Description: Having successfully infiltrated the FATAL CORE's labritory facilities, the Demon Queen finds her branded gambit still alive and angry. But every action has a cost, and the universe has a funny way of giving us exactly what we deserve.
Red and purple lights pulse gently above an engineering deck that hums with activity, reflecting off of misting metal canisters and glass suspension tanks full of unknowable fluids. The majority of terminals are occupied by harried-looking scientists in white coats and goofy goggles, most focused in upon screens that show various robotic experiments locked in combat elsewhere within the megastructure. Others in stained coveralls hurry from place to place transporting canisters and sacks of fluid, making notes on tablets and pausing occasionally to make adjustments to the displays mounted upon the suspension tanks. No matter where one looks there is a scientist or technician in sight, the layered catwalks transformed into a hive of mad human industry. The low murmur of voices fills the space, shot through with bangs and crashes of equipment, chirps of alarms, and the odd hissing exhale of a tank being vented into the network of pipes that drip with condensation.
However, as interesting as these things may or may not be, none of them hold the mark that has drawn their visitor here. To find that particular experiment she must descend into the lower level, passing through an arena where technicians hurry to clear away the debris of test combats. Gobs of stinking human flesh shot through with circuitry, smoldering power cores that release oily black smoke smelling of burnt plastic, it is a scene of gore slick devastation, the steel walls splattered with blood and oil.
Several gates of crackling electricity close off private labs from the arena, a plaque set beside each denoting the active project's code name. Beyond the gate marked 'HELLBREAKER' lies a space that is half laboratory, half machine shop, with plates of crudely shaped metal sitting on steel tables while nearby a series of robotic arms hang from the ceiling over a brightly lit operating table. Power tools lie on desks beside bubbling beakers and banks of computers, making the space seem more chaotic and slaughterhouse than the majority of its neighbors.
Not 15 feet from the entrance, seated quietly in a metal folding chair, is the creature that radiates with the familiar ping of a demonic brand. Though he was never an attractive man even at his prime, the work that has been done to him hasn't helped matters in the least. Roughly shaped metal plates have been bolted to flesh and bone like rough armor, scaly red flesh visible through cracks at the joints of otherwise full-body coverage. Here and there tubes emerge from the metal shells, their surfaces glowing red hot with the agitated blood they pump from one location to another. Yet more pipes vent steaming gas from his back with every slow breath, matched by the vapors wafting from the metal helmet that guards his head, burning red eyes glaring straight ahead through a crude grate welded across the eyes. Here and there metal spikes puncture the armor plating at skull and joints, their appearance far more twisted and organic than the bolted on additions. And yet, of all the eery, bloody qualities that this abomination of demon and machine hosts, the most telling of all is his stillness. Where once the monster might have raged and cursed, rebelled for the simple sake of putting his fist through the world around him, he now sits still and quiet while a woman in black coveralls tinkers with one of the burning tubes that peak from the armor of his right calf, indifferent to his surroundings.
There is one advantage that the chaotic hive of activity in the depths of Fatal Core affords to an infiltrator: no one has the time to talk.
Thus it is that a certain intruder currently sporting scarlet hair has been able to move unnoticed through the corridors, a borrowed black security jumpsuit squeaking quietly with each sashay as standard issue boots click their way along the paths. The redhead's pretty face isn't one that's in the employee database, but she's already bypassed the checkpoints where that would have been an issue using other borrowed identities. 'Roisin' isn't known to anyone in the engineering area, which means that no one has any reason to give her orders or ask her questions.
At least, that's how things have played out so far. Which is a good thing; it's been a long day already, and Lyraelle isn't in the mood to put her impeccable talent for bullshit to the test at the moment. Her green eyes have been sweeping the environs, taking things in while keeping a swift and purposeful air.
The infernal signal leads Roisin right up to the gate marked 'HELLBREAKER.' She peers past the barrier, noting the mechanic who seems to be working on what seems to resemble the Trojan bastard that she left for Ultratech's goons to pick up.
It only takes a moment to improvise a plan.
She raps her knuckles loudly against a metallic section of the gate.
"Hellbreaker! We're requisitioning you for field duty. Burning Man is down and we need immediate reinforcements for the outer grid," Roisin calls in a commanding tone through the crackling electric field. "How fast can you get him out of here?"
The loud clank of rattling metal draws the black-clad technician's gaze away from her work, revealing a fine-boned heart of a face that rivals the Demon Queen's own for raw cuteness. Perhaps she's gone a little heavy on the goth makeup, and maybe the triple overtime makes her appear a bit too drawn to be perfect, but she's almost certainly the prettiest girl in the lab.
"Whoah, shit, really? Burning Man?"
Ice-blue eyes going wide in their raccoon rings, she lifts a hand to brush black and purple hair from her face, smearing black grease across her forehead in the process. She seems more startled than suspicious, wide eyes slowly narrowing in first thought, then determination as she turns back to the leg she had been working on.
"Yeah, yeah. He's ready. Fuck. Give me just a second."
While the technician works at re-attaching the tube and sealing it in place with a smear of some sort of proxy, Hellbreaker's burning gaze shifts the slightest bit, staring into Roisin's face with familiar burning resentment. He does not move, however, not aside from the slow shift of breaths that cause some sort of bolt located over his heart to clack, rotating once clockwise with every inhale.
"This guy doesn't have the fire power of Burning Man, but every test I've ran has shown his durability is off the charts. Literally. We had to re-evaluate the charts entirely. If the geeks in genetics can get the cloning to go through my boy could break robotics wide open. Power generation, durability. Using the freaks has been the best thing to happen in the field of cyber organisms in like, decades."
Rattling on, the pixiesh tech holds the tube in place with gloved fingers until it is good and secure, before hopping to her feet and heading over to a nearby terminal. Tugging off her gloves she tucks them through her belt and taps at the keys with black-painted nails, deactivating the electric field of the gate and granting Roisin access.
"Alright, let me just activate guardian protocols and he'll be ready to go." She states, tap-tap-tapping away while biting at her painted lower lip, eyes fixed on the screen. As she does, the monstrous fusion of man and machine rises from its chair behind her, chest bolt clanking over another rotation, sulfurous steam wafting from the pipes in his back. A final key is tapped, the Guardian Protocol is activated, and a low grumble emanates from the speaker crudely fused into the flesh of Hellbreaker's throat.
"Hostile detected." he states, voice an electronic rasp that drips with indifferent menace. "A Known Dark Stalker has infiltrated the premises. Moving to engage."
That said, the hulking cyborg, made even bulkier by thick armor plating, takes a single heavy step in the intruder's direction, while his engineer lifts a hand to the side of her head and looks, panicked.
"What?" she squeaks, taken completely off guard.
COMBATSYS: Rae has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Rae subordinates will to master control.
Rae [E] 0/-------/------=|
When the electrical gate opens, Roisin gives a casual glance over her shoulder before stepping into the work cell, arms folding beneath her chest as the tech pixie delivers the rundown on the cyborg's specs and status. Considering the urgency with which she'd given the 'activation' request, the redhead appears much more relaxed once she's inside the cell, her eyes drawn to the flesh-and-metal hybrid with a discreetly mystified gaze as she inspects the handiwork of the Ultratech engineers with morbid fascination.
"Golly. I remember what he looked like before you guys got your hands on him," Roisin remarks, letting a beat pass before adding, "He's so much prettier now."
Then, as the Guardian Protocol activates and the cybernetic specimen announces the presence of a Known Dark Stalker, Roisin lets out a huff, eyes rolling subtly behind the technician's back. "Look, Hellbreaker here is clearly malfunctioning. And the bad news is, it's about to get worse."
Suddenly, a rubbery black cord - actually, a tail, it seems - whips out to lash around the technician's throat, cutting off her air supply while simultaneously starting to rapidly drain her essence for its owner - 'Roisin.' Senses quick enough to notice would have detected it bursting through the back of her jumpsuit spaded tip first in a split second. Fortunately, the detected darkstalker has no permanent intentions for the tech's ill health - she's prepared to settle for temporary silence followed by long-term unconsciousness.
At the same time, Roisin's green eyes lock on Rae's red ones with a look of deep concentration.
"Let's see if we can't override those friend-or-foe protocols."
Focusing her will into the brand, the red-haired hellion attempts to invoke a secondary function of the infernal imprint within the Hellbreaker's chest -
The brand doesn't literally ignite, but it would feel like it had - like the monster's heart was on fire. The intent is to overload the Hellbreaker's senses, drive it beyond the control of the 'Guardian Protocol.' To wake up the Sleeping Beauty that she'd left for the 'dwarves' to collect.
But that plan relies on two assumptions:
That the brand is still functioning fully...
...And that Rae is only sleeping.
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle has joined the fight here.
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Rae [E] 0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0 Lyraelle
Though the pretty mad pixie scientist engineer has many talents both big and small, actually fighting isn't one of them. Black nails claw at the tail in a futile attempt to pry it free, scratching and scrabbling till she sinks slowly to her knees, then flops over into a little goth puddle in front of her terminal. It doesn't take very long, mere seconds, and yet during that time the Hellbreaker hesitates, twitching slightly in place. Burning eyes shift from the Demon Queen to his master, bright and hateful, before he announces through growling static.
"Violence against Ultratech personnel is strictly forbidden." There is a pause, a moment of machine contemplation as something internal is gauged, catalogued, "The damage of experimental Ultratech technology is frowned upon. Punishment will be decided upon by a case by case bases. In combat situations, this unit is allowed to cast summery judgment over those who break the Ultratech terms of service."
If Roisin's brand causes the monster any real pain, it doesn't show on his face. Nor is there any sudden revelation of hate or rage. Only those eyes, alight with emotion, and the faint twitch of a cyborg not moving immediately to the aid of its creator.
"Your punishment has been decided. Moving to capture. You will become, one of us."
It could be her imagination, or perhaps there is a touch of satisfaction in those last words, a moment in which the Hellbreaker's programming and vindictive soul are in complete agreement. The bolt located over his heart cranks another partial turn, locks into place with a heavy, ratcheting chunk, and the blackened tubes across his body glow with a hellish inner light as raging fluids pressurize...
A small section at the center of his chest bolt irises open, a brief flash of blazing orange her only warning before a beam of condensed hellfire blasts forth in a single cleaving swipe, chest shifting in an attempt to cleave across her jumpsuited form from right shoulder to left hip. Boots planted, he finishes the blast with an eruption of fumes from his back vents, bolt locking down to cut off any further destruction.
It does not appear he has any desire to come quietly.
COMBATSYS: Rae successfully hits Lyraelle with Chaos Laser.
- Power hit! -
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Rae [E] 0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0 Lyraelle
The focused look on Roisin's face becomes a frown as the attempt to ignite the heart of rage she'd previously encountered within the beast now known as 'Hellbreaker' seems to fizzle into official reprimands and warnings. The demonette's tail flicks behind her as she straightens and glares in frustration back at robo-Rae.
"You know, I think I might have liked you more before."
Her eyes flit instantly to the opening appearing in the middle of the Hellbreaker's chest - and almost as quickly, she moves to dart to the side, but not quickly enough. The laser rakes across her body, searing a wide gash in the jumpsuit from tattooed shoulder to hip, and the blast causes her to fly into the gateway to the chamber - resulting in a spark of electrical energy surging through her. Dazed, smoking, and exposed, the scarlet-haired hellion presses a hand to her head and stumbles. She hesitates to retaliate, looking up at the amalgam of flesh and steel with something that almost resembles remorse as she uses one hand to try and hold her suit together.
"Look, I know that somewhere in there, you're pissed off. I get it. But /I/ didn't do this to you, /they/ did. I came here to set you loose. I didn't want to see what /they'd/ do to /you/, I wanted to see what /you'd/ do to /them!/ Because we both know I'd only wish you on my worst enemy!"
She shakes her right wrist, a by-now-familiar green whip of flame snapping into existence as she wills it.
"Now wake up and break shit, you ugly fuck!"
The serpentine hellfire cord leaps forth with a twist and flick from the redhead, arcing to try and score a blazing path along the plating across the cyborg's skull in hope of pressing her gambit of unleashing the rabid beast.
COMBATSYS: Rae blocks Lyraelle's Imperious Scourge.
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Rae [E] 0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0 Lyraelle
Whatever emotions might show in the demoness's green eyes, whatever remorse she might feel for what has been done to the creature before her, it would be hard to argue that he didn't deserve it. Before he was Hellbreaker he was a monster, little more than a rabid dog striking out at the world in pain and rage. Now? Now he's a weapon. He has purpose. Does it truly matter that said purpose isn't one he would have chose?
Heavy boots vibrate the deck as the cyborg closes the distance to the smoldering, SMOLDERING demon, left arm swinging up to intercept the whip before it can reach his skull. Brilliant green energy hisses and burns against his bolted on bracer, barely drawing his attention as he continues forward with it wrapped carelessly around his limb.
"The Ultratech charter expressly forbids cybernetic organisms from deliberate destruction of Ultratech equipment, or the maiming and or killing of Ultratech personnel." Hellbreaker responds, voice rough and mild. "Therefore, the only shit that will be broken, is you."
The words may be different, the vocabulary much improved, but the simple intent behind those words matches the blazing hatred with which he stares into the protesting woman's soul. Perhaps he is in there. Perhaps there is some flicker of the old intelligence still surviving between the circuits. But if so, it is, as ever, idiotic and unreasoning in its rage.
Lumbering that last step forward, his right hand lashes out in an attempt to close metal-clad fingers around Roisin's slender neck. Fingers that close with enough force to collapse the throat of a mere mortal, to crush bones and pulp tender flesh. To walk her back a step, then another, and force her back into the electric fence. To cause a cascade of man-made lightning to blast through them both, arcs jumping from rivet to bolt across his armored form. And, finally to heft her clear of her feet and gaze past toward the arena beyond. To gauge those few short steps that would expose them both to the cameras and technicians. Those few steps that would very likely doom them both.
And there, he hesitates, hand continuing to try and crush the life out of her.
The low rumble vibrates forth from his voice box, contemplative, before he turns on the spot, wires all throughout his armored hand blazing to life with sudden heat as he does his level best to hurl the redhead off deeper into the lab, assisting her on her way with a raging wave of hellfire that blasts from a port in his palm.
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle dodges Rae's Darkness Crush.
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Rae [E] 0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0 Lyraelle
Straining and tugging with both hands, Roisin tries to use the hellfire cord to wrench the cyber-demon's arm and direct its movements through brute force, but to no avail. The whip snaps, for lack of better phrasing - energy disrupted by the aura of whatever conflicting power is coursing through the cyborg's form now, causing the green to sever, the broken end instantly dissipating before the shortened cable of flame is dismissed, the fingers holding it parting to let the brimstone soot sprinkle to the ground.
This is a gambit gone wrong. This is what it means to reap what you sow. This is losing at poker.
This is a new feeling for Lyraelle.
"If you say so, Asimov," Roisin says vehemently as she moves to try and elude Rae's advance, but ends up pressed into a corner. The metallic hand clamps around her neck. Fortunately, it's no mere mortal neck - the supernatural flesh is hellishly tough - but it still presents an imminent threat. Roisin's hands clutch at the arm that's lifting her off of the ground as her legs kick.
"Wait! You said you can't hurt Ultratech personnel!" Roisin interjects through her tightened airway. She twists her head to one side, face obscured by scarlet tresses, before turning it back to Rae's face.
Except when she does, it's a pair of wide ice-blue eyes framed by heavy mascara and eyeshadow on a pale pixie face, hair shimmering black and purple. The only thing missing is a smear of black grease across her forehead.
"Hellbreaker! Why are you doing this?! I've been taking such good care of you!"
The voice is a perfect mimicry of the engineer's as she pleads - but the Demon Queen is at least smart enough not to put all of her money on appealing to the demon's sense of duty or the cyborg's sense of empathy. The blue eyes suddenly flash with green, twin rays of fire issuing forth and aimed at Hellbreaker's optical region - hoping to at least blind the beast if not take another shot at sending Hellbreaker haywire.
Either way, she manages to slip free from Rae's grasp before she can be driven into the deadly scenery, landing on all fours before scampering like a cat to the other side of the room before whirling back to her feet and panting heavily.
COMBATSYS: Rae fails to reflect Balefire Gaze from Lyraelle with Powered Frame.
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Rae [E] 0/-------/=======|=======\-------\1 Lyraelle
The bolt positioned over Hellbreaker's heart rotates another degree, steam wafting up behind him as he dangles Roisin a foot off the ground. Hellish eyes gaze into a pair that are first green, then blue, both beautiful. Both oddly vulnerable.
"Impersonation of Ultratech personnel is grounds for imprisonment or summery execution."
And then she blasts him in the face.
Flinging the demoness aside, the hulking cyber demon lets out a snarl of annoyance. However, rather than burn a path into the flesh optics behind the grill, the energy hits the metal and forks, spider webbing across the surface of his armor as thin wires of negatively charged insulation re-direct the power along pre-determined channels. For just a moment he is alight with lines of glowing green that pulse across his form, outlining the pipes and vents fused into the scaly flesh of his back. Pipes, vents, and the end of a barbed spike that protrudes from a metal plate bolted onto his left shoulder blade. A spike tip that, as she watches, rotates a fraction of a turn with a heavy CHUNK.
Well that would explain the mystery of the pain brand not working. If that thing is driven through his heart it probably hurts like a mother fucker.
Turning slowly about to face the panting Queen, Hellbreaker levels his stare upon her and clinches one armored hand into a fist.
And then, sparks.
An arc of energy lashes out from his right calf, scorching a line across the steel deck and altering the flow of power. With a cracking BANG the energy tears itself across his body and explodes from the weak point on his calf, metal and flesh rent into jagged chaos as it tears itself free to scorch a deep gouge into the floor beside him.
Head thrown back, hellish eyes wide, the voice that roars forth from the electronics has none of the carefully programmed menace. It is rough, raw, and full of uncompromising hatred.
In spite of herself, the disguised Demon Queen finds herself flinching her eyes shut when the Hellbreaker's right calf bursts out with energy, blue eyes disappearing into black eyeshadow before blinking back open with a girlish flutter. The Hellbreaker's exclamation, on the other hand - 'BITCH!' - has the opposite effect, causing the goth's lips to part in a grin as the burning glow reflects in her eyes.
"Oh, you /do/ recognize me," the purple-haired pixie pretender coos coquettishly at the outburst as she takes hold of the split, scorched middle of her jumpsuit and - *RIIIP* - pulls it violently apart, letting the halves of the shed disguise drop to the floor as green flames rapidly consume them, leaving the shapeshifted goth in a black bandeau and high-cut shorts of matching material.
"I like it better when we do hate play," she says in a sultry tone, kicking away the green embers of the jumpsuit and stretching. "It's so easy to get you going that way."
With that, she takes a running start.
"Let's get you warmed up!"
The pixie leaps into a flying spin, bat-like black wings sprouting from her shoulderblades as she reverses toward the cyber-demon, then flapping forward to drive her backward - aiming her black-clad posterior toward the creature's metal-encased head, intent on driving -him- into the electrics with the supernatural speed of her assault - a move that surely conjures the phrase 'familiarity breeds contempt' for the former biker. Should she succeed in doing so, the wings would disappear back into her back while her tail would lash back out to wrap around the nearest cybernetic limb, intent on siphoning some of the monster's power for its mistress to battle with!
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle issues a challenge!!
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Rae [E] 0/-------/=======|=======\-------\1 Lyraelle
COMBATSYS: Rae blocks Lyraelle's Royal Requisition - Dark Queen's Throne.
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Rae [E] 1/------=/=======|-------\-------\0 Lyraelle
Both hands clench into heavy battering rams of invasively armored flesh as the cyber demon's head lowers, baleful gaze fixing upon the smiling pixie as she slips into something more comfortable. Breaths coming quicker, bolt ratcheting through its rotations with increasing speed, the face behind the grill contorts with agony as his heart and lung are rapidly shredded by the barbed spike of his own personal torture device. A machine of constant agony designed to keep him on death's door, constantly regenerating from fatal damage. Sustained by a near limitless generation of hellfire infused blood that is piped through his body, refined into something the machinery can use.
Reliant, in a demented sort of way.
Vision blurring between half remembered images and the reality before him, Rae watches the face of his tormentor flirt and coo, observes her pale form charging toward him. Gets an eye full of pale backside contained in a tight pair of 'shorts'.
In truth, it doesn't really matter. Creator, Demon Queen, random stranger. Electrical impulses spark through his brain as the control chip buried in his skull attempts to subdue the chaotic jumble of neural activity that has forced its way to the surface, filling his mind with flashes of blinding light and waves of stupefaction.
Left hand lashing out, he grabs hold of the first thing he sees, metal fingers digging roughly into the left cheek of Roisin's behind. Uncaring of the attractiveness of the flesh compressed in his palm, he brings his right hand up just in time to catch the whipping tail, squeezing it near the base as it lashes and coils against his armored form, unable to find any place through which energy is willing to flow.
Liquid fire pours from the blasted out flesh of his right calf as his breathing accelerates, scaly flesh beginning to pull together. For the briefest of moments his body's horrific regenerative abilities begin to out pace the damage of his implants, to overwhelm the neural network that keeps him suppressed...
Somewhere beneath his heavy breastplate an auto injector pumps secret chemicals into his toxic bloodstream, and all at once he is seeing red. Regeneration slacking, hellfire overloading his weakening flesh, the grip on tail and cheek begins to slacken, hot breath washing over her lower back as the cyborg drops her and collapses heavily to one knee. Head sinking forward, he buts her gently on the bottom, unable even to remain kneeling upright.
Ports all over the monster's body snap open, points of blazing orange flickering throughout the room as his cybernetic implants take over.
"Unit critical, suppression protocol enabled. Venting excess energy."
Warning given, the cyborg detonates, hellfire roaring out from every port in its body to consume the nearby wall, floor, and gate, the heat so intense that metal is instantly slagged while the treated alloy of his implants are left glowing cherry read, toxic vapors radiating from the monster's superheated surface.
"Core personality repressed, all systems nominal. Proceeding with mission."
Head lifting from its forward slump, Hellbreaker rises slowly to his feet.
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle blocks Rae's Hellraiser.
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Rae [E] 0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0 Lyraelle
The succubus' attack is caught by the Hellbreaker, causing her to writhe and struggle with teeth clenched as she tries to establish some form of dominance that will allow her to draw forth the vital, vitriolic essence she seeks. While the effort doesn't bear the fruit hoped for, some stray wisps of the energy in the air find their way to the spaded tip of the appendage, their absorption barely noticeable.
The bellowing rattles through the purple-haired hellion as the metal digs into her flesh and grips her tail.
"Exactly what I was thinking," the pixie demon retorts, flailing left and right to try and free her tail. She only just manages to do so before the warning sounds out, dropping down to her hands and knees. Sensing the rapid rise in heat, she curls her tail in on herself, black wings sprouting again -
As the blinding heat starts to dissipate, the wings are revealed in a smoking cocoon around the demoness, unfurling to reveal her form and the ground beneath her relatively unscathed, a ring of undamaged floor in the middle of a molten pond.
"Oh, don't lose the mood now, honey," the winged woman says as she curls her right hand into a fist. "You're almost there!"
With preternatural alacrity, the succubus soars up over the red-hot floor, drawing her right arm back as it crackles with blue lightning, before aiming a rare yet solid flying right hook at Hellbreaker's infernal visage!
COMBATSYS: Rae endures Lyraelle's Medium Punch.
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Rae [E] 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0 Lyraelle
Metal cracks and pops across Hellbreaker's armored shell, the deck below bubbling and plopping with ankle-deep molten death. Fortunately the structure is built with these sorts of things in mind, the liquefied steel pooling atop one of many reinforced layers that stand between the battling demons and the next level down.
"This unit has been programmed not to respond to sexual advances." Hellbreaker replies with rumbling indifference, coming to his feet just in time for the Roisin to land a hum dinger of an electrified punch square to the side of his helmeted head.
Face forced slightly to the side, lightning sparking across his partially ruined insulation, the cyber demon pauses, impassive, before continuing to speak as if nothing has happened, the force of the blow vibrating back up his opponent's pale arm.
"According to the Ultratech terms of service, this cybernetic organisms are not considered to be sentient beings, and thus all inappropriate uses of cybernetic organisms are deemed an inappropriate use of Ultratech resources."
Reaching up with both hands, the lecturing cyborg reaches for the first two hand holds he can find. Left attempting to lock sizzling hot fingers around her right bicep, he grabs for a hand full of left thigh with the other, attempting to drag her out of the air and bring her crashing down belly-first across his knee, before his right hand releases her thigh, rears back to the full extent of his reach, and brings his fist sweeping around in an almighty haymaker aimed square for the patch of black fabric offering dubious protection to her royal hind end.
"This," he informs her, low and full of programmed menace, "Is a firable offence."
apparently hanging out in the lava pull isn't having any adverse affects on the recently rebooted cyborg, a couple of wires sparking where she hit him but the damage around his calf already having begun to regenerate once more.
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle parries Rae's Combo Grapple!
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Rae [E] 0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\1 Lyraelle
The electricity continues to crackle along the length of the demonette's arm, scorching black streaks across her flesh as she recoils from the flying attack, grimacing at the pain. The momentary distraction is enough that the Hellbreaker nearly manages to snag hold of her by the arm and leg, but the goth pixie's wings flit to bring her down dangerously closer to the cyborg - landing across the monstrosity's knee on her own terms. The same tempting target is offered up.
The succubus throws herself into a handstand-to-backflip, the arc of Hellbreaker's haymaker barely missing first her bottom, then her forearms. Wings kick in to keep her aloft at the level of the extreme body mod protruding from what remains of Rae's chest cavity, a twist turning her to face the monster at arm's length.
"How about my severance?"
She curls her knees up swiftly, the stiletto heels of her short black boots igniting with green flame.
"I think I'll take you with me!"
With that, she drives a rapid-fire series of blurringly fast kicks at the Hellbreaker's sternum region, aiming to pepper the flesh behind the metal cage with points of infernal flame in an oddly artistic formation. Should she succeed, a moment later, the balefire brands would ignite, blazing into the shape of a green heart around the cyborg's chest as the winged witch would flutter backward across the flowing floor.
COMBATSYS: Rae fails to interrupt Royal Seal EX from Lyraelle with Harmageddon.
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Rae [E] 0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0 Lyraelle
Hellish fumes cloud the air behind Hellbreaker as his heavy fist finds nothing but empty space, Roisin's borrowed form slipping lithely around the blow with taunting athleticism. To be so close, skin to steel, and yet beyond the monster's grasp.
A growling breath is accompanied by the ratcheting clank of his chest spike, hateful eyes following the path of her heart-shaped rear with increasing hunger. An emotion that the Demon Queen is likely familiar with, and yet radiating from the burning eyes of the cyber demon there's no telling what it might mean. The desire to hurt? Actual hunger? Actual desire?
Perhaps a bubbling, riotous mixture of all three, concocted by a mind that was never good at expressing itself, and even now fights for control over a body that is not entirely its own.
The curled curves of Roisin's thighs fill his vision, spiked heels pointed toward him, and the beast steps forward to meet them, survival protocols abandoned in favor of the deep, pressing need of raw animal instincts. Molten metal splashes beneath the heavy impact of his boot, bulk leaning forward, fists coming up...
Kick after kick hammers into the reinforced breastplate bolted into the bones of his chest, the force of each individual kick unable to halt his advance, but all taken together just able to stall him as dints and punctures appear across his armored surface. Here and there bits of liquid hellfire leak from the newly created holes, sparks sizzling between the expose halves of severed wires.
Mind alight with electronic impulses and uncontrollable hatred, Hellbreaker sends his futile fury roaring off of the metal walls as twisted iron spikes erupt from his body, metal shell splitting and tearing as they force their way from shoulders, fists, and more sparsely across the rest of his body. Empowered by the raw agony, he surges forward in a blind rush that carries him straight through the spot his tormentor so recently occupied, bulk smashing into a steel table and tearing it free of its bolts to send it tumbling away in a partially crumpled heap. Fist lashing out, he drives his knuckle spikes into the wall and tears them viciously across, steel torn asunder with a horrific shriek of tortured metal.
It appears that she has once more awakened the beast trapped within the armor, implants clanking and humming as they struggle to regain control.
The heels of the Demon Queen's boots still glow with unnatural green heat as she retreats from robo-Rae's rampage, her elusiveness seemingly driving the demonic test subject to greater heights of rage-fuelled rebellion. The mistress of infernal energies narrows her eyes in an unusual moment of assessment, her supernatural senses reaching out to attempt to analyze the foreign influences trying to regain control of the Hellbreaker - from her preternatural hearing searching for what makes the machine tick to her esoteric understanding of essence. All the while, her wings beat, keeping her above the bubbling slag below. Often, the interaction of her own nature with that of the other hellion trends toward the chaotic and wanton through her drive to assimilate and excel, but this time, consideration is required.
Still, it takes all of a moment for her to formulate her next move.
"Oh, I know. Wanting what you can't have is frustrating. You have /no idea/ how much I get it."
The green whip flickers into existence between the gothic succubus' hands as she pulls them apart, fingers running along the energy cord with a sizzling sound as the weapon lengthens and stretches.
"I know what you really want. That's my real superpower. And normally, I wouldn't care. But it just happens that it's what I want for you, too."
The hell-pixie rears her arm back, the whip scorching a molten green trail across the machinery behind her as it crackles throughout with the recurring blue lightning.
"So come here, sweetie. I've got your happy ending waiting!"
The whip lashes out like a lasso, aiming to wrap around the machine-monster-man's midsection multiple times as the female fiend puts all of her force into pulling him toward her. If she succeeds, she'd drag him all the way into proximity before giving a tremendous heave to slam him over her shoulder and into the scalding ground, before stamping a foot down on his neck to pin him there - before unbinding the whip and whirling it in wild yet precise whorls, intent on striking the Hellbreaker repeatedly with the burning lash - aiming for what she believes to be the integral systems in keeping the monster under control, not intending to disable or destroy the monster, but unleash it.
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle successfully hits Rae with Royal Reprimand - Lashes to Ashes.
[ \\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////// ]
Rae [E] 1/------=/=======|===----\-------\0 Lyraelle
Staggering away from the scarred wall in a half-blind haze of fried synapses and hate, Hellbreaker crashes into a second table and sags against it, one spiked hand slapping down to dig metal claws into its surface, anchoring himself against the brilliant agony crackling down his spine. Though the fight of moments before might have been excusable as a test gone wrong, the sudden crash of equipment, squeal of metal and roar of rage are bound to have taken this whole mission to the next level of tits up.
The flapping of wings and call of taunting words is drowned beneath the hissing crackle from within his own skull, Roisin's own sharp ears easily picking up the sizzle and pop as circuitry cooks itself in a desperate attempt to overload the monster's infernal brain. An endless stream of electricity surges down his spine, powered by the generator mounted in his chest that is in turn powered by the spike through his heart that forces his body into a perpetual state of hellfire generation. A system of perfect torture, near drawing on the mindless brute's almost infinite supply of power. After all, it is she, and she alone that has ever been able to even temporarily drain him dry.
Body arching in a roaring spasm of agony, Hellbreaker flails one arm at the energy whip as if to smack it away, succeeding only in getting his arm trapped against his body as the lash tightens around his torso. Thrashing, claws screeching across the table, he is unable to coordinate any sort of affective resistance, bulky form jerked into a staggering stumble that accelerates into a graceless flip up and over the Demon Queen's head, hulking form splashing down into the liquid metal with a shuttering CRASH. Face plunged into skin-boiling heat, he claws at the ground beneath the press of her foot, having reached a state of near total unawareness.
And yet, the solution is simple. Perhaps the scientist didn't know, or simply couldn't think of a way around it. But the direct solution is clear.
It isn't like he uses his brain anyway.
The first crack of the whip scores a shallow gouge in the back of his helmet, the insolating mesh woven into his armor helping to turn the impact. After a second, third, and fourth, however, the shell is split, revealing the scarred mess of hair and iron spikes beneath.
Blow after blow rains down upon the monster, liquid hellfire spraying from the wound until, mercifully, the sizzling zap of electronics stops.
The thrashing stops.
The monster is still, breath leaving him with a bubbling plop of melted steel and a ratcheting clank of the Hellspike.
Right hand lifting slightly from the pool, it arcs down with sudden ferocity, attempting to spike Roisin's rubbery tail to the deck between the jagged spikes of his knuckles. An attempt to lock it there while the monster's chest heaves, drawing in a lung full of liquid metal.
While the Hellspike turns, rending his insides apart.
While his body begins to glow, metal shell shimmering as the heat beneath her boot doubles, then redoubles, increasing into areas of true danger.
Iron spikes growing red hot, then white, he forces a roiling stream of raw hatred through the conduit of his knuckles and into the greedy beast that is her tail, throwing the rawest form of his essence into her as he exhales burning liquid from his lungs, pushing down upon the soupy floor in an attempt to rise.
Metal shell hissing and smoking, Rae Briggs rises to fists and knees,, turns his shaggy, half-helmeted head, and glares up into the Demon Queen's eyes with depthless malice. A position he has been in before. Beaten, drained. Unable to overcome a spirit so much more nuanced and adaptable than his own. But though he is not a smart man, it is only the foolish that discount his cleverness.
Lifting his right hand from the deck, he frees her tail, blobs of melting armor swinging dark and shimmering from his limb.
Scarred lips pull back from jagged fangs, just visible through a mask of dripping metal.
Fist swinging down, he attempts to spike all four knuckles into the supple meat of Roisin's left thigh, the jagged iron burning with spiritual essence. Unless she can avoid it, he will grind the spikes deep and use them to lever himself the rest of the way to his feet, the deck around them sagging, armored shell oozing off of him to smoke and bubble around his bare feet. An expanse of dark red scales are slowly revealed, shot through with bands and veins of glowing iron identical to the spikes jutting from his body. The spike that once brutalized his heart oozes from a gaping hole in his chest, sliding down his front even as the flesh begins to knit itself back together.
Standing tall, taller than she remembers him being, the monster jerks its fist away from her thigh, other hand rearing back, then swinging in a single, skull smasher of a punch that, unless she is able to avoid it, will drive the spikes of his other hand deep into the side of her head, releasing a blast of raw hatred directly into her mind. A blast that, as he tears his fist away, the spikes remaining lodged where they were, continues to rage through her, filling her with regenerative power, as well as the consequences that come along with it.
A gift, for all she has done for him.
Something a lesser demon like himself should absolutely not be able to do.
COMBATSYS: Rae successfully hits Lyraelle with Uplink Master Bondage.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////// ]
Rae [E] 0/-------/----===|=======\==-----\1 Lyraelle
One after another the lashes rain down, the Demon Queen's naked cruelty flaunted with each strike. Calculated as her precision might be, there is nevertheless a stirring of violence and dominance that wells up from within, resonating with the Hellbreaker's own nature, feeding off the scent of wrath even if the taste is out of reach.
As it should be. After all, she has to remain in control.
The hand on her tail might barely register for some beings, but her tail has a way of makings its woes known to her. She chooses to address the issue through more violence. The tail itself tries to slip free, and when it can't, and the heat becomes agonizing, it feeds, swallowing down the regenerative essence to sustain itself through the heat and all of the hatred that comes along with it. The lashings intensify.
The pixie-demoness lets out a cry when the spiked knuckles drive into her thigh, drawing her out of her violent mania. She seethes with anger, clutching at the wound as Rae rises up. She throws her arm up to contest the haymaker, but the fist smashes through her guard and into the side of her head - the only thing that prevents the spikes driving deeper perhaps being the curved black horns that appear to catch the fist itself at the last moment before the blast of raw vitriol is injected into the seat of her consciousness.
The scream that erupts from the Demon Queen is something inhuman: from the high-pitched shriek of the goth engineer to something deep and abyssal, an array of stolen voices cry out in a chorus of pain.
Pulling free, the hate-spikes still lodged in the side of her head, the Demon Queen growls and huffs. Her face shifts from the pixie-goth's to that of Roisin, hair lengthening and shifting to red, then becoming black as she takes on the appearance of another figure of mixed Japanese descent and cruel bearing, then another face of Japanese heritage with a softer, young-motherly appearance. Each time, the colouring of the wings and tail shift into different hues.
The shapeshifter's circuits have gone haywire.
"Now, now, Hellbreaker-chan. You've been a bad boy!"
The voice remains inhuman - a combination of that of Lyraelle and some other being's, now, the deep and alien presence. Something roils within the succubus' exposed midriff, travelling up from the abdomen as the rubbery tail seems to go limp
"Bad boys don't get toys!"
The succubus suddenly drives a fist straight up at Rae's midsection - with the potential force to bypass whatever serves now as the demon's ribcage as it aims for the heart, to seize whatever serves as the core of the creature. To tighten its grip as the hand becomes the focal point of the demonette's power.
"Now, give them to me! Join me in my glory!"
Imperious, visage ever-shifting, the succubus would try to draw every bit that it could of the essence of the rage-demon into itself, no longer intent on setting the demon loose, but instead on claiming his power as its own.
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle successfully hits Rae with Royal Prerogative - Covetous Clutch.
[ \\\\ < > /////////////// ]
Rae [E] 0/-------/----===|>>>----\-------\0 Lyraelle
If the sounds of combat and unleashed chaos weren't enough to put the engineering deck into lock down, the unearthly shriek that escapes the Demon Queen certainly is. Alarms blare throughout the lab, both layers of the electrified gate crackling to life while the room around the demons devolves into a sparking, hissing, steaming hell.
"Hehh, Heh, Heh, Heh...."
Teeth bared in a maniac's snarl, Rae can't seem to help the hacking chortle that shakes his heavy shoulders, sending liquid metal slopping off of him in great, splatting blobs. Melted wires drip from open holes in his veins, ooze from his bones where the plates had been bolted. Arms spreading wide, he grins insanely as the bubbling substance sags from his waist into a modesty covering, much of his scarred, demonic hide now exposed to the air.
"Ya know bitch," he grunts, voice low and rough in the face of the Queen's ever-shifting tambour, "I ain't even mad."
Something about those words seems to set the thoroughly deranged monster off, another bout of coughing laughter overtaking him as she closes in for the kill, right hand punching forward toward the conveniently placed hole in his chest. Whether or not his heart is the core of him, it certainly contains a lot of his power, and though he lifts a hand, clawed fingers closing around the demoness's morphing shoulder, he isn't able to stop her from plunging wrist deep into his blazing chest cavity. Hell, he isn't even capable of slowing her down.
Raw, unbridled hatred is there for the taking, more than a girl could ever want. Enough to gorge herself upon as she tears the molten lump of regenerating flesh clear of his body, taking a significant chunk of his vital essence with it. A perfect match for the power already flowing through her from the spikes in her head.
Claws flex as he attempts to dig his grip into her blurring skin and drag her in close, right knee exploding upward upon a burst of hellfire to try and drive a dagger-sized spike of iron up into her gut. Then, unless she can escape, he will throw both muscular arms about her, gathering her into a crushing embrace that sends yet more spikes plunging through her mutating flesh, turning himself into a living Iron Maiden as barbed metal explodes inward to pierce her at back, chest, ribs, hips, anywhere their skin makes contact. Only for him to twist violently, tearing himself free and hurling her toward the nearest metal wall head first.
Definitely not the response of someone who isn't mad. And all the while she can see as well as sense another heart growing within him, a thing of molten metal and flesh, some foreign energy tainting the fire of his being, changing him into something else.
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle endures Rae's Devildriver.
[ \\\\\\ < > ///////// ]
Rae [E] 0/-------/-======|>>>>>>>\-------\0 Lyraelle
As fire failsafes are activated, water starts to rain down into the cage that the two demons find themselves in, causing things to grow much dimmer as much of the molten metal is submerged in steam. In the blue glow of the crackling and sputtering elecricity, glimpses of the Demon Queen's face are visible - in one flicker, the face of Lyraelle herself, in another, the face of a Japanese business magnate, the next, his daughter. There is no consistency as the strobe effect conceals transition after transition.
"Rabid dog," the judgmental tone rings in a deeper voice as the pulsating piece of flesh steadily dims, its essence draining away. The shapeshifter concentrates all of its effort into crushing the demonic heart like a foundry of the soul, ignoring the clawed hand around its arm. "I know you."
The body of the succubus shudders as the burning dagger spikes up into her gut. Almost certainly, the wound would be mortal for most, but the implacable flesh and innards of the Hellbreaker have been stolen, the injury sealing, then scarring, cauterized, as the stabbing spike is withdrawn, soaked in steaming blood.
"Sooner or later... every barbarian bends the knee..."
Half of the demon's face is now Lyraelle's, though something else can be glimpsed in the shadowed half - something more demonic and inhuman. The eyes, however, hold the same baleful, green symmetry, glaring at the Hellbreaker even as he reaches out for her and draws her into his embrace.
Blood runs boiling from the multitude of barbs as they penetrate the Demon Queen's flesh. Wings, stomach, ribs, chest, hips - all perforated grotesquely. The Demon Queen, though, is not idle. Rather, the heart still held in her hand has become fuel, first a massive green ember, before blazing into life, imbued with the hellfire wielded by Her Infernal Majesty as it's subjugated.
And at the same moment that the Hellbreaker twists with violent ambition, moments before the succubus is sent crashing into the wall, the fireball is unleashed - at nigh point blank range - destined to explode back whence it came and collide with its organic successor in a massive conflagration.
But can the Hellbreaker shake that destiny?
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle successfully hits Rae with Royal Salutation - <3.
[ < > //////// ]
Rae [E] 1/------=/=======|===----\-------\0 Lyraelle
Choking steam renders the ruined laboratory into a series of vague shadows caught in the sparking flash of irregular lighting. From above, the dull throb of what few emergency lights remain. From the demons themselves a crackle of green, blue and orange, matched in part by the buzzing gate that traps them within. From the floor a dull cherry red that is even now fading, metal squealing as jets of cool water force it to crumple and shrink in violent chemical reaction.
And yet, none of that matters to the hulking monster that looms in the center, thick arms gathering the Queen in against him with crushing, shredding intent. A huff of flames escapes from between jagged iron fangs at the words thrown his way, a brutally indifferent noise that shows just how little the wrathful soldier of hell thinks of his Royal's opinion.
"You," Rae responds in a rasping grumble, burning eyes focused down into the half-familiar face and the spark of green fire that gathers beside it, "Don't know shit. I ain't some eternal fuckhead what cain't get it up without ridin' that college age piece of ass. Yer a fuckin' WORM. Ya live on shit I do fer fuckin' kicks."
Relishing the simple brutality of the words, the monster tears her free of his spikes, showering them both in her blood as he lifts her high, utterly indifferent to the doom they both know is approaching. Teeth bared, he leers up into the shadowed half of the face, his crown of twisted iron spikes groaning as water pours across him, solidifying dripping metal against his flesh, robbing him of the infernal heat that fuels him. Off near the entrance a pair of steel blast doors hammer down, ceiling them in together with a resounding crash.
"Grow a pair."
And with that, he hurls the lighter demon away with open contempt, free hand lifting toward the wall of green energy she releases as if he might grab hold of it with clawed fingers, might dig in and crush the life out of it much like she did his infernal heart.
The entire lab shakes with the detonation, blast doors bulging slightly at the middles as a thin stream of green fire bursts out to scorch the metal deck beyond. The barrier holds, however, much to the visible relief of the petite, pale-skinned scientist that slumps beside the key pad, sliding down to sit with her back against the wall while delicate fingers lift to massage the bruised skin around her throat. Ice blue eyes are wide, cheeks smudged with the dripping remains of her makeup. It is one thing to have a demon opened up on the table, to watch from a safe distance as it is put through its paces in the depths of the arena. Quite another to wake up beside a spreading pond of molten metal and barely manage to crawl to safety.
Meanwhile, inside the lab, cold water continues to rain down upon the blasted interior, mist wafting across slagged tables and melted heaps of sparking equipment. The floor has finished solidifying into warped, bubbled waves between which pools of liquid now collect, vents grinding open across the walls to allow a blast of freezing air into the space.
Left arm still raised, but broad back planted firmly into the far wall of the chamber, Rae Briggs glances down at the limb with eyes that still blaze like burning coals, idly observing the wetly glistening bone peeking through splits in his blackened flesh. The entire left side of his body is scorched, scales curled up to reveal blistered flesh beneath. Nothing he hasn't been able to heal from before, given the chance. But as he hunches forward, iron spikes shattering at the bases to remain driven into the wall, frost from the quickly freezing chamber begins to form upon the liquid puddles of the floor. It's a chance that he's unlikely to get.
Grunting the word with rough dislike, the blood-colored demon staggers forward across the slickening floor, clawed feet smashing through thin layers of ice, coming away dripping with droplets that freeze almost instantly against his cracked flesh. Sweeping his blazing gaze around the room, he spots Roisin at the other side, angles to lumber toward her with dogged intent.
The smart move would be to try and leave. To put his bulk against the damaged doors in a last attempt to escape the cryogenic safety measures. To work with the Demon Queen so that they might both escape.
In the short time it takes him to cross the room, the pools of water have frozen solid throughout, frost gathering across the monster's blackened spikes. His breath steams like the stack of a locomotive, motions growing sluggish by degrees.
Lips pulled back from his fangs, he reaches up to grip a thick spike protruding from his shoulder in one hand, heaving painfully on the thing until it starts to tear itself stubbornly from his icy flesh. Emerging like a dagger, the spike trails a length of heavy black chain that clanks forth from inside him, free hand dropping to his hip to drag forth a second, identical length. Shot through with brutal barbs, the chains catch at the edges of the wounds they are pulled from, widening the gaps so that drips of blood ooze sluggishly down his muscular chest and thigh, but he barely seems to notice. Rearing one foot back, he attempts to punt clawed toes brutally into the Demoness's gut and slam her upright against the wall.
"Nothin' but fun in the future fer us, QUEEN. And hell, with them spikes in yer head, ya might just survive it."
Words devolving into a slow, rasping chuckle, the brute brings both spikes slashing down, attempting to drive one into her shoulder, the other into her thigh. And then, if he can catch her, he will stagger backward a couple of steps, catch both barbed chains in scarred fists, and whip himself into a staggering spin. With frost gathering around him, blood beginning to freeze in his struggling veins, he would attempt to swing the Demon Queen through the air and smash her brutally into the far wall, only to reverse the motion to smash her into another, and another, and another, motions growing slower, weaker, until finally the crackling violence of his movements slow, and halt, the brute frozen upright with frost-rimed chains clutched in either fist, his infernal blood frozen completely solid.
COMBATSYS: Rae can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle dodges Rae's Lucifer's Hammer.
[ \\\\\\\\ <
As the implacable Hellbreaker leers toward her again, the Demon Queen is slumped against the wall, the cold chill now starting to fill the chamber combined with the damage that she's already suffered - not least of which, the spike still protruding from the side of her head - weighing heavily on her essential reserves. Bloody wound seal themselves slowly but still seep crimson as she breathes deeply.
"Nothin' but fun in the past for us, hon'," she breathes out in a puff of mist as he rushes forward for what seems like an inevitable impalement.
A moment before he can jam the spikes into her, though, Lyraelle's wings push her spinning out of the way with a flash of blue electricity. As he comes for her again and again, she flits and dodges, avoiding his attempts to smash her into the walls as the rime slowly takes hold, sparks of blue lightning coursing through her each time until he finally freezes in place completely.
"So that's what it takes to get you to chill," the succubus murmurs, her own temperament cooled by the environment.
Staggering, she turns to the gateway that's now been sealed to keep her in with the frosted demon and tries to force a hand through it, only to find herself repelled.
"Hey. HEY! Let me the fuck out of here, or I'll KILL you!"
She pounds against the barrier, harder and harder - but to no avail. The realization slowly dawns on her: the scientist isn't going to cooperate, especially when the onset of the cold is clearly sapping her strength, currently being used to perpetually regenerate the wound caused by the spike. Gritting her teeth, she reaches up and gives it a yank.
"Goddamn... Ahab..." she mutters as the wound seals over with the last of her infernal energy...
...before she collapses sidelong onto the floor.
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle exercises her royal prerogative of non-action.
[ \\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle has ended the fight here.
Log created on 14:40:33 05/03/2022 by Rae, and last modified on 13:14:53 05/23/2022.