5743/MDCC: Stunning Sapphire

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MDCC: Stunning Sapphire
Date of Scene: 27 March 2018
Location: The System - Gallery
Synopsis: Assist the Gallery Drive Core Controller, Artifex, against the corrupted virus Leviathan.
Cast of Characters: Lexicon, 1134, Wandering Dog, 1103, 1149, Deelel, Arthur Lowell, 953, 1137

Lexicon has posed:
    For those just arriving, who had missed the meet-and-greet with Artifex earlier: Gallery is a drive that is clearly in the middle of major self-repairs. It resembles a medieval countryside complete with obvious forest, meadowland, and the city itself consisting of a sprawling castle complex that appears to still be under construction-- or, more accurately, under repair. Several blocks look half-tangible, with pieces missing and a visible wireframe, while others are missing entirely and show the digital 'guts' of the architecture. Then there's the sprawling corrupted zones in the countryside, pools of black mist with a nasty red glow, sapping color and vitality from its surroundings.

    As Artifex herself, a blue-haired woman in a black business suit (and skulls?) addresses questions about the Drive and the viral monster Leviathan, various residents of the Drive wander through. The Abstract program, Painterly works on his latest self portrait (but is it art?). A cat-eared woman in a red dress poses for photos with some younger programs, alongside a rat-eared man in a suit with sunglasses and a cigar. The guy's suit obscures all, but the girl's limbs clearly display doll-like joints.

    Golly that music box they're gathered around sure sounds familiar.

    "Oi," Graphice speaks up, sprawling on her book, "So like, I got a notice from Captain Peregrine just now." Rolling over, she dangles her arms off the edge of her book, eyes closed as she recites, "Says he an' Earl Carthage found Leviathan and are driving it down right now. It'll hit north of town in that gorge." The fairy kicks her feet, "That'll mean you can use the paths on the sides to attack it or even jump onto it once it's grounded. Captain said it looked like a good site."

    Distracted from her conversation, Artifex nods once to Graphice, "It's settled then..! That would be Wandering Canyon." As she turns, the light catches her glasses oh-so-briefly. In the freeze-frame, the glint hides her eyes but not the brief, savage smile on her lips.

    "We have a plan and a location. So all we need now is a virus to exterminate."

Mei Hatsume (1134) has posed:
     Following the completion of some tests and working personal projects that still need testing, Mei's a little more open to checking mysterious invitations out! The inventor can be seen hovering along on her rocket boots, most certainly not wearing them just to show off to whoever might be interested in off-world tech.

     Okay, maybe a little showing off. Or a lot. Hooking her thumbs into her backpack's/harness' straps, she slows to a stop a few feet away from Artifex and Graphice. A broad grin breaks across her face almost immediately after they mention THE VIRUS.

     "Hello! May I ask what this virus is capable of? Does it use tools, is it a construct or a magical thing, is it copyrighted in any way?"

Wandering Dog has posed:
There had been a job offer. 'Deal with something dangerous for pay and loot', called Leviathan, something that'd be a problem. It sounded like a challenge, a very touch one. And that was the sort of thing Wandering Dog was interested in.

Except, that he had to miss the meet'n'greet, on account of having been on a boat at the time and needing to get off the boat. Wandering Dog wasn't too upset about it, because his thing is fighting, though learning about a new place would have been cool. Approaching the group, Wandering Dog introduces himself. "Wandering Dog, Creation's greatest martial artist. Not sure if you've heard of me. It's a pleasure."

And then, came some information about the problem. Paths to attack it or jump on it...must be large. In a canyon means they can use canyon walls for all sorts of things. Sounds good, though he turned towards Mei and nodded, though slightly confused. "Agree with knowing more about what it's capable of. What does it look like, where is the best place to hit it? Also, the heck does 'copyrighted' mean?" That one's addressed to Mei.

Theurgus (1103) has posed:
    Arcana blinks, and looks over toward Graphice when the fairy starts speaking. "Right then... shall we?" she asks, giving her sword a flourish, bringing it down to her side, the tip just above the ground. She closes her eyes, covering her face with her free hand, before she utters a single word. "Access!"

    Chromatic light flares at her feet, then washes up over her body. In its wake, stands Diamond Sister, her body clad in an irridescent body suit with thigh-high boots and long gloves. Over this form chrome Processors, sporting a green gem that glimmers. Hips, hands, shoulders and a head piece. The shoulder units unfold into a pair of sharp batlike wings, gleaming chrome in the light. "I will help keep it pinned down. Focus on your own attacks and protections." her voice has deepened and the nervousness seems gone. Her hair is metallic, and shimmers with different colours as it moves, and her eyes are a 'colour wheel', the irises seeming to slowly rotate around the pupil.

Krusty (1149) has posed:
    Earlier on Krusty offered to assist the group going to fight Leviathan by providing a means to minimize the trouble caused by the virus's poison. To that end he's currently emptying his inventory of antidote potions, placing the bottles together so others can take some. He nods to everyone, "These will help with the poison."

    Of course he intends to fight himself as well, which is why after he finishes with the above he proceeds to arm himself. With a few finger swipes at an invisible menu, Krusty's heavy heavy armour materializes over his uniform. Followed shortly by his large two-handed axe appearing on his back. He turns back to Artifex with a bit of a smirk on his face, apparently eager to take on the large creature they've been told about, "Ready."

Deelel has posed:
Deelel checked her mail often, there could be contact from old allie,s or what remains fo what contacts she has from before the Multiverse went kaboom. Thankfully she got the mail from Artifex. She arrives with little fanfair. She does blink a nbit at the style of dress Artifex ahs however the art? That gets her attention as she looks at Painterly and their work for a moment.

"Humm not bad work at all."

She is distracted by the art but snaps out of it soon enough.
F "Sound like we should get to it then."

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur is already eager and ready to go. Eyes wide, grin wider, and sort of vaguely floating in a way that seems generally like he'd be bouncing up and down on the soles of his feet if he weren't clean off of them. "NICE! Don't got too many QUESTIONS up on this BIZ. I already know what to get that FOCUS on, bringin' that GRAVITY and then bringin' that PAIN!" He also snags a quick bit of the antidote that Krusty has generally gathered with a snap of his fingers. They vanish! And now a chunk of Arthur's visible HP bar is covered up in some sort of teal-colored aura, with crossed-out skulls patterning it. A... Poison shield? Maybe? Something like that?

    "We got more SHIT to FIGURE? If it's ALL GOOD, I'mma get up in that GORGE, gonna bring that HEAVY SHIT." He brings one clenched fist hard into the opposite palm. "Let's bring the PAIN on this MOTHERFUCKER!" If there's no further business, he intends to zip up, mount his broom, blast off on a rocket-powered rush towards the gorge, and get his own GRAVITY PIN FIELD set up with shining green spirographic spellcircles! The hope is that he can start a sustained gravitational crush to hold Leviathan down the moment it gets forced into position.

Lexicon has posed:
    "Maaaan," Graphice complains, "I guess since you guys just showed up, you missed it, huh?" Pushing herself up, the dusky-skinned bookfairy projects an image above her pages with an arms-out gesture, "Leviathan's a mutated one of these. A Skywhale virus." The holographic screen depicts a blue and white...well, whale, floating above the ground. Conveniently, one of the other DCCs is visible in the photo, providing scale to its truck-like size. "Leviathan's been sucking up loads of corrupted code left over from some earlier bullshit, so it's way bigger. And covered in the stingers and extra arms and horks up poison all the time." The image shifts to a black outline of a similar creature, with a human outline depicted much smaller. With tendrils, and pointed stingers, and bits of it that look like they're melting off the underside. Even the silhouette looks unpleasent. "The fact that it's taking two jet fighters piloted by badly proportioned cartoons to bring it to ground level should tell you somethin'."

    "They're not badly proportioned!" Artifex objects from the head of the group, "They're adorable!" She really seems upset by the comment. Then again, she did say she'd created many of the programs that call Gallery their home.

    With Krusty transforming to his armor, and Arcana engaging her Digital Divinity, Artifex hesitates, then turns forward once more. The gorge isn't terribly far-- a quick walk through another gate, though it's an uphill jaunt. Cresting a hilltop draws into view what, at a distance, appears to be a black and blue blimp being attacked by toy planes. Some bombs go off along the topside of the swollen shape, forcing it downward. Arthur's magic kicks in, and the massive whale disappears beyond a cliff with a roar. Artifex glances upward as the fighters break away, circling overhead. She nudges her glasses up with a fingertip.

    "Alright, then. I'll show them how outdated I am..! Access!"

    A glowing ring shoots out around Artifex's feet, primarily blue, trailing red on the inner edge that results in an unsavory purple where the colors interact directly. The pillar of pixellated light that shoots up around her is, here and there, touched with sparks of crimson and violet, and then fades to leave that same blue-haired woman clad in a black bodysuit. She hunches forward as Processors wink in, floating around her hips in elegant feather-like curves, adorning her ankles and forearms, floating above her shoulders, and the knife-like wings that fan out to either side just past her back. The final piece to appear would be her headpiece, materializing as two curved, segmented horns.

    Pupils dilated, mouth split in a wide grin, she lets out an almost feral noise, flexing her fingers, "Haaaah~... Processors SET!" Knees bending, Sapphire Soul takes to the sky on a streak of blue trailing from the edges of her wings, accompanied by shrill, excited laughter.

    A vast difference from the woobie goddess with low self esteem and virtually no authoratative presence.

    Pinned down by gravity and its own bulk, Leviathan starts hauling itself up physically near the edge of the gorge, though it's incapable of looking anything but 'kind of terrifying' for the moment, as the writhing stinger-tipped tendrils on its back dig into the stone to lift its bulky body into a defensible position. A low, off-key whalesong rumbles through the ground itself, ending in a series of unnerving clicks.

Mei Hatsume (1134) has posed:
     Taking a moment to pull out a fancy datapad (in a sturdy case, of course), Mei starts tapping away at the screen while nodding slowly towards Wandering Dog. "Copyrighted! You know. All rights reserve, copyrighted and owned by blah blah corporation twenty X D X. If it's got the right look, someone'll buy it!"

     That grin grows a little wider, and then she snaps a quick picture of the whale with said tablet along with a few more of the transformed Controllers directing combat strategy or laughing too much, Krusty in his suddenly armor, Arthur's weird broom, and even those spell circles for good measure.

     She's got enough space on that thing, anyway. "Alright.. Let's get to work, babies~!" With a mirthful shout/screech, the pink-haired inventor suddenly rockets forward! Her boots pick up speed as she zips along towards the Leviathan, keeping pace underneath the fliers as she aims her harness' hip-adjacent holes at the whale. Two wired arrows fire right out of it at the creature, aimed at one side of it to try and embed themselves in its weird purple-ish mass.

     "What kind of sound is that...? Ah. Be mindful of the edge, everyone!" Mei warns idly as she continues speeding along closer and closer to said edge.

Krusty (1149) has posed:
    Krusty follows Artifex to the point where the Leviathan has been downed. He watches the planes force it into the cliff, assisted by Arthur's gravity. But his attention is drawn as Artifex proceeds to transform. He's come to expect the interesting, if revealing, armour of the DCCs. Although Sapphire Soul's apparent glee at the fight to come catches him a little off guard... He can't help but smirk as he appreciates her enthusiasm.

    Hyped up for the fight, Krusty reaches back to take his axe. Wielding the large weapon in preparation, he begins to charge. Being completely mindful of the edge, he heads straight for it. Quickly reaching it he jumps. Arcing through the air, the axe's blade begins to glow as Krusty swings it around. With a final battle cry, he brings the axe down on the virus, his Tauning Blow skill creating a flash of light on impact as Krusty tries to draw the creature's attention.

Theurgus (1103) has posed:
    Arcana lifts off the ground, and with a burst of prismatic light, surges off in Sapphire Soul's wake. She doesn't comment on the shift in personality, many DCCs have this major shift when engaging their Divinity Driver. What she does do, is lift her sword. The blade has split into three segments connected together with lines of power. Her free hand dips into the deck of cards on her hip, pulling the entire deck out and throwing them. The cards light up with their elemental colour, Red, Yellow, Green, Blue-white, pure White and Void Black, as they start to orbit the DCC-C like a halo.

    She looks down at the fallen Leviathan, then reaches out for a card as it flashes past. She snatches it from the air, holding it between her index and middle fingers. "The Magic of my sword shall rend the veil! FIRST SYLPH!" She tosses the card forward. It's joined by three more in a line before her. She stabs through all three, then does a backflip around, slashing an X shape at Leviathan. Wind blades lash out from the sword as the energy lines turn green to match her Processors, aiming to lop off some of those stinger arms and weaken its grip.

Kutsuuko Shiratori (953) has posed:
    Not one to miss a hunting trip, Kutsuuko has come along fully equipped this time. Part of that is crossed belts of hard cases and webs of hardpoints on her upper legs, but most of it is the gargantuan machine (for a certain definition) she carries casually slung over her shoulder, despite being larger than she is and most certainly an order of magnitude more heavy.

    Made of some kind of metal that blooms shades of gold, red, and iridescent fuchsia, even at rest it looks like there's tremendous heat coming from within. Deep black grooves and rings in its construction don't seem to lead to any kind of internal machinery past its casing, just some amorphous material suffused throughout the entire thing. At the moment, it looks like a great, vehicle-suited cannon, covered in spiral grooves, edged flanges, and vanes that don't look all that dissimilarly 'feather-like', with a rotating barrel. Kutsuuko holds it by some kind of two-part handle that goes deep into the casing at the moment, instead of something with any kind of recognizable trigger (or sight, magazine, or similar, actually).

    Though even with that massive, exotic contraption, she takes a minute to watch Artifex's flashy transformation with a low, mostly non-facetious whistle, with a slow grin spreading across her face. "Much better~ I'm kind of impressed even." Clearly she prefers that side of Artifex/outfit.

    There's not a lot of time to chat though. With Leviathan coming, the God Eater is quick to break from the group, hustling along the gorge edge to a closer position and setting up on the sheer lip. She slings the cannon down and braces it across her knee, and some kind of black wire(?) connects from the amorphous core to a port in her bracelet, lighting up a number of golden spheres embedded in the material. Her thumb and index finger do some kind of rapid interface twiddling, and she begins spitting fire the next second.

    Well, a kind of fire. Scarlet Symphony's muzzle warms up to a furnace glow while spinning up, but the rapid flashes of gunfire aren't especially loud or percussive, and some shocking shade of yellow. Crackling bolts of yellow-grey light streak down from the edge of the gorge, raking lines across the length of the giant whale's body, where they burst into showers of swirling electric motes. They don't seem to cause much more than minor damage, but each is loaded with a paralyzing charge that builds up with each successive shot, until such a point that it can temporarily cripple even a giant monster (being designed with giant monsters in mind and all).

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    "Come on, come on... Come get in the pit... Hooooooaaaaaaa YEAH, GOTCHA BITCH!" Arthur calls out, as his charging-up gravitational field finally fires. A tremendous timer bar appears above it, displaying the time remaining on its strength, and also displaying the way it begins to slowly creep down... The intense force of it is concentrated as much as he can get it on the whale specifically... The others ought to be able to dodge around the tremendous columns of flickering black that mark the field, whenever they head in close.

    With the pin secured, Arthur closes in hard, diving low and weaving into his own gravity field. The rockets in his broom blossom wide, the bristles spin, the haft revs, and the whole battle-broom goes into active combat mode as pieces shift and convulse along its length to maximize damage when Arthur dives down low for a huge overhead smash. He intends to move such that he'll land on the head of the creature when it rushes Krusty down! Ideally forcing it further into the dirt, where Kutsuuko's sustained fire can barrage it even more effectively than if it was actively charging down Krusty.

Asterios (1137) has posed:
Girls transform into goddesses, weapons of great and terrible power are unleashed left, right and center, hammering into the bloated, corrupt flesh of the massive virus. But there is something missing-- something that was here only a moment a--

Wait, no. There it is.

The minotaur didn't even wait for the Leviathan to make landfall before erupting out of wherever it was he was hiding. His advance is single-minded, and yet calculated. As the creature charges at Krusty and Arthur goes to slam into its skull, Asterios instead arrives cross-wise, slamming into the Leviathan's flank with all the strength he can muster. His arms surge with power, bringing both Labryses down in a vicious, bone-shattering crescent.

If he is at all bothered that Artifex's empowered form is A LITTLE TOO SIMILAR to the time he nearly had to fight it himself, he doesn't show it. He can deal with that later.

Right now, there is something to kill.

Deelel has posed:
She gets some more information on the virus they are hunting, that's good and she files it away for the moment.

"So we have a huge virus to deal with. Haven't fought something massive in a very long time. She watches their host transform the whole process from the look on heer face? She just kinga raises one eyebrow at it.

"Time to get to work."

she looks at the huge virus for a moment thinks for half a second and she'll think one thing she does not like those tendrils she needs more fire, as a human might put it. 5R
They keybalde is summoned anmd she now gets ready to spring into action.

"Humm curious sound."

She keeps running at high speed as she follows Artfiax she holds off for a moment, while Krusty does his thing to get the virus attention.

Then hte keyblade is thrown as it often is at the hulking Virus.

Wandering Dog has posed:
"I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about." Wandering Dog replies to Mei blankly. Regarding the beast, he just laughed at the picture, astounded. "Wow, that'll be something to fight, alright. I'm ready!"

As they approach the gorge, Wandering Dog seems pretty unarmed. He's wearing a Chinese-style tunic (actually armored, despite all appearances otherwise), and his fists are a weapon themselves. As the DCCs transform, he watches with a tilt of his head, curious. Is this some sort of supernatural form? It's obviously something they use to fight. Pretty interesting, as he grins. "Alright, then I'll back you up! Hey, you mass of filth, take this!" At the gorge, Wandering Dog moves running straight for that edge. "Got you, minding the edge...and leaping it!"

His movement is natural, as one second he's on the side of the cliff, and the next, he's hurtling through the air, flipping around and moving to find one of those horrible tendrils. The martial artist's angle suddenly changes, and Wandering Dog is soon descending straight towards one, moving to impact into a kick, try and slide down it, and end up finding a place where he could try and tear through it. His punches are exceptionally strong despite not being armed, and his nails sharp, soon encrusted in a black aura that forms sort of like claws, making them as sharp as blades. "Take this! Striking Fury Claws!"

Lexicon has posed:
    "PLUIE TORRENTIELLE!" Artifex's voice calls out. Marks of black ink trace downward in the sky, resembling driving rain. And, with little time to waste, that's precisely what happens. In spite of the clear sky, rain begins to fall. Something that might be considered a bad idea to call upon the battlefield... until Leviathan has completely oriented itself.

    Balanced, on the edge of the gorge by its midsection, the enormous whale's upper hide is black, the lower side and 'teeth' a dark blue that seems to ooze and ripple every time the beast moves. Oriented such that it is, the great head lifts, emitting a gurgling sound, and then it sweeps itself in an arc, disgorging a virulent green slime onto the ground between it and its attackers, a substance that hisses on contact with the ground, killing the grass and creating sparks where it violates the code that makes up the ground in Gallery. An acidic, poisonous spray that doesn't last nearly as long as it could-- as it's quickly dillouted by the rain called down by the Sapphire DCC.

    "Ha ha ha ha~!" Artifex cackles in the sky. Placing her hands on her hips, her brush-sword floating by her side, she leans forward, "This is MY DRIVE, you little shit! Everything here belongs to me! All that data you swallowed... You think I'd overlook you stealing what's mine?!" Pointing, her sword traces a jagged shape in ink, dripping black liquid on the whale's skin as the rain makes the ink run, "The sentence is DELETION!"

    While Leviathan thrashes around, it's an enormous target, and something that Mei has little trouble embedding her wired arrow into. It sticks nice and solidly, as one might expect if shooting an actual creature with such a weapon rather than ostensibly a corrupted data construct. Stinger-tipped tendrils whirl in her direction, right into the first wave of slashing wind from Arcana's First Sylph, which sever the leading stingers. The remaining two recoil from it, while their brethren writhe on the ground or fall over the ledge.

    Krusty takes point easily, due to the rain dissolving the Leviathan's first line of defense, slamming his axe down on its pointed snout. That certainly gets its attention, though whether it's simply the act of punching a blimp-sized monster in the face or the actual effect of his skill that does the trick is unknown. What does happen is the beast opening its mouth, showing the Knight the gaping chasm of its throat and the unhealthy glowing green ooze of its acidic saliva. The beast convulses, hurling out a large sphere of the stuff, though its aim is thrown off when Arthur slams into its head from the top, sending up a plume of corrupted code from the impact.

    Leviathan thrashes, its bulk being the most grievous threat to Asterios coming in from the side and carving into the virus' hide. The Labrys of the Abyss cleaves large chunks free, amidst clouds of damaged crimson code and bits that gradually dissolve when separated from the monster. Deelel's Keyblade hits solidly...and kind of sticks there. It's not like Leviathan is small enough to be bowled over or punched through in one attack, so someone's going to have to get that back.

    Kutsuuko and Scarlet Symphony hammer the virus with stunner rounds, causing it to thrash and lose 'footing' on the cliff edge with a low, unnerving whalesong. When the paralysis starts to stick, Artifex adds her own electricity to it, "ECLAIR!" A shout that's punctuated by a crack of lightning, striking the Leviathan's back.

    And with it not thrashing around so much, this is the perfect time for Wandering Dog's own maneuver, his strength and the Furious Claws style ripping pieces out of the Virus' dorsal side. Crimson code scatters like dust, disintegrating as it disperses-- the closest thing such a creature has to blood.

    It's not completely paralyzed, though. With jerky motions, the numerous stinger-tipped tails still attached to its sides and back lash out at everyone around it, either to stab of envenom--or both--while the colossal vi

Lexicon has posed:
    It's not completely paralyzed, though. With jerky motions, the numerous stinger-tipped tails still attached to its sides and back lash out at everyone around it, either to stab of envenom--or both--while the colossal virus lets out a rapid-fire series of disjointed, deep clicks through the ground it rests on.

Mei Hatsume (1134) has posed:
     Zipping around the thrashing Leviathan, it's taking all of Mei's effort just to not get flung off into the gorge. "So this is the difference between people are monsters...! Ah, I should've set up some cameras first~!" She cackles excitedly, somewhat mimicking Artifex's previous laughter even as those venomous barbs come straight for her. She avoids the majority of them, although a few still graze against her just enough to melt off bits of her uniform and draw pained grimacing from the inventory.

     "Owowowow okay! I can use this!" She proclaims while reaching up to smush a sleeve against her face, trying to get the bulk of the venom making direct contact off before starting to pick up the pace in circling the whale to try wrapping her wires around it and its tendrils to subdue its movements.

     "Enough messing around, then... I got something that might help!" Taking note of Artifex's electric attack, Mei electrifies her own wires to supplement the lightning!

Krusty (1149) has posed:
    Krusty lands again after his initial strike, standing up straight to face the large virus. The rain is beginning to cause his hair to cling to his face. But he doesn't mind it. Actually it's quite refreshing. As is listening to Artifex's words, a smile tugging at the edges of his mouth. She's definitely an interesting personality in this form.

    Krusty stands strong like a castle as he faces down the wide opening mouth of the monster in front of him. It's not the first time he's looked down a large boss mouth and it probably won't be the last! Its large blob of acid is sent flying clear of Krusty thanks to Arthur. And the creature appears partially stunned thanks to Kutsuuko. The others are chipping away at its mass, but Krusty doesn't plan to let them have all the fun!

    As the tails begin to lash out, Krusty charges again. He darts left, right, avoiding the strikes. But one manages to hit! Powering into him directly in the chest, Krusty is sent skidding backwards by the blow. Coming to a halt, Krusty recovers his balance. In the corner of his eye he can see his HP bar has dropped, and is still dropping in small increments thanks to the poison DoT he's been hit with. Quickly reaching beneath the tunic of his armour, Krusty pulls out one of the potions similar to those he had handed out. Quickling guzzling the liquid, he drops the bottle as the little icon beneath his health bar vanishes.

    That dealt with, Krusty renews his assault. He charges forward again, jumping as a stinger tail digs into the ground where he was a moment before. Landing on the briefly anchored tail, he runs up it to get closer, finally leaping off he goes into a spin, large two-handed axe outstretched to slice into the Levianthan's body several times. Until Krusty plants a foot against it, jumping away to get clear so he doesn't get in the way of the assaults from his allies.

Theurgus (1103) has posed:
    Arcana nods, winging over and selecting a new card. This one gleams a deep red. She swoops, coming up nearby to Sapphire Soul, before flinging her card forward. "My Soul burns Crimson Red! White Heat. White Light! Scatter a banquet of flames! CONCERTO INFERNUS!" Five cards join the first, are stabbed through, and then the Drive Core Controller Candidate sweeps her blade in a wide arc, spreading sticky flames from the tip to burn and attempt to sever more of those stingers.

Wandering Dog has posed:
A successful strike! There's a thumbs up in Artifex's direction as the lightning gives him an opening, and Wandering Dog's successfully drawn blood. However, before he can strike again, it starts thrashing, and those stingers coming at him. He doesn't want to deal with poison, but they're moving fast...so he takes a breath. Realigns his breathing. Once he's ready, the stingers have already almost impaled into him, and then, suddenly, Wandering Dog's moving.

He's moving to /catch/ the tails coming at him, even if their speed and strength might mean that they still lash into him, cracking bones, but he's making his own jerky motions, his motions actually ink-like. One of the stingers, however, finally manages to hit him in the palm as he catches it, burning through his flesh.

Wandering Dog grunts in pain, and moves to actually try and tear that tail forward, as an aura of energy starts to build around him, black and gray, rolling like waves and pulsating in places. The martial artist infuses his his hands with that roiling ink-like energy, and suddenly, begins flurrying into several of those tails, moving to try and cut the stingers off with chopping strikes.

As he does so, the venom continues to burn through him, hands burning and boiling, as Wandering Dog shouts out a name for this attack he made up on the spot. "Defanging the Cobra Manuever!" Yeah, that's good. He's gotta write that one down later.

Deelel has posed:
The party has engaged the Levithan and the thing is /huge/, she keeps moging never wanitnt o stay still against a virus and she scores a hit, it /stays/ there. Okay that was new, very new. She's not got a eough time to recall her weapon, not yet. She pulls the ID disc off her back it hums to liose and she keeps it as a close combat weapon as she goes in trying to fight her way to it.

Deelel is going to get her weaponb back one way or another, but for now she's now using her backup more or less.

Kutsuuko Shiratori (953) has posed:
    "Damn, that thing is /hideous/." Kutsuuko mutters not quite quietly enough to be a real mutter. Her fusillade of steady paralysis fire continues unrelentingly until the clinching lightning strike happens and pushes Leviathan off the edge. When it begins to teeter, she is quick to stand up, trailing electric smoke, ozone, and rippling heat from the muzzle of Scarlet Symphony, and twists the handle with a sound that is two parts mechanical and one part oddly fleshy, splitting the casing open like a break action firearm, and ejecting two soda-can sized ampoules (their contents unknowable, for having been completely consumed) and slamming two more home to replace them, flicking the massive machine shut as if it were a hand-sized revolver.

    Tactically, she's still within range of those flailing, slightly extensible stingers, which isn't a great position. Her choices are closing inside their arc of reach and joining in the melee brawl, or falling back through the stabbing frenzy to reacquire a safe range. The former would normally be the smart call, but the spreading ring of acid dissuades her from that approach.

    Instead, she clicks something else, and her whole God Arc blows up --as in, it straight up looks like it exploded for a second-- with thick lines of inky blackness tracing each piece back to the center, instead of any fire or smoke. It freezes a split-second into the motion, and then abruptly yanks all the components back just as fast, slamming them all back together violently enough that it assists Kutsuuko's backwards jump. In the blink of an eye, the cannon has become a circular, 'winged' shield broad enough to protect the front of a car, and she interposes it between the mess of stingers and herself as she backpedals.

    Despite its size, she's remarkably deft with it, turning it this way and that, even while forced to hop back and turn suddenly on her heels to pivot out of the way of otherwise unblockable stings. Where the points would normally scrape on the metal (or perhaps puncture), they're instead stopped an inch from the surface by an almost musical peal of sound and concentric rings of iridescent light, constituting some kind of focused force field. It clearly doesn't go all the way around, because exiting Leviathan's range, the God Eater catches the (thankfully) blunt side of a stinger upside the head, sending her head over heels backwards for a couple of turns, before she catches herself in a four point slide.

    She doesn't let it phase her. Scarlet Symphony bursts and reassembles into the cannon again, spinning and churning out fire while she steadily backs up, somehow handling the inside recoil of the thing. This time it's a white-hot beam of energy, focused down to a forearm-sized lance tinged faintly red, which she carefully, almost surgically, draws across the many stingers like a long-ranged plasma torch, looking to sever through them at the base and create a safe zone for peope to exploit.

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur sticks the landing, bouncing off the top of the creature and drifting back and in a semicircular flanking approach. This means he's at the perfect engagement distance for the dangerous stinger-tipped tails. "Yeah! YEAH! Come on you MOBY DICK MOTHERFUCKER, let's DO IT! Let's GO!! HIT ME with EVERYTHING YOU GOT, you CETACEOUS SON OF A BITCH!! You want a piece of THIS CODE, come and GET IT! Take a fucking BITE you BRONSTED-SLINGING FLYING SHITBAAAAAAAAG!! FUUUUUCK YOOOOOOOOUUUUUUU!!!"

    He seems emboldened by Artifex's mannerisms. This goes on quite extensively, and gets quite a bit more vulgar, creatively combining Xbox Live speech with insults about aquatic mammals. Arthur has no idea if this is even comprehensible to his foe, or if his foe has anything approximating comprehension to begin with, but thankfully that's not the point. Most of the point is to psyche himself up as he swipes, slashes, and strikes at incoming stingers, turning into a whirlwind of scything strikes and whipping magical attacks. The stingers plunge through at times, slamming into that layer of antidote protection on his Health Vial, and lashing through flesh in dangerous red drops, but he doesn't slow down.

    When Krusty lands a strike, Arthur hopes it'll create a brief stun or a gap in the attacks. He blasts forward on a rocket boost, whirling around and twisting up as many of the stingers as he can in a storm of whirling bristles so they might get caught up and Arcana's CONCERTO INFERNUS, Kutsuuko Shiratori's laser-slicing assault, and Wandering Dog's Defanging the Cobra improvisation can sever as many as possible! He's running down to about half his poison protection, but he's hoping it'll be enough to finish this off. Deelel's Keyblade may be lodged in firm on one hit, but Arthur sees it lodged -- and thus /embedded/ through any natural armoring! -- and rushes in close, intent on delivering a massive gravity-powered KICK to the keyblade, meant to force the keyblade DEEP into the creature's flesh. "HOOOOAAAAAHHHH!!" He calls out aggressively as he tries to force it deep inside vulnerable gaps in tough corrupt skin, and then unload a huge fusion energy blast of his own into the opened wound that is hopefully left.

Asterios (1137) has posed:
Contrary to popular belief, it is not the red of the capote de braga that whips a bull into a frenzy. Rather, it is the flailing motion, the notion of sudden and erratic movement, which preys on the animal's natural defensive instincts. The trouble, of course, is that the minotaur is not presently on the defense. The sight of crimson code is close enough to the red of freshly spilt blood to rouse an entirely different instinct.

Asterios is, at least in some fundamental part, a predatory creature.

The minotaur roars through the paralyzing bolts and the raining lightning. He presses the attack, heedless of any notion of self defense. Acid burns and stings at his feet, poisonous tendrils plunge deep into his flesh to disgorge a fatal toxin. Steel severs the stingers before they get the chance to do more than deliver a painful- but not debilitating (at least not immediately so) dose into the minotaur. Twin axes swing into the corrupted, crimson code, digging deeper and deeper and deeper.

Pain only seems to fuel his fury.

But how long can he last...?

Lexicon has posed:
    Leviathan is further electrocuted, while various fighters shift their focus from its body to its writhing method of close range attack. The monstrous virus has countless stinger tails emerging from various places on its body in entirely unnatural ways, which leads to plenty of things to lop, sever, and rend as they go for stabs and slashes using boney sword-like points. Each stinger that's carved away, whether it's from Kutsuuko's plasma ray or Arcana's flame blade, hits the ground wriggling and continues to move even as it starts to dissolve.

    Wandering Dog seems to be mostly occupying the stingers that run down Leviathan's dorsal ridge, tearing or chopping them loose from the body. These don't actually dissolve, though. Resting on Leviathan's skin, they wriggle until the torn end plants against the hide and the appendage can root itself again. Well, that's not a good sign.

    Graphice did warn that this was 'a real piece of work' though.

    As the paralysis effect wears off, Leviathan's body thrashes again, and it hauls itself up fully onto the ledge it's perched against. Still unable to fly or float due to Arthur's gravity, though, it resorts to raising a flipper, then bringing it down in an arc to scatter the melee fighters harassing its head and sides-- the other side protected by the chasm. Deep gashes expose writhing crimson code underneath the rippling, rubbery hide as Krusty's axe bites into the beast. Asterios' fury only results in even deeper carvings of Leviathan's side, before it brings its flipper down.

    Arthur's battle against surging stingers comes out as a victory for him, and he gets his opening-- kicking the embedded keyblade up to its hilt in Leviathan's side. The whale responds by emitting a low-pitched noise that rumbles through the ground more than the air, shaking things underfoot with its pain. The beast's mouth opens, as if inhaling, and the entire shape starts to swell out on all sides. A nasty booger appears on top of its head--acidic poison boiling up through the blowhole, hissing in the rain.

    "Don't you dare!" Artifex calls out, sweeping her arm in a gesture. Her sword dances beside her, tracing a shape, which manifests as a ring of ink floating in midair above the growing pustule of the corrupted whale's pending attack, "BOMBE!"

    The shape quickly resolves itself into a large black sphere with a hissing fuse, glistening in the rain. With a shout, the Sapphire DCC drops on top of it, ramming the weapon into the pustule and then prompting taking off, her weapon lodged in the Leviathan's blowhole.

    The bomb's explosion is inconsequential, blasting a crater of red, ruined code into Leviathan's head. What happens, however, is that it loses the ability to disperse the pressure building from whatever the bomb has ignited inside it. Leaning back, its throat nearly transparent, flames rapidly fill the void under its hide until the Leviathan's jaw explodes outward in a spray of code fragments, acidic residue, and flames. It flops forward, still moving, but too stunned to continue retaliating. And now, visible through its ruptured hide, is a glassy red sphere of swirling code, cracked in places and pulsing with black spots that constantly shift and move in other places. Small enough for Asterios to hold in one hand, though anyone else would probably need two. It's lodged halfway in the Leviathan's exposed insides, but very visible.

Theurgus (1103) has posed:
    Arcana's eyes are watching for that very thing. "THERE! That's it's Kernal! Destroy it!" she calls, summoning one of the pure celestial white cards to her hand. "Oh great Source, grant me strength. Ye Lords, masked in Bits and Code. All creation, Fluttering wings. They who bear the name of Program. Inferno and Pandemonium, the sea barrier surges. March unto the High Castle. Way of Destruction, number 87. White Heaven Arrow!" She rears back with her blade, stabbing through all instances of white card surrounding her. Her blade glows a white so pure it blocks out all other colours.

    With a Kiai, she stabs again, sending a beam of pure radiance down at the core, highlighting it for the others to find, and starting to chip away at its defenses. "STRIKE NOW!"

Asterios (1137) has posed:
Awful blackened veins creep across the minotaur's body where the poison is doing its work, staunched only by his own tremendous resilience. If he were a mortal man, he'd be dead by now-- but he is more than that. A servant is just as much flesh as spirit. Already, the core of the minotaur's legend asserts itself against the poison, regenerating flesh that would by now have begun to decay.

Asterios' attack is ceaseless. He hews in again and again and again, apparently having decided that his destination is on the other side of the whale-virus and the only way to reach it is through the crushing sea of crimson code.

And then there's an explosion, because Artifex just turned the virus' trump card against it.

Asterios yells as he's thrown clear, bouncing twice against the ground before finally rolling to a stop and... Apparently, only now realizing just how terrible a toll the poison has had on his body. He grunts softly and reaches to his belt, fetching... One of Krusty's trusty antidote potions! Asterios pops the top off and downs its contents, wiping his mouth clean as the residual smoke of the Leviathan's unintentional self-destruction clears, revealing...

That it's... Not /quite/ dead.

Almost, though. He can see it. That red and black core, like a beating, crystalline heart. It's time, then. The Minotaur straightens, fighting the pain in his limbs. He kicks hard off the ground, carving a crater into the underlying code. With a crescendoing roar, he hurls his axes aside, charging forward with both hands outstretched in something that resembles a polish hammer-- except with fingers ever so slightly parted from one another. He's... going to grab the core!

Rip it out!

Raise it to the sky!


Krusty (1149) has posed:
    Krusty lands again after his assault. Turning to face the Leviathan. He quickly takes in his surroundings, watching the others attack, the virus starting to look like it's at the ends of its ropes. And that's when he spots Artifex proceeding to stick a bomb in what Krusty expects is the blowhole of its whale-like form. It's pretty easy to guess what comes next.

    Krusty raises his arm, using the large armour to protect his face as parts of the virus explode into little bits. Lowering his arm again to look at the results, he calls out to the DCC, "Nice one!"

    It's at that point that Krusty notices the red sphere within the Leviathan. He's played enough games to spot a weak point when he sees one. Arcana's words just confirm it. So with the next step obvious, Krusty lowers his stance a little and swings his axe out to the side. Steadying himself, he lets the energy of his skill gather in the blade of his weapon. Once there is enough, he proceeds to take a step, starting to swing his axe...

    ... And promptly stops mid swing, looking a little bewildered as Asterios goes to rip the core out of the whale's body. Krusty pauses for a moment, then shrugs, "Well, that's one way to do it." He relaxes, standing up straight as he brings his axe up to rest on his shoulder, the gathered light fading. Even if having its core pulled from its body doesn't kill the virus, maybe Asterios can crush it or something.

Mei Hatsume (1134) has posed:
     After releasing one of the wire arrows from the Leviathan, Mei catches it in mid-flight as she zips right towards the creature. She really could just stay back and let her stronger, faster, and more skillful allies handle finishing off the thing. It'd certainly be the wisest course of action, especially considering the size of them, their weapons (which she needs to remember to take some more pictures of), their magical and technological blasts...

     But that wouldn't be sufficiently HEROIC and FLASHY for a proper hero-in-training! Calling upon her years of watching other people do cool and crazy stunts, Mei kicks her boots into high gear once more as she zips towards the Leviathan's body, drawing herself in even faster with the aid of her still-attached wire arrow. "Let's finish this here!"

     The inventor zooms up the creature's body and takes off into the sky with a big boosted jump, hanging in the air for a few moments while the wire arrow draws back into the harness. It clicks back into place around the time she starts falling back towards where Asterios is holding up white-highlighted core, her first stabbing implement held dramatically overhead. As she comes back down, she drives the wire arrow as hard she can into the core.

     All things considered, it's probably not the strongest attack by a wide margin, but... But it looks cool! Right? Even if it is really just an overly flashy falling stab.

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    It's glowing. It's red. It's smooth. Arthur knows it well. In the anatomy of creatures like this, such a construct is well-known and well-documented. In the study of how to neutralize them, protocol is well-understood and well-documented. It's a Core. And he must shoot it. Arthur flips back and skids away from the creature as the bomb goes off, steadying himself with calm and purposeful movements until he comes to a halt. There's a brief, grateful nod to Artifex, seeming to much appreciate what she's done here; he definitely didn't have enough shielding left to get away from this without a severe poisoning. Both arms snap out hard, glowing alternating bright whites and deep blacks, and shining green spirographs blossom from behind him like an unfolding and blooming flower, interlocking and undulating and swirling in elaborate patterns.

    The grow, layer, unfold more, trace more and more elaborately, until converging at a point just ahead of him. And when he slams both hands forward, the gush of shimmering white and black energy that pours out of the central spirograph is like watching a waterfall work sideways, flowing and pouring and splashing hard against whatever it strikes, disgorging its payload of overwhelming starlight and gravity impact.

    He aims for the core, or rather, whatever may connect the core to this beast. His beam flows around and swirls over Theurgus' own to compliment it, and to continue pouring damage on as Asterios hopefully bares it to all possible damage. The sheer intensity of the strike, he hopes, will overwhelm it with structural stress until Asterios can rip it clean out.

    And, of course, he shouts. Loudly, with a rising battlecry, and with much, much enthusiasm.

Kutsuuko Shiratori (953) has posed:
    Kutsuuko's laser discharge finally thins and gutters out no a moment too soon. She'd emptied the energy gauge, partially depleted as it was by use of the barrier, in that long burst to carve off so much of the virus, and she wouldn't have time to start reloading if it were still functional. With the others ripping it to pieces so thoroughly though, and with Artifex effectively crippling it while it was winding up for its super, she has a clear shot at something familiar.

    Something very familiar.

    Instead of reloading, the God Eater charges forward, sliding down the sheer stone and accelerating extremely fast while she does so, due her her great combined weight. As she approaches, she does so towards Asterios from behind, and with a surprisingly elegant leap, takes off over him, landing with both boots on his shoulders. Were he not a gigantic hulking minotaur, that might squish someone, but instead she uses that stepping stone to leap up for a little extra height. Scarlet Symphony bursts again, but it doesn't become something else this time. Instead of reconfiguring into a new weapon mode, the fluid blackness surges outwards in its entirely, folding the chassis back as the petals of a flower.

    The almost liquid mass ripples, splits, and then takes on an appearance somewhat like a horizontally mirrored crashing wave, but much more like a gigantic pair of ridiculously over-fanged jaws, where the gleaming spheres bubble to the surface like featureless, glowing eyes. She comes down vertically on the core being wrenched from the beast's insides, or at least, during the attempt. Her 'cannon' lets off a sound unmistakable as anything but an unearthly, predatory roar, and then slams shut with a violent, 'gorey' snap --less tearing so much as /dissolving/ the mass that falls into its teeth, intending to devour core in its entirety.

Wandering Dog has posed:
As Wandering Dog is thrown off, he reorients in mid-air so he's not sent straight into the cliff face, the banner around him still flaring as he suddenly darts towards the cliff and leaps straight back off it. The core is exposed at this time, and Asterios is ripping it out, the others are shooting at it...what can he do to contribute? He can assist Arthur with the connections. Leaping straight off, that black energy moves to swivel around his foot, and the aura around him suddenly becomes stronger, a pair of waterfalls swivelling around in it as what seems to be a series of roads and paths mark the banner. "Take this! Let's kick you straight to the heavens!"

Hopefully, Wandering Dog helps impact straight into the connector, and then can leap back out before getting crushed in the whale. Hopefully.

Deelel has posed:
Deelel has not got to see Kutsuuko in action like this, and Deelel is very well impressed with what she sees and is glad for the heavy support from her. She keeps moving and she hears Arthur shouting, honestly she'd really missed that so much. The more she thought about it and with someone who has a long history of working with her? It will allow her to pull off some more stunts than she might be able to normally.

Wandering Dog is also proving to be new but pretty damn adept too, it's been good fortune for her operations with the various drives.

She then sees what Arthur is doing, it's a good plan she'll even aboat on her recovery attempt for the moment to let Arthur do thing? She will run for the target, she'll move to recover her keyblade in the aftermath of the explosion and with that in hand she's going to really start going to down working with Wandering dog and Arthut.

"Good thinking!"

The baisc calls out as she puts the Duel Disc to work in one hand and her ID disc in the other!

Lexicon has posed:
    Several things happen when Leviathan's infected Kernal is exposed.

    The implacable bull man Asterios, with all his strength and fury, digs his hands into the code surrounding the sphere. Leviathan lets out a rumbling, gurgly noise that reverbrates through the ground, while Arthur, Deelel, and Wandering Dog crack through the material keeping the Kernel in place. With all of this, the stubborn trinket is finally wrenched free and held aloft in victory.

    And then Mei spears the Kernel with her wired arrow, knocking it from the Minotaur's hands.

    Arcana's blast of light flips it in midair, severing the wired arrow's cable and slamming the sphere into the ground. It bounces up at the perfect height for Krusty's axe to find it-- and he stays his attack. The sphere bounces past him and right into the waiting jaws of Scarlet Symphony.

    The rain ceases, and Artifex stares downward from where she floats, eyes glowing with the sigils of power so common to a Drive Core Controller. Part of Leviathan's body shifts, steadily dissolving, and it falls over the cliff and into the gorge in a spray of scattering code fragments.

    Despite the intensity of Artifex's stare, she seems more perplexed than angry, staring at Kutsuuko and her hopefully satisfied, hopefully not sick weapon.

Theurgus (1103) has posed:
    Arcana lowers down slowly, watching the outcome of this combined assault. Her blade gives off a CHAMNPK, as the three 'tines' of the very elongated 'fork' clamp back together. She glances over her shoulder at Artifex, then follows her gaze towards Kutsuuko. Multichromatic eyes blink at the God Eater, head tilting curiously as she waits to find out what, if anything is going to happen.

Krusty (1149) has posed:
    Krusty watches with some amusement as Asterios is denied his treasure, the core bouncing around amongst them until finally it ends up eaten by Kutsuuko's strange weapon. Krusty doesn't understand the significance of that, but as long as it does the job he's not too concerned. And that certainly seems to be the case as the rain lets up.

    Krusty looks up to the sky for a moment, before turning his head to watch the Leviathan fade away. After that he gives Artifex a nod for a job well done. Then, like the others, who too looks at Kutsuuko with a little curiosity.

Wandering Dog has posed:
As the Leviathan starts to fall apart, Wandering Dog leaps off it and onto the cliffside, taking a breather as that banner flowing around him dissipates. Brushing his hand through his sea blue hair, he turns to the others, and then notices them glancing at Kutsuuko, after what she just did. "Wait, did you just...?" Did her weapon just eat the corrupted monster's heart/brain? Wandering Dog's the type to voice that sort of confusion out-loud.

Asterios (1137) has posed:

Has his kill stolen?!?

"Aa?" The minotaur asks, blinking at the dotted outline of where the viral core should have been, clutched tightly in his hands. Instead, he follows it with his eyes as it bounces to and fro and... Finally ends up being eaten by a sword......???


"Aw," Asterios frowns as the virus disintegrates, "I wanted... To smash it."

Mei Hatsume (1134) has posed:
     Not quite as flashy as Mei was hoping to be, but... Acrobatics! Teamwork! And a giant freaky mouth.

     Time to slide over a few feet that way just in case. Keeping herself several arms' lengths away from Scarlet Symphony just in case, she watches the... Weapon? Creature? Whatever it is eating the core, and she even brings her tablet out for another moment to snap a few crappy camera shots of it.

     "Interesting... Impractical-looking, but very interesting! And.. Yeah, I think it did just do that." Chuckling to herself and giving Wandering Dog a nod, the inventor raises an eyebrow when she notices Asterios' disappointment. She glances over the cliffside first to make sure that the Leviathan isn't sneaking its way back up to chomp down on someone, then sighs and moves over to give the minotaur a pat on the shoulder.

     Or at least the midback. He's tall! "There there. I'm sure you'll have plenty of opportunities to smash, big guy! There's always bad things around, so you just need to find one to make your own undeniable mark!"

     Another pause, and then she glances off the side of the cliff again where the code had fragmented off to. "...You think there's going to be any collateral damage down there?"

Kutsuuko Shiratori (953) has posed:
    Scarlet Symphony thankfully does not get sick. It is dubious that 'sick' is even a thing that can happen to it. It'd be confusing and concerning if there were somehow any biological equilibrium in there to upset, considering it displays no discernible anatomy whatsoever as it all surges back into its casing, which snaps back together in a condensed format which springs out an eight foot long, car-sized curved blade, sizzling with the same molten hues as the gun barrel.

    Kutsuuko is oblivious to all the attention on her for several seconds, instead checking some kind of display on her armlet while she cycles through a diagnostic screen. The primary property of Oracle Cells is the ability to break down and consume anything, and in doing so, record its characteristics, so it's possible she's looking at some kind of material analysis or something. When she looks up, she glances back and forth, and sighs out a "What?"

    "It's dead, right? That thing was probably infectious. A specialized removal and purging tool makes sense. God Arcs are designed to extract vital infrastructure and destroy all traces of it from the host so it doesn't get back up again." She pats Asterios on the shoulder. "Sorry big guy. That might have not been safe anyways. There'll be lots of stuff to smash later." She then starts looking around at the terrain, then at Artifex. "So when does the ground start de-corrupting? And where, actually?"

Deelel has posed:
Deelel makes quite the mess along side her allies as they take the thing down she comes in for a landing after and seems to be pretty pleased with herself about it. She doesn't care about a kill being stolen only that the thing is finally uput down.

"Well that's certainly the End of Line of that."

She notes and seems to be quite chipper she looks to Kutsuuko nodding.

"It's derezzed, all right, and I'm glad we had you along Ktsuuko. That was an impressive take down though a bit disturbing. There's an old story about a program that devoured others to gain their functions. Is that kind of what you did?"

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur ceases his Shounen Beaming after the matter is, at last, properly resolved. And as it ceases, his spellcircles... Sort of fold up, like an artillery gun de-configuring from its fire mode, until the tracing lines whirl back into Arthur himself. "HELL FUCKIN' YES." He declares, taking a triumphant pose. Several icons pop up indicating he's ascended a number of god tiers. He's level-capped, though, which means he mostly gets a few cosmetic boxes instead.

    He's a fair bit cut up, though, from his fight with the stingers. He works on staunching the bleeding a little bit, as he says, "YEAH, what EPIC MEAL TIME said, I wanna get that HELLA DRAMATIC RESTORATION up in this motherfucker. You guys equipped for those? Like BIG WHOOSHY RESTORATION WAVE stuff?" He drifts off his feet and assumes a positive, triumphant posture.

    He also surreptitiously attempts to approach Artifex. He saw that little bit of personality change, and he's extremely curious about whether this means he can, after a lengthy delay, finally assault Artifex's hand with a proper coolkid fistbump, though this one's more a pound of triumph than a handshake of greeting. You can tell in the nuance of the posture, the focus on low-fives, and other minutiae of the Coolkid Dialect.

Lexicon has posed:
    Artifex processes what's happened, at least, and descends to ground level. She remains in her Digital Divinity, though. Her sword swings around and slides into its scabbard--once again resembling a large paintbrush-- and assumes a horizontal floating position behind her. She sits on it, folding her legs primly at the knee while resting both hands on either side of her hips.

    "Good. That trash is deleted." Craning her neck, she glances over her shoulder at the chasm that the body had fallen into, "It's a large virus, so the result won't be immediate, but over the next few hours it'll release and restore the farmland around the System Bus." With a smirk and a quick laugh, she admits, "Once that's done, my resources will grow again. Hnf~..!"

    On the question of collateral damage, the DCC rolls her shoulders, remaining seated, "Its /existence/ was collateral damage. At least like this, its worthless life finds purpose. It'll disappear completely soon enough."

    An eye opens and she regards Kutsuuko again, "I would very much like to know how you destroyed that Kernel so easily. But some other time. Or perhaps let those girls in Vector take inspiration from that wonderfully fearsome weapon of yours. Something like that to extract virus cores would find a lot to do around here."

    Only then does she slide off her seat, the weapon disappearing completely, "There will be more to destroy, Asterios. Your service to me is far from complete." Okay so she's a bit haughty and imperious when she's not combat crazy.

    The look Arthur gets when he approaches here with his intentions clear... it's a glare that could curdle milk. Which is thankfully cut short when a digitized ring spreads out from around her feet, and a pillar of light dissolves her Digital Divinity. The black-suited Artifex is left behind, unsteady on her feet for a moment, "Ah..A-also--" Unfortunately she doesn't fold her hands in time, seized by Arthur in the Coolkid Handshake that, much like its earlier victims, leaves her bewildered and speechless throghout the entirety of it.

    It takes a minute to recover, and the blue-haired DCC nervously offers, "P-please stay to rest, recover, and enjoy some of Gallery's, um.. Hospitality."

Theurgus (1103) has posed:
    Arcana nods a little, descending to ground level and returning to her normal form in a rush of prismatic light. Her blade evaporates back into her inventory, and she stuffs her hands into the pockets on her jacket, just so she doesn't fall victim to Arthur's handshake again. "The offer is appreciated, Lady Sapphire S--- Artifex. I would like to talk to you about a possible trade deal, we can offer some of our golem units to aid your defense forces, on a lend/lease basis."