Super Smash Quest - Story - Chapter 253: Illian's Omens (Platinum Challenge Part V)
Date: February 4th, 9th, and 10th 2006.
Nick Caligo (GM): Aetos and Metal are on their platforms again, and, as usual, zooming through a crazy psychedelic portal of warpy darkness. Red energy begins to seep in like veins through the swirling portal; it begins to remind you more and more of fire.
Metal Man: "I sure hope this isn't going into some lava pit..."
Aetos: "I agree."
Nick Caligo (GM): Well, as your luck would have it, that's exactly where this leads.
Metal Man (GM): .oO(Note to self: think we're going to a place full of infinite coins next time.)
Nick Caligo (GM): You're deposited smack-dab in the middle of Death Mountain Crater, on the triforce platform.
Aetos: "I forgot to pack my red tunic today... this wont be pretty."
Nick Caligo (GM): The red glow of the magma eerily illuminates the black rock that rises on all sides; the bridges here and there are fully intact.
Metal Man: "Oof!" *He lands, not so graciously.*
Nick Caligo (GM): What's more, you're both conveniently equipped with red tunics.
Aetos looks down at his attire. "Nevermind..."
Metal Man: "This is where Skyhigh fried his brain... staring at magma... It gives me the creeps."
Metal Man shivers despite it being so hot.
Nick Caligo (GM): The only sound here other than you guys is the low rumbling of the magma below.
Aetos: "Oh, interesting..."
Metal Man: "Let's see... bridges... magma... pits... dangerous situation."
Aetos: "I want... I want... water. If only we were in the X-Zone right now."
Metal Man: "You'd be amazed at how wrong your statement is."
Aetos: "...Dark World?"
Metal Man: "The X-Zone allows some degree of mental manipulation... but any natives to it can do far more than that, and to you. Dark World? Full of Ganondorf's scum, and you might be turned into something freaky."
Aetos scratches his head... "I wonder what I WOULD turn into..."
Metal Man: "The only difference is that you have an idea of what you're up against there."
Aetos smirks... "That dan in the X-zone was some character."
Nick Caligo (GM): The whole crater shakes violently.
Metal Man: "This place is pretty nasty, though.Especially because it's shaking."
Aetos: "Gahh!" *Shakeyshakeness.*
Metal Man looks around. "I wonder where the boss is."
Aetos: "Do-oo we haave to carreee ri-ight now-ww...?!"
Metal Man: "It's the only way out. If this place starts exploding, we need to beat the boss before the volcano gets us."
Aetos: "Wee-ere about to errupt-t! I guess you-or right."
Nick Caligo (GM): A huge hand, with cylindrical fingers, its tips clearly meant to be gun barrels, slaps the ground just as the place stops shaking; a giant mechanical arm rises up from the hot depths below you.
Aetos: "...What is THAT?!?!"
Metal Man stands back, leaning on his axe. "...Don't ask me, I barely got a chance to fight these sorts of enemies."
Nick Caligo (GM): The whole machine hoists itself up slowly; a second, identical arm jams a narrow blade into the ground as the torso rises up.
Metal Man: "It's vaguely like those people Star Fox kept on talking about. But I've never seen such in action... it has to be something else."
Aetos: "Looks like a robotic bongo bongo monster..."
Nick Caligo (GM): The whole thing finally lifts itself into view; as its feet, looking mostly like a pair of mechanized sneakers, touch the ground, the earth trembles.
Aetos: "With a sword... And feet..."
Aetos looks up at the giant.
Nick Caligo (GM): They're set on short, squat legs, which hold up a framed pod holding a Stalfos who looks oh-so-pleased to see you. The arms are on a pair of broad shoulders just over the cockpit; they reach all the way to down to the ground, giving this thing an almost simian appearance.
Metal Man: "Hm. Looks imposing. I wonder how much it can take."
Nick Caligo (GM): The Stalfos grabs a lever to his side and pulls it. The machine rips its sword from the ground... you can't help but notice, though, that just below the cockpit, a very familiar "R" insignia is printed.
???1: "Prepare for trouble!"
???2: "And make it double!"
Aetos's jaw drops... "Double-you, tee, eff..."
???1: "To protect the world from devastation!"
???2: "To unite all peoples within our nation!"
Metal Man: "We need our own theme song some day."
???1: "To denounce the evils of truth and love!"
???2: "To extend our reach to the stars above!"
???1 (Jessie): "Jessie!" You manage to spot the two standing on top of a pair of tall rocks off to either side of the bridge to the temple... a girl with long, stupid-looking red hair in one of the stupidest looking getups you've ever seen (Duh, we all know what they look like)...
???2 (James): "James!"
Nick Caligo (GM): Aaand a guy similarly dressed with overgrown-ish pale blue hair. It should be noted that Jessie's got a gun of some kind. It looks like something Earthworm Jim might be proud of.
Aetos: "It's TEAM ROCKET!" *Surprised voice.*
Jessie: "Team rocket! Blast off at the speed of light!"
James: "Surrender now or prepare to fight!"
Nick Caligo (GM): Meowth crawls up onto the shoulder of the Stalfos's machine, grunting irritably. "Meowth!" He dusts himself off and assumes an expression of mock confidence. "...That's right!"
Aetos slaps his forehead.
Metal Man: "It's about time I got revenge for Santa. Again."
Metal Man gets into a pseudo-fighting stance, which resembles a disco move more than a stance.
James: "Well well, Jessie, look at what our Meowth caught with his new toy!"
Jessie: "A couple of rats, James..." She smirks and levels her gun at you both.
Metal Man: "I still don't know where they got that Stalfos from..."
Jessie: "It just so happens that we've been wanting to try our new invention out on someone for a while."
James: "If it works, we'll be able to catch even the most powerful Pokemon with little more than a toss of an ordinary Pokeball! The "Mightiest warriors in Nintendus" will make excellent test subjects."
James: "That they will..."
Metal Man: "Eh. I give you 30 seconds, tops."
Metal Man laughs cryptically.
Aetos: "30 seconds for what, exactly?..."
Metal Man: "For them to be destroyed. Either by us or by themselves."
Aetos shrugs... "I don't know... aren't they supposed to be tougher then th previous battles?"
James: "We'll see about that!"
Meowth: "Rrrright! I'm on it. Stalfos! Smashy-smashy!" He grins and clings to the machine. The Stalfos cackles and starts pulling levers and pushing buttons. The machine rises up and extends both arms out like a crab waiting to strike.
Aetos: "Erm. yeah... so there's this giant robot thing that's trying to kill us....."
Metal Man: "Blech. You want some bad lines? Try some shoes on for size!" *He holds out one of his palms and summons four shoes, which fly at the top of the mech, near the feet of Jessie, James, and Meowth. Depending upon which ones he can damage, this should be interesting.*
Nick Caligo (GM): Let me see... Neither Jessie nor James avoid the shoes successfully. The Stalmech is rocked from all sides by the explosion and falls on its frontside. "MEOOOOWTH!" James goes blasting off into the sky well before anybody else; he's out of the fight! Damage to the Stalmech.
Aetos: "I'm thinking... those three aren't the main problem..."
Nick Caligo (GM): Jessie's charred black. She blinks comically a couple of times, her hair now gone all frizzled and frazzled.
Aetos clasps his hands together, then slowly parts them, with a ball of air circulating between them... in just moments he lunges it at the stalmech's head.
Metal Man: "You say that, but I bet you dollars to doughnuts that freaky gun will be a pain in the neck."
Nick Caligo (GM): The blast of air hits it; the mech's limbs contort a little as the machine appears to be in some sort of pain. It doesn't seem fazed by the knockback, though. The machine lifts itself back up to its feet and swipes at the both of you with its sword; the Stalfos looks a might bit pissed that you knocked him down.
Metal Man dodges via disco flip over the blade.
Aetos winces and jumps high above the blade sweep, he flips sideways in mid air and lands back on the rock ground.
Nick Caligo (GM): The machine releases steam, and waits...
Jessie: "... Why you insolent... take this!" She levels her gun at Metal and fires.
Metal Man cartwheels out of the way. "I say you need a bigger, more explosion prone mecha to hit me."
Nick Caligo (GM): A bright gold ray of energy strikes the stone, which turns to dust at the pelting of the laser against the ground.
Metal Man: "...I'm not going to risk that thing hitting me."
Metal Man leaps on out to the top of the mecha's head and begins beating on Jessie in Viewtiful Joe fashion, starting with a punch, then a sweeping kick to trip her up with, an elbow smack, and finally a headbutt.
Nick Caligo (GM): Your punch lands right in her face; your kick makes her fall face forward as you hit the back of her knee; she falls nose-first onto your elbow and recoils, putting her into the perfect position for a headbutt. *Wha-wha-whap-WHAMF!!*
Nick Caligo (GM): At the last hit, Jessie's sent flying off into the sky. "WHAAAAAAAAAaaaaaa!!" *ding!*
Metal Man: "I'd be a great pokemon trainer. It's so easy to beat up rival pokemon trainers myself instead of pokemon."
Aetos sighs and shakes his head.
Nick Caligo (GM): Meowth looks up at her and sweatdrops. "... Meowth!!" The Stalmech starts to tremble; the host Stalfos's eye sockets start to burn bright red.
Metal Man's turn is over, marooned atop an angry Stalmech.
Meowth: "...!!!" He leaps off and scampers across the bridge, heading for safety outside the crater. "Looks like Team Rocket's blasting off AGAIN! NYAAAAAHH!!"
Metal Man: "Hmmm. I hope it tries to knock me off by attacking its own head."
Aetos: "Grr... now what?" he pulls out his purdy little dex and flips it open quickly... he presses the scan button, aiming it at the stalmech.
Nick Caligo (GM): *DING!*
Metal Man: "Kill the thing I'm on top of, of course. With the annoyances gone, pure killing machine remains."
Acc (ranged): +5
Notes: No data available on class "Stalmech."
End of Entry."
Aetos: "I wasn't asking you a question... I was noting the stalfos' eyes..."
Nick Caligo (GM): The Stalmech's body releases a ton of steam again; Metal can feel the thing heating up even through his own suit. Soon every vent on the Stalmech's chassis releases a tremendous blast of fire.
Metal Man (ironically) makes for a semi-effective avoidance pattern by running away from the vents.
Nick Caligo (GM): Metal leap off the top of this thing's shoulders to avoid getting fried; you touch down and manage to run from the flames. Aetos is less lucky. The flames die down; the Stalfos continues to tremble in its seat, glaring at you with burning red eyes... you get the feeling this is about to get slightly more messy.
Aetos raises his arms to cover his face from the flame... he still gets burnt though.
Metal Man: "You jerk! Only I am allowed to burn Questers! Aieeee!!!" *He leaps onto the front of the mech and begins attacking the head pod with his axe, trying to bash his way in.*
Nick Caligo (GM): You score at LEAST one critical hit, followed by two more solid, denting blows before your weapon only glances off the side of the machine on the last strike.
Aetos holds his spear out in front of him and shuts his eyes, he focuses on the spear and it lifts itself away and stabs at the Stalmech's chest. *crit.* The spear flips itself out and quickly stabs again.
Nick Caligo (GM): Your spear pierces through the mech's plating and jams itself into the Stalfos's rib cage once--and then pings against the hull. The Stalmech puffs steam before it takes a couple of steps forward, taking two swipes of its blade before scattering a hail of bullets on Metal with the machineguns mounted in its off-hand's fingers.
Metal Man would dodge the bullets easily; hit by the sword if it threatened him.
Nick Caligo (GM): The sword bashes Metal to one side, putting a huge dent in his armor; almost like a cut. It then bashes him back the other way, doing the same to the other side of him. The machinegun fire scatters over the rocky surface, but doesn't hurt Metal.....
Aetos gets cut up good, he kneels down and grabs one of the wounds.
Metal Man is all bashed up now. Then again, if he loses another life, then he'll have enough SP to blow up the mech in short order.
Nick Caligo (GM): It lets out a puff of steam again.
Metal Man: "Let's see... hmmmm..." *He wildly swings his axe around point blank, going for a fast horizontal slice, then another one, and then he stabs it into the pod and tries to stomp it on in.
Nick Caligo (GM): Your weapon slices hard into the knee, then cuts a panel off the torso, then buries itself in the Stalmech's hull.
Aetos cups his hands and when he uncups them, a small orb of light appears in each, he hurls them out and at the chest of the Stalmech, as they fling through the air, they collect wind around them and then on impact they burst out in a flash of light.
Nick Caligo (GM): The Stalmech is consumed by two blasts of air and light as Metal jumps back from his previous assault. The Stalmech's eyes flare as the mists of Aetos's attack clear. It vaults itself high into the air and flips a few times at the zenith of the jump before falling and letting its blade crash down on top of Metal, gouts of fire bursting from where it hits the ground.
Metal Man is hit again.
Nick Caligo (GM): You get practically buried by this thing slamming into you and burnt by the geyser from the crevice. It lifts its sword back up and tries to hit you with a vertical slash again; he wants to beat a lesson into you--never mess with a Stalfos in heavy machinery.
Metal Man is hit again.
Aetos would rolls under the slash very narrowly if that threatened him.
Nick Caligo (GM): It doesn't; it's vertical, Aetos. *WHAM!* You're embedded further into the ground; It lifts its blade high up and finally unloads one last, giant horizontal slash on Metal.
Metal Man is hit yet again.
Nick Caligo (GM): *WHAM!!!* As its weapon crashes into the ground--and Metal--an earthquake erupts in all directions
Aetos: "OH my gosh!!"
Nick Caligo (GM): Aetos jumps a hail of stone that blasts up from the ground and manage to flip out of the way.
Aetos cheers as he descends to the ground.
Nick Caligo (GM): The Stalmech releases steam, keeping its blade planted firmly in the ground on top of Metal; motionless, gripped in both hands.
Aetos is still hit by various earthly products of course.
Metal Man (GM): *I guess the only thing Metal can do first is try to push the blade off from on top of him.*
Nick Caligo (GM): Aetos would feel the earth tremble before the giant blade suddenly recoiled from the rocks; Metal lifts himself out easily as the blade flies up over the machine's body and buries itself tip-first in the ground behind it. Its hands continue to maintain a firm grip.
Metal Man: "I may not be able to make another strike... EYAAAAH!!!!" *He leaps up and tries to knock the machine flying with two high knockback kicks.*
Metal Man somehow manages to kick the @*$^ outta that thing.
Aetos blinks at the powerful kicking blows... "Quite a performance..."
Nick Caligo (GM): Metal dashes in and slides underneath its arms, delivering a powerful kick to the small of its back and causing it to flip over its quite stably buried sword; its left hanging over the edge for a moment, holding on only by its sword's hold on the ground... except for the fact that Metal rebounds off its back and hits the hilt of the blade, jolting it from the ground with a second, powerful kick. The machine falls freely over the edge and lands in the magma below; a humongous pillar of fire explodes from the depths where it lands.
Metal Man: "...That looks painful."
Nick Caligo (GM): The fire continues to rise from the depths for about ten seconds; flaming pebbles rain down from above (albeit harmlessly). It finally dies down after a while.
Aetos whinces... "This is over?"
Nick Caligo (GM): *THUK!* A Stalfos's skull plants itself in the ground next to Aetos's foot. It's charred black, and quite assuredly lifeless.
Metal Man: "I think that took care of that... thing..."
Aetos reaches down to pick up the skull... "Alas..."
Nick Caligo (GM): The Triforce symbol starts to glow brightly, emitting a multicolored beam up at the sky. The skull disappears in Aetos's hand, as if to deny him the opportunity to use that cheezy old line.
Metal Man: "I feel like I've listened to the whole of an opera with no earplugs."
Aetos: "Is that so bad?"
Nick Caligo (GM): The beam of multicolored light continues rising... it might be the portal to the next challenge.
Metal Man would be literally 3 HP away from death.
Metal Man: "Well, if I don't look torn up now, maybe you should get your eyes checked."
Aetos: "Just a flesh wound..."
Aetos shoves Metal into the portal.
Nick Caligo (GM): Metal would soon find himself whisking up into the sky through a portal of prismatic energy.
Metal Man forgot to go to the portal. Oops. Well, he's in it now.
Nick Caligo (GM): Definetely a nice change from the portal of dark energy.
Aetos walks in after.
Nick Caligo (GM): In moments you're dazzled by an array of colored lights that follows you up into the sky. They're so bright that they're almost blinding... as soon as your vision clears, you've hardly noticed that you've stopped moving on account of how disoriented you are.
Metal Man: "Ow... well, we went somewhere." *Looks around.*
Nick Caligo (GM): You're standing on a rather crude looking metal bridge; to either side you can see the underside of an enormous ship, from which this bridge protrudes. In front of you, there's a large, warehouse-like hallway of some kind that looks like it's used for janitorial vehicles or something; the bridge moves into the side of the ship... or bottom, depending on how you want to look at it. It's obviously sloped, like a saucer. Below...... The Stadium!? Yes; you're floating miles above the Stadium, which you can see hazily. Through... clouds... and stuff..
Metal Man: "Hmmm. You better not fall, Aetos."
Nick Caligo (GM): Behind: An elevator. Looks like a utility elevator, but the elevator platform itself is nowhere to be seen through the girdered framework of the shaft. "Hey, Bro..." A gruff, deep, alien-sounding voice greets your ears, along with the sound of a pair of guns cocking.
Aetos growls at Metal. "That isn't funny."
Nick Caligo (GM): From the hallway opposite the elevator, you can see a pair of huge creatures approaching... let me see if I can get a pic. This is awfully hard to describe.
Metal Man: "Oh wait..." *He gives a weird look.* "...Darn. This isn't the flying saucer. It's the sligs!And... Slogzilla?"
Nick Caligo (GM): http://www.oddworld.com/universe/industrial/characters/sligs/worker_assets/stats_assets/img_main.jpg See that thing? Imagine that, but way bigger, with three round, red eyes (Splinter Cell style), a TON of armor, and four huge hydrolic legs. Not to mention a machinegun from hell with a nice belt of ammo hangin' off it.
Aetos almost cries.
Nick Caligo (GM): "...Lookie what we got here... heh heh heh..." http://www.oddworld.com/universe/industrial/characters/sligs/bigbro_assets/cg_off.gif (Here's a fair example... no armor, though, and no gun either) That's a piece of it. http://www.oddworld.com/universe/industrial/characters/sligs/ow_bigbro.html. http://www.oddworld.com/universe/industrial/characters/sligs/bigbro_assets/pop_right.jpg Here we go. Machinegun, ammo, and all.
Aetos indeed does whimper and tear.
Nick Caligo (GM): These two in particular have MUCH more armor.
Metal Man is nearly dead. Regardless, he goes up to a Big Bro slig and begins punching him out like a madman.
Big Bro: "...Grah! Hey!" *WHAP* You lead off with three punches--one landing right in his face. "OW!" He rubs his helmet, leaving an opening in his stomach for you. You land two more hits before he finally catches one with his off-hand, growling.
Nick Caligo (GM): It doesn't seem amused... He tries to grab your extended arm. He grabs you firmly by the arm with one of his giant hands and holds you up, dangling you like a little rag doll. He lifts his gun directly up to you and blows you away with a few machinegun rounds which tear you from his grip and send your corpse flying over the edge; if you had 3 HP left, trust me, you won't survive this one way or another...
Big Bro 1: "'Dese guys aint so tuff..."
Big Bro 2: "Yeah. Let's play around with the lil' one! He looks squishy..."
Aetos: "I'll have you know... I'm... well I sure would rather be fighting Skyhigh right now..." he sighs.
Nick Caligo (GM): The second Big Bro stomps over and cocks his machinegun, unleashing a hail of bullets on Aetos. They almost seem to spread through the entire hall!
Big Bro 2: "Dahh 'e's fast..."
Aetos screams and he SOME HOW evades all of those bullet attacks... ducking and swirving and standing still as the gun aims downward toward the stadium... whistle.
Aetos holds out his hand as white energy sucks into it and travels through his arm to his mind, he is absorbing the knowledge of Big Bro 2, and is using this power to acquire his knowledge of an attack...
Nick Caligo (GM): You reach into a vast blackness... and find...... vast... blackness. Yeah, you can tell THESE guys have a whole hell of a lot on their mind. ¬¬. It aint that they're filled with the essence of darkness... the fact of the matter is that their heads are just full o' nothing. As you pull your hand out of the vast black space, though, you find your hands on a large, cumbersome, multi-barreled machinegun.
Aetos 's eyes widen and he blinks briefly.
Big Bro 2: "...'ey! Where'd he get 'dat?"
Big Bro 1: "Dyah, I dunno."
Big Bro 2: "... I got a concept I been workin' on. Let's shoot 'im!"
Big Bro 1: "Okay."
Aetos grins and pulls the trigger on Big Bro 2.
Aetos: "I guess, I can do that too."
Nick Caligo (GM): The gun goes all over the place, but you train it on Big Bro 2 pretty well for someone who's never handled one of those before. He's riddled with bullets--one of which cracks his armor and makes him stagger back from the hit. "Ungh!"
Aetos shakes around as the huge machinegun fires consistently on Big Bro 2... "Iiii mmuusstt bbeeeeee a naturralll..!?"
Nick Caligo (GM): Metal return on a revival platform from below.
Metal Man: "Hmmm..."
Aetos: "Give em hell, Metal!"
Metal Man leaps on down and attacks the slig which threw him with a high-powered, flame-wreathed axe slash.
Nick Caligo (GM): Your axe deflects off his head, but still manages to deal damage. The Slig retaliates by trying to swipe you with a quick backhand. *WHAP!* You're almost knocked off your feet by that hit. damage; he brings his machinegun up and fires it at you while you're still reeling from the blow.
Metal Man is hit, though only once.
Nick Caligo (GM): The bullet grazes your shoulder . The other Slig simply stalks towards Aetos, chuckling to himself; "Squeeeze that chicken..."
Aetos cackles and pulls the trigger on Big Bro 2 several times, "You don't deserve life! hahahaha!" Hundreds of bullets zip through the air and toward the monster.
Nick Caligo (GM): The bullets hail around it and ping off its armor for a few moments before riddling its chest and shoulders a couple times.
Metal Man sizes things up again...
Metal Man: "Your cola is inferior to mine! Hah!" *Drinks down a Metal Cola and chucks it at the Sligs.* It explodes; Area effect, if it even lands near them.
Metal Man then shoots a shoe at the head of slig 2...
Nick Caligo (GM): Your cola explodes in the distance and disperses a few clouds. There we go. Oh, and the other one..... *sigh.*
Nick Caligo (GM): Klumsy sleepily stares at his computer screen and checks his watch, yawning... Suddenly, some odd program windows open up onscreen before him. He blinks a bit, then his eyes widen. "... Uhhh... guys?" (Not Aetos/Spyke/Metal; only the others) "...Guys?" More programs run... text spews across the status window at an alarming pace. "...GUYS!!!" The programs close, but the status window continues spewing text.
Nodal wakes up.
Nick Caligo (GM): As Aetos and Metal fight the Big Bro Sligs... Metal suddenly disappears. He just freezes, and his form is filled out with a wireframe, and then disappears.
Nodal: "Oh hey Klumsy. Is it supposed to be doing that?"
Digifanatic: "What is going on?"
Klumsy: "I'm getting some really weird activity here. Someone's hacking the system..."
Digifanatic: "Probably Kuja or someone like him."
Nick Caligo (GM): The Big Bros both turn towards Aetos. Who should be paying attention right now.
Nick Caligo (GM): They each cock their guns, leveling them and bringing them up to his head at point blank. "Heh heh heh... SQUEEEEZE that chicken good..."
Nodal: "That... cannot be good."
Nick Caligo (GM): They pull the triggers, and there's an explosion in Aetos's ears as they fire... he'd wince... only to realize that he hasn't been hit.
Digifanatic: "That's strange..."
Nick Caligo (GM): Dead silence... nothing's happening. What's going on? Maybe if Aetos opens his eyes he'll find out. But what if he opens them and finds out he's dead?
Nodal: "Wait. If Metal just disappeared...where is he now?"
Digifanatic: "Yeah... You willing to believe the X Zone... perhaps?"
Nodal: "The X Zone? WHat's that?"
Aetos pats his body... "Huh??" he opens his eyes slowly, as if to close them again in fright if something startled him.
Nick Caligo (GM): As soon as your eyes open, you glimpse a bullet... less than a centimeter away from your nose, and hanging in mid-air, along with all the others. The Sligs have stopped moving as well. You can't even feel the wind any more.
Aetos: "What... the... Klumsy??"
???: "...He can't hear you." A deep, dark voice from behind, by the elevator, makes the hairs on the back of your neck prickle.
Aetos shivers. "Who is that now!?"
Nick Caligo (GM): It sounds familiar somehow... Like you hear it every single day... and yet, it almost feels like you've never heard it at all.
Aetos: "You frustrate me... with your ominous voice... come out of the shadows already!"
???: "I'm right here. Turn around, you fool."
Aetos blinks and turns around.
Nick Caligo (GM): Standing by the elevator, with hands folded behind his back, is a man. He's fairly tall, and hides under a black cloak that seems almost like a raincoat in a number of ways. The hood completely shadows his face... but you know he's staring at you.
???: "I called you a fool."
Aetos: "I get that all the time... but who are you? Why are you here??"
???: "The question might not be so much who I am as who you are." He unfolds his hands from behind his back and lets them hang at his sides. From what you can tell, he's a tall, thin, lanky fellow.
Aetos: "I know who I am!" he clenches his fist and holds it in front of him excitedly, "I'm Aetos!" he then sweatdrops... "You didn't mean my name... did you?"
???: "That I didn't. I mean your identity, Aetos. Who are you? I believe the answer to that question would lead you to the answer to your second question. It's my assumption that you're a Quester."
Aetos: "Well, yeah? I was initiated back in another dimension... but nonetheless."
???: "..." He says nothing. He takes a few steps towards you, and then continues walking past you, to the field of bullets that hangs in the air. He pinches one between his fingertips, plucking it out of the air almost as he would a berry from a bush, and then examines it, holding it up to the light. "...A funny thing, spacetime. It can be quantified... explained..." He turns the bullet over in his hand again and again, looking at it from all angles. "And yet just so much as a single kink in the works would send it crashing down around us all..."
Nick Caligo (GM): He tosses the bullet into the air, snatches it with his other hand, and hurls it into the field of bullets. All of them burst in a shower of white sparks. The Sligs dissolve into fluid green bubbles which slowly disappear from the air.
Aetos: "Woah!?" he observes, amazed.
???: "Everything is so fragile. What's the matter?" He turns slowly towards you. "Cat got your tongue?"
Aetos: "Well... no?"
Aetos sticks out his tongue and points to it.
???: "You're taking too long."
Aetos: "Too long..? What do you mean too long?"
???: "Yes. If this takes any longer, he'll destroy you."
Aetos: "He... who? I have many enemies, even some I've never come face to face with... do you speak of Kuja?"
???: "That name sounds familiar....." He seems to look up to the air, almost searching it for an answer. "Yes. Kuja. You need to speed things up." He raises his hands into the air and the entire world shatters around you.
Aetos: "What the!? But how?! We don't have the power to do so!"
Nick Caligo (GM): The shards of reality seem to flow up around you relentlessly. It's as though he pierced the realm of possibility itself.
???: "Do you know what happens to people who give up their hearts?"
Nick Caligo (GM): White space is slowly left behind by the glasslike pieces that flow upward.
Aetos: "They... become heart-less? That sounds rather literal to me though."
Aetos watches the spectacle cautiously.
???: "...You're about to find out..." The white space slowly turns black as the final shards trail away.
Nick Caligo (GM): Cracks trace their way through the ground; tiny fissures, from which escape an eerie, magma-red glow.
Aetos: "What... is that?!"
Nick Caligo (GM): In a blast of black smoke which seems barely visible in this black space, he disappears. There's an explosion of light, and you're standing on red ground. Klumsy adjusts his glasses. "...Oh man. I don't know what Aetos did, but it looks like he's jumped ahead a few fights."
Aetos watches the ground all around him, somewhat frightened.
Nick Caligo (GM): Rock, to be specific. It's almost like you're standing on the side of a gentle slope on Mars... and at the top of this rocky hill, there is a large, black form. It's a man, kneeling. Not just any man, though. You know that armor, that black cape; it's Zio. The enigmatic man's voice rises deep within your mind. "... This will be important sometime. Never forget it."
Aetos makes an angry gesture with his eyes... "You... I knew you'd be back..."
Nick Caligo (GM): His cape simply flutters in the wind. He's not moving...
Aetos: "...Zio? What are you doing?!"
Nick Caligo (GM): He slowly lifts up his head, as if finally noticing you. He stands.
Aetos takes a step back... "What's wrong with you?"
Nick Caligo (GM): He slowly begins to turn. Your first glimpse of his eyes is met with a flash of red light from them... his irises are glowing hot red. At the same time, red laser-like lines trace themselves through his armor, forming intricate patterns. He clenches his gauntleted fist, the same red light flowing from the joints.
Aetos: "First vampire... now... a demonoid?!"
Nick Caligo (GM): Shadows flare from it; he's consumed by dark energy... he never emerges from the shadows; they simply seem to become one with him. His form blurs, but the sharp, red glow of his eyes continue to pierce through your very soul; shadows drift around him like hot air rising from a furnace. A red laser drifts up from where a shadowy, clawed hand extends towards you; it lays itself at his feet and sweeps up towards you, twice.
Aetos watches the laser sweep by and jumps up mildly to avoid it, but get's hit by the second... not knowing it was going to come back.
Nick Caligo (GM): It sears your chest.
Aetos: "Zio, come back to your senses... I know you weren't always like this..."
Nick Caligo (GM): He starts to stride towards you... he extends both his hands to his sides, and blue flames grace his palms.
Aetos: "If you won't listen to me, fine... I know I'm not the best person to talk to when you feel the -- what am I saying? You need to go." he charges up to Zio with a breath of rage, as running, he pulls out his spear, and then ends up ramming it right into Zio's gut..
Nick Caligo (GM): You jam it into him, but have a really hard time trying to get through that field of shadows that seems to have collected around him... you don't break his chest, but you hurt him. He lifts his hands to the sky, and the flames rise in a pillar; the shadows explode upwards and outwards in a tremendous geyser.
Aetos practically stands there.
Nick Caligo (GM): You're blown off your feet and skid on your back through the dusty red earth.
Aetos: "Guhh!!" he yelps as he skids back across the rock... darkness and fire wither off his body.
Nick Caligo (GM): ... the geyser ends, and the grey clouds above swirl where it left its mark... a grotesque phantom demonic face emerges through them slowly, staring down at you with eyes that glow like Zio's. Zio, however, has returned to normal in terms of appearance. Well, if you don't count the burning red eyes and the flames in his hands. They seem to absorb into his palms, even... his hands aren't just holding fire, they're on fire.
Aetos flops over and pushes himself up off the surface. he cups his hands and a light shines through them "Zio I've known all this time, the wielder of darkness has a bane of light!" he throws several small orbs of shining light from his hands and toward Zio, wind gathers and collects around them and then mildly explode with a flash on impact. Zio takes one to his chest, but then seems to bash the other two out of the air.
Aetos: "See? How do you like that? I can see that you're afraid now!" he grins.
Nick Caligo (GM): He just frowns, glaring at you as always. He narrows his eyes... and in an instant, he's right in your face, striking you in the chest with his fist. There's an explosion of blue fire; you feel like you've just had your entire chest burnt off as you go reeling through the air again. He dashes underneath you, not but a black blur until he punches you in a spectacular flash of blue flame again.
Aetos yells out in pain when the fist of flame delivers burning sensation to his chest.
Nick Caligo (GM): Bam! You feel it REALLY good this time. Your back cracks on his fist, and again there's that searing explosion... it's worse this time, because of the momentum. He withdraws his fist and leaps up, clasping his hands together and bashing down on your fully extended stomach with both of them. *WHAM!* You're sent straight into the ground.
Aetos collides into the ground, in too much pain to even show it..
Nick Caligo (GM): He looks down at you, towering over you now that you lay there in the dirt. His eyes flash brightly... you can see the horrible demonic visage in the sky mirroring his expression as its eyes, too, flash... it seems to be opening its maw to devour you. His hand extends out. That familiar dark lighting starts to gather around his hand...
Aetos squirms and pushes himself up slowly... "No... not... that..." he looks back up to the demonic..thing... in the sky... "What..IS that!?" he dares not try to match wits with Zio, out of options... he forms a ball with his fist and launches a divine wind sphere at the face in the sky "Maybe that is the source... of his .. much more dark self..." The ball zooms and zips through the sky, upward to the face... if it is a target... it would.
Nick Caligo (GM): It does nothing.
Aetos mutters and does nothing.
Nodal: "Aetos!!! Kumsy! Is there any way to help him?" *earps in next to Aetos. "Need a hand?" Nodal throws up a handful of seeds into the air to, let's say, speed things up. Nodal scans the psychotic Zio with his Smash Dex.*
Dex: *Ding!* "Zio:"
Spyke suddenly smashes into Zio from behind, wrapped into his armored ball, his quills extended all around him, the tips enraged with electric blue arcs of energy, his entire body spinning rapidly, grinding against what he hammers into, before unfolding with a flip, above Zio, and slashing down at the man with a quick slice of his beam saber, the haze of energy trailing behind the weapon, before landing between Aetos and Zio.
Dex: "Statistics unknown."
Nick Caligo (GM): Zio looks over to Nodal... only to fall prey to Spyke's incoming attack.
Nodal shakes the Dex. "Useless hardware."
Aetos growls as Zio, then looks to Nodal as he comes up, and Spyke when he rolls in from behind Zio "Where did you guys come from? Nonetheless, thanks."
Nodal: "Be careful what you wish for. You might get a swordsman and a porcupine."
Nick Caligo (GM): Hit-hit-miss-hit! You slice him up like a ragdoll.
Spyke crosses his arms in front of him, his saber blade extended under his left arm as he looks at Aetos from the corner of his eye. "You're welcome."
Nick Caligo (GM): He loses the charge he was holding a moment ago; his cape's torn up, but he doesn't seem much more deterred...
Nodal nods to Spyke. "Nice work."
Spyke: "We're not done yet..." He eyes Zio slowly..
Nick Caligo (GM): He immediately hops back to get a good look at how many Questers he's dealing with, scoping the group out...
Metal Man (GM): *Outta nowhere, Metal appears in the battle. About as inexplicably as he dissappeared, really.* "Huh. Zio again. It's like one of those repeating nightmare things. Except in color."
Metal Man: "Eat shoes, you dastardly, well-dressed devil!" *He powered up and launched four glowing shoes at Zio's head, accompanied by cheesy 70's special effects and kazoo noises.*
Nick Caligo (GM): He's caught offguard by your attacks... but still manages to shunt himself out of the way of a couple of them before he gets blasted by the other two. An explosion of light leaves him on his knees, weakened, but he picks himself back up and thrusts his hands out to each side, fingers fully extended. Blasts of fire shoot out to either side and split into four bolts each; one set of four shoots towards Nodal, the other towards Spyke, each one converging on their targets.
Spyke opens his eyes wide, before making a sideways leap.
Nick Caligo (GM): Two of the bolts of fire hit you... and Nodal is missed completely. They explode in mid-air as he dives and rolls out of the way.
Spyke yelps as some of the fire catches him... His fur burns for a few moments longer than one would think it should..
Aetos closes his eyes and uses his thoughts to penatrate Zio's memories and thoughts, well... yeah... he attempts to mimic him..
Nick Caligo (GM): As you look into Zio's heart, there is nothing... and it's not the same nothingness as that which was in the minds of the Sligs. This is pure, horrid darkness. There's not a speck of light to be found... you feel the shadows almost seeping into you... there's a sharp pain in your chest before the source of the pain seems to tear itself out of you. You, like he did before, become shrouded in shadows, your form blurring as if extreme heat was rising beneath you.
Aetos shivers... "I feel... ungodly..."
Nick Caligo (GM): You LOOK ungodly.
Spyke: "... Are you okay, Aetos?"
Nodal: "If you want to be my clone no being demonic."
Aetos speaks, but only whispers of evil arise from his mouth.. He jumps high into the air, at incredible speed... he reaches the peak, literally hundreds of feet in the air. as he descends, he sticks his spear out below him and falls down... down..
Spyke watches Aetos go up... up... And down... down... "...Uhh... Wow..."
Nick Caligo (GM): Zio shunts out of the way in a shadowy blur, much like the one you make as you thrust your spear into the dirt.
Aetos lands elegantly on his feet and pulls his spear out of the rock,quickly he makes another powerful thrust with his spear at Zio.
Nick Caligo (GM): He sidesteps your attack with great ease.
Nodal runs up to Zio and flips over his body stabbing down. From behind him he impales Zio twice before spinning around him implanting a stab in Zio's side and blackflipping with an upward slash to the chest into a defensive stance.
Nick Caligo (GM): Your blade clashes with his hand on the first stab; you deflect off, but flip through the air and land in your dirt, doing an under-armed stab through his back before spinning around and slicing his side. Your attack to his chest is thwarted by another block. Translation: Hit, hit.
Spyke lunges at Zio, one arm out-stretched, reaching for his kneck, his quills flattening to his back with his movements to streamline his approach...
Nick Caligo (GM): Your hand latches with his, and he forces you away.
Spyke blinks as he's forced back and then growls loudly, his saber lashing wildly at Zio, trying to cut across his chest twice. "Grrrraaa!"
Nick Caligo (GM): Your blade finds itself deflecting off his clawed, gauntleted hand's backside before it makes its mark. One hit.
Spyke takes a step back, mildly satisfied... He waits and watches...
Metal Man lets loose some flamin' cola, drinking up a can, hurling it at Zio, defending.
Nick Caligo (GM): Zio gets pelted by a can of soda which explodes violently. He wobbles a bit as he seems to try and push the explosion away with his arms, then he lifts his hands up... circles of light trace themselves around each Quester here, before little rays of light begin to shoot up from their circumference.
Spyke blinks and tries to get the heck out of dodge...
Aetos follows suit behind Spyke... his movements hardly make a noise..
Metal Man dodges like a pro.
Spyke blinked for too long and gets blasted by the burst of light... He cries out in pain, his body glowing a moment from the energy...
Nick Caligo (GM): Huge beams of light blast up from under your feet, knocking you clear off of them. As the beams finish their work, he leaves a trail of after-images behind as he suddenly appears near Nodal and gives him a good haymaker to the face. He'd feel the same searing sensation that Aetos did earlier as he gets his block knocked off.
Nodal feels a distinct lack of block.
Aetos concentrates and focuses his mind... his great eyes beging to glow like a searing blue fire... He stares intently at Zio... pondering what he... truly has become. Aetos snaps back, his eyes returning to show nothing but darkness due to this shell around him... he peers up into the sky... he mutters but only darkness is heard.. he screeches at the face looming above in the sky, and just rushes toward Zio and swiftly, but silently attempts impaling him again.
Nick Caligo (GM): Your spear thrusts into his chest and comes out the other side. He appears to be groaning in pain, but makes no sound.
Aetos leaps back to the group andstands there... he peers at Zio and will be ready for attack.
Nodal spins like a top in the air as he jumps. He holds his scimitar straight out as he whistles past Zio's neck striking two wuick blows. He land behing Zio and like the sportsman he is stabs him in the back twice. Finally he jumps onto Zio's back stabs him one last time in the neck and leaps into the air twirling until he comes into a defensive posture.
Nick Caligo (GM): Your attacks are both parried expertly after he shakes off the pain of Aetos's attack; he spins around and whaps your blade away, only to have it put right through the same place Aetos hit. And HARD. Your final attack just pangs off his gauntlet.
Spyke drops his hand by his side, the digits encased in rippling waves of blue electricity, pooling together to form what looks like a ball... It shakes and hums a bit as it tries to stabilize. Spyke then lunges at Zio, the ball stabilizing and then suddenly cracking into two identical orbs of crackling lightning, the other leaping to his other hand, whisps of energy whipping off his fists. he slams them both at Zio with a roar.
Nick Caligo (GM): Your electric fist of fury collides with his palm; the charge expends itself uselessly into the air. A crack of lightning in all directions tells you that it missed. Both times.
Spyke growls and leaps back, ending his assault early..
Metal Man uses his extra actions to smack Zio around with his axe. A lot.
Nick Caligo (GM): You score three hits, one of which is a crit.
Nick Caligo (GM): Zio kicks off the dusty earth and twirls in the air for a moment, drawing his arms in for a moment before throwing them out to his sides. Bolts of dark lightning spread out on all directions, burning the earth black and striking... Metal, Nodal, and Spyke are all struck by the spreading black energy wave. At least, if this roll goes well.
Nodal easily leaps over the spreading wave.
Metal Man dodges the attack barely.
Spyke: *avoids, barely.*
Garrick warps in, apparently, right when the others just got barely blasted by a dark energy wave. "Hey guys, Klumsy said you could use som--whoa, it's Zio... no wonder..."
Nick Caligo (GM): The lightning slowly begins to withdraw and arcs back unto Zio's body before he lands again and unleashes it all in a wide beam of lightning, at Metal. The lightning slowly begins to withdraw and arcs back unto Zio's body before he lands again and unleashes it all in a wide beam of lightning, at Metal.
Metal Man is barely hit. "Is that all you can do, traitor?"
Nick Caligo (GM): The dark energy blast hits Metal right in the shoulder. Despite your efforts to resist him, and your determination, you find your life force slowly draining away... HP: -10 per turn. SP: -4 per turn. STR: -20%. END: -20%. On top of all that, you just took damage.
Metal Man: "Hmph. Your powers haven't increased a bit, unlike mine. I'll kill you yet."
Nick Caligo (GM): Zio doesn't seem to notice that Metal's even speaking. He just stares with the same morbid grimace.
Nodal runs up to Zio and spins in the air. He lands on Zio's shoulders blade leaning down to create a powerful strike. He then jumps off spinning to the ground to slice Zio's back with his sword twice before he stabs Zio in the back twice with great accuracy. Finnally he gets a running start as he swipes at Zio's side to jump into the air, do a forward flip, and land on his feet in defensive posture. Gah.
Nick Caligo (GM): Your blade rams itself against his gauntlet; he blocks that first strike easily. Your jumps and flips to try and confuse him have become predictable; they make your strikes slow. He tracks you easily, blocking everything, and shunting to the side as you try to stab him. As you land on your feet and survey the damage, you realize that there has been none to speak of. Spyke: Go!
Spyke dashes at Zio, cutting across him twice with his saber in a standard cross-shaped lashes, the green trail of his blade following behind with a powerful, crackling thrust of his now-electrified saber!
Nodal resolves to stop with the jumping and flipping.
Nick Caligo (GM): The first attack in your cross-slash misses; your electrifying thrust passes through only an afterimage as he shunts away, almost seeming to disappear and reappear several meters away. Only the second attack hit.
Digifanatic appears into the scene, half-confused at all the scenarios going on. "Well, this is certainly odd..."
Garrick warps in with a flash of light, landing a distance from the fight. He immediately sees the flashes of battle and runs toward them... but slows as he sees the dark armored guy up on the dais... "...Zio... it just HAD to be Zio... please tell me you've knocked him down at least once..."
Azure appears in on the scene with his arms folded he whisks his head around removing his hood to gaze at the battle before entering.
Digifanatic then runs up to Zio, trying to Fire Punch his way into this...
Garrick coordinates with Digi, going in low for a Rising Uppercut as Digi punches downward into the incredibly evil human...
Nick Caligo (GM): o/` FF7: AC - Divinity II o/` He ducks Garrick's attack, only to take Digi's; the punch connects directly with his chest and makes him fly through the air backwards.
Digifanatic lands back, taking a gaze at Zio before quickly retreating into the rest of the party to defend before the next turn.
Azure wisks his hands around calling his spirit charms forward as he unviels a powerful spell. A burst of light surges around his body as hundreds of spirit charms ram themselves forward toward Zio. Azure casts Spirit Charm:Revolution.
Nick Caligo (GM): Zio backflips as he hurtles through the air, seeing Azure unleashing the spirit charms as he turns over, and then seeming to kick off the very air itself in an attempt to evade it. He suddenly flips upward, a circle of light flashing around him as the spirit charms stream towards him and arc up and back down, catching nothing but the dirt; each one bursts in a flash, almost a geyser of light. Azure would hear a loud thud as he lands in the dust just behind him. Metal's turn. Zio's out of range of most ranged attacks.
Metal Man: "I'll kill you for everything you've done. You shall not survive me!" *He gets on his Star Board, flies up to Zio, and then fires shoes into his face. Three of them...*
Nick Caligo (GM): Azure would turn to Zio just as Metal rushes past him, kicking up dust in his wake before coming to a sudden halt and scattering a trio of shoes towards Zio.
Metal Man then pulls a surprise move with his last AP. He goes insane and attacks Zio with his axe with tremendous force.
Nick Caligo (GM): The explosion seems to serve only to repel Zio upward; you leap up after him and bury your axe in his side. He retaliates by backhanding you in the face.
Metal Man (GM): *Is backhanded.*
Nick Caligo (GM): You're sent careening back down to the ground by the explosion of blue fire that erupts on your cheek as he hits you.
Garrick: "...good lord..."
Nick Caligo (GM): You flip and swiftly recover yourself, planting your feet safely on the ground again... but Zio seems to just continue to move higher and higher.
Azure: .oO(The divine won't be enough to best this foe.)
Nick Caligo (GM): Not a single one of you can't spot the ball of red and black energy that's forming in his hand as he soars upward. It's like you all have zoom vision. 'cept he aint here...
Metal Man: "Someone shoot missiles at him."
Garrick: "...how exactly are we supposed to hit him from way down here?"
Metal Man: "Do you think he wants us to hit him?"
Digifanatic: "Gotta jump for it... either that, or just play a waiting game."
Garrick backs up a bit, watching to where he might come down..
Nodal dives off the ground towards Zio's back. He quickly slices into Zio in an X-Strike 4 times before pulling his hand back as strong as he can to punch into the center of the X trying to interrupt his attack.
Nick Caligo (GM): You leap... flip... flip again... and then begin to drop; you aren't even within spitting distance of Zio's feet yet, and he too is still moving up! If you have a triple-jump, it's your only chance, but it'll cut off your attack right there.
Nodal thrusts his sword out repeatedly at the apex of his jump to throw out beams of wind from the blade twice.
Nick Caligo (GM): Your wind shots both rush up around him; he looks down, noticing you with a gleam of surprise in his grim eyes, but relatively unscathed. Watching you fall straight back down, he considers you to be relatively unthreatening. He just coninues to let the ball of energy grow, keeping it held between his palms. Nodal's falling back towards the ground... he came so close, too.
Garrick: "...this... this is where I wish I had my gun..."
Nodal thrusts his arms out to reduce his speed in the air as he soars back down to the ground.
Spyke takes to the air himself, jumping as best as he can... if he catches up to Nodal, tries to grab and throw him upward with whatever strength he can muster.
Nick Caligo (GM): Nodal suddenly finds his direction reversed as Spyke grabs onto his arm and yanks him back; he's hurled upward again.
Spyke is done now... He can't get any higher and has no ranged moves.
Azure: "Let me give it a go..." he bends down slightly and leaps upward bursting upward in the air toward spyke who he grabs and attempts to follow Spyke's pattern trying to send him up higher.
Azure then performs a double after he attempts to hurl spyke back toward Zio in the air.
Nick Caligo (GM): You barely manage to catch up with Nodal; your deceleration's beginning to catch up with you already as you start to slow down. You're alongside him now.
Azure: *And to end it he pulls his hands behind him turning his body in the opposite direction still elevating. Red chi gatering in his palms. He slams the burst forward the fire ball shooting it downward. At such close range with Nodal hopefully the explosive power of it already sending Azure high up would send nodal along with him.*
Nick Caligo (GM): Make the attack roll this time. An explosion of fire catapults the both of you even higher upwards. You can't be helped much, but Nodal was already going fast enough... you begin to fall back towards the ground, like Spyke, but have given Nodal a powerful boost.
Garrick looks at the flying people... there's not much he can do, since he doubts one of them will not be hitting the ground soon during his turn. So he does the one thing he can do for this turn. He looks around for something heavy that he could toss at Zio..
Nick Caligo (GM): There's lots and lots of rocks. The biggest of which is the size of a human head. Oh bah. You can do better. THERE ya go! You spot a very very large rock sitting in the shadow of the hill, half-buried in the ground. It's roughly a Bowser-sized boulder.
Garrick looks down at the boulder, then looks up at Zio. He looks back to the boulder, then back to Zio... with a wide smirk on his face. Why jump when you could chuck... he spits in either hand, gets a nice firm grip, then puts every last bit of his own personal strength and all those enhanced servos from his armor into it and HURLS the thing at Zio..
Nick Caligo (GM): You make like Hercules and heft that sucker up over your head. And you didn't even have to lift with your knees!
Garrick: "I piddy the foo' who makes me throw a rock at them!"
Nick Caligo (GM): You bend your knees slowly, then spring them back up and launch the boulder high upwards, just as Digi's getting ready to do his thing.
Digifanatic tries to pay real close attention to this just incase he slightly misses the mark on this... Digifanatic then also starts to perform his set of aerial acrobatics towards the figure of Zio. Here comes the first jump.
Garrick: "...and here I wish I had a bomb to stick on that thing... oh well."
Digifanatic: *After getting some serious spring in his leap, he jumps once again...*
Nick Caligo (GM): You zoom up past the boulder just as Spyke and Azure come falling back down.
Digifanatic tries to keep the one that.
Nick Caligo (GM): You aren't quite able to catch up with Nodal. He and Zio both are just going way too high; Nodal's moving too fast to be caught up with, even! If you're gonna deliver that boost, it's gonna have to be at a distance, somehow.
Digifanatic tries to keep Spyke floating in the air by trying to hurl him back up towards Zio.
Nick Caligo (GM): You've passed Spyke already. That's out of the option. Which isn't a real expression.
Digifanatic decides to try and launch a real fast and long-range Super Mario Punch at Zio (Ranged/Extra Jump), trying to at least keep some pace in the battle.
Nick Caligo (GM): You suddenly burst upward with that quaint Super Mario jump sound, landing your fist right below Nodal's feet; you send him flying up even faster than before! Hooray transfer of momentum!
Digifanatic: "Whoa, sorry Nodal. At least we're still airborne."
Nick Caligo (GM): Nope, he takes no damage. And Digi's not quite so airborne as Nodal; he wouldn't be able to hear Digi break the fourth wall as he falls back to the ground. Zio watches as Nodal picks up more and more speed; Zio's slowing down, and Nodal's speeding up. He's catching up!
Garrick tries to see exactly where his boulder is in relation to this..
Nick Caligo (GM): The black magician narrows his eyes, kicking off the air and using a double-jump to keep himself from slowing down... it's looking closer every moment. Aetos' wind powers might help.
Nodal feels it is necessary to start slowly saying a moves name right now.
Nick Caligo (GM): Garrick: It's going up. Oddly enough, it's going at a constant speed, which suggests that Klumsy's physics engine is utterly broken.
Aetos claps his hands together and evil energy pulsates around his dark form... he slowly brings them apart and a small ball of wind forms between them, somewhat like those balls with the electricity inside them... actually that has nothing to do with this... it grows to a mediocre size, then Aetos jets his arms out forward toward Nodal... trying to give him a pretty big High Knockback boost.
Nick Caligo (GM): Nodal would feel the wind under his feet pushing him upward with a flash of light. He's catching up with Zio still, even with that double-jump he made...
Nodal is currently holding his scimitar out at Zio just in case he actually overshoots him.
Metal Man: "Eh. It's not worth flying up there, he'll just nuke me and cause me to fall a very, very long way." *He would go to the most defensible position nearby and take cover over it, using as much effort possible to defend as much as possible with the current arena (whose description he forgot.)*
Nick Caligo (GM): Nodal's inching closer and closer to Zio every second... he can almost touch him. They're just below the layer of clouds that hangs in the sky as Nodal finally begins to lose speed... Things look like they're about to be all over. But wait, what's this? Why, a perfectly conveniant boulder is rushing up just beneath the two of you! And that ball of darkness is getting pretty big... it's about the size of Zio's entire body. Whatever you do, you're gonna need to do this carefully, quickly, and decisively. Everything depends on you now. So, Nodal Whisk, what will you do?
Nodal maneuvers over to the boulder and lands on it. He uses his momentum as well as the increase of the boulder to rush towards Zio eyes flaring. He pulls back on his sword as hard as he can as he flies forward. He then quickly slices across Zio's face and then with a great surge of energy thrusts forwards to knock Zio as hard as he can.
Nick Caligo (GM): You kick off the boulder, which gives you just the right foothold you need to catch up with Zio. You both break the clouds, your fate becoming unknown to those below. Moments later, you'd break through the clouds again... it'd take you more than half a minute to fall and land back on the ground. Halfway down... Zio breaks through after you. But he doesn't have nearly as much control over his fall. He's plummeting.
Garrick squints at the specs that are Nodal and Zio...
Spyke: "..." He tries to see what happened as best he can... He wishes he had binoculars.
Nick Caligo (GM): Nodal thuds safely on the ground in a kneel, kicking up red dust all around himself. He's unscathed. Zio slams into the ground helplessly in an explosion of black energy.
Aetos watches fine... his eyes basically are binoculars.
Nodal dusts off his sleeve.
Garrick looks at the dust cloud... then instantly looks up to look for the boulder..
Nick Caligo (GM): You lift your head up and look at the sky, only to hear the loud *WHAM!!* as a giant boulder lands RIGHT behind you and crumbles to rubble. Digi landed some time ago. As did everybody else.
Garrick: "...well, I guess we couldn't get everything..."
Metal Man: "Huh. Well, I guess I'm not dead yet after all."
Nick Caligo (GM): A plume of dust rises around Zio as he makes a new crater in the red earth, laced with dark lightning for a moment before the plume and the energy both settle. He's not moving.
Azure: "Not all victories are won walking one path." he says staring at zio's body.
Spyke: "... Is it... over?"
Digifanatic: "No idea..."
Nodal: "Is he dead? Or just too embarrassed to get up?"
Digifanatic: "But I'm steering clear for now."
Nick Caligo (GM): The evil face in the sky seems to scream silently as the glow from its eyes fades and it disperses, becoming nothing more than clouds. But something seems... wrong.
Metal Man: "He's not dead. Attack the corpse."
Metal Man would run over to the corpse and begin kicking it.
Nick Caligo (GM): This wasn't the fight you had those years ago... Zio... didn't fight like this.
Azure: Just no honor...*he sighs.*
Garrick: "...Klumsy... pleaaaase say that's the end..."
???: "...He can't hear you."
Metal Man: "Zio's some dark sorcerer dude. He won't be staying dead for long."
Azure head turns to the unfamiler voice.
Aetos shrieks and yelps... the darkness steaming off of his body... "Ahhh! It's gone..." he looks back at Zio and Nodal. "... This will be important sometime. Never forget it."
Digifanatic very cautiously observes the situation, and then turns to where the voice is coming from.
Garrick turns to the voice as well, his fists rising to attack anything that might come his way..
Azure: "If he cannot hear us. Then we have moved into a place beyond his ability to help as well.."
Aetos: "Metal... it wasn't really... Zio..." he points to the '???'.. " I think he might have the answers... though cryptic somewhat."
Nick Caligo (GM): It's that same man that Aetos encountered just before the fight... a man in a black, cloak-like raincoat of some sort, zipped from the top down. His face is totally concealed by the shadows of his hood.
Spyke: "... Which isn't good..."
Digifanatic: "Just... who are you?"
???: "Your friend is correct. That was not Zio. And I'm not anyone."
Garrick: "I remember you..."
Nodal: "And how did you get here?"
Azure: If he wanted us to know that answer Digi his hood would be down.
Spyke: "...Doesn't stop us from asking."
???: "I'm afraid you do not, Garrick Fy'aar. Because I don't remember you."
Garrick: "You were that... guy that was here when the kid with the key was a member of the Questers..."
Azure: shrugs placing his own hood back over his head.
???: "You must be mistaking me for someone else."
Digifanatic just looks around, arms folded... just waiting for something to be figured out...
Garrick: "Then who are you? And how do you know my name??"
Aetos: "Julian... he told you, he's nobody."
Garrick tightens his fist even more, his knuckles turning white as he takes a step closer to the mysterious fellow..
???: "We've met, but we haven't..." He speaks in this voice... it sounds like you've heard it somewhere before. Like you hear it every day, even.
Nick Caligo (GM): But... you can't get a grip on it. He steps closer to Metal, seeming to lean in and get a good look at him, folding his lanky arms over his chest.
???: "You seem familiar."
Metal Man: "I am Metal Man. Who are you?"
Azure: "Then you're nobody that statement itself still makes him somebody." he folding his arms within in gi like robe around his upper body.
Aetos smacks his forehead.
Digifanatic just tries to figure out what that guy is even doing here in the first place... that's probably the next best idea seen as how he is "Nobody".
Nick Caligo (GM): Metal would feel a chill run down his spine at those words... something just doesn't feel right. Looking at this guy... it makes him feel as empty as that hood looks.
Digifanatic can't think of anything...
???: "...A mere shell."
Aetos nods slowly... empathetically. "Like Zio? I saw... what happened to him."
Metal Man: "You could be talking about yourself and not know it."
???: "I thought I'd check on my latest investment. You are all very important to me."
Nick Caligo (GM): He turns away from Metal and starts walking. His feet pat lightly against the dusty ground.
Garrick: "...and just how are we so important?"
Azure: "Latest investment. Nobody invests in something... even I have to say thats rich."
Digifanatic: (kinda quietly) "Latest investment? What is he...?"
Nodal: "Investment? What are we your puppets?"
Aetos: "He needs us to save the universe, that much I know... Garrick... he needs us to stop Kuja at the least."
Nick Caligo (GM): He stops. "Oh no, Nodal. We're partners. Close friends."
Digifanatic: "...No clue."
???: "You--the Questers--and I, all serve the same purpose. I've always been with you."
Nodal: "If we were close friends you would tell us who you are. Or give us a hint. Otherwise this friendship seems rather one-sided."
Garrick: "...he just did.....you've always been with us... since the begining?"
Metal Man: "What do you want?"
???: "Not since the beginning. But for a long time. What I want is what you want."
Spyke: "To stop evil and bring about peace?"
???: "No. That's not it."
Nodal: "To bring balance?"
Metal Man: "The death of Kuja?"
Garrick: "...and how do we don't know that you're some other evil villain? Some maniac that wants us to kill Kuja and his way of things so you can rise up and take over?"
Azure: "There's no point in asking him questions. I don't believe youll get an accurate answer in return."
Aetos: "Garrick... you seemed so close... till now."
Digifanatic: "Garrick has a point."
Garrick: "It doesn't matter. In some way, we'll get screwed in the end. There will be some secret, some little thing we missed."
Aetos: "Garrick, I think, in the end, it will all turn out as planned. Just... calm down."
Digifanatic: "After all, whatever he or it is, he seems to be so shady it's hard to understand what will come about."
Metal Man: "He seems too familiar to be an illusion..."
Garrick: "It NEVER turns out as planned, Aetos..."
Spyke: "... I'm lost..."
???: "The death of Kuja... heh heh heh... that's a good one." He snaps his fingers... the sky, the horizon in the distance all seem to shatter, and the ground begins to disperse into particles, leaving only islands of earth under your feet; they begin to fall swiftly, almost forming a staircase. The strange man turns to you, looking down. "It's too late for you to turn back now. Your fate is sealed, and your story is about to end. Your days as pawns will soon be over."
Garrick: "Why is it I don't believe you?"
Digifanatic: .oO(...Uh... huh.)
Metal Man: "I thought it was over? It was Kuja who was using us, wasn't it? I triple-checked... it can't be."
Nodal: "But what shall we become? Knights to awkwardly rule the land? Kings to be in power but powerless?"
Aetos shakes his head. "Much more."
???: "You know what they say, Illian... you are your own worst enemy."
Spyke: "Who is Illian?"
Azure: "I'd choose neither of those goals. The future is something I'd wish to find out on my own instead of have some figment before me tell."
Digifanatic: "Metal's real identity."
Aetos eyes ???.. "So... Nobody..." he points to Metal and eyes him. "He seems to be familiar with you, Metal."
Garrick: "He's familiar with all of us..."
Nick Caligo (GM): The island of land that he stands on drifts upwards slowly.
Garrick: "...and I'm slowly getting sick of these mind games."
Digifanatic tries to sneakily pull out his Smash Dex and points it at the figure.
Azure: "Whether we care for it or not it seems where advancing."
Metal Man: "If you know me as well as I think you do... you'll never be able to escape us."
Digifanatic: "Ah, figures." *"Folds" it and sticks it back in his pocket.*
Nodal: "Told you it was useless."
Aetos: "Metal... I really do not think he's wanting to run from us... not in that sense."
Nick Caligo (GM): Before you close it, you hear something garbled coming through the static...
Metal Man: "Smash Dexes can't comprehend such strange things. It can only read physical matter."
Dex: "Met... an..."
Aetos: "See? This proves it more... Metal... this man... he's a... well, he's some form of you!"
Digifanatic: "His true human identity, perhaps... I remember seeing him once as a normal human."
Nick Caligo (GM): The ground beneath your feet finally collapses into particles, leaving you all to plummet through a warp of static. The universe around you is like a garbled television set.
Metal Man: "There is only one Illian Macgregor!" *Falls.*
Spyke: "...How? You guys... None of this... makes any sense."
Garrick: "It never does..."
Digifanatic: "You're right."
Metal Man: "It is a mystery to be added to the textbooks."
Nick Caligo (GM): You guys seem to be having philosophical debates while skydiving. Which is odd.
Aetos mutters under his breath as he calmly falls, his cape fluttering upward wildly. "I hope I meet you face to face once more..."
Nodal: "I always seem to be falling. Over and over it happens."
Nick Caligo (GM): Yet, in a flash of light, you find your feet safely on the ground again.
Azure's fallen into his usual silence.
Metal Man: "Alas, as long as we aren't plummeting to our doom, I doubt it'll matt--OOF! That was quick."
Digifanatic: *boof.* "That was one odd experience..."
Nodal lands lightly on his feet. "I guess practice makes perfect."
Aetos: "Guys, it's time to drop that... get ready for something even worse then a Shell of Zio possessed by a demon of great dark power. "
Garrick lands gently on his feet, sighing softly at all the stuff that's just happened...
Metal Man: "A shell of Kales possessed by Lumis Dongthar?"
Nodal: "The bride of Zio on PMS?"
Aetos: "Possible, Nodal... Possible..."
Digifanatic laughs loudly at Nodal's comment...
Garrick shakes his head and looks around this new location..
Digifanatic: "No, tha-thatt was a good one."
Metal Man: "Hey! Panzer wasn't that bad..."
Aetos: "Who is that?"
Klumsy: "Guys! What the heck happened!?" He calls through the smash dex.
Nodal: "Klumsy! I flew!"
Garrick: "Your challenge is out of wack, Klumsy."
Spyke: "... I'm... just lost."
Aetos clears his throat.
Digifanatic opens his Dex back up. "I have no idea. Just a weird conversation with some odd dude..."
Nick Caligo (GM): You're standing on a tiled floor, yet you can see the sky.
Aetos holds Digi's mouth shut.
Aetos: "Klumsy, it was just a minor bug... it's over now."
Nick Caligo (GM): The building all around you is severely burnt out... looks like there was an explosion.
Garrick: "Let's just finish this up and get back to the real world. How much farther do we need to go?"
Digifanatic: .oO(Minor bug my butt...)
Spyke: "...Geeze... What happened here?"
Metal Man: "You need a better firewall. This is worse than that time the arena glitched on out and destroyed the headquarters."
Klumsy: "Nah, I debug this thing thoroughly. Someone hacked this thing. You're RIGHT at the last fight!"
Nick Caligo (GM): This was probably previously an office building of some kind...
Garrick: "This is the last fight??"
Spyke: "... The last...? Does that mean we're...?"
Klumsy: "Yeah... uhh... good luck!"
Aetos: "...Klumsy..." he shakes his head.
Garrick: "Alright... I suppose we should get moving..."
Nodal: "Klumsy if they can hack it can't you? To delete the enemies?"
Garrick moves forward, ignoring the others as he clenches his fists again and moves toward the building.
Digifanatic: "Well, no time to lose your guard now. Bring it on."
Nick Caligo (GM): *thump... thump...* The sound of a boot against the tiled floor... someone's coming.
Digifanatic: "Yup... it's him."
Garrick: "...I've only heard rumors about this guy... he's supposed to be impossibly strong..."
Metal Man: "Who's that?"
Azure: "At the end already huh. Then lets do our best. That martial artist in me actully wishes to see how well it would pit itself against..." feels an immense aura his head whisks around to gaze upon the form giving it off.
Nick Caligo (GM): The creaking of leather stretching as the person moves... and the vague noise of a feathered wing, traveling slowly through the air, stretching.
Metal Man scratches his head. "I only heard about him... that time I kicked a monkey boy's arse."
Nick Caligo (GM): o/` Ding... bumbum... bumbum... bumbum... o/`. He steps out of the shadows slowly... he's impressive, standing 1.5x as tall as the tallest of you, his chest bare but for the belts crossing it and the black coat that hangs on his shoulders and clings to his arms, belted at the waist as well.
Digifanatic slightly tilts his head downwards and closes his eyes... he lifts it back again ever so slightly, staring into nothing, just seeming to be purely concentrated into this oncoming boss...
Spyke eyes the final foe wearily... "... So... Is that him? The main man?"
Nick Caligo (GM): His eyes gleam bright green, almost reminding you of pools of pure ether.
Nodal: "This must be the biggest enemy if he gets theme music."
Nick Caligo (GM): o/` Ding... bumbum... bumbum... bumbum... o/`
Metal Man: "...Klumsy, did you switch out your real boss with a fur trapper?"
Garrick slowly spreads his feet a bit wider to give himself a little bit more room to manuver. His fists slowly lower into his usual fighting stance, his eyes focused on any little move, any twitch he might do..
Azure turns to him outside of these Questers Azure removed his hood to this being gazing at him with his own unique blue orbs. "Simply..immense..."
Aetos almost decides to stab Metal with Talon... of course he refrains... "Metal, do not aggravate the fallen angel..."
Nick Caligo (GM): His long, white hair is accented by heavy bangs that almost fall in his eyes, but part off to the sides... but most of all, you notice two things about him... The first is the immense black wing coming out of his back and stretching off to his left.
Metal Man: "Eh, I'm still dying as I stand, Aetos. Might as well aggravate him and keep him from attacking you guys." *He nods.* "I'm taking one for the team."
Spyke: "...Looks like he went through heck and back."
Garrick: "Bull, Metal. No way I'm letting you do this on your own... I'm still a magitek bomb, remember?"
Aetos: "So... brave... AND STUPID! We have HEALING ITEMS you punk!"
Nick Caligo (GM): The second... is his sword, which is held loosely by a loop in the side of his bealt.
Metal Man: "It doesn't matter what happens. This Dark Energy Wave is deadly. Unless you can cure that, I can't stay alive long in this simulation. Thank heavens this isn't reality."
Nick Caligo (GM): It just might be the single biggest katana you've ever seen in your lives. Its length has to be easily twice his height.
Digifanatic just shrugs it off, now opening his eyes at this beast before him... oO(That is just immense...)
Metal Man stares at it. "Nice sword, dude. Who made it?"
Digifanatic: .oO(Quiet it, Metal...)
Aetos walks over and far away from Metal... a tad conspiculously.
Spyke inches away as well...
Garrick rolls his eyes.
Metal Man crosses his arms. "Do not fear death, or it will consume you."
Spyke: "... I'm not fearing death. I'm fearing his sword."
Azure stares at the massive masmune taking out his guantlets it be strange but the monk was actully dirven to battle. He had either gone insane or Azure was actully interested in something other than a book.
Nick Caligo (GM): The black-coated man simply smiles serenely, looking to the handle of the weapon and touching it lightly with his left hand... before drawing it in a single, violent, lightning-fast motion, holding it at his shoulder and taking a wide stance.
Digifanatic takes a step or two back... this just may be one of the most intense moments one has seen him here...
Metal Man: "That sword equals death if used properly. Am I not correct?"
Garrick: "It comes with the job discription. It's in the fine print... Alright, here goes nothing..."
Spyke: "No, it equals pain, and then death..."
Aetos stands at the right end of the group.
Spyke: "In fact, you don't die fromt he sword, but from the wounds it causes, and the bleeding."
Nodal: "And the shock. Cant forget the shock."
Sephiroth: "...You all talk too much. Die." He angles the hilt to the ground and takes a single swipe.
Nick Caligo (GM): All there is is the flash of the blade... then, nothing. Nothing happens..... Was that supposed to do something?
Nodal: "Wow Sephy. Youve really let yourself go."
Metal Man (GM): .oO(I bet it's gonna slice people in half.)
Nick Caligo (GM): *crick... crick crack.*
Garrick: "..." *MOVES.*
Spyke: "..." He blinks and looks around..
Metal Man stands his ground. Wondering if he's gonna fall into two halves or something.
Nick Caligo (GM): A tiny fissure starts to open itself in the ground just at his feet. He stands up straight, chest out proudly, sheathing his blade... and watches the entire side of the building start to collapse away.
Spyke yelps and runs for Sephiroth's side, leaping to get across.
Nick Caligo (GM): Dust, rubble, shrapnel... it rains through the air as the entire section starts just falling off like a rollercoaster going over the hill.
Garrick makes like Spyke, leaping to the other side..
Nodal jumps out trying to escape his side of the building.
Digifanatic quickly tries to follow Spyke's lead... now or never.
Nodal: "Always with the jumping. And the falling."
Metal Man: "Ah. Good. I have a chance to give some parting blows."
Azure is silent in stance and smiling even the massive building didn't bother him he just rushed forward making a jumping leap before it was to late. *double jumps if needed.*
Digifanatic: *double jump as well.*
Nodal: *Indeed. And treble.*
Metal Man gets on his Star Board and just floats there. Unless he misinterpreted the attack.
Spyke makes a double jump, if needed...
Nick Caligo (GM): Only Spyke is able to catch the ledge, and only a double-jump lets him do it.
Digifanatic: *Extra Jumper.*
Nick Caligo (GM): The rest of you plummet for a few moments before you catch onto pieces of framework and handholds in the sloped, rough side of the maimed building. Digi catches onto Spyke's legs.
Garrick goes with the double jump as well..
Aetos sighs and jumps last, waving at Metal as he rapidly ascends through the air.
Nick Caligo (GM): Garrick falls in with everyone else.
Digifanatic quickly tries to pull himself up with Spyke onto Sephy's side of the building.
Nick Caligo (GM): Aetos grab onto Digi's legs.
Spyke groans and tries to hang on, and even pull himself up, with someone who he hasn't looked back to see, latches onto his legs.
Garrick pulls off a Rising Uppercut, which counts as an extra jump... Garrick then does have Extra Jumper... so... triple jump!
Nick Caligo (GM): Sephiroth smirks and looks down at Spyke, who almost seems to be grovelling at his feet from his perspective. Garrick: Same. You're still on the side of the building, not the ledge.
Spyke: "..." He narrows his eyes...
Digifanatic: "Alright. Let's get up there."
Garrick growls and climbs quickly..
Nick Caligo (GM): Then... he's just not there any more. He flaps his wing, and leaves only a feather behind, fluttering softly through the air until it lands on Spyke's nose.
Metal Man: "Where he go?"
Aetos starts climbing up Digi and Spyke.
Digifanatic: "No idea."
Aetos: "Don't... sneeze."
Spyke yelps, but tries to cling for his life... @_@ "Gah!..."
Digifanatic motions Spyke to start pulling up.
Garrick moves up the line of people..
Aetos: "Don't... stab me with your quills either... stupid Beaver..." he keeps pulling himself up.
Spyke almost feels like letting go to spite Aetos..
Nick Caligo (GM): Metal, Garrick, and Spyke: You all are smart enough to leap off the side of the building as a black-and-purple blur slams into the side in the midst of the lot of you, causing the face of the building to explode in a hail of rubble.
Spyke: "Holy... Light!"
Metal Man: "That was close. I need a stunt double."
Nick Caligo (GM): The force of it almost feels like a giant fist made of wind rammed itself into it... You each manage to land some tens of meters away on the edge of the roof of a tall, cylindrical building. The rest... fall with the rubble.
Spyke: "... Metal, I do, too..."
Garrick: "Good lord, he's fast..."
Nick Caligo (GM): The dust clears... and there's no sign of either Sephiroth or the others.
Nodal: "What the..."
Nick Caligo (GM): *PAUSE* until either later or tomorrow.