out in various directions, trying to overcome and stun the two heroes!
Leida "Shut up!" Leida screams at the both of them, her voice distorted by the evil energy flowing through her body. "Shut up, shut up!" Her devastating assault manages to keep the Heartless at bay but only barely. More and more the talons of her lone umbral hand are forced to lash out and bat aside the fearless insectoid Shadows as they leap at her in staggered waves from all sides, seeking to probe her for weakness.

However the effort drains her considerably. Smashing aside a particularly tricky attempt to come at her from multiple angles at once, Leida staggers backwards and the hail of dark arrows ceases momentarily. A hand goes to her side where one of the dozens of assaults managed to gouge a particularly nasty wound and thick black blood oozes between her fingers as she grimaces, the pain finally seeping through her haze of uncontrolled rage.

"Everyone is always telling me what to do. Stand up straight, stop apologizing, be bold, stop being weak... I am sick of it!" The hazy nimbus of purple light around her body flickers and grows stronger for a moment and the small girl's form seems to fade and shift until she looks transparent like a ghost. The hiss of her blood as it hits the pavement points out that she is still quite tangible however.

Her infernal gaze shifts over to Sammy, a look of twisted contempt on her face. "You lied to me from the start. You wanted nothing more than to make someone else do the dirty work so that you could benefit. Tell me why I should believe a single word you say!"
Sammy Colt Well, at least the ShinRa rifle is good for /something/, even if it's just to clear out the shadows for a few seconds. Sammy drops the weapon, which clatters to the ground before pulling out his knives and beginning to weave about the other little ink bodies as he tries to get a good position on the wyverns, but then, out of the corner of his eyes, Sammy notices the lightning claws and with a quick reaction time, initiates a mako-based energy shield, which absorbs the brunt of the impact before burning out half-way through the onslaught, leaving Sammy to get slammed by one of the claws.

The Turk looks hurt, but he's far from done, obviously ShinRa doesn't train wussies.

Taking a moment to gauge exactly how much pain he's in, the well dressed individual reaches into his pocket and whips out a small green orb, putting a circular metal piece into his mouth and pulling the orb away, which he then throws at the Large Body, making it land between its oversized boots, letting it roll to a stop under the giant creature.

"Because I'm not trying to hurt you! I came out here to make sure you're okay and I even hinted a FEW times that you shouldn't be here!" He exclaims, still rather cooly as he spots his opening and ducks under a leaping shadow. "Besides, I'm not being all crazy and telling you to 'unleash your hate' and 'give in to your darkness'. I'm. Just. Trying. To. Stay. Alive!" He says, emphasizing each of his words with a stab into a shadow before ducking past a Wyvern's swoop.

Rushing forward as the orb explodes, Sammy retrieves a book from Sleevespace marked: ShinRa: Powerful Adversaries Investigated Neutrally. The book seems to radiate some form of 'holy' energy ((More like laced with Mako for some reason)) and as Sammy charges forward with the book, he leaps towards one of the Wyverns. He readies to unleash a downward slam with the holy scripture, if all goes well, hopefully ending one of these feathered fools in the process.
Seith Seith is actually surprised at the dark blood seeping from Leida's wound. He'd truly thought the demon ceiled - and just scratching at the door. But this suggested /far more/ than that. The way Leida is commenting that she hates how people tell her to do things amuses him. Indeed, he'd told her to stop being weak. "I believe you will agree that to stop being weak is what is allowing you to survive right now!" He calls out to her.

The man gets closer and closer to the girl, clearly directing the heartless, as when the lightning schpiel begins, it doesn't touch him - not even for a second. The silver haired elf glances towards Sammy for a moment, who is admittedly holding his own more than he expected to... but still within reasonable parameters. The Large Body is forced into the air by the explosive orb. However, the Wyverns dodge his attack with the holy book, and quickly surround him just as Seith finally reaches Leida, looming over her.

And the man then suddenly kneels before her, and offers a hand to her. "Princess." He calls her - just that. "I am certain he only came here because he wanted to make sure this place was safe. He has no care for your life. He only pushed you into that elevator because he is afraid of what you might do to a liar such as him." He places a hand to his chest. "However, I have not, not have I ever, lied to you."

That's when the Wyverns suddenly swoop in, grabbing at him with their beaks, attempting to bite down on his arms and legs to pin him into the air - for Leida... clearly. They even launch cables from their wings that try and grab him further, to hold him down in the air and /ZAP/ him.
Leida Leida's teeth grind at the frustrating explanation. First he goes out of his way to bring her here then he tries to stop her to 'keep her safe?'. What kind of insanity was this? The girl actually coughs out a weak laugh at the absurdity of his argument. "Hah.. ha ha ha! You are such a liar that you do not even know which one of your falsehoods to believe!"

Before she can say anything further, however, the Heartless part before her and she whips her head back around to glare at the approaching elf. The looming claw reaches forward to menace him but its wicked talons abruptly halt a few inches away from snatching him up when he kneels. Her eyes widen a little at the honorific; no one calls her that any more. The surprise causes her to relax her guard for a moment and Seith is given the chance to counter Sammy's desperate attempts to convince her of his intentions with a different interpretation.

The anger pulsing through her spirit latches onto these words like gospel. She wants to believe there is a reason for this sudden uncontrollable fury, she /needs/ to believe it. Otherwise she'll have to take responsibility herself - and the implications of that are something she doesn't want to consider.

"No... no you never have," she whispers back to him. Whipping around in a frenzy, Leida brings her bow up and draws back the string, the empty space flaring to life with dark energy once more. A faint glow emenates from her shoulder beneath the pink fabric of her dress, a sign that Seith is likely to notice and understand. Darkness surges up into her hands and when the single arrow is released it trails black flames like some unholy comet on impact course for the Turk.
Sammy Colt The turk fends off the birds as he continues to try and approach Leida, but he can only do so much. After all, really, he's the support of the crew, not the front line and it's beginning to show. As he fends off one of the Wyverns, the Turk is hoisted into the air by one arm by another. He flails at this one, but his arm is caught by another of the creatures and in a shocking amount of pain, he's electrocuted and suspended in the air. His hair is frazzled, there are some scorch marks apparent on his skin and his suit is tattered in places from the sudden jolt.

All in all, Sammy is a sitting duck for when Leida decides to take a shot at him. The arrow zips through the air and slams into Sammy's side, slicing through his suit and revealing that his skin has been indeed opened. The blood trickles forth from the wound and Sammy is stuck, screaming in pain as his arms are restrained.

"I should have just left you!" Sammy exclaims in pain as he struggles a bit in the bonds. "But no! I just /had/ to come here and try to keep you safe." (Big mistake, idiot) Sammy thinks to himself.

The Turk's fists ball up as he holds back the tears of realizing his own stupidity. "So you know what?! You can go back to whatever it is this jerk wants you to be! Let him tell you all the 'truths' so that when you kill me, you know you chose to do that and it wasn't a lie! It'll all be true! You'll have killed a 'liar' who felt bad for lieing!" He says as a glow emenates from one of his wrists as the material begins to activate, a glowing white energy rising from the sleeve for a second as Sammy's wounds close a little due to the restorative magic.
Seith The 'Seal'. Leida had showed it to him that day, her proof that her powers had been 'sealed'. But the fact that it lights up like that and brings her power to bare directly from that place... suggests that it may be something else. That, or the seal is broken - but he doubts that. Not the way that darkness draws up along her hand and is released through her bow upon the Turk. Sammy of course, continues to reach out to Leida...

And Seith continues to subvert every single word. "See, now he wants to have left you here to die. And I'm sure that he wishes the same upon your friends." He pauses for a moment, and then adds, "Be careful Leida. If you let him escape, he might /lie/ to your /friends/. They might come to dislike you. Hate you maybe even - because of this dark power. Can you let them know?" He's not telling her what to do... not directly.

Seith then slowly rises from his kneeled place, and looks up to Sammy. "A liar who felt bad for lying is still a liar, Shinra."

For now, the Heartless rest. But Leida may notice that some of them are starting to approach /her/ again. Getting closer. "Think of what you could do, Leida." Seith turns his gaze to Leida once more. "You can control those heartless that hold him." He leans in and whispers something into her ear then...
Leida The girl breathes heavily as if the powers she is calling forth are beginning to wear on her endurance. Her bow droops and the demonic arm reaches out to grasp a nearby section of piping for support. Sweat runs freely down her face and back, adhering the pretty blouse to her body in addition to the bloody stains.

Despite her anger, Sammy's words manage to touch something inside, cutting through the haze. The purple fire clouding her eyes from sight flickers and dies out as a surprised expression rises up to replace her scowl. "Go back...?" Flashes of memory rise up out of the depths, dancing before her eyes in a rapid slideshow. Dozens of people slaughtered. Countless souls locked in torment. The rumbling voice of the demon laughing at her weakness.

"No! No... I...!" But once more Seith is quick to step in with his venomous words, guiding the small girl's thoughts with suggestions and possibilities. Her eyes go wider still and she sucks in a feverish breath at the thought of all her friends finding out about this slip in control - if it was indeed even that. The power coursing through her felt /good/. It felt... right. But she could not let anyone know.

Slowly her gaze shifts down to the Heartless creatures as they slink closer. They were evil things born from nightmare and shadow. But so was she. Swallowing roughly, the princess lifts a shaking hand tenatively towards the nearest of the monsters. Would it even work?

For a moment there is nothing but the sound of her own heartbeat slamming away inside of her chest in a frantic staccato drumbeat. But then something happens. Pain lances through her body. The seal on her shoulder burns with incredible heat and she cries out as it travels up her neck into the top of her head. Dark tendrils of smoke rise from the girl's hair as she thrashes again for several moments, filling the large room with her echoing screams.

And then all at once something erupts from her skull. Four flat boney protrusions shoot out in a geyser of blood and darkness. The pain robs her of all breath and feeling, her eyes rolling back into her head as the newest manifestation of her corruption becomes obvious for all to see. Metal squeals and tears as the demonic shadow arm squeezes with symapathetic agony, crushing the pipes as it tries to hold her on her feet.
Sammy Colt Well. Good. She's got some kind of bone crown going on. Of all the 'heroes' to pick from, Sammy had to go and choose the spawn of darkness. Sammy's still not feeling that great to be quiet frank about the whole ordeal and it shows. To top that, the wyverns don't seem to want to let him go, either, but he's still struggling.

Won't give up that boy.

"Takes one to know one, elfy!" Sammy exclaims as he struggles a bit more. "You call me a liar, but who's tempting her to do something she obviously didn't want to do?" Sammy asks before finally giving up struggling, his muscles groaning in agony.

"Looks like I chose the wrong hero in the long run, anyhow." Sammy says, somewhat defeated.
Seith "I do not lie, Shinra. I will honestly say that I want her to return to the Shadow Lords. That has never been a secret. I want her to be strong. To embrace her darkness." The elf looks aside at the girl strugling, transforming further. It's obvious that she's growing tired and that the corruption is spreading. He can't have her go too tired to continue this. "I know she wants this though. She wants to be strong - that I know. That is everyone's purpose in life. To grow stronger, whatever their reason. To protect their family, to protect their corporation..."

The man takes those few steps that it takes for him to get close to Leida, and puts a hand to her back and he offers the other so she could hold his. "Take my hand, Leida. I will support you." He tells her. He then looks up at Sammy once more, and the Wyverns that are clearly struggling to keep Sammy in place. In fact, one of the electric cables SNAPS, giving Sammy a hand to do with whatever he wants...

But why did that cable snap? And not the others? Maybe the heartless is flawed?
Leida The offered hand is instictively grasped and Leida sags onto the Shadow Lord's arm heavily, her breathing ragged and uneven. Black ichor flows thickly down her face in rivulets from the fresh wounds caused by the emergence of the blade-like horns, staining her pale flesh like running mascara.

"Strength..." She manages to whisper after several long moments, though her head remains lolled to the side as the remnants of the firey transformation lingers sapping her of the will to move. "Not... like this..."

Seith's dark magic flows into her, bolstering her body but not her resolve. She had fought so long and hard to keep the demon inside under control. Everyone she had hurt, every promise she had made to those who wanted to be her friend, those who helped her overcome the past. This was a betrayal of the worst sort. Her history was repeating itself.

Despite the siren call of the darkness, something greater wells up inside of the girl. She could not do this. Reize, Ivo, Imi, Mercade, Will... none of them would ever forgive her if she just gave in. With effort, Leida begins to fight the dull throb in her head and pushes away from the elf. She staggers backwards a few times but the demonic arm stabilizes her and she lifts her head to glare at him through the black-stained eyes of corruption.

"No. I will not do this." Her bow comes up and Leida turns to the crowd of Heartless, taking aim for the wyverns holding Sammy aloft. Her bow erupts into dark fire completely and arrows tear out at the shadow creatures once more. "Sammy-san! Hurry! Before I lose control again!"
Seith "Tssk." Seith is pushed away, and the man makes a slightly annoyed sound. Seems he's used the wrong words. But that's fine, he doesn't care that much. He just wants Leida to attain both power and control. "Then how would you attain it, if you failed already to attain it any other way?" Seith asks Leida, stepping further back and letting the heartless 'loose', meaning that they avoid him, but just go on a wild rampage between Sammy and Leida. And there's a /lot/ of them even still now.

Seith gazes right back at Leida, clearly not caring whatever feelings she may harbor beneath that glare. "Do as you wish." He tells her, bowing for her just as she destroys the Wyverns with that one attack, before grinning as well. "But know, you would not have been able to free him, had you not turned to Strength... /Like this/."
Sammy Colt The Turk is silent while Seith talks, like it or not, the elf's words have some pull behind them. Though, nothing compared to the shining resolve to ShinRa and the Turks that the little agent has. As one of the Wyvern's cables snap, Sammy glances up at his free arm, which feels oh so much better when it's not being tugged almost out of its socket. The Turk immediatly goes to try and remove the cables from his other hand so he can be of more use than simply a dangling target, but Leida's voice catches his ears and he looks towards her as the arrow it notched.

There's a bright light and in a second, Sammy is falling. Here's where training comes in. As Sammy's position lowers, he instinctivly readies himself for the heartless swarming on the ground. His high-shined ShinRa issue boots plant themselves on a shadow and he uses the little blob's head as a diving board, launching himself forward.

Sure, he's still sore. Sure he's got a bit of a bone to pick with little ms. Dark Princess and her bow, but right now was not the time. He had a duty to perform.

As Sammy is launched into the air by the bouncy-headed shadow, his hand reaches into his sleeve and withdraws two objects - one a teddy bear and the second, a box marked: Special Delivery. Both of the objects get tossed into the fray of the heartless as Sammy lands, having SAILED quite far and landing beside Leida to try and keep the heartless at bay.

"I'm not leaving you here, even IF you shot me." He states hard-headedly as he withdraws a small pen and holds it towards Seith's position threateningly. "I'm sorry for putting you into this position, Leida. I'll make it up to you in the future. For now... Can you run?" He asks, his thumb pressing down on the pen applicator, which makes the tip glow bright red.

There are two little 'acknowledgement' beeps in the crowd of heartless, one that says 'I love you!' in a cute, child's toy's voice and teh second being a very bland 'beep' from a box being held aloft by a heartless.

You know why?
Seith Seith continues to stand there, simply watching the two as the Heartless are destroyed. He casually walks back to this 'throne' at the end of the bottom of the reactor, and casually sits back down upon it as the Heartless are sent up in flames by the massive explosion that manages to destroy his illussion as well - reveiling the reactor itself instead of the dilapidated remains of a building.

He simple watches the two, and smiles. "Remember Leida. He will betray you. He /will/ tell the Shard Seekers of what happened here, and he will /lie/. Just think about what will happen... soon." The man then leans a little to the side and just... waits. The Heartless continue their assault, but it's obvious that Seith is 'letting them get away'.
Leida The effort of fighting continues to wear away at Leida's already strained constitution but she draws back her bow when the Turk goes sailing through the air and several more arrows lance into the army of shadows to keep them off his tail.

The strange objects he tosses into the crowd are peered out quizzically. What on earth could those be? That question is answered in short order by the creepy voice and subsequent explosions. The girl grits her teeth and raises an arm against the shockwave, her hair billowing out furiously for a few moments. And her skirt.

Taking notice of the latter, Leida quickly lowers her arm and pushes the pink fabric back down around her legs with a furious blush, turning to kick him in the shin again. However, instead of a glare she gives him a faint smile in return. "Apology accepted."

Taking a deep breath, the little demon girl turns and takes aim at the slowly dwindling wall of Heartless. Her eyes narrow as she focuses and draws upon the new well-spring of power deep inside. Black fire ripples across her arms and into the bowstring as she draws it back with methodical precision, congealing into a burning arrow that flickers with aggressive rage.

With a cry, she unleashes her fury on the monsters standing before them. The arrow explodes like a missile from its launcher and tears across the room with unholy power. Even if the beasts somehow manage to evade it will likely clear them a path to the destination of the shot - the broken elevator shaft.

"Come on!" she calls and takes off at a dead run for the shredded partition.
Sammy Colt Sammy doesn't have to be told twice. As Leida loses an arrow, he covers her rear - not in that way, you sickos. Sammy drives forward for the elevator. The heartless don't seem to be much of a threat after Leida's blast cleared them out.

Reaching the elevator, it's obvious that the thing is damaged beyond a quick repair. Sammy grits his teeth as he looks back at the elf on the throne. He'd have to deal with that fancy-pants sometime in the future. Squatting on ShinRa property was against SO many regulations that he'd probably have to cross reference any errata that had been added recently.

"We'll have to climb. It doesn't look like your 'friend' isn't going to chase us." Sammy says to Leida quietly as he reaches the bent stairway. With a quick hop off of a girder, he gets onto some stable ascending stairs ((How do you think they repair the elevator when it breaks down?)) and begins his ascent.

After two rounds, he stops to take one last look down at the elf. He wants to say something, maybe even taunt him, but it's no use. He knows he got served today. Biting back his sour words, Sammy turns away and begins ascending - so long as Leida is as well.
Leida The girl reaches the elevator first with Sammy close behind. The damaged staircase is well above her ability to reach it with a jump so she does something else instead. Slinging the bow over her shoulders, Leida concentrates for a moment and the shadowy arm on her back splits in half becoming two identical but smaller claws that protrude from her shoulders.

Running up to the nearest wall she heaves herself up onto it and the sharp talons dig into the metal with ease, holding her fast in place. Her slender form swiftly begins to scale the sheer surface with sharp metallic thuds as the hands alternate back and forth to pull her higher.

"Hurry! There might be more of them."
Sammy Colt The two scale the scaffolding rather briskly. Round and round Sammy goes as Leida clambers her way to the top with her back claws. When they finally reach the top, poor Sammy is on all fours at the last stair. There's a reason for the lift.

Using his hands to pull himself up the last step, Sammy lets out a cry of relief as he rolls onto his back and starts resting so that he can get some air back into his lungs.

After a second, he glances around for Leida, trying to make sure she made it up. (Man. I really have to get into better shape. I hate these stairs.) he thinks to himself as he continues to suck in lung-filling air.
Leida Despite her rather bold use of the darkness, Leida's unorthodox method of travel wears her out quickly. The fresh surge of strength that Seith's magic provided is short-lived and by the time she scrambles out of the shaft behind the Turk the princess is on the brink of exhaustion.

She collapses face-first into the snow and weakly rolls herself over onto her back, joining Sammy in the desperate quest to gulp down fresh air. The shadowy claws waver and then vanish, sinking back into the girl's body as the aura of darkness about her also fades away completely. The quartet of sharp horns adorning the top of her head are still present, however.
Sammy Colt The Turk raises a sleeve to his mouth and gasps into it. "Turk and ally, requesting immediate pick-up and drop off in Traverse Town. Medical unit not needed. Report to be expected after extraction." He says before gulping back and pulling his hand away.

He looks over at Leida and notices the wavering claws, but the ever-present horns. His eyes remain fixed on them.

"Uh oh." Is all he manages to say.
Leida Leida manages to tilt her head up and glance over at him as he calls for back up. She has little knowledge of advanced technology but she knows about the MaBelle's and guesses he must be using something similar. She continues to breath heavily for a few moments. The cold bite of the frigid air against the fire in her chest feels wonderful and she sucks in deeply until her throat begins to sting.

Finally, she sits up and takes notice of the stare. A hand goes up to probe the surface of her head and she winces when the tip of her finger gets nicked by the sharp boney protrusion. She sucks gently on the wound for a moment then buries in it the snow to help it clot. "Oh... how am I going to explain this..."
Sammy Colt Sammy looks to Leida while he bites his lower lip. She wasn't good at lieing and she obviously didn't like the idea of lieing. Sammy was obviously alright with it, especially when a lie was for a cause. He clears his throat and sits up, not looking at Leida as the two are facing opposite directions.

"You don't have to. If you want, I could. I'm the one who got you into this mess and I may as well be the one to help you get out of it. I mean, I'm already a liar, right?" He says with a pause, letting out a sigh. He really was sorry for the whole mess, but then again, that was his bleeding heart syndrome kicking in once again.

"If you don't want me to help, the best thing you can do is just tell your friends what happened. If your friends are truly your friends, they'll understand and they won't judge you. They'll see that you've come back and that you didn't mean to and they'll pick you up, dust you off and help you back on your path to sobrie-" He pauses, wait, wrong subject, but... well... yeah... that's pretty accurate, actually. "- being who you want to be." He says before glancing at her with a smile.

"Of course that means your friends are going to be looking to hurt me, which I guess I deserve." (And it wouldn't be the first time, either). "Then again, I guess I'm not much of a friend, after all." He states as the sound of a helicopter starts cutting through the wind.

Turks work fast.

"Well. It's up to you, really. I'd like to stay on friendly terms with you, but I can't imagine why you'd share the same sentiment. Either way, the ride back to Traverse Town still stands, if you want it." He says, his head looking to the side and thus, at Leida directly.
Leida She looks back up at him with a pitiful expression, tears already beginning to well in the corners of her eyes at the thought of what reactions await her upon returning in such a state. Despite the overwhelming darkness that possesses her Leida really is quite fragile when it comes down to it. It was this timid and naive nature that had gotten her into this mess in the first place but no matter how hard she tried to change, she always stayed the same in the end.

The offer he places before her is met with surprise. Even if he did lie to her to get her down here there was no way he could have known what would be waiting. And he did try to step in when he realized she had foolishing chosen to brave it alone despite that. She had almost done much worse to him in return.

Leida's gaze drifts down to the snow and she considers carefully the options before her. Lying would just be running away again. Was her promise to herself so weak that she would break it for the sake of convenience and fear? The girl shakes her head at him. "No... I... I will tell them myself. You have risked yourself enough for someone like me, Sammy-san."

She sniffles and wipes her face with the back of her sleeve, looking up at the flying contraption as it comes into view in the distance. Well, it was either that or walk for another four hours in her condition through the cold. Atleast it wasn't a car. "I will take that ride, however," she says with a weak smile.

This scene contained 58 poses. The players who were present were: Sammy Colt, Leida, Seith