6037/The Foreigner Is Coming Home

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The Foreigner Is Coming Home
Date of Scene: 14 September 2018
Location: Boston, Metastasis Earth
Synopsis: The Foreigner comes home.
Cast of Characters: 6708, Riva Banari, Staren, 6645, Empty Tidings, 6660, Captain Flint, 6384, Deelel, 6648, 1143


Foreigner (6708) has posed:
     The little girl is crying. It's sharp and loud, the wail of a child who doesn't know what's going on, sat in the middle of the sidewalk bawling her eyes out. She doesn't stop until the gentleman arrives.

He's tall, and handsome, with dark brown hair and a hawkish nose, and eyes as deep as the ocean. He squats down, the cape of his old military uniform brushing the pavement, tucking his cane under his arm. He smiles at her. Her tears stop, and she sniffles as she looks up at him, rubbing her eyes lightly.

     "Poor girl," the man says, his voice the picture of refinement, "Poor dear child. Did you get separated? Did you lose your mother?"

     The girl sniffles and nods. The officer smiles and pats her head. "There, there, dear. I'll sort you out right quick, hm?" The hands of a practiced father lift her up into the air and on his shoulder. The girl's tears slowly dry as she rests her head against him. He's gentle. He's such a gentle man.

     The gentleman starts walking down the street, the girl on his shoulder. "Every little girl should have a mother." He steps over the pavement, his polished military boots clicking as he walks over fallen corpses. He rounds the corner into fire.

     Boston Harbor burns. Dark water fills the bay, blacker than midnight oil. Great tentacles twine around heavy ships. Military vessels from the Naval facility at Nantucket are blocked by the vast bulk of whale-like nightmares with gaping jaws and rings of teeth. On shore, hideous, bulbous-eyed fish-men in military uniforms tromp along, clutching guns of alien and hideous design etched with runes that twitch and throb. People are being separated and dragged off in chains.

     The gentleman's smile doesn't change. He gives a whistle. "Marcy!"

     One of the fish-men trods over obediently. The gentleman holds the little girl out in front of him and smiles. "Now, darling, this is Marcy. She's one of my many beautiful daughters. She'll take good care of you, won't you, Marcy? That's good, Marcy." He hands the girl over to the bulbous-eyed creature, who gently takes her in its arms and pats her with webbed fingers. "See if you can find her someone to play with, alright? I think Billy's little boy just got a new tin soldier." The gentleman purses his lips in sudden thought. "Do children these days still play with tin soldiers, Marcy? It's awful late in the year. I ought start thinking about Yuletide. I've so many presents to buy."

     The gentleman turns away and adjusts his collar as the Deep One goes toddling off, the girl held in its arms. A balding man with bulging eyes steps into stride with him, holding out a book.

     "We're on track for Leng's demands, Father," the balding man says to the handsome young gentleman, "They've offered a bonus chest if you can get the natives to sign off on a generational."

     "How many rubies is that?" The gentleman says, tugging at his glove.

     "Several hundred, Father. Shall I ask them to diversify? A few diamonds?"

     "No, no. Rubies are fine, Kenneth, fine." The gentleman looks out over the burning harbor and sighs, the deep and cheerful sigh of a man accomplished. "Tell them..."

     "Tell them the Foreigner will do what he can, but there's no promises, and I shan't expect pay up front. It's a favor for friends, Kenneth, nothing more. If we can, we will. If not, they'll understand."

     Kenneth snaps his heels together in a sharp salute and lopes off towards the burning bay, arms swinging as he runs. Foreigner's lips turn upwards in a smile. "I should set him up with someone nice," he says to thin air as he plucks a hidebound ledger from his breast pocket and produces a quill pen from his sleeve, "Maybe at the Yule dance. Everyone loves the Yule dance."

     Against a tableau of fire, the Foreigner walks, head in his ledger, humming a Christmas song to the air. The cheerful music drowns out the sounds of the screams.

Riva Banari has posed:
And then there's someone arriving who is much less of a gentleman.

This is not a time for shenanigans. This is a straight invasion of weird and unknown forces, and it's time to engage with the situation the best way she knows how.

Violently. Riva is in full Templar regalia, making her stand out in her military-style red, white, and black dress uniform... But the massive anchor-like Ajoran Cross over one shoulder and a shotgun in the other speak of a more... forward advance kind of mentality. Boots hit the ground, and she begins forward, implacable as she begins charging towards the conflict.

The last thing she wants is another Solomon Island, and she begins making this point known as soon as she identifies some of the eldritch invaders, her shotgun going off with a blast of light and fury as she works to begin presenting a point of resistance to the incursion.

Staren has posed:
    What appears to be a chromed-up, futuristic jet fighter arrives in the sky. Staren surveys the scene below with a concerned frown. This... this is HUGE. An army is marching in the streets, and there seem to be multiple giant sea monsters attacking the boats. He judges a complete defeat unlikely -- they're going to have to hurt the enemy forces enough that they decide to pull out.

    After passing by overhead, he circles around for another approach. Map data (and target positions, for anyone else who wants to try shooting at giant tentacles) are shared with any who can recieve them.

Cu Chulainn (6645) has posed:
The Clock Tower had sent Felt and Lancer the message right as the call was reaching the Multiverse. Boston was on fire, and it was suspected to be Grail-related, because that was a goddamn huge fire and it was because of tentacle monsters or something. As the closest applicable agents, the duo were being sent in.

Felt is a tall man with purplish-black hair slicked back, as well as a suit and tie and a pair of black gloves. Lancer is meanwhile in his blue bodysuit, wearing jeweled earings, his blue hair in a ponytail. A red spear is in his hands as the duo approach the harbor. They charge in, Lancer at the lead thanks to his great speed, but they don't focus on the civilians and slavers in the streets. They're the type to aim for root cause - whatever brought this problem into being in the first place.

And so, Lancer and Felt are aiming for the harbor, likely joined by whoever came in with them. They're moving for the most expedient path, but if any of the fishmen harass them, Lancer moves to try and strike them down with his spear, entirely willing to gut them without a trial. It's not like they have rights. (And more seriously, the situation's extreme enough that they have permission to kill anyways from their bosses.)

Empty Tidings has posed:
The crowds in the city are, appropriately, running for their very lives. Boston is kind of a rat's nest of twisty one-way streets and old roads only mostly converted into new ones. It makes it easy to get lost if you aren't local, or to get into a hard-to-reach place if you are... or if you're familiar with similarly old, unplanned urban sprawls.

Now where could someone like Tidings have picked up /that/ navigational skill.

"Um, excuse me!" The voice is from a young woman in black, walking down the street towards the Deep Ones. Unlike everyone else, who is pushing past one another to run screaming away from them, she's somewhat hesitantly approaching instead. "S...ir? Or miss? I'm terribly sorry; I'm not sure how to tell..." She trails off awkwardly, nervously adjusting her glasses, glancing away at the ground.

She draws herself up. "I would very much like to speak to your leader," she says, firmly. She's rooted to the spot, but looks about an inch away from rabbiting. Is this some random local down by the waterfront trying to evade the monsters at the shore, throwing herself to the wolves? By any metric or measurement, it certainly seems to be.

She is most certainly not what she seems. But don't tell the monsters that.

Thomas Alva Edison (6660) has posed:
    In the Past (but not too long ago),

    Edison had finished his most pressing appointments for the day, and was unwinding and thinking about things quietly in his Labatory. A place of reflection, of science...where he thought about his plans, what things were going on in the Multiverse, how to out do Tesla, and other important thoughts. However, the peace of his thoughts were interupted. A military Aid came in, looking like a ghost. Edison thought to disarm him, until the papers and footage of what was happening hit his desk.

    Edison, suddenly very grim nods to him, standing up. He called for aids to follow, trying to gather as much military as could be brought to bare on such short notice. However, Edison would refuse to stay...no he would arrive with his men, leading from the front was something Edison might not have done in life, but as the Presiking...as the embodyment of every US president as well as Thomas Alva Edison, he was that man.

    Now...

    US Military ships would start appearing, on the lead ship Edison stood on the bow, watching...his eyes and senses trying to feel the situation out. He spent his life railing against the supernatural, and even as a Supernatural entity now...he sure was glad to have the extra senses.

    "Men, Women...Soldiers of the United States." Edison's voice carried to his people. "We face a darkness that I do not have a light on yet. Yet. We know that there is a reaction to the Grail here. We know that it is killing our familes, our friends, our Countrymen, our /BROTHERS IN ARMS!/" he says, instilling the gravity of the situation. "However, know I, Thomas Alva Edison, your Presiking...your protector fight with you. Know that I ride with you into battle...know that we will DRIVE this evil from our shores, and rebuild Boston to be even greater than it was...and once we know what evil this is, we will NEVER allow it to hurt our people again! Fight today, fight for your lives...for our people...because tomorrow is the Dawn, and I will bring it to all of America, and we will share in it's warm light!"

    The speech ends, as Edison feels...something.

    "Commanders, you know your duty, hit that ship hard...but I see the source. Keep me infromed, but you know your duties better than I...I will stop the source." he says, and rises into the air, as DC power causes him to rise. He soars off, on a direct collision course for Foreigner. Landing, the figire of Edison smashes into the street, causing the pavement to rise up from his impact. Electrical power courses through his body as he rises, his eyes hard, determined...and angry.

    "You, sir, are under arrest. Murder, mass destruction, the list goes on." He says, with a tone that brokers on /not calm at all/. Infact...his shoulders are capped by electrodes now, and from his back the /AMERICAN FLAG/ in pure wavering energy appears.

    Edison has not come to play. He has come to stop a threat to his country.

Captain Flint has posed:
     "Jesus, Flint," says John Silver. The looking glass is folded up and handed back to the captain. The two men stand upon the quarterdeck of the Walrus. Both of them are all too aware of the peril that awaits the ship and her crew, should they continue sailing. Indeed, all around them, men begin to murmur their discontent. The footage leaked seemed to show a prime opportunity to make some money in the midst of chaos, especially with the Navy otherwise engaged. Modern worlds were a favorite target; their technology sold well on less advanced worlds. Both of them had underestimated the sheer scale of the chaos, however.

     Flint's seafoam eyes scan the horizon. All around him, tension begins to rise as the crew awaits an order. The murmured malcontent turns to distrustful glares. "Steady as she goes, Mr. DeGroot."

     The order has been given to continue sailing into the mass of tentacles, eldritch vessels, and entangled Navy ships, despite the clear and present danger. It is received with a riotous uproar of groaned complaints, to which the captain responds with a nod towards John Silver. "Handle it."

     "How the fuck do you expect me to do that?"

     "There's money to be made here, Mr. Silver. Just not the way we initially expected." He turns his attention to Silver fully, showing that he means to brook no argument. The quartermaster's crutch beats against the deck and he moves down to the maindeck to smooth things over with the crew. This will be a hard sell. Hopefully, Flint's right.

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     Another day, another strike on a civilian target. Orchid happened to be near where the Presiking was getting ready with his response, so hitched a ride on his flag-ship. She finds the dramatic speech Edison gives rather invigorating. These aren't her people, but she'll do what she can to help them. She has little intent of getting into combat, but life may have other plans for her. In any case, before the ships engage the hostile navy, she has jumped off and onto her rocket surfboard, and is heading for land, for the worst hit areas.

Deelel has posed:
Deelel had been a very active elite with the Union, with its fall she's been around but seems to be less of a figure than she used to be. She's however reared her head when Cu's partner offered to give her away in. She looked out of place for this world her clothing looked human at least till the point one might notice there isn't a single seam on them anywhere. She also had a strange disc on her back as well. She looks to Felt for a moment she summons her keyblade the Dual Disc and well? There's no hiding she's here from Perry and his minions, there really isn't. She's a keyblade user and she's wandered into a mess of eldritch horrors here.

She'll strike out at any of the fish men who get too close, yet she's seeming to be looking for something with the arrival of Thomas freaking Edison? That name is known to her, her world her universe depends on his inventions to have come into existence.

She hears his speech and she thinks she'll have to speak to him later if they all live through this mess.

Sakata Kintoki (6648) has posed:
Fire? That's Golden. It's the element of MANLINESS.
Ships? That's Golden. It's old-fashioned TRAVEL BUILDINGS.
Crying kids? That's not Golden at all.

    Someone needs to answer for all this. That person is... Uh. The Golden Rider has no idea. The monsters dragging people away, presumably, but is there anyone behind them? Who knows. It's too complicated! His motorcycle's engine heralds his approach long before he even reaches the creatures, growing louder as Kintoki pushes the vehicle faster and faster. Spotting someone being dragged away, he wastes little time as he guns it straight for one of the Deep Ones in question, twisting his bike at the last moment to do a COOL SKIDDING MANEUVER as he comes to a stop.

     There may or may not be fishy parts under his bike after the fact.

     "Yo! Your Golden Rider is here! Now... Who's the punk responsible for all this?!" He punches his giant brass knuckles together, lightning bursting out from the impact while his shade-adorned face scans the growing crowd.

     Looking at everyone present, it's... Really not clear who's responsible.

Touta Konoe (1143) has posed:
    There's really no words to describe what Touta's looking at...Actually, there is. Total mayhem. He doesn't know what had ended up bringing everything to this point and he doesn't care. All he knows is that he doesn't like what he sees and he intends to stop what he can.

     "What the hell even happened here...?

     No time for questions though.While Touta isn't as capable to deal with the astrocities at the harbor, that's not where his aim lies. The moment he sees the fish-men like soldiers dragging people away in chains he already knew where he needed to be. So he figures with that in mind, he should start his introduction to these fine fish-folk with a splash!

     "Catch the earth..."

    Using Shundo, Touta's body becomes a blur of speed which should give enough leeway to break past the soldiers' ranks before they have time to try and aim him down. His goal is simple. He's gonna try to break the chains that bound the captured citizens, and he intends to break those chains whether he needs to rip them apart, cut through them, or use an incredibly heavy sword to force them to break under the pressure. He wants to get these people out of here as soon as possible.

Foreigner (6708) has posed:
     "And I," the Foreigner stops, spreading his arms and smiling broadly, "Am here to offer that country the chance to be part of the greatest country in *any* world. Science, medicine, economy, all ahead of the whole human race. I am here to offer the country that is my country, the country that I love the most in the world, the first crack at becoming part of something even more wonderful than it can possibly imagine."

     Those mad eyes look up at everyone. "The empire of my wonderful children."

     At that, cannonfire rings out around him. Shells of pure nightmare come falling down around the Foreigner, shells of darkest night that roil with horrifying evil. Even a touch is enough to seal regeneration, to carve away immortality. These are not cannons that explode - they are nightmares in the shape of murderous steel.

     Amidst the crescendo, the Foreigner looks up again, a horrid frown crossing his beautiful face. "A moment, if you please, ladies and gentlemen. I've some terribly pressing business to attend to."

     And then the Foreigner is gone, flickering in the night above Riva and Touta, and there's a very different look on his face. The gentle smile is replaced with a cruel gaze.

     "You," he says, and his voice is ice, "How dare you kill my children. My own flesh and blood. My boys and girls." His cane rises, pointing at them both like a wicked king's blade. "And so close to Yule."

     And the cannonfire rings out again...

Foreigner (6708) has posed:
     Riva surges into a squad of fish-eyed hybrids without a second thought. Her Ajoran Cross flashes outwards, the heavy anchor sweeping aside pale-faced, wet-skinned men and women in white uniforms. They bleed the wrong color as they die, splattered across the pavement. Touta runs alongside her, carving into chains, cutting loose citizens who go running as the hybrids attempt to fight back. These hybrids are ill-trained; no match for the pair. A whole group of citizens goes scrambling away.

     The Foreigner looks up.

     Staren's jet is not the only one in the air tonight. U.S. forces are scrambling, jets from the nearby naval base falling into position along the sleek chrome machine. Radio attempts fail, though; each open channel explodes into the creaky Christmas song as the jets try and contact him. Staren's scans aren't looking great, either. There's a lot of chaos down there. Worse, the tentacles are all connected to something, and they're connected to something *massive*, something rising out of the water like a great black island. Midnight-colored sea slides off it as the hump rises, ships clutched in its tendrils, and a great, impossible eye opens, zeroing in on the jets. Then the eye yawns wide as teeth erupt from the center of it, teeth that wriggle and writhe.

     Lancer and Felt run towards the harbor. Their progress is unimpeded; so far the disaster is relatively contained, relatively small-scale. The horrors haven't leaked out much further. But as they run, they can see the man - the brown-haired man in the military uniform who most definitely does not belong. They see the Deep One Hybrids bring the innocent girl forward, and the strange man turn and speak with her briefly. Lancer and Felt see the pale, fish-eyed men salute, and then draw strange-looking rifles and point them at the pair.

     Thomas Edison falls out of the sky with a fleet of ships sailing into the bay. The ships are met with the giant, horrifying eye, which just seems to produce more tendrils to grasp them with as black ships move into formations to begin firing. The Presiking makes a dynamic entrance, landing and pointing and declaring at the man in a single stroke, with Orchid right behind him on her rocket board, and Deelel behind her. The man looks up and smiles, turning away from the young lady with a, "...your pleasure, madam," as he meets the Lion's gaze. The flag flies high behind Edison.

     The man stows his ledger in his coat and his quill up his sleeve.

     And he gives the flag a crisp military salute, a wide smile on his face, the light of madness burning in his eyes. "Ah, my home and native land. You never really lose the love of your country, do you?"

     The cane in his hand comes down on the ground. He leans on it. In the distance, cannonfire fills the air, the horrible magical ships clashing with the newfangled destroyers. The waves themselves seem to fight the destroyers as garbled voices speak words that Felt, Caster, Lancer, and Rider immediately recognize as magical incantations - magecraft, of a kind. Over it all, the gentleman's voice comes, cutting through the noise like a blade. "Sir, to whom do I have the honor of speaking? I should prefer we know each other's names before we draw, after all."

     He rests his hand on his heart, and the mad eyes brighten as he smiles. "My name is Foreigner. Your pleasure, sirs and madam. And this is Abernathy, my trusted lieutenant and darling little boy. Say hello, Abernathy."

     The hybrid in the white uniform waves uncertaintly.

     "Abernathy is an American citizen, you know," the Foreigner says as he starts strolling forward, spinning his cane in his hand, "Just got his driver's license last week. Imagine that. A driver's license! A license to drive a motorized vehicle. What will they come up with next? Only the greatest country in this world could come up with something so wonderfully innovative."

Captain Flint has posed:
     Silver has just finished smoothing things over when Flint receives a private call. A message from a Lieutenant Abernathy, representing the Foreigner's forces in this engagement. He mutters a response, then puts away the radio. With a hand upon the railing of the ship, Flint descends the stairs down to the maindeck, to speak to his crew with the appearance of an equal.

     "One year ago, I told you I'd make you the princes of the New World." The canvas sails above flap briskly in the wind. A few yet remain furled, owing to the uncertainty of the approach's safety. "We achieved the impossible. We took not one, but two Spanish treasure galleons, and secured for ourselves a share of the largest fortune ever taken in the history of our world. We took more than that." He pauses, looking across the myriad uncertain faces--among them, Silver.

     "We took the first step towards our future. A future with a place to call our own. Where we will keep what is ours, and fear no one. I offer you today the chance to take another step. The kings of the Multiverse and their tax-paying, God-fearing subjects would brand us monsters, merely to make sense of us. They will be relentless in their pursuit of us. So..."

     He looks out over the sea. "We will relentlessly pursue the capital necessary to ensure they break themselves upon us. To ensure we are not so profitable a target as they might think. That next step starts today." He looks up at the sky--specifically, at Staren's jet. "It starts with that jet, there." The faces of the crew look up and see it, flying through the air. His voice begins to rise, his breathing quickening as he attempts to gradually work them up. "We've been granted safe passage through the tentacles," says the captain. "And carte blanche to take /everything/ we can carry. All we have to do is bring that thing down. Who among you will turn down the chance to defend your future throne?" He asks, his voice nearly a shout. "Who among you fears kicking the dog of civilization while it's down?"

     That seems to do it--first a single, raucous shout from one of the dumber crewmen. Then, another, his friend. The more meek among them are emboldened, joining the chorus of shouting and stomping. The fervor spreads through the crew until even those who know better join in. They can sense the change in the winds, and it's better to be a voice of approval for a haul than a naysayer, with so many ayes.

     Flint barks a series of orders, repeated by the ship's navigator DeGroot, and by several crewmen in order. "Man the fore and tack sheet! Lay down on the fore yard and overhaul the rigging! Clear away the rigging! HAUL ABOARD! GUN CREWS AT THE READY!" The maindeck is suddenly awash in activity, as the square-rigger's sails begin to unfurl fully. Its speed increases notably as it sails into the fray, unmolested by the tentacles or the eldritch vessels sharing the seas. "MAN THE SWIVELS!" The Walrus' vanguard move to man the mounted swivel guns on the side of the ship.

     John Silver looks like there's a knot in his stomach.

     "FIRE!" Staren's aircraft is threatened by a rising shower of what appear to be small cannonballs, at first. They are, in fact--but they shine an unusual hue. A familiar hue. Must be George or Pavo's work.

Thomas Alva Edison (6660) has posed:
    "The answer, to your question Rider..." Edison says, pointing towards Foreigner. "Is the man who just called these fishback invaders his Children," Edison says, calmly...though right now his indignation was building a great deal. Edison stares down Foreigner as he speaks, not immediately attacking because there was some hope that this was some missunderstanding, some mistake, something that might allow him to stop loss of life with words, and now power. Of course, this leaves him almost immediately.

    "I am Caster, the Presiking of these lands, the great United States of America." He says, his tone grave as he 'gives' an offer. "Then you sir, have another charge to the list. Treason, or maybe you forgot to read on your laws. You swore an oath to defend these lands, and here you are attacking...burning...and then attempting to intimidate her into joining your empire?! Nay, Foreigner, we will not bow to your demands, we will not BREAK under your heels either. These men, these women, these SOLDIERS...these AMERICANS will never bow to you. We would all die, to the very last of us, than allow it to come to pass."

    Of course, Foreigner goes on the offensive first, fighting through the pain as he attempts to rally his forces against the meanace. Of course he can see what he is doing, using fear...it was a poison that needed to be exercised from this place, and shown that he could bleed, like anything else.

    Even as cannon fire hits the ground near him, even as debries hit him, he weathers through it, undaunted as Edison fades out, just like Foreigner did a moment ago, and would appear directly infront of him, instead of behind, or to the side of. His hands covered by GLORIOUS DC BOXING GLOVES, as he attempts to repeatedly jab Foreigner across the face, before ending it in a powerful uppercut, and an attempt to grab him by the leg, and FLING him back into the sidewalk.

    "Your allies will too fall under our might, and should they escape justice today, know that no place is safe to them, that I will follow them to the ends of the Multiverse if I must to bring them to justice for their crimes." Edison boldly declares.

Empty Tidings has posed:
The girl gets led to the Foreigner by the fish-men in uniforms. She seems nervous at first, and why wouldn't she be? She's surrounded by horrible monsters, likely about to get clapped in irons and sent away to some foreign port, never to see the land of her home again. It's a tragic story that will be retold by the American heroes here whenever they speak of this black day on Boston's history.

Except it isn't. She's brought into the Foreigner's presence, and her nervousness melts away. She speaks to him first with a look of officiousness to her, and then with a warm aura. She nods, smiling, and politely disengages as the brightly-clad forces of this world and others arrive to interfere. "...we can resume this conversation in more civilized surroundings, once this is all over."

She pauses. She says something quiet, her face briefly touched by sorrow, and then a melancholic smile. She inclines her head, and steps away from the ship itself.

The girl takes out a book.

The leather cover is of a disquieting shade and texture. The emblem on the cover is circular, with a series of hemispherical globes protruding from the front in a symmetrical ring. She undoes the brass clasps, and the globes stir. The eyes within them open. They are things from the deep, staring out at a world bordered by theirs.

The book opens. The water nearby, off the sides of the pier and then the waterfront as she moves back into the city, stirs. There's a disturbance in it like something massive was moving beneath the surface. She looks up from the old, wrinkled pages inside the tome, and she spies... humans. Survivors. Stragglers, trying to hide from the fishmen. They beckon her, a bunch of college-age men and women, ducking inside a coffee shop. She raises her hand, gesturing back at them, a little weirdly.

The shop freezes. The windows ice over, and the hinges on the door fill with frost. Another gesture, and sea-water bursts up and out of the ocean, a torrent rushing into the open door and blasting the hiding group off their feet. It begins to freeze as well, trapping them inside. The young woman whistles, and some of the fish-men start towards them to collect.

Tidings moves on. "If I were a rat," she muses aloud, radiating an aura of baleful magic, flickering blues and violets coloring the air around her, "where would I go to ground?"

Sakata Kintoki (6648) has posed:
     At a glance, it's nigh impossible for Kintoki to sort out who's who in all this. There's crazy looking animal people, robots, robotic animal people, normal-ish people... Who the hell is he even supposed to punch?!

     The one that's talking all fancy and putting out all sorts of crazy magical energy, probably. The Presiking's confirmation helps to seal the deal on that, and Kintoki readies himself to fight as he steps off the bike. At the request to identify himself, however, he takes another moment to strike a pose instead of getting right to the punching.

     "Sakata Kintoki, the Golden Rider! Let's make this a match to remember!" Grinning wildly, he ducks down slightly as he prepares to launch himself right towards the gentleman Servant when he gets blindsided by the explosive darkness touching down around the massed group. Instead of bringing his arms up to defend himself, he maintains that pose and rallies his mind!

     Or he's just focusing his energy to prepare for his first strike while ignoring the smoking wounds already covering parts of his body and outfit from that first explosion. Spotting Foreigner, Kintoki raises an eyebrow while trying to gauge his... Everything. Is he really trying to take on so many people at once?

     "... Heh. You've got guts, I'll give you that!" Kintoki laughs as he surges forward, ducking briefly before throwing a lightning-empowered straight punch towards the Foreigner! "Yeeeeah!"

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     So we've got one of those villains who loves the sound of his own voice. Orchid would make some snide comment about those who betray their homes or the cause they are born to, but she doubts it would raise morale much.

     Instead she mocks his reaction to the death of his children. "What, did you think you were bringing them to a picnic?" she loudly asks. "If you're bringing them on a raid, be ready to lose some."
     On landing, Orchid starts releasing her drones, and while this gives her the ability to see more, it also means she isn't dodging fast enough to avoid the incoming fire. On the other hand, she now has drones following the Foreigner, illuminating him so that he makes an easier target for her allies, while giving some cover for her friends.

Touta Konoe (1143) has posed:
     Touta's quite familiar with Joy To The World. The moment it starts playing there's a bit of sweat going down his cheek. This Foreigner guy really definitely came off as strange the moment he realized that this guy was adding music accompaniment to his pillaging and abducting. Though what really throws Touta off is his attack.

     As the cannonball fires off, Touta's grazed by one of the nightmare fueled attacks and the effects...Well he realizes immediate that this guy is probably going to be a pain for someone like Touta. Still, Touta was use to being at a disadvantage.

     "I don't care if you're Foreigner, Ruler, Rider, or anyone else! You don't get to just put people in chains"

     Touta can't afford to play around with those cannonballs so if that's the case he'll get serious from the start...By putting a hula-hoop around his waist and spinning it. Though as he spins it at some point it just starts spinning in place by itself.

     At that point Touta takes a running start into a jump that launches him right into the air. He doesn't have any real long range weaponry of his own so he's gotta get in close to begin with.

     "So take the hint and get lost!"

Riva Banari has posed:
Riva strikes to kill. She doesn't provide mercy or quarter to these beings, these invaders. Why would she? They are certainly providing none that Riva can tell... Or at least, none that she'd accept. She has Feelings about Fishmen and eldritch horrors and seaborne tentacles.

But then HE comes. Riva looks up to the sharp-dressed man, meets his cruel, sword-like gaze, a gaze that has seen more than a man should have. Riva stares back. "Riva Banari, of the Knights Templar. You've taken poor care of your children for them to behave like this." She says back. "You're supposed to be an American? Then you should understand that if you don't want your children to die..." She narrows her eyes. "Then don't send them to war."

A moment later, the shells come down, and Riva twists, spinning the Cross up to shield against the barrage. The impacts crash down around her, shrapnel shredding into her uniform and body but leaving superficial damage from a strike that probably would have killed her were she not so... gifted.

She lowers the weapon as the barrage ends, and she looks to the others, nodding... And then she leaps into the air, coming in behind the PRESI-KING with an overhead slam of the Cross, trying to combo in behind him with an initial downward swipe, suddenly reversing into a powerful sideswipe. He isn't going to go far, though, as she hurls the Cross, lashing it out on a tether of Anima to grapple around the Servant and yank him back in, the other hand blasting several shotgun rounds as she does so, only to finishe with a brutal shoulder tackle intended to plow the Foreigner right into the nearest painful-looking thing!

Cu Chulainn (6645) has posed:
As Felt and Lancer reach the harbor, Lancer is about to move to take down the guys who point guns at them...when Felt stops him. Seems like the human-looking guy is the boss. Lancer realizes it's definitely not a human...must be a Servant. As he talks, Lancer does the responses. "Lancer. If you're not gonna give me your real name, well, you're not going to get mine. What the hell kind of Servant is a Foreigner, anyways?"

Though, before they can get into a fight, Foreigner teleports off. And then, there's a woman freezing people inside of buildings, trapping them. Trying to find survivors. Felt Haddask has a few issues with this. One, that's not justice. Two, based on her voice, she's that chick who threatened to rip off his tongue, and he's not okay with that. With a gesture, Felt signals for Lancer to take her out.

Well, Lancer wanted a fight, so he's pretty excited. He starts swooping in with inhuman speed, moving towards Empty Tidings' position. As he does that, Felt pulls out a spool of some sort of wire, attaching it to his glove. The wire suddenly starts to float upwards, and then flies around the area, wrapping itself around light poles, benches, anything in the streets, to create a sort of barrier for them to fight in. They're breakable, but if Empty Tidings moves to break/interact with them, she'll get a shock of electricity from Felt channeling it through them. Though Felt's hoping that's not necessary...because Lancer's charging in.

"Sorry, magus, but I've gotta end your little kidnapping spree right here. It's a shame I have to bloody up a pretty lady like yourself to do it!" With a rapid burst of speed, Lancer shuffles around Tidings, and then moves to dash suddenly in front of her, trying to plunge Gae Bolg into her stomach. He's fast, but he's also clearly underestimating her - though the spear will also interact with her wounds if it hits, making it slightly more difficult for them to heal. He's moving to straight up try and kill her.

Staren has posed:
    Staren tries to hail the other jets, but... Christmas music. <"Gah! Damn it... If any of you can hear me... I'm afraid I have no advice to offer. I've never seen this thing before."> He takes evasive action when the eye looks his way, but no beam of death comes. He thought there was one kraken per ship, but it's all one huge monster?! <"I was going to try to tear up those tentacles but--"> The cannon balls come up. Supercharged by Erchius, no less. Staren rolls to dodge, and one of the balls clips him, hitting harder than he'd expect. <"It seems I've got my hands full already. Good luck.">

    Staren's fought and adventured alongside Flint, it seems too many times to count. They've been to many worlds, and he's seen Flint lose men, even fixed one of the not-quite-lost ones up with a cybernetic leg. It seems strange to be fighting them now.

    Staren doesn't discount the vessel just because it looks old-timey -- You've got to have tricks up your sleeve to survive in the Multiverse, as the erchius-charged cannonballs show. But just by nature of being a ship with people running around it, his attacks could kill crew. Do they really need to die? Do they even deserve to?

    They're /helping/ this unprovoked attack on innocent people. They're not innocent. But maybe if Staren was better at talking, they could... work something out. Staren knows that if he kills any of those men, it would make her sad.

    But if they kill any innocent civilians, that would make her sad too.

    Staren sighs. And then he pulls the Star Hawk into a loop and dives, strafing the pirate ship with railgun and laser fire. Most of his weapons aren't really meant for this sort of thing, and he didn't bring much in the way of missiles -- he was really hoping he'd hit some kind of windfall to replenish them after he used them all on the Saint of Carbon -- so he's kind of probing the ship's defenses. But he's not holding back, either -- these are still weapons that can deal plenty of damage even through moderate defenses.

    Those people haven't done anything to you, he almost says, but then he remembers the Prospekt. They hadn't done anything either... but of course, THAT was so the Concord could build a better future. Does Flint even see the difference, he wonders?

Foreigner (6708) has posed:
     Foreigner looks up as Edison comes surging in. The meaty fist swings, electricity crackling with every motion. Foreigner ducks, tips back, like a gentleman boxer; he floats in the air, that horrible, broad smile back on his face. "Why, Mister President. Is this great country all of a sudden a monarchy? What *have* I missed? What *has* happened?"

     The cane comes up to block one of the crackling strikes. The wild, mad eyes lean forward to Edison's. "Mister Presi/dent/," he stresses, "How can you say I've committed treason, sir? Treason, sir, is an attempt to betray one's country, kill the sovereign, overthrow the government."

     His lips crack in a wide smile. "I have nothing but respect for your office, sir. And I have nothing but respect for this beautiful country. And I have nothing but love for democracy, sir, and the values that made this country strong."

     The Foreigner is strong. He leans into Edison, pressing against him with the cane like it's a dueling sword. "And you, sir, were not elected. You, sir, claim to be a king over a country that has none. I say that you, sir, are the traitor." Around them, the landscape flickers. They're standing on fire. They're standing on a blazing inferno. There's a warped and twisted song playing over the roar of the flames, but Edison can't make it out. The Foreigner's wild, wide eyes spread as he throws up a hand, and out of nowhere, a dark and horrid tentacle slashes across Edison's face, all suckers and stinging darkness. Foreigner flits backwards.

     Riva leaps over the Presi-King and brings the anchor down, hard. The anima-powered chain catches him and drives him forward, into the shotgunb lasts, into Kintoki's fists. They smash against Foreigner's face, hammering into the man's jawline with full and thunderous strength, a peel of thunder blowing aside the burning flames. The Foreigner's mad eyes look up, and Kintoki and Riva can see, can *see*, the face cracking, the chunks of face falling away like broken glass, the roiling dark eyes, the eyes, the dark black eyes in the swirling vortex like the bottom of the sea-

Foreigner (6708) has posed:
     The light from Orchid's drones shines down on him, and the illusion shatters, and it's just a human face with a little bit of dark red blood rolling down the nose. Foreigner straightens, a handkerchief falling from his sleeve, and wipes his nose delicately as he floats backwards. Touta comes up and brings his blade slashing down, a blade Foreigner only narrowly avoids being completely bisected by thanks to another rapid twitch of spatial movement. Touta can see the uniform splinter, can see blood drawn. It's not a lot of blood. It's much less than he'd've liked.

     Foreigner straightens. Again, he wipes away the blood like a gentleman. "War, madam? You think this is war?"

     "This isn't war. I assure you. I know war. I have been to war many times in my life. I have *won* many wars in my life. Think me a dandy without a hint of blood on his hands, do you?" The Foreigner's head tilts slightly to the side as he draws what is unmistakably a U.S. military service pistol circa the mid-1800s. He pulls the hammer back and levels it at Riva.

     "Madam, I have killed people."

     He pauses.

     "No, that's not quite right." He raises the gun. "Madam."

     "I have killed /savages/."

     He fires into the air.

     Mist fills the field, rolling across the ground from the sea the ships are fighting in. Amidst that mist come shadows, fast-moving, powerful, dangerous shadows. The sound of garbled throats chanting high-powered magecraft breaks through the sound of the warbling violin, and in short order, bombards of magical energy come roaring forth. The shadows seem to loom larger, as if in anticipation of what might be coming next, shadows so deep even the drones can't put them out. Foreigner remains illuminated, a stern frown on his handsome face. "And I will do so again to protect my boys and girls. They're ever so good, my children. They deserve the whole world."

     His frown turns to a broad smile. "And I intend to give it to them, don't you know."

     "Oh yes," he adds, pointing his cane at Touta, still clearly visible amidst the roiling fog, "You there, little boy. What do children play with these days? I have a great deal of shopping to do, you see. I have so many children."

Deelel has posed:
Deelel was going to go after more Fishmen, but as she sees the strange woman who seems on the side of the eldritch horrors which are running wild... She's helping them she's a threat, Deelel has her keyblade ready and she moves not right at The mysterious woman. No, she's going to one break through the ice with several swings of her blade and two use several lowe powered fire spells focused to take out the ice and give the people a chance to run. Any fishmen who even so much as look at going after them will find Dee.

"THe Military is here just try to move away from the fighting."

She turns her attention to the woman.

"Viral I see."

There's a statement of fact and no real emotion in her voice as Cu goes after her, she will move in to follow it up, with a Fire spell as she closes to get into melee. She doesn't say a thing she does not really even seem to oddly be wanting to banter. She normally does which is odd for the people who might notice it in this fight, she's focused on the elimination of this woman

Thomas Alva Edison (6660) has posed:
    "You have a twisted way of showing it!" Edison shoots back at Foreigner as the two clash. Foreigner proves light on his feet, and a master of fisticuffs, better than Edison was expecting. Even as others make use of his opening, he focuses himself. The tentacles come, and Edison wades through the attack like a ship in the waters of the ocean...of madness. However, unlike weaker boats, Edison is a lot heartier than he appears, which is impressive because he's a giant man-burly chest lion-man. Though these attacks leave their mark, but as he fights, some of his wounds are already closing in response to this.

    "You murder your country's citizens! You burn it's cities, and you DARE speak to me of treason!? YOU DARE to proclaim your love in one breath, while destroying it in your second?! Nay, monster...and if that wasn't betrayal, you are taking command of a foreign power. That, is treason!" he bites back as he comes in, and BOTH of his gloves go flying out at the dodgy Foreigner, soaring at him. Carried on DC currents, they aim to SLAM into his chest, and smash him into the ground.

    "I on the other hand was ASKED by my country to lead it in it's desprate moments, in this grail war of bloody and worldly scale, in the joining to the Multiverse. I am not the President, but the PRESIKING, and when the time comes, I will give up my power so that this country can continue as before...but to make it happen, I must do for my country what it asks, to provide a strong leader, to guide it with the light of my making to a brighter future..." he says, "You, the darkness of this world, will FLEE at the light I bring it!"

Empty Tidings has posed:
Empty Tidings gets to a park on the waterside before she gets intercepted. It's got paved walkways around the edges, a nice green with rows of trees seperating it from the street, and even pavillions overlooking the waterfront. Stairs down to the rocky beach below are topped by Eastern-style pagoda rooftops. It's a pretty nice place.

It's also extremely easy to set-up a magical electric fence around it to trap the roving murderous magus inside. She stops, looking up, frowning faintly at the working as it's cast. Her eyes sweep around the park, and she holds the opened tome closer to her body. Lancer gets her attention immediately, though, and it's easy to see why: she smiles widely, obviously checking him out, and starts, "Then maybe you should think about --"

He's /fast/. She's only human. Gae Bolg comes up, and she looks at him in a blind panic. She throws herself to the side, and Gae Bolg's tip rips through her dress and into soft flesh. It punches through, then tears out the side, an inky black splash spattering to the pavement. It hisses up into smoke, and Cu can see...

...an injury, but not nearly as bad of one as he'd expect. There's a bloody spot on her side, and her clothes have a rip torn in them to her hip, exposing a slice of pale skin. She stumbles, at his side, drifting towards his right and clutching the book tightly in her left hand. Her eyes gleam behind her glasses, an eerie green glow alighting in them -- and then, suddenly, she's on top of him, flickering forward with a stutter like reality had just glitched out.

Her hand catches Lancer in the stomach. It's an open-palmed touch, a thrust carrying with it unnatural force -- magecraft? -- to propel him backwards and upwards, a sudden eruption of black tendrils screaming into the open air with a shriek from a thousand tiny mouths. The actual push might knock the wind out of him, but the real problem is that he's being launched into the Fire spell Deelel launched during her stoic advance.

She plants her feet, turning on a heel and slashing her left hand in an arc. Icicles materialize in mid-air with a shout of some word that doesn't quite translate. They launch like self-propelled spears, darting towards Deelel and peppering the treeline where she thinks she spotted Lancer's Master moving. "I don't much care for kidnapping," she finally says, "but I have to respect a man who cares so much for his family that he'd make a deal with a stranger to keep them out of harm's way!"

Deelel may find the voice somewhat... familiar.

Captain Flint has posed:
     "He's coming around!"

     "Brace for return fire!"

     These and numerous other cries arise from the crew, as the Star Hawk makes a strafing run. Flint sprints up to the quarterdeck and pushes DeGroot off of the helm. Taking the wheel, he turns hard to starboard. As his hands turn it, he barks more orders to his crew. "Man the mizzen-topsail clewlines and buntlines, lee mizzen topsail brace! Furl the topsails!" There is a moment wherein the response from his ducking crew is more a look of confusion--even Silver seems to question this order. "NOW!"

     A handful of crew hands scurry up to comply. As the ship sails between two Navy vessels, Staren's attack hits. A line of fire cuts across the deck like a scalpel, sending men sprawling to the deck if not outright torn apart by the munitions. Anguished cries mingle with the captain's barked orders. In places, the ship's wooden construction buckles and snaps free--only to reveal a tempered, space age metallic armor plating beneath.

     The shrapnel claims a few more men, and Silver is heard calling for volunteers to take the wounded belowdecks, to Howell, the ship's doctor. Meanwhile, his order is complied with, amidst slightly confused faces. Some of the ship's sails are furled, slowing its speed. Then comes another bizarre order.

     "FURL THE T'GALLANTS AND ROYALS! LET GO THE ANCHOR!"

     The bellowing fury in his tone brooks no threat to his authority, unlike his first. His orders are followed promptly, and the anchor drops, digging into the deep below. It catches, and Flint begins rapidly turning the wheel hard to starboard. The ship groans and creaks. "ALL HANDS, BRACE! GUN CREWS PREPARE TO FIRE!" His orders are repeated through the entire vessel, and with good reason.

     The ship turns so hard that it tilts visibly in the water, using the anchor as a fulcrum for an increidbly dangerous turn. Cargo and loose rigging whip across the deck dangerously, with a barrel of pitch rolling all the way off the ship into the drink. As Staren flies overhead, the side of the ship is made to face the jet. "AWEIGH ANCHOR!" While two men hastily move to the turnstile to begin lifting the anchor so it doesn't snap off of the boat from the sheer force.

     Flint's eyes scan the air, watching the Star Hawk's flight path. His brow furrows. Then, the order is given. "OPEN FIRE!"

     A hail of cannonballs from the swivel guns, and the Walrus' port side--a full-on broadside--sails through the air, the shots made slightly ahead of his position in an effort to improve their chances of striking.

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     Surrounded by darkness, there isn't much Orchid can do against this attack, feeling it drain her. Light is out. I.R.? Not working. U.V.? Blank. Still, there is a way she CAN see, or rather, can HEAR. She raises up her arm, retracting her hand to replace it with a sonic screwdriver. From it she emits pulses, letting her hear the area around her. She's still got enough drones around her that she can figure out where everything is. In fact, it's giving her some ideas.

     Orchid is going to use the damage done to the city by the bombardment, some good aim, the map she's been building of the surroundings, and a few little plasma blasts to knock part of a wall over onto the Foreigner.

Sakata Kintoki (6648) has posed:
     A good hit! Except it doesn't quite have the impact Kintoki was expecting. Yes, he struck the Foreigner straight on, but what's going on with his face? Staring into the abyss that is his eyes, Kintoki's only line of defense is the shades that he's inexplicably wearing even this late at night. He can feel something tearing at him, something watching. It's not something of this world, and there's that damn /music/ coming at him from every which way, too!

     It's infuriating. It's grating. It's like his ears and eyes are bleeding, but nothing's coming out. It's enough to actually force the gold and black clad Rider to step back, fighting the urge to clutch his head and show... Weakness?! Inconceivable!

     "The hell did you just do?! Trying to get in my head all crazy-like... Just shut up and take your hits like a man already!" Kintoki shouts with much more forcefulness than his earlier posturing, punching his fists together again as lightning gathers around his brass knuckles.

     "Just because you have kids... Don't think that'll make me go easy on you!" Three maneuvers. Kintoki stomps the ground, launching himself forward yet again with a burst of lightning at his back. He slams a foot down into the pavement just before Foreigner, sending up another blast of lightning into his fist. With a defiant roar, he starts hurling punches and kicks towards the Foreigner at a rapid clip, each strike punctuated by even more lightning surrounding his limbs!

Touta Konoe (1143) has posed:
     It was close. But close was so far still. He has no idea what just happened. One second he was there, the next he wasn't.

     "This guy just teleport or something?!"

     Well whatever it was, Touta has no intention of having him trying to do it again. He'll definitely-

     "Touta, watch out!"

     A confused look comes on the boy's face as his sword of all things gives him a warning. In the distance amidst the fog the bombardment commences. Touta still in the air finds it somewhat difficult to dodge and eventually he finds himself caught in the explosions. Only smoke and mist can be seen where the 'little boy' had been.

     "If you want some advice for your kids..."

     A blur bursts from the fog, the 'little boy' returns back on the offensive, wounds beginning to shower his body. Clothes in tatters. There's a discontent look on his face as he once again leaps at Foreigner.

     "How about you stop spoiling them?! 2000 FOLD!"

     Just as he gets in range Touta swings down once more, but this time his speed bringing it down was even greater than before. Likely due to the blade's magnified weight. Foreigner better be able to vanish again otherwise he'll be feeling this one.

Staren has posed:
    Staren winces as his weapons tear into the ship... and expose modern materials. Ah, see? Staren knew Flint had to have done something.

    He tries not to think about how many people were standing too close to where his weapons just hit.

    There are other things to think about -- like Flint TURNING THE SHIP ON ITS SIDE TO FIRE A BROADSIDE INTO THE SKY.

    Staren realizes what he's doing and reacts quickly. The Star Hawk transforms and turns around, blocking with its shield.

    The first cannonball goes right through the shield emitter, allowing the others to tear through the Star Hawk in several places, ripping tiny unidentifiable mechanical bits free. Staren holds the controls with white knuckles and an expression of shock as the machine shakes around him and damage indicators appear all over his HUD.

    Okay, hang on, hang on. That was luck. No way can Flint have aimed before he even blocked. He just has to... keep it up. Keep the pressure up, and Flint will have to retreat.

    The hovering mecha, now humanoid, takes aim with its right arm and fires another long burst of railgun slugs and laser pulses.

    Is money really more important to you than lives? Staren opens his mouth, but the words die on his lips again. There isn't really any point in talking, is there?

Riva Banari has posed:
And then the world was on fire. Riva immediately begins to regret (again) how sensitive she is against this thing. The nature of the Foreigner is immediately apparent... At least, as much as she can comprehend of the /force/ of this being before her. A Power wearing the skin of a man. a man wearing the skin of a Power. Where does one begin and one end? As the mask cracks, she stares into mind-bending darkness, her senses immediately humming to protect her from immediately being cast into a pit of logic-rending insanity. She looks into the Eyes, and the Eyes stare back, staring into her, and find her wanting.

She is but a human, after all. A human gifted with Power, but not like the Foreigner. Not at all. Her connection is much more tenuous. And he exploidts that as he fires, the magical bombards crashing into her, shattering her Anima shields and casting her backwards to it the ground crumpled and bleeding. Her wounds gleam orange faintly as they work to close, a surge of Anima energy working to keep her intact through the strike, but she slowly clambers back to her feet, wiping blood away from her face. "You... Your children..." She grimaces, abruptly clutching her head. "THIS IS NOT THEIR WORLD! GET OUT!" She roars, her eyes crazed. "GET OUT OF OUR WORLD!" Immediately, she drives forward with savage speed and force, dualhanding the Cross as she comes in with a sweeping strike. The lashing attack doesn't even come close to the Foreigner.

But the huge burst of Anima might, blasting a hole into the mist as the world-energy crashes down in a crushing wave upon the Foreigner. "YOU DO NOT BELONG HERE!" She yells, apparently getting unhinged a bit by unbidden revelations.

Cu Chulainn (6645) has posed:
The Lancer, Cu Chulainn, was hoping for a lethal blow. He's done it before - blur in, strike, kill. But this magus he's fighting isn't normal, he realizes. Before he can follow up with another blow, the girl is suddenly coming out from above him, and moving to slam into his stomach. The palm-strike strikes true, causing him to gasp for air as he's propelled backwards by the horrible tendrils and into the flame. Lancer's fast enough to start moving out of the way and avoid taking the fireball full-force, but the flames burn into his side and armor, boiling pain and wounds appearing. There's a loud grunt of pain as he forces himself back onto his feet from the force, solidifying in position. Felt stays away from the main combat, keeping his wires up...as Lancer tries to figure out where to strike. She had survived what he thought would be a fatal blow, and is some sort of martial artist. Definitely an interesting challenger for sure - the type of fight he's been looking for. He considers what he'll do next, and then, he responds to her statement.

"You know, that /is/ pretty honorable..." Lancer actually agrees, but then, he takes a firm stance. "But whether or not that is, I've got my job, and I've got my orders. So give me one hell of a fight before I put you in the grave myself!"

And then, he's moving again. Now that she can expect it, Empty Tidings can probably keep up with Lancer's rapid speed, but it's still fast. He's going to try and overwhelm her with a flurry of swings from the spear, trying to batter her up while he regains his energy from that strong thrust he threw, and ever so slowly push her away from the center of the battlefield if he can. At some point, Lancer's gonna want to use those wires to his advantage.

Deelel has posed:
She's not sure who this woman is but it's clear she's on Fishman's side. She intends to take them down, yet she gets the feeling this is no run of the mill occultist they are dealing with her. Oh, Mac, ya that's not a small timer spell at all there as the other closes in with them for a moment. "He hates the people here or desires what they have more than he loves his children."

Is Deelel's reply but that voice? Where has she heard it before? She can't place it for now and does not have time to check her own memories and compare them to this new sound byte. Shes'g to some sort of ice-based attack coming at her, and she's forced to try and block it using her keyblade, it's only partially successful causing some of the ice to splinter about her, she takes shrapnel, however, as it does not cause he to blee it cause some faintly glowing wounds where her body was breached by them.

She keeps on the move though she keeps up the attack launching into a chain of strikes with her Keyblade intending to just try to cut Empty down. There's a bit of machine precision to the attacks and not a bit of movement is wasted either. Kinda like dealing with an Alch in a way.

Foreigner (6708) has posed:
     Kintoki's fist crashes into Foreigner's face. The lightning roars its displeasure as Foreigner flickers out of it, a black burn across his handsome face. Orchid's shot comes up for a building, and Foreigner simply snatches it out of the air with a tendril from nowhere, a vast and horrible dark thing emerging from the air behind him. Suckers wrap around the plasma bolts, holding them in the air for Foreigner to look at. He tsks, and they're crushed beneath the tentacles, splattering into energy.

     "Really, now."

     "Young lady, I do not like to strike a woman, but-"

     Edison comes swinging in hard. The lightning gloves smash into Foreigner, cutting off his speech. The Servant jerks in a most unnatural way, like a puppet with strings being cut; even watching the jerking is unpleasant as Foreigner dangles there, limp, above the rolling mists. But already they can see those wounds are closing, the damage healing. The Foreigner straightens, prim and proper, tugging on his sleeve like a man about to go out to an opera. "Mr. Presi/dent/," he says, "I am not their leader."

     Suddenly, it's as if they're underwater. The sky goes dark, and the air becomes thick with liquid. Red eyes shine from the silhouette of Foreigner as he sets his cane back under his arm. A voice as deep as the blackest oceans rumbles, clear as day despite the water that surrounds them.

     I aM tHeIr GoD.

Foreigner (6708) has posed:
     Then Riva's blast of Anima blows the phantasmal water aside like so much dust. The mists, the darkness, the water all fade and vanish under the destructive burst of spirit. Hideous fish-men, bulbous eyes and bulbous lips and moving gills and slick of skin, stand exposed, and they warble with horrid tongues and scramble for the shadows. On the backs of their hands are unmistakably Magic Crests, though of a kind that Felt has never seen.

     The Foreigner, exposed, is smashed into by Touta's heavy blade. The gentleman hits the ground like a meteor, smashing against the concrete. He bounces once, then lies still. There's some blood pooling around him, some blood staining his fancy uniform. A hybrid soldier scurries over. "Father!"

     The Foreigner jerks upwards in the air, as if held on invisible strings. Again, a handkerchief. Again, he wipes his face gently, sweeping away bruises and bloodstains with a wave of his hand. He gestures away. "Not now, Abernathy."

     "Father, the fleet-"

     "StAy bAcK, aBeRnAtHy."

     At that, the hybrid jerks back and salutes. The Foreigner rises into the air, higher and higher. His smile widens.

     "Well," he says calmly, "I see that you are not to be underestimated, Mister President, ladies, gentlemen. It is indeed my mistake to take you so very lightly. But I assure you that I will not make that error now."

     He snaps his fingers. "Kill the President first."

     The build-up of magic in the air is explosive, and foul. The air stinks of rot and decay and sweat and urine and *terror*. The sky becomes black, foul, as smog fills the world. Water, black water, begins to wash up as far inland as the party, flooding the streets of Boston town.

     And over the streets, over the buildings, they come.

     "BlAcK sHiPs Of EvIl MiEn ~ NoNe SlEeP wHiLe ThEy SaIl!"

     They are nightmares riding black water. They are vile things, manned by fishmen, belching smoggy terror into the air. The choking smog melds with the black water to fill the world as the roar of the nightmare cannons becomes louder and louder, centered entirely on Edison. *Entirely* on Edison.

     The Foreigner means to burn the President out, and with him, the light that's keeping everyone together.

Captain Flint has posed:
     In ship-to-ship combat, Flint would have time to maneuver, and make another pass. Certainly, one could call the Star Hawk a 'ship' in that it's a vehicle. Even with Flint's mastery of sailing, Staren is simply in the faster of the two crafts. On the Walrus maindeck, Flint peers through a looking glass as Staren reveals a capability the captain wasn't previously aware of.

     With a definitive click, the telescope is put away once more, and a new order barked. He needs to buy the gun crews time to reload.

     "Brace for return fire!"

     All around the ship, pirates lay flat, duck against its reinforced structures, covering their heads with whatever's on hand. Staren can see them from his vantage point above the ship. They respond to Flint's orders as if this were merely another prize--he's already whipped them up into the requisite frenzy. It would certainly seem that money is indeed more important to him than the lives of those on the shore--and perhaps the lives of his own men, too. If not money, then whatever goal he intends to turn it towards.

     The barrage from the mecha shears the anchor free, prohibiting the use of that particular tactic again. It also sets a barrel of powder for the swivel guns alight, throwing two of the gunners backwards and showering a handful more with deadly splinters of flaming wood.

     The fight is beginning to take its toll on the frigate, as more of its metal skeleton is revealed. More and more, it seems fitting to recall the paradoxical ship of Theseus, as Staren's attacks strip free the deceptive veneer of 18th century ship construction and reveal it to be a different beast entirely. Taking a beating though she may be, she's still got fight in her, and so does her captain.

     "Swivels and vanguard, prepare to fire on my mark!"

     When Staren's projectiles cease, he gives the order. "EV'RY MAN WITH THE MEANS, FIRE AT WILL!" The attack that follows is not nearly so precise as the captain's cannon barrages, but it isn't intended to be. A chaotic mess of wildly anachronistic projectiles form an angry curtain which heads towards Staren. Some of it is small arms fire, some heavy infantry firearms, some literal musket balls. Even rocket propelled grenades enter the mix, all rounded out by small Erchius cannonballs fired from the swivel guns, some now manned by different pirates after Staren's attack. Meanwhile, the Walrus, without its anchor to use as leverage, begins turning to attempt another broadside. How he intends to manage one without the anchor is still a mystery.

Thomas Alva Edison (6660) has posed:
    They all focus on Edison.

    Every single tentacle, every ounce of the blackness of the voice. Every cannonball, every weapon at their beheast. Hit with the Noble Phantasm of the dark /god/, Edison is blown away by it's sheer power. Edison's gone the moment light returns.

    That is because holy shit that hurt, that is because Edison nearly DIED from how much force, how much power was behind it...it tried to break the light of progress, and drag him into an age of darkness...but that is, perhaps, why it fails to kill him. Edison is much more in this form than he was ever in life, a beacon of progress...and now infused with the power of every US president...that beacon burns only brighter.

    The darkness SHUDDERS for a moment, as something seems to hit against it...it shudders again, and again...until Edison BREAKS through it, tearing out of it like a burning candle against the night. Edison's form is battered, bloodied, his chest is exposed from the uniform he normally wares. He takes a step, and if he could nearly fall he does. However, he starts walking again.

    "Their God? Then you made a mistake coming here. You made a mistake to make me an enemy...and to turn traitor to your country!" he booms. His voice carries, as he speaks, so all could hear him. "You want to pull these people back into the darkness, degrade them into a era of darkness...of fear...but I will not allow it. I worked too hard in life, too DAMNED hard in life to allow this! Too allow supersticians, fear, and IGNORANCE to win!" He says, And then vanishes.

    Or rather, the entire area flashes for a brief moment, before a spotlight above the fight appears, above the fighting soldiers, above the harbor, above the fight with Foreigner himself.

    Edison appears again, as he lets loose a roar, the dramatic roar of the GM lion.

        EDI

        SON

    The light shines down, as WORLD FAITH DOMINATION floods the area with it's revealing light. Removing the darkness where it is not most concentraited, where it hides and feeds on fear and ignorance. It floods those fighting with spirit, while acts as a bane against those who use these things against the world. To Foriegner, who claims himself a god of his children...the effects will not be pleasant.

    However, Rider, feels something else. "YOU! SON, have earned your green card, BE BATHED IN THE LIGHT OF AMERICA!" he booms...

Staren has posed:
    What the hell?! They're shooting him with bullets... and RPGs... and erchius cannonballs! Staren reflexively tries to block with the shield, then transforms and tries to roll out of the way as a plane. It... well, at least SOME of the projectiles miss, but more slam into the Star Hawk, denting and tearing free armor and exposing internals. At the rate this is going, he's not going to hold up.

    Staren sighs. If he's going to stop Flint and his men, it's going to require pulling out the big guns.

    It would make her sad if these men killed others, too.

    The Star Hawk appears to drop out of the sky. It falls towards the ship. Did that last volley finish it?

    But as ship and sea draw clos to Star Hawk... arms and legs unfold again, and the thrusters in the feet slow its fall. In the space of a second or two, the pack above the right wing unfolds into what looks like an overly long sniper rifle, the right hand grabs the pistol grip and then the whole thing does a frontflip in the air, Staren pulling the trigger as it's aimed straight down. He doesn't need to use the stabilizers when a target is this big and this close.

    What the hypersonic shell does to the air molecules in its way creates a pillar of fire and makes a sonic boom echo out across the waves. Staren's adjusted settings so the magically-charged warhead won't go off inside the ship (unless the armor completely stops it...) instead, only in the water just below does it explode in a burst of elemental steam... which transforms a lot of the water around it to match. Whatever happens next, the sea is about to get REALLY rough in the Walrus's immediate vicinity.

Sakata Kintoki (6648) has posed:
     That's more like it. With that flurry of blows, Kintoki's looking more confident even as he coughs and hacks at the effects of the fog iun the surrounding area. Between the fog and the water, it's starting to look like the fight isn't going to work quite as well on foot as it is in the air or something that can traverse the water.

     Or even something that can move stupidly fast to ignore all of that. With Edison drawing the bulk of the Foreigner's ire, Kintoki leaps onto his motorcycle and revs it several times as the nightmare cannons rain down unholy death. Tentacles, water, weaponized darkness, all of it is distinctly not golden, but it's no less impressive. In any other circumstance, he'd be watching the destructive power of Foreigner's attack. Not even to study it, but simply to marvel at how impressive it all looks coming together.

     ... Except he's already doing just that even in this circumstance. So what if he's in the blast radius? So what if he can barely breathe? An attack like that is meant to be seen and to be marveled at, not something to run from like some sort of coward! Literally laughing (and choking) in the face of danger, Kintoki pops a wheelie as the Golden Bear finally begins moving, driving around in steadily growing circles while the Rider pounds away at the massive drums that have appeared on its sides.

     "This is what I was looking for... Hold nothing back, and let's get rocking!" As the motorbike goes around the block to pick up speed, Edison's grand display of ULTIMATE AMERICAN SPIRIT even after bearing the brunt of so much punishment emboldens Kintoki's GOLDEN SOUL! "A green card? I've already got my license, though, so let's make it a Golden Card!" Burning rubber despite the water in the street, Kintoki completes a lap around the block before aiming his bike straight for the Foreigner.

     "Let's hit the road, then! Bear howling! Golden Drive!" The motorbike revs again with another strike of the drums, flames shoot out from its pipes as well as the road behind the Rider, and Kintoki is aiming for a direct collision course with the gentleman Servant.

Empty Tidings has posed:
"Hah!" She laughs. "I don't think you really understand what sort of man the Foreigner is if you think that," she tells Deelel. "He's simply... coming home." A smile grows on her face. "Taking his due. Payment for services rendered, I think. They'll understand, or they'll burn when they fail to bend the knee."

The woman's eyes turn to the spearman. That weapon... it's dangerous. Terribly dangerous. She's only barely able to slow the blood-flow from the wound she took earlier, and she should have closed it up already. Her eyes narrow as she regards him in a newer, more dangerous light. "Orders? So you follow orders over a sense of honor, do you? Well." Her smile widens. "I can work with that."

They attack. It's fast. Too fast, if she's being honest with herself. She can fend off one, but not the other. Mechanical precision and a total lack of wasted movement from one side; furious swipes and killing intent from the other. Empty Tidings is confident she could survive if she put her all into it, but she couldn't do much else but defend until an opening presented itself. And, with these two... that might be too late.

"Tch -!" She lowers her stance, mimicking the spearfighter's. Her shadow lengthens. She faces him, and when he charges, her right hand sweeps forward, taking her out of the mimicked poise and punching upwards with her bare hand. She turns aside his first blow, but barely, matching lightning speed with the same. She discards any pretense of clumsiness, flowing smoothly between defensive forms in a blurring flurry. She blocks with her right hand and forearm almost exclusively, and the spear crashes against it like it were striking against a pillar of stone.

Deelel flanks her, intentionally or not. Empty Tidings whirls, extending the flesh-bound tome and casting it open at her. A flash of darkness obscures her from the Program's sight, making the fine bladework lack a precise target to strike. She ducks and weaves, backstepping while she tries to make room and finds it constantly encroached upon by both combatants. She whirls completely around once to intercept the Keyblade before it hits her in the face, her right hand blocking it between thumb and forefinger, a brief flash from her eyes visible through the dark. The constant parrying is sending shocks through her body, though, wearing her down like a stone against the sea. Isn't this exactly what she needed to avoid?

Suddenly, terrible blackness flows out from the Black Ships of Evil Mien. It overtakes the park, and the sea rises, washing inland with icy waves. The water hits Empty Tidings like a moving wall -- and she is unmoved. It breaks over her and around her without so much as moving a hair out of place. It doesn't shove her aside; it embraces her as family, even as the nightmarescape that builds around the dockside envelops her and everyone else. She smiles again, teeth white against the inky darkness, feeling... warm. Safe. Secure.

Empty Tidings has posed:
It can't last. The light of WORLD FAITH DOMINATION follows, casting away the shadows at the surface -- but not with her. She wears them like a cloak. Her own shadow has risen off the ground, draped around her shoulders like a lover. She spares not a glance for the tome of hers; she lets it drop into the encroaching surf, the metal bindings making it sink into the flooding park. Her eyes turn skyward, but only briefly, averting her eyes from its brilliance.

Abruptly, her shadow lashes out. The thing attacks Deelel like a tangible force, a two-dimensional shape casting three-dimensional objects into the world. It sweeps along the ground and stabs upward, blades bursting out of the ground to skewer her. It dances around like a puppet on strings, circling her with no regard for Tidings' position, jabbing, cutting and dancing away. To most, this would be a serious problem. For Deelel...

"You..." She eyes Lancer, cocking her head. Her eyes widen. Tears gleam in the ascending light, then roll down her face like ink. "You're some sorcerer's servant, aren't you? Oh, you poor, miserable thing." She flexes the fingers on her right hand. Her eyes pierce the deeper darkness, revealing the park as if it was full noon. Words come to her lips unbidden, spoken with an echoing intonation, loud enough for that Master to hear. "Let silver and steel be the essence. Let stone and the archduke of contracts be the foundation..."

Empty Tidings raises her right hand. There are cuts and cracks all up her forearm. Pitch blackness somehow gleams beneath. She makes a plucking motion, then twines her finger. A flicker of red like a caught string wraps around the twirling digit, vanishing into the air. Lancer will almost certainly feel the sudden wrenching sensation of whatever sorcery she's enacting, an awful feeling of foreboding in the pit of his stomach. "Well, he'll be around here somewhere, won't he?" she muses.

A familiar sigil in bright red materializes on the back of her hand. It burns to black in an instant. "Kill him."

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     Deep water and smog are not things that normally worry Orchid, what with the whole being sealed against water... but this is not normal water, and not normal smog. She drowns, until she sees...

     The light of progress. The light of science. And this affects her profoundly, as she is a part of that progress, born by science and technology into the world. Edison's light clears her mind briefly, and gives her enough thought to send her spider drones at the Foreigner, directing them to web him, to hold him down for the attacks yet to come.

Riva Banari has posed:
It's absolutely, one hundred percent clear that this /thing/ before them is no mere man. The power differential is too great, her body humming, the Buzzing crackling in the back of her head like someone spraying a hive with brackish seawater. There she stands for a moment in the midst of a small army of fishmen, each equipped with a tiny fragment of the Power before her. Her eyes burn, her mind racing as she lashes out at anything close to her, a furious attempt to fight back against the increasingly oppressive darkness about her body and mind, trying to drown her, pull her under to never see the light of day again.

The black ships come, choking smog wracking her body as she pushes through it, gasping as her connection to the World continues to sustain her in the face of horror and death. Edison is hammered by the dark tide....

And then he responds in kind. The clash of overwhelming power almost drives Riva back, but the way the Foreigner responds to the blazing light of EDI SON (man, that looks familiar) opens up a chance for her.

She hurls herself forward, the Cross at the bear as she hurls herself forward, leaping up while Sakata Kintoki roars past (mental note: get a sweet motorcycle), spinning in the air to try to catch the Foreigner in the air with a hooking sweep, spinning about before hurling the classy man towards the ocean-soaked ground.

Riva comes slamming down immediately afterwards, the Cross crashing down to impact the ground. Golden light spidewebs through the depths, crackling ithe ground before the water wrupts upwards in a blast of golden purifying light.

Touta Konoe (1143) has posed:
     The successive attacks of everyone began to accumulate and ultimately led to this 'Foreigner' finally feeling the hurt. It's apparent though, this creature, this Servant is capable of healing its wounds at a disgusting rate. Though what was perhaps truly disgusting was that now after giving him their all, he retaliated in full force. As if the area wasn't horrendous enough already but when Foreigner calls his fleet its as if the very world itself turns dark. For just a moment it gets colder, and the black waters begin to consume the land in a steady flooding.

     "Watch out!"

     That's all he can say as the armada unleashes its wrath on a single target. The lion headed man. The guy claiming to be the Presi-King? Something like that? He takes the full brunt of the attack with the smog beginning to envelope the others. Even the immortal feels his body slowly losing to this, but just as soon as the darkness appeared the Light of Science vanquished it!

     Touta has no idea what's just happened but it looks like the others fully intend to lay into this guy so if that's the case.

     "I got your backs!"

     Once again the boy speeds towards the Foreigner in a blur, a smile on his face as he breaks out of his dash.

     "Hey, hold still for a sec, would ya?!"

     Unlike his last few attacks Touta doesn't intend to inflict damage as much as he simply wants to try and pin down Foreigner from escaping the incoming brutality. Thankfully, he has just the weapon to try and do it.

     "100,000 FOLD!"

     The boy shouts towards the Servant as he swings his blade down. He's not even aiming to cut Foreigner as much as simply get his blade over him and apply the full force of his blade on this servant. He doesn't want this guy to miss out on all the fun. Besides he should really consider the weight of the situation.

Captain Flint has posed:
     There's only so much that naval maneuvers can do, when your enemy is directly above you. Flint's shouted commands are aimed at minimizing the damage, and they are shouted too late to do much good. Staren's feint seems to have gotten the better of him.

     The combustion effect sets the sails alight as the shot crashes close to the ship. It pierces the side, leaving a massive hole of torn metal and scorched wood, threatening to sink the ship. The sheer sound of the attack leaves many of those left alive prone and stunned. One or two pirates attempt to put out the sails as the ship slowly drifts along. There's a good chance it could make a voyage home, if the captain so desired.

     He does not.

     Flint, bloodied by a thick cloud of shrapnel which vaporized half of the quarterdeck (and a good deal of his personal quarters) is already back upon his feet. His crew has suffered losses here today. Those losses cannot appear to have been in vain. The opportunity this presents--raiding a large, modernized city with its authorities all-but defeated--is too great. And he cannot appear an unworthy leader. Then, they would cast their vote, have him off, and piss away everything he's worked to accomplish. That, he cannot abide.

     So, when the Walrus passes by the mecha, slowly drifting as her decimated crew attempts to put out fires, he doesn't surrender, or flee. Instead, he waits. Foreigner's strange power has set the sea to roiling. All he needs to do is capitalize, and he can make this work. The captain is already making the argument to himself, as Silver insists upon retreat.

     "Move every bit of cargo we have save the guns to the starboard side. Fire on my order."

     There is a pause.

     "DO IT!"

     The cargo is moved, the ship beginning to list to one side. To Staren, it might appear as if she's taking on water. This is exactly what he wants. At the helm, he steers her into one of the roiling, massive waves caused by Foreigner's magic. The ship is lifted up. The captain bellows his order.

     "ALL PORT CANNONS, OPEN FIRE!"

     There is a space, a tense, awful space on board the ship, where nothing happens. Then, a thunderous roar as the Walrus once more opens up her broadside upon Staren, attempting to have the last word. If it doesn't earn them their well deserved prize, the crew will have much to say about this. And Flint will have his work cut out for him, for some time, to earn their trust again.

Deelel has posed:
Deelel is in close combat with Empty as she's got this feeling she knows her from somewhere before she can't quite place it though, Deelel's strange weapon seems to hold up well enough as it's intercepted before it can catch her in the face. She has to wonder what's going on here, there is a sinking feeling of dread in Deelel's mind. What is this woman doing? Then things get really bad Deelel is attacked with a strange Alien force. Deelel, however, has seen strange things in her life, helped to birth an entire universe once seemingly a lifetime ago, even though it was a drop in the bucket for how long her kind could live. She moves she uses her keyblade to kick into the air and evades the attack from the first one the second and third end up getting parried by Deelel's Keyblade and she's all ready to go and launch an attack on Empty when she seems to be jacking Cu from his partner. She does not even think she just acts moving to throw herself between Cu and his magus partner.

"She's hacking you!"

She has no idea what a weapon from a being like Cu is going to do to her other than it's going to be a world of pain, she will attempt to try and guard but well? She really isn't going to be able to do much.

Foreigner (6708) has posed:
     World Faith Domination shines. It shines like fire through the sky, fighting against the crushing terror smog. It doesn't make much progress - eating holes, lighting the water, but the water and the ships remain, and the smog continues to burn.

     But then it shines on Foreigner.

     Flakes of skin come *peeling* off. It's horrifying to watch. Foreigner twists and writhes under the light, dark smoke sizzling around him as the skin cracks and peels. Horrid red eyes come swinging to the fore only to vanish into roiling darkness, which itself is pressed against, harder, harder, harder. Foreigner writhes, and Riva's suspicions are confirmed - the man and the monster are twined together like a quilt. The Foreigner seems to shrink before the overwhelming light, shrink and become helpless as Riva's chain wraps around him and drags him *right* into the Golden Drive. The Golden Drive grinds into the burning black, wheel running across the peeling face. The chain drives him forcefully into the ground, where shining anima explodes around him. Spider drones explode webs around him to hold him down, pinning him to the ground. Touta comes down, the weight of the blade on Foreigner's neck, holding him there under the blazing, furious light.

     And then Foreigner's lips open.

     And the darkness opens.

     The shriek is horrible to behold. The world seems to crack around it, like glass shattering the air. The light doesn't refract, but one of the Black Ships sails in front of it.

     The instant the light hits the ship, it's not touching Foreigner.

     The instant it's not touching Foreigner, he blinks away. Reality stutters around him as he reasserts himself. He adjusts his collar, darkness and eyes roiling around above it, until he slowly places something over it. There's a sucking sound.

Foreigner (6708) has posed:
     It's his face.

     He put his face back on.

     Blood rolls down it, of course, and one of the eyes is bleeding, and his lip is split, but he's still alive, still standing. Slowly, he pulls himself back together, quite literally. Are those tendrils dragging the cracks in his face shut? No. No, no. Can't be. Nothing like that. Impossible.

     Too horrible to think of.

     Foreigner looks down from on high at the group. The spotlight swings towards him, and he flits out of it, vanishing once again. His eyes are burning red in the darkness, the light of madness quite literally shining within them.

     "hOw UnPlEaSaNt."

     Foreigner tilts his head. A long, hideous tentacle spills out of his mouth like a tongue. He swallows it, shaking his head slightly. "My word. Do pardon me. I seem to have lost my temper. I don't normally do that, really. I'm normally quite an understanding man. I'm a parent, you know, it comes with the territory."

     He blinks out, and settles behind Riva. Five fingers settle on her shoulder. "And as a parent I understand," he says slowly, against her ear, "That bad children should be disciplined."

     One of the Black Ships turns its cannons on her. Its immortality-slaying, nightmare-shell cannons. It fires as Foreigner flits away, the scent of a foul sea breeze on her lips. He appears behind Touta.

     "Young troublemakers need to be straightened out," he murmurs as the cannons turn on Touta, and another shell comes firing through the choking smog. Again, he vanishes, the murmur of dying gulls filling Touta's ears over the roar of the cannon.

     He appears behind Orchid, settling his hand on her head and patting it gently. "Young ladies need to be taught proper etiquette to grow up and get married," he says as the cannons scream at Orchid, and as he vanishes, she's left with the sound of beached whales' death throes ringing in her audial sensors.

     He appears behind Kintoki. "Rabble-rousers ought not be spared the rod." Another round, another vanishing, and this time it's the sound of a flood crashing through the world, tearing apart the land.

     And at last he appears behind Edison, and settles both hands on his shoulders.

     "Mister President," he says, his voice all kind and gentle, "Do forgive my /most/ ungentlemanly display. I hope I'll still be able to come to the White House for tea when all this is over. As an officer of the Navy I do expect all honors accorded."

     "Don't worry, though," he murmurs, "I'm not gonna shoot to kill. I wouldn't want to commit treason, after all."

     The shells lobbed at Edison fragment as they fly.

Staren has posed:
    Staren looks on sadly at the sinking ship. He's sure Flint's employer won't just let them drown, though. Ports on the sniper railgun and the back of the mech release steam as superheated coolant is ejected and new coolant pumped in to prevent sensitive, advanced electronics from melting themselves. The big gun folds back up.

    And then the ship tilts. A little /too much/. This feels off. The Star Hawk transforms to full humanoid mode, hovering over the water, and then curls up defensively as best it can while trying to keep the thing balanced mainly on the foot thrusters.

    The arms take the brunt of Flint's attack. The cannonballs tear through, and then impact the main body with a series of CLANGs.

    But the arms are left swiss-cheesed. There are sparks and smoke coming from the holes, and they aren't moving smoothly.

    <"Sorry."> Staren mutters over the radio, and then his machine transforms to hybrid mode and zips out over the black fleet, getting into position to fire on the tentacles.

    For a few tense seconds, nothing happens.

    "Rrrr... argh!" Staren grunts in frustration as warnings and errors fill his screen. Those weapons are damaged. And without them... well, the damage he's taken is bad enough, but without those weapons, there's no way he can withstand a prolonged engagement.

    He turns his machine around and flies off towards the warpgate. Better to get out of here before he draws the kraken(?)'s attention, in his current state.

Sakata Kintoki (6648) has posed:
     "Good night!" Kintoki calls out as he keeps on driving even after driving right off the Foreigner's monstrous face, the smoke still flowing off the vehicle and his body as the energy dies down from the use of his Noble Phantasm.

     Alas, there's not much left in Kintoki's tank by the time he turns the motorbike around to face the still-standing Foreigner... Or where he was, anyway. He's not quite sure what it is that's flooring him, but without mana reserves to keep him going, the Rider collapses under his bike in a smoldering, damp heap.

     "Better not... Take my license..."

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     More cannonballs fly at Orchid, but this time she catches them with her shield, absorbing most of the hits. "What etiquette? I'ma rush-hour DJ," she snaps back. She takes a few moments to think, looking directly at the Foreigner. She holds up one hand, reconfigured into a light. "Smile for the camera," she says, before flashing it brightly. She's not expecting it to do much damage, but a photo of this thing without its mask might be useful for shaming it later.

Thomas Alva Edison (6660) has posed:
    The shells explode into fragments. THAT'S NOT LESS DEADLY!

    Luckily, he's a heroic spirit, and as such a LOT harder to kill, even before being tough as nails to kill on the scale of heroic spirits. Impaled with the shrapnel of the cannon fire, the now battered, but not broken Edison staggers. He does not fall, however, still on his feet, still barely holding on. Even as his spirit energy threatens to disappate...he refuses to go down, he refuses to die right here.

    Not while people still need him...not while his country needs him...

    Back on his feet, back in control he does not immediately answer. He swings at Foreigner, aiming to try and press him back. They always come from behind...every single time! He roars, putting the last of the strength he had left into each punch, each kick...even as each one SPARKS with the power of DIRECT CURRENT, he roars in determination.

    He has to set an example for his people...he has to shine the light through this.

    Each blow, however, wasn't just an attempt to hurt, but an attempt to shove Foreigner back into that light.

    Once he gets close enough, Edison's chest explodes with brilliant rainbow light, powered by direct current as well, it attempts to DRILL into the /monster/, trying to carry him into the light of the age he brought to mankind.

    "Get out of my country! This is not a place for men like you, those who drag this country down into the depths..." He rumbles... "It is a nation of hope!"

Riva Banari has posed:
The overwhelming assault hammers into the Foreigner, and Riva gets another close look at a thing she never would have wanted to see or experience, something that she never wanted to observe. The horrific mien of the man-creature before her is beyond her comprehension... Perhaps not her firepower, but certainly her comprehension. She almost retches when she sees him sew his flesh up over the writhing darkness, attempting to repaste a man over the Thing.

But then he's behind her. Touching her. Riva jerks, immediately screaming in fear and horror as she twists in an attempt to push it away... Which distracts her from the cannons.

Not enough to lay down a deadly strike on the all-too-durable Templar, but enough to blast her back, the dark force of the shell eating away at her, smouldering like actinic shadow. However, she's getting... tired. She's running out of power. She needs to do something about this. With a sweeping motion, she pulls a handgun from her coat, putting several quick rounds of glowing Anima down the range towards the Foreigner. She needs a moment to catch her breath.

Cu Chulainn (6645) has posed:
Lancer's target gets faster. How - she wasn't that fast before...but either way, Lancer keeps up the fight. He's readying another powerful thrust attack, too, and begins to respond to Empty Tiding's strange statement. "Sorry you have to cry, but tears aren't-"

And then, she starts speaking special words. Felt, nearby, hears them. His eyes widen. "Lancer, look out-"

And then, the Command Seal appears. Lancer's own eyes widen, and before he can react, she speaks the command. His body starts to turn, beelining on where he can feel his Master's presence. The spear is still held for that thrusting attack, but the target is changed. Trying to resist it, force his body back, Lancer can't help but start moving anyways, speeding up to try and stab Felt in the chest. Deelel moving to intercept manages to slow him down, as she stands in Felt's way, but he's looking like he's just going to run through the both of them anyways.

But that delay is all the time Felt needs to rip his left glove off and bring his hand high into the air. Three red symbols, in the shape of a strange spear, sort of crossed with a lightning-bolt zigzag. With a flash of one of them turning black, Felt shouts. "LANCER! STOP!"

With a powerful burst of magic, Lancer is brought to a halt, feet skidding to the ground. He sighs slightly in relief, but is still on edge, as Empty Tidings has shown to be able to create Command Seals at will. Felt, however, steps forward, keeping his hand in the air.

"You clearly know nothing about us if you think our bond is so weak. Lancer - no, Cu Chulainn - is the hero of Ulster, my hero and a loyal knight. He's my /partner/, and I don't need magical orders to ensure his loyalty. Cu Chulainn, with this Command Seal...I order you to use your Noble Phantasm and pierce her heart!"

As the speech goes on, Cu Chulainn flips around towards Empty Tidings, and readies his spear. As the Command Seal flows hrough him and commands him, he grins. "Got it, partner. I don't know who you are. I don't care who you are. But you've crossed the line doing that...and frankly, I just don't like you. Let's see you survive this!" He takes a step back. Gae Bolg starts o charge up with hideous red energy,, as Cu clenches all of his muscles. And then, he charges forward, moving to thrust the spear."

"GAE BOLG"!

Despie charging, stopping mid-charge, and thrusting the spear, he doesn't get close enough to hit Empty Tidings. No, it's not a direct melee strike like that. Instead, the red energy bursts forward like a lance, ripping through the air. It winds around any obstructions, beelining straight for its target. It surges forward, aiming for a specific target - the woman's heart. It focuses on ha spo, lunging straight for her chest with the power to send her flying backwards in the process.

A sure-kill move. The legendary move of the hero Cu Chulainn. And he's giving it all he has - even if it the strain he's putting out there is enough to seriously injure him.

Touta Konoe (1143) has posed:
     Touta does his part and once again the group lands what should have been a decisive blow. But...

     "Nothing's sticking on this guy!"

     For once, Touta realizes just how annoying being able to heal and immortality truly are when in a fight. As he teleported back to his ship and his appearence just continued to become more and more grotesque, Touta kept trying to think of anything that might be able to keep this guy pinned down. But even that boosted attack from the Golden Rider and the Lion Presi-King didn't seem to end it. It just felt like no matter what any of them decided to do to this guy it just wasn't going to be enough...

     'One of the Black Ships turns its cannons on her. Its immortality-slaying, nightmare-shell cannons. It fires as Foreigner flits away, the scent of a foul sea breeze on her lips.'

     That was it...

     'Young troublemakers need to be straightened out,' he murmurs as the cannons turn on Touta, and another shell comes firing through the choking smog. Again, he vanishes, the murmur of dying gulls filling Touta's ears over the roar of the cannon.

     A smile appears on the troublemaker's face as Foreigner leaves and the sound of cannon fire is launched his way.

     What happens next...

    
     Touta couldn't think of anything that could phase this guy, nothing seemed to stick, but that's when the cannons fired and it all made sense. If nothing they had was going to work on Foreigner, use his own immmortality-slaying weapons against him! So when Foreigner had left Touta to the demise of one of his cannonballs instead, that hula-hoop he's been using around his waist finally comes into play. He extended his left hand out towards the cannnon the air around his hand began to spiral into his arm like a vacuum and with it so did the cannonball that had been launched at the troublemaker. He had something to work with now, but he only had one shot... As Foreigner appears behind Edison, a voice can be heard calling out from the corner of Foreigner's eye.

     "Hey Foreigner, you asked me before what kids like playing these days right? Well let me give you an idea...CATCH!

     Touta extends his right hand out towards foreigner and something blasts forth from his hand.Something that Foreigner is all too familiar with. It's one of his nightmare-fueled cannonballs! If any sort of attack was gonna stick some real damage on this guy, it was definitely going to be this! If it landed he was pretty sure there was no way he'd be healing as easily as before!

Foreigner (6708) has posed:
     The rainbow light hits the Foreigner dead on. Again, he burns, flesh peeling and sizzling, but it's much less *brutal* than last time - but not by much. Riva takes the opportunity to fire her shells into his chest, and again, there's a moment where the Foreigner's roiling darkness is exposed.

     Orchid takes a picture of it. Flash.

     The camera starts to drip. Black, ichorous ooze pouring out of the lens. It's as if it's crying.

     And then Touta gets cheeky. One of the black ships' shells hits Foreigner dead in the chest. It smashes into him, fragmenting across his body. The black nightmare shards stick in his human flesh, digging in like maggots writhing against a corpse.

     Foreigner, again, hangs there for a moment, as if struck. Then, he starts clapping.

     "Of course, of course."

     "Good old Greenwich baseball. Yes, of course. Why didn't I think of that? Nothing brings a family together like baseball. That'll be spectacular."

     Foreigner raises his cane under his arm. "I can just see it now. Abernathy and Bill and Marcy all on the bases with Todd and Frederick and Jane, Timothy pitching across the plate...my, yes. That's a splendid idea. A rousing game of Yuletide baseball to bring the family together."

     Foreigner settles down, floating down to land on the water. The wriggling nightmare shards in his chest start digging further in. He smiles. "It's important, you know, being with family at the holidays. And I've so much family. More children than you can imagine. More grandchildren, too. And great-grand-children. I do admit I don't look the part," he adds, adjusting his face slightly, "But I'm sure my darling wife would be just ever so pleased to see how *handsome* I've been made. You know, I used to have a much larger nose. Much larger. This barely even looks like me!"

     He starts walking on the roiling flood, unbothered by it. "Now, mind you, a gentleman ought not be so proud. It's rather unbecoming. But I think just for this moment the Good Lord will forgive me for it, don't you?"

     He taps his cane against the water. "Mister President, do my children stop being citizens of your great nation because of the color of their skin? Do their /hopes/, do /their/ dreams, no longer matter to you because of their /ancestry/? Why, my Mary over there," he gestures with his cane at one of the Deep Ones, the hideous frogs manning the Black Ships, "Her mother came over on the Mayflower. And Abernathy, there, he's descended from Thomas Jefferson. Oh he doesn't look it now, but it's true."

Foreigner (6708) has posed:
     "My children are as American as Greenwich ball, Mr. President."

     Foreigner's mad eyes light. "And they hope to bring this country to a whole new age. Because they love it just as much as I do. They're not content to see America constrained, Mister President. After all...why rules /from/ sea to shining sea?"

     YoU cOuLd Be PaRt Of ThE ShInInG sEa.

     There's the brief lick of the tentacle before Foreigner covers his face with a handkerchief. "Oh my. Do...do forgive me. Sometimes it just slips out, you know."

     He stops as one of the Deep One hybrids flags him down with a semaphore. "Excuse me for just a moment, will you."

     Foreigner vanishes. He reappears on the deck. There's a brief exchange before Foreigner sighs and reappears.

     "Well, now."

     He tugs off his gloves and stows them in his coat pocket. "Seems the Leng have reconsidered their generous extended offer. Apparently we just weren't fast enough to please them. Real bunch of schedule-sticklers. Reminds me of one of my old captains."

     The Foreigner tucks his cane under his shoulder. The black smog clears. The black ships begin sailing away. The hideous creature in the harbor fades under the water, bleeding black ooze. Foreigner smiles, politely.

     "If you'll excuse me, ladies, gentlemen, Mister President. There's no more profit to be made here, and the environment is much too hostile to go looking for new family members. Really, anyone caught up in this storm, you'd think they'd drown straightaway."

     The Foreigner bows. "Have a pleasant evening, won't you?"

     He reappears next to Tidings. "Madam Princess, at your leisure. With Leng pulling out I've no reason to remain, and frankly I've got sick and wounded to attend to. I look forward to our next, more palatable, engagement, and I offer you my humblest and most sincere thank-yous."

     And then, like a bad dream in the morning daylight, he's gone, leaving a burning Boston, sinking ships, corpses, and flooding in his wake.

Thomas Alva Edison (6660) has posed:
    Caster remains, even as Foreigner is casually racist, Edison does not immedaitely answer, and it is too late to continue as he bugs the hell out.

    Battered, bruised, and looking hella disshevled, Edison turns towards the others.

    Even as the darkness receeds, the city of Boston burns...and the Presiking is not happyn. However, he DOES attempt to put on a smile for those who fought with him...even if they had fought against each other in the past.

    "My thanks. My forces will be arriving soon, the work needed to recover and bury the dead is...staggering, but I will see to you being attended to." he says, before turning to leave, "Escuse me, once I am seen myself, I have...a lot of dead to bury."

    Right now Edison feels like a failure, a failure who could not protect his people.

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     Orchid is tired. Worn out in ways she has never been before. But...

     This is what she was built to do, and at least a few of her spiders survived.

     "I'm going to stay, help with the Search and Rescue," she says, turning back to the task. "Probably need to do a full tune up when I'm done, but I'm not completely spent yet."

Touta Konoe (1143) has posed:
     Foreigner was literally out of this world. Touta nailed him with his own anti-immortal cannon shell, and all he did was laugh it off. Maybe this guy was actually a berserker...

     "Man, I don't know about Foreigner but that guy's definitely a survivor. I'll give that nutjob that."

     Seriously, how does one go from getting blasted by a cannonball to thinking about baseball. That guy must have had some sort of Madness Enhancement going on. While Touta did want to pursue, the moment he looked down he realized that the Hula-hoop he was using was pretty messed up. Fact of the matter was, even if the damn thing looked silly, there was no way he was pulling off another stunt like that again without it. Besides...It seemed like he would be needed here.

     As the Presiking begins to walk off, Touta follows suite.

     "Same..." He says upon in response to Orchid's remark. "We were part of the mess, so we'll help clean up too." At the very least he can try to help Orchid help with searching for others while also helping keep tabs on any missing and deceased individuals. Now that...Was going to be a bleak job.

Empty Tidings has posed:
Deelel's blade-vault is enough to keep her in the air, above the shadowy blades that leap out of the ground. Tidings' shadow hunts her relentlessly, trying to land a deadly blow that never materializes. The Keyblade swats at it, clashing with the darkness -- and it retreats, pushed back by the force of... what? Light? Order? Good? It's hard to say. It retracts, though, coiling around the shadowy woman's feet and stretching out behind her, as if relaxing back into the shape it ought to be in.

As for Tidings...

Empty Tidings laughs.

"Oh, bravo! Well done! No... no, I didn't know anything at all about him. I know you, /Felt Haddask/," she says, enunciating his name almost too precisely, with the intonation of a razor scraping vowels, "are one of many foolish little mortals who think a thimbleful of power is enough to step out of the shadow of your betters. And I think he..."

The command comes. Cu Chulainn tenses. He resembles nothing less than his Master's attack dog at that instant, and it brings a fierce grin to his foe's face to see it. "...is /angry/."

'GAE BOLG!'

The spear leaps forward -- and doesn't connect. Tidings doesn't buy it for an instant. She lifts her hand, pressing it in line with the blooming thorn. The energy /bends/, twisting, swerving and diving for her chest. Her eyes snap wipe. She throws herself to the side, moving with all of Lancer's prodigious speed, and it still gives chase. Pavement buckles and breaks as she twists, watching the seeking energy inch closer in time measured in fractions of a second. He's fated her to die, has he? But she can't be /fated/ to be /anything/. She's beyond the reach of such things.

Reality ripples; cracks. She's behind him. She moved without moving. She'll thank the Foreigner for the loan of his strange techique lat-

The bolt hits her square in the back.

Empty Tidings has posed:
Tidings' body is flung forward, ragdolling across the park. She tears up turf, rolling and bouncing until her forward momentum is abruptly stopped by a crash into a tree. There's an audible 'crack' as the trunk and her back both snap like dry tinder at the same time. The tree topples, crushing the roof of a parked car, the alarm blaring for a few seconds before the unnatural energies and the location of the damage makes it peter out. Her corpse settles, eyes wide and blank, an awful rattle hissing out of her parted lips.

The hollow thing burns away like a doll made of papier-mache put to the torch.

A figure stands in the middle of the park, resolving out of the deeper darkness. She drags herself upwards, slowly standing straight as if in great pain. She's tall and lean, with the body of a fighter. Her complexion is tanned, her exposed skin bearing dozens of pale, straight scars. She wears what must have been a kimono, once, black and grey, terminating at the knee with asymmetrical cuts hacked out of it all over as if someone had attacked her with a sword and only just missed. It lacks a sleeve on her right side, and the remaining cloth on the left is tightly bound around her forearm with a knotted length of blood-red cord.

She regards Cu Chulainn with brilliant emerald eyes. Her hair falls messily to her shoulders, a brilliant scarlet that gives her an imperious air. She clenches her fist -- her right fist, wrought out of black rock made in the shape of a hand. Brass filigree enwraps it, running into and around joints, a spidery pattern that would be beautiful if the shape wasn't somehow disquieting. There is no sign of flesh below her elbow on that hand, and no point where it seems it is an obvious replacement. It is simply part of her.

"My name is Empty Tidings of Brass and Verdigris," she declares in a powerful voice. The air around her cracks and ripples, an aura of flickering green the color of an infernal sun worming its way into this world from the heart of another. It whirls with the color of bruises, swimming in her expanding aura. "Chosen of the Ebon Dragon, Shadow of All Things." She steps forward. The metal lamppost near her instantly tarnishes. A tree begins to warp, twisted into something covered in green verdigris. Grass beneath her feet dries, cracking, then breaking like glass when the slightest pressure is applied. "Daughter of Kimbery, The Sea That Marched Against The Flame." Light posts in the park sputter and die, casting long shadows. She remains visible, but her silhouette is twisted and terrifying.

"Champion of Hell."

"I just thought you should know," she tells the three of them, voice suddenly pitching upwards, a little light. "So you aren't left wondering who has come to kill your ghosts."

Empty Tidings has posed:
Tidings explodes into motion with a scream. Green runes flare up on her brass-and-stone arm, blazing with the same viridian light that her anima casts. They intensify abruptly, leaping off her arm and whirling around it in a tornado of green fire, ancient written characters of some vile poetry orbiting the strange limb. She clips a lamp post as she closes the gap towards Cu Chulainn, brushing it aside like it was a stray branch. It and its moorings are torn out of the ground, sent tumbling across the park. Her speed is his speed, and her strength... it's simply unnatural.

She turns both against him. Furious swipes of her monstrous hand crash down on him, faster than even he was for the longest three seconds in recent history. A half-dozen terrible blows rain down, each one accompanied by a greenish solar flare and a tea-kettle shriek of the flames that crawl up her inhuman arm and across her body. She uses no precision technique, no finesse; she just attacks, letting loose with a startling flurry of ultraviolence meant to reduce Lancer to a smear across the wet and dying grasslands.

But from behind her, Deelel and Felt can see that the sure-kill technique was not, in fact, tricked. There's a hole bored in her back, with bloody rents in her flesh that weep crimson pain spiderwebbed out from it. It looks like it was a mirror that was broken against someone's flesh.
It looks like it isn't slowing her down.

Cu Chulainn (6645) has posed:
Empty Tidings dodges, and dodges, and teleports out of the way of his strike. But, in the end, Gae Bolg prevails. Or atleast, it looks like it did...but Empty Tidings defies death. Cu Chulainn grimaces, but he's already feeling the weakening. Felt's grin of victory becomes one of worry as he just lost his third Command Seal...and their enemy, who has revealed herself as some sort of demon princess, is coming full force. Her speed makes it difficult for Cu Chulainn o dodge, especially with his weakness, and so the flurry of superpowered blows smashes ino the Servant, bloodying him to a pulp. He'd probably die.

Probably die if his Master wasn't all kinds of reckless. Felt swoops in, moving to grab Cu Chulainn and /yank/ him out of the way. Cu Chulainn gets his footing long enough to then proceed to grab Felt and run. The pair move to beat it through alleys, literally just trying to live right now. They'll report about their success (the group getting Foreigner out of the way) and their failure (not defeating Empty Tidings, losing /all three/ Command Seals) once they're safe and pumping Cu full of mana back home.

But even then, their bond has been strengthened by that...so there's something positive out of the Command Seal usage, atleast.

Deelel has posed:
Felt lives, and pulls one hell of a stunt with his command seals, Cu turns about and turns his terrible wrath upon Empty Tidings. She'll ready her Keyblades as she Reveals herself on this she just stares as a name she know is dropped. The Ebon Dragon and she does not die, she did know her. She sees Empty is not down yet, her being in on this? Speaks many volumes of bad things. There is a spike of fear for August. She moves getting ready to fight, Cu goes down as she counters attack or it seems like.

BGG Derezzed https://youtu.be/F4eccPBFEjE

Deelel stops several hard light machines rez into being, wire lines to full on machinery they look like speakers, why yes they do and they kick it up to full blast with a song from the only two music programs on the Grid she would admit to being better than her, the Twins. The sound is directed at Empty as Hopefully a distraction.

"So this is you."

That is Deelels only comment as she's got her Keyblade in one hand and goes for her ID Disc in the other hand and changes at Empty Tidings. The attacks are rapid fast and utterly inhuman in how fast she's striking, Keyblade and ID Disc in tandem, over and over again.

She throws a few spells into it up close, fire most notably with some Lighting as her chain of attacks keep going.

"I am Deelel Multi Media Program."

She does not stop with her attacks, she's for all intents dealing with a virus with what she knows of Creation. Stopping might mean death for her and everyone else.

Riva Banari has posed:
The gunfire wasn't enough to drop the Foreigner. She knew it wouldn't be, but she just didn't have the wherewithal to do more. As he takes his leave and the unnatural wracking of the harbor relents, Riva looks around, sagging with relief as she sees that they've been spared.

For now.

"This is going to be a serious problem." She mutters to herself as she looks around... And with a long, internal groan, forces herself to get moving and see if she can find anyone else in need of rescue.

And THEN she is going to pig out and then collapse with a nice book or something. Something that has nothing to do with those terrible eyes, the memories burning in her head like star-sparks.

Empty Tidings has posed:
Cu Chulainn will be tasting brass and pavement for a week. He will also unfortunately be alive long enough to do just that.

Felt charges in heroically. Tidings turns her eyes to him, flaring in red-hot fury. A black disk like a hole to nothingness rests upon her brow, painful to look upon. It's a good thing he probably isn't dumb enough to look back. "Two heroes dying pointlessly for one another? I think I'm going to especially enjoy this~." She stalks towards him, lips drawn back to show her teeth. It's not quite a grin. It's too feral for that.

Deelel interrupts her plans with a blast of sound. Her eyes flick towards the source, and then her head follows, an unnatural sequence for a simple twist. She turns to face her, eyeing that Keyblade and Disc combo. The weapons are unusual. She's only gleaned a basic understanding of them in the time they've been fighting.

Her knuckles pop, and she steps forward to meet her.

Deelel clashes with the furious Exalt, and it is a thing of terrible beauty to look upon. Mechanical precision and practiced skill with the weapons of the Grid and beyond meet a monster whose fury is beyond all comprehension. Metal and solidified memory clash against black stone and gleaming brass. Flesh tears, scattering blood and inky shadow, but they meet again and again, crashing together even amidst the elemental torrent that she weaves past and charges through.

Deelel manages to force her back towards the overlook. The unnatural tide has withdrawn, leaving the park muddy. Tidings is illuminated by the Malfean sun that burns in her soul, cast outward on waves of putrid Essence. Something like blood drips down her arms, spattering onto concrete and sizzling as it eats through it. She breathes hard, but the mounting injury seems to just make her angrier.

That's when the Foreigner appears, addressing her as 'Madam Princess.' She regards him, and her fury melts away. She suppressed a cringe, looking frankly embarrassed to be seen this way, but composes herself. She speaks to him lowly and politely, and he vanishes.

She does, too. The world just stutters for a second, and she's gone, leaving only destruction behind her... and a Program with quite the story to tell.