Illyria - Illyria Act 1 - Unlikely Allies

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Description: While the NOL regards itself as the bulwark against the darkness against the world, it may come to the surprise of some idealists that the paramilitary organization has some rivals. Leo Whitefang encounters one of the arch-enemies of the NOL trespassing at the Sacred Order headquarters in the dark of the night; the one and only Iron Tager of Sector Seven. The grim and no-nonsense agent of the mysterious organization is after the secrets of the NOL, and thanks to the current arrangement of the NOL and the SO, he has decided erroneously that the Sacred Order is the weakest link. Of course, the Sacred Order is after that particular secret as well. Perhaps there is a common ground between them...

The middle of the night. For many it is a time of rest. Others use the still of night as time to reflect. And then there are those who use the cloak of darkness to commit a number of deeds which some would consider daring or atrocious by daylight.

On this evening, the grandiose library is darkened and as still as a church mouse. In a secular library this might not be uncommon, but within the enclaves of the Sacred Order headquarters, activity is more of a norm than an exception. Indeed... anyone who attempts to gain entrance to the staffed library will find the doors locked -- and beyond that, barred.

Peering inside the windows would show no one moving about.
But further inspection would show a number of sleeping bodies scattered about upon the floor of the library -- presumably the night librarian and a half dozen acolytes, all in a peaceful state of repose. There are no signs of violent conflict -- in fact, each person just seems to have collapsed where they stood.

Those with keen hearing might be able to hear the sound of someone large, bulky, and most certainly metallic skulking about in the shadows.

It would seem that the Wheel of Fate is indeed turning...

Normally Commander Leo Whitefang has little to do with the library. He has his own personal dictionary, well marked up by his own comments and sense of ingenuity when it comes to defining things, and has little need for things like..books..and..research and like..things done by people he can just order to do for him.

Unfortunantly things are different now. The Order is under staffed, stressed and strained and committing its resources wholly to this Illyria endeavor and the firestorm surely to follow in its aftermath. With a large contingent of their knights and acolytes already out in the field, Leo feels utterly under prepared and under informed and as such has been scrounging up every last bit of information he can on the lost kingdom. With most of the Order gone..well..there's few here to order around save for the Librarians he informed in advance that he would be coming.

Fortune or fate, perhaps, delayed his arrival and now he approaches the grand doors of the Orders library and information enclave only to find them shut.

"Hmph. Strange.. Did I misjudge the hours of availability?" he rumbles before shrugging. He is important therefore silly little things like hours of operation are of no concern to him.

When the door ceases to budge, however, a frown creases his expressive features. He tries again - shaking the doors and then -really- shaking the doors with his prodigious strength now starting to apply. "Open!" he demands and then he knocks, "This is Commander Whitefang. Why are the doors locked?? Where is everyone??"

The Commander will receive no direct answer to his query.
A pair of orange goggles turns towards the sound of the shuddering doors. A pair of upturned, tusk-like teeth shift uncomfortably. A pair of nostrils flare, a look of desperate consternation. And a low, rumbling whisper may be heard -- though it would be difficult for anyone -outside- the library to hear.

"We've got company."

The Red Devil of Sector Seven frowns at the response -- inaudible to anyone aside from him. Not that he hadn't already predicted the nature of the response, but some motions need to be gone through all the same.

Quietly, he reaches into his jacket, drawing out four small butterfly-shaped objects, small enough to be concealed within a paperback novel. Thin and translucent, the violet plastic seems to house the wire traces of a miniature circuit of some kind -- perhaps a conductive antenna of some kind.

Even as the banging outside grows increasingly insistent, Tager calmly and deliberately proceeds to place each of the antennas on the top shelf -- one of many things the nearly-eight-foot-tall behemoth is good at. For if there is one thing he knows from the sound of the door jarring outside, it is giving him a perfect indication of just -where- his foe lies.

Going out the front door is a task for the brash and the young -- and Tager is neither.
Crashing through the window would be even more reckless -- and it would reveal the reason for his entry.

No, the hulking infiltrator simply makes his way toward the library's service entrance, cloaked within the shadow of darkness. And upon the way, he plucks up one of the library's massive tomes, with a series of arcane runes on the cover. His hand easily dwarfs the volume, tucking it under one arm as he steps through the door. It might seem incredulous that someone as large as Tager can move without causing a shudder through the entire library -- though it's unsure whether his infiltration skills or the soundproofing carpet gets to take the credit there. His passage is betrayed to the outside by the unavoidable reflection of light from the door as it swings itself shut in his wake.

With his tome tucked under his left arm, he disengages the lock on the service door -- fully mindful that the move only gives him a few more seconds' advantage than going out the front door. But this way -- no property damage. And he -might- actually be able to make it off the Sacred Order campus without further intervention, depending on how canny -- or not -- the librarygoer outside may be...

Tenacity and bull headedness are among the many words applicable to one Leo Whitefang. He doesn't deter easily and a sudden shove and a rising sense of alarm breaks the locks and then sends the doors slamming up against the barricades set forth by the immense trespasser.

"Wha.." he starts, startled as he's again forced to a stop with sudden jarring resistance to his forward momentum. A brief pause and moment of calmness and clarity settles on him. He listens and the absolute silence coming from within the library alarms and warns him all the more. Enough is enough.

A click of a button later and Leo's resonant voice into the ear pieces and communication lines of all posted and present in the Order Headquarters, "This is Commander Whitefang. We have an intruder on the grounds. Begin level 3 lockdown and sweep the grounds."

As security alarms begin to blare, Leo turns and begins to rush down the hall away from main doors and with a flourish of his ornate coat begin dashing his way down side halls to the pace of the incessant local claxons. "Whoever you are, you're smart enough to not come barreling out the way you came in..but that leaves only a few options of escape now doesn't it." Leo muses to himself, bursting through double doors leading to the less ornate and more utilitarian back halls of the Order Headquarters used to move around things ranging from equipment to works of art and even books and book cases in need of servicing."

Tager is not in any particular rush -- he knows that his barricade to the door without was secure and would stop all but the most determined from gaining entrance.

And then he hears the massive doors buckle, the locking mechanisms giving way.
That increases his pace from a slow amble to a rapid walk -- and the walls of the library -do- begin to shudder with each step down the thinly carpeted back room. But when the Red Devil hears the alarm klaxons wail... he's a bit more concerned.

He might have to actually hurt someone tonight.

When the doors to the service corridor are blasted open, Tager is still proceeding apace down the hallway. Fortified steel tassets swing from the intruder's hips with each lumbering step, small creaking sounds suggesting that their hinges might need a fresh coat of oil. And it seems that Tager would be more than happy to continue trodding his way down the hallway -- the exit door just a few seconds away from being kicked open, and on the other side -- relative freedom.

And yet, the shout from Leo Whitefang has the thundrous boom of authority -- enough so that Iron Tager's enormous boots trod to a halt.

Orange goggles peer over his right shoulder, the ruddy tone of his skin becoming all the more apparent. He looks like a monstrosity, a beast dragged straight from Hell -- but his slow, deliberate movements suggest a stoic, calculating intelligence. Someone not quick to anger -- and yet, who sees the point in turning to face his adversary.

"Escape? All I wanted was a quiet place to read my book, and then you had to go and ruin it."

The seven-foot-ten behemoth flashes a grin. For anyone who has ever heard of Sector Seven before, Iron Tager would be a clearly recognizable. And his reputation ought to precede him -- as someone who rarely leaves a contest as anything but a victor. And -- naturally, he recognizes Leo as well, one of the most decorated officers of the Order.

He pivots, bringing the book in his left hand into view. "They won't take my library card during the day. So I have to resort to less traditional visitation times."

He then turns a bit more, so that he can incline his head toward the back halls of the Order Headquarters. "Rest assured -- no one out there was harmed in the slightest. Let me pass -- and there won't be any fuss. Neither you nor I would want any of these valuables to be damaged for such a trifling reason."

The goggles fixate on Leo's eyes for a moment, his fanged mouth pressing into a firm line. He certainly has the height advantage over Leo -- and the imposing figure is used to getting his way.

And then, with a squeal of iron hinges, Tager starts to turn, as if that was the end of the discussion.

The Sector Seven enforcer is smart enough to know better.

COMBATSYS: Iron Tager has started a fight here.

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Iron Tager       0/-------/------=|

His hearing is good. Leo's words were more to himself but he bursts in on Tager just in time and indeed the sight of the Red Devil does give him a reason to slow his own momentum in the face of such a colossus. Perhaps more astonishing then Tagers size, however, is how he managed to be so discreet up to this point. That alone is a feat worthy of notice. As such Leo is struck dumb for a moment as Tager speaks and the Great Knight is forced to simply listen in mildly stunned silence while he processes the situation. It doesn't take him to long, afterwards, to regain his wits.

"I did not give you leave to turn."

Surprised, yes, intimidated? Apparently not.

"You have a solid sense of humor it seems, perhaps born from a great deal of self confidence, much like myself. But you are in my territory at the moment."

Leo folds his arms, fully expecting Tager to stand right there at his say so, "If you'd simply wanted coloring books or something to entertain yourself with I'd have directed you to the right location without all of this fuss and muss but it seems you've accidentally latched onto something more valuable."

Leo gestures, beckoning with one arm as he slowly approaches while on his other arm his iron cross shimmers and then begins transforming, lengthening into a massive greatsword.

"You seem familiar to me. Iron Tager is it? I did not think that the NOL would be so desperate as to start hiring so brazenly out of their own ranks but it seems that their pretense of honesty and good will was even more thinly veiled then I first believed."

Whoops. Looks like a little wire crossing there.

"Stay where you are and ready yourself to be detailed. Though a giant, I assure you we can find a comfortable place for you.."

His body subtly shifts into a his battle ready stance as he speaks. Ready, on a moments notice, to strike.

COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang has joined the fight here.

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Leo Whitefang    0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0       Iron Tager

Tager halts, mid-step, just as soon as Leo registers a protest. Like it or not, Leo Whitefang -is- an authority here, and the interloper still has some modicum of respect for the office, if not for the facilities themselves. People... people are different than things.

He chuckles -- a sound that would be easy to discern throughout the passageway, even though he chooses not to turn back towards Leo at the time.

"Right on the name," he comments, though he pointedly does -not- elaborate on the criminally incorrect reckoning of his allegiances.

Slowly, deliberately, the ruddy-skinned behemoth turns to face the Sacred Order's authority figure.

And he presents him with a toothy grin.

He sets the book on a rolling cart. And balls his hands into fists -- just -one- of them would be larger than Leo's head.

"Will there be coloring books my size?"

Steam begins to hiss out, from the various joints on the cyborg's body. The wheel of fate turns -- and the imposing Sector Seven agent is prepared.

"Perhaps. We'll have to see how well you behave yourself!" quips Leo who suddenly dashes forward in a blur of movement that a lunging great cat would be hard pressed to mimic the speed and ferocity of.

His presumption here is that speed is his advantage. Leo would be the first to suggest one not judge a book by its cover and to avoid stereotypes, yada, yada, yada. He himself is not a small man and yet he moves like a furious Sabretooth in a blur of golds and browns, blitzing at a breathless all or nothing pace. Tager, however, just might be as slow as he looks..

Such speed lends Leo to bringing his second greatword to bear. The weapons huge, even in comparison to Tager's own dimensions. They cross before him as he races ahead and then at the very last second he slides towards a stop and whips the swords back, bringing the blades across one another and sending a burst of iron hard chi into the action which sends a glistening cross shaped blast of chi hurtling at Tager with wind and force howling behind it.

Even as this occurs, Leo moves, attempting to get within direct angle of the cart with the book upon it. His true target being that, when all is said and done.

COMBATSYS: Iron Tager blocks Leo Whitefang's Graviert Wurde.

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Leo Whitefang    0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0       Iron Tager

"Mystery novels, perhaps?" rumbles the towering cyborg, his goggled eyes tracking the Sacred Order commander as he surges into motion with blinding speed. Tager makes no sudden movements to catch up -- preferring to watch and take in the motions. Acting rashly against a new opponent is not high on his list of favorite things to do. "As long as it's none of that Young Adult trash."

The greatswords are an... interesting choice of weapon, and one that does not escape the hulking marauder's notice. And yet, the only step Tager makes is one in withdrawal -- one that places distance between himself and the book he prizes, and yet closer to escape at the same time. His metal-clad arm -- a drum which could easily contest Leo himself on weight -- is raised upwards. And sparks begin to fly as the cross of metallic chi scrapes across it, a sickeningly loud scrape not unlike an entire classroom of schoolgirls' nails scraping across a chalkboard. And yet, the gentle giant is far from disturbed by the sound -- a marked advantage of electronic auditory organs.

Tager glances down at the cart, noticing that Leo has lined himself up nearly perfectly across it.

He lurches forward, shoving with his opposite arm. His meaty palm slams into the side of the cart -- and sends it -rocketing- towards Leo, threatening to bowl him over entirely! To say nothing of the treasured tome...

COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang blocks Iron Tager's Large Thrown Object.

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Leo Whitefang    0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0       Iron Tager

That was...unexpected. Leo doesn't have time to mentally praise Tager's adjustment in strategy but needless to say he had figured the giant would make efforts to keep the tome away from him, versus use it as part of an attack. As such he has barely an instant to respond defensively and to do so without destroying the stolen object in the process.

Both of his swords are raised up infront of him, crossed with the flats of the blades facing out as twin silver walls which absorb the brunt of the force of Tager's throw. The book goes tumbling into the air, spinning out of reach of Leo even as the force of the carts impact also sends the man backwards, uncrossing his arms while in flight, so as to help recover his balance just before he lands.

He springs, almost immediately, coiling forward and dashing past with chi trailing behind his form and his sword in a brilliant metallic arc that slashes at Tager's gigantic borged out arms, trailing after the movements of his twin greatswords.

"Impressive!" he manages to finally retort, "But can you keep up and leave with your prize?"

COMBATSYS: Iron Tager barely endures Leo Whitefang's Kaltes Gestober Erst.

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Leo Whitefang    0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0       Iron Tager

The Red Devil tracks the cart as it slams into Leo's blades, but what's more, he pointedly tracks the book as it flies off -- grimacing somewhat as the binding is bent by the flight, and a few pages fly loose in the process, fluttering slowly to the floor. An avoidable loss, perhaps -- but one the towering giant is apparently willing to absorb.

The greatswords carve massive arcs through the air, and yet Tager is undeterred. It seems as he already has an answer for Leo, even before the question is asked: he lurches straight into the fray, sending another shower of sparks into the air as the swords grind against the massive vambraces upon his arms. The blades' edges cut into the ruddy flesh of his shoulders -- it seems that the behemoth can bleed, though one might find it difficult to call the oily mixture 'blood' as it seems quite a bit oily.

But Tager did not choose the blades because he likes the pain.
He charged in for the situational advantage. For as he lunges in, his metal hands begin to spark in a quite different way -- green tendrils of sparkling electricity, emanating from the Tesla-coil terminals of his magnetic gauntlets. As Leo Whitefang has aptly demonstrated, he sure likes those metal greatswords -- and TR-0009 Tager might be able to turn the battle in his favor.

He cocks his right fist back -- and it takes on a brilliant golden glow, the sign of a powerful sigil overlaid upon the weaponized metal.

He roars -- "IRON FIST!"

And as he slams his fist forward in a mighty punch, the Sacred Order commander may find out - the hard way - that Tager's unique power is dominion over the realm of magnetism. And Leo may find himself and his swords drawn towards Tager not due to his keen intellect, but by the spinning magnetodynes within his massive gauntlets!

COMBATSYS: Iron Tager successfully hits Leo Whitefang with Voltic Battler.

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Leo Whitefang    0/-------/=======|======-\-------\0       Iron Tager

It looks like this is about to be one 'those' battles. The go hard or go home sort.

Indeed Leo's focus on the book proves to be his undoing here.

"The Tome-" he begins to comment, upon seeing the damage done to it. He spins in a dramatic whirl of his great coat only to have his entire field of vision dominated by both the golden sigil and the fist that hurtles his way with seemingly nowhere to to turn to avoid it like a battering ram hurtling right for him.

He attempts to drag his swords around but even his strength, immense though it is and Leo is very, very strong, seems insufficient in the voice of the magnetic pull suddenly exerted upon him.

"What the hell--!" he begins to spit out - just before the first slams into him like a speeding truck. Leo's eyes widen, bulging out before he's lifted clear off the ground and sent spinning into the air and then back again into a far wall against several cabinets, shaking the room in the process. It's the sort of blow that would decimate a line of armored soldiers and break through the a line of military vehicles, treating both like bowling pins.

But Leo is tougher then he looks. The Sacred Order does what it does for a reason and men like him are one of them. The power of the blow is resounding but after an instant of being splayed out on the ground, he's up again though electrons spark around him, crackling and humming from the magnetism imbued in his weapons and gear.

"Impressive giant. I don't know if the Red Devil is some Darkstalker-Ogre enhanced by NOL or something else but you sure hit harder then one. Small wonder NOL is feared.."

He straightens up and crouches into his stance again, "Good!"

And with that he suddenly seems to flash out of sight, blitzing with such sudden movement that a shockwave rips into being behind him, setting carts a flying and book cases tumbling, His blades lance around, forcing themselves into an upward chi blazing arc that spins Leo into a a wild fanning uppercut right into Tager as he closes the distance on the titan despite the brutes size suggesting one ought to run like hell.

Barely has this ended is he behind the giant, and above him, bringing a leg down in an axe kick like motion strong enough to sunder reinforced concrete and that chi again blazing behind him, trailing his swords with a downward slash that intends to rebound into the vast back.

"I'd want it no other way!"

COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang blitzes into action and acts again!

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Leo Whitefang    0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0       Iron Tager

COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang successfully hits Iron Tager with Eisen Sturm.

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Leo Whitefang    0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1       Iron Tager

COMBATSYS: Iron Tager fails to interrupt Blitzschlag from Leo Whitefang with Air Driver.

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Leo Whitefang    1/------=/=======|=======\===----\1       Iron Tager

As Tager's super-sized gauntlet crashes into Leo, the imposing cyborg draws in his breath again. He takes no particular joy in the work, taking solace only in the comfort of knowing he managed to deal a decisive blow against his impressively swift opponent.

He releases the fresh intake of breath, the soles of his boots thudding into the floor as he begins to close the distance to Leo -- and the book. For a moment, it seems like he might have considered picking the tome up off the floor -- and maybe even the few loose pages which even now have yet to actually touch the floor.

But Leo Whitefang proves to be too quick for that. The red giant draws in another breath, setting his jaw as the Sacred Order commander waxes poetic about his raison d'etre for being here.

"It is nice to feel appreciated," thunders the Red Devil -- neither confirming nor denying the hypotheses, really. He draws his fists back, squaring his shoulders up with his opponent.

And then, as Leo blurs out of sight, Tager drops his shoulders, devoting himself towards defending the attack. Heavy gauntlets are raised up -- and yet, prove to be -much- too slow to defend against Leo's attack, as the chi-shrouded blade whistles upwards, careening right past his tardy guard and carving a crimson arc across the Red Devil's ruddy skin. Armored mesh and metal plating alike are cleaved by the blade, forcing the giant to take two staggering steps backwards to catch himself, while loosing a metallic-echoed roar of agony.

If that were all, Tager might have been able to weather the storm. But Leo, to his credit, is much -faster- than this. Already destabilized from a debilitating strike from the front, he's now left open for an attack from behind. Losing sight of his target, Tager reflexively starts to pivot to meet up with Leo -- but as he turns, his massive gauntlet is kicked aside -- a feat in itself!! But then the golden chi slams into Tager's broad lats, a shockwave of force being more than powerful enough to send a thunderclap resounding through the storage room.

The aural assault will not end there, though -- for the series of blows was powerful enough to send Tager careening forward and out of control. His foot staggers forward -- and then before he knows it, he finds the wheeled cart underfoot! Flailing out of control, he continues falling forward -- with the aid of the cart -- until he crashes into -another- set of bookshelves.

One would not envy the librarians on the next day...

Grimacing, Tager looks at the mess he finds himself in. Books and rare artifacts all around him -- and a set of metal bookshelves warped beyond the point of salvage. Planting one palm on the floor, he nonetheless pushes himself back to his feet- leveling a seething glare at Whitefang.

"Not bad, yourself..." he rumbles, books and papers dislodging themselves from the Red Devil as he rises. "But you have a long way to go, yet..."

Leo isn't looking all unscathed and epic himself. That one blow, a single blow, was enough to nearly crumple him and though he returned kind and then some to Tager, it's anyone's' guess just how much more the immense infiltrator can unleash. Tager's seething anger can be felt by the great knight but ultimately all of the above simply causes Leo to smirk and brush himself off. He does grunt out a rough cough but then snaps one of his blades up, pointing it at Tager as he readies himself.

"IS that so? Then get up as I assure you, I have more cards to play as well. But keep in mind the outcome of this match is already decided. It's been decided because you face Leo Whitefang and your defeat was assured from the instant that became your fate."

He then lowers his sword, the tip of it facing the ground now. " can demonstrate some wisdom and tell me what I want to know. Why have you been sent here? What is the significance of this book and what evil is The NOL interested in perpetrating in Illyria? It's not enough that you hold us hostage by kidnapping one of our own by tricking her into giving herself up - but you betray us so -quickly-..which makes me wonder what you've already found?"

The more he speaks though the more that..something isn't right here does begin nagging at him. After all Relius -brought- them information on Illyria and they're supposed to be sharing information mutually for this endeavor. So why would..? His mind works for an added moment as well. He has heard of the term 'Red Devil' before.

....Well Leo's never been one who is fast to admit when he may have jumped the gun on something or misunderstood something and one thing -is- certain. Iron Tager is an intruder. "Well? You -are- NOL ...correct?" As he speaks he narrows his eyes, studying Tager, waiting to spring into action at a moments notice...

COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang focuses on his next action.

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Leo Whitefang    1/------=/=======|=======\===----\1       Iron Tager

As Tager returns to his full height, the extent of the damage dealt him becomes a bit more clear. Black ichor seeps from the incision on his chest, refusing to play nice as the Red Devil rolls his shoulders. A number of bruises have formed also -- though it would be hard to see the slightly darker shades against his ruddy complexion.

Leo's boastful words only draw a raised eyebrow from the cybernetically enhanced human as his gauntlets heave about, fingers jogging back and forth as he runs a brief systems check after that tumultuous exchange. As long as Leo is willing to talk, the stoic Red Devil is more than eager to listen. Considering each statement in context and by itself, Tager comes to one very amusing conclusion...

Whitefang is a very talkative man.

His shoulders roll once more, this time into a shrug, as the fingers of both hands splay outward.

"I wish I could help you, Commander -- but that information is above my pay grade."

Those hands ball into fists.
And then the four terminals on each of his gauntlets begin to crackle with electricity. The loose leaf pages fluttering about begin to shudder with the electrical current jolting through them -- and even the warped metal bookshelves behind him begin to glow an electric blue from the imposing intruder's magnetic storm.

His orange goggles gleam in the light, two discs of brilliant light.

And then, Tager begins to whirl in a rapid circle, with speed defying what one might -expect- from someone of his considerable size. Green-hued electricity spills out from his gauntlets in the spin, rising above like branches from a tree and descending like a curtain of vines...

And, through it all -- pretty much -everything- metal will be drawn into the magnetic maelstrom -- from that twisted metal shelving system, to the number of carts all around. Leo may find himself struck from all sides by the rolling carts left behind...!

But, as impressive as that display may be, it only lasts a second, as the prelude to a considerably more powerful attack -- Tager lurching forward to deliver Leo the best and most succinct answer possible -- one ridiculously overpowered gigapunch straight to the jaw! "GURAAAAAAAAAAAAAOH!"

COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang blocks Iron Tager's Tera-Break.

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Leo Whitefang    1/----===/=======|==-----\-------\0       Iron Tager

Magmonious speech giving is all part of the job, especially when one has the bearing and demeanor of Leo.

However when it's clear the time for talking has ended, he snarls and drops back into his combat stance again, both swords crossed and his body crouched over again, his teeth seeming lion like and sharp for a moment though that's surely a side effect of the chi visibly racing through his body.

"Fine." He growls out, and begins to move again..only to suddenly have a cart hurtling towards him from the side. He spins, whipping a sword out to cleave and deflect the incoming attack only to find another coming at him from another angle. Then another and then another. His movements blur as pivots, spins and whips the enormous twin blades around in blurring movements like some sort of industrial fan, deflecting and redirecting blows with a ringing sound of iron-chi racing through the morphing-steel of his greatblades.

At the end of it all he turns, bringing both blades up at the last possible second to bear the full brunt of Tagers follow up attack. His eyes widen and his teeth grit into that lion like snarl and a raucous thundering *BOOOOM* resounds and rings out as metallic fist meets metallic blades and Leo is forced off the ground and into the air by the power of the blow.

But it's a controlled flight. He managed to deflect most of that awesome force, sending the shockwave rippling out away from both warriors to blast away the remnants of the debris and crater the ground as Leo himself flies, and then flips backwards to plant both feet against the distant wall with a whirling flourish of his coat as he impacts.

His legs flex and spring him off of the wall, hurtling at Tager with a loud, "Hrarrgh!!" Both of his blades come acring out once again, returning the offered punch with one a swipe of his blades that seems to trail the jagged claws of the strike of a giant lion in chi-infused after image of the swings passing as Leo dashes by, attempting to focus damage on those massive metallic arms.

COMBATSYS: Iron Tager blocks Leo Whitefang's Medium Strike.

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Leo Whitefang    1/----===/=======|===----\-------\0       Iron Tager

Grunting with the last of his gauntlets' electrical discharge, TR-0009 takes a step back -- only then does it become obvious that his magnetic pull is no longer in effect. He does not seem all that affected by the noise of his rowdy attacks -- probably one of his many cybernetic enhancements.

The stoic enforcer flashes a lopsided smile in response -- apparently not seeing a whole lot to actually -comment- on the matter. Leo is, after all, revealing a lot of information in his hasty assumptions, and Tager has not yet determined a way to make him reveal more than what he already has.

But then inspiration strikes, as he sees the overturned carts and the scattered books. He spares a glance for his tome -- and finding it, after a moment of cybernetically-enhanced searching.

"You're making way more of a mess in here than I am. Hope it's worth it, Commander."

By this poitn, though, Leo has sprung to the distant wall. Tager would give props for the return, were this an athletic event -- but as it is, he can only give a tacit nod as he brings both of his gauntlets up to defend his face. Each swipe of his blades is met by active counterpressure from his gauntlets, a shower of sparks raining out with each clash of steel. So if Leo was -targeting- those arms, well... so much for getting them out of his way. But as Tager pulls back from each strike, it becomes clear that he -is- in fact attempting to minimize damage -- on behalf of -both- parties.

But while Leo is close...
Tager lurches forward. And angles forward, digging -both- of his hands low, striking for Leo's knees and shins.

And if he manages to connect -- he would sweep Leo upwards, off his feet -- and hurl him into the nearest storage rack of rare artifacts!

COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang blocks Iron Tager's Medium Punch.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Leo Whitefang    1/---====/=======|===----\-------\0       Iron Tager

"Would you believe I'm holding back?" grunts out Leo as Tager's massive hands brush up against his legs and even that is enough to nearly upend him but for him reaching forward and down to literally push off of Tagers column sized arms to vault up and out of reach of the grapplers efforts. He's hardly an acrobat though so it's less a nimble spin and more a vaulting leap that sends the great knight back several yards...and in an ideal direction towards the book.

"Besides ..a little collateral damage is a small price to pay in exchange for taking you down and stopping the much greater damage your retreat with this tome would cause!"

The fight hasn't gone unwatched either. Information begins to finally come into Leo's earpiece and he frowns ..ever so slightly. A mild narrowing of his eyes and a brief look of consternation and frustration that is redirected back to Tager. What has he just learned from Sacred Order communication?

"But you have you paint, Red Devil. The time to end this is now..and then you will tell me what I need to know!"

By now he's landed and skidded back a few paces. Chi clashes about his swords like silver lightning at he crosses his arms across each other, swords pointing backwards behind him like twin lightning rods as he gathers energy.

He then whirls forward, spinning the blades back around like a fan and releasing them in a massive burst of chi that flickers the lights, blasts out a windstorm and sends the iron chi intending to off balance Tager for the rest of the strike.

"These Royal Blades are ten times stronger then any other!" He slams the swords together, whirling the morphable metal into a spiral of movement that forms a gigantic spear like shape which ends in an immense lions head which roars out thunderously. Violently shaking the room. Leo lunges backwards and then dashes forward - launching himself at Tager with the lions force bearing down on him.

"My strength is ten times that of any man! Since I'm feeling generous I'll DOUBLE their multiplied power..for 200 times the force!!"

He dashes past Tager, a jagged streak of light and lion's claws burning through the air past the gigantic cyborg as he slides to a stop some yards away. The already violently damaged storage room doesn't stand a chance. The ground cratering and debris flying everywhere.

COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang successfully hits Iron Tager with Windrad des Weltraum.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Leo Whitefang    0/-------/-------|=======\-------\0       Iron Tager

Tager offers a muted smile as reply.
"I believe that you can boast more than you have."

He does not have any particular reply for the need to end this now -- even if it is an idea that would obviously resonate with the tanklike cyborg. As he draws his gauntlets back, rising to his full height once more, Tager makes another pointed look to the book, registering its position on the floor near Leo's foot. If he seeks to regain control -- that makes it quite difficult indeed.

Tager will not be able to keep his goggles directed away from Leo for long, though -- not with his mastery of chi on display. The Red Devil hisses through his teeth as he draws his fists up, taking a wary step backwards. His gauntlets begin to crackle with electricity again -- though on a considerably muted level compared to before. The carts don't even shudder, for one thing, so magnetism is not the goal...

"... I believe your math is off," he notes astutely, as he raises his gauntlets defensively, angling his tassets towards the swordsman to protect his core.

here is no time for much else, though -- Leo is already streaking into motion -- a torrent of light and metallic chi carving a visible scar into the air itself. Books -- metal -- and with that final strike, a crack appears in Tager's leading gauntlet, accompanied by a violent surge of crackling electricity.

Tager roars with pain, dropping to one knee as the pain courses through his system. A garish chasm has been cut across the heavy metal surface, practically gushing with lubricant from a severed supply line.

Tager shakes his head, his teeth clenched from the pain.

"I'll still tell you nothing...! No punishment you levy upon me is worse than -her- anger!"

And with a singular roar, Tager bursts forward from his kneeling position. Ignoring the damage to his battle gauntlets, he levels a twin-fisted punch at Leo -- then sweeps both arms outward in a reverse sickle of yellow-green electricity! But then Tager lunges forward, bringing both fists together over his head! And then he uses the last of his sapped strength reserves to bring the axehandle crashing downward onto Leo with ground-splitting force! "GURAAAAAAAAOH!"

COMBATSYS: Iron Tager has suffered catastrophic damage and fallen offline.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Leo Whitefang    0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang blocks Iron Tager's Sledge Hammer.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Leo Whitefang    0/-------/------=|

So his math was off. Not that Leo thinks so. But he hasn't any time to offer a rebuttal to the cyborgs comment as he turns only to find Tager lunging in on him with force to drive a tank into the ground like a tent pole.

At least this much is true - Leo is trong..very very strong..and as such when the fist impacts it does so against the flats of his upraised blades and braced body. A crater does indeed form as the large commander is forced to bended knee, teeth gritting and eyes bulging out, sweat pooling visibly on his face. He can only imagine what might have happened had he not blocked that.

Tagers words are not lost on him, nor is his condition and after he shoves off the giants arms, he bounces back a few steps to land besides the tossed and damaged arcane tome. A blade is pointed at Tager and he frowns.

"Sector Seven." He breathes in and out great gouts of air, trying to calm himself down and relax his adrenaline and he reaches down to pick the tome up. "It seems I was mistaken. Our intel on the Red Devil affiliates you with that organization. But you are -still- trespassing. Had you cleared up my error upfront, perhaps we wouldn't have battled."

Well no they probably still would have given Leo's temperament and that Tager, again, was trespassing and stealing. "I've little love for NOL at the moment. I'm almost sorry this wasn't them betraying us.. At least then I'd have an excuse."

He pauses and looks over the tome, "It's too late for such stubbornness but perhaps a mutual agreement can be arranged."

Tager grits his teeth as his last-ditch effort is nonetheless opposed by Leo -- proving that even the half-ton Red Devil is no match for a determined heart! The stress fractures in his gauntlets groan with the duress, unsure which of the two unstoppable forces is moreso -- and thankfully, the contest of wills ends before an even more critical material failure.

Pressed backwards, the giant finds that he has no more oomph left to give, and drops to one knee, electricity arcing from around his elbows and lancing its way up his biceps. "... I suspect that is unlikely, considering."

He does not elaborate -- as Leo correctly deduces that trespassing is still a rather serious charge, particularly with regard to the number of infractions committed in the process of said trespassing. And yet---

Tager looks up to find a sword at his neck.
And if his eyes were visible, it'd be plain to see that they were narrowed.

He draws in his breath, measuring his words for a long moment -- so that he, like Leo, might approach the conversation with a similar, if not identical voice of reason.

"It is my understanding that the Librarium is strategically aligned with the Sacred Order. And yet, you seem to be so thoroughly divided on this matter. Perhaps a mutually beneficial arrangement -can- be reached."

Tager shifts uncomfortably on his knee, as the self-repair mechanisms start to take root.


Leo's swords morph back to their neutral Iron Cross states and he suddenly offers the tome to Tager for his taking.

"It is a forced alliance. The Sacred Order and NOL are nothing alike and we suspect dangerous, ulterior motives of conquest and an attempt to consolidate power. Whatever is found in Illyria must be kept out of their hands and there is something they have which belongs to us. Trust me when I say the NOL well knows our feelings on these matters.."

Leo takes a great risk here. What is known of Sector Seven isn't entirely benevolent per se. This could just as easily explode in his face but they need allies and like minded thinkers on NOL's rapid progression.

"Take your prize and esca[e with it but in exchange I want to speak with this 'her' you're referring to and see if there is anything of mutual benefit The Sacred Order and Sector Seven may be able to come to an agreement on. "

The red goliath nods quietly in reply to Leo, silently assimilating the explanation. It matches up with what he -does- know about the situation, at any rate. And the Sector Seven agent is more than happy to let his actions do the speaking, as his words are no doubt being recorded for quality assurance purposes.

He reaches up to accept the tome, looking down at its cover. He bows his head in appreciation and thanks.

"I will let her know. There is a wealth of data that the Order might not be privy to that could help aid you in your efforts. As for Illyria..."

Tager offers a tight smile, as he rises to his feet. His arms are still sparking, but his hands are considerably less so, as he extends one in an offer of comradery.

An offer for a handshake, even.

"We are most curious as to how -that- expedition is proceeding.

He clasps the tome under one arm, bowing his head once again. And if allowed, he will proceed for the nearest exit in a calm and orderly fashion, leaving behind a legacy of devastated books and prized artifacts -- and a set of small innocuous devices in the bookshelves that are quite likely to have escaped notice.

Leo Whitefang watches as Tager leaves. It'll be easy enough to spin doctor this up as him simply succeeding in his mission. Not that..Leo has to..say he lost or anything. No of course not. Tager just..'got away'. It helps being important so that your word isn't questioned.

"Excellent. Hmm..he sounds like me. So naturally this means he is both powerful and wise and trustworthy and will see to it that this works out. Only a man of such character and skill could have my voice."

He pauses and then adds, "Of course he is -not- me, which his why he lost."

He considers this for a moment and then turns to head out with a flourish of movement among the ruined cases, boxes and equipment.

Log created on 19:41:40 03/15/2018 by Iron Tager, and last modified on 00:49:22 03/17/2018.