7094/LI0: I'm Right Here (MSQ)

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LI0: I'm Right Here (MSQ)
Date of Scene: 28 February 2020
Location: Last Illusion
Synopsis: The weapons are crafted. The relics are empowered. It is time for the final showdown with Haseo to determine the future of the Last Illusion.
Cast of Characters: Shyra, Arthur Lowell, 7187, 7201, 7180, 6666, 7132, 7197, Staren, John Rizzo, Tomoe, 7015, Rean Schwarzer, 7141
Tinyplot: Last Illusion
Tinyplot2: Loop Zero

Shyra has posed:
    The time has come.

    All the preparations that could be made, have been. Again, Finaria serves as the home base before the final strike. It no longer looks burned and wrecked, Shyra having changed the town back to being intact... And also changing the music back to the normal town theme there.

    Everyone gets their time to prepare, and then once the final preparations are complete, the group departs. New weapons, empowered relics, and, well... A lot more people. This is about the best one can do to ruin Haseo's desires to be a game designer for real.

    The group leaves Finaria and steps into the corrupted zone. The land is dark, twisted, the forest changed into alien, static-ridden shapes. The ground is cracked and uneven, shifting heights seemingly randomly. Monsters roam the land, the creatures that once resided only in the final dungeon roaming free within the dark zone that has been slowly expanding. But as powerful as the monsters are, the monsters cannot stop the mass assault.

    Into the Central Shrine, the group battles forth, breaching back into the sealed zone where Discordia resided. There is little difference now between the outside and inside at this point. It is only a matter of time until they reach the throne room once more.

BGM: https://youtu.be/ICwnlNitmUw

Arthur Lowell has posed:
| Arthur successfully alchemized GAUNTLET || (RED BIRD RELIC && BLUE DRAGON  |
|                                                                            |
|                      500000 STEEL  20 MIRROR  1 GEAR                       |
|                                                                            |
|                      AMPOULE OF LESSER KARNA KAVACHA                       |
|                                                                            |

    This small off-hand utility glove bears a single ampoule of potion that can, for a single "turn", apply LESSER KARNA KAVACHA, defusing many instant-kill effects (hopefully any of Discordia's bullshit puzzle-boss-stage instant-kill-party-wipe wave attacks) before it is expended. It cannot neutralize the base damage, however. Arthur can afford to make one for each combatant -- but only one. Better block with your off-hand.

    Arthur has offered one case, containing one of these artifacts, to each participant in this big raid before things begin. He's wearing his, though there's no obligation for everyone else to wear their own, or otherwise store the valuable "local" fluid.

    As for the battle itself...

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
    Inspector Raphael Ambrosius Cousteau doesn't fit very well into this RPG Party.
INLAND EMPIRE: The world is ailing, stitched together by a faltering hand.
PHYSICAL INSTRUMENT: It's some weaselly kid, right? Just punch him in the face and take his lunch money! Yeah!

He adjusts his jacket, the white squares on his RCM patrol jacket gleaming even in the darkness. When it comes to the fighting, he's...mediocre, really. At the very least, monsters are -large-. He can shoot at a monster successfully with his gun, even if he's a terrible shot. And what's more--he at least makes an excellent meatsack to give the 'squishier' members of the party room to breathe and cast their wavy spell things.
CONCEPTUALIZATION: We're like some kind of mobile armored vehicle, except a human. There's probably a better term for that, but...eh.

His glove's tucked away for now. He fights with his fists whenever he hasn't got his gun out, and it'd be awful to accidentally punch a monster with instant death prevention.

Arkae Zellar (7201) has posed:
Arkae is here with the red bird relic, and also seperately Mandapala's Talon, a curved, birdlike sword bearing the same firey blessing as the red bird relic.

Arkae sallies forth, with potion and poison and swords, making her way through the requisite lower-danger encounters before the battle with the big boss(es) at the end of the zone. This is all so familiar to her.

"I mean, second to the world being saved, the music finally changing to something else is what I'm most looking forward to here..." says the alchemist inbetween waves of enemies.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Amelris Belthronw is along for the ride, with his OWN gear. His hat. His sword. His gem. A BAG FULL of BLACK WARRIOR RELIC-empowered wooden buzzsaw one-use drones, too! The Black WARRIOR RELIC is also in his possession, wrapped around one of his arm with a chain for secure use.

     "Yeeeeessssssh...." The Miqo'te lets out, lifting a scarf to his nose even if he don't really smell anything, just the looks of thing prompt that kind of reflex. "This is pretty bad out there. The music was ... pretty alright at first but now, damn."

     Amelris fights his best but keeps most of his expendables for later. This is nothing new to most people.

Kupot (6666) has posed:
Kupot adjusts his glove, keeping it tight. In his other hand, he bears the relic in place of Alruna.

Kupot has no other devices. He finds that he is excellent at dealing with problems with the devices he has. The sword is a tool that can open many doors. It is a sad fact of life.

"Kupo," he agrees with Arkae, keeping beasts off her and Raphael with mobile tactics as they press towards the Central Shrine.

I4 (7132) has posed:
I4 makes his way with the group, gauntlet in hand.  Beside him, a black box with arms floats near him, with a small stick of metal out of the back of it.  The POD keeps a can to make sure they do not get ambushed by end game mobs, but right now the place itself is a sorry sight to see.

I4 uses all of his tools to look into the system.  "It's trying to display something, but it's like...it's trying to call to something that doesn't exist, and the monsters are being called from the last dungeon.  This is...really bad.  I don't know how much longer the world can last as it is."

"One more thing could tip the whole thing over and cause errors, and I'd cascade badly..." I4 shakes his head.  "Staren, I know he's your friend but we may not have the luxury of TIME.  If we don't stop him soon...a lot of people are going to die."

It appears I4 answered his own philosophical question about what these people really are.  "If I had root access I might be able to repair it...maybe."

Mordred (7197) has posed:
Another sword wielder is here! It's not the Evil Knight scab, though, but another clad in imposing white armor and a demon-horned helmet with streaks of red here and there.

For someone unfamiliar with Mordred, though, they probably wouldn't peg her as a sword user on account of not carrying a sword. Instead, she's carrying a... Nothing!

All the easier to watch the advance of this massive crew of heroes through the final boss' lair. "What's with all this talk about sideways crap, anyway? Just get in there, beat some ass, and see what happens. Worst case scenario, you can just reset this again and see what else works, right?"

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur is at a mad dash. "FOCUS! Music ain't important, this whole timeline's gonna fall apart if he keeps this shit up." His blender-broom roars and blasts. His teeth clench. Numbers spray like blood -- and blood sprays like numbers. Arthur has only distantly studied this through the lens of Sburb. When a timeline Scratches badly, a fraction of this is what it starts to look like. This one's so far gone that nobody's come back from trying to record its state.

    Arthur darts so fast that it's hard to name a single role. With his rocket blazing, he moves into melee and back out into ranged starlight blasts so quickly he might as well be doing both of them at once. "HASEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Arthur screams out, near the end of this crushing rush. Covered in blood (some cop-blood, some Arthur blood, some Miscellaneous), with lungs full of shouting and fist full of battle-broom, Arthur intends to be one of the first to breach that throne and challenge Haseo. Considering the divine nature of this situation, it's quite, quite personal for him.

Staren has posed:
    Staren's here as a robot again. He's built the ampoule into himself so that he doesn't need a hand to use it.

    "So... THIS is your vision for this world? You made a big deal about getting the power of a god and using it to fix everyone's powers, but now that you have it you just vomit glitch monsters everywhere?"

    Staren responds to I4, "You mean a lot of people will never be born. People end up never being born all the time. What about the people who will be born in Pazkar's or Haseo's vision of this world's future? Even if Haseo's is just a glitch fest... maybe the loss of this world sets off a chain of events that lead to new lives, who will never come to be if we save it."

    Staren shakes his head. "I think worrying about the never-born is foolish. We will do our best to save this world, if Haseo won't."

    Beat. "...He's not my friend. He's my ally. But... that doesn't mean I shouldn't give him a chance. I'd hope for the same from my allies... wouldn't you from yours?"

John Rizzo has posed:
     John, perhaps surprisingly, takes the gauntlet from Arthur. He doesn't fit very well either, but he's taking it well. "Thanks," he says, turning it over in his hand before slipping it on. "Real dynamite work, Arthur."

     His path to the castle is as one would expect. Plodding and certain, wading through danger, calmly deflecting the claws, teeth or tentacles of wandering monsters even as he's scraped, bitten and pummeled. His only concern is keeping others from harm.

     "I don't go in for that kinda stuff," says Rizzo to Mordred when she brings up a... direct approach. "But are we sure this isn't part of the story?" He asks this question more generally. "Going to stop the bad guy at his place? Seems like what oughta happen in a sword-and-sorcery rag like this." He says 'rag' but it isn't uttered in a derisive or disparaging tone.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe has no real-time to rest after the battle in the depths of an Alagan ruin, as Haseo was also on the lose still and couldn't be allowed to rampage. She has been geared up with the small offhand glove replacing the one sh normally uses. Hopefully, this would help, she knows about powerful and terrifying things that could be called a Raid Boss. Haseo certainly fits the bill, for that title. He hit so many bad memories, it wasn't funny to her and she was ready to do some serious damage to Haseo and bring him down.

"I4? Haseos basically from a VR MMORPG, think you should somehow attack his stats or level directly? Or screw with his gear?"

She hears about how grim the situation is for this world if Haseo keeps doing what he's doing.

"Well he certainly showed the true nature of his character didn't he? I had to ... fight people like him before. It was bad, very bad."

She looks over ot John for a moment and tilts her head a bit at him then looks ahead.

"A good point but we need to keep things from coming apart, I fear meddling like this could do the same sort of thing to myself or parts of my world. We nedd to stop it here before he wrecks this world or any others."

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
    "It's like a Man from Hjelmdall novel," Raphael nods agreeably with Rizzo, inbetween glorious combats.

Mostly, though, his attention's focused on Arthur. Arthur is taking this staggeringly seriously.
RHETORIC: I know it's not an -argument-, but Arthur wasn't capitalizing his words /or/ giving fistbumps, and that still feels like an inconsistency you should call him out on.
EMPATHY: Don't. You don't gain anything from it. Time is of the essence. Just keep..sigh, keep fighting.
PHYSICAL INSTRUMENT: YEAH! Show 'em how you probably did it in your college boxing days! The Second Coming of Contact Mike!

With that, he's still..remarkably good at keeping the pace. He can't keep up with Arthur, but he can probably keep running even after Arthur tires, and catch up.

I4 (7132) has posed:
"Maybe..? It's hard to say with the god, I can mess with him a little, but I expect push back almost immediately. If you mess with his actual player data...no. He's human, I can't do that," Can't or won't? Arthur books it, and I4 runs after him, "Arthur! Come on, we don't need a repeat of last time. Calm down!"

Haseo (7015) has posed:
     The throne room, unlike last time, appears to be well lived. There's a desk with a computer, as well as a cork board. Both are covered in grid paper that seem to have very extensive maps of various towns and dungeons. There's also various 'redesigns' as well, though they look more like they were plagiarized from actual real life locations. A city designer they apparently aren't.

     Haseo sits on his throne, one leg crossed over the other as he impatiently waits for everyone. He knows they're coming. Everyone's made a big enough stink about doing it, how couldn't he?

     Eventually they all come barging in, with Arthur screaming and all their questions, and the EVIL GOD stands. He gives a rather taunting round of applause before speaking, using his extra pair of arms.

     "Don't need to shout man, I'm right here. So anyway, I'm tired of dealing with you people. So I'm going to lay it out nice and simply. Either you turn around and let me deal with this my way, or you beat me and we bring about The End to as many people as possible. So what's it gonna be?"

     He's clearly not giving the group the respect they deserve, and why should he? He's a God here, and they're just people.

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
Raphael's expression is a little strange. Well, no--he's still smiling. He's still got that awful smile. But as Haseo speaks, he squints a little, waving his hand in a vaguely mystical manner.
INLAND EMPIRE: He is not the end of the path, but rather its gatekeeper. Do not fall for his lies.
SUGGESTION: He doesn't value this world as meaningful beyond 'a game', but he thinks he's doing a good job of things.
AUTHORITY: He's nothing. He's not even The Last Boss. Put your foot down on this guy before it gets out of hand.

"I think you can consider this a vote of 'no confidence' on your 'Super Weird Static Square World' experiment, kid." He cracks his knuckles. "So prepare for a fistful of democratic procedure."

Arkae Zellar (7201) has posed:
"Yeah I'm pretty sure we're sticking to plan 'stab you with all of the relics'," says Arkae.

She pulls a potion out of her bag, uncorks it with her thumb, chugs it, and then tosses the empty vial off to the side.

Secretly... it's not going to matter too much what Haseo says to her. She's wanting to see this world through to its end, and then use what she's picked up to go raid all the best treasure from the adventure, maybe see if she can collect a whole other set of the relics all to herself, and then do it all again and again if she can.

It's a flawless plan. Literally no flaws.

Kupot (6666) has posed:
Kupot takes a step forward. "You are failing, kupo. When a King, a God, a President fails, they step down. If they do not, the people tear him down."

His hands are over his chest, well away from his weapon.

John Rizzo has posed:
     Rizzo ends up barging into the throne room more as a matter of losing his balance from a previous monster encounter than any desire to be dramatic. His coat sways as he brings himself to a halt. The lanky vampire has nothing to say to haseo, no questions to answer. The clapping sells it--this /is/ the story. The story within the story, maybe, but the pieces are all here.

     That Raphael seems to think the same thing just further cements it in his mind. They've waded through the mooks, cut across the head honcho's backyard, and stormed his castle. Now, they're probably gonna knock him off. Well... so long as they know it's just part of the story. He frowns.

     Can't break character...

     Upon being given the ultimatum, then, he just stands there, unmoving, wordless. He's made his decision.

I4 (7132) has posed:
"Haseo, this world is on the threshold of collapsing on itself.  You're pushing it to that point, you're making the very world access things it doesn't know what to do with, you're doing the whole changing thing /out of order/."

"Alright well, if you're not backing down...then I guess we have no choice," he comments and looking towards Arthur.  He doesn't know what to say, and feels awful he can't actually seem to help.  Between this and being asked to hack Haseo...which he could, but the thought of actually getting in there and doing anything beyond messing with battle stats.

Taking a breath, I4 takes a step forward.  Walking right towards Haseo, but does not draw a weapon.  

"Why are you doing this?  People are being hurt, the world is on its last legs.  Why are you so driven to do this, right here and now?" His hands are thrown out.  "Do you want me to get on my knees and beg you to stop?  I will do that if it will save you and this world."

Mordred (7197) has posed:
Not everyone is here to crap on Haseo's parade, at least. As Mordred steps into the throne room, she simply raises one gauntleted arm in a stiff wave.

"Yo, Haseo. I ain't here to fight. Just here to watch the fireworks." She means it, too, as she just hauls herself over to the side of the room. No weapon is drawn, no punches are thrown, and no fancy maneuvering or lightning is happening from the Knight of Treachery.

"One side'll win, one side'll lose, and we'll see how it all goes. Simple enough, ain't it?"

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Amelris is wearing the very nice gauntlet, stepping into the THRONE ROOM. He'll just have to keep in mind to repay Arthur in some way about this.

     "Verse two, same as verse one." The Miqo'te comments, drawing his rapier to spin the weapon in his fingers.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe looks to I4 for a moment pauses think and then nods.

"All right do what you can, I4."

She looks to Haseo for a moment the EVIL god that has become she just looks at him for a moment.

"I am not turning around we are stopping you here one way or another."

She's drawn Caliburn at this point and has the mourning wall out. She's ready to go in to confront Haseo and she looks at him. She's about to say something when Shyra speaks up on Saving Haseo. She flinches a bit and keeps her mouth closed this time.

Haseo keeps going and all she can hear is someone else. She narrows her eyes and there's a look on her face only Staren and Arthur have seen. It's not a very nice or kind look as Tomoe moves in, she knows the fight is about to start.

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
The Inspector draws his pistol from his jacket. The engraved words 'SUNRISE PARABELLUM' glint on the handle.

EMPATHY: Okay. So he's basically just feeling holier-than-thou right now.
SUGGESTION: He's not listening. I don't think you have what it takes to make him listen.
PHYSICAL INSTRUMENT: So go knock some sense into him, then. Get up there, slug him one! Show him how a MAN handles arguments!


There is a distinct pause. His fingers tense. His gaze darts to either side a moment. That was..unexpected.

HAND-EYE COORDINATION: I'm taking this one.
ELECTROCHEMISTRY: Whoa. Do we maybe wanna do some amphets first?

HAND-EYE COORDINATION: This needs to be a bullet to start it off.

REACTION SPEED: It does. Just..go with it. Just fire.

The pistol is raised. Gun cocked, slowly levelled. He's aiming, of all things, for one of Haseo's moving hands. He exhales.
HAND-EYE COORDINATION (Challenging): Shoot The Hand-Eye

Haseo might dodge, but at the very least, it won't be the Inspector embarassing himself. He fires the shot. That should get everyone moving.

Staren has posed:
    Staren sighs and shakes his head. "Ugh, seriously? So you don't have a plan EITHER? You got all the power of a god, and you COULD be using it intelligently, but instead..." He waves a hand at the cork boards. "You're just flailing randomly and hoping enough power will fix things."

    He starts to pace for a couple of seconds... then turns as the missile racks snap into position on his shoulders, firing an anti-tank minimissile straight at Haseo.

    "I don't know what would be better... if Arthur's right and you're only acting this way because power's driven you insane... or if you were always this way."

Arkae Zellar (7201) has posed:
The sudden shot ringing out startles Arkae.

"Oh right! Relic-stabbing time!"

She waves her left hand, the one gripping onto the red bird relic, making a throwing motion towards Haseo. A bolt of flame appears, streaking towards him.

"Be purified by fire- oh that sounds worse out loud than it did in my head, doesn't it."

Shyra has posed:
    Words go flying back and forth. Lots of arguing, lots of epic showdown statements. Lots of threats and attempts to spam Convince. However, Shyra had been cowering in the back the entire time. It's something she'd been used to doing for her entire existence.

    Something in the conversation, however, causes her to blink. Something in the way Arthur is panicking. Something in the way Haseo is presenting himself. Something in the things Raphael says, the arguments from I4 and Staren... And she suddenly comes to a realization.

    Haseo... You're... You're just as much of a victim of Discordia as Linehart was...

    Suddenly, she stands more firm, a resolution beginning to settle into her expression. We're going to save you, Haseo.

    That said, there's only one way to do that, here. There's only one way to do that. Just like before...

    And so Shyra steps out from behind Raphael as he fires his gun, and Shyra begins unleashing her powers.


    There is a flash of light over her staff, and a dozen beams of light burst out, curving in to zap at Haseo! He's not undead, though, so the damage is subpar.

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    "'Right here'?! You're not /right here/. That's the problem! You're already halfway gone! You've already Expired, and-- that's why we're--" Arthur starts, brandishing his broom at Haseo with his face snarled up in a mix of righteousness and a sort of deep, gut panic. His grip is white-knuckled, and his body is shaking, just a little, subtly, but he's full of determination and focus still, somehow. "You're not giving me a /choice/. You're giving me an /ultimatum/." He says. "I can't choose to walk away from this. That's not an option. It's never, ever been a choice."

    He grips his broom in both hands. The blender blades roar. He takes a deep breath, and tries to swallow down fear. This, at last, is the truth of Expiration. A switch-cover is flipped and a button is pressed on the big metal battle-broom.

    "A hero can't choose to walk away."

|                                                 |
|   ACTIVE   |    DANGER    |      CRITICAL       |
| ---------- | ------------ | ------------------- |
|            |              |                     |
| ********** |              |                    |
|            |              |                     |

    Gunshot. Arthur opens like it's a race with a huge, forceful column of celestial fire dead-on towards Haseo.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe seeing the way things are going? Tomoe Looks at Haseo and charges at him swinging her blade tying to probe his defences.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Amelris steps up, taking in a deep breath. Alright. Well! The kid don't want to listen to anything. He's pretty comfortable with his god-like awful powers. Theeeere's not much else that they can talk about. At this point, it's like that -- gosh, he forgot her name, the lady knight with the spear, he feels awful not remembering her name -- said, it's just a clash of opinions and methodes at this point.

     "The fact you are making shots in the dark don't really bother me as much." Amelris says, spinning his blade to grab it with his other hand, aether misting off the gem at the top as he unleash a barrage of bright red and purple energy blasts at Haseo. "What bothers me is tossing the people down here to a big ass 'maybe'. Ain't... that a bit counter productive?"

Rean Schwarzer has posed:
...Well, he didn't WANT to be right when he told Haseo 'any world you make would probably suck.' Everything is a gltiched mess, and Haseo still doesn't have a plan other than punch things until it's fixed, somehow.

Anyway, once he arrives at the boss room with everyone else, he tests Haseo's defenses by swiftly unsheathing his sword, creating an arc shaped shockwave that flies straight at him.

Haseo (7015) has posed:
Raphael shoots the EVIL GOD with zero remorse, causing them to stumble back in pain. Then Staren fires his relic missiles within an enclosed area, though despite the clouds of smoke, he can be pretty sure he hit.

     Shyra, Arkae, Amelris and Arthur throw in magical attacks into the mix as the smoke clears, causing Haseo to stagger back more in pain, while Tomoe gets a shallow, but still nice cut into the Adept Rogue.

     Then Rean appears, throwing a sonic sword shockwave which causes them to fall back into what remains of his throne.


     There's a flash of blinding white as the throne room suddenly changes.

     There's no ground. No walls. The room they were once in is just an endless expanse of bright swirling chaotic colors. Far off in the distance there's a mass of hands and eyes. The TRUE EVIL GOD. It doesn't do anything though, and is clearly not a present threat.

     That honor goes to Haseo. Or rather, EVIL GOD SKEITH. A massive, stone-like monster. Its appearance, much like Haseo's however, is altered. Several extra arms sprout from the digital monster's shoulders, along with various extra eyes and markings.

     "Looks like you guys are actually taking me seriously now. About damn time!"

     It's clear to him they've got whatever magical item they need to beat the final boss or whatever. Honestly, it's too be expected. But he's not some dumb AI with preset attack patterns. He's a human. He's still got a chance as far as he's concerned.

     There's a weird, glitch like sound as Skeith phases in and out of sight, appearing behind Arthur, and then Staren. A razor-sharp scythe blade bigger than they are is swung against their backs in an attempt to cut them down, though whether it connects or not, it doesn't seem concerned, as it eventually moves back to a central location.

     Raising one of its many hands, it performs a single mudra sign. In response, a mass of tentacles composed entirely of nothingness attack the party at large (including those who didn't attack). They sting, hurt, and are generally way more intense than anything in a game should be.

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
HALF-LIGHT: There's *nothing there*! Get ready!
REACTION SPEED: Er, get ready for what? There's *nothing* there...
INLAND EMPIRE: It is the *nothing* we oppose! Defend!

Raphael is not armed, but he can at least avoid getting whipped in the face. He's armored, though, and it seems like he's remarkably spry for an old alcoholic nutcase. He stands up straighter as he cracks his neck, then his knuckles.
HALF-LIGHT: It was the arms. Attack the arms. They are the power, here.

Regardless of everyone else's attacks, he storms on through, gripping his pistol by the barrel. He hasn't reloaded it yet, so that's 'safe'. Safe enough, at least, for him to wait for the appropriate moment, when he's distracted with someone else's attack...

To attempt to pistolwhip one of those hands in the eyes.

INLAND EMPIRE: Yes. Blind the chaos. Struggle onwards.

Arkae Zellar (7201) has posed:
"Yeah, we'll take you seriously," says Arkae. "Have you even been paying attention to everything we've been doing?"

She drops the red bird relic, letting it dangle from its wrist chain again, and uses her offhand to reach into her bag of holding while trying to ward away the tentacles of nothingness with her MANDAPALA'S TALON. She's not all that successful at the attempt at multitasking, and takes several hits!

"And if you want to be taken seriously, I have just the solution for that!" she yells as she pulls out a trio of poison bottles and spreads them over her sword, before running at Haseo to swing at him.

I4 (7132) has posed:
I4, for his effort, is smashed by a tentacle and ground into the floor.  This was, painful.  Very very painful, it was different than last time, he knew the last fight was unwinnable.  The fight in the Cathedral was not there to Hurt Haseo, but contain him.  This one?  Haseo isn't holding back, and neither should he.  

Flipping back to his feet, he tosses something right at Haseo.  It folds out into a flying fish, that floats angrily towards Haseo.  Once it arrives, assuming it is not stopped, it suddenly flips into a strike, aiming to stab him as a Rapier would.  It is very ridiculous, and one shudders to think at the mind that made them.

Meanwhile, I4 focuses, trying to look for something.  The White Relic on his person as he tries to find the best way to use it.  There has to be...SOMETHING...

He no longer tries to talk, decisions were made and he could not afford to be destroyed here.  Dying was against the rules, and he was sure that S6 would drag him out of hell to kick his ass.

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur whips around. He knows spatial warping noises when he hears them. "HAAAAAHHHH!!" The scythe-handle clashes against the broom, jarring his arms but keeping him from being cut down. Arthur would be knocked inwards, but a quick Gate redirects it to launch him back instead. Slamming the broom against the ground, he launches up weightlessly. He pops the glass cover on a keypad on his broom, but has yet to mash the code. Instead, he maxes every setting.

|                          |
| THRUSTER MODES           |
|                          |
| [ ] DASH                 |
| [ ] CRUISE               |
| [ ] CHARGE               |
| [X] SPRINT               |
| [ ] ESCAPE VELOCITY      |
| [ ] PLAID                |
| [ ] LET'S DO THIS SHIT   |
|                          |

    His rocket-boosted broom weaves him in and out of the strikes of the mass of tentacles, letting him block and blunt their strikes as he weaves around. He won't be evading long before he moves to take Haseo on head-on, blasting at high speed to take him on directly in melee.

|                          |
| BLENDER MODES            |
|                          |
| [ ] STIR                 |
| [ ] CHOP                 |
| [ ] MIX                  |
| [ ] PUREE                |
| [ ] LIQUIFY              |
| [X] CRUSH ICE            |
| [ ] CRUSH BONES          |
| [ ] RIP/TEAR             |
| [ ] ANNIHILATION         |
|                          |

    Arthur brings the blender-broom bristles down with force enough to create a massive gravitational shockwave, again and again. "You're a /god/, you're going to get taken seriously! Especially by heroes, if you threaten the world!" He shouts, punctuating with his strikes. "This isn't-- We /can't afford/ not to! If you keep on this shit, it's going to turn out /bad/, for /everyone/!" The whirling death metal is the kind of brutality Arthur rarely uses against those of flesh, even digital as Haseo may be. "Do you even know what it /means/ to be a god?! Or a hero?!"

Kupot (6666) has posed:

Featureless ninja plane.

That is new. Kupot turns his head about. His HUD picks up... nothing. Nothing at all.

This is not actually new. He has dealt with this sort of thing before. His HUD spreads out a grid on the ground, overlapping his vision with a floor so that he doesn't get vertigo.

Just in time for him to get tentacled.

Kupot's hand spins down and comes back up in a flash, bringing the katana close into his body to take the lash across the blade. It drives him back, fifty feet, skidding upright. Blood sprays from a cut across his front.

The katana shifts back out and down to his side, "You aren't worthy, kupo."

One springing step, two, flicking the katana out in two passing arcs around Haseo to begin the process of bleeding him out.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe is doing her best to cover I4, yet against something like Haseo that's going to be a tall order even for someone like her. She's still able to give him some protection at the very least. She triggers several defence abilities as she gets assaulted by tentacles. There's a moment of fear terror and pain then something breaks. She doesn't even think about it being a game. A friend put it best if the people in the world are real then the world is real.

"Tentacles, you sick..."

She says nothing else as the fire comes she starts to chant runes dance about her made of gold. She's trying to incarnate Skeith or Haseo or whatever he is at this point. She's just trying to do as much damage as fast as she can.

Shyra has posed:
The world shifts, and Shyra is once again faced with the nothingness that belongs to the Evil God. Haseo has proven that he has the power before... And he is again. The horrible beast that rises before them causes Shyra to blink, and her resolve begins to waver. It's done so much damage before... What about now? Can they truly make a difference this time?

    She has to believe. Don't give up, everyone! We can win this! She doesn't say 'this time' even if it would be more accurate...

    But as the mudra is enacted and the writhing nothing tears at her, the damage numbers float over her head, the healer trembling. It'll be different this time... She says, attempting to use her binding magics once again in order to debilitate EVIL GOD SKEITH. Burning shackles of holy light attempt to clamp down on the Avatar, trying to drain his strength away.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Tentacles are one thing to defend yourself against. They are usually attached to a being or something. Tentacles made of void and nothing is just... well, it's NOTHING! How do you really defend yourself against THAT kind of attack?

     Amelris still tries. Cutting away at them, failing and instead getting bludgeoned for his troubles. The Red mage skids down against the ground from the impact, vaulting himself back to his feet as he holds his side. Maybe it's time to actually start USING some stuff.

     He reach for his bag, wriggling his hands as two objects starts flying out of it. Two POD-shaped wooden objects, covered in blades and rapierlike protusions, imbued with the power of the BLACK WARRIOR RELIC, starts floating before him much like his gem does. He squeezes down on it, focusing the BLACK WARRIOR RELIC he have tied up on his arm to infuse it with the power of...


     He sends off the drones against Haseo, spinning between each throws. They fly, independantly soaring against the God to seek weak points to tear relentlessly at until they will break.

Rean Schwarzer has posed:
The arena changes again, into that trippy ass psychedelic space. Also, he gets slapped with a tentacle of the void. Despite being literally nothing, it still stings like being slapped by an octopus. He slams into the...floor? hard. "Ugh...of course we're taking you seriously." Rean says and says no more. Time to focus. He rushes the Evil God, and then once he's within range, unsheaths his sword, as one strtike becomes many, wreathed in a burst of fire.

Staren has posed:
    The boss arena appears. Staren widens his stance as he prepares for combat... and then Skeith appears, and disappears. Staren turns on his forcefield -- the scythe cuts into it, but doesn't pierce it, shattering outer layers and making Staren stumble forward a foot or two.

    "All this power. You talked it up and now you squander it." He clenches a fist. "I guess people could say the same about me. But even if I don't have some grand plan. I don't just... throw tech out wildly. I help people."

    "I'm helping these people."

    "And at least I /know/ how my powers work. How to project force and shape metal to withstand the forces at your command. How to concentrate so much energy in one place that any matter it touches shakes itself to pieces."

    Staren holds out an arm. "And I can take it to any world I please. Your power? Is just an illusion."

    Particle beams and various missiles staggered-fire, timing the attacks so as not to catch the people engaging god-Haseo in melee. He also draws a heavy, chrome-plated revolver and fires that, high-caliber slugs hitting unnaturally hard.

    "It's time to shatter these illusions of grandeur." Staren briefly looks... concerned. "I hope you can build something better, after."

Haseo (7015) has posed:
     Shyra attempts to bind the EVIL GOD SKEITH. Normally, status effects shouldn't work on bosses. But it does, though it's clear that it's not going to fully stop them, but it does noticeably slow them down. Enough for the others to get their attacks in.

     Arthur, I4, Kupot and Rean slam their weapons into Skeith with relative ease, scraping off a layer of texture from the massive monstrosity. Raphael, meanwhile, attempts to pistol whip the eyes, it doesn't do any more real additional damage, but damage is still damage, and it reacts accordingly.

     Arkae, Tomoe, and Amelris on the other hand, take a more ranged approach. Poison bottles and fireballs slam into the faux Evil God, causing it to let out a roar, while the strange drone-like pick at its joints.

     And then Staren fires his beams, tearing chunks off of Skeith, leaving noticeable, lasting damage. At least until it starts glitching itself back together.

     "Shut up! If you want to fight, then just fight! I'm not interested in your attempts at shouting nice guy bullshit to make yourselves feel better."

     Skeith performs yet another hand sign, this time bathing the entire field in fire. Attempting to burn the party alive, though weirdly Staren is left out of it.

     There's a weird, almost camera shutters-esque sound as various holographic panels appear in front of Skeith. The same eye like that on DISCORDIA appearing in the center of all of them as a high pitch charging noise fills the air.

     Skeith doesn't move, there's not dramatic movements as the pitch gets higher and higher, before suddenly it snaps one of its many fingers. The charging noise ceases and the weird eye in the center fires outward, towards the cat.

     There's various loud warnings that the cat boy's systems probably give him. Like how the suit is losing power. Or how it's hard to move. Malady upon malady afflicted in an instant.

Arkae Zellar (7201) has posed:
There's fire.

That's fine. Because...


Arkae channels the fire-enchanting powers of the red bird relic into MANDAPALA'S TALON and just...

... creates fire.

And more fire.

And more and more fire.

"FIRE!" she yells, redundantly, because it's abundantly clear that fire is happening.

And then she stabs Haseo in the back with it.

Staren has posed:
    "Nice? Kid, do you have any idea how many people I've killed? Unless you consider making it quick 'nice'..."

    Staren's ready for an attack. He's not ready for... whatever this is. Everything to start failing him. His forcefield shuts off, reactor output drops. He drops to one knee as it becomes hard to stand. "Your power... is fleeting. Limited to this place... But I suppose if you defeat us, you'll have proven yourself mightier than all who've tried before..."

    The barrage from before is still going, some of it -- missiles don't need much power to work. Staren's focus is on trying to reroute power and counter whatever's affecting him, though.

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
INLAND EMPIRE: The word is cast--flame. What is your answer?

Half-Light grabs the reins of Raph's mind, the personality--no, not even the fight or flight response can stop The Expression--but it can, at least, make him *move*. In this case, he swings his coat around, covering his face and body with it. The flames wash over him, the patrol jacket apparently reasonably fireproof.
> ...What was that?
HALF-LIGHT: Me saving your life. Shut up and get back in there.

He stands up again, brushing off his shoulders.
EMPATHY: Wait. Staren!
> Who?
EMPATHY: The 'Messiah Guy'. Whatever that was, that hit him pretty hard. Help him.

Raphael stands up, stepping in front of Staren. "..You can fire over my head, right?" He asks, pulling out his pistol. Yeah, sure. He's not great with this thing, and it's not doing a ton of damage. But maybe he can take advantage of his endurance to keep the crazy inventor guy alive. The pistol's raised--at least Haseo isn't a particularly fast-moving target. Even his agonizingly mediocre aim can make it happen. Even Raphael's.

I4 (7132) has posed:
Fires scour the arena, leaving I4 unable to properly make an effective defense against them.  The heat melts parts of his skin, he can feel the sensors in his body scream at him.  He falls to the ground, smoking and coughing trying to pump air to cool his overheating body.  Staring up, he pulls up his hands and pulls out the blindfold.  Slowly, he ties it over his head, the scanner equipment coming online.  

Was Haseo being effected by the god?  He doesn't know the answer.  He knows that if this plan happens, nothing good will come of it, people will die.  Lots of people, and Shyra's very drive.  That thing that made her human despite her origins.  

His hand balls into a fist, as he pushes himself up.  If there was no hope for her, what would there be for him?  

He shouts as he runs forward, Rapier in hand.  He pulls out the white artifact from his inventory.  It floats in his free hand as he DIVES towards Haseo blade first.  The weapon aims to thrust repeatedly, followed by several wide gashes, and then a powerful thrust backed by the power of the artifact.  He kicks off, aiming to flip away as he lands, brining the artifact up.

White magic flows out through it, attempting to bring it down on Haseo.  The choice was easy, he could try and kill a human...if it meant saving more.  Delaying it would only put those lives in jeopardy.  No, that's not why...

He didn't want to see someone he considered a friend suffer as he did.  Quietly, without a way out.  Forced to endure it.  So he chooses.

He chooses an act out of his own self-interest.

Shyra has posed:
    Shyra continues to run around the battlefield, trying to keep Raphael alive mainly because he always seems like he's going to keel over at any moment. Alternatively, she might just be overhealing him like a lunatic but that's life.

    What isn't life, however, is that massive waveof deadly fire. The attack brings back memories... And not good ones. AAAH! she yells as she is scorched, yet more damage numbers appearing over her head. She scrambles about, hiding behind Raphael again (and conveniently ending up next to Staren as she does so. Ummm... Hi! She says to the robotic heavily-beleagured sciencecat. She does, at least, try to put some sparkly healing on Staren, but that Data Drain seems to basically just shut down her attempts. That's messed up.

    Hold together! We can do this! She exclaims.

    Her attempts to bind Skeith meet with minor success... And that just encourages the healer to double down. Instead of chipping away with mediocre holy damage, when she gets a moment to do so. We're going to stop you, Haseo! We have to! I know you won't listen until we beat you... So we're going to do that! And then you won't have to burden yourself anymore!

    She might be a little naive. But oh well, at least she isn't trying to spam holy lasers.

Tomoe has posed:
Shyra's actions to try and bind the EVIL GOD SKEITH seems to at least do something enough to give her a moment to act. She has a plan she's got a decent array of options and she's going to pick up a classic ability sunder and prep it for use as Haseo talks about shutting up. She's about to move in then things get strange. Which quickly turns to terrfying.

What the hell is going on Staren? She has no idea, there's not much she can do other than drop the hammer on Haseo.

Which she intends to do she will look to I4 and Shyra.

"Let's do this."

she then charges at Haseo leaping up into the air first to slam her shield into him followed by a powerful sword strike that if it connects it going to hit him with an impair his ability to defend himself and she follows that with a flying kick before she leaps away. She's going to make ready for her next assault on Haseo knowing she can't give him quarter and doesn't intend to do so.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Fire is bad. Fire is even, uh, /badder/ when you have to deal with this IMENSE a quantity. Not to mention just ... how long that entire attack was. The Red Mage attemps to shield himself by draping his magical cape around himself and making his profile a little smaller by crouching. That have a little effect but not nearly as much as he would have hoped it would. It results in several new burns accross his outfit. Burns he already fix from YESTERDAY's escapades.

     He moves on ahead to give some covers to the others the best he can, before wriggling back his Rapierod behind him, holding on to it tightly.

     What did he learned, fighting that knight lady he forgot the name of? Ah, yes. Don't fight normally against opponments like this.

     "Sometimes, I've wondered... You really don't suffer who you see as fools, don't you?" Amelris comments, muttering words and concentrating his Aether as he thrust his other free hand out. Geometric shapes comes flying out, condensing as he fires off a spell.

     Disgusting biological smear just starts exploding over Haseo, wriggling and incrusting itself on whatever it can. Then, with a step forward and a snap of his fingers, a deep cloak of unhealthy miasma cloaks his general area.

     Arcanist spells always have their uses, sometimes.

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur burns. Like standing in the heat of stars, though, he pushes through, resisting it to the point that he's battling and flying while /on fire/. "Nobody feels better. This isn't about /feeling better/! I don't got a guarantee I'm gonna win this shit! So I gotta hope, if you slice me, that you'd /think about what I'm saying/ and not /kill everyone/!" He slams his thumb down on the keypad. This is bad. This is /awful/. He panicks and rams through the code of his next stage.

|                                                 |
|   ACTIVE   |    DANGER    |      CRITICAL       |
| ---------- | ------------ | ------------------- |
|            |              |                     |
| ********** | ************ |                    |
|            |              |                     |

    "Being a god means you get guarantees. You get heads-I-win tails-you-lose bullshit, just like this, just like /right now/. It means you stop failing. Being a hero means you /never/ have a guarantee. You try and you suffer and you fail until you can't fail anymore. Or 'til you're fuckin' /dead/!"

    He glances aside. Eyes widen. Staren is nearly down. This... this is serious. This is bad. Arthur turns the blender up higher. He turns the rocket up hotter.

      --------------------------             |                          |      
     |                          |            | BLENDER MODES            |      
     | THRUSTER MODES           |            |                          |      
     |                          |            | [ ] STIR                 |      
     | [ ] DASH                 |            | [ ] CHOP                 |      
     | [ ] CRUISE               |            | [ ] MIX                  |      
     | [ ] CHARGE               |            | [ ] PUREE                |      
     | [ ] SPRINT               |            | [ ] LIQUIFY              |      
     | [ ] ESCAPE VELOCITY      |            | [ ] CRUSH ICE            |      
     | [X] UNSTOPPABLE FORCE    |            | [ ] CRUSH BONES          |      
     | [ ] PLAID                |            | [ ] RIP/TEAR             |      
     | [ ] UP A GODDAMN NOTCH   |            | [X] ATOMIC DISASSEMBLY   |      
     | [ ] LET'S DO THIS SHIT   |            | [ ] ANNIHILATION         |      
      --------------------------             | [ ] LET'S END THIS SHIT  |      

    The burning god-kid swings the broom into boosting position and takes off. Skeith has a shooting star streaking towards it, trailing fire, screaming, and glowing with stellar fire. He swaps grips and tries to plunge into the beast blender-first. He is full of a deeper, more painful, more sick kind of fear than most simple fears about maybe dying. This is a stressed charge, not one made out of confidence.

Rean Schwarzer has posed:
Rean gets set on fire. A LOT of fire. Rean screams, basically tanking the whole burst as he fails to sidestep it. He lets out a few smoky coughs, hair and clothes singed. There's a lot of  screaming and yelling now, and things are getting messy. Arthur is pretty clearly losing his shit now, because of Haseo stabbing what is probably a very sore spot, and whatever the heck Haseo  did to Staren...happened.  Rean takes a deep breath. Ok. Bear down and focus.

He rushes Haseo at full tilt, dashing back and forth, each time striking at him as he passes. Over and over again, again and again, hopefully leaving many small and large wounds for blood to leak out of.

Haseo (7015) has posed:
Shyra double downs on slowing Skeith down. And it continues to work. It's even slower now, but it's still powering through the binding through sheer force of strength alone, creaking noises filling the air as it fights its magical binds. Again however, it's still not nearly enough as missiles, bullets and toxic fumes slam into Skeith, forcing another inhuman roar.

Tomoe then flies up to smack them with a sword and shield combo, while I4 cleanly cuts straight through the EVIL GOD, followed shortly behind the living blenders that are Arthur Lowell and Rean.

     Skeith is more wire mesh than texture at this point, even as it begins reverting to how it was before, it's clear the cumulative damage is starting to take a toll on something that doesn't abide by the rules of HP.

     It's clear they're not going to make it. All things considered, they've had a pretty good run. This is the same thought process that caused Skeith to lose it last time, but it seems for now, Haseo's in control. And hopefully it stays that way.

     Two hand gestures. Skeith performs two gestures, combing the two previous spells as a last ditch effort. Tendrils of nothingness trash around as the entire battlefield becomes a scorching hot mess. There's no specific target, no real strategy. It's clearly just a pure desperation move out of spite.

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
Raphael Cousteau of the Revachol Citizen's Militia is no superhero.
Everything explodes. Everything. The void lashes around everywhere. Everything is fire. All he can do--the only thing he can do is do his best to help Staren. He's not made of metal, but he can stand here---1 HEALTH
And he can step to the right and block THAT from hitting Staren -1 HEALTH
And he can punch the void tentacle here, barely deflecting it away from the Messiah Guy, with the downside of having stuck his hand into a void tentacte -1 HEALTH
And he can push the Messiah Guy out of the way of this rush of flames even as it envelops him -1 HEALTH
And he can---

    He can...hit the ground.

Shyra can only do so much to keep him alive, after all. He's only a man.
ANCIENT REPTILIAN BRAIN: Noble, buddy. And still stupid. Just another waste of time. Come on. It's time to go, now.
> No. No, we need to see this through.
LIMBIC SYSTEM: The battle is over. You can't keep doing this. You won't last forever. You're not a hero, you're a sack of meat and alcohol damage. Just drift. Let it go.

> No. They need me.
LIMBIC SYSTEM: This will catch up with you, one day...

And somehow, some way, Raphael rises to his feet. He's shaky. He's barely standing.

ELECTROCHEMISTRY: Oh, uh, you got something in your pocket. Take it. It's a gift! From when you weren't paying attention and I moved your hand.

There's a strange ampoule of liquid. Not the one from the glove. No. A different one. It's got a long-scorched medical label that may have suggested useful doses. Instead, he just pops the entire thing open, drinking down probably twice what he's supposed to.

And then he rushes forward towards Haseo. There's nothing amazing here. There's just a man, doped up on painkillers, about to deliver a killer haymaker to a boy pretending to be a god.
INLAND EMPIRE: Go. There is something beneath that shell. Something vulnerable, that wants to be safe.

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur, all of a sudden during this pitched melee, stops.

    He turns away. It looks like a random direction -- but it's purposeful. He's staring at something. The look of pain and terror on his face compliments the sudden, far more severe paleness nicely. His voice catches in his throat. He gasps, and chokes, softly. "The tower! Haseo... the tower, what have you done? What have you done!?"

    Something is wrong.

    Arthur is obliterated by the impact. If Haseo has so chosen, the damage may be lethal enough to simply kill him; the critical strike is certainly enough to empty his HEALTH VIAL, but given the power at work here, Haseo may well have pulped the Mage of Space bloodily.

    Regardless of outcomes, Arthur's out.

I4 (7132) has posed:
I4 can hear the screams of his friends, people he cares for go down.  His grip on the rapier tightens.  He didn't want to do this, he wanted to avoid this.  That hesitation might have cost him more because he was too worried about what would happen to him.  The Rapier goes away, and his hand grips the relic.

He channels the Relic, attempting to send the beams of the Biological hacking system through.  Then a beam of energy cuts through the air, attempting to hack into both creatures.  Both Haseo and the entity around him that he used to fight.  

Even as his body was beaten and broken, he could only push forward.  The POD helped with a quick shield to help blunt the worst of it.  But the arm not holding anything was gone.  His right leg looks twisted, as he took another step forward.  

That energy attempts to start tearing apart Haseo's body from the inside out, attempting to change the data to make his own body work against itself.  The result?  

Eventually explosions.  Because that is what hacking does.

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    ...Luckily, it looks like, whether deliberate or accidental, the high level of power at play here simply cast Arthur out of the battle. His empty HEALTH VIAL flickers red every so often, at the beat of a pained, struggling heartbeat. It's indicating that he's down, but not dead; even asleep, he determinedly struggles to keep fighting his defeat.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     There's only so much what one man can take! The tentacles of nothingness batters Amelris straight off his feets, sending him flying to skid accross the ground for several metres. His hat flies off his head as he rolls, finally stopping into a heap. For a few precious moments, he lies there, his vision a generous portion of lights and stars. He gasp, wheezes and rasp as he scrambles to get back to his knees, losing his breath as he staggers.

     "KEEP AT IT!" Amelris gasps out, his mouth wet with blood gurgling back up from the internal wounds. This is going to suck later. "HE'S BACKED UP AGAINST THE CORNER!"

     There's a time in most warrior's lives, even mages, where they don't think super straight or clearly. In another time, it would be where Amelris backed off. Retreated. Revaluated his position. Analysis. Be pessimistic about their odds. No more. That person is gone.

     Amelris draws his rapier, gritting his teeth as he lets out a battle cry, darting against the DREAD GOD HASEO, KING OF SHEIKS to drive the glowing, enhanced blade into a single, precious thrust backed by all his remaining magic.

     It may explode.

Staren has posed:
    Heat fills the battlefield. Staren's outer armor melts, high-tech metals becoming so much glowing slag.

    What stands and steps out of the pool of molten metal is... well, admittedly, if Staren had gone for the Terminator aesthetic now is when it would have looked SUPER COOL, but he didn't. The parts where some metal or transparent metal 'skin' is still intact have an oddly simple, retro aesthetic -- a body made of slightly-deformed cylinders rather than trying to mimic the exact shape of a human. The head has eyes that look like oval headlights or bike reflectors rather than human eyes, and there are a shaped but non-articulated nose and mouth. Part of the top of the head is transparent, showing the mechanical brain within.

    Across many parts of the body, holes bare wires, motors, and metal bones.

    "I still function." The face is expressionless, but there's a tone of anger to the voice as the robot plods towards Skeith. "I hope you've gotten all this out of your system. Next time you get the power of a god, use it more responsibly."

    "...And if you somehow win this, get me back to Elysium Apex and preserve everyone's bodies. I'm fixing them. And I'll do the same for you, if this overdoes it."

    There's the sound of taking a breath, although the chest doesn't move, and as Staren approaches Skeith, he crosses his arms in front of him, hands held flat like a cross karate chop. The arms begin to glow. "One way or the other, this ends-- argh!" One of Staren's arms, exposed wires and bone, shorts out, stops glowing as electricity arcs over it, and hangs limp by his side. Staren runs at Skeith and tries to plunge his good arm into it, his arm surrounded in a field of sharp, cutting force that ALSO conducts electricity, dumping everything Staren's reactor can spare into the construct!

    Afterwards, he slumps, and coolant steam spews out of his body as his arms hang limply.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe finds the Tendrils coming and they just well it's suffering really and she's mauled badly her entire body is a mess of angry wireframes in short order. She keeps moving towards Hassoe hacking and slashing where she can get towards him. She's heading right for Haseo at this point and the look on her face isn't very nice. She just keeps going towards him taking everything he throws at her and she does not stop, she does not relent. She just keeps pushing forward she takes her sword in both hands she closes with Hase. There's a lot of things on the line a lot of people on the line. She makes up her mind as she nears Haso she will move in aiming to drive her sword into his midsection.

She doesn't say a thing the look on her face says it all. She will not stop she will not relent and she seems intent to end the Terror of Death.

Shyra has posed:
    There are limits for everything. Shyra fountains absurd amounts of healing on Raphael, but even that can't stop the insane amounts of DPS that Haseo's desperation move enacts. He falls, and Shyra reaches out a hand. RAPAHEL! NO!

    And then, just as terribly, Arthur gets pulped too. Suddenly she realizes she should maybe have been healing more people. She got healer tunnel vision and people are paying the price. ARTHUR! NO! Yes, she says it again, even with the same expression and hand outstretched and everything. The fact that she's using a specific pose doesn't make the emotion any less genuine, right?

    But her defender is gone. There is nothing between her and the roiling chaos. In desperation, she tries searching for something. Anything....


    But before she can try to use her own technically godlike powers, the chaos rushes over her and tears through her, the little death that brings total obliteration.

    All at once, her own HP bar is blasted to zero, and she's left flat on her face, bleeding from intense wounds... But not dead.

Rean Schwarzer has posed:
Tentacles smash into Rean, throwing him around, and he's on fire again. Shyra is down, Arthur is down, everyone else is flagging or falling apart. They were so /close,/ damn it! Were they seriously going to lose now?!

He eventually hits the floor, and just lies there for a moment, burned and battered. He's tired...But most of all, he's tired of Haseo's smug face. That suggestion that they might have to kill him was looking better by the second.

Rean forces himself to his feet, using his sword to prop himself up. He takes a few painful breaths, tamping down on a certain urge to go turn a white-haired asshat into a bloody pulp. He looks over at Amelris and nods. There were still enough of them here...They could do this.  "Ngh...Yeah. Let's finish this, guys!"

He ignites his sword, and charges Haseo one last time, putting as much force behind the single strike as he can!

Haseo (7015) has posed:
     Between the explosive final attacks, the hacking, and a drunk guy literally uppercutting a ten meter tall monstrosity, Skeith eventually 'breaks'. There's a blinding flash again as the last thing the party sees is DISCORDIA gazing at them, before they're all transported back into the throne room.

Haseo lays completely slump in the rubble that his throne, still conscious, but clearly too tired to do anything. He's clearly stewing in his loss, but weirdly, not ranting or complaining. There's no words from him at all.

     Perhaps though, the most important thing from Haseo's loss, is the fact that he actually dropped something.


Linehart (7141) has posed:
     It's too much.

     The world is strained to the breaking point. It's pressed against a wall. Too much added? Too much removed? Too much broken? Too much changed? It's impossible to say. Impossible to say if it was Haseo, if it was Shyra, if it was Arthur, if it was even Mordred - if it wasn't the moment the music in the tavern began to play once more and new roles were assigned. But the world is strained to the breaking point. And something must snap.

     It is the part that is least important. The unfinished content, the dummied content, the stuff where the pressure can be vented. It is the unimportant bits of the world that only barely exist.

     The Tower of Vritti.

     Deep beyond the map of the world, below the strange plane that is the world, outside and beyond the boundaries. That is the only logical place for the pressure to go. The only logical place the world can afford to break. The only logical place, because it barely exists to begin with.

     All of that pressure - all of that metaphysical strain, the fuzz, the chaos, the nonsense - bubbles up within the Tower of Vritti.

     The crack runs right down the middle.

     Above, the sky goes black. Night has fallen on a world with neither sun nor moon, on a world with no concept of night. It is a pitch-black, terrible night, a foreboding night. Below there is a rumble as the world shakes - the whole of the world. It is the crude shaking of a screen on an old game, the back-and-forth vibration with a loud and unpleasant noise that nonetheless always means *earthquake*, visceral in all ways, understandable in all the ways that matter.

     In the far distance, something stirs.

     The seal is broken. The Tower is broken. Though it is not Awakened, it does not need to be - the Tower breaking means it is part of the world. The programming kicks in. The routine begins.

                             The music changes.                            

     Error messages start popping up everywhere around Shyra. And then...

                         ISHVARA PROTOCOLS ENGAGED                          
                 IF ISHVARA=1 THEN GOTOGOTOGOTOGOTOGOTOGOTO                
                     BLASPHEMOUS WEAPON - AYUDHA RAKSHA                    

     The words spring up like weeds in the air. Everywhere they repeat, filling the world, filling vision, equal parts a scream and an ultimatum.

     In the far-off distance it emerges. It is vast and terrible, an unfinished nightmare crawling forth from a place where unfinished nightmares are consigned. It pulls itself free from the ruins of the Tower of Vritti, through the crack in the world. The rough and terrible nightmare slouches towards the Ruined Shrine. It has one purpose. Destroy the Yellow Emperor.

     There it is. The new part of the story that they had worked so hard to build. The part that never existed, and probably was never intended to - just a looming threat in the narrative never intended to come to pass.

     The last part of the story.

     The dynamic finale.

     Stop a god and an un-god from destroying each other and taking the world along with them.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe is looking like hell, after that fight with Haseo many of her allies are down shes stand over Haseo as she was one of the closest to him at the end of the fight. She looks down at him for a moment pausing for a moment over him like she's considering something, she'll move to reach down and pick up the Yellow King Relic. This needs to be recovered, right? Unless someone stops her she will pick it up and regardless if she gets it or not? She'll head to help the injured and as that happens? ISHVARA PROTOCOLS ENGAGED just occurs and she feels a feeling of dread.

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
Raphael cracks his knuckles. That was a good, solid punch. Sure, everyone else went in and did far better, but at least Haseo is down. He can sort out the rest of it in a moment.
EMPATHY: Yes, we need to talk about what Inland Empire saw, I think it's very
SHIVERS: a moment please.
> Kind of busy, here, there's...

Raphael's 'view' is ripped from him, pulled away into the sky. He sees it. He sees the pitch black night. The horrible monstrosity tearing itself out of the tower. It's..he lacks the words for it. He lacks the anything for it.
CONCEPTUALIZATION: There aren't any. You'd have to invent them.
He returns to a room full of error messages and fallen people.
This was a mistake. This was all a huge mistake. He never should have helped with this.

VOLITION: Okay! Stepping in, not sure what the fuck any of that is, but we're in a hurry. Go grab Haseo. Noone else is going to, and he doesn't deserve to die to this thing.)]

"...I'll get Haseo." It's the first real coherence he's managed to get out, and while he's still smiling, his eyes are...not looking at this world. He's looking at the wall. At what he knows is past the wall.

What, exactly, have they *done*?

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Amelris is pretty glad that they are not dead. On one hand, that's kind of a given. On another, oh Twelves what the hell is happening.

     Without spending time to think too hard about things, the Red Mage sheath his weapons back, giving the errors, the flashing and everything repeating, breaking.

     "I'll get Arthur!" Amelris calls out, rushing to the 'young' man to heft him up over his shoulder, ignoring the screaming pain in his side and his insides, securing him firmly then start, well. RUNNING.

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur will need to react to the worst fulfillment of all his fears soon. But for now: He need only be light. And, thankfully, he is. The Mage of Space is nearly weightless, in fact, somehow. Someone will need to grab him.

    Now, the ending. Good luck getting Arthur out of here, Amelris; if he dies, it's permanent. But surely he'll be grateful later. In his own way, at least.

I4 (7132) has posed:
The world strains.  

"Oh no..." he says, was it too late?  Was it because he hesitated?  Was it always going to be too late?  

Then the world collectively shits its pants, and somewhere a half-finished monster climbs up to fight the Yellow King.  This is...he isn't sure what this is, but he knows they need to leave.  They need to leave now.  POD flies out for Haseo, aiming to pick up the fallen monster.  

He hates him for what he did.  For putting them all at risk, putting the world at risk.  Despite it, despite the anger and pain, he went through tonight.  He wouldn't do it, he wouldn't take that final step.  

He walks out of the room, barely limping as the POD carries Haseo along.

Staren has posed:
    Haseo is down, defeated. Staren doesn't feel especially triumphant. Why did all this even happen...?

    The words appear. Ayuda Raksha. Staren recognizes the name -- he helped work to bring this to pass. It's what Arthur has pinned their hopes on. Hell, he'd even suggested trying to sic it on Haseo, though it's a bit late for that now.

    Staren picks up anyone the others don't grab. Even in this damaged state, he can still move at least as fast as a human, and he doesn't get tired, so leaving the shrine is no problem...

    ...only to be confronted by another change in the world and the looming form of Ayudha Raksha. Well, that's a thing. Now they have everything they need to beat it -- except some rest after the last boss fight. Which they may as well take; with how this world works, it's not like the world is going to actually END if they take their time facing the new final boss.

    Staren is just a little bit sad that the new dungeon and midboss they made won't get to see any action, even if they WOULD have only gotten in the way. Maybe he can get a completionist to go take them on after everything, if the world doesn't change to remove them.

Rean Schwarzer has posed:
And it's done. Haseo is down and he even drops a yellow relic. Rean lets out a sigh of...it's not relief, but perhaps exhaustion.

And then there's an earthquake. Error messages pop up everywhere, and Raphael seems convinced that whatever the heck happened was very very bad.  

His ARCUS clicks on, and after a moment of 'loading' a cool, healing breeze swirls around him patching up smaller wounds on anyone standing in its path. HE also takes a chance to slap a more direct healing spell on the more injured people in the group.

He quietly scoops up Shyra, and starts heading for the exit.