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The Final Chapter July 1, 2010

Posted by tlynn2002 in Kasumi Horie (Former OC), TV Dungeon.
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The group heads back into Kasumi’s TV dungeon to try and rescue her. Kasumi denies her shadow and the team has to fight it. Shadow Kasumi is strong but they still manage to successfully destroy it. Kasumi finally accepts the shadow and gains her persona, Marlinchen!


*I left some OOC commentary in*

Kasumi Horie [U] has posed.

When the team enters the dungeon the second day and passes through the hallway again they come upon the same room with the checkered floor. Shadow Kasumi is back at the desk writing again. She turns towards the group and gets up from the desk. “Ooh I see you made it back. I thought you had forgotten about me. Let’s see… where did we leave off…?” She looks down at the book, “Oh right…so you have defeated the villain but this is not the end! After all there can always be a sequel and sometimes sequels are even better than the originals! Wouldn’t you agree?”

Her eyes are suddenly a very deep, golden yellow and there is an uncomfortable feeling in the air. “You see. You are only helping me write my reality. Can’t just read just the end of the book and be satisfied you know.” She writes something quickly into her book and the teams outfits once again change. Then she laughs a maniacal laugh and skips from the room still carrying the book in the basket.

Shortly after she leaves, if the team looks around there are no indications of where they should go but then more writing can be heard. It’s as if someone is writing with a huge pen on a huge canvas. As it continues, a noise starts to radiate. It sounds like the whole dungeon is collapsing. What is really happening though is that a rather large hole has opened up in the floor.

Shadow Kasumi calls out, “No way out…. only through the rabbit hole.” Her voice is singsong taunting and teasing. It had probably occurred to the team a lot by now that the real Kasumi has yet to be seen. Where is she? It seems like their only choice is to, in fact, jump down the hole. It is not actually very deep but it appears as if it goes on for miles.

[OOC] Global: Kasumi Horie has set the Scene Pose.

Yoh Yamagatani [SEES] has posed.

Okay, round two.

And no more goofy glasses! He actually got a pair that was stylish. Frameless visor style. Hell to the yes. He won’t be just using these for here!

The teen however, was still in a slump. Woe is him! Wait, actually woe is Kasumi! Why was he thinking about himself?! He follows the rest of the folks in the similar manner as before, remaining quiet, and observant. Aigis may be right. This could be a doppelganger! Okay, not really.

Since they planned to follow through, Yoh was actually wearing his heavy canvas Karate Gi. This thing was tough; it could not be cut without extreme force due to how it was made. It was the closest thing he had to armor that he could maneuver in and perform martial arts moves in. Was better than usual clothing though for sure.

Otherwise, he was ready. He was worried about Kasumi, but was determined to not let his… emotions? Get the best of him today. Were those emotions? Huh. Clad and ready, this boy was ready to punch something. Hard. At the opportunity of the hole opening, Yoh doesn’t ask questions, speak, or look for responses. He just jumps down it.

Aigis [SEES] has posed.

“–It had only been one day, we needed to recover.” Aigis says quietly because she is a touch sensitive on such topics–but she gets over it quickly. Shadows taunt people. It’s what they do. Better that it taunt them than Kasumi … except maybe not because that’s okay she is not thinking down that road.

Aigis kind of hopes they can skip to the ending, say ‘you’re not me’, have a fight and get out but she still has trouble believing that this process has to strictly adhere in that order. After all, can’t they say ‘I’m not you!’. That could work too, couldn’t it?

“Isn’t it about time you–” Aigis says, but she’s already running off. Grump.

She looks down the hole, and then over to Kenstar who, naturally, leaps down it immediately.

“Well.” She says, and drops in. She hopes she does not land on Yoh and crush his fleshy body.

With armor, Aigis is even heavier than normal. Even if she seems pleased to be wearing it again.

[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Hehe. Aigis is going to go buy a Knight costume after this.”

Thora Kobayashi [KDA] has posed.

Although she’s tired and, of course, still sick, Thora does seem to be looking a little bit better today. Perhaps the opportunity for violence revitalized her a little? Oddly, there is no evidence of previous bruises or cuts on her from the rabbit attack of a few days ago.

Ominously, she taps the pole of her hammer in one hand. As she approaches, she doesn’t try only stepping on white squares this time either, fearlessly striding across the checkered floor. “It’s funny.” Thora says in her low voice, “I can see where you come from. I can understand wanting to be in control.” She points her hammer at Shadow Kasumi just as her outfit shifts back into that ridiculously girly dress and hair fluffs up into curls. “However…you gotta go, we’re here for the real deal.”

The Shadow flounces off as she had half-expected. Fearlessly, she leaps down the hole after Aigis.

Mitsuru Kirijo [SEES] has posed.

When the team left the TV, Mitsuru had been disturbed but thoughtful. It was a dive into Kasumi’s mind and the troubles that plague her soul. She had been so distracted by the fight that she neglected to ask Teddie about the glasses. So, when she came back, her glasses are still the original pair of gag classes with their spring loaded eyes. She slipped them on carefully before going through the TV with the rest of the group.

When they end up back where they last left off, Shadow Kasumi is there to greet them. The story wasn’t over yet. The fight with the White Rabbit was just the beginning. She arches an eyebrow at Shadow Kasumi, her lips pressed thin. “There will be no sequel,” she murmurs softly and pulls her rapier with her right hand, her evoker held in her left.

But she says nothing about changing reality. Instead, she pauses and then looks to everyone else. She looks at Thora with a faint expression of concern. Shouldn’t that girl be resting? She will have to keep an eye on her. But while she was looking at Thora, the Shadow skipped away. The scratching sound of writing and the rumbling of the ground draws her attention again. “Look out!” She shouts, half a heartbeat too late as the floor opens and people begin jumping through the hole.

She sighs before leaping down after Aigis and Thora, a red cape materializing on her shoulders and fluttering after her as she jumps. In her mind, she is wishing that Kasumi had chosen a looking glass rather than a rabbit hole.

Hinata Itoh [SEES] has posed.

This time Hinata came prepared.

Her adventuring outfit for the evening was her basic Gekkoukan summer uniform, as if she had come straight from class. Which is likely the case. The only item out of the ordinary is a larger duffel bag slung over a shoulder with a baseball bat poking out of it. Even her SEES armband was missing.

So when the Shadow Kasumi decides to play costume designer again, she was ready. Or at least she thought she was. “Yeah, we’re here to do some re-writes. Like where I line drive you so hard you’ll wind up on NHK-” And then comes the new costume. Really new as this time her dress is poofier, stiffer, more regal, and far more red. “Wha… Oh you’ve got to be kidding me.”

A quick grunt and the duffel bag is dropped, the noblewoman reaching on for her royal scepter which still looks much like a aluminum baseball bat. She also pulls out her evoker, tucked away here just to be safe. For her last trick off comes the royal cape and on comes a cape more in white and blue. “Batting leadoff for the Seattle Mariners, number fifty-one, the Red Queen!” Beat. “… Yeah, that so doesn’t sound awesome at all.”

Rumble? “A-aahhh! The dungeon isn’t supposed to fall apart until after we beat the Shadow, uh.” Dammit Himeru, you just had to mention the falling rocks and… Oh hey no rocks. Just a gaping hole in the floor. Thora’s words get her a thoughtful glance. Control? Huh. Now that she mentions it, it does start to make /some/ sense, but… what about the missing family? And the villain? Dammit, she needs more clues!

And a Kasumi. That’s the really important part. Which means going down the hole. She pauses at first, if only because Yoh beat her into going first. This may be the reason why Hina’s suddenly blushing. She waits, waits, double-takes at Mitsuru still wearing the googly eyes, waits some more, and when she doesn’t hear anyone hitting anything hard, shrugs, and jumps in. Nobody had better be looking up her skirt! She has a bat and isn’t afraid to use it!

Teddie [KDA] has posed.

The best part about this dungeon is that Teddie’s glossy prince outfit is back and undamaged again! He could get used to this… though the dramatic trumpet footsteps might take a little longer to get accustomed to.

“Of course we’re back! We’re here to save Kasu-chan!”

When the crashing noise fills the house, Teddie is glancing around frantically. It’s not going to fall on them again, is it? When he turns around… there seem to not be as many people anymore. “Wh.. where’d everyone go?” Teddie takes a step back.. Another one…

…and then falls down the hole. “Waaaaaaaaaaa!” Fortunately, he lands on his head and bounces several times before managing to land on his feet in an odd crouch… with both arms out to the side. “Saaaaafe!” After a dramatic pause in that stance, he stands up to look around. “How far did we fall?”

Himeru Namikawa [DS] has posed.

‘Please don’t change our clothes again please don’t change our clothes again…’

That, oddly enough, had been what thoughts could be found at the forefront of Himeru’s mind as they re-entered the TV world. Fighting in a dress with heels was something of a nightmare to her, and while she discarded the shoes quickly at first it had been a rather annoying hassle to find them again to get OUT of the TV to begin with. How some people walk at a brisk pace with these and feel no hatred for shoemakers worldwide is a mystery to her…

Finding their way around Storyshadowland had not been too hard this time, the path was a little more known, and the sight of the Shadow was annoying but expected. “Actually, if the original formula is good, sequels can water it down.” she answers, out of honesty far more than from some desire to be spiteful. “I would say the odds of improvement are about thirty-seventy.”

The notion that they are altering the story and helping the Shadow flesh out the world was not unexpected, and as her clothes change the ravenhaired girl finds herself not only in heeled shoes but with a very heavy and movement-restrictive sky-blue gown, with gloves and a tiara. But that’s not the immediate problem. Grey eyes widen in terror-driven realization just before the reverse-bladed sword is dropped. She takes a difficult few steps closer to the Sempai of this outing, literally reaching to GRAB Mitsuru’ sword by the blade while her lips move in a barely whispered ‘Don’t move!’ and pushing herself partly against it, before pushing it downwards. Strings snap, and the older girl might recognize the resistance against her weapon as caused by a…corset?

A sharp inhale follows, her left hand reaching upward to rest against her chest as Hime finds the use of her lungs again. “How did people BREATHE with these?” she finds herself asking aloud.

Unfortunately an answer cannot be found as the world starts crumbling, she reaches for her weapon and looks for an exit to find none. A glance toward the floor collapsing and the hole approaching her feet leads her to sigh, seeing others taking the lead in jumping down as there seemed to be no other way.

“If I ever see a rabbit large enough for this hole, I am taming it and riding it into battle like a war beast…” she mumbles softly, watching for the floor so she can soften her landing with a roll. The tiara finds itself tossed away a moment later, as she found the piece of jewelry rather annoying.

Kasumi Horie [U] has posed.

Once the group heads into the hole, it is dark but there is a path dimly lit by lights along the wall. Almost immediately after jumping down the hole the group is accosted by shadows. They take the forms of different kinds of super-sized bugs, everything from ladybugs to beetles. For bugs, they are surprisingly strong due to their larger forms and the sheer numbers of them.

Beyond all the bugs and at the end of the short path is another small wooden door which resembles what they saw at the entrance to the dungeon. There are faint noises coming from inside the door in the form of what may be unsettling but somehow familiar sounding sobs.

Beyond the door, the team will find that it actually does resemble a small one room German cottage. However, there is a large tree in the middle that towers over it. The leaves and branches spread out and cover the whole ceiling making it dark. The only light source comes from small lanterns strewn throughout. The initial smell is that of Juniper Berries in the air and apples the further in the team gets though there is an additional smell of rotting flesh. Coming from above them are the sounds of birds singing but it sounds frantic somehow.

As the team tries to get further in the birds get even more frantic sounding and start attacking the group. It seems like something or someone really wants to keep them out of this room… the sobs get louder as the team gets closer to the tree.

[OOC] Himeru Namikawa’s name means ‘princess’ after all, had to do some sort of thing about that. :P
[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Haha”
[OOC] Mitsuru Kirijo says, “LOL”

Yoh Yamagatani [SEES] has posed.

Yoh lands with a loud THUD, and squints as he looks at the path. As others land, Shadows seem to form to assail them, but Yoh was not in the mood for any of this trifle bullcrap! He immediately kicks on Magni, and begins to ruthlessly aggrieve, scoring many brutal affronts for massive damage.

Zionga spheres and bugs go flying as he begins tearing through the crowd, taking out his frustration from the past few days on unsuspecting entities. Who knows? He might provide enough of a distraction for others to get by.

Just mind the crossfire.

Whatever was bugging (heh, pun) Yoh seemed to be getting the best of him. The teen still felt like this was all his fault somehow. Telling Kasumi might have been the better path, as then she may have been aware of what would happen. Usually the inverse is true, but apparently it does not always work that way. WHY IS THIS SO COMPLICATED.

Aigis [SEES] has posed.

Aigis doesn’t like bugs!!!!! But luckily she’s in armor so she expects they will have some difficulty in getting down into her internals WHICH IS WHY SHE HATES BUGS because when they do that it’s like they’re crawling inside her and–

–“That would be pretty amazing, Hime-Chan, but I would hope it’s a nice bunny.” She looks over to Mitsuru, eyes widening faintly.

When did senpai get a cape?!

“It looks good on you, Mitsuru-Senpai. Not that I suppose I am a judge but–” ANYTHING WOULD LOOK GOOD ON SEESMOM. Not that Aigis sees her as ‘mom’. A little hard when she knew her when she was TINY LITTLE KID. Really, Aigis doesn’t have a word for Mitsuru and her’s relationship but it is, at least, a fond one.

She is confident about Himeru and Thora’s ability to handle this. Or at least–until Himeru gets becorseted. But much like Thora, Aigis assumes this is merely an impossibility and tries very hard to maintain reality in her head, even with such nefarious special effects being placed upon her pals.

Aigis grits her teeth as birds whallop against her body. Her nose wrinkles at the smell.

“I think we have to get in here– Can we clear the birds, somehow?”

Thora Kobayashi [KDA] has posed.

Thora really /should/ be resting, shouldn’t she? Her performance back there against the rabbit wasn’t exactly the greatest. Everyone here has seen her fight much better in the past. Why she subjects herself to this mission is a mystery though it could have to do with KDA presence. On the other hand, with Teddie here, he should have no problem leading the Port Island crew through the dungeon.

But no, there was a small personal investment here since the victim was Kasumi.

Undaunted by bugs, Thora mercilessly crushes them, striking far slower than usual and far more strategically. She doesn’t charge after the insects, instead poising herself to strike once they neared her, conserving energy in the process (and coping with her reduced mobility). She also appears to be avoiding summoning Garm right now.

“You know, Hime-chan..” Thora mutters very quietly, “You actually don’t look so bad in that.” No need to compliment /Mitsuru/, she always looks great. And Aigis did it anyway.

With an annoyed growl, Thora swats a divebombing bird away and forages forward. “I think we’re gonna have to deal, Aigis. C’mon everyone.”

Hinata Itoh [SEES] has posed.

Whump. “Ow.” Queen Hinata rises up most unregally, rubbing her posterior. She should’ve packed a parachute. At least Teddie managed a perfect landing, and his reaction gets him a playful tap on the shoulder from the centerfielder. “We’ll make a baseball star out of you yet, uh.” Now its Himeru’s turn for the double-take, and she quickly has to turn away to nearly bite her lip off. This will not be talked of ever again.

Hopefully that’ll give him a boost because it looks to be downhill from here. Silent Yoh is already blazing a path ahead, which will make things easier for her to clean up behind him. The bugs don’t frighten her as much as shadow spiders would, in fact she can detachedly contemplate them while swinging upside the head of the stragglers. “Uh. No comment.” OK, maybe Thora can discuss poor Himeru again, but she’s Thora and can get away with it.

A nice trip down the buggy path leads them to the cottage room that apparently was misplaced a mile or so. All the cozy rural comforts including its very own indoor tree and sobbing girl! Sniffsniff. And oh god the smell. And Angry Birds. But she’s not a green pig! “Gah!” The bat’s out again, flailing away two-handed style, all the while the queen shouts, “I’m coming! I’m coming! Off with their wings!”

Mitsuru Kirijo [SEES] has posed.

When Himeru approached her, Mitsuru looked puzzled. When the girl grabs her rapier, she almost jerks backwards to pull the blade away from the younger girl and she is so surprised by the breathless ‘don’t move’, that she ends up standing completely still. The faint sound of laces snapping draws her eyes downward and suddenly she realizes what the girl was doing. The look of surprise is replaced by one of sympathy. “Very carefully and shallowly Namikawa-san. Naomi would be the better person to ask however,” she replies. But then, it’s time to move.

She lands on her feet, legs bending to absorb the impact. The transformation of her clothing into Little Red Riding Hood’s outfit meant that her usual heels were replaced by flats and she winches at the impact. She blinks in surprise at Aigis’s compliment and she smiles at her, “Thank you. Though I am afraid that this was not entirely my idea.” They have Shadow Kasumi to thank for that. And she is also glad that the choice in outfit was towards ‘peasant’ and not the elaborate affair that Hinata ended up with. But they will all manage right?

She checks the eyes of her glasses with the heel of her palm before moving quickly to help dispatch the large shadow bugs. She is not familiar with the smell of juniper berries but she knows the scent of apples and the cloying scent of rotting flesh.

“We will have to push forward through the birds,” she replies hurriedly to Aigis right after Thora as she hurries forward. Her evoker rings out, Penthesilea appearing to blast a cold wave of air right into the thickest of the birds in attempts to push them back. “I think we’re close!”

Himeru Namikawa [DS] has posed.

Insects in a hole. While it makes sense from a purely logical perspective, Himeru felt part of her skin crawl a little. Even if they were not shadows, there’s nothing cute about a ‘ladybug’ when the mandibles are enough to snap one of your limbs off. Her footwork is bad enough as it is, but thankfully the shadow bugs are not in high enough quantity to just overwhelm and pin her down. She finds herself keeping close however, watching Thora’s right flank and expecting the same. A brief glance is spared toward the Kirijo heiress, as she wondered if she knew from studies or firsthand experience. The fact Naomi’s name comes up is not reassuring.

“You think so, Thora-san? I…well, I don’t usually have the funds for this kind of thing, but…wait, why are we talking about this?” hopefully the hole is dark enough to hide the brief increase in facial temperature, the smaller girl caught between liking to look good and the shame that this is currently a hindrance more than anything else.

The smell of death causes her to lift a hand to pinch her nose, until she needs that hand to deflect a bird divebombing for her eyes anyway. Hannya materializes defensively, the masked demon grabbing a bird and shoving it whole into the gap within the mask where a mouth should be, the animal disappearing without any further sounds. Others who stray too close to the freakishly long limbs of the oni suffer a similar face, with the young girl’s face twisting into slight disgust.

“Worst. Chicken. Ever.”

[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Lol bird shadow dinner.”

Teddie [KDA] has posed.

As he feels a tap on his shoulder, Teddie turns around. The grin on his face is wide and beaming. “Yeah! You can count on me whenever you need a slam dunk, Hina-chan!” Maybe it’s better not to give him a bat yet.

“Wh… shadows!” Just because they’re bugs doesn’t make them any less Shadow! There seems to be plenty of firepower around to take care of them, though. A few ice bombs from Kintoki-Douji are his contribution!

“Something smells good here…” Sniff. Sniff sniff. Berries.. Apples… and then he suddenly slaps both paws over his nose. “Aaaugh! It’s so horrible! I can hardly bear it!” But they have to press on! Keeping close to the others, with his nose covered, Teddie presses on!

Kasumi Horie [U] has posed.

The bugs squeak and crunch with the attacks from the group. Inside the room, the birds, likewise, are no match for the strength of the team. They are knocked back rather easily and dissipate into black clouds of nothingness well except for the ones that Hannya eats of course. The team can finally progress further. Just beyond the tree they will see the real Kasumi sitting on the floor. She looks tired and is kneeling over a box, holding a piece of newspaper in one hand and a picture in the other hand, crying. “W-Why didn’t he just tell me? How come I couldn’t remember?” The fragile-looking girl is staring at the items in her hands.

She looks up suddenly and, noticing the team, she swiftly puts the paper and picture back into the box and closes it up. Kasumi looks disturbed by their presence and quickly tries to hide the tears. “I-I don’t want you guys to see. P-please just leave. It’s not fair… t-that you should see me like this.” She hides her face in her hands.

Shadow Kasumi suddenly walks in and looks to the group, “About time you got here.” She then looks down at the real Kasumi. “This is what I always wanted, to have my friends be part of my story and for everything to be easier. Not having to face the world and let them know the secrets I have hidden away for years… but especially hiding the truth from /him/. After all, if he knew maybe… he wouldn’t love me anymore.” She frowns. “Boo hoo. It’s my fault their gone. Oh… I feel sooo sorry for myself. Poor me! I should just hide away in my room forever.”

Kasumi looks up. “Wha- no… stop s-saying that…”

Yoh Yamagatani [SEES] has posed.

Yoh leaves nothing but ichor and dissipating shadows in his wake. His outfit was covered in black sploches and marks. Eh, didn’t matter, he was in that silly natural son of Ireland outfit again. Minus the corn cob pipe and cane. he dropped those a way back in his anger.

After pushing through to room, they find themselves with the two targets they were looking for. Kasumi and the shadow. For a moment he stops and watches the scene play out, listening to them both talk. Though, once finished, he mutters to himself some. He remembered Shiori putting her neck out for him, and she got beat the heck up badly. Broken ribs and everything. A;; the people he remembered that stuck out for him. Some of which were here.

Inside the recesses of Yoh’s mind, something malevolent flickers. Most likely his own shadow stirring. Naturally Yoh made the same choice it would have somehow.

Before anyone else gets to put a word in on what to do, Yoh runs forward, again, pretty much just raging like the Shounen many see him as. Not really moving to attack, more like get over to Kasumi. Though this obviously leaves him open to be smacked around.

Seems like he wasn’t really in the teamwork mood today. Shame on him.

Aigis [SEES] has posed.

Aigis pauses, looking over the room, nodding briefly to Thora and Mitsuru. She isn’t about to protest on either there. Even if she hates fighting birds these are SHADOW BIRDS and shadows are perfectly okay to fight. They aren’t even real birds. Like the young boy she slammed with a ton of playing cards (with spears). She takes a look about this new room and studies Kasumi. The real one.

She smiles at Kasumi. “It’s alright. We’re here to help you. You don’t have to worry–we’re not going to judge you based on what we see here–you are already our friend!”

She glances over to the Shadow, frowning faintly, before looking back to her. “You do not have to show us–” She begins. “We just want to get you out of here…”

Thora Kobayashi [KDA] has posed.

Thora glances over at Himeru again and nods briefly, not noticing the blushing due to the darkness of the initial cave area. “Yeah.” she says casually. “Well really, who does to pay for stuff like that?” Probably Mitsuru over there but even then… In the meantime, the others are going to start hearing ripping noises as Thora starts tearing off the poofy sleeves of the Goldilocks dress she’s in. Damn things were getting in the way.

Plenty of experience with TV dungeons means Thora knows that at some point there is going to be a very awkward encounter when the Shadow and victim start speaking with each other. She’s experienced it herself, well over a year ago. It’s no surprise when within the house it’s exactly what they walk in on. It is a surprise, however, when the Shadow seems to imply Kasumi’s responsibility for the death of her mother and brother.

“Don’t…” Thora rumbles suddenly, though it’s not exactly clear who she’s talking to. One hand reaches out to pull Yoh back though.

Hinata Itoh [SEES] has posed.

Somewhere back in the tunnel, Hinata got her heel clipped by an errant beetle. This occurred at the same time that Himeru was answering Thora. It really is a good thing the darkness hid her blush, otherwise, the Red Queen would’ve outright tripped and fallen. This, naturally, will not be discussed again. Not in public, anyways.

Now, back in the present, where the shadow birds have been swatted or devoured, they’ve finally reached their objective. “Kasumi-chan!” Queen Hina takes a step forward, hears her heels click on the flooring, and then pauses awkwardly. Rather, awkward being an understatement. ‘We’re here to save your from your repressed feelings while involuntarily dressed as refugees from the latest Kingdom Hearts game.’ And all Aigis does is want to get her out of here. Its not going to be that easy. It never could.

‘He wouldn’t love me anymore.’ ‘Its my fault they’re gone.’ ‘You’re a liar! You don’t care about me!’ ‘To be honest, I don’t have any family…’

Even in the dim light, Hina’s face pales. “Kasumi-chan… You…” Her voice creaks, throat having dried right up. Not that she could find the right thing to say right this moment as all her deductions go swirling down a deep dark foreboding hole. “Its OK- Yoh!” Dammit, you big dummy, don’t go aggroing the Shadow on your own!

Mitsuru Kirijo [SEES] has posed.

Mitsuru is vaguely disturbed by the sigh of Hannya reaching out to eat a shadow bird. But she is careful not to let it show. Too much. Except for when she turns her head away to blanche a little. There is not much time for anything else. The SEES commander looks briefly at Hinata and inclines her head, “Be careful Itoh-san. All of you…”

When they arrive in the room and see the real Kasumi crouched there, she remains wary. Dark red eyes glance here and there in the corners before settling on the box. Her head tips slightly. The newspaper clipping must have been the report of the accident but when the girl finally acknowledges them, she sighs softly. “Horie-san, we all have our secrets and the parts of ourselves that we are ashamed or troubled of. Running away is not the answer.”

When the Shadow appears, her lips appear in a thin line. There is.. a grain of truth in those words, she can’t deny that. But others are already rushing in..?! “!!!” But Hinata is on Yoh first and in her mind, she makes a note of this. “Back up Yamagatani-san! Keep the Shadow away from Horie-san!” She shouts, giving out her order even as she starts making her way towards the younger girl.

Teddie [KDA] has posed.

Trumpets sound, higher in pitch, then suddenly stop as Teddie screeches to a halt. “W..wait, everyone!” Well, ‘everyone’ in general. He knows that some people have done this before. “We can’t stop the Shadow directly! Kasu-chan is the only one who can stop it! If we try, it’ll just…” Well, he isn’t -completely- sure what might happen, but he’s certain it will be bad. A few people have already been killed that way, after all. “She has to confront it or else all of this will happen again, like some horribear loop!”

Still, he’s rather nervous about this, wide eyes looking back and forth between Kasumi and her Shadow.

Himeru Namikawa [DS] has posed.

There’s a brief groan as she reaches Critical Mass of puns for an instant, but otherwise, Hannya is dismissed when the threat of birds is diminished sufficiently to manage without the mental strain of keeping a Persona summoned. “They cost in the upwards of forty, sometimes fifty thousand yen and that’s the cheap ones compared to the clothing rich people buy. A single high quality dress in Naomi’s closet is worth more than my entire wardrobe, I would wager.” and even then, maybe more.
The sight of the weakened, tired, guilt and sorrow wrecked Kasumi is actually a bit of a relief to her. She’s conscious, mostly unhurt (physically anyway, at a glance) and while she seems ashamed of how she is not terribly genki, it’s not like Himeru would be bothered by this much. “Do not bother yourself with notions of fairness, Kasumi-chan. We all have moments where we are vulnerable, even brittle, no matter who you are.”

Not that she expects the Shadow to be thwarted so easily. It was strong here, feeding on the emotions of it’s other weakened self. The heeled glass shoes are stepped out of, the ravenhaired girl stretching her toes and taking a moment to tear a line to the side of the gown for higher mobility. It was fake anyway, so it should be alright. “You are not a murderer, Kasumi-chan. She is incorrect in it’s assessment.” and the ‘she’ in question is pointed at, the look given toward the Shadow rather calm and impassive. She’s not moving to engage, but definitely watching how it moves. “Kirijo-sempai is correct, we all bear our own sins, our shame, our burdens. It’s…alright.”

Himeru felt weird to be saying that, considering how she bore hers. Definitely a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’.

Kasumi Horie [U] has posed.

Shadow Kasumi shakes her head at Aigis, “This story is getting rather boring.. wouldn’t you say? How about some character development? What’s a story without revealing the characters true feelings and motivations in the end….?” She points at Yoh as he advances towards the real Kasumi, “True to form aren’t you? Always trying to be the hero but you never really listened to me. I tried so hard to make you understand but this was always a game to you. Well… are you having fun Yoh-kun?” She looks at him in disgust, “Look at me, with all my muscles, always carrying around weights just to be stronger…. but really you are just a scared kid trying to escape some part of your past. You try to atone by being superficially charitable. Just a cowardly lion… too bad lifting weights and getting muscles doesn’t really help with where you’re weak…”

Kasumi, not seemingly hearing anything that was said other than the comments towards Yoh, looks at him, “Don’t believe her… I never thought those things. You were my first real friend in years…”

The shadow laughs, “What a joke!” She turns to Himeru, “And you… you could have prevented me from ever getting involved in all of this. You may show concern for me but really you enjoy the power that you get from giving information in small amounts. Enough to keep me wondering about what I was missing out on. How was that protecting me? If you /really/ wanted to protect me from all this, you could have found another way to keep me uninformed. It’s your fault. But, playing around with my life to entertain yourself, being so logical and cold to everyone must leave you awfully lonely… I never wanted to be torn between two sides like this!”

The real Kasumi looks horrified at her shadow and then at Himeru, “Y-You know that’s not true sempai… I trust you.”

Shadow Kasumi laughs. “Oh but I am not done yet…” She looks at Aigis, “You think that you can protect people and that you are some great guardian. You can’t /always/ protect people. You couldn’t protect me from this. Things aren’t as easy as you try to make them.” She turns to face the group, “/None/ of you really care…”

[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Sorry guys… D:”
[OOC] Mitsuru Kirijo D:
[OOC] Yoh Yamagatani says, “OH BURN”

Thora Kobayashi [KDA] has posed.

“…weird.” Thora frowns, “This is the first time I’ve really seen a Shadow go off on the /rescuers/ instead of the person here.” She looks from Shadow Kasumi to the real deal. It’s sort of happened before, back when she went after Shirou when he was thrown in. She’s probably never going to forget that his shadow called her the ‘bottom of the barrel’. Especially considering the nature of a Shadow…

“Unfortunately.” Thora sighs, lifting her hammer so she can rest it on her shoulder. “She really thinks those things. They’re not true, but that’s really the way she feels.” Her own golden eyes meet that of the Shadow, “Isn’t it? C’mon, tell us more. Let it all out. Keep the story going. I’m all ears.”

She glances to the real Kasumi, her gaze even and impassive. It doesn’t seem like Thora’s all that sympathetic to the victim tonight-no, she’s downright bothered by the way this is going. Even if they pull her out, she’s anticipating major problems in the future from a person that apparently doesn’t want the power she may receive tonight.

Yoh Yamagatani [SEES] has posed.

Yoh is off his rocker. He had to get this over with as soon as possible so Kasumi would not suffer any more at what was probably his fault. He keeps out of Thora’s grasp, and actually /almost/ ignores Mitsuru! But he manages to stop running across the room and stops about halfway, reluctantly. There wasn’t time to listen to back and forths! Then the shadow speaks to him. He turns to face it.

‘Remember, it isn’t what she truly thinks, just what she /can/ think,’ he says to himself in his mind. At least that is what he was told. Then again, his own was strangely correct in ways that were hard to explain. Though calling Yoh weak is a bad move. He squints at the abomination angrily, before looking over to Kasumi. “Heh…” he says, smiling for once. “I get it, no need to worry. It is just blowing hot air.”

As the insults fly, Yoh speaks up. “See, I can’t help but feel a little responsible for getting you in here, Kasumi-chan. Normally people aren’t allowed to talk to anyone about this. Even though you were in on the take, I kept it from you. I wonder that… if I did, this wouldn’t have happened…” He seems sad for a moment, before he turns to looking quite furious. “But I am here to help fix that!”

With a thought, the towering Magni erupts forth from behind Yoh, red arcs of lightning striking the ground all around the giant and Yoh for a few seconds. “If you think that way, say it to my face!” he yells. It was time to let out all that pent up stress. Right here, right now. Whether he succeeds or fails, it didn’t matter. He had to show Kasumi he cared; that he didn’t mean to get her in this situation.

Aigis [SEES] has posed.

“Boring?” Aigis asks. “–I do not mind boring. Boring means nobody is getting hurt or suffering. I think real life is not the same as a story. If you write someone suffers in a story–then nobody has really suffered, but if you hurt someone in the real world…” She trails off–she doesn’t really feel like she knows Yoh, really, so how can she really comment about what she’s saying about him. She bristles, visibly, as the Shadow goes onto Himeru. Aigis has difficulty showing emotion fluidly, so this may be an intentional response. “Please do not say those things about Hime-Chan. She is a good friend. She would not do that to you.”

She glances to her friend briefly, and then nods slowly.

“You are correct, Kasumi-Chan, in that I could not protect you, and the world is often more complicated than I would care to admit. Often I feel that my goals are unattainable however–”

She swings an arm towards Shadow Katsumi, the hand spinning around in a circular motion. “Kasumi-Chan! That is a part of you–but you have to face it, challenge it–if you wish to remain yourself! It is you, but it is not your master!”

Mitsuru Kirijo [SEES] has posed.

“You call this character development,” Mitsuru murmurs to herself. But her expression doesn’t really change as the Shadow starts tearing into the others. She’s hardened her heart to the words of the Shadow. She has never faced a TV Shadow herself, but she witnessed Ran and Shinji’s from the outside and what Thora says appears to be correct. They are, in their on way, true but only because it’s words from the heart. Often times, emotions do not mesh with reality.

But when she starts tearing into Aigis and Himeru’s inability to protect… the young woman feels something crack within her. She looks over at Yoh, faintly disturbed at his simply dismissing the Shadow’s words as ‘hot air’. It’s not that simple. Things are never that simple. She appears to be thinking the same things as Thora. So she lends her voice to Aigis’s. “If we did not care for you Horie-san, we would not be here. But we cannot fight this Shadow alone. She is your creation and your responsibility. Shadows reflect what is in our hearts. You have two choices Horie-san. Fight or let it consume you.”

Hinata Itoh [SEES] has posed.

Fortunately for Hinata, Shadows like to take initiative. What Kasumi had been repressing from her history quickly turns into her darker thoughts of her friends. It was a little unexpected, which has the baseball queen rather shocked and silent at first, but then again it really shouldn’t. Kasumi’s a writer, thus she’d be more perceptive than most like Hitoshi. Still, it is a bit of a surprise, though Thora’s reaction is less so. Hina has to fight down the urge to jump in line after her. Do Not Aggro The Shadow. At least not yet.

Some parts, however, she doesn’t leave by the wayside. The Red Queen steps forward with a clack of heels – she’ll have to fix that ASAP – twirling her bat up and onto her shoulder. A glance is given to Aigis, then to Himeru, as if silently saying that the android speaks for her as well. The amber-haired girl then turns to the Shadow, tugging at the edge of her jersey. “Nothing worth achieving was ever easy, Kasumi-chan. What happened,” she swallows again, “You can’t let it keep you down, no matter how much it might seem scary. Keep moving forward, one step at a time! I’ll help you as long as you need me to! I’ll be strong enough for both of us!” The fears abate. She can feel that strength roaring through her body, holding her crowned head up high. Its good to be the queen? “But right now, Aigis-senpai and Mitsuru-senpai are right. You’ve got to stand up to it, Kasumi-chan!”

Teddie [KDA] has posed.

It always hurts, to see people exposed by their Shadows like this. It isn’t just that their secret thoughts are laid bear, it’s the pain it puts them through to see those thoughts hurt others. “Kasu-chan, it… we..” Teddie just whimpers, clutching the sides of his head. “I can feel the Shadows getting angrier!” He looks up and back to where the group had just come from. This time, they might not be able to go back and regroup! “If we don’t hurry, something worse will happen!”

Himeru Namikawa [DS] has posed.

“I wish life was more boring at times, really. Aigis-chan is right on that: People don’t _die_ from boredom. Except those who do stupid things, but that’s just natural selection at work.”
She has to avoid laughing when the Shadow makes a cruel imitation, but unfortunately this was the sort of sarcastic humor that Himeru liked, and a type that she had never seen Kasumi use before too. Still, there’s a layer of perception behind that cruelty, this may well be how the younger girl saw the unusually silent boy. And in a way, her silence was her way of partially agreeing, or not disagreeing sufficiently to defend Yoh. Either way, it did not feel like it was her place to speak.

When the Shadow accuses her, she doesn’t seem that disturbed either, even smiling a little bit while lifting a hand toward the robot girl, implying that she was okay with this. “If I had kept you in the dark entirely, Kasumi-chan, you would not be here today, it’s true. Where you would be would require a little time manipulation to find out and I certainly will not meddle in that but I hold no regrets on my actions: I did not lie to you, even if I did not tell the entire truth all at once. It would have broken you, or made you reckless. The last person certainly did.” she answers, “And if you see it as having played with your life, then that is how you perceive it and no words will change that. It is not as lonely as you would think however.”

Her gaze turns briefly toward the denying girl, “No, it’s alright Kasumi-chan. I can take a little criticism. I was not a very good friend to you in how I acted, but some day you might understand. It’s good to let those things out here and there, I’m not going to think less of you for it. It’s actually a little nice to know you have a bit of a sting to you.”

The accusation of not caring however? While not verbally responded to, she spits on the ground. Hime’s way of calling bullshit.

Kasumi Horie [U] has posed.

Kasumi suddenly gets up practically yelling, “STOP IT! It’s a lie. None of this is true. You all are my friends…” In her own anguish she doesn’t seem to notice that Aigis is looking more….metal… or the presence of the bear. She turns to her double, “I never /wanted/ this… She looks at the group feeling more empowered, “You are not me!”

Shadow Kasumi’s voice gets louder and deeper and she begins to change forms, while some powerful force knocks the real Kasumi back towards the door…

“Yessss! I can finally be the real me! You will see! It will be better this way. Since you don’t want to accept it you guys have no choice…” Her appearance grows and changes into that of a massive tree with a grotesquely human face. “I am a shadow, the /true/ self!”

“You guys have to go now. This is the reality that I really want. Once my book is finished things will be perfect again. Everything I ever wanted will come true. Things will be much better this way… I can’t let you take that away from me… from us.”

“Tell me…” Shadow Kasumi laughs and raises her branch arms and says, “What do you think of this tune?” A large bird is summoned up and begins singing, it’s notes carrying an ominous wave throughout the group. A feeling of impending doom surrounds them… The bird then flies off and returns with a rather large stone which it tosses, with ease, in Yoh’s direction.’

COMBAT: Kasumi Horie has activated Shadow Kasumi.
COMBAT: Kasumi Horie has entered Boss Mode for 7 opponents.
COMBAT: You critically hit Yoh Yamagatani with your Millstone – Divine Punishment attack.

COMBAT: You critically hit Thora Kobayashi with your What a Beautiful Song! attack.
COMBAT: The Cursed status effect has been added to Thora Kobayashi.
COMBAT: You have missed Mitsuru Kirijo with your What a Beautiful Song! attack.
COMBAT: You have missed Aigis with your What a Beautiful Song! attack.
COMBAT: You critically hit Teddie with your What a Beautiful Song! attack.
COMBAT: The Cursed status effect has been added to Teddie.
COMBAT: You hit Hinata Itoh with your What a Beautiful Song! attack.
COMBAT: The Cursed status effect has been added to Hinata Itoh.
COMBAT: You hit Himeru Namikawa with your What a Beautiful Song! attack.
COMBAT: The Cursed status effect has been added to Himeru Namikawa.
COMBAT: You have missed Yoh Yamagatani with your What a Beautiful Song! attack.

[OOC] Aigis says, “gosh despite it being about your father eating your brother, the song is really beautiful!!”
[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Lol!”
[OOC] Akatsuki Enda says, “i know right”

Thora Kobayashi [KDA] has posed.

A small part of Thora had to wonder…was there a way to get a person out of the TV world without seeing them granted the boon of a persona? Maybe to grab the victim and bodily yank them out while leaving the Shadow in the dust? Was that even possible, considering that Shadow could appear anywhere it wanted? Testing these questions would just be too much of a bother.

Ever since her sleep deprivation began weeks ago, Thora has endured a steady headache in her head. On some occasions it became worse, throbbing and pounding against her skull. Painkillers provided temporary relief. The singing of the bird utterly cancels their effects, flooding Thora’s mind with pain. Blood begins to leak out of both of her nostrils and she lets out an angry howl.

The howl is echoed suddenly when Garm appears behind her, looking much bloodier than usual. In fact, blood seems to be dripping out of the pair of holes on the beasts snout that serve as nostrils. Garm’s howling is quick to intensify to violent and painful levels, as if to counteract the song of the bird.

Thora herself rapidly begins to look unhinged as she smears the blood away from her nose with one hand and instead winds up rubbing it all over the bottom half of her face.

COMBAT: Thora Kobayashi hits you with her Ragnarok’s Howl attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 78 points of Strike damage.
COMBAT: You take greater damage due to your Strike weakness.
COMBAT: The Luck Down status effect has been added.
COMBAT: Thora Kobayashi has finished their turn.

[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Thora… D:!”

Yoh Yamagatani [SEES] has posed.

Yoh is totally ready for this. He needs to help save his friend! He knows that what Shadow Kasumi is saying may be what she felt or thought at some point. And he honestly wasn’t surprised by that. But he knew the girl well now. She would never say that to him. She probably no longer felt that way too, though the feelings of the past never fade. He would probably needa talk to her about that sometime, but it wasn’t important. The big part was smashing this… Oh god.

It transformed.

“Don’t worry, Kasumi-chan! We got your back!” Yoh yells over to his friend. And then he is definitely not ready for what happens next. Another damned rock. If yesterday wasn’t bad enough… Yoh has no time to get out of the way of the boulder, and it smacks him HARD, sending him skidding a ways back. “Damn,” Yoh grits out from clenched teeth.

After a time he manages to get up slowly, and walks back over to that boulder. “Hah! I am NOT weak! Can a weak person do this?!” Yoh grips his fist and charges it with energy siphoned from his Persona, and actually punches the boulder, which actually sends it back where it comes from, rolling on the ground quite quickly!

Afterwards Yoh shakes his hand. That hurt. Worth it though.

COMBAT: Yoh Yamagatani hits you with his God’s Hand attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 130 points of Strike damage.
COMBAT: You take greater damage due to your Strike weakness.
COMBAT: Yoh Yamagatani has finished their turn.

Aigis [SEES] has posed.

Aigis is told to END THIS QUICKLY before THE SHADOWS EAT THEM AHHHH so she takes ‘step one’ to a fast fight. That Kasumi said ‘you’re not me!’ is, by this point, a bit of the natural program, sort of like Rita Repulsa saying ‘make my monster grow’ but even so, Aigis tries to put that behind her as she focuses on the really important things. Namely, shadow ‘elimination’.

“I am not very musical.” Aigis says, pushing the visor of her helmet up. “Orgia Mode.”

Aigis’s earmuffs spin rapidly as she crouches down–the wave pushing through her–but not, it seems, having much effect.

COMBAT: Aigis hits Aigis with her Orgia Mode attack.
COMBAT: Aigis has been healed.
COMBAT: The Heal Over Time status effect has been added to Aigis.
COMBAT: The Agility Up status effect has been added to Aigis.
COMBAT: The Vitality Up status effect has been added to Aigis.
COMBAT: The Magic Up status effect has been added to Aigis.
COMBAT: The Strength Up status effect has been added to Aigis.
COMBAT: Aigis has finished their turn.

Mitsuru Kirijo [SEES] has posed.

“A lie?” Mitsuru replies, perhaps a little coldly. She looks at the Shadow with distaste as she proclaims this world to be what she wants. With the bird appears and begins to sing, she winces and turns her head. As the bird sings, she shouts and fires her evoker. “PENTHESILEA!” The echoing cry of the evoker in her ear helps block out some of that song and at the same time, her Persona raises the dagger to her lips and seems to blow a kiss at Shadow Kasumi.

The ‘breath’ is bone chilling and envelopes the Shadow even as Mitsuru’s own stare goes straight to the real Kasumi. “Horie-san! You have two choices!” She does not so much shout as speak in a very commanding manner. “Fight and live or stay and die! If you die, what will happen to your friends?!”

COMBAT: Mitsuru Kirijo critically hits you with her Anima Chill attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 49 points of Ice damage.
COMBAT: The Cursed status effect has been added.
COMBAT: Mitsuru Kirijo has finished their turn.
COMBAT: You critically hit Mitsuru Kirijo with your Narrative Causality counterattack.
COMBAT: Your Narrative Causality ability has activated at a cost of 2 SP.

Hinata Itoh [SEES] has posed.

All the advice and shared courage in the world may not mean much against your most repressed feelings materialized. Queen Hinata deflates a little, but notices something else. Reject Shadow. Shadow grows stronger. There may be something to this.

That the Shadow is now a tree, well, this is a little odd as she was half-expecting the Shadow Mad Hatter or Shadow Junji Ito. Nope, its a tree with a singing bird. A song that will end the world. Good thing she has Skuld there to protect her. Or. ‘Hee ho!’ Oh shit.

Darkness spiraling down into the centerfielder’s soul. “Grk-” The Queen shivers in place, fumbling for her evoker. No matter how many times she gets zapped like this, she never ever gets over it. But her evoker’s in hand and Skuld- no- Jack is in mind and there’s this giant honking evil tree in front of her and hey trees are flammable and…

nobody tell itsuka-chan

The evoker fires. “Hee-ho!” Pyro Jack cackles as he leaps out of the blue mist. “What’s the story, Hina-chan?” She’s still shivering, enough so that her tone slips. “BURN.” “Heehee, can do! One fire spell coming right up, hee ho!”

COMBAT: Hinata Itoh hits you with her Agilao attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 53 points of Fire damage.
COMBAT: Hinata Itoh has finished their turn.

Himeru Namikawa [DS] has posed.

Friends? Friends hardly have to be nice to one another all the time, really. But then Kasumi speaks words that should not be said, causing the Shadow to gain greater power, and the ability to exist separately. It grows strong, and decides they’re in the way.

At least, that’s the short version that Himeru seems to get. “Sorry, but the world you want is not a vision I share.” she softly says, until a strange song echoes in her mind. A song of damnation, of suffering, of anguish. Her soul bears it rather well, although the wind carrying the tune wears her down a little.

“What will happen to the ones you leave behind if you keep running?” she asks, glancing at the terrified/denial-filled young girl. Her hand slides against the rear end of the sword, blood covering the weapon from the self-induced palm cut…and then she holds. No, it would be too cruel to really unleash Hannya and fight fire with fire, not to mention inefficient. Her mind shifts along with her heart, Hime thinking of a friend who needed her right now, a stoic but kind friend who was enduring pain on her own. “Cherub.” comes from this summoning, an angelic warrior clad in armor and carrying a bow. She points her sword toward the tree’s ‘chest’ area, the arrow glowing white before the angel nods once and lets the arrow loose.

COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa has activated Cherub.
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa hits you with her Holy Arrow attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 42 points of Pierce damage.
COMBAT: You have taken 37 points of Light damage.
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa has finished their turn.

Teddie [KDA] has posed.

When the tree explodes up from the Shadow, Teddie takes a few steps back. “H..h..here it comes, everyone!” Though as Shadows go, a tree is pretty tame. It’s not like it can do much, right? And it even has a pretty bird! “O…oh. It’s singing! How pretty!” The bear begins to sway back and forth to the tune but then it suddenly goes all -wrong-!

A look of horror crossing his face, Teddie swats frantically at his ears. “It hurts! It’s worse than Sensei’s iPod!” What horrors are on that MP3 player? The world may never know…

“Kintoki-Douji! Come help us!” The Persona spins into existence and…trips over his own cape midair, crashing to the ground. The missile he carries explodes and waves over the group with a powerful energy!

COMBAT: Teddie hits Thora Kobayashi with his Matarukaja attack.
COMBAT: Thora Kobayashi has been healed.
COMBAT: The Strength Up status effect has been added to Thora Kobayashi.
COMBAT: Teddie hits Mitsuru Kirijo with his Matarukaja attack.
COMBAT: Mitsuru Kirijo has been healed.
COMBAT: The Strength Up status effect has been added to Mitsuru Kirijo.
COMBAT: Teddie hits Aigis with his Matarukaja attack.
COMBAT: Aigis has been healed.
COMBAT: The Strength Up status effect has been added to Aigis.
COMBAT: Teddie hits Teddie with his Matarukaja attack.
COMBAT: Teddie has been healed.
COMBAT: The Strength Up status effect has been added to Teddie.
COMBAT: Teddie hits Hinata Itoh with his Matarukaja attack.
COMBAT: Hinata Itoh has been healed.
COMBAT: The Strength Up status effect has been added to Hinata Itoh.
COMBAT: Teddie hits Himeru Namikawa with his Matarukaja attack.
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa has been healed.
COMBAT: The Strength Up status effect has been added to Himeru Namikawa.
COMBAT: Teddie hits Yoh Yamagatani with his Matarukaja attack.
COMBAT: Yoh Yamagatani has been healed.
COMBAT: The Strength Up status effect has been added to Yoh Yamagatani.
COMBAT: Teddie has finished their turn.

Kasumi Horie [U] has posed.

The howling of Garm seems to rattle the tree, its branches vibrating with the sounds. It is enough that it weakens it to the attack and the branches bend and some break off falling dead to the ground. It is not enough to dissuade the tree though.

However with Yoh’s attack the boulder is hurled back to the shadow and takes a small chunk of another branch with it. It flinches but still remains strong even as a chilled breath comes in its direction. It counters Mitsuru’s attack swinging it branches in her direction.

But then…. FIRE! The natural enemy of trees… well it would be if this wasn’t a totally jacked up tree. The damage is minimal and a few leaves are singed off of its branches. For some reason the shadow beings laughing, “This is great! What an interesting story I will have to show!”

Himeru’s arrows pierce the shadow tree and some get stuck within its bark. It just casually pulls them out, “This is /my/ story. What do I care what you really think?!”

The shadow summons up some power and it’s shoes, which may not have been noticeable before. Who really expects a tree to have shoes anyway. The red shoes glow brightly and lend some kind of… ‘Shoe Power’ to it. It has strengthened up! As it strengthens the shadow summons up a rain of a liquid which smells a lot like… rotting flesh? “How about a little rain?”

COMBAT: You hit Kasumi Horie with your Red Shoes attack.
COMBAT: Kasumi Horie hits you with her Red Shoes attack.
COMBAT: You have been healed for 0 points of damage.
COMBAT: The Strike Wall status effect has been added.
COMBAT: The Dekunda status effect has been added.
COMBAT: Negative status cleared!

COMBAT: You hit Thora Kobayashi with your Delicious Stew attack.
COMBAT: The Damage Over Time status effect has been added to Thora Kobayashi.
COMBAT: You hit Mitsuru Kirijo with your Delicious Stew attack.
COMBAT: The Damage Over Time status effect has been added to Mitsuru Kirijo.
COMBAT: You hit Aigis with your Delicious Stew attack.
COMBAT: The Damage Over Time status effect has been added to Aigis.
COMBAT: You critically hit Teddie with your Delicious Stew attack.
COMBAT: The Damage Over Time status effect has been added to Teddie.
COMBAT: You hit Hinata Itoh with your Delicious Stew attack.
COMBAT: The Damage Over Time status effect has been added to Hinata Itoh.
COMBAT: You hit Himeru Namikawa with your Delicious Stew attack.
COMBAT: The Damage Over Time status effect has been added to Himeru Namikawa.
COMBAT: You hit Yoh Yamagatani with your Delicious Stew attack.
COMBAT: The Damage Over Time status effect has been added to Yoh Yamagatani.

COMBAT: The Magic Up status effect has been added.
COMBAT: Kasumi Horie has finished their turn.

[OOC] Teddie says, “oh jeez”
[OOC] Thora Kobayashi says, “WHATY”
[OOC] Thora Kobayashi says, “STRIKE WALL”
[OOC] Thora Kobayashi says, “YOU BITCH”
[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Lol”
[OOC] Shinjiro Aragaki … doesn’t like this stew
[OOC] Shinjiro Aragaki read the story!!!
[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Shinji… who punched you out?”
[OOC] Kasumi Horie looks at +pot
[OOC] Shinjiro Aragaki …
[OOC] Aigis says, ” 8eating Ken* this is the BEST STEW EVER why are you so sad Koro-chan? arf :(”
[OOC] Mitsuru Kirijo :)
[OOC] Shinjiro Aragaki says, “mitsuru /._.\”
[OOC] Yoh Yamagatani says, “OMG NO”
[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Woah”
[OOC] Yoh Yamagatani says, “OH SAD DAY”
[OOC] Aigis says, “I think I’ll try TERRIBLE POWER again”
[OOC] Yoh Yamagatani says, “Boo hoo hoo hoo woof D:”
[OOC] Yoh Yamagatani says, “WE NEED FUUK- oh wait.”
[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Lol!”
[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, ” I will just watch and be all sad cause I can’t help.”
[OOC] Yoh Yamagatani says, “LULZ”
[OOC] Teddie says, “Mitsu-chan, have you been asserting your dominance? o_o”
[OOC] Mitsuru Kirijo says, “have to keep those Shinjis in line”

Mitsuru Kirijo [SEES] has posed.

It seems that the time for kid gloves are over. They probably won’t be able to get to Kasumi unless they subdue the Shadow a bit more. Very well then. Time to shift tactics, “Open fire on the Shadow! Hold nothing ba- URK!” Her attack seemed to rebound, an invisible wind slamming into her and knocking the breath out of her lungs before the sky opens up and dumps a liquid upon her that.. she really would rather not wonder what’s in it. It smells like a decomposing body and it nearly makes her throw up.

She tightens her mouth and shakes her head, doing her best to keep the liquid from falling into her mouth and silently pulls deep within her and summons Penthesilea again. She doesn’t shout and has her eyes shut at the moment. But when the Persona appears, she taps her mistress gently on the shoulder and a soft light falls from the dagger and flows into the SEES command.

COMBAT: Mitsuru Kirijo hits Mitsuru Kirijo with her Mind Charge attack.
COMBAT: Mitsuru Kirijo has been healed.
COMBAT: The Magic Up status effect has been added to Mitsuru Kirijo.
COMBAT: Mitsuru Kirijo has finished their turn.

Aigis [SEES] has posed.

Aigis is charging up her systems–this tends to leave her a sitting duck. To make matters worse, she gets drenched in water that smells like Junpei’s room. To counteract this, to some extent, Aigis turns off her nasal sensor array but the horrible stink weighs in on her psyche, the water clinging and dripping into the gaps in her armor–weighing her down.

“Black Frost…” She murmurs, “Try it this time!” Can TERRIBLE POWER work this time?! Well if not, she’ll have to shift back to Palladion–but she’s hesitant on using her main ever since well–

–well she hasn’t really shown the new Palladion yet.

“Weaken its defenses, Frost!” She calls out, the adorable mascot character popping up above her head.

“Hee ho! Hee ho!” He singsongs, a wave of crippling force swooping around the entity, seeking to tear open its defenses!

COMBAT: Aigis has activated Black Frost.
COMBAT: Aigis hits you with her Terrible Power attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 0 points of Mystic damage.
COMBAT: You take less damage due to your Mystic resistance.
COMBAT: Aigis has finished their turn.

Yoh Yamagatani [SEES] has posed.

After Yoh falcon punches a boulder at the tree, he turns quickly over to Kasumi. “Kasumi-chan! You have to get up! You don’t know it, but you can fight this thing too! You just have to know what to do! I can’t tell you what, but you will know inside!” Yoh isn’t the best with words, but maybe he can help. Somehow, besides fighting. Many folks have told him he can help without lifting a finger, but maybe he just hasn’t found it out yet.

And then something rains down on him, something that hurts when it touches his skin. It also smells really bad. Like, worse than what that poison cloud smells like that Shirou used on him once. And that was horrid.

He looks at everyone else quietly as they fight. Wait, how did Aigis summon… bah, that can wait. Right now he has to fight with what he’s got! Yoh pools energy that comes down from Magni’s fingertips into his, and forms an electrical sphere of red power, which he flings at the tree! Wait, that was a poor idea. Aren’t trees grounded? BLUH.

COMBAT: Yoh Yamagatani hits you with his Zionga attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 37 points of Elec damage.
COMBAT: Yoh Yamagatani has finished their turn.

Himeru Namikawa [DS] has posed.

“You’re just a character in a bigger story. His-tory.”

A blink, before Himeru groans at her own pun and briefly looks toward the bear. Even if his power invigorated her, she still says “This is your fault, Teddie-san.”

That brief distraction however makes it such that she was not looking while the tree while it was preparing a spell, leading her to be soaked in bloody rain. Normally this would not be a bother much, except this water BURNED her skin and repulsed her, causing her pain. A hissing sharp breath escapes her mouth, but she holds her ground and endures it.

And then Mitsuru gives authorization for full power.

“Cherub!” is called with extra vigor, the angel appearing but the bow missing. His large hand rests briefly on the young girl’s left shoulder, his essence and shape growing translucent as his power flows through her body and into the bloodied sword. “Where there is darkness…” begins Himeru, the holy force causing the blade to widen and lengthen, going from a simple katana-sized weapon to a full nodachi two-handed blade of shining force. “If you try hard enough…”

She breaks into a run, leaping mid-rush for an aerial diagonal cleaving attack. It would leave her vulnerable to a counter attack, but sometimes you can’t get a good strike in without some risks. And regardless of the effect, she finishes: “You can find your own guiding light.”

Two seconds pass before her face twists, hopefully unseen, into a sigh. It sounded more inspiring and less corny in her own mind.

COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa hits you with her Heaven’s Blade attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 64 points of Slash damage.
COMBAT: You have taken 69 points of Light damage.
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa has finished their turn.

Thora Kobayashi [KDA] has posed.

“Shut up…” Thora croaks, her voice hoarse. She repeats herself, flicking out bloody spittle as she advances with an unhinged look in her eyes. “Shut up shut up shut up.” Hands tighten on her hammer as if she’s about to let her bones burst out of her knuckles. Her mood sails dangerously close to Berserk Time, which the likes of Aigis would certainly recognize. Then the rain comes with such a violent downpour that skin and flesh peel from Thora.

Some of the wounds, however, regenerate themselves at first but after sustained rain, this effect is overcome leading to festering wounds that seem to continue to rot. Hissing in pain, Thora shoves Garm to the back of her mind and calls another persona forth, pulling on the bond fostered by her Senpai over the year. Ironically her standing with Shinjiro had not started out as a good one.

Instead of a beast, Thora summons a man. A golden king, in all of his splendor, towers mightily before the wounded girl, empowered by Teddie’s cheering. King Solomon lifts a finger to the sky.

“Fall.” Thora hisses through clenched teeth as a massive blast of lightning crashes down from the sky.

COMBAT: Thora Kobayashi has activated King Solomon.
COMBAT: Thora Kobayashi missed you with her Ziodyne attack.
COMBAT: The Magic Up status effect has been added to Thora Kobayashi.
COMBAT: Thora Kobayashi has finished their turn.

Hinata Itoh [SEES] has posed.

“Wha- A flame-resistant tree!?” Hinata’s cry belies her disapproval. Shadows don’t play fair at all!

Well if they won’t, neither will she! She’ll do whatever she can to help Kasumi! And its the thought of her friend that has another voice whispering ever so quietly in her head. It just takes her a few moments to hear it as she’s rained on by rotting flesh. “Gkkk–” It smells, it burns, it chokes. Queen Hina doubles over slightly, trying to focus her thoughts away from wishes for Aigis having a chainsaw mode. Think positive! Be the guiding light! “Y’know, I never did like horror stories…”

And that’s just what we’ll do. “I- I’m on it, Mitsuru-senpai!” A quick breath, and then a new shout: “DARANA!” The cage shatters, though what springs forth is somewhat unique. Part-god, part aborigine, the older gentleman seems as if he has seen it all. Or at least all of Australia. He hefts a small leather pouch in the palm of his hand, judges it, then promptly winds up and fastballs it straight at the tree like Eri Yoshida.

COMBAT: Hinata Itoh has activated Darana.
COMBAT: Hinata Itoh hits you with her Tentarafoo attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 10 points of Mystic damage.
COMBAT: You take less damage due to your Mystic resistance.
COMBAT: The Magic Cost Up status effect has been added.
COMBAT: Hinata Itoh has finished their turn.

Teddie [KDA] has posed.

Wow, red shoes! On a tree. What will they think of next? Apparently trees that are immune to cudgels! Too bad nobody has a chainsaw.

But then the smelly liquid comes down and just -drenches- Teddie. His white prince outfit is ruined once again, as well as… “Aaaaaaaa! My fur! My lovely, lovely fur! It’s all matted and smelly and awful and… aaaaaa!” His arms flail as he tries his best to brush the goop from his head, but it’s no good! It will take a lot more than his bear hands to clean up this mess.

“Th.. that’s it! Nobody messes with my fur and gets away with it! I–” He pauses and looks at Himeru. “What’s my fault, Hime-chan?” Oh, that’s right. He was -angry-. “I… I’m through panda-ring here! I’m gonna beat you black and brown! I… I… grrrRRRRRRrrrraaar!” Kintoki-Douji leaps up from behind Teddie and hurls its missile, which detonates and does… nothing? Though it does seem rather cold.

COMBAT: Teddie hits you with his Ice Break attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 0 points of Mystic damage.
COMBAT: You take less damage due to your Mystic resistance.
COMBAT: The Ice Break status effect has been added.
COMBAT: Teddie has finished their turn.

Kasumi Horie [U] has posed.

Aigis’ attacks fall on deaf… branches? Her attack doing nothing but encircling the shadow with some force that doesn’t seem to penetrate it at all. Subsequent attacks have no effect until Himeru’s blades come slicing and dicing their way towards the tree. They penetrate and tear huge chunks of tree flesh from it. The shadow is then stunned for a brief second by a flash of light.

Meanwhile Yoh’s attempts to rouse Kasumi do nothing for her. She can still hear everything that is going on but cannot summon up the courage or strength to do whatever it is Yoh wants her to do.

The shadow is weakened but that doesn’t stop it from taunting the group, “You guys are going to have to do much better than that. I won’t let you finish this book so quickly. The shadow summons up rocks… a lot of them at that. They rain down in huge quantities over the group.

COMBAT: You have missed Thora Kobayashi with your Mamillstone – Ipsen’s Anticlimax attack.
COMBAT: You have missed Mitsuru Kirijo with your Mamillstone – Ipsen’s Anticlimax attack.
COMBAT: You hit Aigis with your Mamillstone – Ipsen’s Anticlimax attack.
COMBAT: You hit Teddie with your Mamillstone – Ipsen’s Anticlimax attack.
COMBAT: Teddie has been knocked out!
COMBAT: You have missed Hinata Itoh with your Mamillstone – Ipsen’s Anticlimax attack.
COMBAT: You critically hit Himeru Namikawa with your Mamillstone – Ipsen’s Anticlimax attack.
COMBAT: You have missed Yoh Yamagatani with your Mamillstone – Ipsen’s Anticlimax attack.
COMBAT: Kasumi Horie has finished their turn.

[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “…..”
[OOC] Yoh Yamagatani says, “NOOOOOOO”
[OOC] Aigis says, “you killed teddie”
[OOC] Teddie says, “…that one attack did 146, -ow-”
[OOC] Aigis rolls up sleeves.
[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Poor teddie…. D:”
[OOC] Thora Kobayashi says, “Mitsuru, Himeru, I think it’s time”
[OOC] Thora Kobayashi says, “for the ‘dyne”
[OOC] Teddie says, “Don’t let my sacrifice be in vaaaaain”
[OOC] Aigis says, “everybody let’s avoid using ice attacks”
[OOC] Hinata Itoh says, “Yeahhhh”
[OOC] Thora Kobayashi uses strike instead.
[OOC] Hinata Itoh rummages for a good dyne >_<
[OOC] Teddie nooooo
[OOC] Mitsuru Kirijo says, "nooo teddie!"
[OOC] Mitsuru Kirijo cracks knuckles
[OOC] Kasumi Horie somehow feels like the walls are closing in around her.
[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, "BRING IT!!!!!"

Yoh Yamagatani [SEES] has posed.

Yoh looks back over to Kasumi after attacking. “Come on, please… for all of us! get up! Come on!” It seems she is too far out of it. He looks sympathetically at her for a time until MORE ROCKS GOD NO. He saw them that time! Magni steps in front and just swats them away with one gigantic arm.

Yoh, though ducking, looks back up, and sees it hit quite a few people! Including that little furry guy! Oh man! The guy that gave him these killer sunglasses! Okay that is not cool. Actually it is unbearable! Ursine, in fact! This fills Yoh with furr-ocity of his new friend! He yells aloud and just rushes the tree, despite being hurt. He charges even more power than he did with his first attack into his fist, so much so that Magni seems to almost fade out.

He tires of all this crap that goes on! Punching it always solves the problem! That shoe magic better be strong, because here comes the Shounen warrior! He slings all his might into the punch as he closes in.

COMBAT: Yoh Yamagatani hits you with his Shattering Blow attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 108 points of Strike damage.
COMBAT: The Vitality Down status effect has been added.
COMBAT: Yoh Yamagatani has finished their turn.

Himeru Namikawa [DS] has posed.

Rocks fall, not everyone dies, but it certainly stings.

Himeru finds herself impaled hard, a rock the size of her arm lodging itself in her abdomen and piercing her from side to side as she turned around to face the tree once more after her slash. Mixed with the still burning acid from the bloody rain, she collapses on her back.

Her hand is still holding her sword however, and her body still shows some degree of tension. She felt weak, so weak blackness threatened to engulf her consciousness any second now.

If her health was measured with a heart meter you’d be hearing the most obnoxious little repetitive sound chime right about now. And yet her right hand reaches upward, her lips parting weakly. “Help…me…give me…”

Her mind shifts, not out of fear, out of hatred, out of a desire for retribution but to a Persona that was meant to protect and shield. The beast god turtle materializes from a hundred mental glass shards, and while the ravenhaired girl can’t move or really aim much, the wrath of Genbu’s frigid attack is being aimed on a tree while part of his power just goes at maintaining her vital organs for a little longer.

COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa has activated Genbu.
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa hits you with her Bufudyne attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 91 points of Ice damage.
COMBAT: You take greater damage due to your Ice weakness.
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa has been knocked out!
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa has finished their turn.
COMBAT: You hit Himeru Namikawa with your Narrative Causality counterattack.
COMBAT: Your Narrative Causality ability has activated at a cost of 2 SP.
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa has been knocked out!

[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Woah”
[OOC] Akatsuki Enda says, “you died for a good cause, Himeru”
[OOC] Aigis says, “this is the deadliest shadow”
[OOC] Kasumi Horie looks at Akatsuki.
[OOC] Himeru Namikawa was like ‘hm, 6HP, have a DoT, she has a counter…AAAAAAAAAAAAAH MOTHERLAND!’
[OOC] Akatsuki Enda says, “ROFL”
[OOC] Shinjiro Aragaki looks up and sees everyone is dead :/
[OOC] Aigis says, “meanwhile mitsuru thora and aigis are like ‘wow why is everybody falling over'”
[OOC] Yoh Yamagatani says, “LMAO”
[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Lol”
[OOC] Aigis says, “no no sees is OKAY it’s everyone /else/ that’s dead”
[OOC] Aigis rimshots
[OOC] Shinjiro Aragaki says, “maybe I should have come”
[OOC] Himeru Namikawa says, “The last hit was 186. It left me bloody.”
[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Ouch”
[OOC] Yoh Yamagatani says, “You should have”
[OOC] Akatsuki Enda says, “i made shadow kasumi especially brutal”
[OOC] Aigis t…took 90
[OOC] Yoh Yamagatani says, “LOL I see that with the strike wall”
[OOC] Akatsuki Enda says, “i feel the difficulty level should rise with time, esp. since there are two people with customs here”
[OOC] Akatsuki Enda says, “would’ve been three of SOMEONE had joined in”
[OOC] Yoh Yamagatani says, “Yo uwere like, Oh hey, Yoh and Thora are coming, GIVE STRIKE WALL”
[OOC] Akatsuki Enda looks directly at shinjiro
[OOC] Akatsuki Enda says, “oh wait, thora”
[OOC] Akatsuki Enda says, “four people then!!”
[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Lol ;;”
[OOC] Akatsuki Enda says, “but yeah, people have customs now, gotta jack up the boss strengths”
[OOC] Akatsuki Enda says, “though maybe i jacked it up a little too high??”
[OOC] Aigis says, “well it’s at critical so no”
[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Psh. Im almost dead.”
[OOC] Aigis says, “it’s fine”
[OOC] Yoh Yamagatani says, “Nah, this was about perfect actually”
[OOC] Yoh Yamagatani says, “Bosses should leave people beaten”
[OOC] Shinjiro Aragaki says, “customs aren’t that large of a power growth”

Hinata Itoh [SEES] has posed.

Oh lovely. Queen Hinata finds a rare moment to grump, “Y’know, for a guy who helped create the world, you’d think he’d be a bit stronger.” At least it should’ve sapped some of the Shadow’s strength, though not nearly enough it seems. “Gah! This is getting grizzly!” she shouts as the heels come flying off. A good thing too as she’s traipsing out of the way of dashing boulders, even having to shred her own dress to get some more leg room. “I hate this place, hatehatehatehate it!” But not everyone was so lucky. “… TEDDIE!”

The Red Queen stares at her fallen fuzzy friend, the corners of her eyes already starting to glisten. This was life and death, for certain, but she didn’t need the point hammered home. “Oh god-”

And then Himeru as well. And that’s when the world went red. “… FUCK YOUR STORY!”

“SKULD!” The evoker is slammed to her temple so hard, it nearly breaks the skin. The valkyrie arises, flames already surrounding its body as well as its shadowed veiled eyes. No more talk. No more games. This ends now, before it ends everyone. Everyone goes home. Even as it raises its spatha, charging forward with an ethereal glow, her bearer is still shouting through her tears. “THE HELL WITH YOU AND YOUR STORY! I’M ENDING IT NOW: I KILL YOUR BITCH-ASS SHADOW, YOUR BROTHER AND MOTHER ARE STILL DEAD, AND- And-… oh god-”

COMBAT: Hinata Itoh has activated Skuld.
COMBAT: Hinata Itoh missed you with her Heaven’s Blade attack.
COMBAT: Hinata Itoh has finished their turn.
COMBAT: Thora Kobayashi has activated Garm Custom.

Mitsuru Kirijo [SEES] has posed.

Rocks fall but that trick only rocks once. Mitsuru bares her teeth briefly and suddenly she’s moving. Her evoker fires again and the Amazonian Queen is standing over her, slashing at the rocks and breaking the ones that threaten to fall on Mitsuru and turning them into pebbles. The pebbles rain harmlessly down around her and she watches Teddie fall under the onslaught. “Teddie-san!” But his parting shot.. she recognizes that. Penthesilea is laughing in glee.

She shifts and the force that stole her breath hits Himeru. “Namikawa-san!” She cries and then turns her full focus onto the Shadow. The young woman strides over and stands in front of Teddie and Himeru protectively with eyes narrowed. Her heart seems to slow as she focuses her energies. This is it then. Now or never. She had authorized full force and it is time to show this Shadow and Kasumi the strength of a Persona.

“BUFUDYNE”

Penthesilea appears again and raising both weapons to the sky, she strikes down hard into the ground and beneath the Shadow’s feet erupts a massive spike of ice.
COMBAT: Mitsuru Kirijo critically hits you with her Bufudyne attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 222 points of Ice damage.
COMBAT: You take greater damage due to your Ice weakness.
COMBAT: Kasumi Horie has been knocked out!
COMBAT: Mitsuru Kirijo has finished their turn.
COMBAT: You hit Mitsuru Kirijo with your Narrative Causality counterattack.
COMBAT: Your Narrative Causality ability has activated at a cost of 2 SP.

Aigis [SEES] has posed.

NOOO!
PEOPLE ARE FALLING OVER LEFT AND RIGHT!
THIS IS … UN/BEAR/ABLE!

Aigis frowns faintly at the Black Frost who kind of ‘hee hos’ awkwardly at her. She should have skipped to King Frost, clearly, but that required more complex fusions and honestly it looked pretty darn dorky. Seems like she might regret it because her good luck streak (at not getting blasted) has come to an end. Rocks slam into Aigis from above, sending her flying off her feet–a second and third rocks slam into her from two angles before finally letting her drop to the ground in a small heap.

A human probably would be suffering from broken bones but though Aigis is dented, scraped, and her Knightly Armor all but shattered–she stands up again.

“That…” She breathes out. “Is enough.” She looks up–now seems to be the time. If it doesn’t end soon, more will suffer, and it doesn’t matter whose Shadow that is–hurting Teddie is a most ursinine crime!

“PALLADION….CUSTOM!” Aigis shouts.

Palladion Custom is much like normal Palladion, except when it shimmers into being–a shield materializes alongside it, showing Aigis’s dedication to uh–

–uh…

“Hinata–?” She says, startled. “Ah–take it down!!” Aigis manages, running off towards Himeru to check on her fallen comrade. Teddie should be fine. He’s a beary tough bear.

COMBAT: Aigis has activated Palladion Custom.
COMBAT: Aigis missed you with her Primal Force attack.
COMBAT: Kasumi Horie has been knocked out!
COMBAT: You hit Aigis with your counterattack.
COMBAT: Your ability has activated at a cost of 2 SP.

[OOC] Mitsuru Kirijo says, “THORA”
[OOC] Mitsuru Kirijo says, “EAT. HER.”
[OOC] Akatsuki Enda says, “that’s one dead shadow”
[OOC] Mitsuru Kirijo says, “killkillkill”
[OOC] Mitsuru Kirijo :( Aigis
[OOC] Aigis says, “her BLANK counterattack!?”
[OOC] Thora Kobayashi says, “Oh shit you broke it D:”
[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Lol!”
[OOC] Mitsuru Kirijo says, “LOL”
[OOC] Aigis hit the combat system instead, that’s cool I’ll take that
[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “ROFL”
(New BB message (17/5) posted to ‘Daily Spotlight’ by Hinata Itoh: Aigis Is Just That Powerful)
[OOC] Kasumi Horie says, “Lol Hina”
[OOC] Hinata Itoh will just be over here ._. for the rest of the week
[OOC] Akatsuki Enda says, “you’re the absolute worst, hinata”
[OOC] Hinata Itoh, the worst :(

Thora Kobayashi [KDA] has posed.

At the King’s back, Thora glares daggers because seriously, how do you miss a gigantic tree with a bolt of lightning? Was someone standing nearby with a big metal rod? Sneering, she pulls the manifestation back into her mind and considers her options-at least until rocks fall and Teddie (almost sorta) dies.

With a one-handed swing, Thora smashes away an incoming rock with her hammer, giving her a hole of space she uses to avoid the other projectiles. Garm tears his way to the surface of Thora’s mind, breaking through the sea of Thora’s soul. As he does so, a filmy black substance clings to the persona’s massive clawed paws.

“This-” she wheezes, spitting on the ground, “Is for-” Thora suddenly freezes, her yellow eyes widening and her rage draining away as she turns to /stare/ at Hinata. Holy hell, where on earth did she get that mouth? (Is that her fault? If so, that would be kind of awesome.)

“GARM!” Thora commands, the beastly persona already in motion. “FINISH HER!”

Garm’s jaw flops open, blue light leaking out from the back of its throat. The temperature drops, heralding what would be a massive blast of ice bound for the Shadow. At least, that’s what would be expected, after what was observed during the rabbit fight. Instead, Garm lunges fangs-first to rip the tree to shreds with his teeth.

COMBAT: Thora Kobayashi hits you with her Double Fangs attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 83 points of Pierce damage.
COMBAT: Kasumi Horie has been knocked out!
COMBAT: Thora Kobayashi has finished their turn.

Teddie [KDA] has posed.

Teddie was being helpful! He could feel those Personas’ glee as his own attack weakened the Shadow tree. Now everyone will love Teddie!

The bear is about to follow up with his own volley of ice when suddenly…

Rocks fall. Everyone dies.

No, really. Rocks fall! Everyone dies!

…or at least all bears do. Teddie can only let out a surprised “Waa–” before he’s flattened beneath a boulder.

Kasumi Horie [U] has posed.

Yoh’s punching persona seems to hit the tree very hard. It buckles and branches continue dropping off. There are few leaves left and as Himeru attacks it with ice the rest of the leaves fall off. Before it is completely damaged though it manages to reflect enough of the ice back at Himeru.

Subsequent attacks weaken it further and the later ice attacks make it unable to move, piercing it to the core. The shadow falls to the ground…. completely silent for the first time this evening probably much to the relief of the group.

Kasumi finally stirs and looks up to see her friends are hurting. Her anger and disgust is rising and she finally summons up the courage to get up. As the last attacks fly at the shadow tree she feels invincible for some reason and suddenly knows what she has to do.

After it crumples, she looks down at it and sighs, “This is not what I deserve. This is not what /they/ deserve. I accept that you are me. That doesn’t make me bad and I am tired of hiding and running away.”

The strength of heart required to face oneself has been made manifest…

Kasumi has faced her other self…

She has obtained the facade used to overcome life’s hardships, the Persona Marlinchen!

She looks at the group.. giving a double take to Aigis and the bear. She runs over to Himeru, the older girl being her sole focus right now, “Hime-chan….” She starts crying. “Hiiiime…..”

Yoh Yamagatani [SEES] has posed.

Yoh strikes the tree hard, and lands on the other side, taking a moment to catch his breath, whenever he did those channeled punches, to took quite a bit of energy out of himself. He needs to find an efficient way to do that! Finally, as everyone attacks, the shadow weakens, and Kasumi accepts, he looks back over as Kasumi runs over to Himeru. She needs help. But, Yoh doesn’t know how to heal people!

Again he feels usele– Wait!

He isn’t useless! Yoh quickly runs over to the rock the little teddy bear looking fellow was flattened under, and pushes the large boulder away. He sees a crumpled little Teddie underneath. Oh, rather exhausted, sits down next to him in a plopping manner. Though beaten, aching and missing a good deal of skin on his arms, Yoh was okay. He could still move around.

“You okay, little fella?” he asks the fluffy little thing.

Hinata Itoh [SEES] has posed.

Down goes the Shadow. Kasumi finds her strength, accepts her Shadow, and the strength gives her a Persona. And they all lived happily ever after.

Except Himeru who’s still faceplanted. And Teddie who’s flatter than Yogi Bear’s ticket sales.

And then there’s Hinata, who stands where she was, still mortified long after Skuld had returned from which she had come. Did she really… Yeah, she did. Way to go, Itoh. How could she have been so…

Another long pause, and a glint of white catches her eye. She reaches over and tugs at her now smelly and littered jersey, closes her eyes, and quietly puts her bat and evoker away. Slowly she walks over to join where Kasumi lay crying, her own tone so very quiet. “Hey, Kasumi-chan…”

Himeru Namikawa [DS] has posed.

It’s probably for the best that she DIDN’T hear some of the things coming out of Hinata’s mouth, they were rather surprising and it’s unclear how she would have felt about it. In truth, the blood loss and burning rain were plenty enough to claim her consciousness, the reflected ice was just adding injury to…injuries, really.

But the damage is nasty. Muscles, tissues, blood loss, you name it. A normal human would have gone in shock and probably died just from the impaling rock, but she was still breathing if in a shallow manner. Her blue gown was getting stained red, but that’s the least of her problems.

And yet, while her heart rate and breathing are erratic, something is clearly working to keep her alive, refusing to simply let go. Skin is actually regrowing, or at least clumping around the rock fragment stuck in her mid-torso, preventing further blood loss. Vessels knit together faintly, holes patch themselves in a weak but visible fashion.

Genbu was not known to be just some flimsy beast god. His shell was not _just_ extremely resistant, it was also rumored to mend itself faster than it could be harmed. There might have been some truth to that, however the Persona’s power is not so much that it can push a solid alien element out of her body given her state. Still, she looks like she’s stabilizing on her own at least.

Mitsuru Kirijo [SEES] has posed.

There is no sound for a moment when the tree finally falls. As Mitsuru exhales, it’s with a frosted buff of breath as Penthesilea fades into the background. Her expression softens as Kasumi finally comes to her senses and when the girl runs towards Himeru, she steps to the side to allow her to run up to the other girl. There are others to attend to. Some are hurt more so than others.

Himeru is slowly recovering, Yoh is cradling Teddie and Mitsuru has a mental note to speak with Hinata privately later. She looks to Aigis and Thora both, “Thank you. For your help.” She bows slightly and then walks to where Yoh is. Her evoker fires again and her persona appears and with it, a rain of green light over Teddie as she gently pets his soft fur. “And thank you,” she murmurs to the bear. “For everything.”

She nods to Yoh, “And you stand still as well. After the two of you, I will attend to Itoh-san so please…”

Teddie [KDA] has posed.

Once the rock is lifted off, Teddie seems to at least be three-dimensional. This is good, considering he’s no longer hollow! “Did we… did we do it?” He flops over and stares unblinking at the ceiling, which just a few moments ago seemed so far away but now is so close! Maybe his eyesight is going!

Teddie is a tough bear. He can’t really take a hit very well, but good luck trying to actually kill him. Probably because he’s a… a whatever the heck he is. But that’s okay, because someone came to take care of him! It’s… it’s Yoh. For a moment, his vision begins to fade again. Woe is he, will no cute girls come to save him from the brink of death?!

But his life (and sanity) are saved as he feels the cooling touch of healing and, even better, the touch of a hand. One of his ears twitches and his eyes come back into focus. “Ah…ahhh….rrrrrrr~~~ Anytime, Mitsu-chan!” He seems cheerful enough, at least. Rolling over, the bear bounds back to his feet and…wobbles a bit. He should probably hold off on heavy lifting or running for a little while.

Aigis [SEES] has posed.

“Kasumi-Chan–don’t exert yourself…! This ordeal can really tire you out, take it easy if you can–” Aigis tells her, relaxing. She wonders what the deal just happened with Hinata. She hardly EVER sees her /really/ angry. More like an angry kitten, than a holy shit what the hell was that. Now Aigis doesn’t use those words, but she is pretty surprised.

Aigis ducks down by Himeru and says, “–She is stabilizing, we can move her out shortly, I think.” She looks to Mitsuru. “She will likely need a lengthy period of recovery as well.”

She looks back to Himeru, brushing some of her hair back worriedly. She doesn’t really have any ‘heals’ on her to actually help with, though.

Thora Kobayashi [KDA] has posed.

Garm vanishes, Thora falls back, breathing deeply and closes her eyes.

As she listens to Kasumi accept herself, she smiles a small, almost mischievous smile. One golden eye peeks open to observe the shape Kasumi’s mask has taken. As with the new appearance of any persona, she’s immediately hit with a blast of fresh resonance scent. At inception, it always felt crisp, clear, and unforgettable to Thora.

Kasumi rushes over to Himeru. Thora strolls after her, dragging her hammer along behind her. “She’s gonna be fine.” Thora announces to Kasumi. “Hime-chan’s pretty tough, she’ll bounce back.” By now, the nosebleed Thora had has stopped but the sticky dried remains of what it was still are on Thora’s face. She hears a thank you from Mitsuru.

Smirking, Thora shakes her head. “I don’t need to be thanked. This…” she gestures vaguely, “Is it’s own reward.”

Himeru Namikawa [DS] has posed.

Himeru Namikawa’s healing abilities would require:
1) Being conscious.
2) Draining someone’s very life like some sort of non-sparkle no bullshit and not much emo vampire.

Thankfully Mitsuru Kirijo is ON THE JOB. The magic slows down her breathing, it’s still far from being ‘relaxed sleep’ but it’s much better sounding than a moment ago. The hole is…mostly mended. Presuming the rock is removed, she might need a bandage or some ointment or something later, but right now it’s pinkish scar tissue rather than a gaping chest wound.

Kasumi Horie [U] has posed.

Kasumi looks up at Hinata from where she is crouching near her sempai, “Hinata-chan.. is she going to be okay?” Even as the girl says that though it seems like Himeru’s wounds are healing somehow. Her tears of fear and sadness over Himeru’s injuries slowly turn into tears of pure exhaustion.

She was so ready to get out of here but then looking around she notices Yoh bending over a very hurt looking bear. The sight of the bear doesn’t really shock the girl as much as the fact it is hurt! But a flash from Mitsuru’s evoker and a rain of green light and she hears him start to make sounds. She breathes a sigh of relief. Her worst fears ever had come true in a way but in another way she felt some kind of peace.

Everyone was hurt and even though she knows that it is her fault in a way the pure exhaustion she felt overpowered most other thoughts after a few moments. She looks at the group before she completely collapses, “T-thank you all.” Walking over to Mitsuru, “Sempai… ” She starts to say, but ends up literally collapsing into the older girls arms. Questions and more thanks would have to come later.

Yoh Yamagatani [SEES] has posed.

Yoh smiles some as Teddie seems to still be alive somehow! That is one talented bear. “Yeah, we got it, little guy.” He nods some as he seems to try and regain his motor skills, and Mitsuru comes up to heal them. How kind of his noble leader! Those nasty acid burns begin to go away, and Yoh finally releases Magni back into his mind.

Like heck he was going to do that while he still had acid burns! Magni suppresses a part of the pain Yoh feels, which helps some in cases like this. He laughs some as Teddie seems to purr… or whatever that is. He looks up to Mitsuru from his spot on the ground. He’s got some ‘splainin’ to do for being so brash today.

Yoh looks back over to the others nearby. “Think she will be okay?” Yoh would go over, but no sense in crowding Himeru out. He will have time to check on her while she is in recovery. He watches Thora go over, but remains where he is at. And then Kasumi collapses! He instinctively readies to stand but, then he remembers how tired he was after both his awakening and TV world. Usual response! He relaxes again.

Hinata Itoh [SEES] has posed.

She’s not holding it against her? Did she even hear it?

Hinata brushes a few stray bangs, a small tear finally making its way down her cheek. But she’s smiling. She can finally allow herself that now as she sees everyone either up and moving or at the least breathing and healed. Everybody goes home. “Yeah,” she says, a little louder, much happier. “Himeru’s as tough as they come. … Everything is going to be OK, Kasumi-chan.”

Mitsuru Kirijo [SEES] has posed.

Mitsuru goes about healing people’s injuries, though it appears that Himeru was the worst off. She will need a quieter and more relaxing environment to finish off. The young woman looks to Aigis and nods, “I think you can move her now. Carry her back to the dorm. I will fo-.” And that’s when Kasumi collapses in her arms to some of the ojou’s surprise.

She blinks and holds the girl gently and nods at Yoh, “They will all be alright. Just rest… Come. It’s a long way back to the dorms. I will have to call a van. But you all need your rest. You did well tonight and we got Horie-san back. That is all that matters.” And if Aigis has Himeru in hand, Mitsuru will gently take Kasumi and they can be on their way.

Yoh Yamagatani [SEES] has posed.

Yoh smiles towards Mitsuru, and nodes. “Yeah, should have figured it would be taxing on her. Sorry again for kinda being strange tonight and all.” He rubs the back of his neck, and begins to follow the others. Though stops after a moment.

He looks over to Teddie. “So, where does he live now? I can help get him there.”

OOC: January 5th, 2010

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