Description: For some time since Justice's demise an agent of destruction has lurked in the shadows, watching and biding her time. Now with the world thrown into fresh chaos, the Universal Will starts to move her pieces on the board once again.
"Well done captain. I think these new orders will do nicely!"
Leo Whitefang, Illyria's '2nd King' stands opposite a large and burly Sacred Order Knight in full armor, looking over a print out scattered with information, diagrams and figures. In truth..he doesn't understand most of it..but where it comes to continued building of Illyria's commerce, independance and place in the world..he's come to have faith in the designs and ideas presented by his subordinates and petitioners that have come to flood the borders of the newly established 'kingdom'.
"From what I see here..the deployment of Sacred Order Knights and volunteer troops to these key areas will do much regarding sending a message to any would be conquerers who seek to exploit our status and our resources. Strengthen these fortifications here, here and here."
His fingers move along the presented maps and figures, pointing out areas of concern and the knight nods his head and then salutes.
Leo nods and turns from him to begin to make his way further into the courtyards and towards the great fountains. "Hn.. I need a vacation.."
As with all such cursed incantations, Leo's muttered desire for rest immediately conjures forth fresh trouble. The magical comms unit next to his ear flares to life in a burst of neon blue light, chirping like a bird to signal an incoming message. Upon being acknowledged, a frantic voice starts to shout at him in a frantic tone.
"Sir! We've just had a major energy spike! An unknown energy signature is attempting to penetrate the outer veil!"
The voice is recognizable to him as one of the various operators stationed at the castle's command center. Though there is obvious panic in her voice, she attempts to remain calm as she hurriedly relays information to him.
"The background magical density just increased by six levels! The castle safeguards are going haywire...! Our defenses can't keep it out! It's... it's inside the castle, sir!"
Before the king has a chance, or a need, to question precisely where this unexpected intrusion is happening, the air in front of him starts to shimmer and bend unnaturally. Like a stone being skipped across the surface of a lake, reality ripples for a few short moments as a small lone figure emerges through the distortion as if stepping out from behind a curtain; or well, floating out, in this particular case.
The voice in his ear shifts in tone, changing from a panicked shout to a whisper of disbelief. The woman pauses as she re-reads the display in front of her, double and then triple checking the result before speaking again with an obvious waiver in her voice.
"Our sensors just got a solid lock on the reading! It seems to be a Gear...? No, it's not quite the same but... t-this power... it's similar to Justice?!"
Before Leo, the teleportation fades away allowing his eyes to adjust in the wake of the sensory-bending magical distortion. In its place is a young woman - or what appears to be one, any ways. His experience with the more powerful Gears would give him the knowledge that those monstrosities can be deceptively human in appearance.
A quick once-over of his uninvited guest would make it obvious that is little normality to be found. Despite being a few dozen feet away, the girl's presence brings with it an unnatural chill to the air that scythes through his kingly garments with ease. Her slender body remains all but motionless as she slowly descends towards the floor, silent and unnervingly still, as if carved from stone. By contrast, a milky white cloak that seems to be made of some disturbing flesh-like substance flows about her in dramatic fashion, billowing in the winds of her magical aura. Large monstrous teeth protrude from the bottom of the cloak, spilling sporadic rivulets of sticky saliva onto the neat castle pavement .
The girl's legs emerge from the cloak as she alights upon the ground, her bare feet lightly supporting her body as if she weighs no more than a feather. Exotic white lashes flutter as her eyes slowly open, a flick of her head casting a loose mess of windswept bangs from her face. She fixes Leo with a quiet stare, her pretty face devoid of emotion or expression as she watches him.
How will they respond to her sudden presence, these Redundancies? Mother had expressed strong concerns for the parasites who had labeled themselves under the moniker of the Sacred Order. Will they simply attack her or take a more cautious approach? It should prove most informative.
THe troop response is immediate. Shields raise, magical runes flicker to life and weapons lock into readiness as most of the soldiers and knights in the courtyard begin to move towards Leo while others begin to usher civilians out of harms way, not understanding that there is no such place at the moment. EIther way a wide berth is being created around the new arrival and Leo turns, frowning and eyes hooded as he studies her but remains calm.
When the alarmed voice began in his ear, his mind first went to Dizzy. But No...no of course not. What reason would she have to make a seemingly aggressive approach upon the castle? Indeed..none of the Gears in Illyria that Leo can account for would do such a thing and then there is the matter of the power being implied here.
"I read you.. We've yet to account for the true depths of the actions of the United Nations with Gears. Remain calm. Move the castle into high alert and defensive status..but make no moves of aggression on our visitors.." Leo studies the girl carefully. "I will ascertain what is going on."
He waves an arm out to signal the soldiers around him to move aside and hang back and then begins to slowly step forward, approaching the girl with confidence but guarded and measured steps.
"Welcome to Illyria castle. Do you come seeking your fellows? We welcome all to Illyria and provide safety, community and unity to those in need.. What is your name?"
With silent curiosity, the girl's head swivels from side to side as she observes the sudden bustle of activity that her arrival prompts. Warriors rush to take up defensive positions, many of them forming up around the maned king in a protective ring of bodyguards. Those that fail to immediately turn their weapons upon her seem more interested in shuffling the non-combatants towards relatively safety, seemingly under the impression that their efforts to safe-guard such pitiful creatures would have any meaning at all should she chose to target them.
Apparently content to remain passive for the moment, the girl makes no aggressive moves to interfere with the evacuation. It's like watching ants scurry around after something steps on their hill. No - ants have a great deal more dedication to efficiency than these pathetic creatures. Ants would have hurled themselves at her with the sole thought of driving away their attacker. Those that were crushed or unable to contribute would become distant afterthoughts. After all, what good is a tool that serves no purpose?
Leo's bold approach eventually draws the girl's attention back. She levels a cold unfeeling stare at him as he moves closer. The fact that his greeting is offered with obvious caution and from a distance does not escape her notice. Smart enough to recognize the danger she poses even as he offers a hand in friendship. Interesting.
It was these same Redundancies who had managed to corrupt the spawn of Justice into joining their cause. But, then again, Dizzy is the product of a fusion between Gear and...something else. Obviously, Sol's DNA had twisted the final product, infusing it with the weakness of his inferior genes. They will soon learn that she is not so easily swayed as that mewling wretch.
A strange sensation brushes across the back of her mind upon being compared to a lowly Gear. The link with that girl, Athena Asamiya, burns brightly for a few brief moments as some hint of emotional resonance echoes through. Anger? No, irritation. She is a far more valuable a resource than those worthless creations.
That momentary trace of emotion expresses itself in a slight narrowing of her eyes. The link is cut before anything more can pollute her thought processes. She has no need of such weakness, only to understand how it might influence her opponents in order to better manipulate them to her needs. In this case, she benefits little from appearing to lose her cool.
"You are mistaken. I have no equals here."
The girl's voice comes out in a soft monotone, as lacking in emotional inflection as her stoic stare. One of her slender arms lifts from beneath the cloak and makes a quick gesture in the air, conjuring forth a burst of arcane power. Once more reality ripples as something emerges from the Backyard, casually crossing between the veil in a feat that only the most accomplished mages can even dream of attempting.
A pair of floating orbs emerge from the spell, one a slick oily black and the other a chalky white. Tiny bat-like wings protrude from their surface but these features seem entirely ornamental, too small to offer any lift and entirely stationary to boot. Large mouths filled with human-like teeth split the floating balls horizontally and between those monstrous jaws are clutched a pair of swords that go well beyond absurd, each approaching a small airplane's wing in size.
"I am Ramlethal."
The girl's head tilts back subtley, just enough to give her next words a hint of arrogant body language to accompany the astounding amounts of contempt they convey despite her neutral expression.
"And I have need of nothing from a Redundancy such as you."
The casual display of power. The arrival of the weaponry. The supernatural pressure. It is enough to draw jitters among the guards who maintain their position but are well aware of just how much of a gap is here between themselves and the strange visitor. And yet they hold their place and wait for Leo's commands.
For his part, Leo's eyes narrow slightly though it is not in anger but in seeming curiousity as Ramlethal speaks. "..Redundancy?"
Ky should be here. Ky is the more diplomatic between the two by far. But Leo's approach will simply have to do, if it can.
"....I believe you are mistaken. I do not speak of your fellows in terms of power. In Illyria, power is not what makes us on equal footing with one another but our desire and pursuit towards freedom and a safe society where we uphold one another. There are Gears here whose power compares to Justice herself, but they are here because they seek freedom and the ability to express themselves and be more then what they were made to be. If that is why you've come then Illyria welcomes you and you are safe here from the forces out there that would destroy Gears."
And yet he's no fool. This is probably -not- why she is here. Nevertheless, the offer is made if she would take it or at least continue the thread without harming any of the others present..
Even in the face of imminent danger the parasites stand firm. Perhaps it is a recognition that they stand no chance of matching her terrifying power that sees them resort to words yet again. Foolishness, if so. Nothing they say will stay her hand from enacting her Mother's will. Like a surgeon, she will excise these tumors so that the world may be saved from their fate.
Ramlethal's Cheshire Cat smile fades away as quickly as it came, her expression becoming blank and empty once again. She stares quietly at Leo as he explains the nature of the society that he and Ky have built in their new kingdom, allowing the man to spew his foolishness uninterrupted. And what foolishness it is!
Despite sporting dead-pan expression the girl's face manages to become somehow more unimpressed than it already is. Almost everything that he has extrapolated about her statement and her intentions is wildly off the mark. She cares little for power save that which is necessary to complete her goals. That she is one of the most dangerous life forms to ever grace the surface of the Earth is but a result of the necessity of her existence, a counter-weight against the likes of Sol Badguy and his elusive mentor. She bears no pride in the strength she possesses nor does she fear losing it once her purpose is completed. She is a tool, no different than a hammer or a ladder, built to serve a purpose and entirely disposable once her task is complete. So long as she can fulfill her purpose then she is content.
"You make assumptions about me that do not bear out. I care nothing for power. I care for nothing at all. A tool has no need of emotions.
Ramlethal's hands lift slowly up, her palms extended out from her body towards the groups of knights on either side of her. Responding to her commands, the twin familiars hoist the massive greatswords aloft turning their attention to their respective targets. Brilliant neon viridian light flares to life along the blades of the gargantuan magi-tek weapons as they start to charge up, clearly preparing to be unleashed at the girl's whim.
"That the Gears you speak of have embraced such meaningless self-indulgence proves that they are no longer fit for purpose. They are redundant. As are you."
Flinging her arms wide, the Valentine brings this pointless conversation to an end. She did not come to explain herself to these creatures, merely to gauge the threat they pose to her operations. Now it is time to see if they live up to the caution that Mother has infused into her.
Rushing forward in tandem, the black and white orbs hurl themselves towards the nearest group of knights to her left and right. A sudden sweep to the side sends the massive sword clutched in each creature's mouth scything outwards like the blade of the Grim Reaper himself, carving a path of neon green death through any one too stupid or too slow to get out of the way.
Neither neophytes nor inexperienced, The Sacred Order troops are among the best of the best and well capable of handling themselves against all manner of threats, both supernatural and mundane. Divisions of magicians, infantry and specialists make up a troop that is among the best of the best.
However, sometimes there is no accounting for simple pure power.
That being said, they do well, better then most, in weathering the attack as a group. Shields are up, defending those incapable of defending themselves and the attacks are blunted but ultimately they are unable to stand their ground and though magical defense helps, there is a shattering sound like that of glass being rent asunder as runic circles flare and are disrupted by the scything force. Bodies hit the ground, forced backwards or through the air as the rank and file are broken apart and civilians set off into a screaming scattered run.
"Fall back!" commands Leo, knowing full well that for them to stand and face Ramlethal is the height of foolishness. For him - possibly a little less so. If nothing else he can provide a distraction and hopefully hold her at bay long enough for a proper magical assault to be prepared and mounted against this onslaught.
"Pull out, secure the courtyard!"
He's on the move now. A roaring lion dashing in with speed that can barely be grasped by onlookers. A flash of Iron Chi and a crackle of white-hot magic and his Cross-Swords have warped into being like molten-liquid metal.
COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang has started a fight here.
Leo Whitefang 0/-------/-------|
COMBATSYS: Ramlethal has joined the fight here.
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Leo Whitefang 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Ramlethal
As expected, the so-called warriors of the redundancies prove little more resilient than those they seek to protect. Ramlethal scatters the front ranks like toy soldiers being brushed aside by a bored child. When it comes to the sheer magical might brought to bear by this inhuman monster the knight's defensive wards and enchanted armors are about as effective as pieces of wet cardboard.
The order to withdraw sends those who remain into a frantic scramble, shouted commands from the remaining soldiers attempting to overpower the shrieks of terror from the civilians who witnessed her violent display. Ramlethal makes no move to give chase, her attention shifting to the wild charge of Illyria's most stalwart defender. Her hands drop back to her side and the motion seems to recall her magical blades. The air warps around them, distorting reality as they simply appear near their mistress in the blink of an eye.
"You would sacrifice yourself to delay me?"
The question sounds more like the emotionless girl is posing a rhetorical query rather than seeking a reply. Leo's berserker rush in her direction, his weapons drawn, is the answer to that. There isn't any sign of amusement or annoyance as she regards him, her expression remaining disturbingly devoid of inflection. Usually people with more power than compassion tend to be arrogant and cruel, taunting and belittling their victims as they crush them underfoot in order to obtain what they want. Ramlethal is just indifferent; detached from the gravity of her actions like a computer simply following the commands it has been given.
The girl's dead amber eyes close as she stands her ground, apparently unafraid of the furious wrath about to be brought down upon her.
"Your courage will amount to nothing. Sooner or later, everything will be gone, no matter how hard you strive."
Indifferent? Perhaps. But to Leo, the point of questioning and the curiousity implies more. One truly indifferent...a true tool has no questions, has no curiousity. It simply is. It simply does. Not so, here. She came, she observed. She spoke and just did not like or agree with what she heard.
"Perhaps you are not as detached from all of this as you might think? Pointless? Perhaps. But you want to know -why- don't you..?"
Leo dashes in, heedless of the magical strength on display or the monstrous power at her command. "Perhaps the -you- are the one broken, stuck to a single purpose instead of choosing for yourself to be more then what you are made to be. Perhaps that your fellows choose to live on and embrace new purpose and that -we- choose to fight even knowing that things must come to an end..is not beneath you..but -beyond- you!"
His Iron Chi flashes to life as he's suddenly upon her, a streak of gold and silver as his blades rocket out in a dashing slash as he attempts to cross her up.
Meanwhile the soldiers work quickly to recover the wounded and for those that are beyond help..sadly there is nothing that can be done and so they are left to be while the desperate struggle plays out.
COMBATSYS: Ramlethal blocks Leo Whitefang's Kaltes Gestober Erst.
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Leo Whitefang 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Ramlethal
Ramlethal's eyes open with no more urgency than they had closed. A slender hand extends towards the charging knight, the only gesture of defense that she offers as his deadly magical blades are brought to bear. The mighty twin greatswords remain unresponsive and static even as Leo closes the gap, their black and white bearers content to float silently in the absence of direct commands from their mistress.
The girl echoes his accusation in a soft monotone. But there is little time to consider his words in the moment. As Leo's darts forward with a burst of power, opposing magical energies rise up to defend his target. A shimmering square of viridian light winks to life moments before the impact would have taken Ramlethal square in the chest. A burst of sparks explodes between the blade and the barrier showering the air around then in miniature motes of angry white light. The momentum of the attack is redirected, sending Leo's berserker charge off at an angle as he follows through.
Despite being put in a poor position for a few brief moments, the strange girl doesn't immediately take advantage of it. She stares at him in silence, her deadpan expression completely unreadable as she contemplates the notion that she might somehow be defective.
Of course, the idea is ludicrous. Between the foolish ramblings of some doomed Redundancy and her Mother's word, there isn't even a contest as to which she believes holds greater value.
A tool exists to serve a purpose. That is an indisputable fact. Therefore, as a tool herself, she need only fulfill that purpose to be considered worthwhile. To do otherwise is pure lunacy. A hammer is not a ladder, no matter how much it might wish otherwise. That this creature would hold the pursuit of such folly in higher regard than something seeking to fulfill the purpose for which it was made is but evidence of the truth of her Mother's condemnation.
"A tool exists to fulfill its purpose," she says, offering that simple response to his claim. She doesn't need to explain herself. What these pitiful parasites hold to be true is irrelevant. Everything will end the same regardless of their feelings or desires.
Apparently done talking, Ramlethal suddenly shoots forward in a burst of motion. Her body doesn't seem to move in the same way that a human's might. There is no flex of muscle that precedes her lunge, no shift in her eyes that might give away her intent. She simply explodes into liquid motion, her body becoming a blur of pastel colors as she defies the laws of reality.
Leo suddenly finds himself at ground zero for a massive swath of that neon green power. Now standing only a few inches away in a low crouch, Ramlethal sweeps one hand up at him in a reverse clawing motion and a tidal wave of magical energy erupts from her fingertips. The sheer force of the blow is incredible but it is the deluge of raw power that accompanies it that turns what would have been a bone-breaking swing into something far worse.
COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang blocks Ramlethal's Dauro.
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Leo Whitefang 0/-------/-----==|=------\-------\0 Ramlethal
A blazing eruption of silver, gold and green occurs as Leo brings the flats of his blades up and braces his body against the impact. This gesture would have been meaningless had it been one of the soldiers. But it isn't..it's Leo WHitefang. The King.
The ground sunders behind him as the shockwave blasts outward from him. His body bends backwards but then presses the assault off, redirecting the wave of green away from him to erupt into the air and score along the ground, carving a deep trench of damage across the courtyard.
"But there is something you're not considering, little girl.." he grunts out.
"If a tool aspires to be more then it was created to be..to choose beyond what it was told it only existed for... Is it merely a tool.."
The question is posed in the space between attacks. Leo repositions himself and brings his swords up once again. They criss cross through the air, forming a blazing Iron Cross shape of chi that that ripples into the air and then blasts outward at Ramlethal, tearing across the distance towards her with violent speed.
COMBATSYS: Ramlethal fails to slow Graviert Wurde from Leo Whitefang with Cassius.
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Leo Whitefang 0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0 Ramlethal
Ramlethal once again fails to press her immediate advantage into a further assault. Leo's ability to withstand a direct hit seems to give the girl pause allowing him to step back and attempt to reason with her again. Not that it seems be doing much good, judging by her response.
"A tool that ceases to be a tool is no longer useful. If it cannot fulfill its purpose then it is redundant and should be replaced."
The Gear, if that is even what she is, responds to the king's shift in position by extending one hand out to her side. A sizzling orb of magical power flares to life in her fingers, ready and waiting to meet the onslaught of Leo's magical projectile.
Fortune favors the Redundancy in this instance, however. Underestimating the speed and strength necessary to overcome his assault, Ramlethal's response proves insufficient to cancel out the blazing cross. The blast carves through her underhanded fastball and slams square into the invader taking her direct in the chest.
Ramlethal responds to being struck in much the same fashion as she does being insulted. Her eyes close slightly as she recoils from the impact, her body bending backwards under the force of what should be a terrible blow. Yet the blazing magical cross manages to draw no expression of pain nor cry of distress from the slender girl. She flows a reed in the weed, absorbing the blow silently and then returning to her previous stance. Only the faint black scorch mark on her organic cloak leaves any evidence that the attack happened at all.
"A tool that ceases to be a tool is no longer a tool at all but it has become something more. It's grown beyond it's original intention and programming to aspire to be greater. To become greater. That is what you can't understand and because of that you -will- be less then your fellows!"
Leo presses forward, opting for an unrelenting assault to try and keep this unfathomable attacker off balance. He well knows the destructive capabilities of a fully powered combat Gear. He's seen what Dizzy can do and she lacks both killing instinct and dedicated purpose towards destruction. Not so here. Emotionless, Ramlethal maybe, but there is no question of the damage that can be done if he lets up before the area is fully evacuated and a proper defense mounted.
"Stop this assault! It gains you nothing!"
His blades come around in several arcing strikes as he closes the distance upon her. Violent silver slashes that leave almost jagged claw like marks through the air as the charged weapons come hurtling in several assaults to try and push her back.
COMBATSYS: Ramlethal dodges Leo Whitefang's Armed Combo.
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Leo Whitefang 0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0 Ramlethal
"I already told you."
Ramlethal's dead eyes stare at the king as he once more tries to assert his viewpoint over hers. Despite his success in managing to bypass her defenses once, she shows no more concern for his follow up attack than she had before. Even if he should somehow achieve a miracle and destroy her, the outcome would simply be that a useless tool has been discarded. Mother would make another just like her, one that would follow in her footsteps until it too proved unsuitable for the task it had been given.
The girl's static stance shifts to a fluid dance as the first strike closes in. She bobs and weaves away from the deadly blades, her movements somehow graceful yet mechanical at the same time. No more energy is expended than necessary to accomplish her defense and her ability to hover about seems to make that less than most might have to use. Like a leaf fluttering on the wind, she twists and bends in impossible ways, easily avoiding each swing though the assault does manage to drive her backwards several steps in the process.
Not much is accomplished by the repositioning, however, and the courtyard is both vast and largely free of clutter that might be used tactically. After a particularly wide cut is evaded, Ramlethal darts backwards in a sudden blur of motion, putting a small defensive gap between herself and the king.
"I have no fellows."
The girl's right fist clenches as she tightens her 'grip' on one of the hovering greatswords. A broad sweep of her arm sends the black familiar at her shoulder suddenly swooping forward dragging his cargo of the gargantuan blade in tow. It streaks forward several feet before suddenly stopping short, twisting to the side to bring the deadly greatsword around in a wide sweep.
That same weapon had cleaved easily through the so-called knights at Leo's command, leaving several dead in a single blow. Time to see if he fares any better against the destructive power of a Valentine.
COMBATSYS: Ramlethal successfully hits Leo Whitefang with Forpeli.
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Leo Whitefang 1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0 Ramlethal
Better. He fares better. He is Leo Whitefang after all. He compares favorably with some of the most powerful fighters and users of magic out there.
But better doesn't necessarily mean painlessly or easily. Magic flashes. Reinforced defensive enhancements that toughen his flesh and bones even as his blades raise up to attempt to parry the assault with a flash of light and a roaring clash. But he fails to hold his ground and the blades are knocked away and Leo backwards violently with a searing mark of crimson across his torso and the ground from the tip of the giant swords as it cross over body and rips through the magical defenses.
Being throwm by the force was a saving grace though and saved him from taking even more damage but it was nevertheless a rough blow.
One recovers from, quickly. He lands in a backwards slide and then suddenly dashes forward again, lunging once again nito a blazing assault. The technicians and observers from the command center cry out in alarm, "Sir!"
"No! Keep all troops back!"
Leo is suddenly upon her, leaping into a spinning bladed attack that trails sorcery and chi behind it along with his tattered Sacred Order coat.
He seems to be in more then one place at once. Strike or miss upon touching the ground he's a blur of after images, looking to cross her up again with a swift slashing dash of both swords once again and another spinning strike after that, seeking to attempt to end up on the opposite side of her.
COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang blitzes into action and acts again!
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Leo Whitefang 1/-------/=======|====---\-------\0 Ramlethal
COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang successfully hits Ramlethal with Eisen Sturm.
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Leo Whitefang 1/------=/=======|=======\-------\0 Ramlethal
COMBATSYS: Ramlethal dodges Leo Whitefang's Kaltes Gestober Dritt.
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Leo Whitefang 1/------=/=======|=======\-------\0 Ramlethal
Ramlethal's response to the berserker barrage is cool and collected. Her hands raise up in defensive postures, shimmering squares of magical protection winking to life as throws himself at her.
The onslaught of attacks proves almost overwhelming at first. The leaping upper cut carves straight into the girl's chest, almost taking her off guard as it comes at her from a low unexpected angle. She recoils in eerie silence once again, seeming to lift off the ground with the force of the colossal slash.
As if eager to show why he is considered one of the strongest warriors in the world, Leo unleashes slash after slash in a dizzying whirlwind of blades. But the girl's reflexes are otherworldly. Twisting in midair, she makes an impossible pivot, her body hurling sideways at a ninety-degree angle as if it were a puppet being yanked by its strings. The tornado of deadly strikes finds no purchase on his opponent leaving Leo with his back turned to the now floating menace.
This time she does not wait to let him monologue at her. Releasing her magical levitation, Ramlethal drops downwards like a railroad spike onto the king from above. Her cloak, a disturbing thing of living tissue, responds to her mental command and becomes a rigid cone around her body as she falls. The wide triangular teeth lining its hem stretch unnaturally outwards into long sword-like protrusions as she falls, gravity turning the already deadly constructs into lethal spears.
But, like Leo, it seems that his opponent has also been holding back. She no longer has any need to draw this conflict out. Leo's words have condemned him as the very threat which Mother assured her he was. Now all that she might glean from this conflict is to gain further combat data on one of the stronger Redundancies so that she might better assess her options in future conflicts.
Landing in a low crouch after her meteoric descend, Ramlethal draws her left hand close and tightens it into a fist as she calls upon the white familiar. The bulbous bat-like entity drifts down to her side and she thrusts her hand forward, driving the pommel of the great sword upwards in a gut-busting thrust at Leo's midsection. This proves to be but the prelude to the true attack. With a wave of her hand up towards the sky, the girl pivots the destructive weapon around in a gargantuan upwards slash that splits the very stone before her asunder as easily as if it were carving through hot butter.
COMBATSYS: Ramlethal blitzes into action and acts again!
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Leo Whitefang 1/------=/=======|======-\-------\0 Ramlethal
COMBATSYS: Ramlethal successfully hits Leo Whitefang with Crushing Strike.
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Leo Whitefang 1/-======/=======|=====--\-------\0 Ramlethal
COMBATSYS: Ramlethal successfully hits Leo Whitefang with Glavo.
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Leo Whitefang 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\0 Ramlethal
Leo is indeed powerful, but he's not that powerful. In fact he never actually ever expected to win. He had already sensed and taken Ramlethal's measure from the moment of her first response to his inquiries. There was no talking her down. He had simply hoped that the conversation, coupled with his efforts would have distracted her long enough to hold her attention and keep her away from any others or even moving faster then they could follow into the city..or worse, discovering the Gear Sanctuary and clashing with Dizzy to truly apocalyptic results.
And for better or for worse she has lingered but the time for discussion would seem to be at an end, as is his capacity to fight. Almost.
Her assaults would have been instantly fatal on any other present soldier and warrior but Leo parries as best he can with his blades and then when the second assault comes in, makes an attempt to simply get out of the way. BOth defensive attempts fail more then succeed and his magic barriers are shattered asunder and his body nearly as well.
He goes tumbling aside, rolling almost like rag doll with shredded garments and battered and seared body..until he suddenly rebounds up into a crouched position and continues sliding backwards, kicking up dust in his wake. His eyes are wild with battle fury and passion now but it's all he has left to give.
"Take my blades, harder than any steel!!!"
Leo slams his Iron cross blades together and coils back.
"And add to their strength my dignity and my grace! "
Leo springs, the stones of the courtyard explode behind him from the wake of his launch as his blades twist into molten metal and form the roaring visage of a lion. A glass shattering roar peals out, shockwaving across the area as he charges in.
"Windrad des Weltraum!!!"
COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang can no longer fight.
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COMBATSYS: Ramlethal parries Leo Whitefang's Windrad des Weltraum!
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Rising from her crouch, Ramlethal watches the so-called king recoil from her devastating blows. That he survived at all is a testament to either his skill or his luck. But merely surviving seems to be the best that he can accomplish against the divine power granted unto her by the Universal Will. His resistance might be a bit more boisterous than most, more filled with inane prattling than most, but at the end of the day his vaunted courage is no match for the cold hard truth.
Leo's magical blades Voltron together as he gathers the last of his strength for one final strike. The lion's heads roars in echo of his defiant bellow, the noise so loud that it becomes a palpable wave of force. Like a torpedo launched from a destroyer at an enemy battleship, the king's body corkscrews through the air on a direct collision course with his target, the promise of violence writ large on his craggy features.
The girl stares at him in silence as Leo shouts his royal decree of war, her expression, as ever, one of neutral disinterest. Whatever concern she might have for the mayhem contained within that strike fails to manifest in any visible way. She merely stands her ground, the white cloak with its monstrous saliva-covered teeth and her soft pale bangs beneath the brim of the cat-earred hat fluttering wildly as the shockwave of sound washes over her.
The force of the roar does not break her; she doesn't even bend, her lithe form hovering resolutely in the path of destruction. It is not courage that sees her stand fast, nor determination, nor even arrogance. Such things are unnecessary baggage, complications to what is a simple and fundamental truth.
She is a tool forged for the fires of battle by the greatest power in the universe. And this man - no, this Redundancy - is of no threat to her.
It isn't until snarling maw of the lion-headed weapon is but a heartbeat away that the girl moves. Her body becomes a literal blur, a creamy distortion of color on the backdrop of reality as if he were seeing her through an oil-smudged window. The blob of pastel hues flows like water, impossibly fast and unnaturally agile as it moves out of the way of the deadly missile. Leo's final show of defiance blazes past its target by inches, but they might as well have been miles for all the difference it makes.
Ramlethal reforms into a coherent image where she had been standing before as the magical assault expends itself on nothing, her back now to the broken man. Her arms lift from her sides once more, heralding the deadly intent of her next action. The twin familiars and their payloads vanish from sight in shimmering blurs of distortion only to reappear a few moments later in a different form.
Lucifero, his body once more fused into a single multi-colored entity, emerges from the Backyard only a few dozen feet before the man. The creature gives Leo a haughty sneer, apparently far more free to express his sentiments than his stoic mistress.
"You call that an attack? Pitiful! Awful! Embarrassing!"
The monstrous floating bat-orb thing clacks it teeth together noisily as it speaks, one beady red eye narrowed on him, the other sewn shut in a macabre fashion.
Time to show you what a real blade is for!"
Opening his disturbingly wide maw, Lucifero tilts his head back just in time to catch the newly summoned weapons as they phase into reality. Much in the same fashion as Leo's own magical blades, the gargantuan great swords seem to have fused together, their hilts uniting to create a double-bladed staff that protrudes from the familiar's mouth to either side. Letting out a low wicked cackle, the creature suddenly starts to spin like a buzz saw and hurls himself towards the nearest gathering of knights.
The outcome of the attack isn't hard to predict. The shimmering neon blades of Ramlethal's awesome weapon carve through stone and armor with terrifying ease. Blood splatters in horrific patterns across the courtyard as knight and civilian alike are treated to the business end of the girl's murderous rampage. With obvious glee, Lucifero tears a wild circle of destruction around the entire area, shattering expertly carved stone columns and intricate marble fountains with as much enthusiasm as he demolishes the people unfortunate enough to still remain in the path of danger.
Had that hit, Lucifero would likely not be so glib and undoubtly Ramlethal's tactical acumen is such that she's well aware of that. It -could- have hit. It -almost- hit. It didn't hit. So ultimately what might have been is pointless and the taunt remains, true or not.
Leo slams into the ground, his blades warping out of existence and battered body doing several rapid roll overs as he ragdolls across the courtyard to slam violently into a bunch of cargo crates.
He is, surprisingly, still conscious. Just unable to move and bereft of any comeback or speech.
As to the rest. More damage is done to the courtyard then to actual people. When Leo gave the order to withdraw: They withdrew and maintained their focus on getting non combatants to the safety of the inner walls of the castle and its own wards, such that it might provide given Ramlethal's capabilities. It's still orethen just being out in the open.
There are unfortunantes who yet remained, acting as a last bulwark and they did so knowing their lives might be forfeit. They are knights. Soldiers. Warriors. To stand fast against overwhelming odds to provide safety for their fellows is part of their mandate and they meet their ends with dignity. But their ends, nevertheless, are met along with any stragglers who by stroke of fate or dumb luck or bad decision making tried to stick around to see the fight or otherwise did not get out while they could.
Leo can't do anything but watch, grimly as he struggles to pull back to his feet and fails, using an unbroken crate near him to brace his body as reinforcing and healing magic attempts to reassert itself over him with his urging.
The maelstrom of carnage lasts maybe a dozen short seconds, such is the fury and speed of the whirling blade wielded by Ramlethal's bizarre familiar. Upon the completion of his circuit around the courtyard, Lucifero's dizzying spin quickly winds down to a halt. Both monster and weapon phase out of sight in a blur of distortion, reappearing moments later at the girl's side in their separated forms.
Silence fills the courtyard. Slowly, casually, Ramlethal sweeps her gaze in a lazy circle to review the destruction wrought by her will. Elaborate stoneworks that had been crafted with care and skill reduced to shattered rubble. Noble knights, so full of what they believed to be dignity and purpose, now little more than broken bags of meat. Helpless civilians, men and women alike, who had believed that their protectors would be able to shield them against the cruel designs of fate. What had their faith brought them other than a grisly demise?
All of this is taken in with silent regard. Ramlethal does not have any emotions; she has no need for them. But the soul-binding connection between herself and the distant psychic sends a faint resonance of something cold into her mind. She pauses, taking a moment to study the sensation, trying to understand its significance. There is little more to be gained from direct data observation on this battlefield so instead she turns her attention towards interpreting the aftermath.
As she spins in place to take in scene of carnage with a critical eye the cold pit in her stomach grows ever stronger. It radiates outwards into her body seeming to drain the vitality from her limbs leaving her weak in the knees. Were she not hovering in place by her own will she might well have collapsed on the spot, taken completely off guard by the intensity of the feeling.
A hand goes to the girl's face as the stoic mask breaks for the first time, her expression twisting into a grimace of surprise. She almost severs the link by reflex. Restraining herself this time, she allows Athena's mind to experience the scene by proxy and in turn translate her feelings back to her. This had been her intention when she bound the girl's soul to her, to better understand the feelings that human's experienced. Not because she desired them for herself, but so that she might more effectively act as her Mother's weapon against these flawed creatures.
It takes her several long moments of introspection to come to place the nature of the response. Fear, of the terrifying power she wields and her willingness to wield it without mercy or remorse. There is no small amount of sorrow mixed in as well. Though she knew none of these people directly, the psychic's mind quailed at their seemingly unjust deaths. And anger, white hot and righteous fury towards the person responsible.
Ramlethal cuts the connection between them, closing her mind off from the psychic's intense subconscious outpouring of emotion. Her snarl quickly fades, the mask of stoic aloofness once more settling onto her exotic features. That had been one of the more intense reactions. If the removal of a few handfuls of Redundancies was enough to evoke such an overwhelming response then she could hardly imagine the havoc her actions might wreck on a larger scale. A useful tidbit of information.
Yet again, she is left to wonder why her Mother would have withheld such a potent bit of knowledge from her. Understanding the reactions of her enemies is surely a worthwhile element to consider when she is operating independently of direct guidance. But no, it is not the place of a tool to question its purpose. Why then, was she defying that choice in order to inform herself?
The completion of her slow revolution brings Leo back into the 'Gear's' field of view. She regards him in stony silence for several seconds, watching the heavily injured man attempt to rise despite the damage she has inflicted upon him. More foolishness. Even if he could force himself to his feet, he was barely able to threaten her before being nearly cut in half. She could casually end his life right now and there would be little he could do to stop her.
But, that is not part of the plan. His death is not yet required, only his hatred and a burning desire for revenge. That much, at least, Mother had informed her about. Her transgressions against his subjects would not be forgotten lightly and it is precisely that sentiment that she is counting on.
"My name is Ramlethal Valentine."
Rising up slowly into the air, a current of power swirls up around her setting her milky cloak and bangs gently aflutter. Her gaze remains affixed upon Leo, that damned blank stare devoid of compassion for the death she has visited upon his home this day.
"And I declare war upon all the world."
Ramlethal continues to rise until she floats some thirty feet above the courtyard stones. Though her blank expression has not changed, her lofty position forces her to look down upon the fallen king, adding an element of haughty arrogance to her words.
"All those unworthy to stand upon it will be destroyed."
Her disturbingly human eyes close, allowing her words to resonant and hang in the air for those still alive to hear her decree. The massive weapons at her command shimmer and fade away, rippling out of existence as if they had never been. A pregnant pause fills the air for several long moments. Then she does something even more unsettling. She smiles.
A mouth full of teeth that would make any shark jealous flashes a Cheshire Cat grin down at Leo, splitting her face from nearly ear to ear. The girl's eyes open, her brows furrowing her stare into something that can only be described as wicked.
"Your future... is now a thing of the past!"
And then she too, fades away, leaving the promise of yet more death in her wake.
THe king..saw that. Leo looks on, confused now. He withholds any sort of speaking. He knows his limits have long been reached in regards to attempting any sort of communication with this rogue Gear but what is this behavior now? This sudden display? He staggers up and then back down again to a kneeling position and just waits it out. Whatever she opts to do, there is nothing more he can do here. When she makes her final decleration of war he just sighs and shakes his head. Then she is gone.
The courtyard is ravaged. Littered with the strewn bodies of the dead who remained in place to guard their king and those who just couldn't get away in time..but there will be little time for grief now.
"The threat..has passed..for now." he says into his comm link, "Get...get medical help out here now. Healers. There may be survivors." No..not likely. One can hope.
"Send a message to Sir Ky and...guardians to the Sacred Grove...In case.."
His body gives out, mid orders. Leo collapses forward, thudding heavily to the ground. Still.
Log created on 19:27:41 04/25/2021 by Ramlethal, and last modified on 08:55:19 04/30/2021.