1177/Soul Duplication

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Soul Duplication
Date of Scene: 19 December 2014
Location: Misaki Town <MT>
Synopsis: A rogue magus is willing to sacrifice countless lives for a noble goal, but must still be stopped.
Cast of Characters: 152, 183, 253, 518, Zero Kiryu, 560, 570, 591, Lezard Valeth, 614, 617, 643

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Today we are not in Japan, not in UK, and much less are we in a land of great spiritual importance. We are in the grat, exotic locale of... New York City. It's loud, it's Friday, and it's crowded, everywhere. This is a pretty bad place to be if you're not a subtle magus, which by all accounts one SIGMUNG WITOLD OLIWIER isn't, and that's why there's a price on his head. 'course whether or not you want to agree with the Association is up to you when you find him.

    People have been given two rendez-vous locations. The first is a club in the harbor-- called The Frying Pan, it is literally on a boat. This is where AOKO is, waiting. It's an old boat, repurposed into a flat surface to serve drinks and dance on. There's maybe a hundred people here, enjoying themselves. And loud music, but not quite club-level since it's outdoors.

    The second rendez-vous point, manned by ASSASSIN, is the Kingston Hall, another rustic club where one may find almost a hundred people just enjoying their Friday afternoon.

    The briefing was simple: Sigmund has been seen in too many locations to find him, BUT, these two places are radiating magical energy, so if he is anywhere in New York, and being as obvious as the Clock Tower implies, he is in there.

    Gather up, and find a way past staff into the restricted areas. That means the old cargo hold of the boat, and probably the basement of the club.

    Try not to cause a public mess.
    But don't worry if you have to, the Clock Tower will probably cover this mess up afterwards with their usual tricks.

    Naturally, the rituals taking place could be a lure for people not in on the investigation if they wouldn't have promised to play nice.

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    Tracking down Magi almost like a hitman is not EMIYA SHIROu's idea of eing a Hero of Justice. As usual he's not here for the money, but for the prospet that getting to the bottom of this can save lives. Rogue magi are dangerous people after all!

    But he's not really done a heck of a lot to be too subtle himself. Nor is he too overt. If his ordinary outfit's a problem though... well, he's in trouble. Because that's what he's wearing when he walks into the KINGSTON HALL to hunt for the spirit whose face keeps changing...

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    One Puella Magi by the name of Shinobu Kimiko is presently remarking to herself that she only seems to travel in the States when there is something terrible and magical occurring. This is an odd trend. At least Boston is usually non-apocalyptic while she's there.

    Not as odd as she would look when trying to enter a New York club. Her appearance is young and distinctive, neither point of which would be in her favor in attempting to subtly make her way through. For that reason, she has entered neither the Frying Pan, nor Kingston Hall. She is, instead, elsewhere in the harbor, slightly removed from the boat containing the Frying Pan and looking at it from some small distance. Knowing that it's the lower reaches, rather than the populated upper decks, means she still has a chance of getting through this without causing a scene. She just has to swim or leap the harbor without attracting attention.

    She's willing to spend awhile scoping the area out in the interest of making that more likely.

Faruja (152) has posed:
Inquisitor Faruja Senra, today, isn't looking himself. Or, at least his normal getup for most missions. Gone are the robes and plate mail. Instead, he's wearing a fancy, western business outfit, complete with what appears to be a golden lace handkerchief and a tophat. His cane, today, may well be nearly solid silver, with a carved ivory handle. The symbol at his chest? A platinum Ajoran cross.

But most of all, the Burmecian is looking distinctly human this day to the non-magical members of the community, though no doubt many an Elite would see through it trivially easily.

The mage-priest is already onboard the Frying Pan, using his familiarity with the parties of the political elite in Ivalice to generally play the part of an active, engaging party guest. And swipe several drinks, while looking out for a particular Lady Aoko Aozaki. More importantly, he's keeping an eye on ways down deeper into the ship, what the serving staff is wearing as well as any crew he might spy, and enerally getting the lay of the boat discretely.

Faruja raises a glass. "A toast, dear friends, to a most memorable night in this lovely state of New York!" Clink!

Assassin (614) has posed:
     Assassin is here, manning Kingston Hall, the rustic old club full of people who have nothing better to do on a Friday than enjoy a rustic old club.

     Assassin blends in almost painfully well. It's dressed as a white-haired older gentleman, maybe late-fourties-early-fifties, with a fedora and trenchcoat like it's right out of Casablanca. It's currently sitting at the bar, smoking a cigar because it actually did watch Casablanca last night.

     It has a drink in its hand. It has probably not had a sip.

     Shirou gets Assassin's attention. It flags the young man down with a black napkin.

Helena Celba (643) has posed:
    Helena is a social butterfly.

    As that, she goes to the Frying Pan, she isn't too afraid of stepping into a situation...but she is curious as to WHY these mages want him dead. Sure, being loud is one thing...but typically killing a mage is something these guys seem not to wana do without...reasons. Helena arrives in a very nice dress, a very nice dress that leaves enough to the imagination to be decent, but enough to be revealed to be...provokitive. She has a nice figure, seemingly gliding in through the crowd, talking to random people, trying to get a feel for the Frying Pan. She tries to make nice with the people running security, smiling a winking at the bartenders...and of course, at anyone who strikes her fancy. After all, you have to look natural.

    And despite Helena's albino skin, she walks with a confidence that lets people know that she belongs there. Right now, she is still snooping, looking for how the magic flows, when she isn't flirting.

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    If the company she typically keeps and the condition of her home are no indication, then allow the narrative voice to tell you outright: Mizuki is not a people person.

    That's to say, she has no business being in a crowded city full of loud people, crowded streets, and likely worst of all whatever music the locals happen to enjoy. So in short, she really didn't know what she was getting into with this one, but she has been doing very little in conjunction with Heaven or Hell lately. And in fact, she has been doing very little of anything lately aside from her usual brooding back home. This is intended to be her 'big outing' for the week, but all the rest considered it may end up being her big outing for the month.

    And her expression would certainly be in keeping with her mood. She would likely show up near the BOAT CLUB, her parasol drawn and a profound scowl etched upon her face. She has made absolutely no effort whatsoever to blend in here, so she's likely to remain invisible - or at the least vaguely translucent - for the duration of her visit. Aoko and others would likely have no trouble sensing her presence as she draws near to the rendezvous point, but she still might give the former a tap on the shoulder just to be sure. And then she would retire to a corner, hand firmly clasped around the handle of her petite, lacy umbrella, likely sighing at any reverberant noises that make their way over to her.

    She maintains this state of unrest and brooding about as long as it takes for her eyes to wander to Faruja, at which point she begins to smile so wide, so quickly, that she's barely able to suppress a laugh. Her invisibility would wane for a moment, which is perhaps just long enough for one of the many drunkards strewn about to think they were hallucinating, but mercifully no longer.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    It has been a while since Psyber had a good Wizard Hunt. And with Miskatonic's classes finally done and not having to worry about a course curriculum for next week, Psyber actually has some free time to take dangerous field work. It wouldn't do to have his class on Monday cancelled due to catastrophic injury during the average semester, after all.

    So Psyber is hovering near Aoko with a drink in his hand. In suitably hardboiled fashioned, it has the following attributes: Is Scotch, Is Single-Malt, Is Served Neat, Is Over 18 Years Old.

    He's also got out at least one set of fake ID and a passable Permit-to-Carry-Concealed for the state of New York. He's leaning against a railing and bitching, "I hate buying drinks in clubs. Shit's way too expensive for anything good." He notes, taking a sip of his drink.

    Casual demeanor aside, he's still keeping an eye out for any trouble.

Chloe von Einzbern (617) has posed:
As much as Chloe von Einzbern finds it amusing to follow Shirou around and tease him endlessly... Kingston Hall looked like it was going to be the most boring place in all of ever.

Maybe she should have gone to the boat.

Nevertheless when weighing the options between 'more potentially fun club' and 'harass Shirou' one will always win out over the other. Which is why she appears out of seemingly nowhere, behind Shirou and smacks a hand on his shoulder. "Yo. You left me behind again, Shirou." Chirruped before waving to Humphssassin Bogart when he beckons Shirou on over.

For the record she is dressed completely inappropriately for a nice club, because shirts, jean cutoff shorts, and striped stockings are not nice, rustic, fancy club material.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    Kingston Hall seemed like a totally normal place, right? TOTALLY NORMAL!

    So, a TOTALLY NORMAL GIRL is there in a nice winter getup, complete with fuzzy hat and scarf and winter coat. Kingston Hall is the austere sort of place that Yuuki believes normal things will happen, perhaps a bit of nice investigation, some socialization...

    THIS is the sort of investigation that gets her fired up! As a(n ex) member of the Prefects, she feels it is her DUTY to...

    Corral high schoolers? Help people out?

    Honestly, she just noticed Aoko needed help, and after her awkward actions in the last expedition, she wanted to make up for it. Arriving, she greets Assassin, Chloe, and Shirou with a little wave. OSTENSIBLY ZERO IS HERE TOO, BEING BROODY AND DARK AND ANNOYED.

    At least it's nice and dark out. "Wonderful night, isn't it?" She tries, chipper and awake even despite the time.

Zero Kiryu has posed:
Back when he was a Prefect, Zero was a brooding, cranky asshole because he was constantly starving himself and not getting any sleep. Today, Zero is a brooding, cranky asshole because he is constantly starving himself and not getting any sleep. He stands next to Yuuki, a paper container in one hand. He is dressed in his school uniform, which passes reasonably well for formal wear, with a heavy overcoat over the top of it. A sideways glance is cast towards Yuuki when she offers up her incredibly cheery greeting to... well, everybody.

The hunter pops back several pills (or candies, it's hard to tell which with the way he eats them) and slips the paper container away.

This one is not a social butterfly, and anyone could have told as much with the most cursory of contact with him.

"Let's get this over with." He remarks, more to Yuuki than to the others. Zero is fairly certain that everybody else knows what they're doing. After last time, well... let's just say that he's cautious about the contrast between what Yuuki INTENDS to do around here, and what she'll actually END UP doing around here.

Stupid vampire forest.

Lezard Valeth has posed:
Like anyone in Midgard, Lezard is fairly familiar with boats. However, he has chosen to go to another location for Reasons. For the sake of not causing enough of a stir to require the murder or mind erasure of a large number of people, Lezard Valeth has entered in a fine tailored suit. It's less work this way.

The mage sits at a table, paging through a book with no title upon it while he waits for the festivities to begin. He has chosen to go with a fine wine for his refreshment. He doesn't seem to be paying much attention to those present, studiously ignoring Assassin and waiting for the effort of note to begin.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    THE FRYING PAN: Sneaking past the bouncers isn't too hard. A luck break in the guard means people can just funnel in, and with how many people are there, it's basically impossible to get spotted too easily. "Hi, hi!" comes Aoko, no drink in her hand, mostly waiting on the ramp leading to the boat itself. It's a big boat, not quite a luxury cruise liner or anything but it's on the small end of cargo boats which is pretty big.

    The boat is easy to scout, although access to anything under the main floor is barred. It's kind of old, and they don't want people messing with it down there. Wouldn't do for someone to poke at things and possibly make their club sink.

    Magic is in the air, but hard to pinpoint.

    Helena's question, why could the Association want this asshole dead, is answered pretty abruptly when the sky starts shifting from its darkness to a multicolored spiral, slowly. The access ramp leading off the boat suddenly bursts with energy, melting halfway up. Bright red runes appear surrounding the vessel in a perfect circle, mostly hovering slightly above the railing.

    People start panicking and screaming. One person tries to jump off the boat outright, and passing through the runes chars him to such a degree there's mostly the bones left hitting the water.

    From that very specific rune, a burst of magic flows into the bottom layer of the boat, as if it had absorbed the dead man's life force.

    Aoko frowns. "Ah man, the Association is totally going to blame me when they hear the words 'collateral'. This is gutsy as hell for a magus. It would be hard to cover this up. I think I could break the runes if you can keep the crowd under control and go handle whatever?"

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "Huh," Psyber says in a casual tone as he watches the man cross the rune and then immediately get charred like a bad steak, "Rune prison. Tricky." He observes. Not that the death isn't shocking or horrifying, but the callous humor is a coping mechanism. He'll be upset about Random Stranger #2451 later.

    "Knowing you, I could shittily photoshop a picture of you getting on the Titanic and retroactively see you blamed for that," He points out to Aoko in a sort of neutral way. He pats her on the back a couple times and then asks, "Think you could laser me an express elevator down into the ship?"

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:

    On the other hand, the Kingston Hall is a much more quiet place. There's no bouncers at all, which is probably completely against regulation. No smoking indoors though, and the bartenders are the ones carding people. Nobody'll have an issue getting in, although getting served is another problem. And while looking like Harry Potter wouldn't have barred Lezard entry it MIGHT have gotten those burly drunk jocks over there bullying him and calling him a nerd. Fortunately they won't be committing a fatal mistake like that tonight!

    Gathering with Assassin, or heading off on their own, gives a good layout of the club. There's a big basement, but access is marked STAFF ONLY. There is a man in black leather who looks uncomfortably like the Terminator guarding that door, though. Shotgun and all. You're pretty sure that's not legit, but nobody seems to care.

    There is magic under the establishment, that much is certain.

    From the corner of his eyes, Zero catches wind of his prey. Sigmund is a man in his mid-20's, frail, thin, pale. Glasses, blonde-grey hair. He's wearing a fancy suit. He seems to be in the far corner of the club, enjoying a drink alone.

    Shirou catches wind of his prey. Sigmund is a man in his mid-30's, frail, thin, pale. No glasses, blonde-grey hair. He's heading into the basement, giving a nod to the guard.

    Assassin catches a wind of his prey. Sigmund is a man in his mid-40's, frail, thin, pale. Glasses, grey hair. He's outside the building, looking inside from the window.

Faruja (152) has posed:
Mizuki gets a discrete smile, just before he uses the radio. The not-rat passes it off by laughing aloud at a party-goer's joke. Then downs his drink. Thankfully, holding one's liquor is a diplomatic skill Faruja excels at.

And thus, as the sky grows dark, and Evil Runes (tm) surround the boat, cue the end to subtlety.

"...I was /enjoying/ mineself." Comes the rat, slipping back into his natural tone as he mutters to those about. A shake of the head. He turns to Aoko.

"Well then, methinks subtlety is quite out the window."

Faruja Senra then discretely at first tries to Stop several of those who are trying to leap overboard. Given the amount of people? He's then using his wide-area timepiece based abilities to do so.

"Best to save lives right now, methinks." For once the Massive Magical B.S. isn't Aoko's fault.

Helena Celba (643) has posed:
    Helena's question is answered...

    "Cute!" She says, taking a moment to try and get a feel for the situation. This distraction is, however, what she needs. She moves, as people panic, to try and slip through the baring, this time using her THIEF's skills to try and slip deeper. The goal here is to get deeper...because she noticed the flow of that life to the bottom...

    If she NEEDS to break in, she uses the power of her necromancy to cause entropy to build up and break locks and anything baring her path, but she tries to be subtle and use these skills to get by, over more direct methods...

    She lets other people worry about the coffin stuffers, THEIR wellbeing is not her concern...if anything, they could use a few more deaths to help her trace the source of the magic.

Assassin (614) has posed:
     Assassin raises its glass to Shirou, Chloe, Yuuki, and Zero IF HE'S THERE. "Here is gazing upon your visage, youths," it observes in its weirdly musical, unmistakable, unemotional voice as it stands up and takes the cigar out of its mouth. It sets the glass of alcohol down and looks out at the window.

     "Our target is outside," it tells them a moment later.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Thoughts of the boat sinking as she tried opening a whole in it near the water line for clandestine entry caused Kimiko to delay a bit too long. This might be good, though. Now they have people on both the inside and the outside of whatever is happening. At least one or the other should be a valid position from which to deal with it.

    Things already being on the 'messily exploding' side of subtlety, she runs to the entrance--mainly so she can stand somewhere where it's clear exactly where the killing field is. Alas, Kimiko is unversed in ritual magic of any kind. Her attempt to break through consists of a simple attempt to overload the killing field. She summons a /massive/ lance to her hand, easily several times as thick and twice as long as any cavalry weapon has any business being. It's a big chunk of enchanted metal, and under ordinary circumstances it would take quite a lot of power to damage it in any appreciable way. (Nor is any part of it flammable, of course.)

    She thrusts the thing from the pier to the ship, trying to jam it in and then let go, in case any magic runs down to take her with it if this fails spectacularly.

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    As she waits, Mizuki tries to recall all that she can about New York City as a sort of mental exercise. Now given her inclination toward writing and, on occasion, the performing arts, it's only natural that one specific thing would stand out in her mind. It's a play, actually: Guys and Dolls, the musical that bred classics the likes of 'Fugue for Tin Horns' and 'Follow the Fold'. But as a burst of color illuminates the sky, and Mizuki happens to notice a man clattering over a guardrail to his imminent doom, her sudden recollection 'Siddown You're Rockin' The Boat' might seem to some a trifle ironic or macaw. But what can she say, really? Witnessing Faruja's antics put her in a rather unique mental position.

    In one fluid, articulate gesture that would attest to her relative unphasedness, Mizuki would turn to Faruja and quip: "Happiness has ever been an ephemeral presence when you're working, hasn't it? Or so I've heard anyway; I've never really had an occupation aside from the fanciful things I spout on about in introductions." She would follow this with a sigh, slowly becoming more fully visible after concluding that, in the current environment, her strange appearance would be the last thing on peoples' minds. Then her gaze, too, would meander to Aoko. "So we know the offense. Do we have any idea of their motive? I would be just delighted to know what might compel someone to shroud a boat in a cocoon of crimson runic death. If not, then I'll document such things for posterity when and if we uncover them."

    And finally, a look and a nod to Psyber. "Provided that this elevator exists, I should like to join you I think. I've no idea where else I could go to be of use at the moment -- I likely wouldn't be much good at this whole 'rescuing' business. Better for that to be handled by more personable sorts.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Pft, the Titanic. I've never been on the Titanic!"
    Aoko laughs. It is a bit nervous.
    "Well technically not THIS world's."
    Shifty glare.
    "Not THIS dimension's. Look you can't prove anything!"

    Aoko looks down at the floor. "I'd probably sink the ship. You'd be better off cutting the floor with your sword. I'm gonna go handle the runes near the rear so people can jump off safely, be back in a bit!" The magus disappears in the crowd.


Psyber (253) has posed:
    Aoko gets a really long stare from Psyber. He may be going through a number of thoughts in his head when she acts so shifty about the Titanic. Chief among those thoughts is:

    'I suspect she tried that pastry experiment once before.'

    But he shakes that off for now and then looks over to Mizuki, "I guess I'll just try to carve my way down after all. You can come along if you like."

    His way of exploring is far less discrete than Helena, so if there are any guards that are looking for people to go after, it might be that he accidentally provides a distraction for her when he takes out a longsword that is crackling with electricity and begins trying to can opener the deck of the ship.

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    Shirou's waved over easily enough, and he drops in to speak discretely with Assassin. "This is the place, right? Any luck so far?" he's nonly subtle enough to not talk about these things enough to be overheard! But that works, right? Well it does provided...

    He peeeeeeers over at Chloe. This isn't really a place for him, let alone her... "Is that really a bad thing? These can be dangerous..."

    He doesn't have much time though. Apart from an investigation, he'd have no reason to be here.

    So he's happy enough to greet Yuuki and Zero. But he's soon distracted b events happening not too far away. The strange... is that guy carrying around a SHOTGUN? Well his attention's on the fact that even HE can feel something weird in the area - telltale presence of prana and LOTS of it doing something. It takes a lot to get his senses pinging as he's as dense as it gets for picking up magic...

    "We have to get into the basement somehow..." What should he do? He can't just arge past the guy. Can't easily make a distraction, either...he looks about... and spots Chloe.

    "Chloe... see the guy with the shotgun? I'm sure he's going to bar the way down..." Can she do something about it, one might wonder? Without causing a mess for anyone?

Zero Kiryu has posed:
Zero looks towards Assassin, his expression shifting subtly as he does so. He catches the indication that their target is outside, and immediately comes to the conclusion that something is off. Which of them has a better idea of who the target is? His own sighting was in the periphery of his vision, meaning that it is unreliable at best. Nevertheless, there is a contradiction immediately. It puts him on edge, and he resists the impulse to go for the firearm hidden beneath his jacket.

"Yuuki. Be on your guard." He warns his companion, bluntly.

Instead of pursuing his assumed target, or taking Assassin's advice concerning the location of their target, the hunter retreats to a nearby wall and takes the opportunity to simple observe the surroundings in detail and feel them out. What's going on, and why is there a discrepancy in perceptions? Why is his attention drawn to the guy in the corner, and what's going on with this armed guard? How many people are actually here, and do they look distinct, or are they mere heat haze in the grand scheme of things?

Zero doesn't have the patience for a cat-and-mouse game played this way. If he can't get results through observation, he's got other methods. They'll probably be pretty loud, though.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:

    Faruja decides the best form of crowd control is to prevent them from doing anything whatsoever. The fact this is a panicked crowd probably makes them extraordinarily true. Numerous people get frozen in time, or at leats those still unwise enough after witnessing the first attempt to still think they have what it takes to jump overboard.

    Helena heads down into the boat; she bumps into Sigmund. He is a man in his mid-30's, with grey hair and glasses. He's pale, frail and thin, wearing a suit.

    "It is so much easier when they come straight to me," he smiles.

    Then he pulls a knife out, and attempts to shank Helena. The knife appears to siphon magic if it hits, although not so much it would be a threat to someone like her. To a normal people though, it would be incredibly deadly.

    Psyber cuts down into the next level of the boat and sees the target magus attempting to shank Helena. But there's also a shadow dashing into a staircase leading even deeper down.

    Kimiko hurls a spear at a rune. It smashes through-- although not before the rune takes its toll on the weapon, draining what magic it can from it. There's an opening to jump through now, at least! Or she could take the other runes out, help secure the crowd. That's up to her.

    Mizuki is not answered by Aoko, but instead by the smooth voice of Sigmund. He is a boy in his late teens, with blonde hair. Frail, thin, pale, in a suit, and a stern glare far older than he is. "Is it not obvious? This is the final stretch. Power comes at a cost. I'm unwilling to collect it as slowly as the Association would have me, that's all. One big strike on ten fronts and I'll be done."

    He too attempts to drive a knife into his target, namely Mizuki.
    Same magic siphoning on the knife as Helena's.

Chloe von Einzbern (617) has posed:

"You worry too much, Shirou. Oh don't get me wrong, I like when you pay me attention, but."

But it's time to move. And for a moment Chloe looks between Assassin and Shirou. One says the target they're looking for is outside. The other says to try and sneak in the basement. "Hmmmm."

As subtle as can be she glances askance at the windows. Before giving the shotgun-bouncer a longer look. "Hold on, get ready to move."

Just like that, Chloe slides away from the group, picking a suitable target. Some random partygoer, as close to the guard as she can manage.

"I lost my big brother! Have you seen him?" Is how she opens up, reaching for some random woman's hand. All it takes is skin-on-skin contact, and Chloe will begin viciously siphoning prana away. Not fatally, but definitely enough to make an ordinary human pass out.

All it takes after that is a good fake squeal when the woman no doubt passes out from lightheadedness.

She may as well snack up after expending as much as she did against Avenger.

Faruja (152) has posed:
/Sigh/. "Ye see, while true, 'tis always the most /enjoyable/ ones that art the targets of assassinations, bombs, and magical rituals of evil. Heretics canst never enjoy a good social gathering."

Complains Faruja to Mizuki. Then, he focuses on the job.

With most people no longer jumping, Faruja takes his leave. Namely, to attempt to undo more of those runes by using his magic to attempt to Stop them into oblivion even as he makes a report to the others. Best to undo the caster's magic for now while the others handle below.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:

    It's not that anyone's incorrect. Further glances certainly reveal that Sigmund is right there peering in from a window. And he's also right there in the corner enjoying his drink. And he was definitely right there walking down into the basement. There's an age difference between each Sigmund, it seems, but the facial structure and all is identical.

    Zero's investigation and closer look at the crowd reveals they are... actually kind of looping. Taking the same sip of their drink every thirty seconds. Repeating the same conversations every minute. Making the same dance moves to the same song. They are also bleeding magic, slowly, which is flowing into the basement. They'll be dead before the night ends at this rate, but why don't they care? They should be feeling sick or weakened, and yet don't.

    This is not true of the Sigmunds, who are not looping, though.

    Chloe causes a distraction, making a woman pass out completely. The Sigmund enjoying his drink glares her way, then at the guard. The guard grunts, suddenly clapping his hands to get Chloe's attention. "Hey. You."

    If she looks his way, he lowers his glasses.

    His eyes glow a brilliant amber.

    Mystic Eyes. Hypnotic suggestion to all who look: loop. It's not too hard to resist, and it's pretty easy to tell that's what it's trying to do.

    That's certainly a way to keep a whole club from making noise as they are slowly turned into fuel.

Assassin (614) has posed:
     Assassin seems....confused?...by Shirou and Zero's actions. It might be the normal confusion of the bizarre, inhuman Heroic Spirit, or it might be that the actions actually don't make sense to it on a logical level. Its face betrays no emotions at all, however, which is truly bizarre - imagine seeing an older gentleman with a completely stone-still face, his head jerking back and forth as he looks between a group of people.

     Then Assassin looks at the guard. It doesn't know anything about Mystic Eyes. It doesn't really know anything about magic in general. But it does recognize that this is connected to their problem.

     Assassin discorporates while the man is looking at Chloe. It just phases out of existence, becoming spiritual in an instant as it regresses to ghost form. It flows past the man while he's focused on Chloe, leveraging the speed and agility of its Class to disappear down the stairs.

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    Mizuki blinks, going rigid a moment. "In earnest, I can understand impatience, but conducting oneself in this manner is a proverbial death sentence. There are /subtle/ ways of expediting these things, you kn --" Almost as soon as she begins to turn, her statement is quite literally cut off by circumstance. She notices the gleam of metal out of the corner of her eye just before it makes contact, which is likely fast enough for her to evade a direct impact to her imaginary kidney, but no more. The metal scrapes across her midsection, and a small flurry of cyan flecks might rise into the air before her. Immediately she would call Aelinos into her left hand and draw her revolver from her concealed pocket, using the former to try to knock the dagger out of Sigmund's hand.

    "Pray tell," With some exasperation now, "what in all the fickleness of Creation you intend to do /afterwards/, then? It matters not how little or how much you care for public opinion -- no organization or official of any merit can reasonably ignore what you are doing. If it is a life of constant running you seek - status as a pariah for the sake of it - then you are doing very well for yourself. By all means, persist in this farce if indeed you seek to be a villain of sheer arbitration, but otherwise you would be well advised to show -SOME- tact, however infinitesimal the quantity!" She would hold her sword as close to Sigmund's throat as she might be allowed for the duration of her overture, gun aimed at his stomach as an insurance policy.

    As far as the strike from the blade is concerned, Mizuki is likely to avoid most if not all of the magic siphoning effect on account of the bizarre nature of her 'mana', but the physical strike is just as painful as ever.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    Yuuki is not the kind to have a 'hunting target'. Not really.

    Beyond the obvious, that is. Which is not obvious! Nodding to Zero's cautionary note, she takes a moment to screw up her courage, force down her instincts, and head towards the bouncer. As she crosses the dancefloor, there is a curious sapping, an odd itch at the back of her throat. Why would she be thirsty, though? She hadn't been thirsty since she ate that questionable fruit. The far back of her mind recieves the command to 'loop', and a very angry bit of her Inner Vampire tells that impulse where it can go jam itself. A Pureblood is commanded by naught but its own desires!

    Which, you know, as we've seen earlier, can be very deleterious.

    But, lo! Chloe is interacting with the Bouncer. Yuuki, for her part, just tries to walk past Arnold. You know. Becuase why not?

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko can't tell much of what's happening to her lance apart from the fact that it was damaged, but she /did/ see what happened to the man who fell through, and she is vaguely aware that human sacrifice is a thing in this world's magic tradition. A bit of a logical leap makes her uncertain about how good of an idea it would be to just force through every part of the circle in the same way.

    If what she has is an opening, though, then all she needs is to make sure it's wide enough to get through. If it is, then she can get people off the boat in the same way. If the opening is stable. If not, this will turn out to be a bad idea.

    She strikes, first, into the ship just as she'd already done, once to the right, and once to the left. That might run afoul of a second or third rune, or might not, depending on how big of an opening she initially made. Ensuring that it's big /enough/ is the point of this act. That done, she climbs aboard, running nimbly up the rounded metal weapons, but shifting their form into more of a flat walkway behind her.

    Entrance, successful. Passengers still panicking? "Exit via this route." She has neither the social ability nor the natural volume of voice to be a shepherd for their escape.

    She hurries inward, to join the others, wherever they may presently be. In particular, with Psyber gone lower and Faruja dealing with passengers, she looks for Mizuki, all grim haste.

Helena Celba (643) has posed:
    Helena is slightly surprised by SUDDEN mage.

    "That's /my/ line!" she laughs, as the weapon comes at her. She manages to only take a scratch, but she feels some of her mana drain away. "Now THAT is nasty." She grins... and produces her own pair of knives. Dark magic courses through her body, empowering the knives as she strikes back, aiming to move in a dance of blades. She is GOOD at small weapons, and when SHE strikes, she drains life force.

    "Now, before you die...maybe you should tell me what you are doing...perhaps I might have an employer better suited of your talents...instead of trying to get yourself killed solo."

    Helena moves, with practiced and cat like grace, aiming to take advantage in her opponet's moves. "Also, I'm curious...one ballsy mage to another."

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Mizuki and Helena both appear to be handling Sigmund and Psyber spotted a shadow heading down a staircase. So he'll leave that situation to sort itself out. Mizuki seems on the ball in general, not to even mention that Helena is totally rocking the Femme Fatale motif, so he bets she's some kinda epic badass to even be down here in the first place. He makes a mental note to confirm that later. The Femme Fatale part, not how well this turns out for the Dead Man Walking.

    The sword in his hand vanishes a few moments later with a light ripple of electricity. Psyber switches to a handgun, pulled out from under his jacket. Pulling back the slide and cocking it, he flicks the underbarrel attachment and shouts to Mizuki and Helena, "Heading deeper into the ship. Radio if you need backup."

    And then he's off, dashing down the staircase after that moving shadow.

Zero Kiryu has posed:
A pulse of subtle supernatural power emanates from nearby, but Zero doesn't catch where it comes from. His senses aren't tuned to humans the way they are to vampires, so he only gets a bit of a blip. Either way, the circumstances that are ongoing here are sufficient to get him to act. These people are being drained dry, and that's sufficiently vampiric on a fundamental level that he can work it out just fine. Even if it's a human who is doing it in some roundabout way, it's close enough to his area of expertise that he's willing to cause some problems for whoever is responsible.

First priority isn't detaining the person responsible, though. Too many civilians here. Time to see if he can disrupt the loop these people are going through by mundane means.

So what he does is, he walks right up to the nearest person who is still sipping on their drink -- preferably something in a glass, or a glass bottle -- and slaps it out of their hand. Despite appearances, the hunter is still quite superhuman, and this isn't a small amount of force even with restraint on his part. Disarming somebody normal with a forceful slap is plenty easy for him, and it wouldn't be a terrible surprise if the hand or fingers were moderately damaged as a result. Not broken, perhaps, unless he was actively trying.

But certainly at least as hurt as if the fingers had been temporarily locked in a door, for instance.

The glass will probably be less fortunate.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:

    Faruja, hard at work, secures another section of the ship by halting the magic. It doesn't make the runes disappear, but rather just freezes the in time. You can't trigger what isn't capable of acting, and since they aren't physical barriers, it's now possible to just jump through.

    The Sigmun addressing Mizuki just keeps smiling. "Irrelevant! The power I seek will make the Association no longer willing to deal with me. I will be too large a risk to their secrecy. They'll be forced to let me work. And then I can share the gift of Akasha with all! Who are we magi to decide who is and isn't worthy of it? I say all of humanity deserves a chance at it. I'll make it accessible!"

    Catching on to the fact his knife isn't giving him delicious delicious Mizuki-brand fuel, Sigmund chants two brief words in Welsh. 'Bywyd Dorri' essentially translating to something like 'Life Break'.

    It is an offensive spell, a curse fired from his hand, pitch black. If Mizuki doesn't deem it worth dodging, a hit with it inflicts grave magical illness though less so for an Elite.

    Kimiko makes a second opening. The crowd catches on, and they immediatly rush to use the ramp she's made. This doesn't clear the boat but it's a huge, huge step forward into making it happen. This also means Kimiko now has full sight of the Sigmun harassing Mizuki.

    Helena discovers Sigmund is a magus, not a knife fighter. He didn't expect someone who could shank back. He's stabbed, several times, and stumbles on his ass, evidently horribly weakened by the assault. "Ha... ha! You think... this matters? I am... many... I am in a dozen places, a hundred places! Ffrwydrad Marwolaeth!!!"

    A spell, essentially translating to 'death explosion'.

    Sigmund's body explodes, in a shower of extremely acidic and magically heated gore.

    Psyber heads on down, pursuing a shadow. It's likely Helena can see that. What he finds within the guts of the ship is a large ritual circle. The far wall is covered in TV monitors, there's about a hundred in all. Each of them shows a Sigmund, and a different backdrop. A few of them can be made out to be in major cities like Paris, Los Angeles, Boston based on landmarks. They all have the same appearance of someone conducting a ritual.

    The shadow is another Sigmund, who settles in front of the monitors with a grin.

    "Now that is just unfortunate. But perhaps with ninety-eight rituals I'll succeed anyway. A few were redundant, just in case this happened."

Chloe von Einzbern (617) has posed:
Well. That explains a bit. Zero did mention over radio that the people were stuck doing things over and over. The clap does, in fact, get Chloe's attention, and when the shades lower and she spies those mystic eyes...

For a moment, she runs with it. Releasing the woman, to seek out another target to drain of prana until they pass out. Another snack can't hurt. At least before she turns her own golden gaze upon the shotgun-wielding man.

It is a very cat-like smile she flashes. Before a flicker and glow of her own eyes counters.

It's probably not as subtle. Chloe was never too great at subtlety. But while Yuuki goes to just walk by the guy, Chloe's own gaze tells him right back to not move a single muscle and stay locked right where he is.

So much for trying to at leas play at being a super spy.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "Oh, so this isn't one of those 'I'm still stoppable' situations. You're going full ham to play 'I enacted my full plan already' down on the table," Psyber notes in a serious tone. Weirdly, he still has that drink from earlier. Then again, you pay 22 dollars for Scotch in a Night Club and see if you let it out of your sight, even IN the case of an evil wizard.

    The half-angel lets out an impressed whistle, "Not even gonna lie. A hundred separate rituals is an impressive amount of system redundancy. I'm actually not fully sure how to stop it. Normally I'd hit you with Adjudicator and cause a ripple to go through your collective existence, maybe hit you with some attack based on morality. But I left the big sword at home."

    "So I'll bite. Why?" He asks curiously, "I mean, you're killing people and that's bad enough. But what's the end game? What's the final outcome? What do you want this to play out to?"

    "Better make it a good answer. I really don't wanna spend my Christmas Holiday hunting you to half the damn places on the globe, but I'm pretty spiteful, so I would."

    To assert his point, he pulls back the hammer on his handgun with a click.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:

    Assassin is an Assassin. It is trivial for him to slip past a magus. He heads into the basement, slipping past all the stored alcohol, food, tables and chairs. It looks like your average pub basement, but the manager's officer-- of all the places for it to be-- seems to be excessively big once Assassin slips through.

    Within reason, like the guts of the Frying Pan, it is a room with countless monitors, each showing the different Sigmunds scattered across the world. There is one in the center of the room, standing within a bright red magical circle. He is playing a game of solitaire using cards he's making float in the air, possibly because he's bored out of his mind waiting for all the other hims to be ready.

    Yuuki attempts to walk past the bouncer. He grunts, leveling his shotgun. "Look here, little lady. If you're not in a trance you should go home and forget you saw anything here. Won't be another warning."

    Zero murders a glass to break a civilian out of his trance. The response is 'Ow! Hey! What the fuck, man?' as the angry client stares Zero down. Looks like a jolt of pain is enough. It also reminds the client... "Ooof. Was there something in my drink? I don't think I feel so good." He looks sickly. Getting him out of the building would probably completely solve the problem, or at least allow recovery.

    Chloe engages the guard more directly. Mana passes through his Magic Circuits as he, with a bit of strain, resists the effect, but becomes hostile. "Tch, they sent more Enforcers, huh. I don't know your faces so you must be new. Whatever."

    The shotgun is fired at Yuuki. It is a mundane shotgun.

    The Enforcer's other hand reaches into a pocket and pulls a pair of dice out. He hurls them towards Chloe! They roll to the floor, show 5 and 2, and promptly let out a burst of electricity to shock her. The dice disappear and reappear in his hands.

    The Sigmund enjoying his drink sighs, pulls a knife out, and starts shanking random people in the crowd. The Sigmund peering in through the window waltzes into the club, slams the door shut and bars it.

Helena Celba (643) has posed:
    Helena blinks...

    Helena manages to flip back, the EXPLOSION, however, is Dex based. She manages to avoid the worse of the acid, but still catches some. She frowns a little...

    "That's actually pretty reasonable..." She muses. She shrugs.

    "Well, as long as I don't die, I don't care. Magic to everyone is okay in MY book."

Assassin (614) has posed:
     Assassin is an Assassin. It enjoys the benefits of massive stealth and speed, far beyond humankind's comprehension. It solidifies in its own form - the black-cloaked, faceless thing with thin white fingers. The blade of Thanatos is gripped tight in its hand as it walks forward, its robe brushing quietly against the ground. It stops behind the Magus.

     "Please cease," it tells him slowly, in its lilting, asexual, musical voice.

Faruja (152) has posed:
Faruja lets out a sigh as people no longer explode due to Runes.

Then, he's over to assist getting people off of the ship. At least, until he hears something explode in the depths of the ship. Cue a teleport to Mizuki's location!

"Lady Mizuki! Art ye alright!?" He's already summoning Faery, in case she needs heals. The Esper soon floats before the rodent, shivering a bit from so much evil magic in the air.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    SHOT BY SHOTGUN, Yuuki Kuran is blown off her feet with a light gout of blood as she's knocked down the stairs. Bonk. Thonk. Crack. Tumble. Whack. Crunch. Biff. Pow. Socko.

    She tumbles down the stairs in a heap, before slowly picking herself up, dusting off her front and working the crick out of her neck. "Rude." She mutters, mostly to herself.


    Now... Where is she?

Zero Kiryu has posed:
If the way into the building had not been barred, Zero would have handled this in a relatively low-key fashion. If the way into the building had not been barred, he would have assumed a peaceful resolution -- relatively speaking -- was still possible. This is not what happens. A knife is drawn, people begin to get stabbed left and right, and another iteration of the man who is doing this bars the door. The bouncer fires a shotgun at Yuuki. It's true that humans are not ordinarily his prey, and it's true that he has a serious problem with hurting humans.

But Sigmund has just classified himself as a malignant tumor instead. Human, yes, but cancerous and in need of removal.

The Vampire Hunter reaches into his coat and draws Bloody Rose. The vines begin to seep out from it like water from a pitcher, but he doesn't wait for these implements to be ready in order to act. The first target is the elder Sigmund, who closed and barred the doors. As the vines wind out and begin to spread through the interior of the club, the sights of the gun find the Magus and violet energy flares as Zero opens fire mercilessly. The effects on a supernatural other than a vampire aren't AS sharply, but it's still approximately the same as being shot at with a high-class Noble Phantasm, Conceptual Weapon, or the attack of a True Ancestor who just got serious. It's bad, bad news.

The vined tendrils of Bloody Rose wrap around his form to create a protective armor, and only then do they begin to creep across the floor in the direction of the knife-wielding younger Sigmund. His intent to kill is clear and deliberate, even in the face of allies offering mercy or pleas to stop. As far as Zero is concerned, he is a hunter with his prey swarming all about like gnats.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    BOTH LOCATIONS: Sigmund explains himself over radio (and his copies all speak in unison, in person, as well). Actual poses incoming.

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    And Shirou's witness to a lot of things going wrong all at once. Chloe downs a woman hoping to cause a distraction - but the guard isn't as subtle as expected. All hell breaks loose. Blood is spilled. YUUKI IS BLASTED WITH A SHOTGUN AND GOES TUMBLING DOWN THE STAIRS.

    All of this at once brings a wave of panic and nausea to poor SHirou, who'd been ready to take advantage of some distraction but... but no...

    Screw it, no more time for subtlety! "TRACE ON!"

    Indeed, screw subtlety.

    "Huuuuuua...hrrrrghhhh!" Prana arcs and crackles from his hands, congealing and compressing into a hot solid form. Black and white short swords are brandished with a fury.

    Yelling wildly, Shirou hurls Kanshou right for the 'Enforcer' - or rather, his shotgun. It's a Noble Phantasm, however weak or poorly imitated, and no mundane gear's gonna stand up to it. That guy better move. Fast.

    But while he's already producing a new copy of Kanshou, Shirou then starts pounding through the club floor towards the sigmund with a knife. "Not another swin! Don't take any more lives!"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    Mercifully, the girl is alert enough this time to not hesitate for so much as a moment when she hears words that she can't understand; she's listened to Staren and others talk about the Translation Effect frequently enough to know it only fails for relevant verbage, and in this case it almost certainly means this is a magical incantation. Considering the abnormality of the situation and all the loss she has experienced of late, that alone is enough to deem it relevant. Still, she delays for a moment or two, pausing time just as his curse would've made contact to step out of time. Whilst there she would relocate behind him, locking her sword in position to restrain him if she is allowed to do so. She would also place her gun to his upper back, just behind where she suspects his heart might be. Then she would re-enter the normal continuum.

    "Don't move," Would be her obvious initial warning. "I have no interest in taking a life. No -- I think information would be far preferable, assuming you're still cognisant of yourself enough to give it. But first, if you'll allow me - which you will, considering your position - a few more words of advice." He wouldn't be able to see it in all likelihood, but her eyes would narrow, her face twisting into some semblance of a scowl. "You are suffering from severe delusions of grandeur if you think any sufficiently advanced mystical organization would be 'forced' to do anything with regards to you. You see, even if you were more powerful than all of the members of that organization put together, which I would rightly assume you are -not-, they have cooperation on their side. Tactic, coherence, and experience -- all things that, given your behavior, you seem to distinctly lack. You have willpower and a surplus of energy which, from my perspective, is in dire need of temperance."

    She would pause in her dialogue a moment to contemplate her next words.

    "You see," She would resume, "I am not at odds with the suggestion of empowering and 'improving' people at all -- in fact, this is a goal I pursue with fervency every day of my life. And yet, I see you showing a reckless disregard for human life in everything that you do. So much destruction and suffering that would otherwise be unnecessary. I ask you, please, to consider the irony of claiming to seek the betterment of a people when you yourself have, in your fit of inspiration, begun to demonstrate the very inquiries -- weaknesses -- that you might have expunged. Even if you have no intention of yielding to the opinions of others, you should still consider them, and make an earnest effort not to be hypocritical in your own dealings."

    "Now, with all that out of the way, humor me." She would draw a breath, herself fighting to conceal a slight degree of encroaching nervousness. "Has anyone put you up to this? And have you always thought this way, with as much vehemence, even before your 'rise to power'? It might do to take a step back and consider your motivations if they've wrapped you in such a fit. I am not here to criticize your choices, but I am here to minimize the harm you are capable of doing if you will not work with me. And believe me I've no inclination to grant you mercy if that is the case."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    Mizuki would look to Faruja as he enters the room, likely over the shoulder of her foe. "I am fine, Faruja, but I would ask you to make sure that this one cannot harm either of us. It would be foolish to disregard their power even in a state of restraint."

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko is not in time to do anything about the exploding body. No room for interception of any kind. She brings up an arm over her eyes, but she's still outside the range when it goes off.

    Still, it seems another... iteration..? ...of the mage remains in the room, at Mizuki's sword and gun point. She approaches more cautiously, shooting Helena a wary look. It is not the look of an ally. She is ready for a resumption of hostilities. Given words already exchanged, she is unlikely to hesitate.

    She has nothing to add that isn't sent via radio, which in her case does not involve her speaking aloud. In fact, the words the boat passengers earlier are the only words she's spoken aloud during this outing.

Faruja (152) has posed:
Faruja arrives beside Mizuki, half-panic'd. But she seems to be in one piece.

"Faram be praised that ye art alright!"

Turn. Oh, hey, it's a Sigmund. Faruja scowls, and draws his Blaze Gun.

"Mayhaps /here/. There art far too many resources in the Multiverse. Think. Doth not limit thine mind before ye do this. Another solution may well be possible to reach this Root without the use of people's lives."

Then, he's going to simply start trying to restrain the Sigmund with a Gravity spell as Miuki asks.

Chloe von Einzbern (617) has posed:
Dice are flung and-

"Huh. Lucky seven."

Chloe von Einzbern is tazed like a BRO.

For a moment she just kind of stands where she is, smoldering, singed, and charred in places. "And I just ate, too."

Now. While this guy's goal is kind of noble, giving magic to the masses, he HAS started stabbing people. But Chloe simply lifts her hands at the shotgun wielding enforcer. And sidesteps when Zero starts to open fire on the Sigmund, she...

    Turns on her heel. Walks to the nearest table, pulls out a chair.

    And just plops down in a seat.

Yuuki is apparently fine, so Chloe doesn't go to check on her.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:

    Whatever Psyber judges of his expanation, the older Sigmund before him extends his hand towards the half-angel. "Byrstio Bywyd." 'Burst of Life', essentially, a shining green ray of light shoots for Psyber. If it hits, it attempts to throw his regeneration completely haywire. A normal human would essentially start ballooning up at the regenerating tissue and organs until they splatter everywhere. Psyber's not a normal human though, so let's see what happens.

    Helena (and Kimiko, as well) is left alone with a corpse. She could go watch what's going on with Psyber down there. She could possibly even help Sigmund! That's up to her.

    The Sigmund facing Mizuki and Faruja frowns, and stomps his foot down. A bright red circle of magic traces around him, attempting to engulf the humanized rat and the girl at the same time. "Pydredd Marwolaeth!" something akin to 'Death Rot'. Per its name, the spell is trying to accelerate their decay, as if they were bodies. If resisted, it's more like a flesh-eating bacteria than anything. Or perhaps it does nothing at all.

    He sees no further need to humor Mizuki though-- she is wrong, essentially. What he seeks is Magic, and should he achieve it, the Association would truly have to pause. It is a scale of power the best magi would struggle to match even together, after all. He has given them his answers, anyway. If they won't listen, they can die and help fuel the ritual.

Faruja (152) has posed:
Sigmund's spell causes the rat to cough and hack horrifically, spitting up blood. Only a swift Slow spell manages to reverse the worst of the effects. Unfortunately, he can't put his full effort into it. The Gravity spell is dismissed.

In favor of a second tier gravity spell. This one doesn't merely try to keep Sigmund pinned, but actively tries to twist and snap bones and limbs. Not lethal, but no doubt making it far harder to work magic when you're effectively being tortured.

Faruja glares. "...Ye poor misled bastard. Lord willing I never become the likes of thee."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    At the initiation of the spell, Mizuki is paused by the sheer oddity and pain of the encroaching sensation of decay. Fortunately, she lacks skin that would rot -- rather, an endless, steady cascade of those same cyan flakes falls off of her person, slowly being colored by a dead gray hue and falling to the ground as they spill forth.

    Not a moment longer than it takes to deliver her words via the radio -- in as clandestine a way as possible considering her proximity to Sigmund -- she would release him. Then she would immediately break out of time, if possible, sprouting her winds and launching herself to a corner of the room. Once in that corner, she would lay a speeding field in front of herself, re-enter the normal continuum, and launch herself, sword held aloft, directly at Sigmund's torso. This is done more in the interest of disabling that spell than anything.

Helena Celba (643) has posed:
    Helena frowns, but shrugs. Such a waste...and there really isn't anything she can DO for this guy.

    Instead she invests some time, and invests a large amount of energy into the corpse.

    Then Helena will likely leave! Why? She is getting all she can out of this. Plus money.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    It's not hard to tell that's a spell in the works. So as he starts casting, Psyber is already lifting the tactical pistol that was held in his hand. Right arm comes up and levels it on his target, aiming a clean shot to the center of his forehead. Psyber manages to pull his trigger right as the spell goes off, so it's up to the GM if that hits.

    The spell does hit Psyber, however. Now his body is already adapted to a hyper-regenerative state as its baseline level of operation. This means that it knows how to compensate for over-regeneration of tissue and organs, to a limited degree. This is not a limited degree.

    Psyber staggers back with a groan of agony, clutching an arm across his stomach. His body has a unique coping mechanism for this hyper-regenerative state. That is that instead of regenerating organs and tissue in the proper spot, it shunts it all into a proper avenue to purge the overflow from his body. In translation:

    Psyber survives, but his body is compensating for the regeneration by causing him to lean against a wall and violently vomit up several extra Psybers worth of organs and tissue in a bloody pile on the floor.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:

    Here too, the Sigmunds explain themselves in unison, even pausing their slaughter to do so. And then, it is go time. The Sigmund before Assassin lets the solitaire cards fall to the ground. He lifts his hand and fires a pitch black beam towards Assassin-- if it hits, it finds no purchase. Death-elemental attacks, on the Grim Reaper, from a measly if powerful magus? Yeah. No. He seems surprised.

    "What. What are you, that you are unharmed? You should be dead!" The obvious has not struck him yet.

    Yuuki sneaks past the guard by being shotgunned.
    That's actually hilariously clever.

    She can find the main room, with Sigmund and Assassin.

    There is another Sigmund in the shadows of the basement though, and he too has a magic-sucking knife. He attempts, clumsily, to sneak up on Yuuki and shank her. He is not a knife fighter. Or a ninja.

    Zero is merciless. Sigmund is a human.
    He is not superpowered, physically. He is torn to shreds-- both of him. The one who barred the door, and the one who tried to make the ritual go faster by shanking bitches for their energy. There's not much left of them if Zero actually unloads with killing intent. This results in the entire crowd snapping out of it from the sights and shock, and suddenly screaming in wild panic and sickness. They hurl chairs at the windows to make ways out.

    This means Shirou can focus fully on the Enforcer. His shotgun is cut out of his hands and he grunts, reaching into his pocket with that hand. He pulls out a COIN, and hurls it towards the incoming swordmagus. The coin suddenly freezes in the air. It shows HEADS regardless of the angle you look at it from. And then it rockets, like a railgun bullet, towards Shirou's HEAD.

    Chloe sits down! She will gets attacked by the Enforcer, who hurls the dice at her again. 3 and 3. The air supercools around mahou shoujo Archer, trying to freeze her solid. The dice once more return to the man's hand.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko is leaving Helena be and still heading over to Mizuki's location. That sounds like something she can help with, as opposed to--doing nothing at all. It doesn't look like they can really do anything about the 90-odd other ritual locations, at least immediately. But she's not the kind to long lament the things she can't reach, when there's anything at all useful to do in front of her.

    Once in sight of that /other/ Sigmund, she wastes no time in pulling a brace of eight-inch throwing knives from thin air and tossing them in a deft, practiced motion, likely to strike in eye, neck, and chest, if the target does not move.

Assassin (614) has posed:
     This is anger.

     This is *real* anger. This is like the time with the undead, only moreso. The ancient force that is Assassin does not often feel anything at all, let alone fury. But the moment Sigmund's true goal is unfolded, Assassin's fury begins to spike. The strange feeling wells up inside it, a physical necessity that it has only experienced once before. It is angered, not by the bystander being killed, nor by the man's callous willingness to kill himself and waste his precious gift of life.

     People die every day. For Assassin, there is neither 'bad death' nor 'good death'. There is no such thing. It is the Grim Reaper. It is Enma-Daioh. It is Thanatos. For it, there is only one kind of death - 'death'.

     But it understands. It understands the plan, because it knows - it /knows/ - that the man is not incorrect. Such an eruption of power might legitimately damage the world. Worse, it might damage the souls going in. The souls going onwards. The cycle of death itself.

% And that is what infuriates Assassin. That is what drives the anger in its human form to rise. The callous disregard for the world of the dead - the use of death as a tool, without care for how it might affect death itself - was like jamming a knife into Assassin's chest.

     The people bickering about whether it was acceptable or not because of how it affected the human world infuriated it even more.

     The Servant draws back its hood.


     There is nothing under Assassin's hood but a disembodied, peaceful smile, though only Sigmund can perceive that nothing; to all others, Assassin's hood remains up. But the manner of its speech ceases to be a physical motion of its mouth, ceases to be the movement of waves through the air, and becomes something more - something felt, something understood, rather than heard, something comprehended instead of listened to.

     The attack does literally nothing. Assassin doesn't even bother to dodge. The attack splatters across Assassin's robes like so much water. It does not speak. It does not make a noise. It simply raises Thanatos and swings it down for the man's neck.

     And then...and then...it speaks again.


     Paperwork spins to life in Assassin's hands. It is bloody paperwork marked with kanji, and it whirls about Assassin's head like a halo. If someone bothers to read it, they'll find it to be some sort of processing form for Sigmund. His name is written there on the top.

     The bottom is blank.

     Assassin ignores it. The tall Servant crouches down and lifts the disembodied head from the floor, raising it up slowly towards the scythe.




     And Assassin presses Thanatos against the disembodied head's cheek.

     It is in full pain mode right now.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Faruja's spell pins Sigmund down. He obviously lacks the physical might to contend with increased gravity, no matter the degree. Just two times normal gravity is a big deal for a normal human. He struggles, he sure TRIES, but he can't move-- and ultimately, can't contend with the sort of speed Mizuki brings to bear. He is run through, and more or less dies on the spot. Another Sigmund emerges from the timestopped crowd, having been hiding.

    The corpse-- well, what's life, mostly the bones and some muscles, but also enough of a nervous system to still use magic, starts rumbling, and rises. The skeleton under Helena's command, though it is not Sigmund, is still fairly intelligent, and bows in servitude to its controller. It glows faintly, especially around its eye sockets, with green and black magic. It seems to retain basic use of its Magic Circuits and the knowledge stored within its brain, as pertains to magecraft.

    Psyber's Sigmund manages to duck-- well, throw himself to the left. The bullet slams into his shoulder, and with the sort of guns Psyber packs around, disarms him entirely. He slams onto the ground, in a puddle of his own blood, and suddenly contorts in a massive amount of pain.

    His screams are wordless, and without cause. Blowing his arm off shouldn't cause pain of such magnitude someone seemingly goes insane. At least, someone who's capable of fighting.

    Kimiko surges back onto the deck of the ship, filling the final Sigmund full of knives before it can even try to attack Faruja and Mizuki. There is only one source of magic left on the ship, and it's the one Psyber is dealing with.

    (With-hold killing him for now, something will happen after the Kingston round.)

Chloe von Einzbern (617) has posed:
Here's Chloe, minding her own business. She even snatched some clubgoer's popcorn, when the pair o' threes clatter at her feet, and the air around her snap-cools, she's left coated in a dusting of frost and ice, rooted to her seat for a moment.

Before she's up, frost cracking away and sloughing off as she hoists the chair and HURLS it right at the Enforcer.

For the record it's followed up by a Elucidator and Dark Repulser flung just afterwards, heavy, razor-edged swords sailing end over end through the air. "Geeze, I even sat out, because the others had this crap handled."

Helena Celba (643) has posed:
    Helena nods once.

    "Well, wasn't a total loss. Well, my dear, sorry about your state, and your loss of what you were doing...but hey, you'll help someone else become a mage a bit better!" Helena, always looking on the bright side of things. She walks out commanding the skelleton to follow her now that everything is cluster fucked. She just strolls out.

Faruja (152) has posed:
Faruja turns to Mizuki, falling on his tail. Huff.

"...I admit, I am similarly out of bloody ideas. If he is in so many places..." They'd have to hunt down each and every one. And Faruja isn't going to take bets on how fast they can get to them all. The rat crosses the air. Faram save us all!

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    Mizuki would dematerialize her sword, her face suddenly a bit pale. The source of her now-present distress might be a bit hard to discern, but it's likely due to some mixture of hearing Assassin's words over the radio, and having, by her consideration, failed so miserably in trying to mediate. Raising her gaze from one of the many accumulating Sigmund-corpses, she would look to Faruja and give a non-emotive, blank nod. "As I said, I am out of my depth. Perhaps the others will have better luck." Then, quietly, she would make her way to an indistinct locale where she just stands for several moments.

    And breathes.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    The half-angel is not in a position which allows him to finish off the man on the ground screaming. This is a shame, because he wishes he could. The screams of agony are pretty hard on the ears while the medical ailment is hard on the rest of his body.

    Eventually, as the spell wears off, Psyber manages to slump against the wall and slowly use it as a brace until he can find himself that that Sigmund was sitting in up until a moment ago. He takes a couple minutes to just sit there and recover, since he has the opportunity to do so.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    Yuuki SNEAKS super good down the staircase, into the basement room, only to be blindsided by Assassin's INTENSE ANGER. Thankfully, she is not subject to it, and this time... She really doesn't want to save this guy. There's only OOOOONE teensy problem. She is quite shanked by CreeperSigmund, taking the knife to the back as she staggers forward. "H-hey!" She cries, moving to strike him away with a flash of red in her eyes. There is one small problem.

    She is categorically superhuman monster in a huge-eyed normal girl's body. She may well just lay this guy out with a flailing arm.

    There is a SECOND problem. She got stabbed, as more of her RICH, POWERFUL totally normal blood spills down on the floor, removing the knife and throwing it over her shoulder. "Why would you /do/ that?" She asks, the wound already disappeared.

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    SOMETHING makes Shirou react. Is it his own perceptions? Couldn't be. An instinctive danger sense? He has no such thing beyond the heebiejeebies anyone might feel with something coming at them. And yet---

    Moving fast enough to stir up a noise from the whirling motion, he brings up Bakuya to slash at the coin. It's a desperate parry of insane coordination that's beyond him!

    It's not the boy who's parrying that, but the countless battles the weapons have been through that tell them what to expect and how to deal with things.


    A coin shot like a railgun bullet against the weakly projected Bakuya?


    Bakuya's shattered, but the coin goes sailing off just past Shirou's head. The wake is enough to rip flesh and draw blood and take chunks off his ear, but avoids splattering him wholeshale. Bakuya breaks into pieces and disintegrates into prana, but Shirou replaces his weapons within a few seconds... although he's entirely conflicted over where to go and what to deal with. It sounds like a HELL of a thing is happening in the basement... what about the Sigmund he was going for?!

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:

    Assassin kills, but denies the death of, the oldest Sigmund. He screams in agony unable to even form words. Just as that happens, the Sigmund that shanked Yuuki does the same thing. He falls to his knees and screams. He can't answer her why he did that. He can only acknowledge the Grim Reaper just locked its soul into undeath and is horribly torturing it. It is not pleasant.

    But Yuuki's blood isn't just any regular blood.
    From the knife flows great magic, into the collective Sigmunds. Even if they can no longer act and carry out their ritual, the power of Yuuki's blood is not insignificant.

    It's probably in the top five or ten magical ingredients any magus could ever want. Hell, if a Dead Apostle could drink from her blood they might just rocket in power to match an Ancestor. Maybe. Elite and superpowered blood or not there's still a bit of RNG involved.

    For Sigmund, though, it's working.

    His collective amalgamation of souls powers up dramatically, and it can be felt.

    The Enforcer however is about to have a very bad day. Chloe is a Servant-tier entity. Shirou isn't too far below that. This guy, he's a magus hunter. He's an Enforcer. He's not top tier. He hurls the dice towards Chloe in the hopes of stopping her, and they produce another hail of frost and ice, but it's not enough.

    Twin blades ram into the man and pin him to the wall.

    The impact alone kills him.

    The dice remain on the ground, not returning to him this time.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:

    The bodies of the Sigmunds start glowing. It is solely thanks to Yuuki's blood that the ritual is not a complete failure at this point. He has crossed a treshold. Sigmund Witold Oliwier has crossed the line between "magus" and "potential Magician". He has not crossed the line between that and "Magician" though. Not enough power. But also, he's about to be too dead to be given that chance at all.

    Over each body, red mist gathers into a shape. A humanoid, draped in extremely heavy red rags. Like the Grim Reaper, but in red, and wearing a dozen layers of tattered red cloth. Its hood shows not darkness, but a bright white light. It has no face, but still projects the impression of a fanged grin. Attempts to discern who and what it is fail, but its origin isn't too hard to pinpoint. This is an extension of the planet, kind of like an arm-- well, on this scale, more like a finger.

    Arms reach to pick up each Sigmund by the throat. Though most of them are corpses, Assassin has prevented them from passing on, and someone is unhappy about it.

    "Release him, Wraith. A lowly magus cannot damage the Root." it commands.

    The red shadows that have appeared on the deck of the bridge, glare towards Aoko wordlessly as able. She awkwardly shuffles but says and does nothing.

Assassin (614) has posed:
     Assassin watches the red ragged red creature. It looks down at Sigmund.

     Then, without argument or complaint, it simply reaches up, draws its hood up over its head, and presses its scythe to Sigmund's head in a gentle, peaceful motion. The paperwork of Enma-Daioh is suddenly filled with Assassin's signature, a flowing script of blood that spells out no name in any language that can be pronounced. The paperwork bursts into flame and vanishes.

     Then it drops the head and bows its own hood to the red-ragged thing in a show of respect before vanishing into nothingness.

Zero Kiryu has posed:
There are several long moments where Zero stands in place, one dead man at the end of his gun and another shredded in a corner by his vines. Another life is snuffed out abruptly nearby, one which had taken hostile action against Yuuki. This is the second time he's been among such beasts in this world, and it's the second time that artifacts of this world have fallen within arm's reach. The last time they did, he picked them up with the intent of putting them in a safe and locking them away. A glance is cast towards the tiny blip on his supernatural radar, the dice lying silent on the floor as a result of their master's death. He wonders, idly, if the man had been in control of himself.

Doesn't matter, he decides.

No different from putting down a feral vampire.

The vines recede from Zero's firearm, and he advances to the spot where the dice fell, scooping them up and putting them in a jacket pocket. More objects for containment, he decides. A small look is given to Chloe and Shirou, questioning and uncertain. Doesn't matter, though, just like he decided before. The man had been coming at them full force, with every intention of murdering them. It is only fair that they took him out the same way.

"Weird power you have." He remarks to Shirou in passing, heading down the stairs that the Enforcer had been guarding. This is the way Yuuki had gone. What's going on below?

Faruja (152) has posed:
Faruja just /stares/ a moment.

Somewhere, deep in his soul, he knows this is a manifestation of something important. "...Art ye an angel?" He mutters in amazement, crossing himself.

"God be praised!" Someone's already making assumptions.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    Yuuki smiles at Assassin. "Um... Good... job!" She calls, before going to collect the knife she got stabbed with, and... Head... back... upstairs. Something about Death unnerves her. Like she was once a close friend, and then they had become estranged. In any case, back up the stairs she goes! At the top of the stairs, she finds ZERO HOLDING TWO DICE.

    "Ooh! Zero, dice! I know some fun board games we can play with these. I wonder why they're just laying around here?"

    She surrenders to him the knife. "Here, so you don't always have to use Bloody Rose."

    Then she beams to everyone, noting that... Well, not MANY people were dead. "Well! The... Spooky guy in the hood handled things! So, let's help everyone else, ok?"

Psyber (253) has posed:
    There's a few serious moments of surprise at the red figure appearing. Psyber attempts to discern its purpose before realizing it wants the screaming man. Psyber waves his hand faintly in a 'take him' gesture before pushing himself into a standing position. It's a slow, tired, and deliberate walk. Being sick takes a lot out of anyone, even Psyber.

    He eventually lets his trudging take him back onto the deck of the ship where he throws an arm around Aoko and uses her as a leaning aid. This is both because he's still wobbly and afraid he might puke again, but also because it gives her a convenient distraction that is not the thing she's having a stare-off with.

    "I'm beginning to notice a very negative pattern about the things you invite me out on."

Zero Kiryu has posed:
Before Zero can get down the stairs, Yuuki meets him at the top of the stairs. He stops and steps aside so she can move along, but... she comments on the dice, and offers him a weapon. He takes the knife, examining it for a moment before pocketing it in his coat. He has weapons other than Bloody Rose, but there's a reason he primarily uses the handgun instead. As for Bloody Rose itself, since the conflict seems to be done, he puts it away in his coat as well. "I have no need of a knife, but I'll hold onto it and teach you how to use it. Later."

"... And we're not playing games with these dice. I'm putting them in my safe." He adds, flatly.

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    And if things weren't already weird with the fate of Sigmund being juggled like it was, or Chloe getting VERY understandably lethal on the guy who nearly took his head off. Shirou just sort of staggers back and topples into a seat, struggling to maintain his weapons by the time the Red Shadow appears he's to a point o confusion beyond thought. Zero's compliement? Shirou bewilderedly answers, "Yeah. The only one I've got..." Well this, this is a bloody mess. Now what?

    Shirou shakes his head quickly to clear the fog, and stands up again. "We need to find anyone who can still be saved and treat them, call for help... this is bad, a mess this public.. just how many people died?"

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Once released, Sigmund's multiple, countless souls all pass on. Nothing happens to the Root, or to the cycle of death. Perhaps the amount of power he gathered would have sufficed, but the interuption from the Elites messed everything up. Even if Yuuki gave him a burst to get past the failure, it still wasn't enough to make up for the rituals getting messed up.

    The Red Shadow fades away as quickly as it appeared, without answering questions or doing anything else. It merely smiles at Aoko, ending the staring contest it had been having with her back on the deck of the ship.

    Aoko shakes her head and grins at Psyber. "Sorry, sorry! You look like a mess. Well, at least most of everyone is safe. I think. It's too bad for him, he had a decent goal. But giving Magic to humanity is probably a bad idea. The world gets angry that Magic exists at all, see? And then it shows up and it fixes the problem. Reaching the level of power needed to develop a new Magic isn't too rare, but surviving that thing showing up when you do is a bit harder."

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    IN TOTAL, about 3-4 people died in the club. Everyone else is mana drained, but they'll be fine if they just rest it up. Fortunately no one at the club remembers jack shit.

    At the boat, a few people from the Clock Tower have already intercepted the fleeing crowd. They are doing mind-wipy things. 3-4 people died there too, mostly from the initial wave of runes. All in all, a successful if exhausting venture.

Zero Kiryu has posed:
"Three dead. Stab wounds to the heart. Gone before we were done mopping up. That one," Zero points Shirou towards a woman slumped over a table, "has a severe stomach wound but isn't dead yet. I suggest you call an ambulance." Apparently he can determine these things without even examining these people. In the meantime, there's a corpse with its head blown off near the door and a bloody smear near the rear corner of the bar, a few feet away from the woman at the table.

Overall it is a pretty disgusting picture for the average person. Fortunately that label doesn't apply to most people present.