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Outside the library — Gardeners strike
In the middle of combat Makoto went out of her way to check up on Rex The situation hadn't gotten too dangerous on his end but Rex appreciated the concern, even if it was a little embarrassing.
"I'm okay, but this guy is playing dirty" he said, standing up again and trying not to put too much weight on his now shoe-less foot.
As if to prove him wrong, more vines sprouted from the ground, and this time they grabbed both his arms. They weren't particularly strong though, and building his sword was apparently enough to deter anymore attacks. It was like they were testing him, and clearly keeping him away from dealing with Solas. Normally that would be a sign that he was a threat but in this case it only felt insulting, since no one else was getting that treatment.
"Hey! Stop that. Don't just treat me like a nuisance. I'm stronger than Anat, you know?" he complained and quickly changed from his sword to his cannon, which he halfheartedly fired at Solas "I'm talking to you, baldy!"
Cole grimaced a little, but shook his head. "Mages don't need their staffs to use their magic. Dorian told me it makes them more...focused? But they can use magic without them. Solas is strong enough."
He looked over his shoulder to Fastanook as the gremlin entered, shaking his head. "Solas is from my world. He's...the elves would call him a god. Fen'Harel, the Dread Wolf. Taking his magic away is the only thing that could stop him, and we would need Templars to do that."
Solas let out a snarl of pain as Rick's gun struck his head, but spun immediately, raising a hand to send a blast of energy at the scientist, more or less just to knock him away. "Because you are a spirit, which means that your existence, your very essence, is based in the lives of the people who's emotions gave you purpose, gave you being. You have no thoughts, no desires, no emotions beyond what people have inflicted upon you."
He shook his head again, as though still shaking off the blow from Rick, but threw aside the pieces of his staff, raising his hands, which began to glow with magic, as did his eyes. "That is why I must destroy Cole. He has been tainted, altered...ruined by what you have inflicted upon him, all of you! He was created a spirit, and this...'Cole' was an abomination that happened to it! Compassion was wounded, over and over, by the thoughts, the desires, the yearnings put on it by others! Our world was dark enough before one like him was made into another human, another being to inflict more suffering upon it!"
Even as he spoke, what seemed like a swirling pattern of blue began to glow on the ground beneath Anat, and Solas's eyes flashed back as the spell was cast. If Anat didn't move from it, a snap of ice would freeze over her near instantly, though if she did move, the spot on the ground would remain seemingly indefinitely.
So far as Rex, Solas barely even acknowledged him. "It appears that someone else finds you far more tiresome than do I, child."
"See, this is a really interesting discussion of morality and ethics," grunted Rick as he got up from where the low-levelled blast had knocked him, "but at the end of the day you and all your villain buddies are gonna try to kill us all whether or not Cole dies in the crossfire, so..." He swung another fist at Solas's jaw as he spoke.
Edited by Locoman on Apr 22nd 2019 at 7:35:50 AM
Outside The Library
"Playing dirty...?" Was he implying that the vines were Solas? Another set of them tried to restrain Rex, but he tore out of them easily enough. Why weren't they attacking anyone else? There wasn't much time to think about why just Rex was being targeted by them, they had a fight to finish.
"You speak harsh words about humans and spirits, but you know nothing about me. Nothing about us!" Anat said to him with a tinge of annoyance. She raised her hand up as her spell finished charging, but was then flash frozen in place, like a giant statue. Makoto felt like a bucket of ice water had been dumped over her head, and she bit back a sharp inhale. After a few seconds of enduring it, the phantom sensation faded."...Well that was rude of you." The voice was slightly dulled, but still made it through the layer of ice covering Anat.
"Y-you hate humans so much for corrupting spirits, but what you described spirits as...it sounds like suffering anyway. Being chained to what everyone else feels all the time, with no sense of self. No will of your own. Maybe this isn't a perfect solution, but at least now...at least now he can be something beyond one emotion." The ice around Anat cracked suddenly, the Persona's eyes still glowing. "And as for the two of us...we're more than what you think we are. People and Shadows are two halves of the same whole, we can't exist without one another!" The crack in the ice expanded across its surface, barely holding together.
"I am a Persona born from rebellion, Dread Wolf." The ice shattered, and Anat stared at Solas as she drew her blade once more. "And egotistical, controlling, manipulative bastards like you are who we exist to punish."
Edited by ScorpioRat on Apr 22nd 2019 at 9:33:09 AM
So, the stick wasn't too important for Solas's abilities. Shame. Arcade still didn't seem too affected, even when Cole told Fastanook that Solas was a god and wouldn't go down too easily.
"I can only imagine that this is going to get worse before it gets better," he commented, "though, there's probably ways to get rid of magic in other universes. Maybe some kind of magic-nullifying grenade or something."
Somewhere in the streets, with Gon
Not many people were out in the streets at the moment; most that were were wrapped up in their own troubles, or were a nemesis, and thus wouldn't help him out. One exception heard Gon from a nearby intersection and moved over; or rather, slithered over. "What are you doing out here? Get to the library!" Silanea said, raising her ethereal shield up to block as some crossbowman tried to take a shot at them.
Since Caboose wasn't doing any more violence, the militia member let him go, but didn't look happy about it. Once inside, the Miss Tairee copy looked at him and Two following with the pokemon in tow. "Fix Freckles, fine" the Miss Tairee copy said, simply using the Terran healing beam on the gun for a second and fixing it right up. "And ammunition, one moment" the duplicate librarian added, bringing up her holographic screen to start typing.
"I just hope you'll put this ammunition to better use than those grenades" the Miss Tairee copy commented as she typed. Ace stormed forward and squawked at her angrily. "Sorry, I'm not allowed to bypass the day's rules. If you want him alive, you need to find his opponent and put them down" the duplicate librarian answered the pokemon.
Not satisfied with this, Ace shrieked at the Miss Tairee copy some more, as tears welled up in the Blaziken's eyes. "Hey now, it's not like I killed him" the Miss Tairee copy pointed out, as there was a blur nearby Caboose of a large ammo box appearing.
Meanwhile, Fastanook had his ears twitch, and he glanced over at Arcade. Then he looked back to the Miss Tairee copy. "Hey, what about that? What he said!" Fastanook asked hastily, pointing to Arcade.
"A grenade that temporarily nullifies all magic in its blast radius? Yes, that would be specific enough" the Miss Tairee copy responded, typing a bit more. Practically hopping from foot to foot, Fastanook snatched a hand at the grenade appearing in the air as soon as he saw the blur, and took off in a quick dash towards the revolving doors again.
"Whatever! Cover me!"
Gon made a mad dash to the library as much as possible.
Chaoz saw what was happening and fired the carbine at him.
"Don't you dare!" Gon fired his BR again at Chaoz, making him go prone.
He used whatever strength he can muster to get inside the library.
lewis, outside library
"I was under the impression it was bad for him to be in everyone's heads all the time..." I pointed out a bit uncertainly, deciding not to mention I still wasn't very clear why he had to be a toddler for that, or even sure how that happened at all, and looking around to make sure nothing else of note was encroaching. Ominous trolling vine monsters, for example, if that wasn't just something this guy had. Whatsherface had wandered off, which probably wasn't desirable when you half-remembered some pamphlet involving them going on a stabbing quest over a middle finger from the gods, but there wasn't much to do on that front now. Turning back to the egg man, I speedwalked to the side to try and get a good flank, and shot when I felt I had a decent angle.
XLR8 moved his arms to try and parry the Trickster's strike, but was knocked back by the fire punch that the Trickster let out. He skidded back a few feet and looked up at the goat demon.
"If you think you're capturing me, think again!" he shouted, then suddenly dashed towards the Trickster, with a quick shoulder-tackling charge.
He hadn't noticed the frog creatures massing behind him yet. He was too focused on beating Trickster's face in.
Hades personally was enjoying this fight unfold before him: "Now that is quality entertainment!" He shouted out at one point but it seemed the Trickster was starting to lose the battle and was requesting his help. "Way ahead of ya." Hades then told him calmly and then without fail, he then started throwing fireballs in XLR 8's path. Three in rapid succession all aiming directly for his head if he moved out there would be a scorch mark on the floor where he would've been.
If he missed then Hades would teleport behind XLR 8 and start sending a jet of fire out both of his arms.
Outside the library — "I think you and I are destined to do this forever"
Solas seemed of the idea that Cole was "ruined" and that his special place as a compassion spirit had been irrevocably destroyed by the influence of everyone around him. And now he was here to correct that mistake permanently. Rex knew now that his actions had been a little too rash—reckless, even—but the end result had Cole earning a significantly more peaceful life with people he loved. And no matter how messy the process of earning that life had been, there was no coming back. It sure as hell wasn't going to end in a senseless murder.
"Did you even ask Cole what he wanted? And what even is your plan? Good luck asking for a challenge. I bet Tairee is totally your type"
Makoto thought along the same lines but since the idea of rebellion was a topic that particularly affected her, both her and her persona wasted no time poking holes in Solas' selfish logic. The entire reason she had joined the phantom thieves was to be able to stand up to people like him, and while she usually worked from the shadows, she clearly didn't mind getting her point across in a more violent fashion—regardless of how strong her opponent was. Rex didn't like seeing her get hurt but her being all fired up and laser-focused on beating someone to a pulp while still offering a chance to make things right was, well... in short, pretty hot.
Unfortunately more vines had to go and ruin the moment by both pushing Makoto out of the way and grabbing Rex's cannon, essentially pinning to the ground.
"What do you mean someone el-"
More vines came out of the ground, but they didn't attack anyone. In fact, they stuck close to each other, turning and twisting on each other. Their work quickly took the shape of a man with a giant golden gauntlet on his left hand. Someone Rex clearly recognized, since he didn't manage to finish his sentence.
"My apologies. I was really hoping to see where this was going but it seems to be just another pointless exercise"
"Van Kleiss!" Rex couldn't contain his shock but quickly turned it into a smug expression. There were a lot of ways he could handle this. But there were countless ones in which this could end terribly. "Figures you would be helping the cue ball. Both your hairstyles even out"
"Riveting as usual. I don't suppose you will make this any easier on yourself? Or your... friends?"
Cole let out a soft sigh as Fastanook took the grenade and rushed to try and use it, shaking his head slightly. "...Arcade...when we get to our new home, I would...like to be able to train again. More properly, this time, since...I won't have my powers to help me know where the knives need to go. Then if I ever have to help in something like this, I would be ready."
"As I was saying, young man," Solas said, even as he was swirling around to dodge away from Rick's punch, sparing a rather irritated expression for the old man even as he didn't even bother to react with even a magical attack again. "Someone else seems to find you a greater threat than do I."
Then, Lewis's shot found it's mark, not quite going through a rib, but certainly more than a graze, causing the elf to let out a loud snarl of pain. Solas grabbed at his side, even as blood began to slowly appear in the tunic, then spun around to glare at Lewis, eyes flashing once. "So you aren't as harmless as you seemed, are you? So be it."
Solas turned back to Anat, hands glowing again. "Let this be a lesson for the brief remainder of your lives, children..."
The sudden wispings of magic as Solas darted forward again appeared, almost straight through Anat, before reappearing directly in front of Makoto, eyes now just glowing white and blue as he swung his arms up towards her. This summoned forth what looked like thick pillars of pure ice bursting out from the ground, aiming the largest shards straight into her as he did so.
"Always begin with the strongest opponent!"
Arcade watched the fight progress outside for a bit before glancing back at Cole. "I can see the appeal there," he deadpanned, "I don't think Eve's world is quite so violent, but we'll see what the options are there, alright?"
Outside Library- Oww
"H-hey!" Getting shoved away by giant vines erupting from the ground was unexpected, but Makoto caught herself fast enough to watch Van Kleiss make his appearance. Of course it was him, and he was probably here to try and drain the life out of Rex again. As much as she wanted to fight Solas, just seeing this monster restraining Rex reminded her of the episode she watched, and she couldn't just ignore Van Kleiss after seeing what he was capable of.
"Let go of him before I kick your ass too!" she yelled, turning away from Solas for a moment. "I won't let you hurt him again!" Anat looked startled as Solas somehow phased past her to get to Makoto, unable to chase after him fast enough to stop his next move. Makoto only had time to brace herself before the ice wall slammed into her from below, the sharpened icicles digging into her legs, arms, and one of her shoulders. She avoided being impaled through the chest this time, but it was still enough to get a cut off scream from her before the adrenaline kicked in. Anat fell to one knee and faded away, unable to stay summoned. She hissed a few very choice swears that she refused to say in the library, glaring at Solas from behind her mask as she struggled to get off the spikes. As soon as she was free, she'd make sure he was taken care of. "I won't let you hurt anyone..."
The Trickster shielded himself with his arm, and grunted as he took XLR 8's strike. But at this moment, the released frogbeasts, who had sneaked up on Ben from behind, all leaped up, trying to jump onto Ben's back.
If they managed to land there, each of the creatures would then vibrate feverishly for a brief moment—and then explode into a shower of blood and guts, the force of the explosion likely enough to knock Ben off his feet.
Even if the frogbeasts missed this leap, they'd still explode upon landing, and the explosions would be quite painful for Ben unless the boy shielded himself or got far enough in time.
Edited by Korodzik on Apr 24th 2019 at 10:34:08 AM
"Freckles, you are all better now!" Caboose exclaimed with glee, holding his weapon tight for a moment. If he understood Ms. Tairee's comment on how he used the grenades, the soldier didn't show it. "Thank you lady!"
With that dealt with, the red armored man dipped his arms into the sizable ammo supply and pulled out more than enough to keep the bullets flying for a while. Now he could actually help with the fight outside without having to get right in anyone's face. With his shield in one hand and gun in the other, Captain Caboose left the building.
The first words he uttered when he saw who was being attacked were "Wow... he's so... bald." This was indeed a very hairless man. "He's like an... egg man." And he was really hurting Makoto too! That was very bad, and also very mean of him. This could not stand!
Caboose raised up Freckles and very quickly took aim right at the egg head's body. A bullet would stop his very rude and pompous words probably! Or maybe many bullets! He started firing wildly, his accuracy way higher than one might expect from such a simple man. Of course a lot of that was his gun helping, but it would be false to say he'd be a useless shot with a normal gun. "Hey you! You bad egg man! Stop hurting Makoto! She's gonna get cold with all that ice in her!" he called out, missing the point on why getting impaled by ice was so bad.
Thankfully Rean knew exactly what Caboose was talking about and said he would explain the details once they got to the Library. Herc nodded in acknowledgement: "Right, okay let's all regroup at the Library." Hercules called out running towards the entrance of the Library. Once inside Herc stopped to catch his breath.
"I never thought I'd say this guys but I'm glad to see this place." He told Two and Rean as he sat down at a nearby chair.
Outside the library
Silanea kept her shield up and herself between Gon and Chaoz to keep the gunfire at bay, then raised her free arm and sent an ethereal blade at Chaoz. After that, she turned and moved towards the library, eyes narrowing as she saw what was going on outside of it.
From the revolving doors, Fastanook dashed out, pulling the pin on the anti-magic grenade and chucking it towards Solas' feet after his brief dash trick. Once it went off, the area around it of about a ten meter diameter would have all magic suppressed for five seconds or so. This also meant however that the second ethereal blade Silanea threw, this time at Solas, vanished as it hit that radius. "What? Dang it" Silanea said in frustration, and kept moving towards the conflict quickly.
Fastanook himself followed up the grenade by again opening fire on Solas with his phaser. "Again, nobody cares!" Fastanook insisted, his tone frustrated.
"I think you should wait until Cole is older. Then if he still wants to learn to defend himself, you two can talk about it then" Miss Tairee commented on the conversation.
Edited by FirockFinion on Apr 24th 2019 at 8:16:36 AM
"He's one elf! Why does it take this many people to kill him?" grumbled Rick, snapping off a few shots with his pistol at the back of the elf's head.
Outside the library — Battle of the egos
"I see you have already spread your influence around" Van Kleiss commented after Makoto declared he would regret attacking Rex.
"Oh no, she's doing that all on her ow-agh!"
More vines sprouted from the ground, helping the ones already holding Rex's arm in place crush the cannon he had built. It's not like Van Kleiss wanted an actual conversation
Luckily Solas managed to contribute to it somewhat.
"Oh, you hear that? Someone doesn't think I'm such a big deal. And I guess by extension it means you aren't such a big deal either. Are you gonna take that, big guy?"
"I won't fall prey to your desperate tricks, Rex. But we both know just how crafty you can be, that's where true strength lies. It's a quality I admire from you. A pity it's the only thing worthwile"
What few points Solas had gained with Rex suddenly took the sharpest of nosedives once he effectively stabbed Makoto all over her body with his ice powers. The memories of her suffering at the hands of that swordsman were still fresh in Rex's mind and now there was no excuse to drop the ball like that again.
"Makoto!" he shouted and managed to build his sword by force of anger alone to cut his way out of the vines. More of which were already making their way towards Lewis' and Rick's feet, just strong enough to be a distraction. The real deal was a human-sized fist made of earth, going straight towards Makoto. Rex barely managed to stop it with his shield. "Get away from her!"
"You are so intent on protecting her, don't tell me... another girlfriend?" Van Kleiss chuckled at his nemesis's train of thought. He was stuck in a place with access to invaluable information and he would rather spend it wasting his time with the first girl he saw. It was so easy to forget the person causing Van Kleiss so much trouble was still just a teenager. This wasn't one of those times. "Have you forgotten about Circe so soon? Were are all those promises as vacous as they seemed?"
"Aww, come on. Even for you, ugh, that's low" there was a lot od force backing up the fist but even if things looked bad, there was no point in being a downer. "You'll be fine, Makoto, just... gotta get through some bad stuff first. It's not gonna be like in the show, ok?"
Thankfully more backup came to the rescue and while Rex would normally be a little picky, he didn't mind the extra hands.
"Little help here? Can't deal with two crazy bad guys at once while trying to keep my girlfriend safe" he said, while looking at Silanea.
lewis, outside library, the heat of combat is the best time to break the ice
We were a little too in the shit to dwell on the inferred hypocrisy of this exchange, so I left it at "...Did you?"
Egg Guy proved surprisingly not bulletproof, but it didn't stop him from flash stepping directly into Makoto's face. I bolted back toward her, having a bad feeling, though didn't clear the distance before she was pinned by a series of icicle skewers. It...didn't bring back pleasant memories, but she was alive for now and everyone was shooting the hell out of the dude, so Anat could just—
Some sort of grenade thing landed near Egg's feet, and suddenly all of her leather was gone. A silence grenade? I didn't catch who'd tossed it, but considering the fucker who'd just come out of the ground nearby this was probably a bad mix. I continued running only to get tripped and grabbed by the ankle by another one of the stupid vine things.
Deciding that shooting was going to be less efficient right this second, I holstered my gun and drew the bat I'd taken earlier, whacking the vine off and then scrambling to my feet again before clearing the last of the space and starting to try and smash some of the ice.
"I'm gonna assume you know that removing these will make you bleed faster, but if we can get inside fast enough..."
Rean gave Genji a quick wave, watching the others head for the library. Zero had other ideas, heading straight for the fight with the bald guy.
"Hey, I said we were going to the Library! Didn't you want to catch up with Two?" Rean said, reaching out to grab Zero's hand and direct her away from the fight. He still wasn't sure how to feel about her, but at least in the library she'd be out of trouble.
And then things got worse over in the fight, what with Makoto getting impaled for the second time in the last few days and someone else besieging Rex.
Rean turned to Zero again, taking his ARCUS out of its pouch. "Please just go to the Library, and tell everyone I'll be right there." And with that he headed over to where Makoto was, and tried to cast Fire Bolt on the ice at point blank.
Nothing happened. Rean flipped the device open, trying to make sure everything was in order.
Edited by stargirl93 on Apr 25th 2019 at 6:03:30 AM
"Still, shouldn't it be expected that children should be able to help themselves, in situations where violence does happen?" Cole looked up at Miss Tairee, seeming a little concerned. "I know that Eve's world may not be like mine or like Arcade's...but it's still a world where she was made to be a weapon, which means that...it might not be all that safe for children after all."
Solas barely had time to react to the sensation of his magic being neutralized, only being able to look around a moment in what could best be described as angry bewilderment, before shots coming at him from three different directions found their marks. Solas's armor was designed for protection against swords, mages, spears, hammers, maybe an odd explosion...no one in Thedas save Varric had access to anything even close to a gun.
Instead, Solas simply jerked slightly, eyes going wide, no glow of magic remaining. He slumped to his knees, looking upwards at Makoto with a vaguely confused, almost concerned expression. "Wait...you...th-this isn't right...this isn't how I would..."
He simply collapsed to the ground at that, without another sound, eyes still staring blankly but lifelessly towards the nearby library.
A giant earthen fist came at her while she had no ability to dodge it, only for Rex to throw himself in front to block it. He was trying to be reassuring, and Makoto wanted to believe him, so she focused on un-impaling herself from the ice while he was busy. Unfortunately, the anti-magic grenade went off, and she lost the majority of her extra strength and protection as soon as her Phantom thief outfit disappeared. She gasped as a second wave of pain hit her, nearly passing out. It was hard to keep her eyes open, let alone struggle. The rest of the battle was a strange blur.
She hadn't even known Caboose was nearby until he charged out the library and tried to shoot Solas. And Lewis was...trying to break the ice that was keeping her suspended. It was difficult to tell what he was saying though. And was that Rean and Silanea? Solas took multiple shots to his body, but as he collapsed, she did manage to focus on his expression. He was genuinely confused.
"Not so...strong after all," she wheezed out, before he died. There was still blood dripping from the ice spikes, and she made a very weak effort to shift her position, only for them spikes to dig even more into her limbs and shoulder. Lewis was having an effect on the wall though, and eventually it'd lose its stability and she'd fall off it.
XLR8 heard Hades' voice and turned just in time to dodge out of the way of Hades' fire attacks.
"Okay, wise guys! You're really not making this fair on me!" he yelled, sweeping his tail in an attempt to trip Trickster, before noticing the frogs encroaching on his position. Before he could react to them, a bunch of them leaped at him and exploded violently, causing the speedy alien to tumble back.
He jumped to his feet weakly, glaring at the two through his visor.
"Fine, so you can get a good hit in or two!" he exclaimed. "Catch me if you can, losers!" With that, XLR8 dashed over towards the civilian that he had put down before. He scooped up the injured man in his arms, then zipped off from the fight at high speed, attempting to escape. He would try and get himself and the civilian to the safety of the library and think of a game plan.
The man was hurt and Ben was exhausted. Maybe Miss Tairee or someone could help him heal.
Edited by AllHailThrall on Apr 25th 2019 at 9:02:00 AM
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