The Escapist Avatar Adventure: An Open RP (Now Re-Opened!)

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Kalastryn:
You need to snip people more.

"Moscow" : David, Yu
Soviet Connection - Michael Hunter

Devon and Ella were about to follow up after Narukami's blast, but then Devon got a small smile on her face as she started talking to the undead. "Look, is it really worth it dying a second time against us? It won't be painless, and I'm one of the nicer ones among all of them...

As she said that, she turned to Annie. "Annie, should we let these soldiers meet their end or let them choose?"

((Complaints about me missing you should be attached with what in specific was missed.))

Deep Forest Akane, Angelus, Caim, Cz, Jenny, Kalastryn, Melethia, Ryan, Rugal, Slindis, Som

You know, when an area's usually crisscrossed with wires, one usually would think it's a Bad Idea to go and hit them. It was right about the time where the Arrows and explosions started flying in where that became painfully apparent. Caim in particular felt the pain of a young tree with spikes lashed to the tip of it impale itself on Odin. Ryan's sweep also brought a weighted spiked board crashing down on him, only giving him a moment to react.

Since Rugal was turned around for a bit, though, he saw the same dead elves from the spike pit behind them with scimitars and moaning ghat the group was all Dead Meat.

Kal, since these are zombies, they WILL be healing from the death aura you have going.


Cz, Jenny, and Angelus' reunion was interrupted by a sudden attack by several cloaked creatures, descending from the treeline above.
Before most of them had even hit the ground, they had threw around a few necrotic spells, notable for being able to cause more or less the same amount of pain no matter how little contact they had with their targets.

Personaverse
Location: Deep Forest Shadow Zone

Akane | Angelus | Caim | Cz | Jenny | Kalastryn | Melethia | Ryan | Rugal | Slindis | Som

Cz took a step back and gave a cold hard look to the new assailants. Her eyes darted from one to one, but could not count them. Their shadowy forms blended into the darkness between trees and into the chaos of the foliage itself. In essence, to her, they were invisible, innumerable, and invincible. She placed a hand on Jenny and squeezed her, not particularly caring where she was grabbing. Cz needed to reaffirm her existence, and her place in this world. It was a disorienting feeling to have vision lost to her, blurred and marred by the dark.

"Personas... summon your personas. I don't have my evoker!" Cz screamed, whirling around and ducking onto the ground, trying to force her eyes to comprehend the sight in front of her. Alas, it was too dark, and she was still not used to seeing the light.

Avatar Adventure
Location: Harvard Square | (Un)reality

Deborah

Dreary. Dreary was a word that I find could describe Red Mage's demeanor. Statcowski. I don't think I have ever seen such a man be so serious. It makes me very uneasy to be around him. Though, I must admit he has his appeals. As a spellcaster he is unmatched, his wits and strength eclipses graduates of any Mage's College. He is too unstable, I think. Too unstable. Letting him loose would cause untold amounts of death. They said, and by 'they' I mean his author, that Red Mage was incompetent and jolly. They said that he was easy to get along with. Someone with opinions and ideas that would make even the darkest soul laugh. I don't think I have seen him laugh since I got here. I was born to be somber, peaceful, and darkly. I am an arcanist, my power comes from reading. Unlike other spellcasters, I cannot prepare my spells beforehand, and I cannot conjure whatever I feel like. I can only evoke what my book is telling me. Yet isn't it such a wonderful power? To fill the world that I found empty with life, color, and sound where once there was nothing? I too get bored. Everyone gets bored after a while, no matter what they do. I leaned back and let my head rest against the blue ash tree and breathed deeply. There was the song of starlings in the sky, twittering away in the air of an early Cambridge summer. The square was quiet, there were no students, no visitors. Well of course there weren't, I hadn't called any into being. Something bothered me about Red Mage, not just his strange seriousness, not just the look of bloodlust that returned of late to his emerald eyes, not just the way he adheres to those dice of his like God, but more akin to a strangeness of proximity. He is so much like me, I was born of the same blood as he, and yet, why are we not alike? Are we not brother and sister? It seemed simple to me that we should have been closer. But he was cold, his heart harboring no love for my presence. And every time I looked at him, re returned my acknowledgement with some painfully angry glare. The bark of the blue ash tree scratched the back of my head as I shook my head. I didn't understand a lot. I don't even think I understood how I came to be. One second I was dying against the floor of an airport, and the next thing I knew, I was lying under silk sheets as naked as the day I was born. Woe be woe, I should be touched by this descent into dark not. Unjustly so that scholars of ages past speak to me, through ink on paper their soul lives on, but through who should I live on? I closed my eyes, they were heavy and i couldn't open them again. I paused and breathed in, the soft nibbling smell of freshcut summergrass tickled the back of my throat. The murmur of the wind brought simple conversations to my ear. The world was building itself without me. How darkly it is, to rise without a master. I smiled, my lips tight, and I waited. Someone should be here soon to get me, after all, we are leaving very soon. But until then, I thought, I think, I should take a rest and go to sleep. Tic, tic, tic, and time passed. timed passed for me, for thee, and for them. I dreamed sweetly.

Personaverse
Location: ???

Red Mage

The only sound in this place was that of Red Mage's own. His own footsteps, his own heartbeat, his own raspy breath. The place was cold and filled with darkness. The void between imaginations, the void between worlds. He doubted even lords felt comfortable passing this place. Luckily he wouldn't have to stick around long, in quick time he saw the glimmer of golden-blue and approached it quickly. He found himself running, his feet slamming into a hard floor that didn't exist and propelling him through the void as fast as he possibly could.

"Philemon!" he cried out, brandishing his redwood staff in front of him to summon a guide light writhing with magical energies, "Philemon! I'm making a request, I'm sending in an extra person to join that group of yours!"

The die in his pocket still shone "19," a simple number that now filled Red Mage with more and more hope. things might fall into place better than he could have expected/

He brought his staff back and pulled something out of nothingness. A golden-haired youth in oldtown robes, his powder-blue eyes shining with a great fury. Saved from the darkness, no longer cursed as undead, a young merchant displaced from his home, now wielding a persona of his own, a great Lancer that felled the Stone Dragons with a spear of sunlight under the Old King Gwyn. Ornstein! Dragonslayer Ornstein! Leader of the Princess Guard! Now a merchant boy's familiar of midased gold! Gugnir! The Great Spear!

"Take this one! Take this one and put him to use!"

Frozen Moscow : David, Yu, Cadolbolg, Constance, Devon, Ella, Garm, Teri, Ton Ton, Annie

Between Yu's lighting know and Bast being able to effortlessly swipe them away and don't even get me started on the 25 foot persona, Devon didn't have to do much to convince the undead soldiers to get out of there before they were killed again.
Glancing at each other for a moment, several of the hoard then began to run off screaming, tripping over themselves and rubble as they did.
One figure even managed to get ahead of the pack-

*BANG!*

least he did before an unseen sniper shot blew his skull to pieces in full view of the other retreating soldiers.
"Your choices are this: Fight and Survive or Flee and I'll kill you myself. I'm running out of patience, you're running out of men, lets see what runs out first?..." The commander ordered before the fleeing soldiers were forced to march back into battle, cries of fear and full blown sobbing being able to be heard as they did.
The only thing these poor bastards had going for them was the fact that there was more showing up to re-enforce them, only to see the heroes and attempt to burrow back into the ice again.

Deep Forest Akane, Angelus, Caim, Cz, Jenny, Kalastryn, Melethia, Ryan, Rugal, Slindis, Som

Rugal hit the ground as the explosions and arrows began flying, hoping that duck and cover would be a viable tactic.
While it did stop him from ending up like a pin cushion, there still were a lot more arrowheads in his back and legs that he could have gone without.
"Grrrrr...God I miss bullets..." He growled in pain as he picked himself up, while Bullets could be just as lethal, their smaller size made them less annoying then arrows, least that's what he found.
Still, it didn't take a genius to figure out that it wasn't the case for the others as Ryan's screaming alone showed how dire the situation was.
As he was on the ground, he got a good hard look at the numerous dead bodies in a pit nearby moaning "Dead Weight".
If this was how bad things were for them, he shivered at the thought of Melethia being in this place.
Once that episode was aside, he then made his way towards Ryan, with a lot of the nearby trip wires having been set off, he was a bit more free to move.
"Alright, just hold on...Shit." He cursed as he saw the black blood, knowing full well what that did to poor S'zami.
Either way, he lifted up the weighted board and threw it aside before shouting "Ryan's Down! He's been poisoned!"

As he was tending to Ryan, Slindis was lucky enough to be able to avoid most of the traps going off, though the fact that she wasn't getting off so easy began to sink in right around the same time a rouge how had camouflaged himself with a cloak on one of the trees shot out at her, aiming to stab her in the back while it was turned.

Jenny meanwhile made a break behind one of the trees to hide from the spell attacks after she saw the incoming assassins(?), holding Cz close as she did.
"Hey, Maybe Cz will protect you! Lord knows you can'd do it yourself~!"
"SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP!"
The pokemon yelled at random all of a sudden, Cz could be forgiven for thinking she was yelling at her.
That all stopped when one of the Cloaked figures began making it's way towards them, Jenny's heart ready to burst from her chest as she turned them both around, pushing Cz against the tree in an vain attempt to protect her as she closed her eyes while the figure most likely went for the kill...
...
*SLICE!*"

The pokemon slowly opened them again to see Akane holding Jake's sword standing over the figure as it lay lifeless on the ground, glancing at the pair for a moment before running off to engage the other assassins.

((Just an auto I threw in for Jakeman))

Frozen Moscow Annie, Cadolbolg, Constance, David, Devon, Ella, Garm, Teri, Ton Ton, Yu
Anyone ever play .hack//? It had some sweet OST.

While the party was doing well to ward off the enemy Shadows, unfortunately, it seemed that Deadshot had a firm grip on the soldier's morale. As such, more seemed to come in where the others left off.

Taking the initiative where Devon's rallying cry left off, Garm charged ahead into the field and sunk his teeth into the first undead he could manage, doing what he could to dismember an enemy force if possible. Pulling one of the retreating undead out of it's hole, he gave a firm tug and ripped an arm off with his jaws. Spitting it out with a growl of distaste, the wolf gave an intimidating show of it's teeth and barked to his comrades, "We can push past these forces! We're not here for them anyways, it's the one with the masked face we want."

Cadolbolg raised his head after Garm's charge, and called upon his Persona, little limbs shaking from the cold, "Lei Zhenzi, make it a little bit warmer, please? It's freezing!"
At the tiny turtle-dragon baby's request, the enormous dragon-warrior appeared and held up one of his blades. The weapon caught fire, and upon bringing it to the ground, it shot towards one of the enemy zombies, as well as melting snow in it's wake. After doing so, the Persona began to fade away, and Cadolbolg snuggled closer to Devon's side, still shivering from the wasteland they were in.

Ton Ton was next to follow up, beseeching his Persona while holding onto Devon's shoulder, "Galahad, protect us!"
At the Tonberry's call, the Knight of the Chalice appeared and held his Chalice aloft, a beam of light concentrating before zapping into another of the enemy soldiers. As the Knight began to fade away, Ton Ton 'sent' over the rings (that means you too, Annie), "Not to mention that Deadshot giving these commands over the intercom really bothers me... If he's stuck here, why is he fighting us?"
Seeing that Ton Ton had never been in a Shadow Zone dedicated to a battle against one of his party members Shadows (and that little romp with Melethia was never really cleared up about why it looked like a treasure hoard), so the little guy was a bit on the confused side about the turn of events.

Finally, there was the Cleric among them, who called upon the AI residing in her Tablet, "Dimitri, scan the area with your Persona. Keep an eye out for additional Shadows popping up."

"Of course, Your Ladyship. Thoth, commence scanning...."

Following that, the Cleric concentrated, holding Sadei close to herself as she burned a turn attempt to cut on her Aura's healing properties. After all, if there was one thing she knew about Undead, Positive Energy did harm to them as Negative Energy did to living beings. Once the feeling of the Positive Energy washed over the party, the Cleric pointed to the group of undead and spoke aloud, "Toyotama, go and give them rest from their duty."
"He he he, killing with kindness, are we? I like... Get a healing spell ready, we're going to have some fun."
"One Cure Moderate Wounds, coming up."

And with that, the Cleric began to pray, while the Persona began to float into the fray (as well as taking the wonderful feeling of the aura with her) before placing a hand onto one of the zombies.

Teri has burned the turn attempt needed to activate her healing aura. At her caster level, the aura heals for 2 points to allies every 6 seconds, and damages undead for the same amount.

She has also cast Cure Moderate wounds, which does 2d8+caster level (as well as varying bonuses from feats/domain and multiplied by .5 on account of equipment) for 31 points of (to an undead) damage to a zombie.

Turn attempts remaining, 7 Undead/5 4 Fire
6 Seconds till next Level 3 Spell
18 seconds till next Level 2 Spell

Creepy Forest Akane, Angelus, Caim, Cz, Jenny, Kalastryn, Melethia, Ryan, Rugal, Slindis, Som
Seriously though, it was pretty atmospheric.

Caim let out a soundless gasp of pain when the spiked tree struck his Persona, as he was not accustomed to the rules of the Verse: A Persona struck hurts it user as well. Of course, that was bad enough, but the other traps being sprung and the sudden appearance of undead made matters worse. As Caim instructed Odin to release the spikes from his side, his PDA rattled out, "You said this was like your old home, right Slindis? Anything of note about those undead who are going to try to eat our faces? Weakness to fire, something?"
As he waited for that answer, the warrior readied his grip on his familial blade before crossing swords with one of the scimitar wielding zombies, the pain still readily apparent on his face as Odin released the spikes from it's side.

As for Angelus, she realized that she was going to be alone in this endeavor. With Cz missing her Evoker, and Jenny scared, this meant that things were going to get messy on her end. Well, at least she thought that she was alone before Akane appeared. After the Kitsune saved Jenny from harm, Angelus readied her blade and called out to her Persona, "Echidna, guard Jenny and Cz from harm and begin an assault on these hell-ridden beasts!"

The Woman-Serpent hybrid did as she was commanded, and her enormous tail created a protective circle around Jenny and Cz before pointing at the other cloaked figures and releasing a barrage of 8 fireballs, an ability Angelus knew to be from her more bestial side. However, this defense was not without a cost. With Echidna being so large, Angelus was beginning to feel the burn of some of those necrotic blasts, and she let out a frustrated cry of pain as the sensation of acid being poured into her veins was felt in her body. None the less, the dragon was determined to protect her friends, and stood firm and ready for the next assault via undead.

Personaverse: Realm Between Realms - Philemon, Red Mage, Lucien(?)
Philemon's theme

Red Mage, while first in a void of nothing, soon found himself in the Realm Between, the same place where the party was originally placed before being brought into the true realm of the Persona verse. A flurry of blue and gold butterfiles filled the air before Philemon himself stepped out of the nothing, and the platform he addressed the party in manifested under Red Mage's feet (alongside gravity with it)

Red Mage could not see the expression on the God's face, but the tone of his voice was more than enough to led the Mage know that Philemon was not pleased at the sudden arrival,

"You have quite the gal, Mage in Red. I have heard whispers from gods of what you have done, and now that you stand before me, I can see it clearly in your soul. I would know, after all; as I am you.[1]"

To emphasize the point, the God removed his mask to show that his face matched the mage before him, and then placed it back on his face, crossing his arms before speaking again, "In short, you are not welcome here, Mage; and yet you come here making demands of me. Furthermore, if you wanted to put your puppet among my aides, why do you choose to do so now, instead of attempting to do so earlier, when he was already with the group of the Rising Dawn?"

[1] Just as Nyarlatothep is the bad in all of humanity, Phil is a representation of the goodness in humanity in the Persona verse. Being as such, he kinda knows everything about all humans that steps in his presence/fall in his domain. I would imagine Persona users also fall in that domain as well, as he grants that power. He also has the ability to replicate human faces, as seen in the ending of one of the Persona 2 games.

bluerocker:

[quote="Sgt_Jakeman214" post="540.101127.20525495"]

When Kala was finished healing using her death aura she was very quick to dismiss it to prevent any healing done to the undead around them. Summoning Demi to dismiss her aura and, as it would be beneficial to their enemies more than herself, or in the grand scheme, her group. In the struggle the group had with flying arrows, undead, explosions, and in Ryan's case a no doubt deadly toxin... she felt powerless to help. In her haste to join the fray as an actual combatant instead of a caster, she'd forgotten to prepare other spells for the sake of being able to cast them. She could heal herself in undead form, but in this scenario, that would heal their enemies as well. Demi's eyes rolled at the thought. "So you can't really do much without magic. How'd that plan work out for you smart ass? I mean you've been dependent on it for everything from defeating Kobolds to keeping yourself alive in your own home, so accidentally throwing it out the window at a moment's notice was a top notch plan for sure."

"A good point... no, beyond a good point... *sigh* Tenser's?" She said as her persona smiled through the mixture of darkness and light that was her being. Granting Kala's now Vampiric form yet more changes in shape.

*Tenser's transformation go!*

Had anyone seen Kala wield a scimitar before, it would have been absolutely pathetic... they'd be surprised she hadn't hurt herself trying to pick it up from the pointy end. Now though? She wielded it almost as well as Caim would one of his blades. Leaping (or flying) into the fray with the cloaked figure poised to attack Slindis parrying the attack in but a moment's notice of injury. No necromantic magic would save them from Kala's vampire form, and she's a lot stronger, faster, and tougher with Tenser's activated then she was before. Whoever it was, a tough time was about to be had for them, As she waited in a stance of defense for them to make the first attack at their new opponent.

Her.

Frozen Moscow : David, Yu, Cadolbolg, Constance, Devon, Ella, Garm, Teri, Ton Ton, Annie

Devon calls out to the others there after Teri's wave of healing, brandishing her blade. "Cadolbolg, Teri, Ella, let's cut through these people and get to Deadshot. Mengde, come on!" Ella pulled out her spear and led the front line along with Cadolbolg's Persona, skewering some of the soldiers with ease.

Deep Forest Akane, Angelus, Caim, Cz, Jenny, Kalastryn, Melethia, Ryan, Rugal, Slindis, Som

The Vol ambushers left Ryan alone, considering the Dragonoid already dead as a good number of flankers went and harassed Rugal and Caim. "Positive energy's the only definite! Light energy spells could help if you knew them as well." Slindis also went to deliver a strong uppercut at one of the ambushers targeting her, leaving Kalastryn to target the other.

On ANgelus' side, though, the ambushers were fading off with each blast, but more took their place. The sheer ruthlessness in the fighting made it clear exactly who's zone this was, however: Melethia. The harsh patterns could only be from that girl... Ad she must have been seeing things, because she could swear she saw some twisted mockeries of the Rising Dawn's crew in the attackers.

Frozen Moscow : David, Yu, Cadolbolg, Constance, Devon, Ella, Garm, Teri, Ton Ton, Annie

With Teri's healing aura and the fact the enemy was letting them surrender, The Army seemed to have all the reason in the world to just back off, if not for the Shadow.
As Dimitri went scanning for the leader, it brought him to a figure standing on one of the roof tops above them, shaking his head before moaning "Have to do EVERYTHING myself..."
As the army began to pause and tried to figure out he best course of action, the air suddenly filled with the sound of Automatic gun fire as bullets rained down atop them, breaking their skulls and reducing their number far more then the Rising Dawn ever did.
"See, this is why we out-source to Private Contractors now. Least their soldiers can understand basic instructions!" He shouted before using his Wrist Gun's grapple to swing down from the roof to the ground below.
While he had the same body type and face as Deadshot, he was clad in some sort of Black Uniform that wouldn't be out of place in some Neo-Nazi Cult as well as a matching hat.
The strange thing was though that while this outfit was more suiting to a high ranking officer, the patch on his shoulder indicated he was no higher then a Officer Cadet.
"So...what brings you to my little patch of heaven?..." He then asked as he lit up a cigarette as he stared at the group, seeming not to care about the fact he literally set an army on their asses.

David took this chance to ask "I take it you are Deadshot's Shadow?"
"Oh?...What gave that away, Inspector West?"
"...Actually, That was kinda a guess."
"Oh for the love of-...Yes, I'm one of those guys and my source was our local junkie sniper. And?"
"So where is he?"
"Why do you care? Want to blow his head off again?"
"...He never let that go, did he?"
"Ohhhhhh, not in the slightest Davy Boy."
"Look, just where are you keeping him?"
"And I'm asking you: Why. Do. You. Care? Guy's a prick and unlike Baron Von Kill-a-Lot (Rugal), he isn't even TRYING to hide it. Hell, I was there, I'm HIM. The only thing stopping him from blowing one of your assholes away is a bad trip. Then he'd sell your shit for dope. I'm not making this up, He's actually done this before. Not exactly the kinda guy you want hanging around, now is it?" He said with a look of concern on his face, clearly trying to sell the idea that Deadshot was WAY more trouble then he was worth.

Deep Forest Akane, Angelus, Caim, Cz, Jenny, Kalastryn, Melethia, Ryan, Rugal, Slindis, Som

"I'm just going to tell you to shut up now, Okay?!" Rugal interrupted, clearly not in the mood for the whole "If I don't make it" Speech as he did his best to stop the bleeding, though his experience with this sort of thing was heavily limited, though the fact he was now being targeted by the attackers didn't help.
"Ah Hell. Just-...Stay put." He said to the Dragonoid before picking up the spike-plate that caused him so much grief and throwing it at one of the members before grappling with another, trying to throw the figure into one of the exposed pit traps.
Least he was before he realized he was fighting what appeared to be David West as drawn by a political cartoonist.
"What the-" He paused for a moment, giving the imposer enough time to pull out his weapon, press the barrel against Rugal's head and pull the trigger....
And somehow managed to miss competely and hit a tree behind him.
Needless to say, the fight quickly turned in Rugal's favor after that.

Jenny meanwhile was still holding Cz while everyone else was killing and fighting around them, Hell, Angelus and her persona must have gotten hit by like 5 of those spell things and she didn't even fall down!
"Hey! Yell Therapy at them! It might be their weakness!" Her Shadow kept mocking, causing her to feel more and more useless, Even if she did get her Persona out, she couldn't be sure if it'd actually help or not.

As for Slindis, her uppercut was more then enough to knock the would-be backstabber on his ass as he scrambled on the ground trying to...Find something?
Whatever it was, he found it, it was a wire that was hidden under the ground which he then pulled, the other end of it rising up around her feet like a whip and knocking her off balance.
Worse still is when the attacker pulled back on it, causing the sharp wire to wrap around her neck tightly like a noose.
The hangman then quickly climbed up one of the trees and leapt back down over one of the branches, causing the wire to lift her up off the ground.

Personaverse
Location: Philemon's Domain

Red Mage | Philemon | Lucieon | Ornstein

The Mage in Red shifted uncomfortably, stepping backwards on the small platform. His face held his dissatisfaction in his wrinkled forehead. "To think I was so infamous among the transient beings," he closed his eyes and placed a hand on his face, massaging the bridge of his nose as he thought. For a long short while he held himself in deep reflection before opening his eyes and drawing himself to his full, not-so-impressive frame. His red cloak flared in the aetherial winds of the bygone area. But as he was about to speak, a clean well-mannered voice cut through the air as sharply as a knife through butter.

"I am nobody's puppet, I had to take care of a few loose ends in another realm," Lucieon said venomously. His tongue seemed as sharp as his rapier. "That girl I saved, Designation C-Z has something very important to us lodged in her head, and I am loathed to see her damaged anymore. She is foreign to your world and inexperienced. She cannot take care of herself!"

Ornstein-not-yet-Gungnir gave a curt nod and bow, keeping his grip tight on his massive lance. His golden armor gleamed in the soft blue light of the realm. He spoke with out speaking, his voice likes the soft rumblings of an ancient stone dragon. It is true, he seemed to say.

Luceion tossed his long hair back and brushed his robes clean of dust, "Not to mention I smell the stench of a chosen undead in your troupe of heroes as well. A Dragon Disciple as well." Lucieon frowned, he hated dragons almost as much as he hated undead. Lordran was such a miserable place, all the gold in the world wouldn't buy him a single soul.

"You should know the boy speaks to truth," Red Mage made a sweeping gesture with his arms, "I am nothing but a taxi to this brat. We don't get along very well, but he's one of the few sane ones left. So," Red Mage paused and gave Philemon a good, long, honest stare, "Take him and make him do good, it's the least I can ask for you to spite him."

Luceion looked annoyed but said nothing, remaining in curt silence on his seat upon Ornstein's massive shoulders, though his hands fondled Estoc's handle fondly.

Personaverse
Location: Dark Forest | Shadow Zone

Akane | Angelus | Caim | Cz | Jenny | Kalastryn | Melethia | Ryan | Rugal | Slindis | Som

Cz was relieved that Angelus and Akane picked up around her to protect Jenny. She felt helpless without being able to call upon her true self hidden in phase space. The world here was too cruel a thing. As each of the phantoms were cut down by fire or steel, another appeared from the darkness to replace it. They still shifted like one great mass, moving in and out, weaving across the trees and darkness to hide their numbers, their strength, and their intentions... at least that was what it seemed like to Cz, who was very visually confused by the meshing of like-colors.

Her body was already oversensitive to its surroundings, so the spell of amplification only made her more uncomfortable. Every passing wind lashed out by a blade or flame made her skin crawl with discomfort, as if a million small insects were marchings up her arms and legs. But she held onto Jenny unflinchingly, and without the slightest shiver. "Jenny, calm down. Look carefully... can you seen anything about the assailants that we can turn against them? You have to have some latent powers that your species has!"

Personaverse
Location: Dark Forest | Shadow Zone

Akane | Angelus | Caim | Cz | Jenny | Kalastryn | Melethia | Ryan | Rugal | Slindis | Som

"Jenny, calm down. Look carefully... can you seen anything about the assailants that we can turn against them? You have to have some latent powers that your species has!"[/quote]

"See, even the girl that turns into a Robot is more on the ball then you are! So whom is protecting whom?"
Jenny was still in much of a state of shock and fear as Cz attempted to get her to snap out of it.
"I-i-i-My powers are tied to my persona. She'd get torn apart out there!" She answered, though it was hard to tell if Corvus, her persona, really was that weak or if it was just in her head.
Either way, it was clear that she wasn't going to be much help here.
"Well, what did you expect? It's YOU." Her Shadow kept jabbing, at this point, it could be said that Jenny's Shadow was just dragging it out at this point.

Yu Narukami and Russian Moscow forceful force 1.
Location: Frozen Moscow | Shadow Realm.

The second the leader of the opposition forces came out, Yu instantly knew what it was. "A Shadow." He said quietly with no surprise, yet he remained ever on caution, with his two-handed Katana poised to strike and Izanagi in the same combat position. Then the Shadow Deadshot began to rant about himself, selling out his real counterpart. This started to remind Yu of David's own encounter with his own Shadow, except that ended more easier and depressing then anything he had seen.

Ignoring the Shadow for now, Yu started to look around for the place the Shadow may have came from, for that may be where the real one lies. "Splitting up may be a good idea, one to fight the Shadow and one to find the real Deadshot" Yu said to the people surrounding him, ready for anything, he actually hoped someone might also have a good idea. The blood still pumped within his veins, his adrenaline lingering for more action, Yu was on edge like the many around him.

Yet he wondered, what was this Shadow's real form?
The true form of Deadshot, did the Shadow really sell himself short?

Frozen Moscow : David, Yu, Cadolbolg, Constance, Devon, Ella, Garm, Teri, Ton Ton, Annie

"...did you seriously not hear a single word I just said?..." The Shadow said when Yu seemed to ignore him while Annie made a speech on Deadshot's values and loyalty.
"Yeah, did you forget the part where he left you and the others to face a evil 20 foot Evil you?...Listen, Deadshot's only lineament is himself. The only reason he's even here is because Philemon said he'd line his pockets, otherwise he'd have gotten out of the city day 1. Don't even try to justify his actions. I was there, you weren't. And now, I've finally getting rid of that mass-murdering psychopath. Am I a good person? No, I just killed 20 men for desertion less then 10 minutes ago. But It wasn't my idea to set off Biological weapons in residential areas for a paycheck!" He then raved for a moment before calming himself down.

"...Alright...Tell you what. I show you the way out of here and you leave. It's taken ages to set this up and I'm so close to finally being free of that asswipe. I can assure you, whatever I am pales to what he is. Hell, maybe after this is all over, I might even join your crazy little crew. After all, I'm Deadshot when he's Sober. It's either this or we end up having a fight no-one can really win. Up to you..."

Frozen Moscow Annie, Cadolbolg, Constance, David, Devon, Ella, Garm, Teri, Ton Ton, Yu
Final Fantasy does a pretty decent Job too

Garm, like Narukami, was a bit more focused upon the task at hand rather than diplomacy, and spoke quietly to the glasses wearing teen, "Do you think it entirely wise to split up, Yu Narukami? I fear that if we divide ourselves, we'll play straight into the Shadow's paws, er, hands. He is a creature trained for battle and in tactics. I am worried that he'll pick us apart if we do so; even should we find the real Deadshot."

Cadolbolg shook his head lightly (followed by a shiver) at Garm's thought, and added in, "If I'm understanding everything in fighting these Shadow thingys, we need to find the real one so he can accept the Shadow and make this stupid cold go away. We're gonna have to split up, or this guy will keep at it and we'll never make it out alive. And who knows, maybe we can get him from behind if we get the real thing? Father would employ a pincer attack in this kinda situation... I think? What do you think, Devon, Constance?"

Meanwhile, Cadolbolg's pact partner, Ton Ton, was focused more on the verbal side of things, and spoke up when Deadshot asked why the party cared to save Deadshot. Holding his little Lantern aloft, he called out to the Shadow, "If we didn't care, Deadshot's Shadow, why are we here now? Yes, you have done very bad things, and I don't think any of us are denying that; but coming here to help you is simply, well, simple! We're here because it's the right thing to do! To save someone from themselves, no matter how bad they are, is the right thing to do!

And, hey, if Deadshot really thinks he's that bad of a guy, can't he fix that? If you're still living, then that means you can do stuff to make up for the bad things you've done. It won't make your bad actions go away, but trying to do something to make up for the bad is better than doing bad things. I know the Authors are doing that now, Ms. Annie seems devoted to that path, and pretty much any formerly bad guy we've picked up has learned to put their efforts for the better! I gotta say, it's a fairly decent track record; as far as redemption goes. And, speaking from personal experience, even if you try to do good things, you can really screw up from time to time. But doing good in the world doesn't mean you reach a point of 'Supreme Good' or anything. It simply means you put effort forth to better yourself, learn from your mistakes, and then improve things happening around you. Deadshot CAN change, Shadow, it's just a matter of him putting forth the effort to do that! That's why you're wrong about Deadshot being worthless!"

After Ton Ton gave his piece about the nature of redemption, Teri found herself in her mind, frozen in her shoes about what to say or do. Usually, this would be the place where she'd give a similar speech as Ton Ton's about the nature of goodness and the power of redemption and love in Jesus Christ, but now? The words felt too hollow in her throat. Even if she helped save her father from his own darkness, even if what she had helped with Devon stopping with her posturing, the Cleric didn't know what to say or do to help bring Deadshot's Shadow down. The most she knew she could do was cast protective aid on her friends or heal their wounds (that is, if she could get to them on time). She didn't know the army man personally. She had been too locked up in her own head and was so concerned with her family matters that she couldn't have seen the problems blossoming around her. In fact; the words from Deadshot's Shadow seemed so familiar because-
"It's how I feel about myself too. I don't feel good enough because I can't save everyone around me. It feels like no matter what I can do, it will never be enough. I can't do enough to make Caim and those I used to write for stop hating me, I can't help everyone despite my powers... I feel useless. It's why I've been working so much, it's why I try to do as much as I can.

In fact, if I'm so useless; does Sadei even like sharing a mind with me? Does Garm follow me because Lupito told him to, or because he cares? Would Jake think all those pep talks he gave me were for nothing if he saw me now...?"[1]

Even with the night to relax before entering this zone, the pressure was coming down on the Cleric, and she found her knees going weak as she bombarded herself with insults and self hate; clinging to her staff as she tried to hide the expression on her face before -

"Oh I have had it up to here with this 'I'm worthless' bullshit.
You see that moral thing going on there? You gonna drown in your grief over your dead buddy and not notice the opportunity we have to spread the Gospel through ass kicking? Really? Fucking summon me and turn up the mental link with Dimitri, NOW. Man, I gotta do everything myself...
And Sadei, tell this dumb fuck that you love her, because she obviously has forgotten that. Oh, and don't forget about reminding Colonel Dumbass that God CHOSE US, not the other way around?"

Not even fighting the demands, Teri summoned the Persona via her arcana card and did as she was told, allowing a much rougher sounding version of Teri's voice to ring from the Tablet at the Cleric's hip, "Check one two, check one two, can the bitchass known as Deadshot's Shadow hear me? Greeaaattt... Okay, here's the Skivvy, douche nozzle, mah name's Toyotama-hime, I'm the glorious Persona you see floating next to the chick in the robes; and lemme tell you something, you're pulling a Sisyphus here. If you don't know your Greek myth, lemme tell you this clearly, what you're doing is pointless. No matter what you do, no matter how much work you put into this shebang, you're gonna fail. Wanna know how I know? I was in your position right now; I had this kiddo here on the ropes, hating herself, trapped her in crystal and all that self loathing shit. I almost had the whole thing in my hands... If it weren't for her Mother and at the time Boyfriend from busting in and wrecking all my plans; and I had some good ones too. No matter what you or your host thinks, someone gives a fuck about your existence. And that's gonna be the key to your downfall right there. So, instead of asking us to leave, how about you realize that you are gunning for a fruitless effort and stop while you're ahead. Your winter world was nifty and all, but really, you're sunk already; regardless of what you throw this party's way. Besides, if you play decently enough with your host, you can get some nifty benefits out of it. It'll vary from person to person, but really, it's a lot easier coexisting than attempting to repress each other."

Creepy Forest Akane, Angelus, Caim, Cz, Jenny, Kalastryn, Melethia, Ryan, Rugal, Slindis, Som
He he, job system puns.

After pushing an undead flanker back with his blade, Caim 'shouted' (or as best as a PDA with Vocal capabilities could), "Positive Energy? That's the healing stuff you and your student use, right? Odin, the Wheel!"

The Fatherly Persona, after blocking and pushing back one of the attackers with his spear, held up the weapon in question and spun it in a great circle, causing the image of a Wheel laden with weapons to appear for a moment. The Wheel turned a few times before settling on a different blade, causing the familial blade Caim had in his hands to disappear, and a different one to take it's place. With that, Caim began trying to cut down the mockeries of his allies, feeling the charge of his weapon beginning to build before he unleashed a trio of glowing orbs, the combination of those and the healing energy contained both helping him and harm the undead who was riding his hide. Of course, it would be some time before he could manage to do that again....

Meanwhile with Angelus, even if she was a bit disconcerted by the appearance of the Shadows; she knew them to be just that, Shadows. Lobbing a fireball in the fray of another Shadow, the dragon accessed the rings and addressed Jenny and Cz, "We cannot stay here, or else we'll be overrun! I need you two to stick close to myself and Echidna while I push through; understood? Also, I think I have an idea who's Realm of Shadows this is. It was obvious from the start. The traps, the tactics... It has to be Melethia; gods' knows what is causing this in her..."

Reattuning her grip on Kingsblood, the dragon shouted to her Persona, "Echidna, continue your guard, we're going through. And tap into the Pact Bond with Caim, he's the closest thing we have to a starting point!"
"Your will is my command... Caim is in this direction."

The woman/serpent gave a solemn nod before lighting another fire in her palm and throwing it at the enemies; as well as beginning to home in on her host's pact partner.

Personaverse: Realm Between Realms - Lucieon, Ornstein, Philemon, Red Mage
Philemon's theme

A soft sound, almost akin to a chuckle, escaped from beneath the mask, and Philemon kept his stoic posture before answering again, "So quick to judge, Knight of the Princess Guard. I have seen the heart of whom you speak of as I see your's now and I saw several things. I saw a kind heart, one willing to learn, and to change for the better; regardless of his mistakes. A shame you do not have the same within you. I see a stubborn Pride, Anger, Spite and... Fear? How sad. Hatred can gnaw at a perfectly clean soul and limit what greatness it would otherwise offer.

None the less, I see that you spoke the truth of your independence. My apologies, Knight, for the quick judgement. In light of the one next to you, I have every right to be on high alert.

The God gave the smallest inclination towards the Mage in Red before continuing what he had to say, "As for the young woman of which you speak, she is not alone in unfamiliarity in my Realm. Many of the Rising Dawn are new to the rules that control Persona. For example, once you enter my realm, your Persona will be away until you summon it with an Evoker. However, you cannot coddle her forever, Knight. Unfortunately, conflict and suffering is what allows the best of humanity to shine through and to truly grow. A chick may enjoy the safety and comfort of the egg, but if it does not peck it's way out, it will die and never be truly born.

To deny CZ such development is to deny understanding what pleasure or pain is. It denies her the experience of being truly living; even if it is initially unpleasant from the start. Whatever the item in her head may be, so long as you do not seek to remove what is making her 'live', I wish you well; and with hopes that perhaps you will learn to be a bit more tolerant of others... You will find yourself with an appropriate Evoker upon your landing."

With a wave of his hand, blue and gold butterflies covered the Knight of the Princess Guard before he disappeared from the Realm Between. Which of course, left Red Mage alone with the God; who was now staring down Red Mage with that masked expression of his...

[1] I know these seem a little irrational, but trust me, when you have these sort of feelings, you'll start pulling all sort of 'what ifs' on yourself. They can be... unpleasant. (and this is pulling from personal experience on my end. Dunno if anyone else has done the same)

Personaverse
Location: Realm Between Realms

Lucieon | Philemon | Red Mage

Lucieon and Ornstein flashed way into the swarm of blue-gold butterflies, his deep sapphire blue eyes glaring deeply at Philemon. "I don't care for CZ." he said flatly as he vanished into the world of Persona, "people are tools. She is a means to and end, and I do not plan on having her broken before I have my use with her."

Ornstein gave a gruff grunt that mirrored Lucieon's intent.

As soon as the Undead Merchant and his persona had vanished into the realm, Red Mage dropped his 'mask.' His eyes lacked the fiery arrogance that had burned so brightly when Lucieon was present, and his young face wrinkled with worry. He was tired. there were dark bags under his eyes, and his face looked haggard. His cheekbones, naturally high, now stood starkly against his pale skin as a staunch reminder of the tax his work has put on both his body and his mind.

"You know," Red Mage whispered, his eyes faint, barely seeing the figure of Philemon standing before him. Statcowski smiled, "I don't know why I feel so tired. But I do feel like I have some things I still need to do." He turned around to leave, redwood staff in hand.

And for one moment, Red Mage turned back, his eyes sparkling green in a face lacking life, "Take care of those two for me. They're good kids. Really." He vanished into the aether, leaving nothing but a small golden feather behind in his place. A strong feather from a large bird, native only to 15 lands. There was a soft whistle in the distance of the void, where seeping darkness seemed to take root where there was nothing. "Kweh" it said solemnly. "Kweh."

Personaverse
Location: Dark Forest | Shadow Zone

Akane | Angelus | Caim | Cz | Jenny | Kalastryn | Melethia | Ryan | Rugal | Slindis | Som | Lucieon

Cz was beyond annoyed now. Even with her eyes clouded by the shadows of the forest she could see clearly how utterly broken Jenny was. She got up, her hands guided Jenny behind Angelus, encouraging her with firmness. To think her more of a child than Siz... it is truly irritating. The shadows swarmed around them and cz ducked away, pulling Jenny under the protective range of Echnida's flames. The sweeping heat made her skin dance alight as if she were covered by biting ants, but she endured the brunt of it.

Yet even as they moved, the forest shifted around them. Shifting darkness, sweeping forth from the dark brush, swarming across them, moving in and out of vision and refilling ranks were their friends were cut down. There numbers doubled with each passing moment, and their presence blinded Cz. She felt helpless, dark, lost. And before she knew it, she had lost herself to the road, caught her leg on a passing root. The darkness surrounded her, and she couldn't make out the figures around her. Was it the Echidna? Was it Angelus? Or was it the physical shadows that assaulted them.

There was a glint of blackness, a sword that sung against the nighttime air. Cz knew the answer now and nearly cried out in anguish. The sword was not Akane's the sword was a shadow's.

"Command Economy: Competitive Collusion!"

His voice rang out like a knell of the church bell. A golden lance slammed into the floor, sending lightning thundering in a large radius around Cz. It shed light and banished the several shadows that were upon her. Driving them into the dark of the forest if not obliterating their abstract forms. Lucieon landed a short distance away from Cz and knelt down next to her, placing his hands on her back and midriff to guide her back to her feet. He was firm but not fierce in his handiwork. "Come now, quickly."

Ornstein landed gracefully a distance away, next to his lance. Lightning still radiated from his form, and his lion's masked howled silently at the dark air. he pulled his lance from the ground and aimed it toward the reforming shadows. The Captain of the Princess Guard reasoned his name was now 'Gungnir" in this world, to fit with the theme.

Lucieon held up his evoker dramatically, knowing that it had already served it's purpose, but doing so anyway. Probably in an urge to satisfy his adolescent fantasy of magic-wielding that was crushed when h learned the true, and boring, practical arts of magic. The evoker was sleek, black, and small. To those that knew it, they could almost say it was like a credit card. In fact, those that knew it realized it WAS a credit card. Outstanding credit, a merchant's worst fear... it was almost funny how fitting it was. Unlimited outstanding credit with interest... that was a death sentence. "Command Economy! Money Illusion-Misery Index!" Lucieon cried at the top of his lungs. Gungnir moved forward with his lance and struck out suddenly at the shadows, leaving mirror images of himself to combat the darkness. He was light in the dark, but still weak to it. He dared not engage in physical combat with the shadows. The action did it's job though, the small damage over time left by the electrified mirror images held the shadows at bay long enough for Lucieon to pull Cz to her feet and join up with Angelus, Akane, and Jenny.

The blonde-haired merchant grimaced at the dragon, "Your kind sickens me, but let's go quickly now. We have two personas working at out defense."

The (Un)real World(?)
Location: Harvard Yard | Synthesized Reality
Time: Half past noon

Deborah | Darren

"The man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects are perhaps always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding" Deborah read coolly as she stood up from her resting place. Her eyes dazzled in the noontime sun... had it always been noontime? Was it not nearly twilight last he had checked? "or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses,"

The blue magi payed no attention to the strange ax wielding man as he came down for another swing. Suddenly, for all he could see, Deborah wasn't sitting under the tree... at least he thought it wasn't Deborah for a moment. It was a raven haired girl with shining red eyes, but she was wearing a green shirt and tight jeans. She smiled at him with her eyes almost coyly, hiding her mouth behind a copy of "The Wealth of Nations." The ax cracked into the oak tree and drew a splatter of its bitter sap. there were no blue ash trees in Boston. Darren felt confused... what was he doing? He felt absurd, holding a fire ax... he felt like he was dreaming, after all, why was there no security?

Confusion afflicted Darren.. or was it Darren really? Who could say? Where were they? Where was this place they were in? Why was the sun shining so brightly behind the hold winter clouds... why were there people outside? After all it was nearly sub zero! Where was the snow!? there were questions everywhere suddenly, he saw everything at once and gathered nothing from the jumble of information. "therefore, the habit of such exertion, and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become."

Darren fell to his knees, thoroughly confused and Deborah closed her book and whistled from the gap between her teeth. Things were coming into focus now... the sun was lighting the square with its afternoon rays... the grass was green, and the tree was a bleeding blue ash tree. The fire ax clattered to the cobblestone floor noisily, and the other students and visitors had been frozen in time.

The blue Sorceress, who had no power of her own, but rather afflicted the notions of text written by other onto the people and environment around her... it was truly a very situational, but devastating power. "the musing of Adam Smith really do make a fun listenin' to doesn't it?" she asked the raggedy man before her softly. Her voice was like that of a chirping bird... or a deathly nightingale. The wind whistled between the gap in her teeth mildly when she drew breath. "Now why are you here?" she asked the scruffy man curiously... she was expecting company... but not from a human. No. She was expecting the Prybatian girl, or the Queen of the Fae. She was expecting the nano-bot girl or the mad white-hatted alchemist with the claymore. Hell, Deborah was expecting a whole host of other people... just not, this, strange, scruffy, looking, man.

The (Un)real World(?)
Location: Harvard Yard | Synthesized Reality
Time: Half past noon

Deborah | Darren

"...Why...Can't I even do a simple fucking homicide right?..." Darren growled as he went his hands and knees, punching the grassy ground in clear annoyance at how poorly his attempt to murder Deborah went.
"...Some....Time ago...I-...can't exactly remember, Red Mage tried to kill me...Yo-you where there?...I like tried this maybe-...Nevermind...Al-all I know is, ever since then, my...ENTIRE LIFE HAS GONE TO SHIT!" He then suddenly yelled as trashed in madness and fury in front of his supposed target.
"...My family is dead, my friends hate me, Hell-do-do you know Teri Gravel?...I nearly got her abused and killed all because of that FUCKING ONE SHOT I DID BACK IN SECONDARY SCHOOL!!" he then shouted, referring to a certain Machoke who clearly overstayed his welcome.
"...I HATE MY EXISTENCE....BUT I CAN'T FUCKING END IT! WATCH!" The insane Author then said before picking up that Axe again before taking the bladed part and slitting his own throat in front of her, falling limply to the ground as he violently meet his "End".
...
...
...About 15 minutes later, his body began to twitch back to life as the cut on his throat was now gone, this nutjob seemed to be Immortal.
"...It's...It's fucking hilarious! I remember...how...Scared I was of death....now?....I spend every day trying to end it, exactly 34'110 attempts so far...." He sobbed as he got back on his hands and knees and begged.
"...Red Mage...Is my last hope. Hell, he blew up god only knows how many million people just to rape reality JUST TO GET TO ME...I...Need you to call him."
"...And if I don-"
He shot back up with the Axe lined up for another swing.

"THEN I'LL FUCKING MURDER YOU!"

He huffed and puffed but just as quickly as his threat came, it went as he weakly dropped the axe and said "...I have no chance of even hurting you, do I?..."

Yu Narukami and Russian Moscow forceful force 1.
Location: Frozen Moscow | Shadow Realm.

Hearing the opinions and many voices around him kept Yu Narukami on edge, even his Persona Izanagi was uncertain about what was happening with the users as he kept a eye on Deadshot. "No matter what we do, we will end up in conflict anyway. Talking is only going to make him more aggressive and more unpredictable." Yu's voice butted in, the user was behind his Persona, hoping that the giant Persona body was blocking his voice mixed into the environment.

Taking a single shot into the direction of their enemy, Yu knew what was already going to happen. Brandishing his weapon behind the electric persona, it was time to take action, not time to talk. "We need to fight him, we shouldn't pause this fated meeting now." The tone had changed into a tone suited more for a leader, similar to Mitsuru's before the group wandered into this cold mindset of the man known as Deadshot.

Yu only wanted to simply end this all, the danger presented to the group, the danger presented to himself, but mostly the danger presented to Deadshot. For all they know something else could happen like in that Gunman's (Wanderer) shadow fight, the unpredictable may happen and that will only increase the danger and adrenaline of the moment.

Stepping out from the Persona's shadow, Yu looked forward to the changed Deadshot, the Shadow of Deadshot. A gray pair of glasses were on Yu's face. A smile was plastered on it too.
"We only want your master, but it seems we are at a stalemate here. All of this talking will not do anything to progress our conversation, and seeing how we don't have your master here to do anything, the only thing we can do is fight. Shadow let this conversation be settled with actions, not words ... for that is the only thing you truly know!" Yu announced to the world, with a face showing a promised victory.

Izanagi changed his stance, one that looked all too aggressive.

Frozen Moscow Annie, Cadolbolg, Constance, David, Devon, Ella, Garm, Teri, Ton Ton, Yu
Stage: Moscow

The Shadow found the overwhelming support for his other-side extremely confusing, especially when half of them were there for his crimes.
"...Wow...You still don't get it, do you? I'm trying to help you morons!...Huh...Well, I for one am not letting that freaking psycho leave this place alive!!" He retorted as he armed his wrist guns, clearly about to get himself into a fight with the Rising Dawn
However, His first move was to instead turn back to the recently re-deceased soldiers before gesturing with his arms, prompting a sea of dark energy to start to seep from their bodies before racing towards himself.
As his form came into contact with the incoming surge of power, he began to rapidly increase in size and muscle mass, going from the drug abusing body of Deadshot to that of a much larger 11 foot hulking 'Roid abusing man.
As if the power-up wasn't clear enough, the insignia on his uniform sky-rocketed from a Officer Cadet to a Army Major.
"Alright, Who wants some of this?!" He taunted before he opened fire with his Wrist guns, the pair of them also growing in size from a 9mm pistol to more like a M4 carbine rifle.

"...Why me?" David groaned as he rolled to cover behind a frozen car as Automatic fire filled the area.
Apollo meanwhile did his thing as he lined up a few shots to the Shadow's head, but apparently his bullets weren't enough to get though his thick skull, literally.

Frozen Moscow Annie, Cadolbolg, Constance, David, Devon, Ella, Garm, Teri, Ton Ton, Yu
Final Fantasy does a pretty decent Job too

Sadei chimed in to reassure Teri. "Teri, If I wanted to head with anyone else here, I could have. You know what? I'm still with you. Heck, I stayed with you even when you shut yourself off. You want to know why? Because I like sharing this mind with you even if it could use some of that ice cream stuff to nibble on. ANd I really wouldn't have it any other way, okay? So please, stop the pitying stuff and commence Deadshot's reformation via the deformation of his skull!"

Meanwhile, Ella led the battle with one summoning of Ishtar. "Ishtar, time to go to work!" As she said that, Ishtar threw a lightning javelin at the Shadow.

Devon, though, took it right into overtime when she summoned Mengde. "Mengde, we need to take it into overtime! We need to grasp victory!"

THe persona shook its head at the shadow and spoke directly to him as it gave its rallying cry. "You're not even a good liar, you know that? To these fuckwits, saying that Deadshot's irredeemable is like you heading to a strip club with a 'no touching' policy." Meanwhile, Devon began moving with the CUtie Bruisers to aid them in the next attacks.

Mengde has used Ironskin Chant to increase the resilience of the group!

Creepy Forest Akane, Angelus, Caim, Cz, Jenny, Kalastryn, Melethia, Ryan, Rugal, Slindis, Som
He he, job system puns.

Slindis responded to the choking attempt with something simply effective: She tugged down on the cord, bringing the man down and within reach for one of the others to finish it. The counter from Caim and Rugal also provided an opening for the group to punch through the ambushes through a rather safe path. It would be comforting for that down time to recuperate and regroup, but that was downright bizarre for this Shadow zone. "Am I the only one finding this too convenient?"

THe attack also lessened on Angelus' section, making it a lot easier for the group to reunite again in a much quieter part if the forest, but there was almost no sound in this withered section.

The thing that stuck out most was how desolate this section of the forest was; dead leaves crunched underneath each footstep, and there were small saplings that had never grown more than a few feet tall scattered around. Thick brambles that were reminiscent of arrowheads and broken blades hemmed off the area if one looked round, though. And was that rustling around in the trees?

Dying grove: Akane, Angelus, Caim, Cz, Jenny, Kalastryn, Lucien Melethia, Ryan, Rugal, Slindis, Som
Can't we go to this forest instead?

Once the battle had died down a little, Rugal did a quick scan of the group to see if everyone was still standing.
"Everyone okay!?...Damn, Ryan!" He then remembered the Dragonoid suffering from the poisoned spike trap.
"Slindis, Ryan needs to have this poison purged from his system. He's fading fast so please hurry." He said to the drow, not wanting another easily prevented death on his mind as he did all he could to keep Ryan in the land of the living as he moved the wounded author with the rest of the group into the silent part of the forest.
"Am I the only one finding this too convenient?"
"Even if it is, we need to make the most of it before another wave comes." He then said as Lucien seemed to have suddenly joined them.
"What? How did you get-...Gah, Nevermind. If you have any form of Anti-Venom, now would be the time for it. If you want payment, bothered me AFTER we get out of here." He said to the Merchant, deciding it was better to not attempt to figure how where the hell he came from.

After Lucien was kind enough to save Cz, Jenny's Shadow quickly added her failure to save her friend to the ever growing list of taunts, but the Pokemon was more focused on what Angelus had said.
"Melethia?...Oh dear. No wonder this place is so nightmarish, poor thing..." She said as she moved along with the rest of the group, soon coming across Ryan's wounded form.
"Oh no...Is he going to-..." She asked, only to stop before she could say it fully, the implications clear.

Yu Narukami and Russian Moscow forceful force 1.
VS
Shadow Deadshot!
Location: Frozen Moscow | Shadow Realm.

Obligatory Persona music.

Seeing the physically painful and mentally disgusting transformation of Deadshot's Shadow, Yu just stood there witnessing it. "Hmm ... he didn't say the magical words." The Persona Master said to himself before turning to the group with a gesture of calmness. "We really need a plan." He said, tone still calm. His Persona though was examining the Shadow, seeing the small metal guns twist into another and bigger form.

Before getting a single shot off, Izanagi charged not towards the now enemy shadow. Instead it grabbed Yu with one arm to dodge any incoming projectiles. If anyone witnessed what happened before, Yu has his hand raised like a Puppet Master, but with more respect for his other half. Running across the building to the side of the battle, Yu swung his arm once more. "Izanagi, zio!" His voice said, while carrying out to the icy battlefield.

Jumping from the building to the opposite side of the battle to the others, Izanagi launched a lightning bolt forth from his large bladed weapon, aimed straight towards Deadshot's head. The gray-haired master was hoping to gain something from attacking from two sides. Yet doing this, it lead Yu to behind Deadshot, away from the group and in more danger then before.

Lowering it's master down gently as possible, Izanagi quickly went into another defensive stance in-front of Yu.

Frozen Moscow Annie, Cadolbolg, Constance, David, Devon, Ella, Garm, Teri, Ton Ton, Yu
Additional obligatory Persona plug-in

When Deadshot's Shadow transformed, Teri found herself being yanked from her spot by her faithful wolfish companion and ploped behind the same car as David (Toyotama following and crouching behind it as well) before charging off into the fray with the rest of the party; leaving Teri alone with David behind the car. It was then that Sadei's rallying cry entered her mind, and the Cleric sprung to action, and began chanting a spell. Upon finishing the incantation, the Cleric pointed at David and Toyotama placed a single claw on his shoulder, the Cleric intoning, "Bring the Endurance of the Bear upon this man, and grant him new reservoirs of energy."
As the Persona laid her frozen claw upon the Irish soldier, David felt a surge of energy go through him; filling him with new vitality and vigor. He felt healthier, almost like he was a teen again; and bursting full of energy. Hell, maybe he could even wrestle Garm if he felt like it! After finishing the incantation, Teri spoke to Dimitri, "Dimitri, get your Persona scanning on that Shadow. Let us know it's strengths and weaknesses. And after that, see if you can find the proper Deadshot around here!"
"Right away, madam. Commencing Scan with DESIGNATION- PERSONA: 'Thoth', right away."
While waiting for both her spell slot to recharge (and possibly decide the next course of action), the Cleric 'sent' to her staff, "Sorry bout that, Sadei... You know what, after this, I'm gonna see if Ella's free. I think all three of us can agree I need to let off some steam."
"Hale-fucking-llujah. Now, enough introspection, let's kick some ass!"

Teri cast Bear's Endurance on David West, granting him a +4 to his Constitution. Essentially, it gives him the equivalent of extra HP and a higher ability to deal with physical based ailments such as poison, resisting extreme climates, etc.
12 seconds till the next Level 2 spell

Meanwhile, back with Garm, the wolf ran ahead with Devon, Annie, Ella and the Cuties, calling out to his Persona, "Gelert, initiate a flank with Gaea and Izanagi!"
With the shattering sound that accompanied the use of an Evoker (the second collar around his neck), the Persona appearing and moving to the back of Deadshot's Shadow while Gaea continued playing King of the Mountain with it. The Persona then launched the floating icicles that surrounded it into the Shadow's back, with hopes that it'd work out for the best.

Meanwhile, Ton Ton and Cadolbolg were still riding on Devon's shoulders, and the Tonberry looked to his compatriot and pact partner, "You feel up to flying, Cadolbolg? I know you don't really like the cold, but up in the air, we could have another direction to attack from."
The turtle dragon baby gave a grimace, but couldn't deny that Ton Ton was right. If he could get himself up and fly, he could carry the two of them around... And there was always Lei Zhenzei for help too. With a nod and a shiver, Cadolbolg stood from Devon's shoulder and lept in the air, spreading his little wings and giving a flutter before hitting the air, calling out, "Hop on!" to the Tonberry. Ton Ton didn't need telling twice, and used his leaping ability to get on the flying turtle-dragon's back. Pointing his knife at the Shadow, Ton Ton called out to his pact partner, "Get us to the face, I bet if we can get one of it's eyes, it'll ruin his shooting ability!"
"Let's do this thing!"

With another pump of his little wings, Cadolbolg launched himself through the air; first going really high and then began diving down towards the Shadow's head, Ton Ton readying himself for the proper moment to leap and strike.

Creepy Forest - Withered Clearing Akane, Angelus, Caim, Cz, Jenny, Kalastryn, Lucieon Melethia, Ryan, Rugal, Slindis, Som
Tolkein and Jackson warned me about places like these...

Angelus didn't even give the returning merchant the courtesy of a scoff at his comment, seeing that she had a few more important things on her mind (mainly, getting her charges back to the rest of the group). However, at seeing Lucieon give his support with his Persona, the return to the main group was considerably easier. Even if she was a dragon, Angelus knew the value of group tactics. After all, many Empire soldiers had her pinned down in the castle walls before Caim showed up.

Never the less, upon return to the group, the dragon gave a small sigh of relief, a gesture mirrored by her pact partner upon sight of herself, Jenny and Cz. The addition of Lucieon was noted by the confused expression on the mute's face, but then his attention turned again to the fading draconic man among them, "I heard something about poison... Slindis, do you have anything on you that combats that, or a spell?"
The warrior grimaced at the thought of losing another member of their party, and changed the subject, "Did your group manage to find Melethia or Nise Mono?"

Angelus shook her head and restated her thoughts from before, "I don't think this is a matter of finding Melethia. Rather, I believe it will be about her finding us. It all adds up, if you think about it. Upon our entering here, Melethia ran off alone, Slindis and Kalastryn remarked about this place being familiar... I believe this realm was generated by the little one's heart, rather like that dark place we found ourselves in was generated by my heart. I loathe to think of what will be lurking to get us in this dismal place."

Frozen Moscow Annie, Cadolbolg, Constance, David, Devon, Ella, Garm, Teri, Ton Ton, Yu
Russian Ass Russian Music

Shadow Attributes: Strong against Ice, Weak against fire

Once the battle got underway, The Shadow went for the biggest threat, Literally as he attempted to wrestle with Gaea.
Turns out trying to overpower something over 10 feet bigger then you didn't exactly work out too well, his face screaming "Why did I think this was a good idea?"
Instead, he did a quick flip to use the Titan Persona's weight to cause it to fall forward and on it's back.
"Remote Claw!" The Shadow called out before firing at an blown up APC with a black device.
A Beep and a click later, the device shot out a wire with a claw on it that attached itself to Gaea as she was getting back up before pulling itself towards her at rapid speed, pulling the APC along with it as it flew towards her head.

His tactical victory was short lived as he took a double dose of lighting from both Ishtar and Izanagi, lighting him up like a firework for a few moments as he shook to the current.
"BBRRRRRRRR-AHHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA!...Ohhhhh, That how you want to play!? Freeze Shot!" He growled before arming his guns to fire ice rounds and returning fire, sending projectiles capable of freezing someone solid at the pair of Personas.
What was more impressive was how he used ricochet shots to seemingly aim behind his back, allowing him to target the two near simultaneously.
Least before a set of icicles ended up getting stabbed into his back by Gelert.
"Ow-sonofa-Grapple!" He then said before firing a claw at Gelert to pull him in closer before socking him in the face with a right hook.
Before he could curb stomp Garm's Persona, Ton Ton managed to get on his face, stabbing it in the face in an attempt to blind him but then, the shadow had the "Brilliant" idea of hitting himself in the face to try and hit Ton Ton, a large hand coming down on his face as the Tonberry tried to cut him.

David and Apollo meanwhile were doing their best to try and wound the Shadow, seeing how head-shots (Least with bullets) didn't seem to work.
As David was in the middle of a reload, He felt a hand on his shoulder as Teri went to buff him.
"Whoa-Hey-whadda-doing?!" He managed to get out before getting "Bear's Endurance" cast on him.
"...Woooo...Okay. LET'S DO THIS!" He then shouted, his voice full of hype from the sudden power buff as he and Apollo aimed for the knees with fire shots, trying to slow the Shadow down.

Frozen Moscow Annie, Cadolbolg, Constance, David, Devon, Ella, Garm, Teri, Ton Ton, Yu
Additional obligatory Persona plug-in

Sadei kept the response brief since they all needed to fight. "Yeah, ya do, Let's focus on the now, though."

Ella shouted as the bullet embedded itself in her Persona's leg, but Ishtar's vanishing ensured that she wasn't frozen solid. It also allowed her to close the distance as she thrusted at Shadow Deadshot's legs with her shortspear. "Don't you DARE hurt Cadolbolg again, shitheel!"

Devon did her part as she called to Mengde. "You know the plan; Get us going and blow him away!" Mengde then sent a hard, damaging blast of wind Deadshot's after his rallying cry (Inspire Courage: Courage Wolf Edition) while Devon went to help Annie up.

Creepy Forest - Withered Clearing Akane, Angelus, Caim, Cz, Jenny, Kalastryn, Lucieon Melethia, Ryan, Rugal, Slindis, Som
Tolkein and Jackson warned me about places like these...

Slindis responded to Rugal's request, summoning Joanne to heal Ryan's injuries the best she could for now. THe poison was a bit beyond her ability right now, but she could at least ensure that Ryan had the fortitude to live. "Ryan, that's the best I can do for you right now. You'll have to have the fortitude to pull through until it can be treated."

The recuperation only lasted for a moment before a noxious bolt of negative energy came from the brambles and deeply embedded itself within Jenny's leg. "How does it feel to be dead weight? You always babbled on to Melethia about how she should try to be a child, but that didn't change a goddamned THING in New York or any of those other cities razed! Hell, if it hadn't been for me, you'd have all died multiple times with those traps! And you want to tell Melethia to ignore that?

When there's fighting going on, you're more than content for me to live, But the moment it ends, you want to treat me like I'm as fragile as that human cleric that was adopted. You're really livid because I know how to prioritize, how to take the tough decisions, how to handle things you all are terrified to do! You can all go to on a train to hell, and I'll be the one stamping the ticket."

The brambles made of arrowheads and broken blades then encased the area in a thick caged dome, and Angelus caught a glimpse of a cloaked something moving through the brambles at a high speed.

Another set of blasts at Slindis meant the fight was on.

As the group was encaged in dying and razor sharp plantlife, with Mele's shadow saying such hostile things Kala would have tried to talk them down were it not for them taking the initiative. Still in vampire form and under Tenser's Transformation, she drew her sword again, speaking before she entered the fray.

"Mel? Is this how you think we see you? We know very well your stronger than half of us here! My words egging you on toward the life of a normal child have not been to suppress you from being who you are... I simply saw in you what no person ever saw in me. Innocence. You were young enough to form your own way through this life, as I once was. However, you always had the opportunity to live in peace.

Nothing I have ever said to or about you was a matter of pity, but of ENVY! Can I be blamed for wanting you to live a life where you needn't have worried for your life or death on a daily basis as I have? Can I be blamed if I am ANGRY not that you threw it aside, but because you see the generosity we've tried to show in trying to rescue you from such a life as some abhorrent pittance upon you? For what?! You wanted your life of adventure and danger, and I was more than content to help you where I could, yet found myself needing of her aid instead many a time. you wanted danger so badly you blinded yourself from knowing the innocence of childhood, as I wish I could have experienced. I look upon this shadow of yourself as weaker than you've ever shown yourself before. Not because of your weakness shadow, but because of her strength! You are an EMBARRASSMENT to the strongest person I know! Enough talk, it begins!"

She said, summoning Demi to grant her a shield spell. (in my interpretation) giving her a weightless, only slightly visible shield in her left hand as though it were made of the same magical material as mage armor.

(Touhou makes some pretty grand fight music too!)

Sword and shield in hand, she dodged as best she could from mid flight. Disallowing her mind to ponder until later what connection those necromantic oriented shadows had to Mel, she stayed dead focused on the task at hand... kicking and slashing that mockery of her friend into next week!

Creepy Forest - Withered Clearing: Akane, Angelus, Caim, Cz, Jenny, Kalastryn, Lucien Melethia, Ryan, Rugal, Slindis, Som

"EVERYONE GET DOWN!" Rugal shouted after the first few shots were fired, right as the Arrowhead Thorns began to encase the area.
Needless to say, Angelus's hunch was right and this was in fact Melethia's Shadow Zone, something that quickly became painfully clear.
...No...Not again... He thought, remembering how much harm his Shadow had managed to cause when he managed to beat him, Hell, that fact alone made him extremely wary of summoning his own Persona, he doubted he got over losing control.
"...Melethia! Just hang on, we're all getting though this!" He shouted into the air, in case the true Mel was still in the area as he tried to pin down the location of the shooter.
All that went out the window the instant he saw a volley of blasts racing towards Slindis's blind side, causing him to instinctively dive in front of her to take the blows, regardless of what harm it did to him.
A double tap of those bolts to the chest wasn't enough to take him down, but not though lack of trying.
"urrggg...Had to be arrows, didn't it?" He groaned as he picked himself up off the ground, a little staggered from the selfless act.
He held a tarot card in his hand though it was clear that he was still weighing up the pros and cons of unleashing that beast again.

Jenny meanwhile was in a world of pain when the bolt cleanly went though-and-though her thigh, an keenly aimed shot easily crippling her as well was causing massive bleeding.
"AHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHH!" She screamed as she attempted to nurse the wound, though the Shadow's words hurt the worst, She was right, after all, She actually died in New York.
"Huh, "Dead Weight", must remember that one." her own dark-side was helpful enough to add as she began to bleed out in the open, quickly starting to fade as Akane quickly tried to tend to her.

Personaverse
Location: Creepy Forest

Akane | Angelus | Caim | Cz | Jenny | Kalastryn | Lucien | Melethia | Ryan | Rugal | Slindis | Som

As far as battle music goes, I really like this one and I don't know why!

Cz stumbled and fell onto the floor, covering her head in desperation. There was nothing she could do... the great marshal of humanity torn into such a helpless form. Lucieon shifted his body in front of Cz's and held out his card. "Command Economy: Economic Blockade!" Gungnir lammed his spear into the earth and let loose a rampant spark of light. A crackling lightning the shivered through the air with such intensity that the air burst into heated action, swarming outward into the arrows that fell toward Gungnir and his charges. The weapons stopped in mid arc, frozen by the onrush of shivering air, the sharp crack of lightning discharging every so often around the merchant and his Persona.

"Why are you here?" Cz breathed as she looked back at Rugal and the others, watching them react to the sudden attack.

Lucieon turned around, his cape was billowing in the swirling hot air within the bubble of electric current. His eyes were a brilliant sapphire blue... beautiful. Cz's breath caught in her chest. Who was this man? He gave Cz a long knowing look before turning away and tossing a small emerald flask at Cz. "bring that to the Chosen Undead."

Cz blinked, "Who?"

"The one with his soul bound to the ancient dragons. Ryan," Gungnir said. He was soft spoken for his size, with a resonating voice filled with hatred and honor. The very image of a knight. A lancer... a Princess Guard. It was deep, melodious, and heavy with the influence of old England. "Do not simply sit there m'lady, go."

Cz nodded and got up to her feet, running toward Ryan, who lay on the floor next to Jenny. He looked like a pitiful thing, lying on the floor with the life seeping out of his eyes. He was most clearly dying. Cz knelt down next to him and handed him the emerald flask. "H-here," Cz said, her face was flushed red, "the man told me to give you this.... do you know what it does?"

Of course Ryan knew what it was. It was the very essence of light in a bottle. It was an Estus flask augmented with not one, two, or three, but all seven fire-keeper souls.

With Cz taken care of, Lucieon turned his attention to Jenny, who lay a few feet away screaming, a comely fox-girl tending to a large open wound on her thigh. Lucieon walked over slowly, very deliberately letting the leaves and twigs crunch underneath his feet. He held out his hand and touched Jenny, scanning her over once with his eyes. Gungnir followed behind him, those giant metal feet of his made very little noise as he walked. Almost as if he was a specter.

Lucieon flashed his card in the blue moonlight. He himself looked almost like a ghost, shrouded in his robes and bathed in ethereal light, an indigo pallor. An angel perhaps. Beautiful, untouchable. Perfect. though he was none of these things, the shadows of the forest made him seem so. He lived in the dark long enough to make it look good. "Free Market: Bailout Injection."

Gungnir raised his spear up over Lucieon's head and sent a small bolt of lightning at Jenny, stunning her, and disinfecting what foreign matter had made its way into her body. The giant lancer was silent. Lucieon gave Jenny a look and walked away, turning his attention toward int impending fight. "It's temporary, but at least it nulls the pain." Lucieon gave one final spiteful look to Ryan before he left the girls, and Ryan, to their own devices.

The (Un)Real World
Location: Harvard Square | Simulated reality

Darren | Deborah

"No you don't." I was sad for this man. I spoke sadly, and my heart was filled with emotions I couldn't really describe to you. He was scruffy alright, but I couldn't shake the feeling that sometime, somewhere, he might have been a force for change. I laughed and looked away from him. The sky was blue, the clouds drifting softly across that blue void. Each day the deepness of the sky seemed to change, becoming more and more distant. When I was small I remember my father, at least I thought he was my father, would take me to the library. It was a beautiful thing, filled to the brink with handwritten tomes. The shelves were so high that there were walkways built into the wood. Dad would take me there, and I would get lost for hours, sifting over books and texts, reading and remembering things that I didn't and couldn't understand. I felt so powerless underneath all that knowledge and experience, locked down as an individual, and oblique, useless. "But every life has a purpose. It is not always apparent, but everything does happen for a reason." I paused, I had not realized at firs that I had spoken. Embarrassment welled up inside me and I looked back to the scruffy man groveling on the floor. He looked up at me in a mix of confusion, desperation, and disbelief. I took a step back and buried my face behind the book, pretending to read something from the inkstained pages. I pursed my lips, looking desperately for something to say to diffuse the situation. then, it slowly dawned on me.

"Darren," I said with an air of cool distance that impressed even myself, I took my hands off the book and put them on my hips, "how long have you been immortal?"

He stared back at me blankly.

"It's important Darren, how long? And what do you know about a girl named Kusanagi?" I paused and looked around. The darkness had faded somewhat from the shadows, and the distant sky seemed lighter than before. I dared to hazard another question, "how much do you know about BlackHarte? Tell me everything and maybe I can find a way for you to die."

Midas
Location: Lumen | The Seven Glacial Cities | Azure Sea | The Shahashan State
Time: 1145 A.D. Springtime

Kyre | Titania

"Kurumu?" Kyre asked surprised. She had not heard that name in many, many years. The memories were a bit foggy, but many of them tickled the back of her mind as rather, "unspeakable." The little white-haired girl in front of the Anti-Mage nodded solemnly, her hair draping across her shoulders as she did so. Kyre thought Titania was a cute little girl at first, with a thin frail frame that would no doubt be very popular with the more deviant of the city-state's nobility. But the more the Anti-Mage stood in her presence, the more she knew that she was utterly wrong about that. Titania pulsed with an unnatural determination, a force that melded with the very atmosphere around her and commanded eyes, ears, and love toward her.

Titania drew a long breath, whistling as she did so. "There have been a lot of things that happened since your return. I am afraid we will be requiring your service again Anti-Mage."

Kyre was confused and sat down, brushing her red hair, now left long to her waist, and popped in her glass eye. Veim's seal had been surgically removed by the state since she moved here, it was a long operation involving many months of spell-breaking, but they finally did it. And it left Kyre without the magic-rending powers that she was used to. At lwast she was no longer branded a slave. "It's been long since that part of my life," Kyre answered, "why do you need me?"

"Because," Titania said exasperated, she took a hasty seat on one of the fine steel chairs that were lay conveniently across the room. The State was a minimalist, but also conveniently practical, "you are the one person that has been remade and tainted with the Stone of Darkness before."

Kyre suddenly snapped to attention. She remembered clearly that time. Being remade, reborn into that child's body. Eating out the man... Sir Edward was it? And even... good god. She remembered how soft Kurumu was when she... Kyre stopped herself short and wiped the fantasy out of her head with a good shake. Titania looked at Kyre imploringly, and honestly, "Help us, you're the only one that can interface directly with its personality core."

"If I don't?" Kyre asked. She knew the answer was going to be awful.

Titania pointed out the window. There were two children playing in the drifting snow outside. White-haired, green-eyed. A boy and a girl about ten and twelve respectively. "I take them and make them interface for me."

Kyre stood up suddenly and drew talon from the wall, the null-magic blade shone brightly in the north-land's winter sun. "Don't you dare touch them!"

Titania lowered her head so her straight bangs hid her eyes and cast an insidious shadow on her face, "then you'd better come with me, Anti-Mage."

The (Un)Real World
Location: Harvard Square | Simulated reality

Darren | Deborah

"But every life has a purpose. It is not always apparent, but everything does happen for a reason."
"Oh, Jus-Don't...No. I'm not listening to that "God Works in Mysterious Ways" crap. I know FULL. FUCKING. WELL. what God or what whatever the fuck runs the universe made me for: To Suffer. To watch as everything I touch turned to ruin. To see other people live long happy lives without me in it. And why in the name of god would I want to live though that?" Darren retorted, clearly he had his mind made up, that or his mental state really was that shaky.
"...I don't....exactly know when it first started...Though...I....Do recall...After JFK...When...I got hurt, it...wasn't as bad as it should have been. Except for that one time Caim had a go at men, lord god, if I could relive that moment, I'd be whistling a different tune..." He then said as he sat on the ground, not really paying attention to whatever was going on in the background.
"...From there...I...Guess I had a Healing Factor. As in I could regenerate...It only really began to be a problem right around the time Tomoya tried to blow up the earth...a-...*Sniff* and once again, I fucking ran off, letting Teri, Mark, Devon, Shaun, all of them deal with it." His voice began to break, clearly he was regretting all his past choices as he recalled when the authors went into the AA realm while he was too scared to do so.
"...Since then, no matter what I do, no matter what I try, Nothing. Jump from a tall building, nothing. Get shot to shit, nothing! Get sucked into a jet engine, NOTHING!NOTHING!NOTHING WORKS!" He shouted as he had another episode of anger that he couldn't do shit about.

Then Dehorah asked about some of "TheMehKingdom"'s characters.
"...Is this some kind of joke?...YOU THINK I'D BOTHER WITH THAT FUCKING FORUM AFTER ALL IT DID TO ME!?!?!...No, I Don't know about those names. Hell, I only know about you because I read about it before...
...Look, what the fuck does that have to do with anything?! I'm trying to get euthanasia here, everything this retared brain of mind is worthless anyway!"

Yu Narukami and Russian Moscow forceful force 1.
VS
Shadow Deadshot!
Location: Frozen Moscow | Shadow Realm.

Obligatory Persona music.

Seeing the bolt hit it's mark, Yu was about to dare allow lightning strike twice upon the target yet he heard something important. "Freeze shot!"" Deadshot announced, firing his two icy projectiles to two sides of the battle. Hearing the phrase, Yu thrust his hand forward, the attack was fast and he could not dodge it. Izanagi though began to spin his blade fast, as it hit the spinning metal blade it instantly froze the metal and grew into a heavy ice-wall.

Seeing how they had not been frozen solid, Yu decided to stop his assault for now. The ice-wall had stopped on the blade, but Narukami could easily see it lightly cover Izanai. Upon seeing the frost, cold began to set it, Yu cursed for not being prepared for this mission. Looking at the battle, he looked over to the others, hoping to make sure they heard his cliche villain-ness. "He didn't ... n-need to say, his attack." Yu smiled.

Focusing on the important point of this battle, he needed to find Deadshot. Looking back to the buildings the Shadow Deadshot came from, he could only wonder where the real one was. The question was should he remain here or go to find him to settle this.

Her lips were pursed. She looked uncertain. His hate was clear. Deborah stood up, walked across the yard. Clean, barren. She stopped at the end and looked back. Darren saw the sun in her eyes. She milled for a time. Shortly she returned, quiet, holding in her hands a book. Plain, simple. Leather cover, soft brown. Worn and loved. She opened it. Soft white pages. Like snow. Cold, impersonal, but beautiful. Her lips curved upwards as she read. She stopped, hand hovering over one page. Her eyes distant and near.

"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places."

She brought her hand together. The book closed. She looked at Darren and knelt beside him. She handed him the book.It was titled "A Farewell to Arms." "Look up, you cannot continue to wallow in times past." Deborah looked into the sky, "The horizon is beautiful today. Not a hint of darkness."

Darren was about to throw another fit. Deborah stood up and faced away. The world around them melted into white. There was nothing. There was silence. "Honestly I do not understand how you got here. The place you just witnessed shouldn't exist in your realm." There was silence. She turned again, to face Darren. "You are peculiar. But your wish is in vain. Red Mage is in the process of losing his sanity. He won't be able to help you." The world around the reappeared. This time it was more real. The sun shone right. The sky deep indigo. The mountains purple majesties. Deborah sat down, her legs crossed. It looked as if she was waiting for someone. They were on top of a high tower. the chill wind drew snow across their faces. It was the Willis Tower. The streets below and the lake afar were unmistakable.

"If you are done complaining and being sorry for yourself, I have some time before I meet someone here and could entertain the notion of answering your questions."

Creepy Forest - Withered Clearing: Akane, Angelus, Caim, Cz, Jenny, Kalastryn, Lucien Melethia, Ryan, Rugal, Slindis, Som

The heavy blood loss was quickly starting to affect Jenny, she was considered one of the most fragile members of the crew so suddenly losing a pint or two of blood wouldn't do her the world of good.
Her senses were quickly going dull as all the clamoring and shouting began to turn into an unknown mess of noise as feeling began to leave her injured limb.
What happened next was shocking to her as Gungnir more or less zapped her, reviving her senses for a moment.
"...not...again..." she weakly said, recalling the last time she "Died" as Akane made an effort to get her to a safer spot for fear of another arrow hitting her.
It was then that Ryan made his way over, though to her senses, it looked more like some horrible demon then...Actually, come to think about it, that was actually pretty spot on.
When he breathed fire onto that axe for the purpose of Cauterization, it looked more like the Grim Reaper was about to finish her off, causing to try and fight him off.
"No....No, don't-" She protested before Ryan went about closing her bleeding leg, causing her extreme pain before she passed out from it, going totally limp halfway though the process.

The (Un)Real World
Location: Harvard Square | Simulated reality

Darren | Deborah

"..."
A numb look formed on Darren's face at the fact that Deborah seemed unwilling to help him, one of acceptance.
"...All...I want him to do...is-....*Sigh*...Forget it..." He was about to object, but what was the point, she had clearly made up her mind.
"...I'll....I'll see myself out..." He then said as he picked up his axe and seemed ready to leave, only to then find that he was in Chicago for some reason.
"...Okay...Last time I checked, I-i-i took a cab to Harvard...How and When?" He then asked as he looked off the edge of the building, clearly thinking of taking the short way down.

In the depths of The Dark Realm
There's exists a valley that few go near in the dark realm, Its full of Crystals that sprout like massive trees, rats, spiders small critter reside.
The Valley Has an air of danger to it. and it became more dangerous from an unknown new resident.
The Lone being sat by by a small lake in the center of the Valley resting against a tree, picking his teeth with a small Crystal.
"It's been too long since I had a decent meal, I think the last one was that fool who ran in here, was quite surprising to find one with such a high amount of energy, and on top of that he had a set of clothes that finally fit." he smirk and Shifted around The grey uniform he'd taken form the body was now in a sad state with small ears and filthy, The black mantle was tattered at the edges the only thing on good condition was the jeweled dagger at his belt.
Suddenly he felt it the crisp scent of another life form>
"excellent dinner." he said with a cruel smile he quietly skulked his new prey a young couple, they must have run here to hide.
"But this place is dangerous," the girl said worriedly"
"I'll protect you there's nothing greater than my love for you."
"what a sweet but ridiculous sentiment." they turned to see a nightmare sight, the person was simply wrong hey had a human body but seemed to be stretched out a slim torso and long arms and legs the fingertips seemed to stop at their knees, the skin was almost pure white, and sickly gray lips.
"Wh-who are you" The young man asked, this person was wearing a uniform that was only worn by the queen's trusted. But this... thing was unlike anything ever seen and the queen didn't allow non pure-bloods into her court.
"You may call me Darkside, but I shall call you dinner." he said a wide grin spread on his face, his eyes were dark and seemed like a shark's eyes, colorless with no emotion or mercy.
The young man drew a sword, a Family heirloom,
"stay back I won't let you harm the one I love."
"'Let?' that's rich, you don't have a choice in the matter" he advanced towards the two, The young man lunged sword raised high, but Darkside caught his right arm by the wrist, and with a hark kick the young man fell twitching, just one kick and he felt like he was hit by a falling boulder. He saw the monster was closing in on the girl who backed up terrified.
with a lunge they could barely see he held up the girl by her throat she tried to scream, her body shivered and skin turned pale, this thing was draining her energy.
"mmm not much but certainly a welcome meal" he smiled cruelly he drained her vital energy her skin started to die, becoming grey and stretching out revealing bones she gasped her hair turned white and brittle as her stomach seemed to cave in.
The young man was horrified but made a desperate lunge aiming for the monsters heart, But unfortunately the back ante may have appeared to be a fine silk but had metallic properties, the sword glanced off.
He turned dropping the hollow shell.
"OH I'm sorry was that supposed to hurt?" he advanced the man fell and scrambled away terrified.
Darkside laughed, and lifted him by the scruff of his shirt.
"This wont last long." he promised as the man felt Dark-side's hand pierce his gut the blood seemed to seep into it's hand, draining his vital energy he gave one gasp before he too became a hollow shell.
"Well that was a fair supply of energy. and this isn't a bad sword either." he took what few possessions they had and left their bodies for the rats and roaches.
As he walked away he felt a strange energy.
"Hmm it feels like some foreign energy perhaps its a weak point if I were to push I could see what on the other side, another realm perhaps."
He fiddled with his dagger it could cut through but usually these kinds of portals required to be opened from both ends otherwise a mass amount of energy.

Edge sighed, and shook his head. "This is a joke, right? You want us to go all the way back to The Rising Dawn...because you think you lost your beer?"

"That was not just any beer!" Boss said. "That was Billy Beer, the greatest beer in the history of mankind!"

Edge and Boss were about a mile off of the ground, heading east. Boss was flying, and Edge was using one of his Metal Arts to summon small blocks of metal to run on. He had decided he needed to get his stamina back up to what it used to be, and this was an easy way to do it.

"It's thirty years old and tastes like piss." Edge shouted over the wind. "I know I say all beer tastes like piss, but I really mean-"

"I know!" Boss said, incensed. "They don't make it anymore!"

"Because they came to their senses." Edge said, snickering to himself. Boss didn't reply. "Did you-BECAUSE THEY CAME-"

And suddenly a cold chill crept up Edge's spine. Stopping in midair (a very difficult thing to do when you're essentially trying to run fast enough that you don't fall) he turned around. Boss sure wasn't tailing him anymore. Whatever it was that Edge had felt just now, Boss must've felt it, too. It was probably best to follow him.

A few minutes later, Edge landed on the ground, a bit harder then he meant to. Boss was sitting about ten feet away from a silver disk, about five feet around, floating in midair. "I don't know what that is." Boss said.

"It's a portal." Edge said, rubbing his knees. "Come on, Boss. You've seen portals before."

Boss nodded towards the portal. "This one's different."

"It's...just a portal." Edge said, sitting down next to Boss. "Probably opens up into empty space. They pop up in dynamic universes from time to time. Nothing-" Edge looked a bit closer. "Well I'll be dammed. You're right."

"What is it?"

"It's a dormant portal." Edge said, getting up. "Something's trying to get through to here."

Boss looked at the portal again, and nodded. "I'm not sure that's the case. I mean, it's like one of those-"

"Well, they occur naturally, but it's really rare." Edge said. "I've only seen two. It's much more likely some piece of advanced tech malfunctioned and tried to open up to random coordinates."

Boss got up. "What do we do?"

"Activate it." Edge said. "If we don't, the static energy could cause...some damage." Edge looked to the city about half a mile away. "And we wouldn't want that." Without hesitation, Edge placed a hand on the glowing silver disc. Electricity crackled around his hand, and the disc slowly began to fade away, showing...nothing. A five-foot wide hole into nothing. Edge smiled. "Well I'll be. A natural dormant portal. You don't see those often, Boss." Edge walked away. "That was fun. Come on, let's go."

"But the-"

"It'll close in about a week." Edge said.

"But what if something comes through?"

Edge shook his head. "Look. There's nothing there. It's empty space. There's a chance, a far off distant chance, that a piece of space debris can get through, but only for the next hour or so.

Boss...couldn't shake the feeling that he felt something on the other side. But it was probably nothing. "Yeah. Let's go get my beer."

Personaverse
Location: Creepy Forest | Shadow Realm

Akane | Angelus | Caim | Cz | Jenny | Kalastryn | Lucieon | Melethia | Ryan | Rugal | Slindis | Som

Ornstein turned around and looked at Ryan, thunder running down his spear. His helmet bode empty vengeance against the Dragon Disciple. He growled an unearthly song, his deep voice ringing hollow through his armor. He was different from Artorias, his voice was not the same melodious amiable existence that the great knight embodied. Ornstein had the harsh voice of a giant, not a true giant, but a lord.

A flash of silver caught Ryan's eye as Ornstein turned to leave, it's sharp metal shining in the blue moonlight. The mysterious figure stared back at him. At a glance it was clear he was a son of Astora, but his robes were nothing like any of the armors that Ryan had seen lying around in Lordran. He had a strange air around him, as if he was from a distant land. Perhaps... Carim? It would explain his aristocratic air. He held the blade at ryan's throat and gave him a deathly glare. Those powder-blue eyes sharp int he darkness. "Do not think it an act of kindness Dragon Disciple," he spat as he spoke, "I hate dragons as much as my persona over there. Ornstein died a long time ago. This is his visage bound to me."

"Then why...?"

Lucieon sheathed Estoc and turned around. "I was under orders."

Another wave of shadows approached and Lucieon drew his black card again. "Ornstein!" The Dragonslayer leaped forward, with his lance and swept the wave up into his blade, shocking them and launching them outward.

Cz stared at them silently, entranced by the spectacle of power. Is this the power of human spirit...?

The (Un)Real World
Location: Willis' tower | Chicago | Illinois
Time: 3:55 PM

Deborah | Darren

"You really are hopelessly stupid aren't you," Deborah gave a sigh and looked outward into the cityscape. "If you had listened to a word I said, you'd be more at ease right now." When Darren continued to look confused, and indeed, very hopelessly lost, Deborah found the only course of action left was to explain again dutifully what was going on.

"That Harvard was simulated. Simply created from a book I was reading, pieced together by me, understand? That place wasn't real. Which is why I was VERY confused when you managed to find me. Now here," Deborah motioned tot he city of chicago, with it's swirling winter time snow and fading afternoon sun blanketing the city in a warm yellow light that betrayed its harshness, "this is real!"

She stood up now, "Are all men this short-sighted and pig-headed! It's absolutely irritating!" Deborah walked over to Darren and grabbed him by the scruffy collar of his scruffy shirt. "Listen to me you idiot sonofabitch, there is no help for you except the help that you create. Did you learn nothing from the entire episode in your world!? Did you not see what Red Mage was actually going on about!? CAN YOU NOT SEE HOW GOOD YOU PEOPLE HAVE IT HERE!?"

Her voice was stern and cut through the air, "Deborah enough. We have guests."

Deborah let go of Darren and turned around, her black hair flying in the breeze and her red eyes open wide in surprise. Titania was standing on the rooftop now, wreathed in a winter coat and covered with a light layer of snow. Her white hair blended into the grey sky, but her green eyes shone bright nonetheless. Next to her stood a middle-aged woman, and eye patch over one her right eye with long red hair that bent around her hips to accentuate her curves. She was strikingly pretty, Deborah saw.

"And drop the Jane Austen act," Titania said bluntly.

Deborah frowned and shook tossed her copy of Pride and Prejudice off the side of the tower, hoping that it would strike someone on the head before it reached the ground.

"I do hope you know who this is Deborah, but I'd like to introduce Darren to her." Titania paused and walked forward, her small delicate frame hidden by a thick winter coat made her look somewhat like the michelin man. "Darren, this is the Emerald Silence, or as she was called here, Kyre Cwanuld." She turned around and motioned to Darren, "Mrs. Himura-Cwanuld, this is Darren. He is an associate with the person we are trying to find."

"Nice to meet you," Kyre said before giving a small bow. She was shorter than Darren would have expected, more well-mannered too.

"And I would have you to stay alive for a small while longer Mr. Darren," titania smiled knowingly, "I have a job for you yet..."

Location: To Be Determined: Boss, Edge, Kazuya

As they weighed up the possibilities of what could behind that portal, Boss and Edge where about to turn back on their merry way until a pair of custom black hawk helicopters zoomed past them, baring the logo of the G-Corporation as they did.
They watched as they hovered about level with the portal as 2 detachments of armed men roped down from them before taking position, and aim, around the portal.
After they were in position, another man straight out leapt from one of the helicopter's unassisted before nailing the landing and walking away as if it was nothing.
"Strike team, maintain visual with the portal at all times and whatever decides to come out of it. Suppression team, encircle it, leave no exit available. Pilots, I want a no fly zone, All weapons hot. Dr. Violet is working to remotely close the portal. Until it's close, maintain heightened alert. No one fire until fired upon or unless I order it... urg, swear if this is another false alarm, I'm finally going to fire that flaming idiot..." Kazuya ordered his men, it was clear his wasn't his first time confronting such a rift, nor was he showing up short handed.
Thus he waited for anything to come out of the portal...

The (Un)Real World
Location: Willis' tower | Chicago | Illinois
Time: 3:56 PM

Deborah | Darren | Red Mage

"...h-how...Good I have it?....Good? GOOD!?!" Darren began to growl, clearly the notion that his life wasn't in the shitter was not exactly what he wanted to hear.
Grabbing Deborah by the shirt and shoving her face in her's, he began to say "You people always think it's so freaking easy. That I can just turn my life around and forget about the past at the drop of a hat. Well...It's not. I can't sleep, you know why? Whenever I close my eyes: I see them. All the lives I ruined because I just wanted to be an asshole. What I Learned is that everything has consequences. I see why Red Mage wanted me dead. And I see full. Fucking. Well. how Good my life is and how no matter what I do, it will always be good, especially for me. So until you go one day in my shoes, you don't have to right to tell me how how good my life is."

All that stopped when he saw the other two women there, not really knowing either.
"...O...okay...Just what do I have to do? Name a guy, I'll find him, I'll kill him, Hell, if you'd get a kick of it, I'd even suck him off. No question, even give him a reach-around. Just...I...REALLY can't deal with this shit anymore..." He rather bluntly said, revealing far more then anyone most likely wanted to know.

The AA-verse
Location: Currently undisclosed; outside of a major city.
Time: Late afternoon

Kazuya | Edge | Boss

Edge was aghast. Stupified, even. "We...we can't even..." Edge's eyes bulged out of their sockets, and he began to very quickly pace back and forth in front of the portal. "We can't even open a portal in the middle of nowhere without having guns pointed at us? Is everywhere on total lockdown? Are we being chased by-"

"Don't worry about him." Boss said, stepping forward. "He's just...finicky is a good word, Rob used it a lot. I'm Boss, he's Edge. We're just passing through."

Edge stopped ranting (which had very quickly regressed into a series of mild profanities) long enough to wave and say, "Howdy. Now about those heathen bastard-"

"If it's alright with..." Boss gestured towards Kazuya, his men and the helicopters. "...you, we'd like to be back on our way."

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