Friday, August 23, 2013

Insert Dramatic Rescue Here (part 2 of 3)

"Where do we think we are?" Stacey asked as she led the way around another bookshelf with her staff. "I mean, I know we're in this pretty damn big library, but where's the library in relation…to well, whatever this place is? I haven't seen a single window or sign of the outside since we went through that portal."

"Don't look me, I didn't bring a Triple-A Multiverse Map." Terrie said as she let her fingers wander across some of the tomes, none of them written in a language she could understand or even begin to guess.

Valerie slid past the pair, Ari flitting over her shoulder. "And my senses are still kind a funny-I can't really sense anyone besides us. And Ari can't slip between to get out of here. She says it's like there's nowhere to go to. Even other parts of this place are blocked…just where we've been and what we can see are open to us."

"Can't raise anyone on the Communicator, either." Danielle banged the device against a bookshelf in irritation, as if giving the device physical harm would suddenly cause it to shape up and stop displaying the static snow that had become the primetime hit on every channel. "Not even a single bar…"

"You know…" The empath suddenly had a thoughtful expression on her face as they rounded a corner and made their way down an alleyway of bookshelves. "That trap back in the mansion was triggered when Adrian said it was a trap and Runoa obviously set it up so that it'd be triggered by saying that cliché line…"

"Yeah, so?" Stacy had to gently pull the empath to the side a little to avoid a stand with a vase on it, so lost in thought the brunette was.

"I think that Runoa has set this whole base up or at least this section, using some clichés and probably most of them tied to video games. The reason my senses don't quite work and Ari can't move between except to where we've been is that we're dungeon-crawling. A lot of the dungeon is shrouded in 'darkness' and will be until we explore it. For all we know, she's littered keys to the doors under pots or set up some inane puzzle like crawling through an air duct to pull a lever that has no business being in an air duct to open a hatch in the ceiling that'll drop a boulder on a pressure plate that'll open the door."

The other three members of her team gave her dubious looks and it was Terrie who spoke up. "Why the hell would she do that? I mean, we've been walking for at least half an hour and not run into anyone or any locked doors or anything. It makes it sound she's giving us a chance, when we know she's ruthless enough that she'd just set a trap, lock us in a room or gas us or something."

"That's a possibility, too…" Val nodded and gave a frown. "Knowing her, she's probably set up so many layers of deception and false appearances to make it look what I described or maybe it is like that she set things up so that it'd look like she was setting it up so it wasn't.'

"She's probably just trying to make us over think." Danielle suggested. "She's always making plans that are as multi-layered as a double-decker sandwich and she knows we know that she does. If she keeps us guessing and trying to figure out what's she's doing, we're as good as paralyzed because we'll wind up being afraid to make a move for fear of setting a trap off."

"There is lot of merit to that, actually." Valerie agreed. "Still, I think we should stay on our guard and be pretty careful. There's no telling what she's planning for us."

"Or it could be that Lady Runoa simply has no plan for you, because eventually, all outcomes end at you becoming corpses."

The team tensed at the voice and readied their weapons, Seiryu hissing to life as its light illuminated some of the shadows the shelves cast. Emerging out of the darkness ahead of them was a tall man, dressed in slate-gray robes that matches his eyes and neatly cropped hair. He stood nearly a head taller than any of the girls and didn't break stride when he caught sight of their weapons.

Val tenses as the man's aura brushed against her own. "He's a Sovereign-class… we need to run!" But even as the four began to turn, he was flipping over them to land in their way. "Crap…"

The man dropped into a boxing stance. "I am the Sovereign Order. You are all going to die."

Danielle blinked and missed when he moved, his backhand catching her across the face and sending her flying into the darkness between shelves. Even as the others reacted, his foot lashed out and snapped straight through Stacey's staff like it wasn't even there, the blow to her stomach hurtling her off her feet and into a shelf. It teetered from the impact, Stacey dropping to the ground with a moan.

A blue arrow zipped over his shoulder then and he turned on his heel to see a full volley heading his way. Ignoring them, he started to advance on the empath, the arrows striking his form and simply shattering apart.

Val backed up and continued firing, the arrows striking the ground and exploding, kicking up dust and debris. Taking advantage of the few seconds that it bought, she began to charge up a shot... only for Order to simply appear in front of her, his hand casually gripping the arrow and shattering it with a simply flex. "You-"

"Enough." His other fist slammed into her face, throwing her back a half-dozen feet in a limp heap. "This is over."

"Not yet..." Valerie forced herself up, despite the blood leaking from her lips and nose, eyes remaining steadily focused on Order.

"You are outclassed, yet you continue to fight. The height of stupidity..." The Sovereign advanced a few more steps, his eyes narrowing slightly. "You look at me so firmly, without battle rage or bloodlust, as if beating me is something you can do through sheer force of will." His foot caught Val in the gut, hurling her back against the wall with ease. "Useless!"

Again, the empath got to her feet, her eyes fixed on them and this time, his own eyes widened at the sight of pity and compassion brimming in them. "How annoying!" He was suddenly in front of her, fist cocked back to punch her face out the other side of her skull.

But a slim fist slammed into his face instead, sending the Sovereign crashing to the ground. He came out of it in a controlled roll and snapped a glare up. "Who-" Then the only sight he had was a foot in front of him, which slammed into his side and sent him through a pair of bookshelves. Skidding to a stop, he jack-knifed to his feet only to find that the titanic shelves behind him were teetering and falling towards him, their contents spilling down at him like a tidal wave.

Paper and wood shredded as the Sovereign punched the air, the motion somehow unleashing a blast of razor-like air that tore clean through the shelves. Even as the pages fell like snow around him, he felt motion behind him and turned just in time to catch a heel to his head, snapping it around. This was swiftly followed by a punch to the gut that lifted him off his feet and they slammed their hands into chest, energy and flame roaring forth from the impact point and blasting Order down the room like a bullet from a gun and burying him under bookshelves and stone from debris.

"I forgot about you..." Order shouldered his way free of the rubble, the upper portion of his clothes gone and he was covered in dust, but displayed no other injury or sign that he'd been attacked. "The familiar..."

Soft light footsteps echoed throughout the room and he leapt up after the shadowed figure running and leaping across the shelf tops. "You will be the first to die."

The figure's only response was to whirl to face him, a pair of eyes flashing and then a dragon's roar filling the room.


"That stupid bastard!" Flame marked the path of Tash's sword as she sliced through a stone-like creature in a single blow. Continuing the motion, she used her blade like a baseball bat, smacking the top half into an advancing creature made of ice so hard that it shattered into fragments. "Where the hell does he get off doing that!"

Flash-stepping away from a gout of water that erupted from the floor, she reappeared behind the living wave of water that had driven it's hands into the floor and thrust her hand into it. It immediately try to flow around her and trap her in a bubble of water. But flames roared forth from her body and instantly turned the creature to vapor and steam. "Dead for nine months and then he goes off being stupidly heroic in less than day!"

A fireball slammed into her, but it was simply sucked into her sword and the leader whipped the weapon at the giant winged eyeball that had tried to toast her, skewering it and pinning it to ceiling. "It pisses me off! Stupid Adrian being so stupidly heroic and stupidly sexy and stupidly right and stupidly kitten! It's so STUPID!" A kick accompanied her shout that sent a creature with blades sprouting from its body hurtling into a wall, it's own form trapping it there.

She flew up and wrenched her sword free, flash-frying the eyeball monster in the process. "I'll tie him up and give him a lap dance and then I'll give one to Phoenixia while he watches and when he can't take anymore, I won't give him anything, not even a kiss, for a month!"

Michael, who was standing to the side alongside an equally dazed Claire and Miri at Tash's fighting, chose to open his mouth without really realizing what he was saying. "But... you guys do that kind of thing anyway and he always winds up seducing you... how is being sexy like really a punishment?"

A enlarged version of Tash's head, complete with fangs, flaming eyes and anger marks appeared in front of the three Agents, who were suddenly now chibis. "IT IS BECAUSE I SAY IT IS!" Her shout, having made the three other Society member's hair stand straight back, sent Micheal and Miri hiding scurrying behind Claire, trembling in fear.

"Scary Tash is scary..." Miri poked her head over Claire's shoulder, the three chibis wincing and 'eeking' as Tash ripped and smashed her way through the creatures, punctuated by the occasional roar of flame.

"Scarier than Slenderman, that's for sure..." Michael winced at the fighting and then yelped and ducked back behind Claire as a Tash's rambling and enraged shouting continued.

"Real brave, guys..." Claire sighed and shook her head at the pair, then squeaked in fear as a what looked like a piece of what had once been wood embbeded itself in the stone floor between her feet. "Who do I hide behind!"

Then a beeping caught her attention and she glanced up at her raised hand, where she had just remembered was the pinecone grenade that she had pulled out and armed when the creatures showed up. "ACKIES! It's going to blow!"

A orange blur swooped by her, the grenade vanishing and the three of them watched as Tash stuffed the device into another stone creature's mouth, kicking it into the far wall. An explosion rocked the hallway and when it cleared, there wasn't so much left of the creature as there was now a pile of pebbles.

"We have a door now!" Tash pointed at the new hole in the wall. "Let's go so I can find my man and beat his furry little brains in for being so stupidly cute!" Without waiting or explaining what she meant, she stomped through it, the other three scrambling to catch up.

The room they entered was cavernous to say the least, resembling the interior of a cathedral-all gothic arches and filled with shadows, the domed ceiling nearly lost in darkness above.

"This place is incredible..." Claire glanced around and then gave a gasp, pointing in front of them. "Look!"

At the far end of the room was a glass panel mounted about half up the wall...and visible through was Aster strapped to table, naked and her small body battered, bruised and bloodied. Wires had been poked her body and every seconds, they'd glow and the fae would convulse and writhe in agony, her mouth stretched in a scream that the group could not hear.

"ASTER!" Anger forgotten and replaced by righteous rage, Tash lead the charge as the four ran forwards, wings sprouting from her back. "We're coming."

"Not yet, you are not." A swirl of darkness below the glass peeled away to reveal a titanic throne with Runoa seated on it casually, resting her cheek on her hand. "You have to get through me, first."

"Sounds like fun!" Tash's blade leveled at Runoa even as Darkness flowed around Michael's form dangerously.

"Please. Two Leaders and two Agents against me in a straight up fight... you and Michael might survive, but the other two will be busy decorating my walls with their entrails." Runoa chuckled as the two Leaders lowered their weapons after a moment's hesitation. "I thought so..."

"But I'm pragmatic, not a monster." She smirked. "And it'll amuse me to have some fun, since I haven't done any fighting in a long time. So why don't we duel? If you win, I'll let you have your fae back."

Then she snapped her fingers and suddenly the hole in the wall repaired itself and a speaker was apparently on, as now Aster's agonized high-pitched screams were suddenly audible. "And you don't have a choice, do you? After all, I'm sure these screams aren't as enjoyable to you as they are me."

"You bitch!" Claire snapped out and the four of them rapidly produced Duel Disks. "We'll tear you apart!" All of them activated their disks.

Runoa, rather than activate a duel disk like the others, didn't even more from her throne. Rather, she swept her hand in a rather bored motion, and before her appeared five massive duel monsters cards.

"Let's duel!" Michael, Claire, Miri and Tash shouted.

"Yes, yes, let's duel," Runoa said. She snapped her fingers again and the screams were silent, but she looked mildly amused by the whole situation.

(Claire: 8000) - - - - (Miri: 8000) - - - - (Tash: 8000) - - - - (Michael: 8000) - - - - (Runoa: 8000)

"I'll go first, if you don't mind," Runoa said with a bored sweep of her hand. Another card appeared beside the other 5 cards. She pointed to one, and it flipped around. "I'll play Spellbook of the Pot. With this card, we all draw 3 cards."

Giving one another confused looks, the Society members drew three cards, while another 3 cards appeared beside Runoa's others. Then, pointing to three in particular, all three of them flipped around to reveal the same spell card.

"Now I play Fiends Sanctuary. I can summon three Metal Fiend Tokens to my side of the field in attack mode."

In front of her appeared three figures that seemed to be made out of metal beads. All of them merely floated there. (0/0 X 3)

"But don't worry, they're not going to stay much longer. I sacrifice all three of them for one of the heavy hitters in this deck."

All three of them were suddenly swept into a massive tornado of energy. The entire metal room began to shake as a new figure suddenly appeared directly in front of Runoa. Anyone who played the game knew the exact card that had appeared. As big as the throne room, with massive muscles and rocky, blue skin. The face was an eternal grimace of anger and pain. It released a roar of rage, its muscles flexing.

"I sacrifice all of them to summon… Obelisk the Tormentor."(4000/4000)


Energy warped and twisted a shotgun blast hit its head, but then snapped back into a cackling face who's voice was filled with a humming undercurrent.

Phoenixia cursed in a language that no human would recognize as she skipped back and then ducked to avoid the vaguely humanoid creature's whip-like arms. "Would you like to trade dance partners?"

"I don't see why we should." Adrian jumped the giant serpent of sand that smashed into where he had been standing, losing cohesion and collapsing in a pile. Even as it hit the ground, tentacles of sand sprouted up to ensnare him. The Librarian acrobatically twisted around them and then flung out a palm, a blast of chill wind from it instantly iced the creature over and left it immobilized. "You always told me you could take on any man you wanted and make him your plaything."

"It tends to work better when they're flesh and blood, m'love!" The russet haired woman rolled to avoid the lashing arms and came up in a run, stepping up the wall and then kicking off to flip over the creature. However, instead of turning around, it's body simply 'phased' through itself and it leered with another electrical cackle even as the shotgun barked twice, the blasts to either side of the creature's head.

A moment later, bits of debris caught the creature's attention and then it looked up in time to see a large portion of the ceiling give way and smash it flat, tendrils sparking and flailing, but the creature too flat to gather its mass enough to move.

Adrian nodded his approval as he walked over to it. "Nice to see you're actually good for something." He didn't flinch as a trio of bullets whizzed past his face, one of them making a kitty ear twitch. "Love you, too?"

Phoenixia casually lowered her pistol and gestured behind him. A glance over his shoulder revealed she had just slain a trio of pale humanoids, bullets between their eyes. A few twitches of their limbs revealed that they also had what looked like suckers all over their hands. "Oh... well, good shot."

"Thank you." Stepping up onto the rumble, she gestured to the hole above them. "Shall we? We aren't finding anything on this floor."

"Let's." The pair leapt up to the next floor, which was significantly darker than the previous on. "Hmm..." The Librarian held out a hand and muttered something, a small sphere of light appearing above his palm and then moving to hover a few feet in front and above him. "There, that should do it."

He suddenly gave a soft sigh of relaxation. "That feels nice..." A blink as he realized that his tail was being rubbed and he turned. "Phoenixia!"

"Yeah, what?" The buxom ex-hologram didn't stop rubbing his tail against her cheek. "Ooooh, this is soft! No wonder Tash likes petting it so much!" She give a little giggle as it twitched against her face and then pouted as it's owner yanked it away. "Hey!"

"Will you control yourself?" Smoothing down his fur, Adrian gave her a look. "Or I'll disable the portable projector and you'll have to wait out the mission in the Zord." Then he was going cross-eyed as Phoenixia leaned in and kissed his nose.

"Silly kitty." She patted him on the head and started down the hall, purposefully sashaying a bit and swaying her hips. "I'm all real now, Adrian. Flesh and blood and a certifiable sexy badass."

"You're certifiable, alright..." He muttered as he rolled his eyes and followed her. "Just not in the way you think you are..."

They walked for several minutes in silence and it was then Adrian noticed that Phoenixia had slowed her pace to walk beside him and had managed to lace her arm with his. "Yes?"

"Just making sure you don't run off and be stupidly heroic." She flashed a smile at him. "Tash would never forgive me and that would be bad."

"Pfft." An ear twitched. "What can she do to you? She's already immune to your charms."

"She can stop buying Lush products."

"Oh, no, whatever will you do without bath products and hair care items? What a disaster." Adrian said dryly.

"Ass." Her foot landed on his leg and he winced, hobbling a few steps, but both of them had smiles on their faces.

Another few minutes passed, then she gave a long look. "After this, Tash and I are going to have words with you."

"Don't get started with me." He gave her a frown as they walked. "I died doing my job and keeping people safe. That's what matters."

"What matters is that you broke your fucking promise!" she snapped back angrily and yanked them to a stop, squaring off to look him the eye. "You left me alone! You left Tash alone!"

"You both knew it was a possibility!" he snapped back. "I am a Librarian and a Counter Guardian! My whole job is nothing but life or death situations! And there isn't anyone else to do them and if I don't, then people die!"

"'The good of the many over the good of a few'" she snarked at him. "You always use that line! Well, what about our good? What about your good? You act like some a goddamn martyr sometimes and I know that you have reason to, but that doesn't mean that you have to be on the forefront all the time!"

"It's better that I take it all than the others! I might die, they will die!" He snarked back. "When you have the power no else does, it's lonely at the top because you draw lightning from all sides! If I don't use it, what good is it? What good am I?"

"What good are you...?" Disbelief coated her voice and then she slapped him across the face. "You fucking idiot! How dare you-"

Then his hand clamped over her mouth and raised a finger for silence. She glared, the look promising that their conversation wasn't over and they both could suddenly hear a pair of voices drifting down a corner of the hall, which was better lit than theirs. Adrian extinguished the their light and crept towards the corner, peering around it.

Then he leaned back to her and started moving them in sign language. Guards. Far end of the hall in front of door. Will see us instantly when we turn corner. Alarm near them.

She nodded and replied. Plan?

A small smirk. You do what you do best.

About three minutes later, the one of the guards nudged the other with butt of his rifle. "Hey. Check that out."

The other one glanced up from his phone and gave a slow whistle. "Ooooooh, baby..."

Phoenixia sauntered down the hall. Her Battle Dress' corset had been removed to display all of her cleavage and her curves jiggled a little as she moved, a sexy smirk on her face.

"Hey, boys." She stopped in front of them. "How's it going?"

Though both of them were more or less openly staring at her cleavage, one of them had the presence of mind to point his weapon at her. "It's going fine. But why are you here? I don't recognize you. And this is the restricted section, especially on the lockdown we're under."

"Oh, I'm new..." Phoenixia simply smiled suggestively at him and rolled her shoulders a bit, watching as their eyes zeroed in to her chest. "And I kinda got lost... I was given mission to a hentai fandom and then the alarms started and I tried to avoid the fighting and wound up here. Could you two big brave boys give me some help?" A suggestive eyebrow lift. "And perhaps some practice?"

The second guard grinned and chuckled. "Oh, sure, ma'am. We'll gladly help you. It what's we're here for."

"Thanks, boys. I-whoops, boot's untied." She bent over rather slowly and their eyes followed her, sure she'd pop out of her top...

And leaving them open for the white cat that had been cling to her back to leap off with a snarling hiss. Their heads flashed up just in time for them to see the cat turn back into Adrian, fist and foot smashing into their temples and dropping them like rocks.

"Works every time." Phoenixia straightened and casually kicked their bodies out of the way as Adrian opened the door. "Why didn't you just flash-step or blast them?"

"The corridor was too long for me to be sure I could hit them from around the corner and flash-step meant I'd risk being unable to stop myself in time." They entered the room and he grinned. "Hey, look. Something for you screw with."

"Weak joke." Punching him in the arm, she strolled up to the absolutely massive computer and it's dozen or so monitors in the back of the room. "But it does look promising." Sitting down in one of the chairs, her eyes gained a faraway look and began to flicker even as her fingers danced across the keys. A second later, the monitors sprang to life. "I'm in."

"That fast? Wow, I could still see your fingers move..." Adrian stepped up behind her and started looking over the monitors.

"I can use my mind too, love." A moment of silence as she processed what she was finding. "Looks like this is Runoa's base and she's home. And the things we've been fighting are Usurped-Sues and Stus that failed to survive the Immaculation process. And-wow, the process is amazing! I've never see anything like this-is that what I think it is? I-"

"Focus. Find Aster and disable any traps or shields or whatnot, including the barrier around the mansion. Then guide the others through this base if you can and do whatever you can to sabotage things. If you find anything useful, download it for later."

"On it." Her eyes flicked again as she punched in a key combination and then Adrian's communicator beeped. "There. That's a map to Aster. And..."

"Yeah, I know." The Librarian whirled, magic dancing around his fingertips as group of Usurped began to charge down the hall.

"You're going to encounter a lot of them... this whole place is littered with them."

"It wouldn't be fun otherwise." Then he flash-stepped out of sight and was suddenly in the group of Usurped, explosions and roars of pain filling the air.


Ben was the first to notice. As another stroke of his fingers against Bahamut sent another of the diamond creatures flying across the atrium, a heavy blow to his side sent him flying backwards and straight through the closed mansion door. He skidded to a halt, and as he heard Lily scream his name, and several people yell to see if he was okay, he realised just what was different.

"The barrier! Its down!"

"Back outside!" Marcus roared. Though not technically in charge (that honour was Harriet's), he was by far the loudest person there, and no one was going to argue – they needed more room to fight, and the atrium was so crammed with Runoa's twisted abominations that there was barely room to breathe. Battle weary, and injured, the Society ran for the newly freed exit.

"We need backup!" Aimee was yelling, struggling to stay out of the way of any danger, and tend to those who needed medical assistance. One of the creatures raised a fist above her head, and quickly went up in flames, as Willie rushed to her aid.

"I'm on it!" Jess yelled, bringing her communicator to her mouth as she caused another of the creatures to burst into flames. "Emily! Emily, we need you!"

She yelped and dropped the device as a blast of arctic wind extinguished her flames. She drew back as the ground beneath her feet froze, and she slipped ungracefully onto her ass as she tried to flee.

A man dressed in an icy blue that matched his hair, shook his head at her, snapping his fingers, and sending another wave of ice creeping along the floor.

"I don't even need to touch you to know that you are sinful..."

"Purity, be polite," a melodious voice chastised, as a slender form appeared behind him. She smiled peacefully at the group, and everyone's will to fight seemed to drain away in an instant. The woman was petite, but at the moment, she commanded everyone's attention.

"Who are you?" Harriet was thoughtful enough to ask through her sudden bout of pacifism. The woman smiled.

"I'm Harmony. And this is my good friend Purity."

She gestured gently to the man in blue, who had also fallen still at her presence.

"Well now..." Harmony clapped her hands together and beamed disarmingly. "We don't really need to fight about we?"


The twigs gave a light snap, as the long thin silver barrel rose up another few centimetres. The eye squinted through the telescopic lens, and lips curved into a smirk. Beyond the little cross in her scope, a sleek, silver spacecraft was rising up from the forest clearing, and thanks to the magnifying effect of the lens, she had a clear view of the mop of brown hair sitting at the controls.

"Watch the birdie, little girl..."

Her finger squeezed the trigger...and her gun went spinning off into the trees, a boot now inches from her hands. She leaped back with lightning speed, and landed gracefully on both feet. As she lifted her head, she came face to face with a brown haired man, who's pinkish eyes watched her almost playfully.

"Hello Elegance...long time no see."

The Sovereign's eyes widened. "You?"

"Me?" Zero quipped, sword resting casually over one shoulder. "Unless you know any other incomplete copies of the Librarian...?"

He stopped to bring his sword up into a guard, as she vanished and reappeared inches from him, two vicious looking knives in both hands. Her surprise was gone, replaced instead with a blank mask.

"No talk. I will finish you here on Runoa's behalf."

"Aww... she's too lazy to come and deal with me herself?" Zero wiped away a fake tear. "She breaks my heart!"

His mirth vanished as she came at him again, as silent as a breeze, emerging from the darkness to strike at his throat. He parried, and dodged between the trees, hearing her light footsteps race after him in pursuit.

"I hope the Society know what they're doing..." he thought, wincing as he heard something large crash in the vicinity of the main entrance with a rumble that sent tremors running through the ground. "Then again...when do they ever know what they're doing?"


"Bloody computers..." Phoenixia muttered, her fingers flying across the computer keys. "Subpar search engine, and now a goddamn anti-virus…" Her muttering ceased as a successful beep from the computer indicated that another of the traps in the building had been disabled. But the anti-virus was in full swing now, and while it wasn't powerful enough to kick her out, it was making her brain feel sluggish.

"Come on...come on!" she was so close to throttling the computer, but she knew that wouldn't make the search engine run faster. Her eyes flashed across the screen at inhuman speed as she read the lines of binary. "Tell me where the rest of the traps are!"

"Aww! Is poor little Phoenixia getting stressed?"

The ex-hologram jumped violently, and almost fell out of her seat.

"Fuck off!" she snarled, her fingers slipping on the keyboard and causing several gross misspellings. "I do not have time to deal with you!"

"Rushing to save your lover?" the voice sneered. "He doesn't want you. Why do you think he left you here? He doesn't want you getting in his way."

"He left me here to destroy the traps!" Phoenixia growled, the ding of the computer disabling another trap barely penetrating her mind. "And that's what I've done! I'm doing my job."

"Oh please! A five year old amputee could do what you're doing! You don't belong here Phoenixia. Your place is in his bed with your legs spread wide, and he knows it. You must be such a burden to him. Getting in his way. Demanding that you help even though you're useless..."

"Shut up..." the woman growled, pressing her sweating hands against the side of her head. "Just shut up!"

"Do you think he's going to die here again?" the voice mused, laughing cruelly as Phoenixia drew her breath in sharply. "Ooo that would be so ironic, and tragically cliché. Do you think that Runoa bitch will snap his spine? Rip his limbs off one by one? Or maybe cut his throat and leave him to drown in his ownblood... gurgling and spluttering his last breath..." The voice dissolved into a breathy moan. "Or maybe... you'll get in the way again..."

"No..." her voice was weak now.

"...Oh would march in, gun flying...maybe blow his pretty little head off accidentally. You're a crap enough shot. One slip of the finger and there goes Adrian's brains! All over the wall!"

The wicked voice seemed to descend into hysterical giggles at the thought, and Phoenixia screwed up her eyes against the image of her lover dying...blown to pieces by Incandescent Silverreign...

"Never!" her fists slammed into the desk, sending a pot of pencils over on its side. "Never!"

The voice dropped to a low parting whisper.

"Never say 'never' Phoenixia..."


"Really now," Runoa said as she rubbed her eyes. "You're facing down one of the Egyptian God cards, you're all down past you're original scores, and I can flatten anything you can summon."

(Claire: 2800) - - - - (Miri: 2000) - - - - (Tash: 4400) - - - - (Michael: 1700) - - - - (Runoa: 8000)

Indeed, it did not look good for the Society members. Claire only had a Gellenduo, two fairies that simply floated there in defense mode, floating about each other with only a facedown between them and Claire. Miri had Elemental Hero Flame Wingman, one of her favorite cards, a mish-mash of two other heroes, the metal dog, Wroughtweiler, and a facedown card. Michael had his own cards, the Children of Horus, Yalaks, a metallic, emerald buzzard and Gyeth, a smaller, lead colored crow, and two facedowns of his own. Tash had her Phoenix cards, Phoenix Warrior, a heavy set warrior with golden armor and a massive axe, and Phoenix Scribe, a smaller, thinner looking Spellcaster with thick glasses, a tome in his right hand, and a phoenix helmet atop his head, with a facedown of her own.

"You have no chance of winning, you know," she said, "All you're good for right now is target practice, and not even good ones at that. So I'll just end my turn then, and let Obelisk rest for a bit."

Obelisk was of course still there, scowling at the much smaller monsters that dared challenge it.

Miri took a deep breath. Come on Miri, there's gotta be something you can do… don't just sit there like a lug, do something!

And she drew her card, which she grinned at. "Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about! I'll start my turn by playing Fusion Recovery!" The spell appeared on the field. "This lets me take a monster I've fused already, and a Polymerization in my graveyard and add them to my hand!'

She took the aforementioned spell card, and the monster, Elemental Hero Avian, back to her hand and showed it to the opponent.

"Now I'll play E-Emergency Call, letting me add a low level hero card from my deck to my hand, and I'll do so with Sparkman!"

She added the monster to her hand from her deck, and immediately slapped her spell card, Polymerization into her disk after adding it. "Now I'll play Polymerization, to bring out MY heavy hitter! I fuse Elemental Hero Sparkman, and Flame Wingman…"

Both monsters appeared on the field and flew up into the air, combining into a bright orb of light, floating down further onto the field. There, it began to take form. It was humanoid, for sure, wearing bright, silver and platinum armor around its body, massive shining wings behind it, and a ray beam on its left armor. (2500/2100)

"Elemental Hero Shining Flare Wingman!" Miri grinned and pointed at Runoa. "And let me tell you something, you lousy bitch! He gets 300 attack for every Elemental Hero in my graveyard, and last time I checked, there's just enough to beat your card!"

Indeed, glowing brighter and brighter, Sparkman, Flame Wingman, Burstinatrix, Bubbleman, Clayman, and Prisma all appeared before being absorbed into the bright form of Shining Flare Wingman. Gesturing, the hero glowed even brighter and pointed it's gun at Obelisk. (2500/2100) - (4300/2100)

Runoa narrowed her eyes and frowned a little bit as Miri shouted, "Elemental Hero Flare Wingman! Attack Obelisk the Tormentor with Shining Shoot!"

Shining Flare Wingman flew up into the air, his wings spreading out wide behind her and flew down, fist first towards Obelisk. The fist stuck the face of the monster, and a bright explosion followed. Obelisk roared loudly through the blindness. As the light cleared, there was nothing left but a smoldering crater on Runoas field. Looking up, Runoa saw the Elemental Hero was now standing directly in front of her.

"Now that he destroyed your monster, he deals you damage equal to his attack!" He began to glow brighter again, "I hope you have your sun block!"

Runoa winced a little bit as the light got too much, even for her, and she had to hold a hand up to block it. "Hm…" She said, frowning.

(Claire: 2800) - - - - (Miri: 2000) - - - - (Tash: 4400) - - - - (Michael: 1700) - - - - (Runoa: 3700)

The damage done, Flare Wingman floated back over to Miri's side. "All right, Miri!" Claire said, clapping her hands.

"Good job, Miri!" Tash said with a happy grin on his face.

"Eh, I've seen better," Michael teased. Miri answered by socking him in the arm, walking back over to her field. "Ow…can't I joke now a days?"

"You know…" Runoa said as she stood up a little straighter, compared to how she was simply slacking over the rest of the duel. "I was going to at least give you a fighting chance. But now, you've made me mad. And it's my turn." She drew her card.

She gestured to her facedown, saying, "I play my facedown card, Metal Reflect Slime."

The trap card suddenly flipped face up, and a rather interesting looking creature appeared. It looked like a mace, made entirely out of reflective slime. (0/3000)

"See this, brat?" She asked Miri, showing her a spell. "I have a Polymerization too, and I plan on using it as well."

The spell appeared again, and this time beside Metal Reflect Slime appeared a slime with a grimace of pain around its face. "I'll fuse together my Metal Reflect Slime, and Revival Jam in order to summon my Egyptian God Slime."

Both monsters, rather than fly into the air, quickly melded together in front of the five duelists. It shaped itself and somehow grew larger and larger in front of them, quickly forming into something just as big as Obelisk.

Hell, at first glance it looked like it WAS Obelisk. But rather than tall and strong looking, it was clear and wobbly, made entirely out of slime. (3000/3000)

"You may be wondering why I would bother to summon this," She said, glaring at them all. "Well shut up and let me finish. I'll play Monster Reborn."

The entire room began to shake and rumble again, and once more, from the ground, Obelisk rose beside the exact copy of his own, glaring down at them all. (4000/4000)

"Now then, I can summon my next god, do you know why? Because Egytpian God Slime, for all intents and purposes, counts as two tributes when it comes to tributing. So I'll tribute both of them!"

Both of the massive, monolithic creatures quickly vanished from view as the entire room exploded into light, even brighter than Shining Flare Wingman, a massive, glowing golden orb that merely floated there.

Runoa sighed a little bit and rubbed her eyes. "Right, right, of course." She cleared her throat and shouted, "Great beast of the sky, please hear my cry! Transform thyself from orb of light and bring me victory in this fight. Envelope the desert in your glow and cast your rage upon my foe! Unlock the powers from deep within so that together we may win! Appear in this shadow game as I call your name, The Winged Dragon of Ra!"

The orb began to glow even brighter, and finally the room was, once again, erupted in a bright light. When the light vanished, a much larger creature appeared in front of them, causing the Society Agents to take a cautious step back.

The creature was the massive Winged Dragon of Ra, a dragon that looked like it was made of golden metal, a fearsome look on its face, and bright red eyes. It released a shrieking roar at the duelists.

"And, as I'm sure you know, his attack is the same as the monsters used to tribute summon it. Making it quite a threat even now."

Ra growled again as its stats rose quickly to 7000/7000.

"I could destroy any of you right now, of course…but you…" She looked directly at Miri, the smaller agent gulped heavily. "You have the gall to strike me. So you're first." She pointed at her. "Ra, demolish her."

Ra inhaled deeply, and released a torrent of flames from its maw. The flames enveloped Shining Flare Wingman who released an agonized scream of pain before he exploded into pixels. The flames continued down towards Miri, and the smaller agent was quickly enveloped.

The screams echoed in the large metallic room as the others looked over to Miri, eyes wide in fear. When the flames dissipated, Miri stood there, her body and hair smoldering before she fell to her knees, gave one final whimper of pain and fell onto her stomach.


(Claire: 2800) - - - - (Miri: 0) - - - - (Tash: 4400) - - - - (Michael: 1700) - - - - (Runoa: 3700)

"I'll continue on with my turn, now that one of you little pests is out of the way," Runoa said, now leaning back in her seat again. "I'll use Ra's effect. By paying 1000 of my Life Points, I'm allowed to change him into his Phoenix Mode, and destroy one card on my opponents side of the field."

Looking over the opponents, her eyes locked on Claire. "Since I don't like that little shield there, I'll use his effect on those annoying little bastards. Ra, Phoenix Mode on Gellenduo!"

Ra roared again and fly into the air…somehow, the room expanded to fit the massive monster doing so, watching as it disappeared into the darkness. When he did appear, he was entirely covered in fire and divebombed Claire's side of the field. Gellenduo shattered, but Claire screamed as the flames struck her a little and she went flying back, skidding on her back and landed with a groan.

"CLAIRE!" Michael shouted in surprise. He rushed over to her and picked her up. "Babe, are you okay?"

"Yeah…" She coughed a little bit, shaking her head and dusting herself off. "Yeah, I'm fine babe, don't worry…"

"You bitch!" Michael shouted angrily, "You're climbing really high up my shit list!"

"Yes, that's to be expected. I did hurt your younger sibling, as well as your wife. So unless you'd like to prolong their suffering, perhaps we can move this along then? I'm getting rather bored."

"Oh, you're in for it now!" He helped Claire to her feet, wobbly though she may have been, and drew his card. "My turn! I play my trap card, Call of the Haunted, to revive Children of Horus – Bhoys!" In a swirl of light, a large, platinum falcon appeared with a loud cry. (2000/800)

"But they're not staying for much longer! I tribute all three of them for a heavy hitter of my own! I tribute Yalaks, Bhoys, and Gyeth…" The three armored avians shrieked and vanished at the same time, and in their place was a VERY impressively sized shadow. A massive black raven, covered entirely in metal, appeared with a massive crash, and a loud shriek. (3300/2700). "And summon Children of Horus – Sethros!"

"Yes, well, it may be large, and impressively attacked, I'm sure, but it's all in vain in terms of my Egyptian God Card. You simply won't be able to destroy him." Indeed, Ra roared again to showcase his might.

"Yeah, well in terms with my writing prowess, that's exactly what I intend to do! I play my trap, Heir of the Deity! Now with this card, I can inflict damage to myself equal to my Children of Horus' attack! But I'm sure you know how much Children work at this point, hm?"

"Yes, yes, they have the ability to absorb all burn damage and hurt me in some other form. So, what does your giant chicken do?"

"Don't call my monsters chickens!" He shouted, eye twitching.

Tash giggled. "Now he knows how I feel…"

"Simple! By absorbing the damage I would have taken, it's all absorbed into Sethros, and inflicted onto your monster! In other words, your monster loses 3300 Attack points!"

Sethros roared loudly, throwing his head back and shot a black beam of energy directly at Ra. The beam struck, and Ra limped over a little bit, snarling in anger as his attack fell to 3700.

"Even better, unlike the rest of the Children, I can use the effect more than once! In fact, I'll show you! I play Blazing Wings, allowing me to add another low level Children of Horus monster from my deck to my hand, at the cost of taking damage equal to it's attack!" he held up a copy of Children of Horus – Qlaus for her to see. "And it has 900 attack, making it just weak enough!"

Another blast of dark energy erupted from the beak of the massive crow, striking Ra and lowing it to 2800, now almost hunched over from the pain.

Michael pointed a hand forward, shouting, "Sethros, take down Ra with Nocturne Eruption!"

The crow released another shriek and fired a much larger beam of energy that struck the Sun God. Ra released another roar, this time of pain, exploded like shards of glass.

Runoa, however, didn't seem to mind the fact that his monster was just destroyed. Rather, she gestured, and her other facedown flipped face up. "I play my trap, God's Ritualistic Sacrifices. When my Divine-Beast monster is destroyed, all damage done to me is reduced to 0, and I get three Sacrificial Tokens to my side of the field."

Three puffs of smoke erupted on his side of the field, revealing three spirits with glowing red eyes. (0/0 X 3)

"Hm…' Michael said, narrowing his eyes. "Fine. I end my turn."

"I'll draw then," Runoa said, gesturing as another card appeared in front of her. "I'll play Card of Sanctity. This card allows all of us to draw until we have six cards in our hands."

The three remaining duelists drew until they held a hand, and six more card appeared in front of Runoa's hand.

"Perfect. Now I'll sacrifice all three of my tokens to summon my new beast."

A massive bolt of lightning shot down from the top of the room, incinerating the three tokens as the lightning seemed to take corporal form and wrap itself around Runoas throne. The new monster, a massive, winged dragon with a red hide and two mouths up near its face, releasing a low growl as both opened and released a breath of hot air from each mouth.

"And summon Slifer the Sky Dragon. I'm sure even you annoying little peons know how he works."

Indeed, the five remaining cards in her hand began to glow an shot energy up into the dragon, who released another roar of power. (5000/5000)

"Now then… you annoy me now," She said, looking over at Michael. "Slifer, kill him, or knock him out, or whatever."

The main mouth on Slifer opened, and a ball of crackling lightning suddenly appeared just in front of it. With an earth-shattering kaboom, the blast shot forward and struck Sethros, destroying the massive raven and blowing a hole through it. The beam continued on and struck Michael, causing the Gary Stu Gutter to scream in pain and fly backwards into the wall. With a groan, his body twitching, Michael fell onto his stomach, his body convulsing.

"MICHAEL!" Claire screamed, rushing over to her downed husband and knelt beside him. "Michael, Michael wake up!"

"And then there were three," Runoa cackled as the massive dragon released another roar, shaking the entire room as it did, "Perhaps you really should consider surrendering, if not to save yourself. Honestly, it'll be boring with just you two now."

"Piss off, you bitch!" Tash shouted. "Now you just got us mad! We're gonna kick your ass now!"

"And it's my turn! DRAW!" Claire shouted, with renewed vigor in her voice, drawing her card and looking down at it. "I play Shinato's Ark! By giving up Guardian Angel Joan…" She held up and showed her ace card, discarding it as a massive ark appeared, where cracks began to form, "I can Ritual Summon Shinato, King of a Higher Plane!"

The giant ship suddenly exploded into fragments of wood as only a single figure was left amongst the wreckage. It had blue skin like Obelisk, a peaceful, serene look on its face, six massive golden wings behind it, and a billowing dress that floated behind it. Its hands came together in a silent prayer. (3300/3000)

"I would be even a little worried, if not for Slifer's effect," Runoa declared, throwing a hand forward, "By reducing the attack of any monster you summon by 2000, making him even weaker!"

The second mouth of the massive, crimson dragon opened its second mouth, and a smaller blast of lightning shot out at the large fairy. The blast struck him, and he bent over a little, smoke rising from his massive figure. (1300/3000)

Claire completely ignored her and played another Spell card, screaming, "I play Angelic Choir! By removing a Fairy monster in my graveyard, Shinato gains that many attack!"

Guardian Angel Joan appeared behind Shinato, holding up a glowing orb and placing it gently into his body. Shinato rose to 4100 Attack points.

"Cute, really, but-"

"Yeah, we get it, he's not strong enough. But I have just the thing to fix that!" Tash shouted and pointed to her facedown. "Phoenix Charge! By tributing one Phoenix on my side of the field, one monster on the field gains ATK equal to his own! Even better, one monster on your side of the field is switched to defense mode!"
Phoenix Berserker erupted into flames and flew forward towards Shinato, enshrouding the body of the
monster in a brilliant aura of flames (6200/3000). Slifer did not move, however, but it was intended to show it was in defense mode.

"Shinato!" Claire shouted. "Destroy Slifer the Sky Dragon!"

Shinato held out both of his hands as nine glowing motes of light appeared, each carrying a Japanese sigil. He threw it forward at the massive dragon, striking him directly in the face and causing a massive eruption of energy to rip the dragon apart. Once more, Runoa did not seem pleased.

"And that means we won! Because when Shinato destroys a defense position monster, he deals damage to your Life Points equal to your monsters attack!"

Runoa winced a little bit as an aura of energy surrounded her body, grunting as her life points, indeed, fell to 0.

As the holograms faded and the knocked down duelists got up, she rose from her throne and dusted herself off. "Well, that was entertaining." A flash of silver light and she was suddenly wearing the massive armor of the Divine Dragoon. Yanking the huge sword free, she swept it through the air and the shockwave of the swing punched out a giant portion of a pillar. "Now let's get started, shall we?"


The corridor was deserted, and only the sounds of the distant generator could be heard this deep in the building. The end of the corridor held only a single heavy looking door, with a large lock. Flanking it, were two guards, dressed all in black, and clutching their weapons loosely in both hands.

The guard on the left sighed deeply, and stretched, bored. He felt something tickling his nose and he sneezed, and then sneezed again three times in succession, hard. The guard on the right looked him over to see if the sneeze fit was over.

"Bless you."

"Tanks." The guard's nose was immediately stuffed up.

A minute passed, in which the guard on the right could not help but notice his partner shifting uncomfortably. As he glanced quickly over, he was alarmed to see the other guard's skin turning a violent shade of pink.

He frowned. "Hey, are you all right?"

His partner started to scratch at his neck. "I don' kno..." The poor guy was so stuffed up that he couldn't quite pronounce his words. "I'm havin' a reaction to somethin'...but I'm only allergic ta cats..." He sniffled and shifted uncomfortably again.

Making up his mind, the guard on the right shouldered his gun and gripped the other man's shoulder. "Come on. You can't stay here like this. Let's see the boss about sending you home for the night..."

And ignoring his companion's complaints, he steered him off down the corridor.

Adrian stepped out of the shadows, one ear quirked to follow the guards passage down the hall. He snorted softly and shook his head, a wry grin on his face.

"That was the easiest infiltration I've ever done." He became thoughtful for a moment. "I wonder if I'll be able to do it again one day..."

Flicking his ears back towards the door, he hauled his leg back and kicked it open. His eyes opened wide at the sight.

A pair of pale eyes looked back at him, a small form chained and limp against the wall. A face bruised to the point it was nearly recognizable. A wing, bent and twisted, while the other looked like it was simply stuck to connection point, rather than correctly attached. Swollen and cracked lips parted, the action causing them to split open and bleed. "You... you... I knew you'd come..." A bloodstained smile even as the figure slumped in their bonds. "Knew... you'd... be the hero... to... save me..."


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