The Bell Tolls - TBT Act 1 - Painting The Town White

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Description: When you're a drug lord like White, chaos is just a good business practice. Seeking to strike panic into the heart of Southtown, White has decided to turn the best and brightest from Taiyo High into ultraviolent hooligans, by routing them into a mass hypnotic riot on the roof of the school. Parents watch on in horror as their cherished children duke it out for -free- on television, without safety officials, or even the comfort of a paycheck. In the midst of the brutal event's feverish news coverage, a brave soul (with huge-ass ... weaponry) wanders onto the scene with only one question to ask of White: "Why?"

Fresh from the harbor breeze, White and his cronies have come to Southtown, to do as they please.

Around Taiyo High, on the day of a dance recital, students push and shove, flares of chi and the sounds of smashing glass fly rampant for watching video cameras. Parents gasp with horror as their children dance about erratically, unleashing martial arts chaos in all directions. Teenagers fly through walls, toilets can be heard exploding inside the school as fists are pummelled into them, and reporters are taping the whole thing, reporting on the violence.

In the background thumps a techno-beat, with the teachers locked inside the staff rooms, students banging on the barred doors to get inside, as if they were zombies.

Blood, guts, and death, you say? Merely with a little bit of drugged soda, antiquated anti-psychotics used in the 19th century by Scotland Yard inside the school's Mountain Dew, brought as a reward on dance recital day for the Taiyo student body's hard work for a recent campaign to promote world peace, in the wake of the destruction of Mt. Fuji.

All of them chant, in British accents, "CHUMBA WUMBA, CHUMBA WUMBA, CHUMBA WUMBA!" over and over again, in unison.

Quite a distressing scene, White would say, since none of them have been shot by the incoming police quite yet.

White stands atop the building looking at the chaos, his kid-gloved hand upon the glass head of his cane, right pinky sticking out and arched down from the crown of the walking stick.

His fellow droogs stand around him grinning and laughing, drinking growlers of microbrewed beer liberated from a local restaurant, all dressed in white suit with red ties, wearing white hats of varying sorts like White's.

All except one, a little person, wearing a hockey mask and holding a high powered sniper rifle impossible for him to use, watching silently. He's dressed in a sailor outfit, complete with cap.

COMBATSYS: White has started a fight here.

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White            0/-------/-======|

From his perch on high, the demented crime lord would have an excellent view of the chaos that unfolds below, a maelstrom of mindless violence crafted by his own hands that threatens turn the once peaceful school into the site of a terrible tragedy. The disturbance has already been answered by the arrival of local police forces though it's clear that the sheer magnitude of the incident was not fully conveyed to them. Dozens of street cops line the exterior of the grounds, their faces displaying various expressions of horror and disbelief at the scene unfolding infront of them.

"Just what the hell are we supposed to do...?"

A large man with balding hair growls in frustration to the officers around him, slamming a fist down on top of the roof of a patrol car so hard that it dents inwards a little. Unlike the others at the barricade, his simple three-piece suit and polished dress shoes convey the air of someone who spends most of their time behind a desk rather than on the beat. The pristine bronze shield affixed to his coat pocket and the way the others glance in his direction in silent respect is the only indication that he holds any sort of authority here.

"Where's the damn riot team?!"

The lieutenant whirls around to bark at the nearest person, venting his anger in their direction. The officer in question flinches momentarily, not out of fear, but because the shout drew his attention away from the trainwreck of a brawl. Scrambling for his radio, he speaks hurriedly into the handset and then turns to relay the answer he gets back to the burly commander.

"Still on their way, sir. News of the incident caused a panic and people have flooded the streets to come find their kids. They're having trouble getting through the crowds safely."

A hot string of curses fill the air and the roof of the car gets another small dent. Lieutenant glowers for several seconds impotently before realizing that dozens of officers are now staring at him, looking for direction in this crisis. Taking a long deep breath, the old veteran calms himself and steels his nerves as he prepares to make a decision.

They can't just open fire on the kids with live ammuntion, that's not even an option. If they had tear gas and riot shields handy then this would be a simple matter to deal with. Whatever set this out-of-control fight in motion, having every orifice suddenly start ejecting whatever it contain tends to be a rather definitive end to any desire to exchange punches. That would be the eventual method but in the mean time there's no telling how many people could get hurt in this crazed mob, his own men included. They have to do /something/.

Just as he opens his mouth to bark out the decision he'd reached, another voice calls out from further down the perimeter in alarm. "What the hell is that?! Sir, you better take a look at this!" Brows furrowing in frustration as he mutters, 'What now?' under his breath, the commander pushes through the tight crowd of officers, making his way towards the outcry.

"Move aside, you fools!" Eventually, he emerges to the front once more, jaw clenched tightly as he glares at a gaggle of beat cops all of them staring out into the school yard. "Just what the hell is so important that...?!" He practically chokes on the words, his eyes bugging out as he follows the gazes of his men to the source of their distress.

Amidst the churning sea of blind malevolence a single figure strides through the chaos like a shining star, her body aglow with neon azure light. Even without the aura of power surrounding her, the young girl stands out like a sore thumb admist the school uniforms and Japanese features, her long braided blonde hair and elegant Victorian era dress cutting a striking figure. Like an angel descended from the Heavens to deliver judgement, she wields a massive sword wreathed in glowing power, carving a path through the crazed students. Each sweep of the terrible weapon sends scores of bodies flying in all directions, the wide flat of the blade brushing them aside like a paddle pushing water aside to pull a vessel forward.

Es wades into the deep end of the turmoil without hesitation, driving a wedge into the wild crowd of crazed students. Though she has no idea what has created this storm of unrest, something inside of her fractured mind has urged her into action. Perhaps it is a lingering memory of a past experience, some lost aspect of herself that cries out for action.

Even with her limited knowledge of the world she now inhabits, such behavior is obviously not normal. Perhaps if she can quell enough of the student, bleed the momentum from their frenzy, there might be some chance for answers to be sifted out of the wreckage.

White blinks, taken back and aghast at the sight of the young Japanese girl wreathed in a corona of light wading through his chaos with such aplomb.

His left hand moves to his breast, wrist pressed downwards and fingers splayed across his fancy red necktie.

"Why, I've been so rude. I didn't even think that I would need to entertain a guest." He looks to the little person.

"Mister Struthers! Let us see if our lovely lady is truly serious!"

The little person with the hockey mask walks to the edge of the roof and swings his huge sniper rifle around, setting the prop down on the ledge. He swings his rifle about with perfect balance, slapping a ratchet into place to arm the semi-automatic firing chamber.

The students all part for Es, moving out of her way as White waves his arm at her from atop the building. And then, he raises his cane sidelong, laughing with a high-pitched bellow scream, and a student rushes directly at Es, his arms up as he screams:

"Hugs for you!"

And then, a sniper rifle round goes directly through his head, splashing blood all over Es as the body barrels forward with a gory head, stumbling to the ground.

There are resounding cheers and laughs from atop the roof, as White places his left arm to his stomach and bows, the bottom of his cane up beside him, arm stiff.

Es pauses as the crowd suddenly withdraws from around her, sensing something amiss. The massive blade of her sword lowers to the ready position, couched at her side as she waits to see what has caused this change in behavior. Has her quick and decisive action already born fruit? It's hard to tell for her, humans always seem to react in such illogical manners.

The shrill laughter from above draws her attention to the roof top, as well as that of the police, the officers all watching with wide-eyes at the bizarre scene playing out. The young girl's expression is completely devoid of any emotion as she scans White's face, her mind automatically attempting to connect with the empheral database which seems to provide her with what few tidbits of information remain within her knowledge base. Naturally, there is nothing to find on someone like White, a figure that exists only in this world and poses no threat to the continuity or the Azure. Which means the he is not important; inconsequential.

The unexpected rushing lunge from one of the students snaps her gaze back down to ground level. In an instant she has assessed the threat and moved to respond, her fingers tightening on the grip of her giant weapon. A sudden explosion of bone and blood cuts short the need for her own action. The student's head crumples inwards like a rotten melon as the bullet punches through it sending a bright red spray of vital fluids into Es, splattering her face and dress with a sticky mess.

Es stares at the fallen body for a couple of moments, almost as if in dumb-founded shock. But when she raises her head to look at White once more and the masked sniper crouched beside him, her expression is just as the same as it was before - blank and devoid of emotion. She doesn't even bother to wipe her face off, leaving her a rather ghastly sight as she contemplates silently for the next few seconds.

It is certainly not her responsibility to deal with this situation. She neither has the authority nor the directives to engage is such actions. The police, as she has come to understand, are the ones who should be dealing with these kinds of scenarios. And yet, she finds that she cannot walk away. Again, something phantasmal inside of her burns with indignation at such an overtly evil act, demanding that she respond.

It is only after a bit of contemplation that she realizes this course of action need not violate her current orders. After all, she was instructed to find people who are 'interesting' and challenge them to battle. Her research on the topic indicated that 'interesting' means something which is arousing to ones curiosity or able to catch their attention. Well, he's certainly got her attention now.

Bending her knees slightly to crouch, the strange blonde girl leaps into the air, propelling herself upwards at an angle. The moment she hits the peak of her arc, a shimmering barrier of blue light manifests underneath her feet, providing a platform from which she is able to leap once again. Es bounds back and forth through the sky, rising up until she is able to jump onto the roof with one final jump, landing on the far side of the flat concrete surface from White and his cronies.

Turning her blood-stained body towards the criminal mastermind, the girl peers at White, her bright azure eyes as devoid of the spark of emotion as her face. It's like being stared at by an elaborately crafted doll - it looks human on the outside but there's something missing, some vital piece of the puzzle that makes it obvious she's different.

"Why did you kill that student?"

Es speaks, her voice soft and calm. Like her expression, the words carry no hint of emotion or emphasis, a dull monotone chanted in a girlish alto. Her question is presented not as an accusation or condemnation but a mere bit of curiosity, a computer attempting to understand the human soul.

White and his boys wheel around to face Es as she lands on the roof, White standing in place with both hands folded over the round head of his cane, as the others spread out around her, drinking from their jugs of beer and laughing, growling and snickering.

"A cat flirts this way with a pretty lady, by offering her a mouse. A pretty doesn't eat mice, but that's the only bouquet of roses a little kitty can get a pretty missy," White explains, smiling with fever in his eyes.

There's a high pitched laugh as he swings about and kicks his leg out, dancing in a circle and swinging about as his red eyes blaze with intensity as he points his hands at Es. He cannot influence her strong enough to repeat the students' riot, or even the chemically induced brainwashing he uses for his minions, but he can get a faint gliss of his finger up and down her mind, stimulating her memory for him to read as a quite unseemly sensation that is immediately gone after he draws from the concept of her state of being, and her mission.

"You are not sure of quite who you are, young one, aren't you?" White muses. He smiles, pranking towards her as he taps his cane and kicks his feet up, before White stands directly before Es and bows, craning his head up.

"But I could teach you who you were. Take my hand in this hard work of mine and be my black angel just fine, and I will show you so many secrets untaught to the minds of most men."

He jerks back into a standing position.

"Secrets," he whispers, lowly, between the two.

Es remains visibly unperturbed by the encircling net of goons that move to block her in. The sword that she carries remains loosely held at her side, ready to swing at a moment's notice but not presented in an overtly threatening manner. White's explanation for his actions is layered in metaphor, something that the girl's fractured mind struggles to grasp in its incomplete state.

After a bit of contemplating on it, however, she gets the message. He was trying to impress her with something that he thought she would find attractive. In this case, the 'mouse' was the student offered by White the 'cat' to herself the 'pretty lady'. Yet even by his own words the man admits that she has no use for a dead mouse but he offered it to her anyways. It makes no sense to her but she is forced to wonder if that might just be because she has missed some hidden subtext.

Regardless of the deeper meaning of his actions and whether or not his attempts to curry her favor in some demented fashion were genuine, the moment she feels his greasy touch upon the back of her mind Es's desire to know more about him vanishes like a puff of smoke. Her body language changes slightly as she lowers herself into a defensive posture and the soft monotone of her voice seems to take on faint traces of a hard edge, minute hints of what could be disdain lacing through it.

"There is much I do not know about this world. Why I have been called here... who I used to be... what exactly the Azure wishes of me."

The giant blade suddenly splits in half down the centerline, floating apart to reveal a blazing core of blue light like the fuel rod in a nuclear power plant. Raw power radiates outwards from that strange artifact, flaring up in a shimmering aura that engulfs the sword like ethereal fire for a few seconds before dying back down, the twin halves snapping shut once again.

"...but I am certain that there is nothing I wish to learn from you."

COMBATSYS: Es has joined the fight here.

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Es               0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0            White

White shields his face with a shriek at the show of power from the core of the sword, stumbling a step backwards at the brilliant, blinding light.

After the light subsides, White clears his throat and straightens his read chiffre tie, looking about to his droogs.

"Well, lads," he says, business like. "It appears we have a future barista for our coffee bar."

He smiles darkly as they all laugh and cheer, White spinning his cane in his hand, before he jumps forward and sends the cane swinging at Es' head, attempting to bash her skull with the implement's round head.

"I am going to make you mine, dear, and you will enjoy working as one of my little poppets. A bit of chaos is all it takes to clear your head of all those cobwebs that you put there! Freedom is a bit of ultraviolence!"

Cackles come from his minions, as a massive chant of, "BOSS FIGHT!" comes up from the controlled Taiyo students, the entire student body having ceased fighting, now facing the school and raising their arms, thrusting them in the air as they shout in unison.

COMBATSYS: Es blocks White's Wild Swing.

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Es               0/-------/-------|=======\-------\0            White

A loud clash of metal rings out as the cane's knobbed head collides with the surface of Es's gargantuan blade. The impact sends powerful vibrations rippling through the weapon, jarring her bones with the ferocity of its swing, but the girl remains implaccably stoic as she deflects the strike with mechanical precision. The hooting jeers from White's minions and the strange unified chant are ignored, little more than background white noise that could only serve as a distraction. Her attention is lazer focused on the criminal boss himself.

Despite its incredible size, the young girl wields her weapon with ease, treating it as if it weighs no more than a pool noodle. She hops backwards to create a bit of space, swinging the heavy sword in a low underhand sweep towards White as she retreats. A neon crescent of azure power erupts from the tip of the great weapon, scything through the air at the criminal mastermind.

Unlike many forms of chi, which he has no doubt been exposed to repeatedly during his career, the shimmering projectile is more than just a raw lump of spiritual power vaguely reminescent of natural forms of elemental energy. Crafted by magic of the highest order, the curved blade of light is composed of an intricate and interwoven series of runic glyphs, dozens of jagged pointy designs pressed into a single cohesive cutting surface - as beautiful as it is deadly.

"I already have a master. Your plans mean nothing to me."

COMBATSYS: White blocks Es' Type - Shooter "Breunor".

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Es               0/-------/------=|=======\-------\0            White

White goes dashing forward, swinging his cane through the swirling mass of elemental energy coming his way. He smashes through it with an explosion of light, coming out the other side with blazing fury through a nimbus of the white glare.

A silhouette of raw force, he swings his cane this way and that around the girl, attacking in a frenzy, his cane swinging left and right, up and down, before he swings around with a graceful pirouette and hooks his cane down with one hand, before attempting to jab it beneath the girl's jaw with a quick snap upwards and off the ground, before he charges forward with a shoulder at her.

As he does this, he invades her mind again, coalesing fingertips grasping her thoughts and pushing her senses inwards, as she gets the distinct impression that someone else is working through her body, however without any motion until a final temptation of his victory.

COMBATSYS: Es interrupts Armed Combo from White with Type - Slasher "Griflet".

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Es               0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\1            White

Rather than retreat from the frenzy of frantic swings, Es meets the criminal psychotic head on, showing no signs of the fear that he might hope to evoke from the young girl. The first couple of swipes find only empty air awaiting them as the elegant warrior deftly hops out of the way, manuevering herself into a position of strength for a swift counter strike.

The giant blade is hefted up into the air as she rolls over, swinging the weapon like a massive guillotine onto White from above with her entire body. A geyser of wild magical energy erupts from the ground as the sword smashes through its target and buries its length into the hard concrete, parting it like wet clay. A violent malestrom of energy buffets the crime boss from all sides for a brief moment as the air churns in the wake of the legendary weapon's glowing edge.

This initial strike is but the first blow in her riposte, however. Mere moments after the downwards cut, Es reverses directions, lunging into the air as she spins like a corkscrew. The Murakumo scythes a helixical pattern of glowing blue light as it carves into White again, the glowing contrails of power exploding outwards along their edges into more of the impossibly intricate runic patterns, dozens of magical blades fanning out like the geometrically perfect crystaline edges of a snowflake.

Es drops to the ground after unleashing her power upon the aggressive psion, her pretty dress shoes making a pair of soft clicks as she lands primly, completely unharmed in the exchange. She does not immediately push her advantage, instead merely falling into a defensive stance, her empty gaze still focused on White.

"Cease your hostilities and free these students from whatever hold you have over them. Do this and I will allow you to leave freely."

White swings his cane back and forth above the ducking Es, then slamming it down on the ground as she moves to the side, before he's smashed by the flat blade and sent staggering sidelong.

The helix of energy knocks him off his feet and into a jangled pile of jabberwocky, splayed out across the roof. The students lock stiff, shaking, as White's droogs pull him to his feet.

He glides back to a standing position with a push, dusting off his shirt, before taking a hankerchief monogrammed with the name 'Pilgrim Dunkirk' from his pocket and wiping off long rivulets of blood and vomit from his mouth.

He casts the hankerchief aside with a wave, and stabs his cane into the ground.

"You know, dearest Esmeralda, I do despise violence. I'd consider your offer, but I am in love with despising."

He places his hand below his mouth, blowing a child's face full of psionic energy and opiate-laced hallucinogen across the gap between them, the face making a mewling sound as it takes on the face of a cat.

COMBATSYS: Es just-defends White's Baby Breath!

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Es               0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\1            White

Esmeralda. That is not her name but it is close enough to prove that the psychotic man has indeed been rifling through her mind, since she has yet introduce herself to him. That thought troubles her; not on an emotional level but it does mean she has no idea what sort of information he might be able to acquire with this technique of his. That could be dangerous for all sorts of reasons.

She's only been the minion of her new mistress for a short period of time but the little vampire gave off the distinct aura of someone who would not be pleased if details regarding her were to end up in the hands of someone like this. Disappointing the one anchor she has to something resembling a sense of purpose in this strange world is something she would very much like to avoid.

When White makes his next move, Es is already prepared. The bizarre appartion of nightmares and drug fumes is met with a swing of her blade, the tip of the greatsword parting the child-like face straight down the middle as it starts to take on feline qualities. A flash of cerulean light consumes the two halves of the gas cloud in eldritch fire, a shrill shriek filling the air as the half-cat visage immolates into nothingness.

Es draws the Murakumo close to her chest, holding it vertically infront of her like a knight of old facing down a terrible beast. Brilliant blue light flares to life along the sword as it opens once again, drawing neon currents of raw seithr into the weapon, small rippling eddies of magic playing along its polished white surface. The frilly folds of the girl's old-fashioned dress flutter and dance in the swirling breeze of power, her loose golden bangs swaying across her emotionless eyes like reeds bending in a storm for which she is the epicenter.

"I will warn you one last time. Leave now or I will be forced to terminate you."

COMBATSYS: Es draws seithr into her blade!

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Es               0/-------/=======|=======\-------\1            White

White points at Es, with his red eyes staring her down, two fingers extended off his downy-white gloved hand.

"Submit to me, woman," he says, as his mind extends outwards from his third eye, slowly beginning to walk forward, his cane tapping with every step of his right foot.

There's a low hum from around White, as he gathers his psionic energies, swirling around him in a white and califlower nimbus of mystery, his mental powers growing as he attempts to control Es' body first, starting at the toes and fingers, before moving up to the joints and then the spine, before the face. It is a struggle of mental energy, as he finally reaches forward to place his hand on her face. If he is allowed this move, he will bore into her mind, taking away her will to fight with a crushing squeeze of the face, organs spasming with the disrupted cerebellum's actions.

"You will be mine, Es, you will belong to me, do not deny it."

"It is who you are."

COMBATSYS: Es endures White's Hypnotize.

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Es               1/---====/=======|-------\-------\0            White

Es freezes as the hand extends towards her, her eyes widening every so slightly in surprise. The swirling power flowing into her sword slowly tapers off, first to a gentle flow, then a faint trickle, then finally nothing. The weapon dips towards the ground as her body grows heavy, the muscles in her arms betraying her attempts to will them into motion, apparently powerless against the intense mental influence that White brings to bear.

The young girl's expression remains unnaturally free of fear at this turn of events. Despite the inability to control her body, she stares cooly at the approach maniac, her face lifting up to follow his eyes at the behest of his psionic powers. Es's body jerks in small rhythmic patterns as she attempts over and over to force her limbs to move, to bring the deadly blade to bear on her attacker, but the control is too powerful, his will burrowing into her mind like those outstretched fingers.

The grip on her face sends a renewed surge of agony through her body as yet more of the mental energy crashes against the barriers of her mind. Her body goes stiff as everything inside of her is filled with raw surges of lightning, muscles twitching in spasmatic fury as her nerves explode one by one. For the first time, she shows signs that actual harm has been inflicted upon her. Es's mouth drops open in a silent scream, her breath flooding outwards in a harsh gasp.

For a few terrible instants, it appears as if the crazed criminal has succeed at his goal. The small girl wobbles like chihuahua left out in the cold, seemingly unable to break the mental grip that White has established. Then, without warning, it fails and everything falls apart.

Es lets out a grunt of effort, her hands tightening on the hilt of Murakumo as if it is a rope thrown to her as she drowns in a turbulent sea of pain. Planting a foot hard on the roof, she lunges forward, driving her shoulder into White's chest like a football linebacker hurling themselves at the enemy quarterback.

The grip on her face is broken and with it the spell. Murakumo flares to life once more with renewed fury as if expressing the anger that its master cannot feel. Es whirls around like a top, her monsterous blade extending out in a massive horizontal swing that carves another brilliant ceruclean rune of power into the air around her, wreathing her in a disc of intricate arcane power.

COMBATSYS: White blocks Es' Type - Slasher "Mordred".

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Es               1/---====/=======|-------\-------\0            White

White skids backwards as Es plants a shoulder into him and drives him away, releasing his grip on her face with a snap. He wraps his arms around her before pushing away, laughing as the ephermal energies swirl around the pair of them from their competing auras.

"A plan you have, do you?" he gayly cheers.

And then, there's a flare of psionic discharge as he wreathes himself in wobbling white confusion, his body blurring as he offers a pair of staff swings, left and right, becoming unclear in form to Es as he lashes out with his weapon.

COMBATSYS: Es just-defends White's Double Wild Swing!

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Es               1/--=====/=======|=------\-------\0            White

White's powers seem to have no more sway over the young girl. Whatever serves as the spark that gives her life and determination has risen up against him, defiantly seething in the wake of his attempt to make her little more than a soulless puppet. The wavering cloud of confusion that attempts to obfuscate his motions as the criminal mastermind swings away with mad glee serves him little this time, each stroke of his fancy cane rebuffed by a quick elegant sweep of the massive greatsword to intercept it with pinpoint precision.

Es stares at her foe in silence, her empty gaze somehow managing to exude a sense of contempt. While the thought of destroying a human is something that gives her pause, it is only for a brief moment. This man is clearly a threat to the greater bulk of civilization, his powers of control and misdirection clearly intended to be used for dark deeds. The evidence of his evil is plain to see, laid out all around them in the form of the churning chaos below and the drying blood still splattered across her delicate features.

"Target... acquired."

Once more the tiny girl draws her weapon close to her body, holding it vertically infront of her like a knight of old. Her eyes slowly slide closed as she draws in a faint breath, concentrating on the dormant power lying just beneath the surface of the terrible weapon in her hands. Brilliant neon light flares to life around its blade, the magical lumiscence of her incredible power even brighter than before. She shines like the signal fire of a lighthouse, a beacon of pure azure radiance that lights up the sky, the shimmering pillar of Murakumo's holy light visible for miles around.

Es's eyes re-open, her gaze focusing on White with frightening intensity, the soft azure of her eyes glowing in tune with the scintillating aura of magic that now flows about her like a heatless flame.

"Commencing termination."

COMBATSYS: Es is surrounded by a blue light as she infuses magic into her sword!

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Es               1/=======/=======|=------\-------\0            White

White jumps backwards as his swings are riposted, his cane spinning before he jams it down into the ground and bends his knees in a squat. He smiles from ear to ear, before a Cheshire grin breaks out.

"Termination, eh? Is that the end of my life, or the beginning of yours? There is more to a soul than merely the theological, and far less than is thought of in art."

White leaps forward and rolls across the ground, coming to a crouch and swinging at Es' legs with a sweep of his staff, staying low as he prepares for her incoming devastation.

COMBATSYS: Es endures White's Evasive Strike.

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Es               2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|==-----\-------\0            White

Once more the stoic young knight shows that she has little fear of weathering the pain inflicted upon her by White's cane. Physical suffering, while not ignorable entirely, is much less of a deterrant to her for she is little more than a tool, a weapon to be pointed at an enemy and unleashed. Weapons do not falter because of a little hardship, nor do they hesitate in the face of danger. They simply act.

The sweeping blow at Es's legs smashes into her leg but the desired effect of keeping her at bay is lost for she is already in motion, moving to unleash the promise of destruction upon the whimsical gentleman with unflappable focus. A vivid pattern of runic magic flares to life around her in that moment, larger and more complex than any that she has unleashed thus far. Close to a dozen jagged geometric shapes, stylized representations of swords in searing neon light splayed out in a symmetrical fan around a perfect circle - thirteen sworn blades arrayed about a round table.

That great and ancient symbol fades, sinking into the surface of the massive greatsword as Es tightens her grip on the long hilt, her expressionless gaze remaining fixed on White as she brings the collosal weapon down to strike. Murakumo begins to glow with new magic as the sigil of the legendary heroes infuses its light into the blade. Blazing runes flare to life, a sword-like pattern overlaying itself atop the holy sword, enhancing it, expanding it, turning it into something more than a mere chunk of metal.

The broad swath of the greatsword carves a wide sweeping undercut from back to front, carving a furrow in the concrete as it passes effortlessly through the stone, leaving a brilliant contrail of geometric runes in its wake as it seeks out the body of the fool that has dared to evoke its wrath.

COMBATSYS: White dodges Es' Empowered #Type - Exterminator "Artorius"#.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Es               0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0            White

White grunts as his cane bounces off Es' legs, and he stands, backpedaling a step and then flipping away to another crouch, grinning crookedly as he tips his hat to the side with a gloved finger.

"Well well well, it appears as if the mystics are not dead, after all," he muses to himself, watching as the great sword unleashes the thirteen prongs, before they fuse together in an amazing array of light, his red eyes squinting at the glare.

And then, as the beveling force slams into the roof, ripping it asunder in a line at him, he springs into the air and flies over Es, avoiding the damage completely.

One of his minions isn't so lucky, getting smashed by the line of force and getting sent flying over the roof, flying three stories to the ground below, slamming onto the ground and breaking his back with a gurgling scream.

And then, there's a turnabout, as White swivels about and sends his cane up at Es' head, allowing her to turn to face him, the cane immediately greeting her with a shot to the chin.

COMBATSYS: Es just-defends White's Staff Uppercut!

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Es               0/-------/-----<<|=------\-------\0            White

Somehow, the arcane fury of the massive blade finds no purchase. A brilliant explosion of raw azure light lances out from the sweeping strike as the gathered power vents itself angrily into the air, once more turning the skyline into a brief but blinding display of fireworks. The blast splits the roof asunder from Es's feet to the far edge, carving open the building to reveal its skeletal interior of rebar and guts of tangled wires severed as cleanly as if the sword passing through warm butter. The fate of the unfortunate goon is sealed long before he hits the ground, his body melting into little more than ash before the terrible eldritch might of King Arthur's blade.

The failure to connect with her nigh apocalyptic strike doesn't slow the young knight in the slighest. She whirls around to meet the new threat of White's acrobatic assault, his cane once more finding that her sword is far swifter than its size would imply, meeting only the colid polished surface instead of the bottom of her jaw. Es lunges foward, releasing her grip on the blade with one hand in order to thrust the palm of said hand into his gut with a swift motion.

Successful contact of that touch would put White in an uncomfortable situation, one which he himself had inflicted upon her only a short while ago. Invisible waves of power crush in from all sides, locking him in place, unable to move away or fight back as she lifts her hand with a dainty gesture, summoning fresh magical power into her fingers.

A slowly spinning runic circle appears underneath White's feet, should he find himself unable to escape in time, brimming with that same cerculean neon light. Es casually thrusts her hand down at the sigil and at her command a massive blade of pure light erupts from the ground beneath her foe, a saber of magical destruction that skewers into his body and sends him hurling straight up into the air.

COMBATSYS: White blocks Es' Crest Saber.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Es               0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0            White

White jangles his cane to the side as the sword blocks it, swinging about and breathing heavily as he stares Es down, face to face.

"Lovely, do you know how silly you are in this dance?" he asks with heavy breath, blood spitting forth in little flecks from his mouth.

And then, as the hand grasps his stomach, he grunts with a perplexed look on his face, before the rune sigils into being beneath him, at his feet.

"Well well well..."

And then, a blasted blade upwards, which he blocks with a pair of crossed arms that rip apart his suit and send him flying backwards. He rolls onto his back and then kicks his feet up, bouncing onto his stomach.

White jams his cane into the ground and stands up against, bloody and haggard and tired. Gritting his teeth, he charges back in, with a single strike swinging in, now from his left hand, with a hard swing that catches on his shoulder to give the swing a bit of chop, aimed at her head.

COMBATSYS: Es fails to interrupt Crushing Strike from White with Crest Arts.
- Power fail! -

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Es               0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0            White

Finally it would seem that White's madcap approach to combat manages to sneak a solid hit in past the young girl's almost impenetrable defenses. As she draws her blade back to deliver another massive swing at the charging villain, his cane comes down at an unexpected angle, slipping in before her deadly blow can intercept him.

The impact of the baseball swing sends Es hurling backwards, skidding disgracefully across the roof for a couple of moments before she recovers and rolls back to her feet. Crouching low, she plants the tip of Murakumo into the roof and leans on it, one eye squeezed shut tightly as a trickle of blood runs down the side of her face, mingling with that of the unfortunate student.

White laughs as the cane slams into Es' head, and he twirls about as she's sent backwards, tossing his cane back to his right hand as he does so.

"So you can see, Esmeralda, my beautiful girl from two places, that I will hold your heart," he purrs, wheezing and laughing as he comes charging after her retreat.

And then, as he pulses a white hot blinding flash of fear into her, he brings his cane down from directly above, a layer of hesistation placed in her mind between the two.

COMBATSYS: White successfully hits Es with Fierce Strike.
~ Cruel hit! ~

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Es               0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0            White

White's attempts to bring fear are as fruitless as they have always been. If she is even capable of feeling fear, or indeed any emotions at all, it will take a much greater force than he possesses to bring it forth. The psychic impediment to her reactions, however, seems to work just fine.

The cane slams home without any interference from Es, cracking unpleasantly on her shoulder as she struggles to bring her weapon up to defend herself. The girl crumples under the blow, her body starting to give out from the sheer beating it has taken in the few solid hits that White has managed to land. For a moment, it seems as if that might have been the straw that breaks the camel's back as the elegant knight fails to rise to her feet immediately, her breathing slow and heavy with obvious suffering.

The grip of her tiny hand suddenly tightens slightly upon the hilt of her weapon, offering only a small warning of what is about to come. Es lurches to her feet, Murakumo sweeping up in a deadly blazing arc as she channels its power in defiance of the arrogant bastard who thinks to gloat at her apparent defeat.

A blazing wedge of runic power explodes into White at point blank range, scything through the air like a shark's fin cutting open water. A second dowards swing follows the first, likewise bringing forth a massive crescent of azure magic that chases hot on the heels of the first, both of the shimmering runes merging together into one giant bulldozer blade that carves apart the already abused roof top even further.

COMBATSYS: Es successfully hits White with Type - Double Shooter "Breunor".

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Es               1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0            White

White is sent flying backwards behind the blade of light, his legs and arms splaying out around the projected force as he's lifted off his feet and he lets out a high pitched wailing cry. Drunkenly, he looks up, dazed and confused.

White jams his cane into the ground and hobbles to his feet, taking a few steps to the side to recover his hat and place it back on his head with a downward bent wrist. He turns about to face Es, jauntily crossing his ankles and relying on his cane, hand on his wrist. The bloody battle, his arms and chest exposed and blood dripping down his mouth, has taken a lot out of him.

But it still pays to be polite.

"So, dearest, it looks like you have a bit more spit in your fire."

And then, White comes running forward, spinning his cane in his right hand, before he jumps to the side with a fluking juke and a hop, swinging his weapon at Es' stomach with a blow from her right.

COMBATSYS: Es blocks White's Random Strike.

[                         \\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Es               1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0            White

With some space to herself now, Es pushes back to her feet, using the sword to prop herself up much the same as White uses his cane. The side of her head where his blow landed so painful has started to swell, a dark ugly black bruise marring the porcelain white of her skin underneath the layers of fresh blood. She looks like someone who's been tied down and beaten for a week, though most of that is the fault of the brain matter that got painted onto her face before the fight had even started.

There appears to be no more banter left in her to offer in response to White's goading. She's said what needs to be said. Now all that remains is to see it through to the end. The knight rises to her feet as he comes at her again, whipping her sword to the side to intercept his whirling cane strike. Even that minor impact sends rippling waves of pain through her battered body, but she once more ignores it, focusing all of her remaining effort on erasing the threat infront of her.

Murakumo is hoisted aloft for what may be the final time, the blade whooshing through the air as Es spins it around in a fancy vertical sweep. A truly massive projection of solid neon light manifests infront of her between herself and White, taking on the form of a flat azure bat, its stylized body folded down the middle like a V, wings upraised.

The third rotation of the sword swings low as Es grips it with both hands once again, lunging forward to add extra momentum to her attack as she sweeps the greatsword into the glowing shape like a golfclub. The bat-like wall of energy explodes into motion at her urging, twisting its form into that of a crescent blade of power nearly three times her size. The massive blast of magical energy surges at White, attempting to push him backwards and off the roof like a tidal wave sweeping aside so much flotsam in its way.

"Type: Shooter - Palomides!"

COMBATSYS: White blocks Es' Type - Shooter "Palomides".

[                         \\\\\  < >  //////                        ]
Es               0/-------/-------|====---\-------\0            White

White casts his left hand outwards at the summoning of the azure bat, his body becoming indefinite and hazy. There's a faint resonation of electricity throughout the school, as he stands in the middle of the torn asunder roof, staring down the opponent. He merely smiles, as the massive wave of neon bat wall comes flying at him.

And then, the humming sound snaps away, all into White's hand, as the wall is split apart before it can reach him, flickering around him as his hair and suit flap around him.

And then, as the wave passes, his burnt silhouette on the ground behind him, White is charging forwards with the psychic energy gathered from the blow pulsing in a rhythm around him.

He reaches out with his hand and attempts to lift Es off her feet, before slamming him cane into her body over and over again, then turning about and casting her across the roof in the direction her neon wall was cast.

"Hello, batsy!"

COMBATSYS: White successfully hits Es with Vortex Scream.

[                                < >  /////                         ]
Es               0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1            White

Es doesn't have enough energy left to defend herself this time. She attempts to dodge, stepping to the side at the last moment to avoid the grasp of the outstretched hand, but she simply isn't fast enough. White draws in her close, her dainty feet dangling in the air as she's hoisted off the roof to be used like a pinata in the villain's sick game. Needless to say, it doesn't do much to improve her looks.

Just as White turns to hurl her into the aybss, however, the knight displays one final burst of defiance. Her entire body twists in midair as she lashes out, Murakumo's mighty blade gaining momentum and speed from the spin. A sharp sextagonal glyph splits the air around her, one final beautiful pattern of intense magical power brought to life as a parting gift for the crazed murderer.

Regardless of whether or not it finds its target, however, Es's fate is sealed. She hurls over the side of the roof, plummeting towards the ground at terminal velocity. For a few seconds it seems as if she might simply crash into the earth below, splattering like a paint balloon on the unforgiving surface awaiting her. But, at the last moment, the knight flips over and plants her feet on the air, landing nimbly in a three-point crouch atop a glowing ripple of azure magic.

The illusion of a graceful recovery lasts only an instant. The life-saving magical platform fades and vanishes from underneath her almost immediately, depositing the girl in an untidy heap on the grass. She struggles to her feet, one eye swollen shut by the pounding from White's cane as she casts her gaze up to the ruined top of the building in silent contemplation.

It doesn't take a genius tactician to tell that she's no longer capable of fighting. The best option for her now is to withdraw and seek aid from her master. Carelessly throwing away her life would be foolish and she somehow has the feeling that it would also upset her vampire mistress in some way to lose such a useful tool. Either way, without any particularly good reason to hurl herself into the jaws of destruction, staying here can only do harm.

"Mission outcome... unknown...", she says, her voice a strained whisper spoken aloud like a computer reading off a series of protocols for no other reason than that it is programmed to do so. "Unable to continue operations. Falling back..."

Turning away from the lights of the school and police cars and the raging cacophany of the riotous students, Es quickly dashes off towards the high wall surrounding the facility, clearing the barrier in a single leap and vanishing from sight.

COMBATSYS: Es can no longer fight.

[                         \\\\\  <
White            1/-------/=======|

COMBATSYS: Es successfully hits White with Type - Slasher "Gawain".
- Power hit! -

[                                <
White            1/-------/=======|

White laughs as he sees Es hurtling away, distracted long enough for the blade of energy to hurtle into him, twisting through the air as it approaches. He's slammed in the chest, and stumbles backwards as his body breaks the wave of force, left staggered on his cane as it subsides, hunched forward.

White falls to a knee, coughing up blood, before he collapses face forward onto the ground.

The students snap out of their comas, blearily looking about, tired and drained of energy. One by one, they break down sobbing, curling into heaps on the ground as police and teachers and paramedics move in.

Not soon after, a school bus leaves the grounds full of White's droogies, with White in the back nursing a bottle of strawberry milk, barely conscious. The little person in the hockey mask drives the bus, as they flee the school.

COMBATSYS: White takes no action.

COMBATSYS: White can no longer fight.

Log created on 01:07:09 06/27/2018 by Es, and last modified on 15:59:29 06/28/2018.