Scene Listing || Scene Schedule || Scene Schedule RSS
No title.
(2013-03-10 - 2013-03-11)
No description.
Luso Clemens The situation at first went unseen, unheard of. People disappearing for days, and then mysteriously turning up looking...broken, disturbed, and eerily happy. They say their greatest wish had been granted, despite all things pointing to the exact opposite. They looked like they had lost the most important thing to them instead.

The most telling detail were that these people disappeared into mysterious portals that have cropped up all over The Worlds. Scattered all over every continent in the World of Ruin, within The Darkness, and within Phantasia as well. They were almost inviting those who come upon them to step through and discover what lies within...

Cases like these have been turning up with alarmingly increasing frequency as the months have passed. They were brushed off at first. But with the situation quickly escalating, it could no longer be ignored. Someone had to do /something/ about these so called wish granting portals. Unfortunately, the people who came back from those portals provide little information about what is on the other side.

But not all is lost. But thankfully not all is lost! People are on the case. Luso of Clan Gully in particular has been investigating leads and details regarding this strange phenomenon for the better part of a week now. And finally, his investigation paid off on this day as the boy found himself at The Crossroad; staring at a shimmering, white portal.

"...So this is one of portals they keep mentioning, huh?" Luso commented lightly, his arms crossed as he stared in anticipation at the entrance to another space. Where would it lead? He had no idea, but...he would definitely find out soon. "Interesting..."
Ping Ping has been laid up after his bout against the Shadow Lords in Traverse Town and bored out of his mind. A few cracked ribs and a twisted ankle's no reason to stay in bed all day. That's what crutches are for. He's not well acquainted with Luso, but when word reached him that an expedition were in order, he leaped (stumbled) at the opportunity.

Following up beside Luso, Ping uses a crutch under his left arm to hobble up to the shimmering white portal. Musing to himself, "Strange that it's not black... like most of the holes in Worlds tend to be."

He clings tightly to his crutch so that he doesn't fall down on his knees, not at these Crossroads.
Kamon Lionward You don't always have to go looking for problems to solve. Sometimes, they just come to you.

Kamon's current source of income, such as it was, has been doing drudge work in a little restaurant run by an elderly couple who could use the extra hands. Generally, it's been keeping the place spotless, and enduring their constant squabbling while simultaneously attempting to stay out of it. Except, a few days ago, the matronly woman's husband went to the market, and only surfaced three days later, grinning and looking... different.

Kamon couldn't stand to see someone who could be his grandmother so heartbroken. He's been looking into it ever since.

The Crossroad is a place that he has never been to, and expects he will see more than once in the coming days. He strides up one of the roads, backpack slung over one shoulder and his sword over the other. He looks uncertain, staring at the portal in the distance, but doesn't let it slow him. He comes up right behind those already gathered, looking between them, slightly warily.

"So, uh..." He sounds awkward. He can't make it not sound awkward. Kamon is just bad at this. " guys are looking into these, too?" He absentmindedly scratches at his cheek, around the metal ridges portruding from it. He's focused on the hole in space.
Clayton Nearby sits Clayton, checking the boxes of shotgun ammo he's brought along with him for the expedition, which he keeps in a knapsack. Outwardly he has declared his interest in exploring the world beyond the strange portals, to see what new sights and challenges await. Inwardly, he just wants to see if there is indeed something wish-granting within, and if he can profit off it.
The British man is humming a little tune from the late 19th century. He flips the shotgun's barrel closed and levels it at the sky. "That's right," he says to Kamon. "Spot of adventure, eh?"
Ramza Beoulve The youngest son of the Beoulve family had kept his word to Luso. Their time in traverse town after the attacks had been brief and he had asserted to himthat his company was heading in the same direction as he. This hadn't exactly been the case before, but he'd made excuses to his company that set them travelling the same way.

The reality was that he was tired of walking paths barred by Templar swords, and needed a diversion. He also missed the company of Luso, for most of the Braves held him to a high standard. While they were his friends, there was always restraint in how they spoke and acted when he was about. With Luso, it was not so. His friend spoke freely around him and treated him as an equal. Furthermore, Luso would be leading the expedition, and so it gave him a break from the burdens of leadership. It was a refreshing change from the norms of his life on the move. The details of the case he was working on for Clan Gully hadn't even figured into the decision until they began their southerly journey.

Once on the road, he began to consider the matter more in depth. Was it really such a terrible thing that people thought that their dreams had come true? As more details came to him, he decided that it was more like that they were being manipulated in some way, and that there was merit in investigating it further. Given the large number of heroes, and the familiarity he had with Luso, he had left the rest of the Zodiac Braves and Boco further back on the trail. He had walked the road to the portal alongside Luso's group. "It is most peculiar, Ser. Perhaps the portals have naught to do with the darkness."

He gave Luso a sidelong look. "How do you propose that we investigate it, Ser Clemens?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart only had a few hours after waking up in the middle of Traverse, thanks to that mage that knocked her out pretty soundly. She's none to happy about it either, but somehow, she was still in Traverse.

No, no, it sounds odd but it makes perfect sense. It means the town was still there. And THAT;s odd considering how badly they lost.

But whatever, at least they managed to defend it... somehow. So back in the heart of the matter, there's still Manhattan to recover... and getting stronger to avoid that this would happen again.

She steps out of the portal from Traverse, still a few bandages over her arms and legs, a few bandaids on her face, but otherwise looking like she cleaned up pretty well. "So what's this about wishes..." She looks at the 'zombified' people with a bit of a sweatdrop "... They sure don't look happy about it though..."
Riku Proxy Riku has been here and about on his own errands, some of which are ridiculous fetch quests that need only exclaimation points above the heads of the locals to make the cheese even more binding. However when the rumors of these.. wishes, start to resurface he has to investigate a little further.

Because some of these 'recipients' of the wishes look so wasted and drained, and he's rather familiar with dark magic being something that turns around and bites people when they try and use it. Riku decides to do a little more investigating, and eventually the hooded figure in the black leather coat slowly moves up the road to the crossroads.

He pulls the hood away from his face. "..Does anyone really know what this is about? Because I'm guessing whatever people are being told.. it isn't what's actually on offer."
Minerva Minerva couldn't do anything about what happened in town the other night and she'd been out looking for Avira still she couldn't ignore something like this comming in on looking into the people who have gone missing. Soemthing bad is going on here so here she is with Luso.

"So just what do yout hink is happening here Luso?"
Luso Clemens Luso nodded to Ping, glancing at the young man briefly as he spoke. "Yeah, it is weird. No doubt about that. Something's up here..." Turning his attention back to the portal before them, the boy just stared for a moment longer before adding. "And it looks like these same portals have been showing up all over too. This definitely isn't the only one."

Kamon drew Luso's attention then and he smiled as the other showed up. "Yep! We're definitely looking into this situation! If you're here to help, then welcome! The more heads we have here, the better things will turn out, no doubt!" Luso put up a thumbs up then, nodding along with Clayton off to the side.

It's then that he turned his attention to his companion, Ramza, answering his deductions. "You might be right, Ramza. I don't think this has anything to do with the Darkness. At least not at first glance." The boy turned to study the portal some more, rubbing a chin thoughtfully. "But seriously, there's only one real way that we're going to be able to investigate this..." He turned around, facing everyone that arrived and waved an arm for attention.

"Okay! Everyone that's arrived, let me give the rundown! There have been cases of people disappearing into these portals for days on end. They turn up afterwards, looking drained and listless, yet they smile, mumbling that their dreams and wishes have come true!" Shaking his head at that, Luso went on. "Now obviously, something's wrong here! I know that most of us are recovering from yesterday's battle, but I think this bears investigation! And soon!" He pointed at the portal then, which has not changed any. "So we're going to head right in there and see just what's what!"

Probably a dumb idea! But hey, what more could they do from here anyway?

"I'll take the lead. Now everyone, keep your wits about you, and be careful! Who knows what the heck is going to happen on the other side!" With that said, Luso turned back to the portal and began to approach. "Here we go..."

And then everything went white as he passed through, the portal shimmering like water. Soon Luso was out of sight and it was the other's turn to enter.
Clayton Clayton mostly ignored the chit-chat coming from the rest of the group. He was itching to get on with it. Of course the promises of dream-fulfillment were not what it seemed; but if there was something that could bend a person's mind like that...well, it would be very beneficial to the wielder. Or at least fetch a good price on the black market. Keeping his shotgun tethered to his back, the hunter follows after Luso with a smirk.
Ping Ping watches as Luso disappears into the portal. These things still give him the willies. He's never sure if he's going to be plunged 20,000 leagues beneath the sea or come blasting out the other side like he'd been shot from a cannon. Clearly OSHA needs to look into these portal conditions.

He's not sure and looks toward Tifa, nearby, for reassurance. She's always brave and strong and faces her challenges head-on. Maybe he can follow in her footsteps.

"What do you think, Tifa?" he asks, hobbling over toward her on his crutch.
Ramza Beoulve Ramza might have advised Luso that it might be best not for the leader of the expedition to pass through the portal first, but in the back of his mind he knew he'd do the exact same thing in his place. He certainly admired him for his courage. He'd grin despite himself, in anticipation of the ear-chewing he'd get from Agrias later for his general lack of caution. He'd assured his company that this would only be a scouting mission after all. He didn't hesitate, and after Luso entered, so did he.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart lifts her shoulders at Ping "I say we take a closer look. Either way, I can't close my eyes on people's..." she glances at them "... happiness?" She's not sure at this point, but she helps Ping with a shoulder, as she goes through the portal after Luso. "We won't know until we get there anyway."
Riku Proxy Riku has to wonder how many versions of Sora are out there in the great wide universe. He rubs the side of his head, looking at the portal with an absolutely vexed expression.

However he can't immediately think of something off hand that isn't just as ridiculous (that wouldn't also tip his hand to certain things) and so he sighs with the resigned expression of someone who is very familiar with this sort of gung-ho attitude.

"..Alright. Let's get to the bottom of this, one way or another." he looks at the portal for a few moments, growls 'portal magic' under his breath, looking around at the others in the party briefly before walking through the portal himself.
Kamon Lionward Kamon glances back at Clayton, forcing a smile. "Uh, yeah. Right. Nice gun," he adds. He's carrying what looks like a distressingly plain katana on a shoulder strap, but appears to know enough to call it 'nice.' Having the guy with the shotgun on your side? Never a bad plan. He looks back at Luso, nodding. "That's my plan. Someone I know fell in, so I... it just doesn't seem right," he says, half-mumbling and shrugging to himself.

Everything they know appears to be about what he knows. He's a little bit... well, more nervous, with that in mind. He was hoping they'd have some grand scheme that wasn't 'leap into the portal.' Let it never be said that Kamon Lionward was a coward, though.

Kamon strides forward after them. He takes a deep breath reflexively, because that's what you do when you jump into water-like portals, right?
Ping Ping puts his arm over Tifa's shoulder and with her help, he makes the plunge through the portal. He closes his eyes and keeps them closed as the Crossroads disappears behind him and the energy of the portal whisks him off to some other place. He cracks one eye open when he feels that he's arrived safely, and tries to get his bearings.
Luso Clemens Once the white cleared, what revealed itself on the other side of the portal of the strangest sights anyone could have ever seen in a while. It was hard to comprehend, but it looked like some sort of ancient temple or castle. Or rather, they were outside of one, standing on a broken bridge.

Behind themselves, they could see that in the direction where the bridge had broken off, there was nothingness. Just vast white space leading nowhere. But ahead of them were the gates to this temple-like structure. They were open and inviting. But the most alarming feature was that the bridge and temple, and pretty much everything they could stand on and see within their sights were compromised of a mirror surface.

Yet there were no reflections to be seen, despite all of these people about. Not even shadows were being cast! It was like these mirror surfaces simply refused to show the reflections of those who had arrived. Making it seem very much like they were not even a part of the environment they had arrived to. Which is very well the case, but only amplified with this observation.

Luso stood a couple feet ahead, observing the temple structure with a thoughtful expression. "Well, this isn't exactly what I was expecting..." He mumbled to himself, turning around as the others arrived after him. Once everyone came through without any troubles, Luso grinned and raised a hand in greeting.

"Alright, everyone's here. I took a quick look around from where I stood while you guys passed through." Pointing over past the brigde's broken end, he went on. "I don't think anyone is going to come back if they fall into that white void past the bridge, so let's not do that!" And then he pointed to the temple. "This seems to be where we should be heading, obviously. So let's head in! And keep your eyes out. I don't know what's inside. But then, I doubt any one of us does!"

The boy chuckled to himself at that before turning to throwing a fist to the air in good cheer as he began to approach the open doors. "Alright, we're off!"
Minerva Minerva looks over at Kamon for a moment trying to ize the man up for a moment. She watches him go through the portal not sure what to think here though Riku appearing is suprising it gets an eyebrow raised. Whatever issues she has she's more focused on the matter at hadn and Avira for the moment.

"So away we go then right i9nto the maw of hell." Minerva goes through.

She's now come across a strnge place not sure what to thinkof where they have arrived the effect was a bit jarring. She looks about and no shadows? No reflections?

"Tis unatural." She muses while she listens to Luso's report. With him finishing up she falls in line with em.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart helps Ping toward the temple, shaking her head as she looks around a bit "This place is odd. Its like there's nothing at all. What's making people 'happy' here I wonder..." Maybe the answers are in the temple. This already sounds like a bad cultism group of some kind...
Clayton "Don't fall into the Void. Wise words," Clayton says, with some light sarcasm. "Whatever creatures might be on ahead, I'll be sure to take care of them. Not a bad view, though, all things considered." Though unusual, the mirror surface of the land was rather aesthetically pleasing to him.
Ping Ping has a sharp mind for comprehending and for admiring the wonder and oddity of the surroundings as well. His eyes grow wide as he takes in the mirrored landscape (though can they be called mirrors if they don't reflect? That is the identifying feature of a mirror, after all.) The castle, the bridge, the endless white, he draws it all in.

And then Luso gives his warning about falling into the white at the edge of the bridge behind him, "Then how will we get back?"

He uses his crutch to keep pace with Tifa, trying hard not to slow her down too much. He's glad to hear the concern in her voice. "I don't know if it made them happy... or slurped out their brains..."
Ramza Beoulve The young man sized up the environment quickly. There was little that perturbed him about it, except for the lack of reflections and shadows. That part definitely raised the hackles on the back of his neck. He found himself agreeing with Minerva, it was unnatural indeed.

Being an introspective sort, he wondered if being parted with his reflection and shadow had anything to do with what was happening to the people who had fallen afoul of this place. He decided that he didn't like it in the end. It felt as if the place had no soul. As if /he/ had no soul while he was here. If he were a craven sort, he might have bemoaned it. Instead, he instinctively kept a look of good cheer upon his expression. It was in his nature to act a role of equal parts optimist and pragmatist to those in his company. He was confident in Luso's ability to lead them, so the best thing he could do was reassure them, and show confidence in the boy's decisions. He looked back at Ping to respond to his comments. "We'll find a way, they did after all. And I'm sure its not like that Ser. If everyone keeps their wits about them, then our nescience will be no hindrance."

He followed Luso along the bridge as they headed for the gates of the temple.
Riku Proxy Riku bends down, putting a hand out to touch the mirror surface of the bridge. He looks at the alarming quality without any hint of reflection with a frown. He looks around at the broken bridge that leads out into the titanic white space, eyes sweeping along towards the temple structure.

He slowly stands up again, putting hands in his pockets as he looks towards Luso. He raises an eyebrow slightly. "Yeah.. falling into the white void of nothingness forever might be considered something not on the 'to do' list." he has a distinctly BAD impression of this place which seems to be just this side of Shadow Lord Opulance, which always gets his back up because those types..

have many little games to play, none of which he was in the mood for particularly.
Kamon Lionward Kamon is easy to size up. He looks to be a trained fighter, carrying himself with a sort of unconscious grace, but he leaves footprints in the dirt outside the portal that are unusually deep. Is he heavier than he looks? He's a lot less sure of himself when he goes through the portal, though --

-- and then he inhales again and immediately starts coughing out the excess air. He doubles over for a second, putting a hand to his chest. He coughs, sputters, and catches his breath in a span of a very embarassing few seconds. He tries not to look too ashamed. Tries.

But... the void. He looks over, eyes wide. "Woah. That's..." He doesn't find another word for it. He steps back hurriedly, keeping in the middle of the bridge and following hastily, so as not to fall behind. "So what's inside?" he wonders aloud.
Luso Clemens "Don't worry about it! Everything will be fine! As long as we watch each other's backs!" Luso answered Ping as they stepped past the temple doors.

As they entered into the temple, they were greeted by the sight of a long hallway filled with mirrors. But one each of the walls, they could see additional mirror attached to the walls, these ones were set in ornate golden frames. The only non-mirror objects to be seen thus far.

What made these mirrors special is that reflections could be seen on them. But something was off. They weren't seeing their current reflections. Rather, they were seeing themselves in the past, as children. With each mirror they passed and looked into, they could see themselves gradually going through the years.

But it did not seem like the others could see anyone else's reflections, only themselves. Even when multiple people looked into the same mirrors. But this was only on the left wall of mirrors. On the right side, they could see something much...different.

They were seeing themselves as children and growing up as the mirrors passed again, but something was off. They were not following the same path in life as they had on the left wall, which was the true path. Their lives were different, they were seeing themselves in their lives if the events of their childhoods and onwards took the exact opposite turn, be it good or bad.

"...What...what the heck is this?" Luso mumbled quietly to himself as he passed the mirrors. He could see himself on the left wall going through his life as normal, growing up, his parent's car crash, being taken in by relatives, going to school, playing with this friends, ...discovering the grimoire, being transported to Ivalice, his meetings with Clan Gully and went on.

But on the right wall, he saw a different life. His parents never died in that crash, they were alive and well, he was...a different person. He never found the Grimoire, he never went to Ivalice, he lived his life with his friends back in the real world like a normal kid with his parents.

The sight caused the boy to fall oddly quiet, a somewhat grim expression taking on his face as they passed through the Hall of Mirrors...
Clayton Clayton walked past the mirrors, and he saw his own life. His birth into old money, the way his mother doted on him. Hunting trips with his father, showing him everything he needed to know about stalking and killing the prey. Clayton remembered those times fondly, it allowed him to get away from his mother's incessant lessons on being a gentlemen. All he wanted back then was to be free to do what he wanted, and hunting gave him that sort of powerful feeling.
Clayton saw his youthful self enroll in the military, and subsequently his battles: fighting savage Indian rebels, opium dens burning on the harbors, charging African spearmen with their higher tech rifles and pistols. Even getting a brief taste of command in India...and his subsequent discharge. Clayton glowered at that. He could have done so much more.
At last, he sees himself not as a hunter, but as a Colonel in the Imperial army. The adoration of the men, hanging barbarians to keep the other natives in line, teaching them to be civilized and /proper/, like their British masters. Clayton smiled broadly, sighing wistfully.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart shakes her head a bit at the whole place "This place is eerie... I feel uneasy..." She'snot sure how to put it into words either, but somethin feels off.

And then it seems to be more true when she passes through the hall of mirrors. She lets go of Ping for a moment, walking toward the left side... On that side, she can see when she was acting like a spoiled princess in Nibelheim, the way she ignored Cloud, up until her village went into flames because of Sephiroth...

The other side though... the village was never burned, she sat on the old well, waiting for her 'hero' to come back. One day he did, showing him proudly as a SOLDIER. And she'd welcome him with open arms too. It just seemed so perfect.

She leans against the right mirror, losing herself in the thoughts. Is this a vision of how things could, or should, have been...
Ping Ping has an expression of hesitation on his face as he sees the first flicker of movement, of caution. He quickly realizes the movement is his own form but curiously absent are the images of his comrades. He looks to his left and to his right. His arm looks strange as it hangs over Tifa's shoulders but with no Tifa seen in the reflection.

The strangeness only continues as the odd progression of life is shown in each mirror's frame. On the left, Ping smiles as she sees herself as a young girl playing in the flowery pastures of the Fa prefecture. She was always daddy's little girl and adored him above all others and he adored her as well. Seeing herself so young and innocent struck a chord in her heart and she longed to embrace her father, again. She'll ride out as soon as she is able to spend a few days of quality time with her family. As she matured, that idylic childhood transitioned into a frustrating stage in her life where she was expected to embrace a demure life in contrast with her scattered daydreams. She worked hard to honor her father, but she felt so out of place.

Then the moment when the edict came, that each family must supply an able-bodied man to serve in the Imperial Chinese Army to repel the Huns. It was the turning point in her life and though she felt so alone and frightened as she left her family behind, her fellow soldiers quickly embraced her decisive and clever mind allowed her to express her unique gifts, if not her gender.

On the right side of the passage, however, she embraced her role as the dutiful daughter and though her daydreams still wandered far and wide, she married and produced her father's heir. He would not be able to meet him, however. His father was called into service and though songs are sung of his brilliant campaign against the Huns, he was killed in battle and the Emperor slain. Though the Huns would withdraw with the death of the Chinese Emperor, she never faced them in battle, she never routed them through a darkened channel that le
Ping Ping continues:

Though the Huns would withdraw with the death of the Chinese Emperor, she never faced them in battle, she never routhed them trough a darkened channel that lead to another world. She never washed up on the shores of Traverse Town. She never met Tifa or Emi or even Seith. Despite this, the woman in the reflection seems happy, surrounded by loved ones and beautiful, healthy children.

He looks to his side to see Tifa gazing into her own mirror and he asks, "What do you see, Tifa...?" He limps toward her and gazes into the frame she's studying. He can't see Tifa, but his own reflection. But it's not really a reflection. It's a stranger wearing his face.
Kamon Lionward Mirrors everywhere. Kamon looks, because he cannot do anything else.

He knows what he sees on the left. His mother's fall in a battle against iron-skinned fiends, his father's grief and their departure from the sole city on the iron-covered continent of Odin. Flickers of his life past, with images from everywhere he's ever been, being treated like dirt because of his origins and the peculiar metal markings across his body, with more accumulating as he's beaten and battered. His father trying to be kind, to teach him right, but moving on over and over again, never stopping and never belonging.

He slows when he sees more recent sights. Coming to Alexander Academy and getting the same treatment, but being protected by a scarred young man with an easy smile. Discovering a sly friend's secret, seeing the phantasmal armor of the legendary Dragoons manifesting against the night sky. Growing close to a curious kind of white mage, standing out against the crowd.

And the fall. The empty gym suddenly filling with darkness, and the forms of Heartless rising out of the edges. His blade flashing, barely touching them, and his flight from that place. The world falling away...

Kamon turns away. He faces the other wall. It's all lies, he can tell that immediately: his mother never fell, and they never left. He grew up in a place surrounded by his peers, proud and strong, loved and welcome. He went to the Academy as he did before, but this time, he didn't let them look down on him. He sees himself surrounded by familiar faces, all smiling, all happy -- and sees the Heartless come, and then go, their combined power and that of the legendary blade driving them from their home.



Kamon looks down, halting in his tracks. He shuts his eyes and takes a deep breath, murmuring in an incomprehensible tongue what sounds like a mantra. He clenches his fists, then relaxes, gradually letting it go. None of it was real. It was all memories and lies.

"So they trap you," he says shakily, "with what could have been. What -- what is this place? What is it /for/?"
Minerva What to see in her own mirrors as she walks past them she pauses for a moment as she looks into the mirrors she sees herself, yet it's not her. She stare for a moment as she sees what might have been at herself.

She's standing there her hair longer but done up like a proper lady she's clad in fine gown as befitting one of her birth and station and anyone watching her would find she's starting in shock at something else she's standing in a garden on an estate somewhere a man walks in the man she was to be married to he was a fairly old man but to her shock they both seemed happy. She recalls that day she over heard her parents plans to marry her off to some old noble else where. A blanet power play and she'd have had none of it.

She looks again at herself, she's the same age now and she's just not sure what to think, she looks so happy in the reflection had her parents known she'd have been happy in the long run? That night she'd run away and thrown everything, family, friends, station, and her very name away? Would she have even surived when the last night of her world fell?

On the other mirror?

She's several years younger peering thotugh the door listening to her parent speak of the marriage, that was the night eveyrthing changed. She went from being the problem child to run away. Her finding out how hard a life the commoners lived, she could only watch as what seemed to be memoruies played out upon the glass. It was rainy night she was cold lost alone and afraid as she tried to make her way into the school that the man who would be her master ran. She closes her eyes and seems to make a dispairing noise, why is she being shown all this what might have been, and what was?

She lets out a dispairing noise then Kamon's words reach her as she snaps out of it she looks like she's just had her heart run over razors, the normal rather tough monk looks quite different for the momrnt.

"...magicks most fowl...I nearly lost my self to what might have been, had I not ... run away from everything I knew. Ser thank you." She looks to Kamon still she can't help but wonder what might have been?
Riku Proxy Riku has been wary of these 'mirror reflections' ever since they touched down here on the broken bridge, all the way through the first set of temple doors. The long hallway seems suddenly cold to Riku as the golden frames march into the perspective point.

At first the teenager doesn't permit himself to look to either side of him. He stares straight ahead and slightly upwards as if waiting for something to descend on spindly strings to gobble them all up. He wouldn't be surprised. What does surprise him is the image that greets him in the corner of his vision as he rakes fingers through his hair, head slightly turned to one side for a moment.

He stops for a few moments to regard the picture. The sight and the sounds of Destiny Islands. He can almost hear the ocean in his head as he looks out on those blue waters. Riku stares expressionlessly at the left wall, at the storm that approaches and consumes everything he knew. He turns to regard the right wall, and there is nothing but peaceful ocean. He sees himself looking out into the ocean, looking out into the far distance. There is a raft floating in the surf near him, and on the raft.. Riku wrenches his head away from staring at the right wall of mirrors before he has to watch what plays out in that other reality. What choices he could have made or not made were immaterial. They were his choices and he had to live with them. The edges of buildings and the lights of Manhattan follow him along the right wall as he lets out a gasp and a faint cough, rubbing his face.

What could have been.. if only.. if only.. "Everyone has something they regret."
Ramza Beoulve There are many turning points in one's life in which one reaches a crossroads. A decision is made. Sometimes the decisions are not your own to make, but it takes you down a different path all the same.

As Ramza entered the hall of mirrors, he looked upon his reflection on the left side. Glimpses of his childhood showed his Lord Father and the Mother he barely knew. And then his mother was upon his death bed. A happy childhood awaited him in which he took care of his little sister, and met his best friends, Delita and Tietra. Now his Lord Father was showing them how to play a blade of grass like a flute, to the delight of all the gathered children. Growing up, all he ever wanted to do was follow in his Father's footsteps. He was an adolescent now, at the academy in Gariland. His Father was on his death bed. His life passed by slower now. His first command, meeting with Argath. The mercy he showed for Milleuda and the argument that followed that led to Argath's departure. Tietra's kidnapping. And now the woman he showed mercy for was dying upon his sword, grieving him terribly, while her brother tried to avenge her. And now, a fateful crossbow quarrel was loosed, on his brother's orders. His world became fire, and in it he saw his best friend holding his little sister in his arms as they were consumed. The images moved faster again, and now he was living a mercenary life, meeting with Princess Ovelia the first time. Now Delita was revealed alive, but he was not the Delita that Ramza had known. And now the Princess was lost, and his eldest brother's treachery revealed. An older man in dark armor was the next to die by his sword, and his passing went unmourned. The next images he saw still seemed like madness to him. A Cardinal of the faith became a demon of the Netherworld. And then he saw his sister falling into a corridor of darkness and vanishing.

The right side of the hall was far different for him. His mother never passed. His Lord Father inexplicably, never died, and as a result married Ramza's mother, a scandal that shook the foundations of Ivalice and marked the beginning of change amongst nobility and common folk alike. His Eldest brother Dycedarg became the very ideal of what his Father wanted in an heir. The Beoulve family's generosity became legendary, and as Gallione prospered following the fifty years war, the Corpse Brigade never came to be. Images of Wiegraf came unbidden, as a respected Sheriff of the trade city. Ramza and Delita both entered the military academy as before, and each rose through the ranks equally becoming respected Knights within the Order of the Northern Sky. Delita in particular distinguished himself far more than Ramza ever did, and became a renowned example of how common blood did not make a common man. Tietra and Alma both married well, and were happily surrounded by children. The Church remained silent, for its ambitions never came to fruition in a new golden age of peace for Ivalice. The time came for Ramza and Delita both to be married, and Delita married a noblewoman for love, while Ramza married a commoner for the same. They both retired from a military life after. Soon they were surrounded by children of their own. At the end of images in the mirrors on the right side of the hall, Ramza, Delita, Alma and Tietra sat upon a hill, surrounded by all of their children. They were trying to teach each of them how one might use a blade of grass for a flute.

Ramza had watched the left side with a grim expression, but he took it in stride. It was what he remembered, and while they were dark memories, little suprised him. As the events on the right progressed, he looked upon it with an expression of bewilderment and sorrow. He found himself listing towards the right side of the hall, as he came to the last image upon the wall, he stopped walking, and placed a hand upon it. Closing his eyes, he had to take several deep steadying breaths as if the realization of how different his life might have been had hit him harder than most. Tears come unbidden, and before long it turns to anger as he slams his opposite fist into the image of them all upon a hill. Whether it breaks, or he finds himself with nothing but bruised knuckles, he turns away from all of them then.

He is silent for a time, but eventually speaks. "There's nothing right about this. It makes mock of everything we are."
Ping Ping mirrors Ramza's statement. "Yes. This place mocks the decisions we have made. I do not regret my life, I am proud of who I became."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart has a tear roll off her cheek, as her head slumps down a little. She has that moment where it seems she'd be ready to break down...

But then she strikes the mirror with the underside of her fist, over her head "No... this isn't how things would have been... there's NOTHING ever that perfect." She gives another punch, not enough to break the mirror though "This... is just what we'd WISH things would have been, but only because of what we are today." She stands up, looking at the reflection again with a hand flat against the smooth surface "If this had been my life, instead of thinking its all perfect, I would have been wishing for something else. Adventure, something less boring than waiting around for something I have no idea about..." She turns to Ping, drying a tear off with her hand. "Even in a perfect world, nothing is ever simple." She looks away. "Wishing for this... is just an escape from reality." She closes her eyes, and keeps moving on ahead.
Clayton "I suggest you get a hold of yourselves, or else whoever has rigged this has already won over you," Clayton points out, more than a little coldly. "The lady over there is correct. The grass is always greener, as they say." He glances to Luso. "So what next?
Riku Proxy Riku keeps his face turned away from either side of the mirrors. He can't bear to look and perhaps that makes him cowardly but he can't look into the mirrors and see how things could have been. He wasn't sure if he would be able to withstand the power of the changed futures.

How many times had he asked himself, pleaded with the world, for something to be different? For his life to change one way or another. To take back what cannot be taken back?

Riku looks straight down the corridor and closes his eyes, rubbing his face with one hand as he shakes his head to pull himself together again. When Ping makes her announcement, he doesn't make any sound of either agreement or denial, looking down at the floor for a few moments as he just continues to walk. It's all he can do. Just keep going.

When Tifa speaks, and strikes the mirror he looks up and frowns.

He doesn't say anything to her either although there is a spark of anger in his eyes at Clayton's cold words. "We should keep going. It's.. probably going to get worse, so we've got to brace ourselves for that."
Luso Clemens Luso shook his head then, looking away from the right wall and staring at the left. This was who he was. He could see himself with his friends in Clan Gully. Cid, Hurdy, Adelle, Frimelda, and Montblanc...everyone he fought alongside and came through countless ordeals together. "I know who I am. I know what I've done."

He smiled then, nodding to himself. "These mirrors are mocking everything I've ever worked towards with my friends. And I'm not gonna stand for it!" With that said, Luso looked straight ahead, neither left or right. "I can see why this place can break people now. Make them think that they've gotten what they've ever wanted....But not me! Not us!"

The boy clenched a fist then, frowning in determination. "We've all been through our own struggles and it would be an insult to look away from them!" At this point, the group was reaching the end of the hall, a set of ornate doors could be seen and they opened automatically, beckoning the group to step further inside to see what more they could be shown...

And what more could they be shown indeed. As they passed through into the next area, what greeted them was another long hallway filled with mirrors. But this time, there was something very off about the images being shown to them. There were no differences between the right and left sides as both showed the same reflections.

They could see themselves going through their lives again, but this time, they were clearly not themselves as they are now. They mercilessly and ambitiously made moves to attain their greatest desires, alienating their friends and their families, rising to the top, succeeding, leaving people exploited or worse in their wake.

And then finally, as they stood at the top of the proverbial mountain, things spiraled downwards, darkness filled the mirrors in splotches of black, like blood, and an echo of a chuckle could be heard on the wind as they walked. Someone was mocking them. "No. No. No." Luso shook his head, feeling very tempted to try and destroy a mirror, but he stayed his hand.

"Guys. I think we know exactly what's going on here now." He said as he looked back at the others. "We're going to find who's doing this and make them pay!" As Luso said that, he pointed towards another set of ornate doors at the end of this hallway.

They slowly creaked open then, another chuckle echoing on the wind...
Minerva Minerva does seem to ahfe what might be a british accent from teh sounds of her as she replies to Clayton

"Agreed it is trying to get into our heard prey upon what may have been." She takes a deep breath and tries to focus now. "Agreed Luso."

The young man had proven himself long ago to her in Manhattan and again proves why she considers him a friend and a valued ally. The strange man she met in town has proven to be right as well she can only wonder what is haunting everyone? Prehaps it is best she does not know but she makes one last comment "To see what I threw away my life about could have been...was a powerful and underhanded weapon. I will not forgive whatever is behind this."

She makes for the door and calls out

Clayton Clayton walked forward into the new hall, watching the mirrors. Here was Clayton, shunning all his books and focusing on stalking, firing a gun, gutting an animal. Here he was enlisting in the military, aggressively leading the charge against all non-British, slaughtering them in droves with gun and sabre. He waded knee-deep in blood, more blood, as he hung dissidents, shot thieves, unveiled a gatling gun on a tribe of surprised Africans. Oh, those blighters wouldn't know what hit them.
Clayton stared fixated on the mirrors as it showed him backstabbing his own men to rise to the top, his courtship with several ladies in his life dissipating, his family shunning him. This, however, did not bother him. He fixated on his status as not only a General, but the greatest hunter of the 19th century, with books and strange moving pictures devoted to his exploits. All while being coated, soaking, in the blood of man and beast.
As the mirror went black, Clayton found himself nodding. He snapped back to what was going on, momentarily confused. "Ah, quite right. Get your weapons ready, in case someone starts trouble. My shotgun has excellent range, so be sure to avoid getting in the line of fire, alright?"
Ping The light in Ping's heart is stronger than the dim illusions played out on these soulless mirrors. His resolve will not be shaken. He has stared certain death in the eye and didn't blink. Such cowardly tricks are a pale immitation.

In Luso's wake, he hobbles forward on his crutch but soon the power of his determination eclipses any pain he feels in his ribs or his leg. His limp fades and soon he is dragging the crutch, rather than using it. He still favors his leg, but his approach speaks of confidence and resolve unbroken.

"I won't fall for this trick."
Ramza Beoulve Ramza brooded silently now, as they walked through the hallways. Despite his anger, he couldn't look away from what came next, as an even more sinister version of his life was shown.

Now his life was far different. He made the decision when he was younger that his noble blood gave him the divine right. He put aside his childish ways the moment Delita argued with Argath, deciding that Delita's sister meant nothing to him. Now it was he that was loosing the crossbow quarrel at Tietra on Zalbaag's orders. Next he was running Delita through, and spitting on him for daring to raise arms against his betters. He now had Dycedarg's ear for his loyalty for crushing the Corpse Brigade and sending every rebellious peasant to the gallows. Mass graves dotted Ivalice's roads, and the ravens had their fill. Zalbaag and Dycedarg were now mere hindrances. It was a simple matter to orchestrate their deaths. Just a few choice words. A few implications. Forged evidence. The two were at each other's throats, and then they were gone. Now a Templar encircled by swirling shadows and darkness was smiling at him, the Lord of the Beoulve household. An offer of power, a stone with a Capricorn symbol upon it. With the heartless at his beck and call, Ivalice was his at the small price of his soul, but hadn't he already lost it in his rise? King Ramza Beoulve. And soon it became Emperor, as the rest of the known world fell under the shadow of his rule.

Ramza's growled in irritation as he watched all of it, before speaking to Luso in a voice that was more angry than the boy had ever heard him before. "Ser Clemens, you have no idea how much the idea of them paying for this pleases me. I will not stand idly by and let them do this to anyone else!" He drew his Cinqueda then. Normally diplomacy would always be his first resort, no matter how vile the person responsible was. He wasn't in a talking mood any longer, as he followed towards the ornate doors at the end of the hall.
Riku Proxy This was the wrong move to make, at least in regards to Riku. Although he tries to keep away from these mirrors as well, when he sees Manhattan crumbling in the left mirror he turns to face the mirrors. He starts to smile as he narrows his eyes, yellow spreading across his eyes until they are a blank yellow orbs.

He watches himself do these atrocities. Not only to Manhattan but on many cities.. and then he is in an Archadian apartment and Judge Magister Gabranth is handing him something. It is a moment of significance and a turning point. A turning point that becomes a betrayal as the armored judge slowly collapses onto their side as Riku tears the light from their chest with the same smile Riku had on his face right now. Manhattan and Archades and any place that had ever harbored Riku falls to darkness, consumed by the heartless. Buildings crumble. Windows shatter. People scream. So many people scream.

Anyone who had ever had a kind word was laying before him, their discarded husks empty of everything they were. They were made example of before the rest of the world.. and it was the wrong move. The teenager was armored against the images that haunt his frequent nightmares. No mirror reflection could be more horrible than the potential futures he inflicts on himself in sleep.

So instead of weakening, this barrage only makes Riku more amused than anything. He is angry, yes, but he doesn't let it rule him. Oddly, the hideous images make him miss the people who had tried to be friends with him. The teenager chuckles faintly, his eyes are normal again as he rubs them and takes a moment to compose himself. His teeth are slightly grit as he continues to smile in the same cheerful bloodthirst.

"Come out.. come out.. wherever you are." His voice is slightly eerie voice as he looks down the corridor and then behind them where they entered and again up at the ceiling.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart grrs at that image. No, when she sees herself ignoring everything else for the goal, she believes none of it. If the first room affected her at some level, this one angers her, like Riku "No, I'd never sacrifice anyone for my own sake." She keeps walking through, moving toward the back after the others, doing her best to ignore the images.
Kamon Lionward Kamon follows like a fish on a line, hooked by the strange images. He wants to leave, but he just... keeps going. One foot in front of the other. The place keeps drawing him forward.

The mirrors show... the same thing that the false images did before. He doesn't see much of a difference. He dearly, desperately wants his world back, wants to be accepted, wants to be the one they look to in their time of need. There is an oddity, though, a strange cast to his features. People don't seem to respect him, but fear him. The shadows around his eyes are darker, a more sinister light gleaming while others bend to his wishes and come to him for aid, but only as a last resort. He's accepted, but as a tyrant, someone who controls through force and terror. If they will not love, he seems to say, then they will fear.

Kamon shakes his head and shudders. He grinds his teeth together and looks away, calling on his will and closing his mind to the images. It's like an iron wall springing up, trying to keep them out of his thoughts. None are real. They can't fall for it.

Kamon rushes at the door, swinging his katana off his shoulder and grasping the scabbard in his left hand. His right closes on the grip, and he moves with a fluid grace and terrible purpose that he could not tell the origin of. He doesn't want to fight, but whoever is in here has to be stopped.
Luso Clemens As they passed through the doors, what met the group was a big, circular room, above, they could see a stained glass dome of intricate design, and ahead, situated in the middle of the room was one massive mirror. It towered over the group even from where they stood at the entrance and it was wide enough for all of them to stand side by side and still be able to look into it. Jewels and gold engravings made up the frame of this towering mirror and...

...There was nothing else in the room. Whoever had been chuckling on the wind before was nowhere to be seen. All that stood before them was this mirror. "There's nothing here?" Luso mumbled as he stepped in, looking left and right, then at the massive mirror ahead. A hand went back, grasping the handle of one of the many swords strapped behind his waist.

"Just that mirror then..." He went on to say. Well, this wasn't exactly what he expected! As the group stepped further in, approaching the mirror, they would notice that it gave off no reflection. It was completely blank, like the rest of the surfaces in this temple. But then, there was a sound. From above in fact. Someone was clapping.

"Welcome, welcome my dear guests!" A decidedly male voice spoke up. Looking up, they would be able to see that there was someone sitting at the top of the mirror, clapping his hands lightly and smiling pleasantly. ...Was he the one behind this abomination? It would seem so. "I have been eagerly awaiting your arrival now, dear guests."

He looked to be a teenager, short silver hair, pale skin, pale eyes, and a white suit. On his head was a white top hat and a white cane could be seen in his lap. All in all...he fit the image of the place rather well.

...But what was he after?
Minerva Minerva nods at Clayton. "Firearms are rare in my home but I know of them. If you are a gunner it would be wise to listen to your advice." She'll make a face and then something happens darkness seem to seep about her right hand, a burning black fire which she holds at the ready for what may come. She had mentioned her style was strange to Ramza when they last met this wasn't something one would expect though. Her other hand also burst into strange flame but these ones white. She's clearly not in a very merry mood after all that has happned she can only guess at why someone has done such.

Then they reveal themselves and she doesn't seem much happier.

"Awaiting us? What do you deisrE?" She's still not flared down the flames yet.
Ping Ping comes up short at Minerva's side and gazes up at the stranger high above. He has no reason to believe that any of this is real just yet, just another illusion to beguile. The figure's words are just as suspect. One who can lie with such realistic images would find words a simple medium for their craft.

Ping pulls up his crutch and leans on it. There are wiser minds than him, here, and he defers to their guidance in routing out the source. He'll be ready when his moment comes.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart looks up to the man as she enters... She wants so much to say something, but what would she say exactly? Mirrors of one's soul, possibilities of alternate realities... none of them really make much sense. "... I don't feel welcomed." She states flatly, standing beside the others. She's pretty sure everyone shares the same feeling right now.
Clayton "Yes, quite," Clayton says to Minerva, in a tone that says he really doesn't want to actually engage with her in conversation and is only barely tolerating everyone else here. When they arrive to the circular room and the mirror pops up, he readies his shotgun to fire...and still keeps that position when the strange man appears. Luckily he doesn't fire off yet. "You could have put out some tea at least," he remarks with dry wit.
Kamon Lionward Kamon charges in, and --!!

Nothing. Another mirror. He rises slowly out of his charging stance, untensing and looking around, his eyes scanning the area for anyone or anything hostile. Of course, he makes another amateuristic mistake and doesn't bother looking up, at least till he's spoken to. He follows the voice with a start, frowning at the figure above.

The brief possibility of the teenager being someone else stuck in here crosses his mind. He dismisses it quickly enough. He's too... well-dressed for that, and doesn't look vacant enough. Nobody who came here has left looking so alert.

"Where I'm from, guests are greeted at the door," Kamon says, "and not by a hall of deceptions."
Riku Proxy "Yeah, I bet." Riku says quietly as he looks at the gigantic mirror with the same expression one would size up a particularly large cockroach the required smashing. He slowly looks up at the pale youth with the top hat.

In particular he frowns at the top hat for a few moments longer than he should before looking around at the environment for any other surprises they are likely to walk into while this plays out. "So.. what now, dear host?"
Ramza Beoulve The youngest son of the Beoulve family had all but barreled into the room, but he calmed himself when they entered the room and thought that the room was empty. He'd rushed headlong into more than one ambush in his time, and now he was thinking calmly, strategically. His eyes searched for points of entrance and egress, places where snipers and hidden sellswords might lay in wait. He saw nothing, and that puzzled him and gave him a feeling of ill at the same time. An ambush that he couldn't see coming meant that it was either particularly well planned, or that the one responsible had such overwhelming power that he felt it was unnecessary. The latter possibility was particularly disquieting.

As he heard clapping, he turned to face it. There was a hard, biting edge to his voice. "A pox on your hospitality! What right have you to trample over people's dreams if they were naught but playthings? To make mock of our lives and to aver that what befell us was nothing but a cruel jape?"
Luso Clemens "Yeah! Who the heck are you!?" Luso called up at their so called host, pointing indignantly. "Showing us those reflections, making us doubt what we've done till now..." He trailed off then, shaking his head afterward. "What kind of host are you!?" Luso was quite clearly angry, but he managed to just barely keep himself from drawing his weapons and attacking. A hand remained on the handle of the Kwigon Blade however. Ready to draw it should the answer not be to his liking.

The mystery stranger meanwhile just chuckled again at their varied responses and waved a hand slightly. The movement caused a mirror saucer and mirror cup filled with tea to appear, which he began taking sips from. "Ah, indeed. Tea would be lovely, right about now." The pale young man responded to Clayton with equal wit. The smile on his face never faltered any and his eyes stared down below, sizing up those who had arrived.

Another sip taken, and then the stranger finally saw fit to introduce himself. "They call me...The Mirror Master. I am the lord of this place." Another amused chuckle and he set the cup and saucer aside, both facing out of existence after a moment. With that, he took up the white scepter in his lap and leapt from the top of the mirror, drifting downwards in a float and landing rather elegantly. "I must apologize for the rather uncouth treatment you all must have been subjected to..." The Mirror Master admitted with a tone of sheepishness, adjusting his top hat with his free hand and twirling his scepter idly.

"But you see, it was all for your own good."

Wait, what?
Ramza Beoulve The young man watched the Mirror Master descend, and offer little in the way of explanations. He didn't seem hostile yet so Ramza sheathed the Cinqueda back into its scabbard. "You speak in nothings, Ser. I see no /good/ in using people, only deception."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart crosses her arms as well "I don't think any of that was good, only for your own enjoyment to watch us being tortured by things we couldn't control."
Clayton "I wasn't terribly bothered, if that's what you were aiming for," Clayton says with a huff. He lowers the shotgun, slightly. Well, if he's getting tea then he might as well give him a shot. Never underestimate someone who has tea on hand. "In fact I found it rather invigorating."
Ping For a brief moment, Ping had a vision of Seith descending down from the top of that mirror. Both he and the Mirror Master seem to ignore gravity at their whim. It was an unsettling trait that further reinforced his dislike for this place. When Tifa speaks, he looks to his side at her and simply nods his head in agreement.
Minerva Minerva looks at the Mirror Master not sure what to do here but the flames vanish she'll not attack yet. "For our own good?" She stares at the Mirror master for a moment she's clearly still not happy. Still she doesn't make a hostile move yet.
Riku Proxy "And.. this, I have heard before." Riku says quietly to himself as he looks up over at the Mirror Master as they float down from the giant construction. He crosses his arms, looking from side to side and from person to person as he waits for the other shoe to drop.
Kamon Lionward "..."

Kamon doesn't say anything else. He lets his arms hang by his side and takes a step back, watching the Mirror Master warily. He has no idea what he wants, but if it's anything like those images, it isn't anything good. Not at all.
Luso Clemens Luso looks horribly unimpressed with this non-explanation and nods in agreement with Ramza and the others, drawing his sword out just a tad. Perhaps as a warning. "I don't see how showing people the tragedies of their lives, and then doing it again, would be for our own good! Explain yourself!"

"Mmn, such sad, sad faces I see displayed before me." The Mirror Master mused lightly, tucking his scepter under an arm and then rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "Well, that is rather sad, I must say. That you fail to understand the greater good."

First, he waved a hand out, causing a saucer and a cup of tea made out of mirror material to appear floating in front of each of them, and off to the side, a large mirror surface appeared, carrying sugar, milk, and other things to add to their drinks. All a formaility in any case. He knew that the majority of them would be disarmed enough to bother drinking tea. "You see, I am a being that guides the desires of lost souls."

Another smile, giving the group before him a look out of the corner of his eye as he spoke. "Those who enter this realm desire something. Be it fame, fortume, riches, love, a chance to go back and change what it is they may have done wrong..." The man paused then, setting his scepter into the ground and placing both hands on top as he faced them.

"The necessity of those reflections was for you to look back on your life. And then look back on the life you could have had, and finally...for you to see a life filled with ambition and determination. All of these are necessary ingredients for you to determine what it is you want from your life." And then the Mirror Master gestured to the large mirror behind him with a hand.

Suddenly, it was working. Reflections began to appear, visions of what they may have wanted in the past, presently, or in the future. "I can make it happen. All you need is to desire for it to be. And I can do the rest." And with that said, he set his hands back onto his scepter and smiled again, patiently awaiting their responses.
Ramza Beoulve Ramza's expression was stoney as the man explained his motivations. He would walk up to the Mirror Master, looking away from him, as he he focused an image of Alma with him once again. They were laughing, and acting the very picture of brother and sister. Delita had joined them, for he'd abandoned what Ramza considered a fool's errand, with Princess Ovelia at his side.

And then he'd turn around with a haymaker aimed at the Mirror Master's jaw. "There is no greater /good/ in this. I'll make my own fate, whether it pleases you or not."
Ping Ping immediately steps forward, still clutching his crutch and looking rather unsteady on his feet. It seems, after all, that he shouldn't have been travelling in his condition. He refused to let a doctor see to his wounds and insisted on bandaging his ribs himself. A blossom of crimson has appeared at his side, slowly radiating out and staining his armor.

"Show me a Universe devoid of the Heartless and full of Heart! Show me that in your mirror, Mirror Master! Is that a reality you can make real?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart doesn't trust this one bit either. She keeps her arms crossed "There is no point in getting anything easily. Its hard work that rewards you, not the gifting of it. Powers, fortune, even changing the past, that means nothing. If you could change the world so easily... it would all become meaningless to try. You could just find that magic lamp again, without effort."
Minerva Minerva says "The past can not be changed and if it could be it is not the domain of man to do so." She looks at the Mirror master for a long oment. "I am what I am. I am what I have chosen to be." She clenches one fist and looks at them. "Nothing worthwhile is ever easy." She pauses about the tale of the Lamp if she only knew one of their allies had done just that...still she doesn't care at this point. She looks at her relfections some good, some bad one does suprise her, her clad in the rament of the Corpse Bridgade along side Weigrahf and a woman with firey red hair she has no idea what that could pretend to and doesn't care at this point.
Clayton Clayton takes a cup of tea and adds milk to it, just straight up drinking it nonchalantly, once he finds the brew sufficient. Being a Brit, he is particular about his tea. "Ambition is what makes the human race great, you know," he says casually as Ramza punches at the old man. "It is that which drives us to be better, harder, stronger, dominant over everything else. But as these others are pointing out, it's a deal too good to be true, dear boy. I can smell a fixed deal a mile away."
He doesn't bother to shoot the guy, at least not yet. He smiles thinly. "I'm more interested in how one gets those illusion powers you seem to enjoy scamming the common folk with. Born with it, chanted a few tribal words perhaps?"
Riku Proxy Riku shakes his head. "You are bad at this, aren't you?" he glances up at the mirror and for a moment looks into the distance with Destiny Islands filling his vision. He closes his eyes, hearing something else entirely in his head. The clink of plates. The whirr of conversation. The sound of rain and music drifting over silence. Friendship. Belonging. He opens his eyes, quickly looking away from the mirror before the images can register.

He looks straight at the Mirror Master again. "..You don't change your pitch. You just let your magic do the work for you." he chuckles direly. "Well. It's got going to carry you this time. It's all a deception and a farce and compared to other evils I've known, you are an amateur."
Kamon Lionward "It wouldn't be real," Kamon mutters to himself, frowning and looking at the floor.

He looks up, speaking louder. "It wouldn't be real. Mirrors don't show reality, just something close enough to fool you. You couldn't change the world any more than I could cast Curaga." Kamon looks sure of himself. He doesn't often. "It might be pleasing to the eye, but -- but it wouldn't stick. I could ask you to bring my world back, and I bet you'd make me think it was back and I was there. Is that why they always leave here dumb and grinning?" Kamon asks.

He looks down again for a second, then lifts his eyes once more. "I am going to ask you this, then: please stop doing this. You are taking people away from the people that love them and from their lives with what you're doing. If you really want to make people happy and grant their heart's desire, then come out of here and help us do it for real!" He nearly shouts the last part. It startles him. He glances aside, reaching up and scratching at the back of his head.

"Please," he mutters, out of steam.
Luso Clemens Ramza's fist collided with the being's face and he...simply did not budge. Only his head was turned at the impact and a trickle of blood ran down the edge of his mouth. "Hmn, interesting. Your hearts are stronger than the average man's." The Mirror Master commented lightly dabbing at the blood with a white cloth.

Wait, where did that come from?

"I suppose this means that I will not be having you fall to sleep willingly." Taking a step back, he smiled and waved his scepter outwards. "I am not quite out of cards yet however. But I am a fair person..." As he spoke, his body began to blacken, as well as the environment around them. The Heartless emblem appeared on his chest and he smiled pleasantly still.

"Let us play a game then!" He grinned, twirling his scepter back onto his shoulder. "You will face yourselves. The wager? Your hearts! And if you fail...well then, I suppose that just means that your hearts will become mine!" And then he laughed, leaping back and disappearing into the mirrow, the surface shimmering like water and distorting the reflections.

What followed were pure black figures identical to each and every one of them appearing, blinking with yellow eyes. And then they stepped forward...out of the mirror and into reality. They each faced their counterparts, wielding shadowy versions of their weapons.

Luso blinked at this and then frowned hard. "I knew it! I knew that this was a farce! Come on guys, let's take this jerk down and get out of here!" Saying that, the boy drew out the Kwigon Blade. A deep breath, and then a sigh. "...Man, doing this to all those people...dispicable!"
Clayton Clayton spits out his tea when the man is revealed to be a Heartless. "I can't get away from you creatures!" he exclaims. "I guess I won't feel so bad when I kill you, then!" He laughed, drawing his shotgun. Shadow Clayton appears, and the two immediately raise their shotguns and fire. Clayton gets struck in the shoulder, and he hits the thing in its thigh. He starts to move quickly as he reloads, staring down his double.
He did not care for the grin it was sporting, not at all. He could swear it was laughing, too.
Ping Ping takes a step back and hefts up his crutch, gripping it in front of him like a jian. At the sight of a Shadow-Ping, he steps through the Eight Trigrams, circling his opponent. The Shadow-Ping does the same, hoisting up a crutch dripping with oily blackness. His steps mirror Ping's but the peace and restraint in Ping's heart is not present in his double. It chomps and gnashes its teach at Ping, eager for conflict.

There is no desire for violence in Ping, however, and his breathing slows, falling into the rote qigong he was taught in the military, the rote associated with his Circle Walking. With that breathing, with that rote, comes razor-sharpened focus. There is no past, no future, illusion or otherwise. For Ping, there is only the moment, the present.
Tifa Lockhart Before you face your enemy, face thine own self, or something, right? Seeing yourself as a heartless is a little jarring though. She slides into an attack position. "What kind of riddle are you trying to pull? Changing destiny, granting wishes, nothing is that easy, everything has a price. And its often a price that we don't want to pay for that kind of service, not when we can do it with our own strength."

She rushes toward her shadow, trading blows with the shadow-Tifa. If this was a wrestling match, she could have charged a premium for this, but right now the only thing on the line is one's pride, conviction and life only. Still, its quite the match when Zangan-style meets Zangan-style. Except that, in Tifa's case, she has more experience, while the other one only mimics her. When the shadow attempts a straight kick, Tifa nimbly jumps over it, and lands ON TOP of that leg, barely giving her shadow time to realize before she gets battered down with a Waterkick straight to the face. And as Tifa lands down, a dolphin Blow sends it flying back into the mirror it came out of. "Your imitations are impressive, but you stand up chance against the original."
Riku Proxy Riku sighs, gritting his teeth slightly as he grunts. "Figures." as he lets his hands drop to his side. He takes in a deep breath, retreating a few steps slowly as he takes in the situation. He looks out at the mirror, crackling his knuckles as he decides that the giant mirror was going to be the next focus of his displeasure with this situation.

What Riku did not seem to take notice of was the black silohuettes leaking from the mirror, each of them staring with a hungry insistance and pairing themselves off with their twins. Streamers of mist trailed from the figure that Riku locked eyes with, watching the heartless approach him.

The teenager slowly took in a steadying breath, yellow smearing the white of his eyes out of existance again as the creature approached. He felt it scratch and scrape along the inside of his head, a hollow and empty shell puppeted by the mirror master. It was just as much smoke and mirrors as the rest of this place.

It was weak and hollow inside, little more than a dark casing around the barest surface illusion of a target and a vague thread of power to animate it. He looked into the face of that hungry darkness and the much stronger echo of it reverberated in his heart, his body trembling for a moment as he fought for control. Riku mastered himself and glared at the shadow silohuette. "NO."

A simple. Flat. Denial.

He reached out to that thread and attempted to shred it, banishing the darkness. It evaporated without so much as a whisper of sound.
Minerva In another digital world this would be normal for a punchy type the dreaded mirror match. Here not so much she's not some native of an arcade after all. She pauses at Riku's deniatl she's staring for a moment she's not sure what he's doing but right now WHAM she's got her evil back and gold themed twin coming at her and they launch into a blur fight the punches and kicks are going so fast one can't see them easily, also the elementts are flying as the two engage eachother.
Ramza Beoulve Ramza Beoulve would size up the shadowed image of himself. He weighed it, he measured it, and he found it wanting. Charging at it, he would reach into the folds of his cloak and produce a small blue ball, about the size of his fist. Releasing it at the 'Nega-Ramza', he withdrew his Cinqueda at the same time. Frost would rime the floor surrounding where the figure once stood, but it too was on the move and the throw went wide. Ramza found himself beset by a dark version of /grass/ as they each moved to one up each other, into the opposition's guard. Each time one managed to get a minor advantage upon the other. A fist would pound into a vulnerable area. While armored, the blows each one of throw would find purchase, raising contusions upon the flesh and blood Ramza.

The shadowy figure moved in to thrust its blade in a gap within his armor, but Ramza was already stepping back with a hand raised into the sky. "Strike the ground with glistening blades!" A jagged arc of electricity struck the figure, causing its darkness to convulse. The 'Nega-Ramza' would grin, before responding in kind. Dark flames would erupt at Ramza's feet, and he found himself tucking into a roll to put them out before it burned through his boots.

As his roll finished, he would punch the ground, coaxing his chi downward into the mirror like floor. This erupted into a shockwave of mirror-like glass that carried forward unto his shadowy opponent, that would roll out of the way in just the nick of time. The darkened figure used a simple Geomancer's trick to reach out and coax the air. /The Black Wind Howls/ within the chamber, and they would buffet and slash at Ramza, knocking the wind out of him. Winded, and on his knees, the shadowy figure begins to advance upon him menacingly.

With his vision blurring, he could almost swear that he saw the vision of him and Alma again in the swirling umbrage that made up his opponent. It was tempting to just give in. How easy it would be...

"This is for you, my sweet sister." Ripping apart the peaceknot of a Saya at his waist, the menacing Nega-version of himself would blanch, and begin to do the same thing. Ramza's draw was quicker. "Flame-Devouring blade, consume all iniquity, CHIRIJIRADEN!" The Katana erupted into blue flame, and the blade neatly bisected his opponent, but it was not finished, for the blue flames spread outward from it, burning away the darkness as if it were greek fire. The flames would continue to spread for a short while, leaving patches of it upon the broken mirror floor. Normally he would not have done that, it always felt like a terrible war crime to use it upon the living. Burning to death a heartless copy of himself didn't exactly weigh on his conscience. He would remain standing there for a time, blade drawn, willing the flames upon it to quench. Then he'd replace it within the Saya.

Turning to the Mirror Master, he'd stare him down, while taking in deep ragged breaths. "These feints have become tiresome. I won't bend to your whims. The blood curdles to think of what might happen to any other innocents that might fall prey to your /good/. I wonder, does bleeding /you/ instead fall under the greater good?"
Luso Clemens "....."

Luso stared down his shadow self and tched. "Really? You're going to make us face ourselves? I'm not impressed!" And then without waiting a second more, Luso dove forward, slashing at his doppelganger with the Kwigon Blade, his clone mirrored his movements and the blades clashed evenly, creating a shower of sparkles. "Feh! Not bad, but how about this!?" And then he reached back, drawing Flametongue and slahing in the same motion. "Hah!" Another clash as his movement was copied.

They then disengaged, leaping back for spacing and sheathing their blades before drawing a new set, Luabreaker and The Ogun Blade. And then they were at it again, clashing again and again in a flurry of slashes. Blade met blade, sparks flew and power flashed throughout. Hoarfrost Blade, Shimmering Blade, Skyfury Blade, Holy Blade, Lifethread Blade. Each technique was used in succession and each was dispersed by it's counterpart.

"Tch! You're pretty good, me. But...there's something I have, that you can't copy!" Luso grinned at his other as he leapt back again, sheathing his swords. His hand then went back, grasping the handle of Excalibur. "Because your darkness can never copy the light that I have with me and in my heart!" And then he drew the holy sword.

Immediately, light shined throughout the darkened room as Luso raised the blade to the air. "See this!? This is the embodiment of my hopes, my dreams! This is my strength!" The light caused his shadow self to reel back, but then it grinned, reaching back and drawing a sword Luso didn't have...

A dark version of Excalibur. But there was no light. Only an overwhelming darkness. It raised the dark sword to the air as well and Luso and his shadow stared at each other intensely. "...You can try to stop me, but your darkness won't overcome my light! Haaaaaaaah!" And then he swung Excalibur down, sending out a waving of slashing light. The shadow did the same, sending out a corresponding wave of darkness and both clashed together, pushing forward and back against each other.

It seemed like the darkness would win, but at the last moment, the light intensified and burst forward, overcoming the dark wave and washing the Shadow Luso in the light, totally dispersing his form into nothing. "...Your cheap tricks won't work on us! Because we already know how hard it is! And how much it means to struggle and make your own way!" The boy grinned, sheathing Excalibur then and wiping away some sweat from his forehead.

Meanwhile, the Mirror Master emerged from the massive Mirror and frowned deeply. "...Truly, your hearts are far too strong...I chose wrongly this time it would seem" His eyes met Ramza's and he chuckled, shouldering his scepter. "Bleed me? Now, now, there is hardly any need for that."
Clayton Clayton exchanges gunfire with his shadow self, until the Shadow Clayton stops to reload. With a yell of effort, Clayton lunges and knocks him to the ground. He raises the butt of his gun to smash open the thing's face, when it does indeed start to laugh. It springs up and embraces Clayton in a hug...and dissapears. "What the devil?" he asks, looking alarmed and confused. He looks over to the Mirror Master. "You can't see into my heart, can you?" he asks suddenly, remembering the paladin he met during the assault on Cloud Nine.
Ping Ping is turning the circle, a meditative art and practice technique meant to center the mind and focus perception. Time has narrowed into a single point, a single second with none preceeding and none following. For Ping, there is only the moment, nothing else.

His doppelganger isn't as philosophical and tired of mirroring Ping's movements, Shadow-Ping lunges forward with his Shadow-Crutch to brain Ping and make his insides turn into his outsides. The creature suddenly rushes across the circle, frantic with murderous lust, black oil dripping from his drooling maw. His feet scrape against the glass surface of the floor but Ping continues his Circle, never pausing.

With a fluid motion, like a reed bending beneath the wind, Ping ducks and lifts his hand, touching against the chest of Shadow-Ping and lifting him high overhead only to turn his wrist over and flip Shadow-Ping onto his back, letting him crash against the mirrored floor.

Shadow-Ping splashes against the glass, the impact splattering his inky form into a hundred evaporating droplets. The glass beneath him has shattered, splintered into a spider-web of cracks.
Ramza Beoulve The youngest son of the Beoulve family stared at the Mirror Master. "If your forked tone is done flitting and you seek to dissuade me from the necessity, then stop this madness! Give back the wits and heart of all of the people whom you've befouled" Then realizing that the others are still engaged, he sought to address that first. The puppetmaster could wait after all. Seeing that Minerva is otherwise still engaged, he'd move into position behind her shadow duplicate, aiming a thrust with his blade at its back.
Minerva Minerva is locked in brutal combat with het twin s she contiunes to fgight her she doesn't say anything to them nither does the other. She's locked in s savage fight with het twin she lets out a yell as the battle contiunes and the Mirror master comments. She however does manage to kick her twin back after a burstal fight she doesn't seem too happy but then her hand is burnign with the white fire again.

"I am not a foolish as the Dark Knights who dive too deep into the dark but I also know it is a tool that can be use but also the light.

She hodls her hand for a moment as she lunches at her Heartless twin copy her hand blazing th other is suprised asn she grabs her by the head and what follows is not prety holy energies is dumped into the thing and it flat otu explodes.

"And now it's your turn."
Kamon Lionward Kamon's pleading falls on deaf ears. His expression falls again. Then, the true challenge arrives: themselves, though formed of darkness. Is that what the mirrors were for? Was the entire trek in here a complicated ruse to see who they were and turn them on themselves? It looks like it's being taken literally, now that they turned down the figurative bits...

Kamon sighs. He nods his head slightly, lifting his sword. His hand hovers near the hilt, and he lifts his head to look at his opposite, doing the same. "So be it."

Shadow-Kamon moves at the exact same time Kamon does. They cross the distance between one another in the blink of an eye, his real, plain katana flashing out of its scabbard and intercepting the shadowy duplicate in a clash of steel. They stand there with locked blades for an instant, yellow eyes and terrible smile locked on Kamon's rust-colored gaze and slight frown of concentration. Both push against one another, seemingly evenly matched.

It is in this moment that the observant may be able to tell something curious about Kamon's weapon of choice: namely, that it has no edge.

The Darkness-born duplicate breaks the blade lock with an upwards thrust, throwing Kamon's sword high. He turns his quickly into an overhead slash, and Kamon turns it aside with a precise deflection, knocking the weapon of darkness wide. The clone attacks again, and his flurry of quick cuts are precisely met, flickers of cold steel reflecting in the room's mirrors as the Child of Odin uses his sword like it was an extension of his body. He doesn't attack, but nothing comes close to touching him.

Then Riku banishes his duplicate with but a word. Kamon is distracted by the event. He turns slightly, eyes wide as dinnerplates. "What was --?!"

An opening. He's hit. His duplicate gets in close, hammering him with a horizontal cut that sends him sailing back across the room. He bounces twice before he gets in control of his roll, getting to his feet and sliding across the smooth floor of the hall of mirrors. He draws his sword up to his shoulder in the low crouch, point forward and blade curving gently towards the ground. He draws it back, inhaling through his nose, ignoring the pain in his midsection and growing perfectly still.


Kamon's kiai shout echoes in the chamber as he blitzes back across the room, his sword whirling as he closes with his duplicate. The clash of blades can only be termed a dance, an elegant collection of expert cuts and cunning deflections, evasions and counterattacks. Neither seems capable of getting an edge on the other. The clone starts to laugh, a grim cackle that is totally out of character for the Odynar but perfect for the creature the Master of Mirrors has conjured.

Kamon disengages from his clone with a twist and a flick of his wrist. He inhales again. "SKIES OF THE RAMUHA!" he screams. "LEND ME YOUR FURY!" He strikes downward again with a short, gutteral yell, the edgeless katana wreathed in incandescent light. The black blade screams to intercept it -- and then lightning erupts from Kamon's sword, shattering the false blade and sinking his three inches into his clone's neck.

Kamon's copy dissipates with a hiss. The Parivir lowers his weapon, and with perfect calm, gently returns it to its scabbard.
Luso Clemens "Mhmhmhm...My turn, you say?" The Mirror Master asked, chuckling to himself as he watched Minerva take out her heartless clone. His eyes then moved over to Clayton, watching as his Heartless did something a bit...different. "Fascinating. You are not like the rest here, I see..." The master of the Hall of Mirrors seemed to understand something about the hunter, but he elected not to say just what that was.

Instead, he let it hang in the air as he looked towards Ramza, and then Luso. "Hmn, it would seem that I have lost this day." That said, he placed a hand against the surface of his mirror, letting magic energy billow outwards. In response, many ghostly looking hearts slowly began to drift out of the mirror, fading off as they escaped their prison.

"You may have won this time, but I am not finished. I will return." With the captured hearts of the victims escaping, the very structure of the Hall of Mirrors began to crumble as cracks started appearing on the surface and the large mirror began to slowly fade out of sight. Immediately after, everyone's vision turned to white and The Mirror Master's voice could be heard in one last parting statement.

"You will fall victim to your desires. Perhaps not now. And not tomorrow. But eventually, the time will come. And I will be there."

And then their vision returned...and they were standing on The Crossroad just as they had been before. The Portal was gone. ...They won?

This scene contained 83 poses. The players who were present were: Tifa Lockhart, Riku Proxy, Minerva, Luso Clemens, Ping, Clayton, Kamon Lionward, Ramza Beoulve