[Chapter 1.2] The Call of the Centrifuge

The story unfolds around Osaka, Japan, with the unlocking of one girl's hidden potential, and a gathering of Young mages whom are destined to change the fate of the Earth.
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Gwathdraug
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Re: [Chapter 1.2] The Call of the Centrifuge

Post by Gwathdraug »

Wings folded back Erin and their new copy streaked down towards the position of the cat-bomber. With a soundless snap the pair unfurled their wings cutting from a dive into a quick glide that saw the original - smirk hidden beneath the now-full mask - landing firmly on the back of Riley's construct. The second Erin tilted their wings and began to orbit around the flying-cat defensively.

Looking over her shoulder, Riley could see her other self kneeling down over Eryl, the dark wings of the other magician folding protectively about the triclop's unconscious form. Cargo secured. The thought seemed a bit rude as it was sent from one Riley to the other, but the stage magician only had time for a simply reply: Keep her safe!

Turning her attention towards Shame the brown haired woman could feel her own smile pulling itself into place borrowing confidence from the smirk her counterpart was sporting. "From what I understand-" Riley called back to Jane as she began to figure out what she needed to do to get the tail end of the bomber pointing directly at their enemy. "-as long as you stay cool enough you shouldn't fall!" Raising one hand up Riley rolled her wrist, her fingers disappearing amidst a flourish and reappearing holding a stiff-brimmed, flame patterned cowboy hat that was formed from a split fragment of courage itself. "You'll probably need this!"

As Riley tossed the hat in the air the spare Erin still flying was almost a blur as it caught the accessory and then air dropped it straight to Jane. The magical gunslinger had only a few seconds before the cat-bomber was suddenly climbing, and then the whole construct and everyone on it were hanging upside down as their stage magician pilot pointed the bright white and blue striped tail straight towards where Shame was flying.

At the edge of the tail the air shimmered and was suddenly painted with brightly coloured circles highlighting multiple weak spots from wounds to gaps in the enemy creature's rended armour. To the left of this field a smaller cat burrowed its way out from under the tail's thick fur. The smaller construct was wearing a pair of goggles and had a lever-action rifle strapped across its back and held a sign declaring: WELCOME TO OUR CATALYZER GATE! With much fluffing of tufts a second cat, this one with a pair of pistols holstered by its hips and a long blue mustache blending into its white jowls, unborrowed itself and held up its own sign.

STRIKE WEAK POINTS FOR CATASTROPHIC RESULTS!

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Straken
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Re: [Chapter 1.2] The Call of the Centrifuge

Post by Straken »

“Why do I taste licorice and… tabasco?”

The borderline nauseating combination of flavors hitting his tongue jolted him awake just as much as the healing effects of the potion itself. With his left hand he grabbed the small goddess and pulled her away, coughing as the vile vial left his lips; holding Tulan by the collar near his side. The events of what transpired before came flooding back, filling the void of the memory of the dream that began to fade. He felt oddly at peace, but felt his adrenaline spike again as he remembered being stabbed.

“S’pose Ah owe you some thanks. For a couple of things now.”” the Druid said, looking down to Tulan, while his gauntleted right hand gripped the Dreamer’s Needle. Looking forward, or more accurately down, at Akanus, he placed the sennit on the armor. Then an idea came to mind. Although the chances of it working were likely slim, Ruarc at his core still preferred avoiding fights when possible. Pinching the needle, he lifted the trinket to his mouth and bit down; pulling the needle out of the cord. Looking down one more time at Tulan, he gave a one shouldered shrug.

Moving his arms and legs a bit, he oriented himself in space facing Akanus. Extending his arm, he had the needle lying flat on his thumb, and braced with a curled index finger. He was going to flick the needle. Focusing, he put some of the newfound energy into the wind rune, hesitating a bit as he tried to put enough to make the wind plus needle hit the target, but not so much that he blasts Akanus to bits again.

“pLeash 'ake uh', Ahknu,” Ruarc mumbled as he tried his best not to ruin the cord in his mouth.

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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Re: [Chapter 1.2] The Call of the Centrifuge

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore »

Jane was nonplussed when Riley tried to explain the Rule of Cool to her. Gravity quickly filled in the details, though, as the flying cat cannon flipped upside down. Gloved gunslinger hands buried themselves deep in fur and faded jeans were clamped tight around ribs in startling reflex.

"You'll probably need this!" Jane glanced back just in time to catch the hat. The pattern was so foreign to her as to make the entire object unrecognizable to her at first glance. When she finally understood the flame-patterned travesty she held in one hand, Jane groaned a mixture of exasperation with Riley and disgust at whoever was first compelled to create such a horrendous accessory.

Then she clamped it down tight on her skull, and it filled her with a sense of determination not altogether unlike what she would have felt if it had been her hat. As if in sync, the end of the cannon tail lit up like a holographic overlay of her opponent. Her hands seemed to naturally find the grip and trigger of the beast-weapon and her mind comfortably slid into a rifleman's poise. She lined up the largest of the highlighted points.

As she pulled the trigger, the words she whispered were stolen by the rushing wind and blasted into a million incoherent phonemes, like dry leaves in a hurricane.

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Kai
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Re: [Chapter 1.2] The Call of the Centrifuge

Post by Kai »

As Miyuki was feeling the exhaustion of casting so much magic in quick succession, she felt something on her cheek- Warm, familiar, she turned toward the sensation but saw nothing, a flicker of emotion, of want for him whom would have given such, it was washed away suddenly by the gentle pressing of an object into her open hand. "One of his..." she muttered to herself, the otherworldly words ringing softly in her ears. Indeed, she was nearly ready to give the potion to Ruarc, as he was more wounded than she, but the Druid was too far away, and seemed to have been given one of his own. Smiling, her eyes became moist with happy tears for just a moment, before the liquid froze and was whipped away by the blustering winds.

Grateful, Miyuki pulled the top off the bottle, and downed it. again, it was warmth, a feeling of deep contentment and an easing of the pain that she had largely become accustomed to through many battles and adventures. it spread through her, easing the aches and revitalizing her, even her own emergency measures melting and drifting away as he potion worked on her body. Thus, renewed and reinvigorated, Miyuki turned to the oncoming enemy. The arctic key was gripped in her hand, but instead of by an end, she shifted her hand to the middle. a subtle weaving of Ice magic stringing the item as if it were a bow, a lance of ice forming in her off hand, which drew back, and then released, sending a lance of Ice at Akanus as a final attempt to stop his corrupted form before she took measures to slow her own fall and avoid becoming part of the landscape.

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Kokuten
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Re: [Chapter 1.2] The Call of the Centrifuge

Post by Kokuten »

A storm had snuck up on them in the fighting. Broiling thunderheads began to threaten rumblings above as well as the dying explosions below had done. Clouds wisped through, and rain began to fall upon the fires below. The thunder, however, was the least of their worries.

"Your deaths, I will bear them," howled Shame, rivulets of shadowy blood whipping off the eye-holes of his helmet. His horrid wings beat against the buffeting gales as nature seemed to turn against him. Jane could see him lining up his shots as she adjusted herself. The shade's focus was entirely upon the cat-bomber, " just as I bear hers."

THOOM, THOOM, THOOM, THOOM, THOOM.

Five shots, like a battery of cannons. Each had a trajectory that bent towards the passengers. The first came screaming down and the cats holding their signs went into action. A lever-action rifle was unslung, and the the Catalyzer Gate sign went flopping off into the wind.

BLAM!

One shot struck the oncoming round, sending it off course. A pair of pistols came unholstered, and the Weakpoints panel joined its brother off into the clouds.

BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

Rapid pistol shots tore upward, deflecting two more of the incoming strikes, but it wasn't enough to hold back the remaining two. Like artillery shells they came down above, Erin's copy intercepted the first, but her body could not withstand the full brunt of a direct hit. The last continued through her dissipating mist, aiming to take out Eryl and the real Erin next. A bloodied hand shot up at the last moment, and a wicked shield caught the last hit, forcing the projectile to ricochet harmlessly into the storm.

Their resident Maelgwyn coughed, having come to at the sound of cannon shots, the scent of blood-magic fresh on her hands. She barely had time ask where she was before Jane took her shot.

Carefully aimed, lovingly directed, and mildly assisted, the return volley came back to greet the offender with violent effect. Jane's bullet tore against wind and rain, then sank into the skull of the shade, the force blasting the helmet off and most of the skull underneath. At that, the bomber cat and the fallen angel passed each other. Shame's wings were still flapping wildly, a gout of blood contrailing in its wake, there wasn't much of the head left.

Yet it tried to fight on, hissing a gurgling song of hate as it turned, aiming to strike the cat again. It almost made its senseless turn before a spear of ice came down from above, sinking into the horrid creature's neck, plunging deeply through the collar and down through the thigh. As if it had a face to do so, it looked up at Miyuki, catching the sight of her falling with a staff wielded as a bow.

"I... AM THE LAST GUARDIAN." hissed Shame, his voice clear to their minds, but sick noises accompanying from where its head had been, "THE STALWART, THE WIND! I WILL NOT FAIL HER! I WILL NOT! NOT WITH A THOUSAND LANCES; FOR I AM..."

Thwip.

The wretched and wounded shade stole a look at its chest, a small, harmless needle having embedded itself past the sundered plates and through the woolen uniform. The declaration had stopped cold, with only a meager, sputtering name to signal the end of Shame.

"I am ... Ah... kagh... ... nuhs..."

Withering as the other shades had done, the creature fell towards the surface below, its crumpling body disappearing into the foamy clouds.

The only remaining sound was the wind, and the path was open to the Centrifuge.

They could see it, a massive dome of black tar, surrounded by a littering of little dots on all sides. It was hard to make out what they were, but the land was immensely scarred surrounding the structure.

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Straken
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Re: [Chapter 1.2] The Call of the Centrifuge

Post by Straken »

The group’s assault paid off, it seemed, as the launched needle found its mark through the shade’s shattered defenses. While ideally the Druid had hoped the needle would have done something miraculous, the rational part of his mind made it clear that it already had; Shame was defeated, and Ruarc had evaded Death for the time being with its help. He felt a bit of catharsis as Akanus faded away, but also a pang of guilt. Whereas when fighting Sorrow he had been fueled by rage, all Ruarc had felt on the tail end of this fight was for Akanus to wake up. There was no elation or cheer, and the look on his face was one of regret.

“I hope you wake up,” Ruarc said softly, drowned out by the wind.

”Now how about landing, Tom Petty? Laoise said, a feeling of relief coming from her as she was certain the Irishman would be alright.

”Ha, good one,” Ruarc thought with a laugh. ”But we’ll be fine.”

As the ground closed in the Druid pulled up his hood to give some added security to the dove still gripping his hair, and then tucking Tulan under his arm so she wouldn’t go flying off either. With all the passengers in their seats, Ruarc readied his next move. He didn’t have his staff or tome, so any spell he cast would have a hard time focusing, but in this particular instance that wouldn’t be a bad thing. Extending his free hand again, he held it open palm rather than putting power into any of the runes. Taking a few deep breaths he gauged distance and focused on the air flowing around him.

“Séideán láidre”

As he spoke the words, Ruarc could feel the flow of magic channeling the air through him and down his arm. Lacking an arcane focus, the torrent of air released like a magical shotgun with gusts of strong wind pressing out in a wide pattern without much at all in the way of range. There were times and places when this kind of casting can be helpful, but since it can also be harder to control he rarely ever did it. For trying to slow a fall though, it was reasonably well suited; if nothing else, the potion he had ingested and the residual durability from Stone Skin made him somewhat confident he could handle the rest of the fall.

The wind whipped, and once the ground was a short way off he closed his hand and cut off the flow of magic. Dropping a wee bit further than he had really intended, Ruarc landed on braced legs. Standing still momentarily as he let the shock of the landing pass. Looking around, he took stock of the destroyed surroundings.

“Well, we really did a number on this place, now didn’t we?” Ruarc said absentmindedly, before relaxing his arm and lowering Tulan to the ground. Now with a free hand, he lifted it up into the air, and said a quick chant; summoning his staff back to him, if it and the Babylon gem affixed to it weren’t destroyed in the blast.

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