[Episode 4.2] The Choices

Archives of Occultus Magica's beginnings, ten years prior to the current story.
CadetNewb
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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by CadetNewb » Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:13 am

Even in the magical world, it was rare to see this. To see a person petrified, turned to stone.

She watched in silence near Raiko as stone both crept and emanated out of Eryl from the inside out. With this, the young Lich was utterly exhausted - she didn't even know what to feel anymore! What was right? What was wrong? In the face of this, Coco simply didn't know! But when Ruarc posed that question though, she answered with finality. "Yeah. You didn't do anything wrong," she assured him. Even if Coco did disagree, what else was she to even say? Not that she disagreed. Or agreed for that matter. Limply clutching the pump action cannon, she stood there, staring aimlessly into the distance, jaded by the experience despite the slim chance of succor. Even as another threat emerged, Aurus moving to consume Riley, her eyes were dim with weariness.

And then baby!

"Wh-a-aaa! Waaaaait!" Coco sputtered, arms flying about as she fumbled between her grenade launcher and the baby like a pair of footballs!

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Kokuten
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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by Kokuten » Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:45 am

Like a loose artery in the water, the broken Meshlagal which broke down Percy was gushing mystic energies into the air. The strings magic loosely attached to the statue of Eryl were slowly breaking apart. Percival's essence was still trapped between the machine and the triclop's mage. Partially, the boy was bound to her, and partially, he was bound to the broken machine. Since the ritual was incomplete, his very state of being in the universe was split thinly.

They would first have to break the machine, to tear away what connection he held to it. Then, they would need to sever him from the other end. Breaking him from Eryl would be just as simple. The stone representation of her soul would have to be broken or shattered. That, or they would need to find a way to dispel the rune planted on her soul. Dispelling would have its risks, though. Maelgwyn would be able to move freely, and there would be no telling what she would attempt.

The alternative was safer, but grisly. Shattering the statue would dispel the rune, but leave the mage in a completely irreparable state. Would there be any effort to bring the parts back together, it would take more power and a decades of careful work. Otherwise, she would exist as an amalgamation of knowledge, mountains of knowledge. Being in parts and pieces, that knowledge would be easy to simply take into one's being. If the Triclops could build a Meshlagal from memory, there was likely little she did not know.

Did someone who was willing to tear apart Percy's soul for a body in the real world worth such an effort? Was she worth the second chance? She tried to erase someone's very existence, and even tried to bargain off the parts to them. Even with her desperation, was this sort of person salvageable? What sort of power was strong enough to dispel such a dark rune?

----

The baby began squealing as soon as it was tossed through the air. Her small Aurus head flopped out of her tiny fingers as she sought for something to grip on to. Being tumbled around into Coco's arms did not help in the slightest. When the lich finally managed get a hold of the toddler, she got a face full of steam from the organ pipes mounted on the back of the baby's armor. Accompanying that was a deafening chord played announcing an extreme disatisfaction, the child began to wail inconsolably, hammering its arms up and down furiously at having been tossed around like that. In the child's fury, the earth around them began to reshape. A wall kicked it up behind Coco and then below her. Then, as quickly as they formed they crumbled, with the chaos of energies going about. Her things, ribbons and all went tumbling away into a crevasse freshly opened, and then closed.

Mildly abated, the child looked up at Coco with an extremely dissatisfied face that showed the tremor and subsequent removal of possessions was on purpose.

Yet, the peace did not last. Riley, who was about to enter headfirst into the maw of hell, was saved for a moment, as Aurus stopped. The cacophony of crying and pipes had caught his attention. The dripping maw closed, leaving small traces of slag and molten metal on his armor. Still holding the illusionist with one hand, he turned, and looked square at Coco.

Flames burst from the eyes of the warrior, and he took up his sword, carrying Riley in the other hand.

CadetNewb
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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by CadetNewb » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:49 pm

A massive blast of hot steam hit Coco square in the face!

But when it finally stopped, the Little Lich's hair stayed blasted back for a few moments as though the steam had never stopped. It was only when the baby looked at her with that baleful stare if its that it fell back down. And then popped up into a frizzled mess with a distinct pomf! "H-hey! Don't look at me like that, it's not my fault! Raiko's the one that threw you!" Coco tried to explain to the baby she held it at arms length, upside down - the whole while, it stared at her with a pout. Carefully bringing the baby right side up, she went on, "It wasn't on purpose, I swear! Look, I'll make it up to you and share some of my things - I got some nice candy, or maybe some Breakfast Bear Breakfast Bars with all my - " The young girl had turned to look at her pile of epic loots and stuffs, only to realize at last that it was all gone. "M-my stuff!" Coco sniffed as she started to tear up, realizing that all her hard earned worldly possessions were gone and gone forever into the bowels of the world! "I-I'm sorry - I c-c-can't give you anything ni-i-ice since all my stuff is g-gonnnnne!"

A great "Uwwwaaaa!" came out as Coco burst into tears, dropping to her knees - the loss of Percy, nearly losing her friend Raiko, actually losing all her loots and being unable to make the baby happy all came crashing down on her at once. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" the girl wailed as she continued to hold the baby. "Everything's horrible, and it's all falling apart, and I don't know how to make it stop! Without the Percy I knew, there's no way to hold it together! I can't even hold onto him with my phylactery because I don't even know if there's anything left!"

Needless to say, she wasn't thinking it through.

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Straken
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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by Straken » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:59 am

Of course, Eryl might have been taken care of, but the problem was still far from being solved; the scene Ruarc saw proved as much. Percy was still attached to the machine like a patient on life support, and fitting with the analogy the Druid was unsure how to properly unhook the Welshman. With time not on the group's side, Ruarc was feeling the pressure. "Well, as Grandpa Flynn used to say, "There is a time for finesse, and then there is a time to be Irish," so I guess it is time to be Irish."

"Miyuki, think ya can break the altar? We need to severe Percy's connection to it," Ruarc said as he tried to execute a plan, and made his own way back to Eryl's petrified form. "Now do you call for finesse, or some Irish." As he stared down at the sorrowful gaze of the frozen mage, he was at a loss. If he simply destroyed her stone for that would be that, but he had already petrified her and did not know if he had it in him to destroy her further; conversely he did not know how to undo the dark magic that he had placed upon Eryl. For that matter, he didn't even know if it was possible for him to dispel what he had done.

Shaking his arms a bit, Ruarc opted to try a basic option; his Dispel rune. Placing the rune on both hands, the druid set his hands on the petrified Eryl and focused all of his attention on the runes. Though in that moment a doubt crossed his mind, what if restoring Eryl made things worse? Maybe destroying her was the only sound option. So as he attempted to unpetrify the evil mage, he also steeled himself for what he might lay ahead.

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Gwathdraug
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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by Gwathdraug » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:54 pm

Hanging from Aurus's heated grip as bonelessly as a puppet with its strings cut Riley all of a sudden burst into motion. Instead of struggling out of the god's grip though she was pointing one finger of one hand at Raiko and the other at Coco.

“Yah both suck at this!” Riley shouted as loudly as she could. “I never even had ah mum and I even know to call crap with the way you two handling are handlin' her!”

The stage magician turned her eyes up towards her captor and frowned, the girl lowered her voice when she spoke once again. “Yah really should sword the both of them for the way they treatin' your daughter. Is's shameful.”

Riley crossed her arms and looked back towards the two girls and the plane's littlest god. “Rather hope yah don't take that advice though. They's good folk otherwise and I'd probably jus' get myself spit getting in your way if yah do.”

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Kokuten
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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by Kokuten » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:18 am

The dispell rune lit with a frothy aura of energy, spilling and dripping over the statue in front of him. Small bits would fall onto the ground, and sizzle, breaking apart the rock and dirt as it broke the enchantment of earth. Little webs of light began to form over Eryl's form, and began to pull taut towards the rune as if they would break. A tumultuous build up of heat began to form at the point of the rock, and began turn the statue-side of the rune orange. Before Ruarc could even react, the rune snapped in half, a counter-shock of energy from the spell put upon the Welsh mages. His one rune would not be powerful enough, he needed a stronger entity.

Or a sledgehammer.

----

Coco's crying was not helping in the least. The louder Coco cried, the more it seemed a signal for the baby to cry louder. As if at a contest, the horned child began sobbing at great volume, almost forcefully, steam billowing out of her pipes. Tears came from the both of them almost uniting them in that little moment. Though, there was a couple of people who weren't taking part.

Aurus, the Dispellier of Magicks, Warrior God of Fire, and Riley, Little Rabblerouser, Phantasm Masquerader of Emotions.

Riley's ride over had not been all too comfortable, Aurus' gauntlet was jagged and stony, meant more for crushing than carrying. Her candid words were of little effect to his motion, but something about him seemed to cool into a simmer. The webbing orange over him began to dull down into browns and blacks again. When they came to meet the crying pair, he held out Riley by her leg, at Coco. It seemed he wanted to trade.

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Straken
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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by Straken » Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:36 pm

The blowback from his failed rune sent a shock up Ruarc's arm, and his Irish curses were directed both at the feeling and at his own shortcoming. He was not strong enough to undo the damage he had done. Running his fingers through his hair in frustration, he thought frantically about what to do next. It seemed as though he was on the right track, so if he could just get enough power behind it it should work.

Feeling a moment of clarity, Ruarc thought of something that might work, or make things worse. Or rather, worse than simply reviving an evil mage who less than five minutes ago tried to kill him and his friends. Scanning around, Ruarc found the incapacitated Zulan, thinking that maybe she could give the boost he needed to undo Eryl's petrification and thus release Percy.

"In theory, a healing rune should help her, right? Just need to channel energy into her, and that should kickstart her system," Ruarc thought to himself as he hurried over to the little goddess' side. Kneeling down next to the small deity he once again felt guilt over being responsible for her current state, he readied a rune and touched Zulan's shoulder. "Zulan, I am sorry, but I, well, Percy, needs your help right now. So please, please, help me."

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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by CadetNewb » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:58 pm

And, with the baby in her hands, Coco continued to wail along with her.

"I-I'm trying to b-b-be strong," she miserably sobbed, blinded by tears. As Aurus neared, the angst ridden Mahou Shojou Lich's arms unknowingly moved to hand the baby over. "Bu-bu-uhh-ut I'm so tired! And, I just can't stop!" Coco kept on crying, not realizing she had just let go of the crying baby as Aurus took her away. Even when Riley chewed her out, she didn't stop. "I'm sorry Riley! I'm sorry Aurus! I'm sorry baby! I'm really, really sorry! Just don't know why I'm crying so much," she continued to wail as the Fiery God lowed Riley into Coco's upraised hands. As the girl was given to the crying girl, it was only then that she started to slow down her hysterics, the wailing turning into blubbering and then sniffles as she blinked her swollen eyes to clear away the tears. Though blurry to her, the 'baby' in her hands looked really big now. And really heavy.

"Ack! You're all grown up!" Coco shouted in surprise, dropping Riley.

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Kokuten
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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by Kokuten » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:06 am

The tattered goddess of water groaned to life as Ruarc managed to coerce some energy. Her body shuffled, her shoulders slowly lifting as her arms gained back strength to push them from the ground. Her hair licked like a loose fire against her face, especially as she looked about, gathering her bearings, consciousness returning in full. There was a bit of stumbling at first, the ground was losing its solidity where she was as more of the world was beginning to break down.

"Is it over?" asked Zulan as she brought herself to stand.

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Straken
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Re: [Episode 4.2] The Choices

Post by Straken » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:02 pm

So far so good. Zulan seemed in control, which as of that moment was good news to Ruarc. "Sorry Zulan, it's not over yet, and right now I need your help. I need to undo a petrification spell, and I am not strong enough to do it on my own," the Druid started into his explanation. "If we can do that, then we can get Percy out of this damned machine. Think you can help me?"

With that, Ruarc stood back up and started back towards Eryl's stone form. In the back of his mind, he couldn't stop thinking of the image of Eryl's pleading face right before he cursed her. He felt conflicted as a part of him felt guilty over stooping to Eryl's level, as well as potentially dooming the woman to an eternity in her worst nightmare; but another part of him asked "If Eryl was replaced with Caoranach, would I still feel guilty?" After all, Eryl had commited a greater crime by directly threatening the lives of both Percy and Raiko, whereas Caoranach had kidnapped Laoise but returned her in time. "Is the reason I feel so differently because now I actually have to face deciding someone's fate? Will I feel this way when facing Caoranach?"

Shaking his head, Ruarc would cross that bridge when he got to it.

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