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FΩUNT [IC/PG-16/Accepting]

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Megalopolis 1st District, 11:59 AM, 01/01/2100

An otherwise unassuming young woman, seemingly in her mid-twenties, stood near the edge of the roof of a building deep in the city’s heart, taking in the view. After a few seconds, she directed her attention down to a small device in her hand, and brushing the tip of her finger against its side brought up the holographic screen. A few swipes, and the typing of a short and to the point message later, and she turned it back off, dropping it into her purse. She knew she wouldn’t receive a reply to the message for a few hours. She stared pensively at the city that she grew up in, only taking a break for a split second to glance at the old-fashioned wristwatch on her arm.

With a deep breath, she turned on her heel, and made her way to the door so she could make her way back down to the ground. Though a tear fell down her face, she refused to look out upon the streets as the dust clouds spread and the carnage began.

Megalopolis 6th District, 12:31 PM

The magtrain was arriving ever-so-slightly late, which was an unusual occurrence considering how tightly monitored and computerized it all was. In fact, it had been automated to the point that a significant disaster could be rolling through the city, and the train would continue on nonetheless. It always left and arrived on time, and this efficiency was valued by the people of Megalopolis, no matter how many limbs were chopped off by the automatic doors in the process. Designed in the ninth, built in the third, based in the sixth, to go everywhere else still. However, none of these calculations could hold true if there were something increasing the wind resistance of the craft, no matter how slightly.

Atop the passenger car stood Leo Nolastnamegiven, the Fount of Destruction. With a bit of forceful coaxing, he managed to pull the tip of his aluminum baseball bat, as well as the soles of his sneakers, out of the glove-tight indentations they resided in within the metal roof. He hopped off the edge of the train, plummeting some 20 meters to the ground below, where he landed in a pulse of hot pink that left a small crater in the pavement. ”Welcome home.” Anyone who heard him speaking to himself would perhaps be somewhat misled, as a vagrant like Leo didn’t really have any sort of conclusive home, but as he tended to end each day in a different one than he started, the mess of rail lines and streets that formed the sixth district was a common denominator in many of his travels.

Leo made his way down the street with a spring in his step. He couldn’t quite place it, but he knew today was going to be an extra-splendid day. Grabbing a loaded hot dog from the hand of a random bystander who had just purchased it, he tapped his heels together twice, and the rubber soles of his sneaker glowed pink for a split second before the energy was released, launching him up and away from any consequences for his casual theft, landing safely atop a double-decker bus that was navigating the streets perhaps a little more quickly than was safe, as was tradition in the sixth district. This hustle and bustle was Leo’s favorite part, as the entire area refused to stay still for but a second of the day.

Sitting atop the bus with crossed legs, Leo rested his bat upon his lap as he took a bite from his pilfered meal. It was pretty good, for such an opportunistic instance of take-out! ”Now then…” Leo spoke to himself between bites, wondering silently who the hell orders a hot dog with tabasco sauce, ”I could find some kind of public monument to knock down, this extra-ancient place has tons of that shit. Or…” tossing aside the hot dog onto a poster with the mayor’s likeness that the bus passed, he brought his hand to his chin, finding himself excited by the potential today had for revelry, ”I could head over to the tenth. Those big old stained glass windows have potential, for sure. And it might even piss off someone with some real passions. It’s a lot more fun breaking shit with friends. Ha!”

Of course, in a city with as many moving parts as Megalopolis, planning one’s day is notoriously difficult. As much destruction as the Fount of Such could be planning, more still would find him soon enough. It happened as the bus he sat upon was crossing an intersection, and honestly he would have seen it coming if he had bothered listening at all. But nonetheless, his only warning was seeing it in his peripheral vision, an incredibly massive object tearing its way through the wide main street of the district. Before he had a chance to even turn his head, it made impact, launching the bus into the air. Leo grabbed his bat instinctively, and with a burst of his Explosive impact, launched himself up into the air off of it before it hit the ground again, tumbling about like a toy kicked by an angry child. It was then that he looked up at what had very nearly killed him.




Leo had a habit of staying out of the first district, since he knew his brand of creativity was extra-prohibited there, but even he could recognize Megalopolis’s capitol. It looked more like something that would fit in a fantasy book than the year 2100, but Leo supposed it fit considering how the people of the city worshiped that Fount of Tossers Stratford like he was a king. And now, that throne was tearing the city apart, having found a way to come to life and charging right through the thick of it, with what appeared to be an army of animated architecture charging with it at its feet. Cars, statues, holophone booths, all had sprouted legs of twisted metal and concrete and were hell-bent on carving a path through this city.

Honestly, Leo couldn’t help but admire it.

But even more so, he felt that typical itch. The desire that drove him forward, breaking him out of his past and propelling him into his future. Megalopolis’s number one landmark is delivering itself right to my doorstep. I can’t just ignore the call of destiny. A motorcycle that more closely resembled a scurrying lizard by this point charged toward Leo, dipping back and forth like a predator trying to confuse its prey. But Leo was no prey. His eyes lit up as he stomped his right foot forward into the ground, forming a web of cracks in the pavement, radiating away from him, grabbing hold of his bat with both hands. Leo clenched his teeth, and his knuckles turned white as the motorcycle pounced at him.


Leo swung, and his bat met metal with a ping that was instantly drowned out by the FWOOOM of his Explosive Impact, a blinding pink light filling the street as the cycle was launched up through the air, impacting the enormous monstrosity in what Leo could only assume was the face. Following through with his swing, Leo now held the bat in only one hand, pointing it up to point at the titanic beast. Leo knew that whatever was in there wouldn’t have a chance at hearing his next words, but he didn’t care.




Well, here we fucking go. As previously stated, PCs are all present in this location at the time these events occur. Since this district is the transportation hub, it shouldn’t be much issue to rationalize the presence of much of anyone, and if you don’t feel like justifying it I honestly don’t mind at all. Feel free to include as much casual activities to set the mood as you like, but this train isn’t stopping for anyone so get ready to deal with something exceedingly dangerous. If you want to fight against the smaller constructs, feel free to give yourself as many wins against them as you feel are appropriate. As for the Samsara Titan, let me know if you have any specific plans, so I can help coordinate how they will play out. In any case… LET’S FUCKIN GOOOOOOO!


Edited by (o ×)
fixing color

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This wasn't the exact thing he was expecting to find today...not in the slightest...it was more like he was expecting a normal trip away from the store and home then just go back, but no. No such luck, especially for him. If he knew that earlier...


Jeremy Shelby stood at the terminal for the magtrain, casually sipping his morning mocha, earbud in one ear and his bag slung over his left shoulder. He had swung by the 6th District to pick up a few antique items from a couple near here that they were just really wanting to get rid of. Of course, he had no problem taking the items they gave him, after all he could just sell it once he cleaned them up. Taking a sip of his mocha, the rich taste of it gracing his lips and mouth...that was until he nearly choked on it after hearing something pop into his earbud.

GOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING MEGAOPOLIIIIIIIIIIIS! Coming to live from within the backpack of Megaopolis' very own Jeremy Shelby...straight from the lamp...it's the Djinn Round-Up!!!

Jeremy groaned, still coughing up some of his mocha as he forcefully rustled his bag, making sure something in there definitely was rustling and being thrown about. "...you do this right when I'm enjoying the peace and quiet, Ibuz...why?" he groaned, before hearing the voice again in his earbud laughing.

"To keep you on your toes, m'boy!" the voice belonging to Jeremy's Djinn companion, Ibuz, simply chuckled. "Besides, right now it just makes it seem like your having a conversation with someone on your device and not outright to a magical entity. Plus: it was a perfect opportunity to cause a bit of mischief today."

"Been quiet all day..." he grumbled, taking the last few sips of his mocha before disposing of the cup afterwards. "Fairly certain Kaede doesn't have something like this going on with her Library of Alexandria..."

"Aw, master, you've hurt my feelings...my insides and outsides as well with your words. But alas, that would be the case. Especially since the library isn't as sentient as I...once again, you were the lucky one."

Jeremy rolled his eyes some, adjusting his glasses slightly as he approached the area to wait for the train. "Regardless, next time give me a warning before you do something like that, alright?" he simply asked, tapping his foot while waiting for the train. However, the train would come and it wouldn't stop...and the young man wouldn't be remaining there standing for it. His gaze shot up from looking at his watch and began to survey the area around them. The ground was shaking...it seemed like the feeling of steps being taken. "...Ibuz, I assume you feel that?"

"The constant, massive shaking like that of footsteps? If that, then yes...unless that's just you jostling the bag."

"You would like that to be the case, wouldn't you..." Jeremy admitted, before moving away from the train platform to look outside. That's when he saw it, plain as day...Samsara Tower...and it was...moving...like a giant kaiju. "...of course it's a kaiju...Japanese built city...makes sense as anything else." he sighed, before moving his bag off his shoulder and digging into it. Before long he pulled out an antique lamp, clipping it onto his belt loops on his pants for a bit. "Guess we'll be heading home later then, Ibuz..."

"HAHAHAHAHA!!! Excellent m'boy! Let's see if we can minimize some causalities out there, shall we?" the voice now emanated from the lamp on his side.

"Like we got a choice?" Jeremy backed away from the railing, before taking a running leap over the side. He proceeded to fall over the side, but his fall was soon slowed down to the point of a simple feather floating in the air until his feet touched the ground. There was already a large amount of damage being done...and from what he could see, some yahoo with a baseball bat was doing something to...well it was obvious that he was Fount with the power set he was displaying, but it was also obvious he was not caring in the slightest about the situation going on around him. "The hell is that guy thinking?"

"Seems like he's...attempting to...oh! He just used that motorcycle as a baseball, intriguing. Seems like one interesting fellow..."

Jeremy knocked on the side of the lamp and grumbled. "Now isn't the time for us to be dazzled by the nutjob with the bat...who seems to be doing more harm than good." he said, moving in the direction of where most of the damage was. "Ibuz, c'mon out and make yourself useful. We need to make sure there's not any casualties and make sure everyone takes cover..." he quickly rubbed the side of the antique lamp, before watching smoke and wind pour out from it...

The Djinn made his debut beside his master with a firm nod. "Naturally, master. Would this be a wish you request?"

"No...I didn't say the words...you aren't getting me like that again." Jeremy shot a small smirk towards the blue creature, before summoning up quite a bit of wind to blow away the dust and debris out of the way in order for them to make sure people were safe.

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6th District, 12:00PM

In the northern end of the 6th District, tucked away in a quaint little house, lived Kiyoko Nanashi. Not by herself, of course; she very distinctly lacked a source of income with which to take care of herself. No, she lived in the company of her loving grandparents! Akihito Arai and his beautiful wife, Manami Arai, both well into their 80s, retired, living a humble, but very pleasant later end of their lives. After leaving home to pursue her own faith, and explaining that she couldn't return to her parents due to the divide it had created between them, they welcomed her with open arms as if she were their own daughter.

Or so the story went.


Once a day, every day, at noon. That was the rule Kiyoko had set out for herself with that particular spell. Technically, on someone like the Arais, it would last a fair bit longer, but Kiyoko didn't want to chance the spell breaking and them realizing that Kiyoko was not only not their granddaughter, but had been using the Necronomicon's powers to brainwash them into thinking she was for the last month. Convincing them to not seek out her parents - Akihito believed Kiyoko's father was his son - was the thinnest ice she'd ever walked when using the book. If Akihito went to confront his "son", she wasn't even sure what the outcome would be. She was very certain the Necronomicon's magic wouldn't affect their minds; their incredible faith in the kami would probably offer some sort of divine protection. Which just left what would happen when the old folks had two conflicting realities swimming around in their heads.

Luckily, she didn't have to worry about that. She'd convinced them that it wasn't worth the trouble; that she knew this would happen once she turned her back on the kami, and was ready to accept the consequences. Then she had to convince them not to invite her parents over for Christmas last week, citing that putting her and them in the same building could only end in unnecessary drama and bitter family tensions, and that the Arais really didn't need that in their twilight years. It would have made her much happier to spend the holidays with a smaller group who she knew loved and accepted her no matter what she believed in, and doting grandparents they were, it was difficult to say no to such an innocent claim.

Then New Year's came! Being old and all, Kiyoko's "grandparents" didn't stay up until midnight to welcome in the new century. Kiyoko had, but it was mostly to dig a bit deeper into the Necronomicon. She was starting to reach the limits of what she could read or pronounce with the limitations of a human's eyes and mouth. There was a lesser transformation spell a couple chapters back, but Kiyoko was trying to avoid using that if she could help it. The way she imagined it, no amount of memory alteration or brainwashing could cover up your grandkid growing new eyes or mouths. And that all brought her to right now.

Once a day, every day, at noon. Renewing the brainwashing spell wasn't the only thing that happened at this time. Manami also made tea at this time of day, and Kiyoko was always all too happy to join her!

Teatime with the Prophet

Kiyoko closed the Necronomicon for now, tucking it under her arm as she left her room, and went downstairs. The tea was probably ready by now. Indeed, she could smell it as she stepped out the front door and onto the porch. It was an aroma as close to heavenly as she could think of in this world. At a table sat the old lady who lived here, and Kiyoko sat herself down across from her. There usually wasn't conversation to be had during teatime. It was a time to sit down, relax, and enjoy the taste and smell, one sip at a time. Then, as was often the case, only a brief moment of conversation was had once the cups had been emptied.

"Do you have any plans today, Kiyoko?"

"Yes, in fact. I was thinking of going over to the second district today, to do some studying in a natural environment, and to think over a dilemma I've been stuck in."

"A dilemma? What's the matter?"

"Oh, don't worry yourself about it, grandmother. It's just a personal problem. I'll have to work it out on my own." Getting up from her seat, Kiyoko further said "I'd better get going if I want to enjoy this beautiful day. I'll be back in time for dinner!"


After taking care of some extra errands and chores that needed doing, Kiyoko was ready to head over to the gorgeous 2nd district. There was a long day ahead of poring over the pages, pondering her own problems, and probably some proselytizing. So it was that she made for the nearest train station. Only to then catch sight of something. Kiyoko had been to Samsara Tower once before. Key word: Once. As it turns out, Mayor Stratford was a very busy man, and in fact didn't have the time to hear the good word of the Outer Gods. And "I have the holy book" was not much of an argument either, when Kiyoko had tried to petition for a church dedicated to Them to be constructed in the 10th district. In retrospect, perhaps showing off the book and its capabilities was why she was kicked out?

Well, that was their problem, not hers.

What was her problem was Samsara Tower was now moving, and causing quite a bit of damage in the process. This was a problem for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was the danger it could pose to her or to the cozy lifestyle she'd carefully constructed. And where there was a problem, Kiyoko needed to fix it. Wasting no time, Kiyoko pulled forth and opened the book, and hurried toward the commotion. When one imagined how to stop a rampaging behemoth of steel, glass, and concrete, "slap it" was probably not the first thing that came to mind. That was a weak mindset, reserved for those who only considered the arms and wings of this mortal planes, and didn't consider those creatures beyond conventional comprehension.


Around the left hand of the titan, what looked like holes in the air itself opened, only for large inky tentacles to spring out, lashing out against the mobile tower with monstrous force. Those sermons and ruminations would have to wait.



13th District, 9:28AM
4 + 40

The 13th wasn't the nicest place, many would say. They were probably right. On top of everything else wrong with the place, it never stopped raining, ever. Sei had lived here for four years, and she had seen not so much as a single second where the sun broke through the blanket of clouds hovering over the district. It was the result of the Fount of Precipitation taking up residence in the area. Sei heard the rumors on her way to move in with the girl. That she was a stern tyrant, who had eaten a kami in a mad bid for power. That the wind and rain were hers to command, and she was merely biding her time. That when the time for her brutal conquest would come, those who dared to defy her would be plucked from the ground by ferocious winds and launched into the heavens, or struck by lightning, or even just frozen solid on the spot. Sei had to admit, the rumors were certainly interesting. But they were just that: Rumors.

The reality...

"Seiii, we've got a problem on our hands!"

While the rumors about the cause of this perpetual weather were certainly fun, the reality couldn't be further from the truth. Some small part of Sei chose to believe Alice made it constantly rain on purpose, so that the only footwear she needed was rubber boots, to hide her being so helpless that the poor girl could barely tie her shoes on her own. With a reluctant sigh, Sei closed the book she'd been reading from the comfort of her bed. While she hadn't expected it to be every single day, she had to admit, it was very nice to lie down and read a nice book on a rainy day. Even if she had to help her fellow Fount with various inconveniences and errands along the way.

Getting up from her bed and opening the door, Sei gave Alice a warm smile and asked "What's the problem?"

Pointing at the nearest window, Alice said "It's raining even harder than it should! What's--"

"I'm gonna have to stop you right there, Alice. We have this conversation every few months. You say it's raining more than usual, we go outside and measure it, and it's exactly the same every single time."

"I'm serious!"

"You say that every time, too."


"I've gotten so used to this that I can tell just by looking out the window. It's exactly the same. I promise. Was there anything else you needed?"

"Hmmmm... oh! My college! There's a form we need to fill out for... something. And for some reason they won't let me fill it out online. Just between you and me, I'm starting to think they don't believe I really exist. Could I trouble you to run over there and get a copy for me? I'd do it myself, but..." In lieu of an explanation, Alice simply pointed back at the window again.

"Yeah, I can do that." Though, if she was being honest, Sei would have appreciated this being brought to her attention at least an hour ago. Now it was going to be an all-day trip to and from the complete opposite side of Megalopolis. At least the time on the train would have given her ample time to keep reading that book. The plot was just starting to really kick into high gear, too! Holding a hand out toward Alice, Sei added "I'll have to eat while I'm out though, and it's gonna take all day to get there and back. I'm eating on your dollar in exchange, okay?"

6th District, 12:31PM

Ordinarily, Sei didn't take the train. More often than not, her preferred form of transportation was her own two feet. With the powers of her pacts, she certainly didn't want for means of getting around herself, but for treks across the entirety of Megalopolis, such an undertaking would run her ragged. The train was slower, but vastly more efficient, and it also gave her some time to read her book. Plus, she was able to convince Alice to cover her food for the way there and back. Like the burger she'd picked up while she waited for a connecting train that brought her from the 11th over to the 6th. Then she had to catch a bus that would take her to the city's main university, get the form Alice needed, then go home. Simple, efficient plan.

It was going to be, anyway. As the bus made its way through the district, she caught sight of something a few blocks down. She couldn't make out the whole thing, but that was clearly Samsara Tower. And it was moving. And carving quite the path of destruction as it did.

We've gotta stop that, don't we?


That's a rhetorical question. Of course we're stopping it! Byakko!

Might of the Tiger

Hopping off the bus she'd been riding thus far, Sei called upon the power of Byakko. She could feel strength surge through her body, which she used to crouch down, and leap from the ground, above the rooftops and toward the disaster. Rather than land straight at the scene, however, Sei landed on a rooftop a couple of blocks away; one belonging to a building that didn't have roof access. Sei had to put her bag somewhere, after all. It wouldn't do if the thing got ripped apart, since it had both her possessions and Alice's money in it. Once her bag was secured in a spot where nobody could get to it, she turned her attention immediately back to the matter at hand, getting a running start then leaping once more, toward the mobile tower.

The plan was simple. Punch the thing square in its face. The problem was also simple. Sei had neglected to notice it had big hands, one of which rose up to swat her out of the air as she closed in on the tower. The impact sent her hurtling into another nearby building, and Sei very much did not want to fall from this height.


As Sei fell, a pair of wings erupted from her back, catching her and allowing her to turn herself upward, then away from the action. She couldn't handle this alone, no way. Luckily, her Fount senses were tingling. From up here, she could see them. A handful of other Founts, and more kept gathering to the spot. Sei swooped down from her aerial location, landing safely enough away from the fray near a young man with a blue-skinned companion. He must have had some sort of pact, same as her. Except his patron was a bit more willing to show up in the flesh.

And from down here, Sei could see the tower also wasn't alone. All other manner of vehicle and infrastructure was turned into horrid, living(?) things. "Which one you gentlemen want, the big guy or its friends?" she asked.

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Megalopolis 1st District: 5:40 AM

"Tick tock..." Tempest stretched his arms out into the air as he dipped into an alleyway, hoping to avoid any prying eyes as he made his way through the 1st district. The fact of the matter was: He felt immensely unsafe being here. He obviously stood out, he didn't belong, but he needed to get away from District 12, and thanks to his poor planning, this was the best he could do at the moment. He could travel around the outskirts of the area, ducking into areas that seemed a bit safe to wait out anyone looking around... He would have to be extra careful as he skirted the outsides of that giant capitol building in the center, he didn't ever want to wind up on Stratford's radar. It was thankfully early enough to where there weren't many people he had to worry about dodging... But in the end, it was still hell on his nerves, being so close to what could likely be a very early death for him.

He poked his head around the corner, taking a breath as he glanced from side to side... The sixth district seemed like a good bet. "Once I'm there, I can take a nap..."


One of the things he appreciated most about the sixth district is that he rarely had to worry about anyone watching him. With the constant bustle of people coming and going, barely anyone had the time to register the fact that he had loitered about for a few hours now... And even if someone who did notice even cared, he would probably be gone by then. He'd just hitch a ride on a train when no one was watching.

He let out a low sigh as he laid back on the bench he had taken over, it was out of the way enough that most people were getting seats closer to the trains, which meant he could just sit back and ponder life for a moment. What was he supposed to do at this point? Just keep scrounging for food when people aren't looking? Try and find a respectable job, even if it didn't cover everything, he could possibly find something... But there was still the issue of him not really having a solid place to stay. He sure as hell wasn't going back to district 13 without a good, good reason.

He reached into his pocket, pulling out a zip lock bag with a few, assorted pieces of candy in it, fishing out a bit of chocolate to pop into his mouth as he watched people coming and going. Whether he had anything to do or not didn't matter, right now he had all the time in the world to rest a bit. After he'd caught a nap without being bothered too much, he wasn't sure he wanted to stay put. Eventually someone would probably get suspicious, a guard or an employee...


Tempest jumped over the bench he was on, landing behind it as the shadows started to curl around him. He paused there, struggling to avoid breathing, before he slowly poked his head up over the back of it. It didn't seem like anyone else was reacting to it, but he swore there was a shaking. He stood up, noticing that a few eyes were glancing towards him now as he let out a sheepish laugh, rubbing at his neck gently. He took a step forward, turning to leave the station he had been camped out in to return above the ground.

His eyes widened as he looked to the sky, the towering figure there was impossible to miss. His right hand clenched at his other wrist as he took a glance around, people were already starting to panic a bit, but he felt a rising dread in his throat as he recognized the castle. It was hard not to, but given that he had just passed by it earlier in the day...

"What the... People, get out of here!" He screamed as he turned to the bystanders near him, "Get underground, in the station or something, don't stay here!"  The tower may not have been facing him, but there was a rush of activity rushing towards the station all the same. Vehicles of all types were moving on their own, rushing around as people began to panic. Much further down, closer to the rush, there was a guy swinging a bat and screaming something incoherently at the tower, which Tempest had to admit was very tempting at the moment, but he didn't think it was going to help matters. He gulped for a moment, his hand gripping at his wrist again as he rushed forward, "Damn it, it's the middle of the day, there's only so much shadow to work with..."

He was definitely starting to panic, but he brought his hand out at one of the charging vehicles, the mechanical monstrosity's own shadow latching around its legs as it tumbled over. There were others here now, they had reacted faster than he had, but he barely registered the strange hue of one of them before he called out, "I can't do jack to the Tower, but I can help cover you all with the smaller ones. If you need safety, call for Tempest and duck into shadows!"

It wasn't much of an introduction, but it would have to do. He grabbed at the air again, this time focusing on the shadow from the tower itself. He wouldn't be able to stop it... But he could use it to slow down the smaller and hopefully weaker creations rushing from underneath it. Eventually, they would get free from the shadows he controlled... And he would just have to do it again and again. No pressure.

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“Okaa-san!” Kaede cheerfully adjusted the large straw hat that sat over her violet hair as she ran across the street towards her mother, a small woman with hair a slightly darker shade than Kaede’s own, pulled into a small ponytail at the back of her head. 

Kaede held up her hands, grinning as she held up two calendars, one of which was labeled '12 Months of the Megalopolis Seas' and another that depicted 'The Wonders of Egypt.' “I got one for Oto-san too! I know he likes the ocean!”

Kamegawa Midori smiled at this. “Thank you Kaede. Another Egypt one, though? You really are fully invested in that-” She stopped, looking around before lowering her voice to whisper “that little project of yours, aren’t you?” 

Her head bobbed up and down excitedly. “Mm-hmm! This one has Karnak in it, I think! It was a part of Thebes!”

“I thought Thebes was one of the Greek ones?” 

“It’s both!” She let out a mischievous cackle. “They BOTH had one!”

Midori shook her head as she started walking back towards the terminal. “I’m surprised you didn’t find ones you liked while we were in the fifth district,” she commented as she shifted the several bags of groceries she was holding.

“Only the best!” Kaede dove in and grabbed two of the bags from her mother’s burden, slinging them over her shoulders. “Oh, Okaa-san, are you okay? Did you trip?”

Her mother had faltered, stumbling to a stop as she looked up, perturbed. “Did… Did you feel that, Kaede?”

“Eh?” Kaede looked around cluelessly, but it didn’t take long for the small girl to feel the ground juddering beneath her feet. “Wait, yeah, I do… What is it?”

The screams reached them then. Thousands of screams of fear as a shadow appeared between the infrastructure of the trains. A great, looming presence that was at once recognizable. And moving. Kaede and her mother went white as they stared up at the great moving structure as it lumbered straight towards them.

“Kaede! Run!” Her mother dropped the groceries, turning to shepherd Kaede away from the approaching tide of architecture, the girl stumbling to keep moving as she kept looking over her shoulder in horror. 

She tripped over a curb, falling to the ground. She looked up to see her mother stumbling, looking back towards her as she paused in her run towards an intersection. Thus not seeing the car that was now hurtling towards her.

“Okaa-san!” A flash of rainbow light as Kaede reached into her pocket, a spray of rainbow runes flaring in front of her as the scroll of the Library of Alexandria rolled out before her. She selected a rune upon it, gabbling out the ancient Egyptian phrase.

The mailbox on the curb next to Kaede suddenly sprang forward, rattling back and forth as it trundled out into the street and slammed into the car. The car veered out of the way, narrowly missing Midori as it slammed into a ticket terminal, Midori stepping back away from it with surprise. “Okaa-san!” Kaede ran out to her mother, grabbing her in a hug as she started breathing hard, tears welling at the corner of her eyes. Her mother’s shaking hands cradled her head. 

“It’s okay, it’s okay… Thank you, Kaede.” 

Kaede realized she was still holding one half of the Library in one hand, the rainbow runes hanging from it to the ground below. She looked around, biting her lip. “Okaa-san, I… I can use the Library, I can try and help us get away.” She sounded far more convinced than she felt, her heart thudding in her chest erratically. But what choice did she have?

“Are you sure?”

“Y… Yes. Let’s go, Okaa-san! We can go back the way it came, circle around behind it! We can get away!” Kaede seized her mother’s hand, turning and rushing off down the street, ready to yank the Library up to read from it at a second’s notice. Please, all the people who wrote this Library... Let what little I've got from you be enough for today!

- - - - - - -

The bus stop kiosk had been avoided the entire morning. The few who had ventured inside it had been sent running almost immediately, followed by angry, animal-like yowling. Only now as it was quite late in the day did somebody finally stir within.

Kess squinted into the light of day as she leaned against the interior of the bus stop entrance. She ran a hand through her bright red hair, mangling it into something that resembled kempt. Her eyes had bags under them and were bloodshot, and the hand she held to her head to stave off her throbbing headache made her hangover evident to the naked eye.

“Fuck am I? Sixth district? Christ.” She spat off to the side, scanning her eyes around the area to try and find a water fountain. “Last time I go to a party with Kirigaya. Kirigaya? Kirigaya!” She ducked around the bus stop, eyes narrowed in a glare as she searched for her companion. “Where the hell are ya, you stupid… Goddammit.” She kicked at the bus station’s base in anger. A long, trailing spark flicked off of her head, flashing in the daylight, and she pulled her foot back from the severely dented frame of the station. “Leavin’ me behind, you stupid dick?” She was shouting now, several pedestrians spooked away from the street. “Hell do you think I am? I hope you enjoy having working wrists, you jerkoff!”

After a half hour that contained Kess finding water and angrily haggling with a food vendor that had eventually forked over three hotdogs, she was feeling much more like herself. She strolled through the streets of the northern Sixth district, finishing off the last hotdog as she looked down pensively at her phone. It was almost dead, and she had decided to use the last vestiges of its battery life to threaten Kirigaya’s various joints with grievous harm. It was the principle of the thing. 

“Happy friggin’ New Year to me, I guess,” she grumbled, scanning her eyes over a terminal board, trying to find something that was headed towards the Seventh district. Kess was cranky, and tired, and her head still hurt, so it took her a second to notice that there was a rumbling sound in the distance. But when a wave of lampposts and holophone booths started stampeding down the street, sending everyone scrambling around her, Kess began to take notice and turned to see the giant colossus rumbling towards her. Samsara Tower, large as life.

“What the fuck…” she muttered, not processing at first what she was seeing. She was one of the few people at the board who wasn’t running away, and one of the holophone booths took advantage of that, scurrying towards her and trying to fall forward on top of her.

“You’re fucking KIDDING ME,” she snarled, and with a jerk of the leg she sent the booth spiraling towards a nearby wall, impacting in a spray of glass and metal. Kess jumped forward, grabbing at one of the streetlights that had spontaneously gained movement and swinging it in a wide arc like a baseball bat, sparks leaking across her arms as she felt power surge through them.

She squeezed the metal base so hard it crumpled like tinfoil in response to the lamppost’s struggling in her grip. “You goddamn stop it or I’ll shove you up that Tower’s ass!” she yelled at the somehow animate object. She tossed it up and over a nearby bridge, turning to look up at the bulk of Samsara Titan. 

“What the fuck have we here?” Her face twisted in a snarling, fierce grin as she started to slowly walk towards it. “No way in hell this ain’t a Fount… Let’s find out which one.” She left a spray of sparks behind as she broke out into a run, pavement cracking beneath her feet as she darted at far beyond human speed, pausing only long enough to bend her knees and leap up into the air, onto the roof of a train that had stopped on its track and running along it along its track, eyes fixed on the Titan.

With Kess’ increased speed, it didn’t take her long to reach the block that the Titan had reached. Not that it could be called a block anymore. It resembled a battlefield more than anything else, and Kess splayed her eyes across a  mess of moving bicycles and phone booths and cars and skittering motorcycles that all flocked around the feet of the Samsara Tower, an honest to god moving building.

Kess let out one long, high whistle as she surveyed the scene. “Fuckin’ hell, this guy’s a goddamn terrorist or somethin’. Wonder if they’ll give me the key to the city when I knock it over.” A maudlin grin crossed her face as she backed up, bending down to take a runner’s pose as she set up her angle. 

“HEY YOU BIG GLORIFIED DMV, THE HELL YOU DOING?” She took off n a sprint, leaping from the rooftop she had scaled to fly through the air up towards the Titan. Almost as if it heard her, despite it not having ears, it slowly turned towards her, raising a hand. But Kess was smaller and faster, and she spun in midair as she flung her leg down in a brutal axe-kick towards the encroaching hand. She poured power into the leg and its speed rapidly increased, and leg met stone in a crash of rubble and debris.

Kess winced as pain shot up through her leg, and she followed through with the kick, pushing off to fly past the titan once again. Her landing on the ledge of the billboard on the other side of her was rough, and she stumbled and thudded into the advertisement for a legal service, letting out a strangled gasp as she fell into an awkward sitting position on the billboard. Despite her awkward landing, a triumphant grin was plastered across her face.

“Fuckin’ GOT YOU!” she shouted at the back of the Titan, which had paused as it held up the hand Kess had attacked. One of the fingers was nothing more than a dust-choked cloud, shattered into dozens of pieces. “You thought you could win cause you’re a goddamn BUILDING? I’m a goddamn wrecking crew!”

Several pieces of masonry began to rise into the air. Kess’s boasts stopped as she saw the remnants of the finger begin to rush together, coalescing around the hand on a haze of concrete dust before the finger flexed upon the hand, reattached and whole once more.

“God. FUCKING dammit!” She punched the billboard next to her, punching a hole in it like a toothpick through paper as several hexagon-shaped lines of light ran over her body. She used the hole to pull herself up, eyes on the Titan now with an appraising, critical look.

With her free hand she pulled her phone from her pocket, flicking it open and hitting a contact before putting it up to her ear. All the while the Titan was slowly turning towards her.

The line connected on the first ring. “What?”

“The Samsara Tower’s sprouted legs. And arms. It’s in the Sixth District. Looks like it was headed towards you before it ran into me.”

“Then stop it.” The no-nonsense female voice on the other end flippantly tossed that out to Kess before the dial tone blared in her ear.

Kess yanked the phone away, glaring in maddened irritation at the screen. “Are you fucking for real?!” She yelled at it. “I tell you a building’s attacking the city and you hang up on me?! Are you SERIOUS?” She angrily started hammering in the call again, but the whooshing noise of a massive fist through the air forced her to drop the phone entirely, springing from the billboard as the titan’s fist cleanly sent it flying. Kess looked back over her shoulder to see her phone, visible for half a second, before it vanished into the dust of the collapsing building the billboard had been mounted on. “I swear to god,” she groused, as she landed atop the roof of a travel agency, grimacing as she looked up at the enormity of the Titan, fists raised, sparks flickering across her body.

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"...No mother. I will be home eventually, I have tasks to take care of today. I know." Elita let out a tiny sigh as she shook her head slightly, the constant hovering was more than a bit annoying, but she couldn't really push her mother away that much. In the end, she knew better than anyone that it was coming from a place of concern. She could feel the unending drip of worry from the other end of the phone, she never had to worry when her mother was lying... To her.

She tapped her foot against the ground, the fact she was taking a phone call on a train would normally be a social faux pas, but considering the fact that the train was mostly empty, she wasn't too worried about that. Her mother was still saying something about the rest of the day, how Elita absolutely had to be home before- There were importa-... "Yes mother, I know. Please, let me just take care of this. I will call you if something comes up." She promptly hung up on the call, not willing to hear anymore about the very fancy desserts that her mother had prepared for the next big event. She had a little bit of time before the train entered the station... Then there were sounds. Elita took a moment to fumble in her purse, quickly popping an small pill into her mouth as she felt the rush of emotion around her.

People fearing for their lives.

Mass panic.

Much closer, concern, worry, indecision.

Elita forced herself to stand up right as the train entered the station, rushing to the door as she glanced back at the rest of the compartment. There weren't many people, but... She glanced over them, imagining her own emotions drifting over the car, "Stay calm, there's something going on above ground... Stay below on the station platform." She gave them a soft smile, the sense of concern was dulling a bit as she turned her head from the others and rushed up the steps from the station. The sight wasn't pretty. People were rushing away from what appeared to be the capital of the city. Which had grown arms and legs and was currently rampaging and causing mass destruction, which certainly wasn't a good look for Mr. Stratford.

She took a few steps into the street, watching as people began to assemble and defend civilians. The whirlwind of anger, confusion and fear all mixed together was definitely going to give her a headache later. As she examined the situation, she turned towards the tower, which was slowly turning to face one of the people trying to take it on, and her eyes suddenly shot shut as she gripped at her head.
Elita stumbled forward as she suppressed the feeling of dread in her system, taking a deep breath. "...Something is feeling abnormal amounts of fear." Her eyes fluttered open as she glanced up at the towering figure, her focus on it as the panicked emotion emitting from it caught her attention over everything else. "Someone is terrified. This isn't a normal fear, whoever it is... They're in immense danger inside of the tower." She took a few steps forward as she looked at some of the others who were starting to gather. They were preparing to defend, attack, whatever the case was...

It didn't matter to her. She turned to look towards the tower again, the whirlwind of panic wasn't right though. It wasn't just coming from the tower, it was feeding into those animated monsters. Her hand rose up as she took a slow breath, her own emotions suddenly lashing towards the animated vehicles suddenly, "Be calm." She focused herself as she imagined her own emotions rushing forward, surrounding the link between the tower and the animated creatures in front of her...

And they dropped to the ground, no longer moving, as she took a deep breath. She turned her head towards the others gathering, a stern look on her face, "...I can neutralize the smaller ones. I don't know if they will stay down. In order to stop the rampage..." She glanced to the tower, "I need to get inside. If I can calm whatever is causing this, perhaps we can stop any more senseless destruction. Do any of you have any ideas on how we can get inside?"

It didn't matter that she didn't know any of these people showing up, many of them clearly had abilities far beyond a normal person. Right now, Elita needed any help she could get if she wanted to try and calm this storm.

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          She rose to the dim glow of an early morning, protected under streaking shades and yet perceptive of that dramatic threshold between what is out there and in here, like the demimonde she lived astride. Her memorious flickering returned to the ironically forgotten state of continuity we often take for granted, and she recalled sharing her night and body with, and who shared this bed with her now, as one of many she served whose living was realized by crimes against the person, whose living was done like the glow which put her sleeping mind back together, and from whose absence suffocating shadows would have emerged in many other minds. She left him without bothering him.

          In her waking befuddlement, she moved to his kitchen to start the kettle for black tea and gather her scattered accessories, like those crucial hairpins that bound a separate person together, and do the everyday morning routine. Looking and finding the latest newspaper, she reclines on her patron’s couch for a while and reads through the weather forecasts for knowledge of the right directions to take paths during the day, obituaries for her peers, friends, and acquaintances, and happenings in the arts and artistic institutions of the fourth district, finding nothing extraordinary. After a while of this, she leaves his home.

          Closing the door and assuming a borderline tightrope shuffle of a gait, she set on her method with a silent indication like hunger. She performs her blistering toil over a short hour, and finds her brothel near closing hours, going inside to change out of her “professional” outfit into casual wear. Cleaning her makeup off, she buries her lustrous brocade in her closet, and springs out. How light her new steps are! She frolics with blank levity along the sidewalk to her next destination, unconscious of the distant sun but equally galvanized by its warmth, and follows her path concisely to her theatre she works at, only greeting other reactively.

          She finds her princely outfit, belonging to her favorite role, and basks in its low sheen, them wears it and her saber. She meets a horseman she employed out in the front of the theatre who brought her beloved Braichmor, and bows shallowly to thank him, continuing, “Truly, thank you, my fair sir.  I pray your journey here was safe, and your return sped by God, and if there be one way you have been offended unto, or you be with me grieved, let you complain here before me, and I shall amend you under my power!” Her enthusiasm was untouched by his reticent responses and farewell, and she mounted her dogged Braichmor after her horseman’s disappearance into the horizon yonder.

          Braichmor is signaled to move at a working trot, a gait the selenite destrier could hold for days under her command. He met Zephyr’s lowest sighs with every step, and never touched the dirt below so that his hooves shone and his coat glimmered platinum, and all his master commanded of him, he had done perfectly, from highest to lowest, such that t canters and gallops felt as smooth to her as the winds in which his extremities were couched. Admiring his translucent mantle, she checks her pouch for her money, pieces of fruit and a compass she retrieves, all three for her truest aim from this morning, and adjusts Braichmor northward, for her to remain ever available in her contradictory errantry until she reaches her end. Retaining the 340th degree angle on her compass and returning it to its pouch, they moves out in that direction and proceed, helping people along the way with an assortment of difficulties and errors like the many minor crimes ubiquitous in the 4th district, to help with vending machines, to providing transportation for the needy.

           Tremendous tremors miles away roar and she commands Braichmor to the location with a gallop, her final path arcing leftward when it was originally straight. Shattered glass was strewn about, people were being rushed to medical care, and the tired Gaia slumped wherever allowed compensation. Her aim became the immediate aid of anyone disabled by the disaster but unattended to, with fabulous and unfathomable equestrian acrobatics. Her penultimate encounter had her pick petrified civilians before yawning landslides to safety, whose wellbeing she would thank God for as was usual, and whose safety was the singular true crystal of gratitude.

          Hours of this in, she had found herself in the 6th district, further in than she initially intended to go, near but not at the disaster site. Corpses and desolation, immolated and obliterated architecture like miniature deserts spangled the grey vault of the city, and more people and debris swerved violently between and into each other like raindrops in a tempest. She saw the Samsara Tower monster in the distance but had no reaction to it besides the smaller golems she found attacking the defenseless nearby her, who she decided to deter first thing. While she saw others doing their part to pacify this chaos by their own destruction in kind, she used the speed afforded her by her partner to cut various creatures off and heavily drive her saber through their thinnest points where it was possible, or use the breadth of their limbs as platforms for Braichmor’s weight and strength where it was not, this giving her an opportunity to carry the occasional person and scout for a path out distant from the combat which she carries them to with the faith her allies’ strikes be guided to where they need to go and nowhere else.

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Leo watched as the girl who climbed up from the rat-tunnels turned one of the incoming objects back into, well, nothing more than an object, as the car crashed and skidded across the pavement. Well that was extra-lame.

"...I can neutralize the smaller ones. I don't know if they will stay down. In order to stop the rampage..." The girl looked to the tower, contemplating her options, "I need to get inside. If I can calm whatever is causing this, perhaps we can stop any more senseless destruction. Do any of you have any ideas on how we can get inside?"

Leo ground away at his teeth. How dare she try to take this from him? The destruction was the best part of all this, and she wanted to sit down with the one controlling this thing and talk about their feelings. "Ah no. No no no NO." He took a step toward the girl, his bat leaving a wake of indentations in the already-wrecked concrete as he dragged in behind him. "In case you forgot, today's a fuckin holiday. Which means all the people in that stuffy joint are out of it, aside from our extra-hard-working king on high. If you think you're convincing him of shit, you're wasting your time."

A brief scowl appeared on her face, "Stratford, for his faults, is unlikely to have ordered a straight assault on the city." She glanced towards the fallen constructs near her, before turning back to Leo, "I care about making sure there aren't too many injuries. I may not be able to talk him down... But I can force his emotions down and find answers."

"Uh huh, uh huh, wouldn't go for an assault on the city..." Leo nodded, his hand to his chin in apparent contemplation. "AND FUCKING YET-" Leaning forward to shout directly in Elita's face, he pointed his bat up at the hulking structure, seemingly stalled for a moment by the brief loss of a finger. "GOT AN EXPLANATION FOR THAT ONE, HOLMES?"

Elita looked unfazed from the shout, but when she spoke, her voice was a bit softer, "...Fear is emanating from the tower, terror. Whoever is inside fears for their life. If it is Stratford, it's more likely to be him in danger rather than him attacking the city, which could mean there's an unknown assailant. I will follow my gut feeling, all the same."

"Oh so he's SCARED, now?" Leo's eyes glowed brightly, illuminating Elita's face in neon pink, "Well fuck me, I forgot to bring a blankie and cocoa! How's about we ask REAL fuckin nice, and he'll let us onto the lift, so we can pleasant little soiree and figure out what he's so worried about!" Looking back and forth to see if anyone else was buying this girl's pacifistic nonsense, he continued, "what?? A hostile party inside the building? The more the merrier, that's what Mum always said! So, Fount of Sods, what's your plan when you make a new friend up there?"

"Someone is terrified... And I didn't say anything about asking. We will likely have to break in." Elita turned towards more of the approaching creations, watching as they fell to the ground in front of her as she stepped away from Leo. "I don't have time, or the patience, to continue this right now when people are in danger. If you aren't, I'll find someone more willing to help."

Leo turned away from her, taking a few steps toward the enormous enemy. "Tell you what. I try and knock this castle down, and you try and make it walk back home to make friendship bracelets. Drinks on the loser."

"If we all survive, I'm sure drinks can be arranged." She waved her hand as she walked off, pausing to turn back to Leo briefly, "...Good luck."

Resting his bat up on his shoulder, Leo looked back at her with a grin. "It wouldn't be a fair competition if only one of us had luck on our side." Sighing, he turned back toward their collective enemy and slammed hit bat down onto the concrete, holding it out in front of himself like a cane. "I've gotta watch out, else you might sneak in there while I keep it occupied."

"Don't tell me that pyromaniac sent you here." Though the source of the voice was behind her, Kess would recognize it anywhere.

Kess didn't even think about it. Her body turned, her leg rose, and her heel punched out at about neck level.

"Kessandra, just because you're taller than me doesn't mean your legs can reach ten feet away." Though her words sounded humourous, it was clear she was more annoyed than anything.

"Don't call me that," she snapped, slamming her leg back down on the ground to reclaim her balance as she glared at the newcomer. If looks could kill, the Samsara Titan was the 2nd most murderous thing in the District.

"Ryo..." The name was a snarl, a low, drawn-out growl. "Of all the times you show up to bother me? Get lost, I'm busy." She jerked her thumb back up towards the Titan.

"Well I'm not going to call you Kessy." The girl's expression was as cold as Kess's was ferocious. "I'm here for work. As annoying as it is, our goals are aligned for now."

"Like hell they are," was the vehement retort. "Can't say I remember last time they were. Go make snow angels while the big girls take care of things, rich girl." She leaned forward threateningly, taking up the sprinter's pose again as she smiled like a shark. "Unless you think I'm actually slow enough for ten feet to matter."

Ryo frowned, as a cloud of small glowing orbs, ranging in color from deep red to indigo, appeared around her. Ignoring what Kess had to say, she walked to the edge of the roof, looking up at the titan. "The number one goal is to stop its movement. My Bullet Hell could probably catch its attention at the very least if I strike at its back." Turning her head, she made eye contact with the other girl, "You will get in there and assassinate Stratford. Considering what you have done to someone you loved, I'm sure that would be manageable against a stranger."

That caught Kess' attention. She cocked an eyebrow, looking back up at the colossus as it punted a fountain into a wet bundle of rubble. "Stratford's the one doing this?" she asked, blatantly ignoring the slight at the end. "Isn't he King Goody Two-Shoes?"

"That's the queen's theory." Ryo, walked away from Kess toward the back of the monster, carefully studying it, "we suspect he is headed toward the 8th to quash her regime before it becomes a threat. Barbaric, but..." Sighing again, she looked back to Kess, "it doesn't particularly matter who is in there. You'll take care of it, right Kessandra?" Before she received an answer, she had hopped off the roof of the building, approaching the titan from behind as she amassed more and more of her projectiles around her.

Kess kept her eye on the colossus, frowning in a rare moment of thought. It wasn't until Ryo was off the roof that she noticed her departure. "HEY! IT'S KESS! Four letters, you dumb bitch! And fuck you, I didn't agree to shit! Aaaaah, goddammit," she cursed as her shouting drew the attention of a skittering flock of garbage cans, inspiring her to cartwheel off the roof as they flew upward in an attempt to dogpile her.

"'That's the queen's theory,'" she said in a mocking faux-British accent as she landed on the street below, feeling power coursing through her legs as she took off to shake the pursuers. "Can't believe such a fuckin' simp thinks she can order me around."

Her eyes trailed up towards the face of the Colossus once again. Stratford, huh? Inside? Fuck. Now I kinda WANNA do that.


Paying no mind to the angry girl she left behind, Ryo Kataki stood behind the Samsara Titan. Pretty much all of its minions were ahead of it, so she was actually in a startlingly safe position. For now. Ryo sighed, her arms falling limp by her sides as she glanced back toward Kess. Her gaze lingered for a second then was brought back up to the Titan with razor focus. "Fount of Barrage: Bullet Hell."

In a storm of fractal patterns, Ryo's orbs of light scattered through the air toward the giant, colliding with its back in a cloud of dust. While each one dealt minimal damage, the volume of hundreds upon thousands of strikes began to pulverize its masonry and glass exterior. Sure enough, the entire structure haltingly turned toward her, turning its menacing gaze downward at her small figure.

Despite the danger, Ryo's face remained stoic, though the slightest hint of a tremble was visible at the very tips of her fingers. The Titan took a lumbering step toward, and reached forward with its enormous hand, aiming to crush her. Ryo took a half-step back reflexively, another round of projectiles materializing around her and hurtling forward to intercept the attack. The hand was hardly visible with the incredible number of times it was being struck, but it continued toward her nonetheless. Once again, Ryo looked toward the spot where she had spoken to Kess. There is no way I'm going to let that girl see me die.


Flying through the air before Ryo's eyes, was what she could only assume to be a food truck, given the enormous fake hotdog attached to its roof. Such decorations were uncommon to see in this day and age, but the undoubtedly more unusual feature of the truck was that it was being propelled through the air by a flare of bright pink energy bursting from its tail-end. With a crash, it collided with the concrete hand, bursting into a flash of pink light that briefly engulfed the city street.

After a few seconds of falling rubble, the dust cleared, revealing The Fount of Destruction at the point of the truck's origin, wearing a wicked grin. The beast looked down at him and roared, releasing a blast of wind that shattered every nearby window that had survived the tremors it caused by walking. Clenching its remaining fist, it strained for a few seconds and toar free of the clutch of otherworldly tentacles, eliciting a screech of pain from the void whence they came. The Titan swung downward at Leo with its now-free arm, as the one that had just been impacted started the process of reassembling itself, but he jumped up above the point of impact with a burst of energy from his trainers. Landing atop one of the enormous knuckles, Leo took a quick breath before starting a sprint up the monster's arm. Each step he took left behind a glowing shoeprint, almost as if he had walked through fluorescent paint, but once he had covered a decent distance the trail began exploding, about five paces behind him.

The Samsara Titan groaned in apparent pain, waving its arm like a person would trying to shake off a bug, and when that worked about as well as it would for a person (that is to say, not at all), it brought its arm up toward its face. The enormous maw opened with a cacophony of metallic screeching, as the deepest pit of its makeshift throat began to glow a sinister gold.

"No way in hell you're getting me with that Gojira bosh!" Leo roared in defiance, throwing his baseball bat at the Titan's face like a tomahawk. It struck directly on the tip of the tower's snout, exploding in bright pink as it launched itself back to be caught once again by its owner. The Samsara Titan shook from the shock of the impact, stumbling a step back toward the west, and this last shock managed to knock Leo off his perch atop its arm. Plummeting toward the ground, he caught sight of the simple-looking girl who he noticed conjuring tentacles from empty space earlier, "AY LOVECRAFT, MIND SAVING THE ROAD CLEANERS SOME WORK AND SAVING MY LIFE??"

Edited by (o ×)

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"Which one you gentlemen want, the big guy or its friends?"

Both Jeremy and Ibuz took notice at the young woman who made an appearance near them. By the pressure that was felt...that and the quite obvious tally marks on her face...four from what Jeremy could count...this woman was a Fount, more accurately Number 4. "Honestly, while I'm fairly certain Ibuz here can attempt to take care of the big guy..."

"You know how it is, m'boy, phenomenal cosmic power is what we Djinn possess!" Ibuz let out a hearty laugh.

"...and an ego to match..." he muttered, before returning his attention to the young woman. "In any case, our priority is to help the rest evacuate from this rampaging kaiju wannabe." Jeremy paused, adjusting his glasses as he looked towards the 'friends' as the woman put it. "That said, we'll most likely be taking it's friends...attempt to mitigate the already large amount of damage..." He moved his right hand, pointing his thumb in the direction of Leo. "...namely from that fella over there. But if we can at least be rid of the minions and mitigate the destruction going on while also helping the others evacuate..."

Ibuz crossed his arms, nodding. "A simple strategy. Take out the pawns...THEN deal with the king."

"Exactly." Jeremy nodded, shifting his stance and began to move forward, heading in the direction of a few of the vehicle creatures. "By the way, Jeremy Shelby, pleasure to meet you!" He held up his left hand, showing the imprint of "92" being in his palm as he waved towards the woman. "Feel free to join in and help evacuate people if you feel inclined to!"

Arabian Wind

Turning his attention back towards a motorcycle that seemed to take it's turn and began to head directly towards him and Djinn beside him. Jeremy exhaled slowly, moving his hands slowly around him as currents of air began to circle around him. "Windswept Blast!" he declared, thrusting his arms forward as a strong current of wind began to push the motorcycle back and even upwards in something resembling a mini-cyclone. "Ibuz!"

"As you wish, master!" Ibuz smirked, now taking the mini-cyclone and grabbing the bottom of it like it was a completely solid object, now twirling the mini-cyclone in the air and proceeded to launch the motorcycle creature in the direction of a few other creatures in quite the manner. The motorcycle crashed into it's allies and made it seem like it was being used as a bowling ball. "And I'd call that a strike."

"Seems that way." Jeremy nodded, making his way towards a few civilians taking cover nearby. "It's definitely not safe here...get to the station and stay low. I'll get you over there...Ibuz, we're going to need you to play interference for us."

"Once again, your wish is my command!" Ibuz laughed, throwing balls of concentrated wind in the direction of the creatures, while Jeremy escorted the civilians to safety.

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Oh dear, someone was falling. From that height, that boy would certainly be a red splat on the ground if he just fell like that. Good thing Kiyoko was indeed capable of saving the day. Raising a hand up, palm pointed at the boy who would've soon become a victim of gravity, Kiyoko cast a simple spell.


Beneath Leo, a tear in the world similar to the ones that had unleashed those tentacles from before opened. Rather than those appendages, however, a sharp-toothed maw opened wide, shutting itself tight as Leo fell in. Then the hole disappeared. He wouldn't be able to see or hear it from inside a beast's maw, but for that brief moment, he had truly left this world, though whether he was simply riding a vessel currently between worlds, or if he had truly entered the realm of the gods, Kiyoko wasn't sure. Not a place suited for humans in either case, alas. If only Kiyoko were lucky enough to be there instead, with the ability to survive such a world. But in the interest of not accidentally killing the boy, and regrettably sparing him the chance of firsthand accounts of seeing anything that realm beyond realms had to offer, Kiyoko moved her hand, extending her arm out to her side.


Beside her, another hole in the world appeared, with that same black maw pushing just past the threshold. And unceremoniously spitting Leo out on the street next to Kiyoko. None the worse for wear, and out of harm's way.

"Life saved," Kiyoko smiled. "Not many people get to experience that, either! Lucky you."


The duties of dealing with the tower and its minions seemed to be split fairly well. That just left the matter of one girl in the group that had assembled.

"I need to get inside. If I can calm whatever is causing this, perhaps we can stop any more senseless destruction. Do any of you have any ideas on how we can get inside?"

Get inside the tower? Sei could handle that fairly well. In fact, it made perfect sense! She'd been so focused on the outside, she never thought about just going in. To stop a horse, shoot the general!

"I can get us in," Sei said, eyeing up the tower. "Not afraid of heights, are you?"

Elita smiled for a brief moment, shaking her hand as she pulled her bag up her shoulder a bit. She curled her arm around it, holding it against her front as she turned to Sei, "...Thankfully no. If you can get me inside, consider any celebrations on me afterwards."

"I like the sound of that. Name's Sei, and I'll be your personal pilot and security for this job." With that, Sei wrapped her arms tight around her passenger-to-be, and calling upon the power of Suzaku, sprouted a pair of red wings from her back. One powerful jump, and the pair took flight, soaring up above the action. Up above the rooftops around them. Up above the bulky shoulders of the Samsara Titan, a height from which Sei eyeballed the windows on the back of the beast.

"Brace yourself for impact," Sei warned, before suddenly shooting further upward, then turning in an arc, suddenly diving downward through the air to one of the windows near what was once the base of the tower before its rampage. Like an arrow, the two shot through the window, breaking through the glass and skidding to a rough landing on the floor. Looking through their improvised entrance, Sei watched as the wall closed up behind them, like a mouth shutting once food had entered. Creepy.

"Well. We're here. Let's get to the heart of the problem and see about settling things down."

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"It wouldn't be a fair competition if only one of us had luck on our side."

Elita took a little breath as she took a few steps away from the exhausting manchild preparing to destroy the titan. Perhaps she had been a bit curt there, but there wasn’t much time for her to fully explain the depths of fear coming from whoever was in there. With the Tower starting to turn away from her, this gave her an opportunity to breathe, along with continuing to neutralize some of the stray animations as she focused herself. “This fear… It connects to each creation and gives it the ability to move, fascinating… If only I could learn how to do this myself…”

It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to experience what the purity of emotions can do, even one as basic and innate as fear. Unfortunately, she couldn’t take the time to study how this fear is really connected to anything. Right now, she had a task to do… And no way to actually do it.

"I can get us in," A voice, not the man from earlier though. "Not afraid of heights, are you?"

She waited as Sei prepared for them to take off, her eyes scanning the large tower as she focused for a moment. Most likely, she would have to follow the strengthening feeling of fear inside of the titan… Which had the added benefit of meaning the connection to anything animated inside the tower would be much, much stronger. It was unlikely she would be able to dispatch them quite as easily as she could down here, a sad side effect of strong emotions.

"I like the sound of that. Name's Sei, and I'll be your personal pilot and security for this job."

Elita braced herself for the rough, jerking motion of being launched into the air, one arm holding onto the purse slung over her shoulder. She had no intention on leaving it behind as the two of them took off, before speaking again, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Sei. It would have been preferred for it to be under more pleasant circumstances though.”

Elita kept herself focused as they soared into the air, swallowing gently as they were ascending far above the situation below. “...It would be a wonderful view, if not for the chaos…” She briefly heard Sei’s warning to brace herself, a deep breath being given as she nodded her head and awaited their incoming crash. She brought her purse up to shield her face as the duo crashed through the glass, a deep breath escaping her once again, as she stood up now that they were in the belly of the beast.

“...The fear is a fair bit deeper. It’s connected to the Titan itself, which means we need to be on our guard.” She brought her hand to the wall next to her, noting that her dress had been ripped in a few spots from the glass as she closed her eyes, “...It’s animating many things, including the walls. It’s remarkable that it can still give life to things on the ground as well. I'll disable what I can, but as we get closer, it will get harder for me."

"Then we'll have to go deeper," Sei observed, the wings on her back fading as the skin over much of her body noticeably became rougher. "Among other things, I can put up barriers to protect us. I do this kind of thing for a living, so don't worry about getting hurt or killed in here."

"...I do the protecting people thing," Sei clarified, upon realizing that it may not have been clear. "Not the breaking into buildings thing. Or whatever this all counts as. Protecting people. That's my day job."

She didn't mention that the walls being animated meant that they were probably going to make the trip more confusing... But she figured that went without saying anyway. She began to follow the trickle of fear coming from deeper, deeper, yet deeper still as she tried to trace each strand near the two of them. It took more focus than she was used to expending. Her hand fished inside of her bag for a moment, lingering there as she mumbled gently, "Stop moving." She knelt down, taking a look at the rug on the floor ahead of them, "It's animated. One of the simple ones, but it likely would pull from underneath us." She placed a hand on it, keeping calm as she forced her own emotion through the fear connecting to the rug, "I... Cannot say how many objects are connected. The projection is so strong and reaches all over the tower. Be prepared for the worst as we move."

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Tempest swerved to avoid a rushing lamppost as he mumbled to himself, “Can't the bright ones just... Go somewhere else?” He rolled to the ground as he planted his hand against it, shadows rising around him as he took a moment catch his breath. Thankfully, the lamppost had kept going and rushed towards another location, which meant he had some time to sit up and brace himself for the chaos.

“...Someone’s trying to get inside of the tower…” He looked up at the sky as the shadows covering him disappeared, his hand on the ground shaking for a moment as he watched the duo divebomb through a window. He took a breath, shaking his head as he looked around himself once more. The ongoing struggle was suffocating, but he didn’t have the luxury of getting away from it when there were civilians about. He quickly picked himself up, running towards a group that were attempting to get away from the horde, “This way!”

He raised his hand towards the little group, noticing the two children flinching as he waved them over, “I’ll get you all out of here, get close.” As he spoke, shadows twisted around them guiding them towards a small alleyway, “It’s a quick run through here…”

Run after run, he’d get one small group away from the colossus, using the shadows as a shield over their heads. Then, he’d return, taking another group, sometimes he’d guide them towards the subways while blocking rubble from them, or intercept a construct that was rushing towards them. He stumbled after a bit, falling down as he caught himself with an arm as his breathing picked up, “Haven’t… Rushed around this much in a while…” He chuckled to himself as he stood up, stumbling towards the entrance to the station that some of the civilians had taken shelter in, bracing himself against the wall as he brought the shadows over the entrance towards himself, using them to keep himself upright as he watched for any of the attackers running his way. “Just breathe...”

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Lightning Runner

Kess was kicking animated objects out of the way, swearing with each minor impact on her foot. “Goddamn Ryo. Shit. First time I’ve seen her in what? A year and a half? Goddammit. Thinks she can order ME around? BITCH,” With this Kess gave off a scything kick, sending a trash can spiraling off down the street. “Get real! You’re the LAST person gets to order me around!” 

Out of the corner of her eyes she observed Ryo getting into position, before activating her Fount. For a moment she actually considered not doing anything and just letting Ryo be squished. Fortunately for Ryo, a far better distraction came about as a result of the British boy who launched a bus at the Titan. Kess grinned, beginning a sprint along the pavement towards the arm Leo wasn’t racing up now, the one Leo had eviscerated with his unorthodox choice of improvised weapon. She streaked up the arm, ducking one way, then the other to avoid bits of the crenelations that jutted out to block her path. As she reached the elbow, she stopped for the briefest instant, bending her knees and then pushing off, flying through the air at the bulk of the monster. 

Her landing wasn’t so smooth. The windows were largely eliminated thanks to Ryo’s barrage of strikes, but Kess still felt several tearing sensations around her as she flew into the window, to smack into the wall on the other end sidelong. She let out a grunt of pain and effort, collapsing to the floor before slowly dragging herself back up.

“Jeez,” she let out in a wheeze, standing and stretching, feeling and hearing several things pop. “Big lumbering bastard.” She heard a rumbling noise and looked to see the window closing up behind her in a wave of stone. She then felt the tile floor shifting beneath her feet. “Oh, you have got to be kidding me.” She took off down the hallway again, ducking and jumping to avoid sudden jolts in the wall that sent cascades of bricks lashing out in an attempt to crush her.

She reached another bank of windows, mercifully lighting her way forward. She glanced out the windows and frowned on reflex at seeing Ryo outside, backing up to get distance from the behemoth. Kess reached out, ripping a metal box off the wall with a shriek of tearing steel and making a quick pirouette to sling the box out the window, streaking towards Ryo through the sky. The white-haired girl barely spared it a second of thought before tossing a small handful of her glowing bullets through the air to break it into many harmless pieces. Just before the windows were swallowed by the morphing architecture of the building, Kess was rewarded with the sight of the girl being covered in a hail of white foam from the fire extinguisher that had been inside it.

She was almost caught by the collapsing hallway behind her, she was laughing so hard.

- - - - - - - 

Rumbling Pursuit

The mother and daughter pair had only had to deal with a small handful of rampaging pieces of the city, and most of them small ones. The majority had been pretty easily dispatched by Kaede, blown aside with gusts of wind, sundered by small bursts of flame, or broken on barriers of magical force. Both Kaede and Midori had taken a few minor knocks, a few cuts and bruises, but nothing all that serious just yet. 

“We might be out of the Sixth soon!” Kaede piped up, with somewhat forced cheerfulness. “If we get into the Fifth we might be able to hide in one of the shops until…” She trailed off. She had been about to say ‘Until this is over’ but she honestly couldn’t guess what that even began to entail. But she forced that thought away. Not consciously, she was experiencing what she would only later be told was shock, but now her brain was running on survival instinct. 

“Yes,” said Midori, brushing concrete dust from her eyes. “Kaede, thank you so much, I don’t think I could have done anything out here by myself.”

Kaede turned back to give a stressed-out grin. “Yeah, happy to help, Okaa-san! Just stay behind me and I think I can-” 

They were interrupted by a great, whirring whistle. Kaede turned slowly to see a great trundling form rolling down the street towards them, far off several blocks away, but approaching fast. Her eyes widened in horror as she saw the form of a great speeding train, huge curtains of sparks blasting from either side as it grated across the tarmac, and with a front that had torn itself asunder into a great, chomping mouth.

Kaede shrieked, pushing her mother into the next street. The train blasted behind them a second later, buffeting the two small women several feet further into the street as it shrieked by in a blast of sound. Just like that it was past them, shrieking off down the street once more. Kaede and Midori both hyperventilated in concert as they rushed down the short street, but were forced to backpedal as the train appeared again, shrieking past them again. 

Kaede looked up at the buildings on either side of them. Each time the train blasted by they shook intensely, bricks rattling off and visible cracks running through the walls. She took a deep breath, pulling out the Library in one hand and the single large cloth shopping bag Midori had kept an ironlike grip on the whole while. 

“Okaa-san, I’m going to need you to do exactly what I say,” she said shakily, trying to raise her voice above the shriek of the train, pulling the shopping bag open as far as it would go. She set it down on the ground in front of her. “Step inside, quick! The train is going to collapse these buildings and we’ll be buried, and if we try to run it’ll just…” She couldn’t finish the sentence. “Get in!”

Midori stepped into the bag, shakily looking down at Kaede as she traced several rainbow-colored runes on the bag. Upon completion of the last rune she called out an Egyptian phrase, and the interior of the bag suddenly went black, and Midori fell downward, and out of sight within the bag.

“Ten minutes,” Kaede whispered to herself, wrapping the cloth straps of the bag around her hands and setting off towards the end of the street. Even at half her mother’s weight and Midori not being a large woman, Kaede was even smaller, and the bag was heavy enough to where she had to drag it. “Just hold on for ten minutes, please, Okaa-san,” she whispered, before intoning the phrase for her Float spell. Both she and the bag lifted off, Kaede kicking off the ground to gently begin hovering up above the train as it streaked by.

Kaede’s intent had been to jump over the train and land on the roof of the laundromat on the other side. But she had failed to account for the weight of the bag that contained her mother. She was immediately punished for it as the bag caught on a jagged torn piece of metal sticking from the train. The straps snapped taught, and Kaede, with her reduced weight from the spell, was immediately jerked along for the ride, shrieking as the train blasted down the street towards the melee about the Samsara Tower.

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It wasn't long before the pair had made their way to an enormous pair of mahogany doors, only seeming a bit worse for wear due to Sei's protective abilities and Elita's method of pacifying the animated objects. It was more than clear that this room was the source of the feelings of terror that the Fount of Devotion was picking up on, and the wood had warped to form an enormous pair of faces, contorted in agony.

Elita shivered for a moment, taking a look around the twisted floor as she collected herself, "...This is hideous. Whatever power caused this... Do not take it lightly. I don't know what to expect here." She turned her head to Sei briefly, before entering the room.

The door creaked open, revealing the office of Mayor Richard Stratford. It was in absolute disarray, probably as could be expected, with spikes jutting out of the ceiling, walls, and floor in every which direction.

At the center of the room, suspended by dozens of the spikes stretched out to pierce him in several spots, was Stratford. He raised an arm toward the two intruders, and the spikes rose to attention like the heads of adders. "Why... Are you here..?"

"By the authority of the kami, and in accordance with my pact with Byakko, Guardian Beast of the East, I've come to arrest you," Sei replied, preemptively raising a barrier between the girls and the mayor before them. "I would like it if we could settle this peacefully, but I won't lose any sleep over direct combat with the city's mayor if it comes to that."

Elita frowned as Sei immediately began to speak, before taking a small breath. She brought her hands in front of her, "...I simply wished to ask why the tower was rampaging. It did not strike me as something you would do." Her face was devoid of emotion, though there was a bit of a rise in her voice as she spoke, "I can clearly see there is something... Very wrong, if you would like to talk about it."

Stratford's eyes were bloodshot, and upon closer inspection it was clear that multiple tufts of hair had been pulled out from his scalp, "Peace..? No... peace. You two here are assassins... Sent from another district to kill me, to take control of the city..." Blood dripped down from his body, striking the floor of the otherwise silent room. He began laughing quietly, but it was clear that it was labored, there was no telling how compromised his body was by what he had done to himself, "you all thought you could surprise me, but I knew. I knew!" Tiny golden particles began to glow in the air around him, as the room stirred to life, poised to attack.

"What are your last words, traitors?"

With a small step forward, Elita set her bag on the ground as she looked towards Stratford. Fear pulsated around her as she took a deep breath, imagining her own emotions projecting outwards. It had taken everything in her to not succumb to the pressure from everything around her, the calmness likely unable to bring Stratford down fully from his frenzied state... But perhaps it could do something, "Please, calm down, Mr. Stratford. I am unarmed, and I will ensure she won't harm you while I am here. You knew there was... An assassination attempt, I presume?"

He scowled down at her, blood leaking from the downturned corners of his mouth. "We both know that being unarmed in this city is meaningless, child. No. I managed to mobilize my tower before you assassins arrived, as you can see. I knew this was coming."

"With all due respect, Mr. Mayor, if we had come here to kill you, I don't believe we would have stopped to have this conversation in the first place. While I'm honestly really impressed by the power at your disposal, my only job is to stop the tower's apparent rampage and the path of collateral damage it's carving through the city you're in charge of. I would very much like to do that without using violence. May I suggest a ceasefire, at least in this office? You disarm these spikes, and I'll lower my barrier."

With a crash, the heavy doors shut behind the pair. "You seek to fool me, to make me lower my guard. Your masters taught you subterfuge, but I refuse to fall prey to it. Your treacherous lives end now!" With a roar, the mayor brought forward both of his hands, and the enormous spikes hurtled toward his guests.


"Life saved," The occult girl seemed unreasonably cheery, given her extra violent surroundings. "Not many people get to experience that, either! Lucky you."

While he didn't feel particularly lucky, Leo struggled to argue with the results. With a subtle glow, the eldritch saliva that now coated his body crackled and fizzled away. "Not quite what I had in mind, but it works. You see if the girl got in?"

"Yes, she was able to break in through a window with the help of another girl."

Leo looked back and forth, stretching his shoulders as he bounced on his toes, "How about the red haired one with the sparks? Don't see her makin a mess out here no more."

"Her too, yes. You left an excellent path for her to break in through, you and that friend of hers."

"What you bet she's up to in there?"

"Nothing peaceful, I'd imagine. It doesn't seem like her sort of approach, based on the way she carries herself. I do hope her methods don't conflict too hard with the other girl's, what with them being very much in the belly of the beast. For a generous definition of beast."

"Yeah," Leo's focus turned his focus up to the titan, a glow appearing where his feet met the pavement, "think you can watch out fi the people down here? Things looking like they gonna get extra bad."

"Certainly." Already opening the Necronomicon once again, Kiyoko smiled "I wish you the best of luck in there. Should things go wrong, just jump out of a window and I'll be sure to catch you again."

"Don't hold your breath." With a flash of light, Leo launched himself into the air, away from Kiyoko.

The titanic metal snake barreled through the streets of the sixth district, seemingly unaware of the captive passenger dangling atop it. The monstrous locomotive slithered back toward the rest of the animated objects, and the group that had congregated among them.

Turning from one last rescue, there the knightly Sarashina turned to behold out of the serpent’s metal maw cushions of grey smog and dust, screeching and vomiting a wicked bile of steel and flesh into ugly monstrous shapes which provoked her sense of justice. She charged toward the razed ground at the sight of a helpless Lady attached to one of the viper’s small children, grey as ash, and evaded its smoldering spawn which obstructed the train with seeming easy, commanding Braichmor to leap onto the train. Tenacious through the many weak stings of the snakes’ cumbersome breath, landed finally besides the girl, and descended to cut the strap from the bag that captured her, carrying with shocking gentleness the two of them up onto her steed, and spoke to her, “This hateful monster, treacherous to men, we fly from now! Hold tight, weary sprite.” Picking up much of the burdensome bag, Braichmor coursed down the monster’s length with uncompromised steadiness, and jumped onto the ground besides, escaping its whipping tail and storming gibbet of plastics, metals, and leathers by the nearest bend back to the safe route she created earlier, stepping off of her horse and offering her hand to the girl should she need it, and letting her speak first should she desire to, to give her the mental room to process everything going on.

Kaede blinked woozily, shaking her head to clear it of all the noise that had filled it over the last minute and not entirely succeeding. She looked up with bleary, dust-clouded eyes to the one who had yanked her from the train. "Whoozat?" she asked dumbly, moving her mouth and spitting weakly to clear it of all the particles it had picked up.

However, before Kaede could fully orient herself, the snake was upon them, coiling and raising its head to loom above the group of founts. The ground rumbled, and two more matching serpents erupted from beneath the street, shaking enormous metal rattles at the ends of their tails. Stretching out to demonstrate their enormous length, the serpent's moved to surround the group of founts, forcing them all back to back, before the first one made its attack, diving into the center of the fray.

Kess was making short work of the inner workings of the Samsara Titan. While she was vastly outnumbered, her martial prowess and overwhelming speed made the blind furniture no match against her. She had no real way of knowing where she was going, but what she did know was that she was going there fast. She would sprint through every hall of this building if it meant she could find the fight she was promised.

Suddenly, she felt the floor beneath her shake as she heard a blast behind her. Whipping around on her heel, she saw a cloud of dust, and through it, sunlight. The Fount of Blitzkrieg steeled herself, and approached. Electricity crackled along her skin as her muscles tensed up, and the lightbulb above her flickered, increasing in brightness until it burst.

“I’m your huckleberry.”

Emerging from the dust cloud was the guy with the bat whom Kess had seen earlier. “Dunno what it was about em, but Mum always loved those old cowboy flicks. Guess something about them rebel heroes lit a fire in me, ya know?” Leo tilted his neck back and forth, eliciting a series of pops. “If Mum knew I was here, she’d go mad.” Tossing his bat up into the air, he let it spin a few times before catching it, the entire length of aluminum letting off a subtle pink glow. “What I’m getting at is, this is one of them scenes where you think you’re in for one fight, but instead you’re facing off against a wasteman like me.”

Kess immediately relaxed, raising an eyebrow as she appraised Leo, hands on her hips. "You're a Brit? Was hard to tell when you were shouting like that. Nice work distracting this glorified DMV earlier, saved me the trouble of relying on the useless lesbian with the peashooters outside to be good at anything."

"In another life I was." His eyes narrowed, the bat falling slack at his side, "How do you know she swings that way..?"

Kess rolled her eyes. "We go back a ways, unfortunately. Hey are you here to kick Stratford's ass too or shoot shit, I'm kinda busy." She turned to let out a scything kick that knocked away a sneaking telephone that had been trying to unobtrusively loop its cord around her neck. It slammed into the wall, shattering into dozens of pieces. "This is my kinda Disney flick," she chuckled, grinning.

Bending down, Leo picked up a small fragment of the wall that he had busted through. It began to glow with power as he straightened back up, tossing it a few times in this hand. "See, I met an extra peng girl out there a few minutes ago, she's got some crazy plan to take care of this without any ass-kicking." His attention turned toward Kess as he dug his heel into the ground, "As much as I'd love a good fisticuffs with him, I'd hate to make the bird cry. So now I'm making sure nobody gets in the way while she's singing kumbaya." Leo flicked at the edge of his wall fragment, sending a piece rocketing past Kess's head, "So like I said, I'm your huckleberry."

Kess's eyes narrowed, and a sneer crept into her expression and her voice. "Ooooh... is that how it is, then?" Already she was slowly turning sideways, into a fighter's pose that exposed less of her body to Leo. "'Fraid ass-kicking is the only way I take care of anything." 

Several long, arching sparks lanced off of her, reaching out to play along the walls. "I was gonna take on Peashooter today after I took care of Stratford... but if you don't get the hell out my way I can stand to move you up the list."

Leo grinned, crushing the piece of wall in his hand and raising the bat up to point at his opponent. "Sounds like an extra-fun list to be on. Let's see what you can do, sparky!"

Kess surged forward, pulling a fist back for a haymaker. "And what the FUCK is a huckleberry?!?" she screamed.

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That was the last of the civilians, least from what Jeremy could see at first. It was confirmed by Ibuz's general assessment and viewpoint of the situation...so now that left all the aggravated machinery cre-....ooooooor just the giant metallic snake. Because that seemed to be the thing that was remaining.

"...so first the tower being a Kaiju...and now a train snake?!" Jeremy groaned, his hand being slowly brought to his face, covering it. "I swear, at any point...if these two combine, I will literally walk out on this."

This, of course, caused Ibuz to laugh as he descended to be right beside his master. "Ah but that would be quite the challenge, m'boy! An opportunity of a lifetime to face a creature you would only see in the books of history and even legends! Ahhh, now if this was more cobra like, it would feel a bit more like home!"

"...now isn't the time to be nostalgic, Ibuz." Jeremy shook his head, before noticing that those here were being pushed and moved further into a small group, their backs being against one another. And it was only now that Jeremy and Ibuz noticed that they recognized one specifically. "Huh? K-KAEDE?! What are you doing here?! This isn't a place you should be right now!"

"Ah Miss Kaede! Lovely to see you again! How goes the library translation?" the Djinn asked, much to Jeremy's chagrin.

Jeremy let out an audible groan, before rubbing the bridge of his nose, under his glasses. "Okay, honestly, doesn't matter right now. We'll need every advantage we have here..." he finally said, trying his best to analyze the situation at hand. Off the back of his hand, Jeremy knew for certain only Kaede and her abilities. The Library of Alexandria...or more accurately, the GREAT Library of Alexandria. A marvel in days of ancient Egypt...now within the hands of her, which she's managed to translate a few spells. He put his hand to his chin, still in deep thought. Thankfully she's been able to show me quite a number of the spells and symbols she's translated. ...one of which...

A light-bulb went off in his mind as Jeremy adjusted his glasses somewhat, before turning towards Kaede. "Kaede, I may have a bit of an idea to buy us some time and probably keep the snake at bay. When I give you the signal, I need you to use Flare." he looked at Ibuz, who began to ready himself. "I know that the spell is more flashier than damaging, least when you showed me, but it's still generally a snake...so perhaps it'll continue to act serpent like." Jeremy turned back around, wind currents sweeping around himself for a moment. "And theoretically...we may be able to use it's serpent like behavior to our advantage...it's better than nothing!"

Without another word, Jeremy once again had his hands pushed out in front of him. "Windswept Blast! Ibuz, little help!" he shouted, to which his Djinn obliged and did generally the same thing in conjuncture with his master, causing the massive wind current blowing right towards the train serpent. "Kaede, now!!!"

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Tempest forced himself to calm down as he leaned back against the wall into the station, slowly sliding down into a resting position. He ran a hand through his hair as he steadied himself against the wall. The whirlwind of activity was almost a bit too much for him at this point, but he wasn’t quite ready to stop entirely. After a few moments, he felt like his legs had regained enough strength for him to stand up once more, heading back into the fray as he glanced around. Things were calmer… Except for that massive addition barreling around, his eyes widening as he ran forward. His hand rose upwards into the air, the train snake’s own shadow bursting from the ground to try and impale into the monstrosity- Only for the shadow to retreat back to the ground as Tempest lost his balance. The sudden appearance of two more of the giant, metal snakes bursting from the ground had resulted in him stumbling, his focus broken as he just as quickly regained his footing, backing up as he took a breath, “...Okay, this is bad…”

He turned his attention towards the group that had assembled briefly, it was clear most of them were capable of holding their own. He was honestly unsure if he was capable of holding his own at this point, the onslaught of constructs before had been enough to wear him down! Regardless of his feelings though, he didn’t have the luxury of contemplating the situation. He heard the floating guy waxing about snakes and the man who had been sticking close to him acknowledge someone else… At least he seemed to have a plan. He called out to the gathered group, a slight hint of panic in his voice, “I’m going to try and… Hold one of them back, just… Someone who’s a big stronger please figure out a way to take these out?”

Tempest, on the other hand, resoundingly did not have a plan. The best he could think was to try and restrain one of them… So he turned towards one of the creatures that wasn’t being targeted by Jeremy at the moment and focused. “Okay, you’ve never tried something of this scale before, but… Never a bad time to try.”

He brought his hands up as the shadow of the train snake bubbled underneath it for a moment, before forming large ropes of shadow that launched over the monster. Some of them curled around the creature’s ‘head’ to tug it down towards the ground, hoping to keep it from slithering around too much as he glanced back towards the others. “I don’t know how long I can keep it down! I'll just stall for time...” 

He looked back to the construct, a few more tendrils rising from the shadow of the creature as he tried to replace them as others wore down. Please don't get up, please don't get up...

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Kaede was discombobulated and dizzy amidst the crush of people between the snakes. She scrambled to avoid a snapping jaw, rushing back and bumping into-

“Jeremy?! Ibuz?!?” She grabbed onto the man’s jacket instinctively, looking up at him with wide eyes. She held up the bag, waving it slowly due to it’s heft. “Ka-san’s in here! I have to get her somewhere safe! I don’t know what- EEEE!” She shrieked as she was forced to jump away from a scything tail, her train of thought derailed as thoroughly as the snakes now were. 

She barely heard Jeremy calling to her above the hubbub to use Flare. She jumped on top of a fallen mailbox, scrambling back atop the horse that Sarashina rode, grabbing onto the back of her cloak to steady herself. “Uuuum, okay okay okay, I can- RUSH!” She gabbled out the words of the spell, and in her haste, she channeled it through her hand to target not herself, but the horse she was barely clinging on to. The mistaken target saved her hide, as the beast of burden surged forth to avoid what could have been a clipping shot into a comfortable miss.

“Oh god, oh god,” she wheezed, having almost fallen off the horse. “I can… I can make the horse go faster, keep them from-” she was cut off again by hearing Jeremy calling for the signal. How were things happening so quickly? 

“Oh god, FLARE!” The word was in ancient Coptic, and it summoned a burst of rainbow colored fire from the flailing scroll of the Library as Kaede held onto it with one hand for dear life, the other holding onto Sarashina like grim death. The flames burst outward toward the serpent, Kaede leaning back in response to the sudden burst of heat that it generated.

- - - - - - -

Kess hurtled toward Leo, making a punch at his center of mass. Bringing his bat up and holding it vertically, he absorbed the blow, skidding back a few inches.

Energy seemed to vent from the bat, as Leo had used his ability to dampen the impact to his weapon. "You're fast, but that blow was extra weak. Give this a try!" The glow on the aluminum bat increased to a flash, as it was released in Kess's direction in the form of a wave of concussive force.

Kess dove backward out of the hallway, smirking as a horde of cubicles immediately swarmed her, the wooden partitions shattering on impact as they unwittingly got between Kess and Leo’s attack. 

She charged at Leo again, but this time she had a large splintered slab of cubicle wall in each hand. She forced power into her arms, her left shoulder where she had hit the wall on her way in burning with pain as the muscles in it were forced into overworking themselves. The two pieces of cubicle flew through the air at Leo, with Kess ducking low, ready to scythe her leg up to smack Leo in the side. “You think that’s gonna scare ME off? I just dove into a walking TOWER, you MORON!”

"We in the same tower you daft cunt, what kinda flex is that?" Leo cast forward his handful of dust, placing a cloud of debris between himself and the incoming attacks that immediately shone bright pink and exploded. Kess didn’t seem deterred at all, diving straight into the cloud of debris that blew up as a result. The moment she was clear of it, however, she was met with Leo diving downward from the ceiling, swinging his bat in a long arcing trajectory, "SLEDGE IMPACT!"

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As the spikes closed in on Sei and Elita, a shadow blocked their view for a mere moment, clearing to reveal the spikes broken and a person cloaked in shadow before them. Nothing of their body was visible beyond the weapon they wielded, a scythe with the same wispy quality that coated their form.

"My my," came an almost singsongy tenor from the figure, "So quick to judge one who seems to wish to talk with you... Personally, I'm quite invested in what she has to say. Why don't you hear her out, mm?"

As quickly as he appeared, his form seemed to disperse back into the shadows of the room, with a soft chuckle echoing.

Stratford’s already distressed expression turned to one of frenzy as he twisted his arms in the air, causing the fragmented weapons to lift up again off of the ground. “Proof of your treachery, bringing another with you in the shadows!”

Thanks to the untimely intervention of a yet-unseen figure, it seemed they were doing this the hard way after all. If Sei caught this shady interloper again after the showdown, she’d be sure to give them a stern talking-to. But that could wait. Right now there were bigger things to worry about. “If I didn’t know better, I’d swear you just want an excuse to fight,” Sei sighed. She had a clear objective in mind. Separate Stratford from the building.

That meant getting to him. Without killing him. With a firm stomp forward, Sei doubled down on the barrier she’d put up during the botched attempt at negotiations earlier, then charged forward with both of them, as one otherwise would with a large shield. If nothing else, she needed to at least get into the room as a start.

"A protective barrier? So you're either an esper, or one of the kami's playthings." With a scowl from the mayor, the floor beneath Sei rose up, circumventing her defense and launching her backward. "You tread upon holy ground. Don't think whatever measly pact you hold could rival the people's belief in this city."

Elita, meanwhile, was taking a deep breath at the entrance to the room. Her brow furrowed for a moment as she focused herself, her focus drifting around the room as she scanned for stray emotions that could be attributed to that shadow figure, “...And who are you? Are you one of those assassins as Mr. Stratford here believes?”

Timed as if it were a response to her question, but most certainly not one, a chandelier plummeted down toward Elita, turned downward so that it was an enormous nest of jagged edges. As it did, a wall of shadows pushed over top of her, blocking the chandelier’s fall. It shattered harmlessly against the barricade, with the shrapnel falling down around them.

“Perhaps,” the voice in the shadow chuckled softly, “but I think you can minimize casualties, from what I’ve seen. Try stopping Stratford if you can. Well… Toodles!”

The shadows pulled back from Elita and out of the room, almost as if they had never shown up at all.

“Hardly ideal…” She turned her attention back to Stratford, seeming hardly fazed by the shrapnel that was falling around her. She took a few steps forward into the room as Sei attempted to brute force her way towards Stratford. While the rest of her face didn’t show it, her eyes looked tired as she entered the room, her emotions projecting outwards around her to match the fear that was oozing around the room. With that, she took her tentative first steps...

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Very likely, it wouldn’t be as simple as walking towards the man as Sei attempted her own distractions. Ideally, she would get there due to Stratford not considering her much of a threat. After all, what had she really done since the door opened?

Stratford narrowed his eyes at Elita, as he launched a pile of furniture toward Sei with a tilt of his head. "And what do you do, child?"

Elita gave a small smile to Stratford, “I am a healer, Mr. Stratford. It is unfortunate that I’m most effective in combat, when I have little skill at it myself.” It wasn’t the full truth, but not exactly a lie either. “As I mentioned, I can see you must be in great pain. I can attempt to alleviate it, if you would allow it.”

With a subtle little push of her own emotions forward, Elita focused on the frenzied Stratford in front of her. She didn’t step forward with his own attention on her, but that steady tone would hopefully keep him from lashing out at her.

Meanwhile, on the receiving end of the furniture, Sei dropped her barrier. She wouldn’t get anywhere purely by defending. Instead, she channeled the power of a different kami. White fur and sharp claws sprung up over her arms, as Sei brought the latter to bear against the furniture, slicing through the pieces as they flew at her. The final piece of furniture was met with a downward slash, ending with her hand on the floor for but a moment. The tiger-like traits she’d adopted quickly retracted, replacing themselves with blue scales and the projection of a serpent-like tail growing from her back. No sooner than that did Sei take off, using her hand to push herself forward for a running start. Not directly at Stratford, but around him.

Twice, depending on how one framed it. For it wasn’t just Sei that made her move, but a tag-team of her and what appeared to be a copy of herself, splitting up to surround Stratford. The Sei to Stratford’s right moved first, charging then spinning herself around in a bid to smash some of the spikes that connected Stratford to the rest of the interior.

The attack hit, detaching a large piece that encased his right arm from the ceiling. It seemed like a successful endeavor, until the enormous fragment reformed itself into an enormous arm of debris, a miniaturized yet still enormous facsimile of the titan the battle was taking place in. The tips of its fingers honed themselves into sharp edges, before he took a wild swing at the true Sei he had seen attack. The attack made purchase, leaving long gashes along Sei's right arm and leg, and filling the air with a splattering miasma.

With Stratford distracted by Sei, Elita took her own steps forward. Her emotions projected towards Stratford left enough of a plain floor ahead of her for her to walk on, the empath electing to ignore the decor of the rest of the room at the moment. She pulled her purse against her side as she walked forwards with purpose, keeping her emotions projected around her to deter any of the moving tower’s defenses.

Sei, meanwhile, changed out her active kami once again. Doing away with the gifts of Seiryu in favor of those of Genbu, Sei created a small barrier attached to each of her arms. She kept her right arm ready for a future attack, and brought the barrier on her left down on the wooden arm that had assailed her, as if striking at it with a regular shield.

Her deflection was luckily a success, but the shield was quickly hit by a second enormous fist, as the rubble reformed around the mayor to form an enormous suit of armor, perhaps twenty feet tall, taking full advantage of the room's vaulted ceiling. With strike after strike, Sei was buffeted backward, before Stratford went for a body blow, shattering both shields and launching the Fount of Contracts backward. Slowly, he turned toward the approaching Elita, bloody tears streaking down his cheeks. "Do you intend to die today, child?"

It was then that a stream of flame burst forth between the mayor and his new target. From the red-feathered hands of Sei. “Neither of us do. And I’d rather you didn’t die either. But if you explicitly murder someone who’s just trying to help you, there’s nothing in my pact that says I can’t rule you too dangerous to be left alive, Mr. Mayor.”

Sei! That is the guardian of this city!

He's clearly not guarding anything anymore. Besides, he's already more than crossed the lines you set for what's "too dangerous to be left alive." I'm mostly trying not to kill him because I don't want to be the person that killed Mayor Stratford. And because that girl thinks she can stop him.


Meanwhile at ground level, a trio of trains had turned into titanic serpentine terrors. Fascinating! There were a number of other Founts trapped twixt the trains, though Kiyoko was lucky enough to be outside their territory. It was then that she saw... something happening in their midst. She wasn't sure what, but it was clear one of the trains was the target. It would be quite negligent on her part to not assist in some way. And so, flipping through the pages, Kiyoko held the book out toward one of the trains that wasn't serving as the current target of aggression.


At various angles from one of the trains, holes into the realms beyond opened, and out from them poured the standard eldritch tentacles, coiling themselves around the train to restrict its movements. Then they began to tighten their grip, tighter and tighter still.


While Kiyoko naturally didn't expect to be able to take out an entire train monster on her own, the order to grind the train into scrap metal would hopefully at least cripple it or make it easier for someone else to finish off.

Edited by yui

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          Out of the corner of her eye a scorning look beamed, and she returned onto Braichmor without a word, but overheard the plan between Kaede and Jeremy. During its execution, she drew her sword in a protracted, strained agony of a motion, assessing her group’s positioning between these serpents, and conducting that dismal calculation of where to be positioned for her new partner’s fall. Commanding Braichmor forward, from a walk, to a trot, to a canter in which she caught Kaede with her free hand and supported her up and back onto the horse. The sudden acceleration from her Rush confounded her mental calculations of the circumstance by serendipity into a situation of reaction and flow, which was immediately complemented by nevertheless crushing hooves as if in the situation the animal was strengthened alongside her.

         Their accelerated canter graduated into a volatile, meteoric gallop, and their earlier grace was replaced by a fierce stamping which put them at such a speed she would evade any strike thrown at her, and reciprocate with a preternatural prescience, and rain violent, shattering blows on whatever parts of themselves the snakes dared to offer in their offense. Kaede’s desperate grip triggered a righteous indignation within her in response to the fear of an innocent, and yelled, nearing the shadow and suddenly tentacle bound serpent, struggling to lift itself, “now see with what fury I chase these serpents, that they shall go as fast backward as they came forward!” And the moment she touched its silhouette, she raised her saber and smote its metal flesh, held its hilt with such terrible strength, and gutted every inch of it she ran below, letting it vomit and bleed the same artifices which fueled it, and mixed with sparks from her blade into a scintillating mess before it fell above them, and with a tremor and weight that raised dust for meters and endlessly, persisting endlessly.

          From outside was a lengthy stillness of sound and vision, and the immediate death of the serpent was certain, freeing the two who helped of the burden of staying it. After only moments, and with no sensuous forewarning, they dashed out of the cloud a many colored comet, its twisting tail indicating its orbit, laid bare by the gnashing, starving hooves leaving cavities on the ground, and portending cruel, unremitting brutality for the earlier flared serpent.

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As the dust settled on the first snake's successful slaying at the hands of Sarashina and Kiyoko, the second of the train-beasts began its own assault on the duo that had overcome its companion. As Sarashina charged forward to meet the beast, the air beside her sang as something flew past her, spearing the roof of the snake's mouth and knocking it back.

"There's nothing left to fear! I am here!"


With the snake attempting to rise back up, a woman appeared pinning it down with the object that had been embedded in its head. Her mouth curled in a huge grin as she looked back to the others who had not been fighting the first serpent, giving them a thumbs up before turning back to the serpent. With a herculean effort, she roared as she hoisted the snaked up, slamming the other end of the destroyed sign into the ground to immobilize the beast.

"You guys may wanna back up, because... 3, 2..." She began, her voice trailing off as a shadow began to fall over her, looking up with that same grin, "Well, there you go."

As a piece of a nearby building fell down towards the snake, the woman dashed away with inhuman speed, snatching Kiyoko from her spot and running with the girl over her shoulder, even as the building crashed into the snake, decimating the serpent. Setting Kiyoko down, she gave the girl's head a pat as she turned to face the third serpent. With a crack of her knuckles, she looked over her shoulder at Kiyoko with her right eye. "Think you can pull a building down on this thing with that book? Doing it by hand is pretty tough, even for me!"

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Kess’s head darted up to see Leo falling towards her. She pushed off with her back foot, continuing to rush straight under him, barely avoiding the falling bat as it missed her heel and slammed into the floor. Upon impact, the pink energy of Leo's ability burst downward, tearing the floor out from beneath them and dropping them down to the floor below. Leo landed on his feet and a single hand in a crouching position, looking back over his shoulder at Kess, "You'd best not underestimate me."

This was immediately met with Kess diving forward to jam her knee into the small of his back as hard as she could, leaping forward like a pouncing animal with a single, harsh laugh. “Big fuckin’ deal,” she spat back at him, ducking back to avoid a counterswing of the bat, grabbing a chair and waving it at him like a circus performer. “So you hit hard. You have to manage to hit me ONCE first.”

Leo had barely managed to lower himself, taking the blow on the back of his shoulder instead of having his spine snapped in two. Even so, the impact had rocked him. Rising to his feet, he grinned at Kess, blood visible in his teeth. Leaning forward, he spit a mouthful of blood at her, splattering it on her clothes. "Got me good there. So are the sparks just so you look extra fancy when you practice kickboxing?" Leo tossed his bat aside, grabbing a piece of rebar from the rubble that was about as long as he was tall, spinning it a few times in his hands, "This oughta do fine. Think you can pummel the other lung, or are you leaving the first one extra lonesome?"

“And shut up all this great conversation?” Kess grinned with a wide, savage row of teeth across her face, slowly beginning to stalk to the side, Leo mirroring her pace as the two circled each other in the dimly-lit employee cafeteria they had fallen into. “Maybe I should, though. Like I said. I’m busy. Not busy enough to kick you right back out this place. You wanna be a good boy and blow open another wall for me, or am I gonna have to start doing my own legwork around here for once?”

"Trust me, there are few things I'd like to do more than bust down some walls. Gotta say you got me bare disappointed you'd delegate it." Leo frowned emphatically, though his smile was more than visible in his eyes, "thought I'd found me a right wrecking ball of a bird."

“HA!” Kess spat the laugh at him. “Dumbass! I’m the whole crew.” She slammed her leg up, kicking the underside of the long table in front of her. It spun through the air towards Leo, lifting several feet off the ground. Holding his makeshift staff behind his back, he raised a single gloved hand in front of him, shattering the table in a burst of light once it contacted him. Wooden splinters shot off in every direction, embedding themselves in the walls around them.

Miraculously, two of the enormous serpents were felled within only a few seconds, one by the knight-errant, and another by the hero who had dove in to help. The individuals on the ground regrouped for a second, beginning to make plans on how to stop the last one, but before they had a chance to act upon them the ground began to shake. The carcass-like wreckages of the destroyed pair of snakes lifted off the ground, and floated inward until they met the one that remained. Cars and bikes, street lights and trash cans all were pulled in to give the serpent an enormous pair of wings, and a hood on either side of its head.

With a mighty flap, the now-winged serpent lifted off the ground, looking down at those that had only a moment ago been a credible threat. Its toothy maw opened, letting out a screeching roar that sounded like a revving and misfiring engine. With no further warning, the winged serpent dragged its spiked tail across the ground, hurling a storm of debris toward the founts collected before it.

"You don't understand, do you?" Stratford sighed, as debris swirled up through the air into the hand of the golem he was encased in, forming a sword with a blade of at least ten feet. "My strength is that of the belief from everyone who lives here. The belief that, should anyone step out of line, I can set them straight." By this point, his attention upon Elita was lost, as he lumbered toward Sei, "Nobody in this city is strong enough to defeat me in battle. What are four kami against the will of tens of millions?"

Elita took a few, tentative steps forward once more as Stratford spoke to Sei, her eyes closing as she put her hand forwards. Her own fear had to be shoved down in the shadow of what was in front of her, instead pushing forward her desire to calm Stratford as she promptly lunged forward. Her hand might not be able to come directly in contact with him through the constructed armor, but she forced her emotions towards him all the same, hoping to create a gap in the golem. “Be still, Mr. Stratford. I would prefer no more murder today.”

Though it may not have been quite what she had hoped for, her contact with the golem did manage to have some effect, albeit on herself rather than Stratford. With a momentary spray of blood from both of her eyes, Elita’s body went limp, collapsing onto the floor beside the mayor.

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"Hmmm...if I'm correct, m'boy, you said if these combine that you'd w-..."

"NOW IS NOT THE TIME, IBUZ!!!" Jeremy shouted at his Djinn, watching the now appearing winged serpent of junk. This thing was literally a feathered serpent made of junk that they were staring down. And it was flying...something that they currently had zero access to was the skies. Though right now, they had to deal with the storm of debris being flung and hurled in the direction he and the other Founts were in. "I-IBUZ!!!"

"Already on it! May need a little help with that air current, master!" Ibuz simply said, his hands already forming and shaping around the currents of air all around him, already attempting to divert the debris storm over the group. "Whenever your ready, master!"

Jeremy nodded, standing beside his Djinn and proceeded to have his hands also form and shape around the air currents, attempting to assist in the debris diversion. Tch...this is getting us nowhere! Now we have to deal with this feathered serpent... he thought, his focus still on keeping the junk and debris away from the others. Still, he lingered a bit to worry about the flying junk serpent overhead. Unfortunately, he feared this wouldn't be like dealing with the actual Quetzalcoatl...seeing as that was the Aztec god of light, wind and mercy. The latter of these things was definitely not happening with this junk serpent.

Jeremy was brought back from his thinking and ruminations to hear Ibuz's throat being cleared. "If you don't mind, master, allow me to take this part from ya!" he said, starting move his arms and hands around himself in quite the rapid motion, the debris apparently now swinging and spinning around the entirety of the Fount squad. The speed and manner of the debris being spun through these air currents worried the young man, but it was soon clear to him on what his Djinn was currently doing. Without a moment's notice, Ibuz suddenly stopped his arms, having them above him and to an angle...oddly enough aiming right at the junk feathered serpent. The debris that was caught in the air current that Ibuz and Jeremy shaped and formed was immediately launched towards the serpent like it was a cannon. "That ought to work..."

Impressed, Jeremy gave Ibuz a simple nod and glance, before turning back towards the Founts he was currently partied with. "With the debris not currently trying to bury us now, does anyone else have a plan to stop the junk Quetzalcoatl?" he asked, wiping his glasses off, getting the dust off the lenses.

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"Think you can pull a building down on this thing with that book? Doing it by hand is pretty tough, even for me!"

Kiyoko's eyes lit up at the request. "I make no guarantees, but I can most certainly try!"

She had a plan, and it wasn't "pulling" so much as "calculated chopping down", but in the time it took her to open the Necronomicon and get everything ready, the circumstances had changed quite a bit. No longer was pulling a building down on the snake a viable option, as it had turned its fallen bretheren into wings and taken to the skies above! An interesting trick, and certainly one of the more impressive things Kiyoko had seen lately. Then it tried to throw a pile of debris at the gathered Founts, only for some boy's blue friend to dispel the danger. This magic genie - he sure looked like one, anyway - was no Old God, but he sure was convenient!

"With the debris not currently trying to bury us now, does anyone else have a plan to stop the junk Quetzalcoatl?"

Hm. I believe there was...

Flipping through the pages of the Necronomicon, Kiyoko found just what she was looking for. One of the many tricks within the book's repetoire, but one she hadn't wanted to use on herself. Giving the group a nod, Kiyoko gave this familiar-looking boy as good of an answer as she could manage. "I may be able to at least hold it in place, but with its larger size and doubtlessly greater power, I need a volunteer first, who isn't afraid of losing some time off their lifespan."

Holding out the book, Kiyoko gave the open pages a light pat, and said "Just put your hand on the book, and leave the rest to me. Would anyone like to step up to the plate?" Turning her gaze and open book toward Diana, she further asked "Perhaps a heroic figure who suddenly fell out of the sky?"

"Uh... not so sure I can pay that, sorry," Diana's brow furrowed as she gave an awkward laugh, "After all, that's a bit... steep. Maybe someone else can afford to?"

"Perfectly understandable. Anyone else? I can't write and cash the check, so to speak, and while I've got a backup plan I'd rather it not come to that."

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Tempest took a deep breath as he let go of the shadows holding one of the now-defunct serpents down, stumbling to a knee as he did. The ongoing chaos and the restraints on the snake’s movement had tired him out, the boy struggling to push himself standing as he stumbled slightly. He glanced up towards the remaining snake that had sprouted wings, the storm of debris rushing towards him being met with the combined efforts of Ibuz's winds and his own shadows rising up in front of them, only to fall almost immediately as the debris was shoved to the sides. He stumbled, taking a few steps as he glanced up at the snake. The others were coming up with ideas, but it was Kiyoko who seemed to have a solid plan. He listened to the brief conversation between the sudden hero and Kiyoko...

"Perfectly understandable. Anyone else? I can't write and cash the check, so to speak, and while I've got a backup plan I'd rather it not come to that."

He took a breath as he glanced towards the speaker, his brow raising as he thought it over for all of five seconds. His hand clenched as he darted a bit closer to her, raising his hand, “Let’s do it. Better to lose a few years than lose them all, right?”

He made his way towards the book, he didn’t like doing this, but he placed his bandaged hand down on it anyway, getting a sense of anxiety as he did. It was probably better, at least he had to hope that his initial assumption was right, “Take it away, just hope it isn’t too painful.”

“Oh, I certainly hope it isn’t painful. I’ve never done this before, so I wouldn’t know. Now, just take a deep breath and leave the rest to me.” As Tempest placed his hand on the book, Kiyoko nudged it here and there to get it into just the right position. And then…


From within the pages of the book, small, fleshy, finger-like tendrils sprung up, gripping Tempest’s hand to lock it in place. To any onlookers, however, it would just look as if he was incredibly good at keeping his hand in that one spot. Then, from beneath the boy’s palm, a pair of jaws unhinged, clamping themselves around the hand and giving the feeling of sucking something out of him, though calling it a feeling was the best he’d be able to manage. After a brief moment, the tendrils and teeth retracted, and Tempest’s hand looked none the worse for wear.

“And there we have it,” Kiyoko smiled. “Quick and relatively painless, like getting a shot.”

Tempest drew his hand back once that sensation finally ended, a little mumble escaping him as he brought his hand up. He didn't know how to describe that, it was uncomfortable at the very least, and he was glad that it was over. He unwrapped the bandages around it to get a better look at it, flexing his fingers as he did, “...Seems fine, I can use them alright. That’s all that matters right now, you got what you need to take care of the snake?”

“Absolutely. Observe.”


From the pages of the Necronomicon came a distinct red glow. The book, empowered by her fellow Fount’s payment of a part of their own lifespan, would for the moment be capable of greater feats than normal. In various points around the serpent, the ever-familiar rips in the air itself appeared, a large eye emerging from each one. Each trained on Stratford’s newest creation, and each unblinking in its presence.


With no further prompting, each of the eyes surrounding the airborne serpent began to glow, seeming to take the red light away from the book Kiyoko had used to call upon them. After only a brief moment to absorb the power Tempest had offered, each eye unleashed a powerful beam of energy, aimed at the serpent that had warranted their attention. It squirmed in the air, apparently in pain, as pieces of it were burned and cut off, falling to the ground.

For a moment, it wrapped itself in its wings, before bursting then open once again. A golden glow was now visible from within its toothy maw, and with a sweeping arc it fired an enormous beam of light, hitting each of the eyes that had made themselves present around it. With otherworldly screeches, the portals closed, leaving behind only tar like blood that fell from where they once were.

“Oh, my. It may be time for Plan B after all.”

“Guess it’s tougher than the first two were…” the heroine muttered as she rubbed her chin, before turning to Tempest, “Hey, I owe you one. Thanks for covering for me.”

Tempest took a deep breath, nodding his head towards the newcomer as he did, "I just wish it worked a bit better. I guess that was a waste of time." He brought his hands up as he looked around the battlefield, "Whatever! I'm not ready to die, so let's go." His fingers came together as shadows around the fallen rubble began to rise upwards into the air, tips sharpening into fine points as he lashed them towards the airborne serpent. Any that hit splintered inside of it, followed by him dropping to one knee as the shadows began to pull the creature downwards... Or at the very least, providing some resistance to it trying to climb further into the air. "...I can't do much more, hopefully this helps..."

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