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fractalJester's avatar

Magnetic Dabbler

PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:24 pm
{ And Now, These Shining Worlds We Shall Consume! }
{ Dismiss }

The light was all but gone now, the spiraling wall of flame the only thing allowing them to see. But in their throes, they obliterated their enemies with seeming impunity.

Kyla’s destructive Birn Strike rose from the ground, striking out at the all-seeing shadow above them, and with a radiant flash, the bird-construct exploded, shedding light everywhere like a supernova. Amy’s sky-searing storm of shards caused hundreds of tiny, star-like detonations as well, ripping into the shadowy abyss above them. Dawn, in her maternal fury, unleashed her own ferocious bladed-tessen powered by winds and shattered limitations, ripping and slicing through layer after layer, piece after piece of shadow. And Joe, with all the contempt he and his summon could mutually muster, called forth the power of space and gravity on the darkness mere instants after Kyla’s own assault, detonating a large area at the core with the force of a star’s collapse.

The entity gave a heart-stilling screech, much like all the tendrils before—in that brief moment, they knew its body had been wounded. The intensity of their conviction would, perhaps, have been plain to see in the aftermath—had they not, of course, forgotten the lesson one had revealed earlier.

The shriek was shortly followed by rain. This, however, was more like a monsoon, a torrential downpour that would drench a man to bone in seconds, like some biblical flood. But rather than the humidity of a seasonal storm, every single drop brought the searing, burning condemnation of pain, suffering, and malevolence—manifest darkness, ripped and torn and blasted from the body of the great presence above. If they were looking up, it blinded them like caustic acid first before scouring every inch of their clothing and skin in unholy agony. It lasted for nearly half a minute, but every second felt like a year of pain as millions of drops of tainted blood fell upon them.

When at last it ended, there was a stillness to the area not unlike what had happened when they first appeared, staring at Louis. The rain had put out the twisting blaze surrounding them, but above, they could once again clearly a distant light, where the two helix-like beams collided and rained down upon them shards of memory. With these tiny shimmering flecks filling their vision, they could once again see everything around them.

The platform they stood upon could no longer be called a Station of Awakening; to do so would be a cruel mockery of what had been done. In the heat of battle, the glass mosaic was utterly demolished, and what few colorful shards might have remained had long since been swept off into nothing. Beneath their feet now was just fractured, destroyed stone; whatever had given the station its light, shining from below the glass, was gone, like so much else.

Before they could even consider what such dilapidation might imply, they would have felt the chill run down their spines, along their skin, down into their lungs. Because now, with the light of the memories, they could see that where once had simply been a void surrounding them… was that same grotesque manifestation of darkness. All around them was what seemed like a wall of throbbing flesh or writhing muscle, littered with tiny eyes, all focused on them, staring at them, into them. And the wall was growing.

No, not growing. Regenerating.

It began to rise up above them, bending toward the center, closing off above them and once again blocking the cascading shards, leaving only the dim lights of the eyes to give them vision. The Darkness, over the course of the battle, had enclosed them in a dome—and now, as its seven primary eyes opened once more, an eighth dangerously close to having a functioning pupil, the dome was complete.

The eyes closed, and the air around them rushed upward as a deep groan filled the air. They would feel a sudden grip on their hearts, a tightness in their chests, and then, as an unconscious tug of their own minds opened their mouths for them, dark mist exited their throats, pulled upward into the inhaling mass… which then sighed, as if content.

The brush of unnatural air seemed to dance around them, and they could feel their own magics twist. Forms and spells came to an end. Heartbound weapons disappeared. And the fallen all simultaneously sucked in a breath of air, their consciousness restored—though their bodies remained weak, unhealed, untended. Even those blinded by the blood rain suddenly felt the pain in their eyes wash away, though they could do or say little. Indeed, something about that breath silenced their own; they could not will themselves to speak, could not even manage to resist staring up at the monstrosity.

“So fall the final shards!” the collective called out in an excited whisper. The eyes all seemed to dance around them, the darkness wriggling, their own shadows dancing unnaturally beneath them—from where did they even form without direct light?

The laughter from before returned, but was soft, more like a million-fold audience chuckling in disbelief.

“Ill fates, false hopes, ne’ermore shall light grant strength,” they whispered, their voices growing from excited to jubilant, from a whisper to hushed chatter. And the laughter only grew—everything about the scene was disorienting. But was that mentally, or…?

“Yet still you struggle?” they asked, louder, clearer, the laughter softening momentarily as they spoke—only to burst out again, louder than before, more frantic. No, they could tell now, it wasn’t simply exhaustion or fatigue making them feel disoriented, something about the atmosphere itself was making their senses falter. “Your ends are written.”

The world around them trembled—or maybe they trembled—and the disorientation escalated, everything blurring, their hearing, sight, even their sense of taste, touch, and smell seemed to go haywire as the world stopped making sense.

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The voices, as always, pervaded them, barraging their senses beyond comprehension. It was almost as if they could see the words in the air, but even those shook, moving to and fro without rhyme or reason. The laughter was manic now, shaking their bones and tendons.

“Gaze now upon your fate: the bound’ries fray!”

The chorus sounded more unified then, more coalesced beyond hope, and as their eyes drew upward, they bore witness to the eyes and tumors of shadow seemed to sink into the shaking void beyond. But no, they could see now it was no void, no emptiness or abyss—what they saw was nothing less than a veil, a darkly shimmering border between them and beyond, appearing like velvety oil.

And something was pressing forward.

All around them was chaos and cacophony, laughter and horror. They ached with each breath, their heads throbbed as their eyes remained open, their very being strained under some invisible pressure, resisting yet faltering against everything. Their conscious minds roared that nothing made sense, that this was all a fallacy, but their guts and instincts rebuked and wailed that no, this was true, this was here, this was real

… as above them, where once had been an abomination of eyes and corruption, a living face began to push against, through the veil between, the details of its expression made clear as if only a thin piece of silk was being held tightly against its features.

It smiled far too widely.

Suddenly, Kyla found herself ripped underground by the tendrils, swallowed by endless darkness. Like all the others, it seemed to go on for eternity, the onslaught of negativity tearing at her sanity. But amidst all the voices, she could hear that one, that familiar, a young man she knew too well:

“Wake up.”

Suddenly, she felt piercing stabs at her back, in a spot still tender, still aching from a healing wound—and instantly, she would know that the shadows were seeking an opening they’d sensed, at some point, was there, a way in, a way to take beyond all doubt what lie within her core. However, that way was gone now—sealed away hours prior, before their departure. It was, perhaps, the one brief spark of relief amidst all the discord. One that was, of course, too brief.

Back in reality, she was immediately dropped down from the sky, just away from the face, her body hanging like a marionette on briar-covered wires, hovering at least two stories away from the ground. The laughter was more crazed than it ever had been, shaking the air, messing with their natural hearts, and causing tremors in the ground beneath them. With a grand sweep of her pen-holding hand, her sketchbook opened up to a page she’d become well acquainted with in the past few hours.

The Tree of Unity.

“At last, the world shall be undone!” they shouted, the mouth moving now with the words, the face and expressions too real not to be alive. A massive, ominous circle of indigo runes and glyphs appeared in front of Kyla as she was forced to call out her spell, shadows coursing through her veins and muscles. “We come!”

Left and right, they started getting pulled into the darkness below.


Each and everyone one of them, conscious, agonized, without power of their own, were pulled back through the abyss to drop back down—not long enough to hear anything, rushed straight into their gifts-turned-curses.

Sheer, manic laughter.

Each found the darkness coursing through them, pushing out a blast of power into the tree. With every one new spell, the tree blossomed further, growing, growing beyond belief, encapsulating them in a dome just underneath the dome of shadow, with the Face of Darkness still staring at them all.

Laughing with such release that the whole of creation could have been rent by the countless jeers.

As soon as they’d loosed their magic, they were dropped like flies to fall hard on the broken stone, helpless to watch. When the last dropped, Kyla was thrown down with them, the spell ripped from her control, and the darkness giddily inhaled power from them once again; it drew on their loathing, on their frustration, on their sorrow, on their forfeit, on their guilt—on everything conceivably ecstatic to its essence.

Shrieking mixed with cheering, pain with pleasure, a million million madmen and hysterical women laughing over their doomed bodies.

And then the darkness simply exhaled into the core circle, turning the entire tree as black pitch as its own form, allowing them to see the Face once again.

The voices were unbearable. Just being in this corrupted heart was torture. By purpose or blind hope otherwise, Louis’ act of absorbing the dark seed into the manifestation of his heart—which itself had been turned into a growing, consuming spell whose whole design was to break the ownership of one world and take the reigns of a nascent realm—the Earthling had made a simple seed… into a perfect gateway of raw evil.

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The spell cascaded. Explosions surrounded them, magic shredding into their forms and hearts. They should have long been left unconscious or worse, but by the sheer nature of the darkness' grasp, they were held alive, held conscious, held prisoner to the powers of one-dimensional evil that wanted them to feel every second, every rip and stab and throb, all of them affecting not the skin and bone but the heart and mind...

They were caught in what could only be called oblivion. And then they were gone.

{ Phase One End }

[[ The two crazy-texts were "We Are" and "And now, these shining worlds we shall consume!" ]]  
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 12:20 am
{ De }
{ Silence }

When next one stirred, there was no indication that time had passed—or, if it had, how much had done so. Even should they have opened their eyes, they would only see black. There was no here, no there, no detail of any sort. None of their friends (or other questionable allies) nearby; no sign of the abomination. In fact, the proof that their eyes were open at all was the sight of their own bodies. Beyond that? Just… emptiness.

Endless emptiness.

Wherever they were, there was no need to breathe. They were in one piece, no visible wounds, no caked blood or torn sleeves. Not that they could really bend to look down and tell. Or, better put, not that they wanted to do so. They were sapped of willpower, sapped of strength, sapped of… even thought. Their minds were as blank as the abyss around them. As it was, a weight seemed to hold down their hearts and minds, wanting as little activity as possible, wanting little more than to just… sleep.

And then, with a painful slam, they crashed down shoulders first into solid ground with enough force to knock the non-existent air out of their lungs.

They were suddenly wide awake, though they would be unable to remember any indication that they’d been falling. There had been no sensation of freefall or gravitational pull, no rush of air flying past. Emptiness, and then not.

As they regained their senses, they would notice that yes, they were alone. The ground they’d landed on could hardly be considered such; it was hard and smooth as polished stone, but as black as the rest of the world around them, a deep pitch that let no light escape. There was no path to walk, no hint of earth, just… solid black.

And then, as they stood, as they tried to truly orient themselves, they would realize it was not entirely solid.

Small hints of color began to appear in rising pools around them, but only deep blues and indigoes, dark hues in strange mists that seemed to surround them without end. And then… yellow. But a very particular yellow… familiar. And only ever in pairs, one each from the rising mists.

Living shadows they knew all too well.

Their powers were at their fingertips at a call—they could feel nothing preventing such, and though their summons would remain silent, perhaps slumbering, they could feel their presence—but the Heartless did not make hostile movements, did not lunge or seep into the ground to hide their presence. They seemed perfectly content to stare… and in the pits of their hearts, they would feel that one wrong move would trigger them. They could summon their weapons, and the flash of light would certainly startle the creatures, but even then they would not attack; somehow, they distinguished between a defensive instinct and a consciously hostile decision.

At the same moment, though, something directly in front of them flickered—not blue, or indigo, or yellow, but white, a pure, radiant white. First nothing more than a glimmering speck, it grew, quickly spreading into a large rectangle of light—a doorway. The Heartless seemed to scatter from its light, as if frightened, their eyes dancing from the visitor to the doorway. The path was clear, and if they began to move toward it without hostility, the Heartless would not strike.

And yet, the fallen ones would not have instantly jumped for the seeming escape. Their chests… ached. The muscles of their heart seemed to constrict, tightening with tension, not in fear but in indecision. Because within their cores, they could feel not one, but two drives.

The first, the one that washed upon them before the light appeared, was to simply… stay. Wisps of shadow licked at their legs even now, and the Heartless were beyond number, beyond comprehension, stretching into the unknowable horizon. But still, part of them felt it best to just remain in this darkness, remain rooted in a place where there was only emptiness as far as the eye could see. Maybe it was better to struggle against this alone. Here, perhaps they would be alone, maybe even forever—or until they were inevitably overcome.

The second, of course, was an ache for that light. An ache to run forward, to get out, to be free of the senseless struggle that threatened to engulf them. The light offered them a second chance, and their hearts yearned for it, wanting to feel warm, to feel embraced by hope that they hadn't failed, that they could still win. There was nothing here for them but darkness and pain. They needed to find their friends. They needed to be together. Light was unity, and it took no genius to see that the only unity here was unity in suffering.

Yet, that insidious yearning to stay struggled equally. Maybe… maybe this was it? An endless, pointless fight...

But the others might be through the door. They weren't here. They had to be... were those... voices?

Merlin? Aslan?

Something seemed to tickle the smallest, deepest fiber of their heart.

“Wake up.”

It was time to choose.

[[ IMPORTANT NOTE: Earthlings only! Only Earthlings experience this. Canons are out of the picture until otherwise mentioned.

And yes, each of you are alone, individual, isolated, etc. ]]

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:26 pm
{Bobbi, Demyx, Zell, Red XIII, Yuffie .:. Louis's Heart .:. Station of Awakening}

Bobbi wanted to cheer when the others unleashed their Limit Breaks--surely, surely nothing could withstand those attacks. Surely they had won--only to cry out in pain as the burning, seething rain pelted the battlefield. Nanaki roared in pain to echo her own, and shoved her to the ground as he tried to shield her from the storm. When the blood storm passed, Nanaki stood stock-still to let Bobbi brace against him as she struggled to her feet. Every limb trembled with exhaustion, her chest heaved with each labored breath, and with an effort of concentration she summoned Taulmaril to hand. She stared around that the battlefield, the shattered ruins of Louis's Station of Awakening, her friends laying unconscious, and finally the dark monstrosity. Her vision blurred as she started to cry in pain both physical and emotional. Her free hand trembled, and she felt Nanaki's muscles tense under it.

Demyx found himself shouting, willing the attacks the others sent to finally end this fight. But as he stared up at the dark monstrosity and its blood fell like rain, he now cried out in agony as the caustic substance burned his eyes and seared his flesh. He tried to scrub it from his eyes, but to no avail, and all he could do was listen, listen to that horrific voice, listen to the others crying out in agony, and know that there was nothing he could do about it.

Was that supposed to hurt, too? He understood the physical pain, but why was there an ache on the inside as well? Why did it hurt to know these people were in pain, and why did it sting that he couldn't do anything? It didn't make sense. He was a Nobody; he didn't have a heart to feel with. But something was tearing him apart from within, and if it wasn't emotions, feelings, then what was it? And why did it hurt so much?

He continued to scrub at his flesh as his vision finally cleared, but he couldn't pull his eyes away from the seething darkness surrounding them. When his mouth opened against his will and the black mist poured forth, he clapped his hands over his mouth immediately afterwards.

Zell stumbled mid-punch as the clones were destroyed, and he looked up as so many of the others unleashed their most powerful attacks on the darkness above them. For a far too brief moment, he could see the helix of memories, and for a second he let himself hope. But then the darkness blocked even that brief glimmer, and he cried out as the blood rain blinded and burned him. Like Demyx, he tried to scrub the blood from his eyes and flesh, to no avail. But soon his vision returned, and like the others, he was compelled to look, and to open his mouth. He had a guess as to what that black mist rising from him and the others was, and as much as he would ordinarily be fine with expelling whatever darkness was in him, he certainly didn't want that thing to have it!

Yuffie hadn't looked to see what her Limit Break had done. The clones were gone, Chaos was gone, and she saw others attack the darkness above them. She figured, logically, that they had won, and turned her attention to her friends. She aimed to make sure everyone was okay, but before she could even take a step, she was drenched in brackish blood like rain. Every drop burned like acid, and she cried out in pain as she curled in on herself.

"Ooooh, that is so rude!" she cried with a stomp of her foot. She clapped her hands over her mouth as a dark mist escaped it with her last word, and as her eyes followed the mist up to the dark monstrosity, she found she couldn't look away.

A low, continuous growl issued from Nanaki as he surveyed the damage to both landscape and team. Every hair on his body stood on end, he could feel Bobbi's exhaustion and heartache through the hand she had against his shoulder. They could do nothing as the darkness completed its dome around them. And as his mouth opened against his will, he could hear Bobbi's faint choking as the same thing happened to her and the dark mist rose from them to the darkness. He couldn't imagine how much pain her slashed throat was in as it worked against her will. He glanced at her to make sure she was doing as okay as possible, just as her bow vanished. She stared at her empty hand in shock, disbelief, and terror. But both of their gazes were forced back to the darkness, and it spoke.

“So fall the final shards!”
“Ill fates, false hopes, ne’ermore shall light grant strength.”
“Yet still you struggle?”
“Your ends are written.

Nanaki leaned into Bobbi's hip as she stumbled. All of his senses were being jumbled, sent topsy-turvy by whatever foul magic this creature was made of, but he could feel the archer faltering and lent what strength he could to keep her on her feet. He thought she whimpered, but it was hard to hear anything over the voices of the darkness.

This is a dream, this is a nightmare, it isn't real, I need to wake up, oh please no no no no no, ran Bobbi's frantic thoughts. But her instincts told her that no, this was real, nothing was ever more real than this nightmare. One shaking hand, the hand not buried in Nanaki's hot fur, came up to clasp the necklace she wore. She ran the tiny, heart-shaped, diamond-studded charm through her fingers to take what comfort she could, and they caught on the æthicite charm. Then she saw Kyla appear in the sky before them, and the archer found herself praying for perhaps the third time in her life as the Pictomancer was forced to cast her spell.

Once again she was pulled into shadows, Nanaki beside her, and once again her magic was ripped from her without her consent, to fuel a spell warped and twisted by the darkness. When she was released, Bobbi collapsed to lie flat on her back, still staring at the darkness, still with silent tears pouring down her face. When the spell completed and began to tear into them, she was in so much agony she couldn't tell if the screams she was hearing were her own or from others. All she knew was that her very being was in torment, and nothing she could do was stopping it. She longed for it to end, to pass out, to die so the pain would stop, but she wasn't given that luxury.

Demyx stumbled as his senses were scrambled like an egg in a blender. He tried to summon Arpeggio again, but before he could even register that he couldn't, he was pulled under himself. Again he sank into that manic darkness, but this time he passed through faster, or so it seemed, and he released his magic into Kyla's darkly twisted spell before dropping to the shattered cement below. He didn't even have time to get to his feet before the agony of the spell ripped through him. He screamed, and he tried to curl up on himself to protect his vital points from the magic even though he knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that despite the pain, it wasn't entirely physical. And he couldn't understand how something he didn't even have could hurt so much.

More than anything Zell wanted to find someone or something to launch him at this mass of evil and punch it directly in its ugly, newly-manifest, enormous face. Before he could even act on this desire, though--thanks to the sensory mix-ups, he couldn't even tell what color up was, never mind which direction--he found himself ripped into the churning shadows beneath his feet. As hard as he fought against the darkness controlling him, he was nevertheless forced to provide his own energy to the dark and twisted spell Kyla had been forced to cast. Somehow he landed on his feet, and rolled to absorb the impact, but before he could do anything else, the spell completed. He'd been through more than his fair share of pain in his life, but none of it could possibly compare to the agony he felt from this spell.

Yuffie found herself very glad that she had her hands clapped over her mouth when all of a sudden she was hearing color and tasting sound and seeing smells. She wanted to hurl; this was worse than any sea or air sickness she'd ever had. At least then her senses made, well, sense! But when she was torn back into the darkness at her feet, it wasn't a relief. She was dropped from confusion and disorientation and pain into different confusion, disorientation, and pain. The only difference was that this time it was riddle with that maddening laughter, and when she came out the other side, she wasn't in control anymore. She felt her magical energies ripped out of her to feed the unholy spell, only to find herself being hurled towards the decimated Station below. Like Zell she landed on her feet and rolled, only to be hit hard by the spell as it tore through the entire group. She screamed, she knew she screamed, because she'd never felt pain like this before. The ninja collapsed to her knees, huddling in on herself in a vain effort to minimize the damage from the spell, and she sobbed.

Nanaki was dragged down into the darkness with Bobbi--he heard her gasp a split second before all he could hear was that infernal laughter. When he was made to lend his power to Kyla's spell, he tried to stop himself but was powerless to do so. He landed badly after being released, as his shoulder impacted the station first. He had barely gotten turned upright and started to get to his feet when the spell hit. He roared in agony and collapsed again, even though the spell wasn't affecting his flesh. The pain he felt in his mind and heart was unbearable, and he couldn't think or act through it.

The next thing she knew, Bobbi found herself surrounded by blackness. Not necessarily darkness, this was an empty blackness. It was... weird. Maybe it wasn't even that empty blackness. Maybe her eyes were still closed. Maybe she should just go back to sleep.

When her shoulders impacted whatever she had hit, her breath was driven from her lungs. Or it would have been if she'd needed to breathe in the first place. She got slowly to her feet, not entirely sure how she could even figure out how to do so in this empty, featureless blackness. She looked around as best she could, and she thought she saw spots and swirls of faint colors here and there. She couldn't be sure; she was well acquainted with the false-light phenomena that happened in truest darkness. She'd used to cover herself in as many thick blankets as she could to block out all light just to experience it a time or two. It tended to help with migraines to be enveloped in absolute darkness, and the dancing, phantasmal colors were part and parcel of that.

But too soon she saw the pairs of yellow lights, always in pairs, always yellow, and she took a step back away from the Heartless. She looked around for an escape, only to see them surrounding her on all sides, and instantly Taulmaril was in her hands. She tried to call to Shiva, as her only apparent ally in this new blackness, but there was no response. She got the sense that her esper was deeply asleep.

Ooooh, no no no, not now, Shiva, I need you, Bobbi thought frantically as she set one of her enchanted arrows to the bowstring. But the Heartless did nothing, simply staring, and that unnerved Bobbi more than anything else she had been through so far on this crazy adventure. Not even the feeling--for that's what it was, something deep within her heart speaking to her--that only an openly aggressive move would turn them on her made Bobbi feel any better. But she didn't have any time to dwell on it.

Before her, a spark of white appeared and grew, forming a bright, incandescent doorway. Bobbi winced against the light, her eyes watering, but she didn't look away. Inside her a war was being fought, and she let Taulmaril and her arrow dissipate back into the magics that gave them birth. She stared at the doorway, trembling, longing to go through, but afraid to. She could stay. Part of her wanted to stay. A memory echoed in her head, words said in a beloved game from a lifetime that felt so, so long ago.

"This world is perfect for me. If this is what the world really is, just this, then maybe I should fade back into darkness."

Oh, and she could, most definitely. She wasn't afraid of the darkness. She never had been, not really. Not this darkness, the darkness that was a cloak, a shield, that held nothing that would harm her if she didn't harm it. The only darkness she had ever feared was the darkness she had known ever since coming to this world. That monstrosity they had fought twice now... or was it thrice? That was the only darkness Bobbi had ever feared. Back home, she'd loved the night. The sleepy darkness that came after the sun went down, when the world was at rest and at peace.

But she'd loved the daytime, too. She'd loved basking in the light of the sun, talking and teasing and joking and playing with her friends by the light of day. She missed the laughter, the joy, and the unity she felt with the people dearest to her. And this light before her promised that again. Her friends were on the other side of that door, they had to be. And as she thought that, she thought she heard voices, and she knew they were coming from the door. She took a step forward, hesitated, then ran forward. Her decision was made.

She would wake up. She had a war to fight. She had loved ones to protect.  
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:57 pm
{James ; Auron ; Leon : Louis’ Heart : Station of Awakening}

Auron had remained prepared after unleashing his Tornado across the field watched as the Walker of the Wheel finally fell. However, he could tell their battle was not yet over. As their final Limit Breaks hit the amalgamation of darkness itself he could tell by the horrifying screech that echoed through the battlefield that they had finally done some damage to it and then came the rain. A torrent of searing acidic blood fell upon the Unsent Samurai, drenching him to his very core in agony. The flame wall had gone out, extinguishing the remaining light on the platform itself, though there was light up above that allowed him to see clearly what the battle had done to what was once a stained glass mural that had been their field of battle. Nothing remained but lifeless, broken, grey stone.

Light from the memories revealed that what had once been nothing but a black void around them had taken on a new form. The blackness that surrounded them now pulsed and thrived, alive as countless eyes stared down at them The darkness had grown and risen above them, creating a dome that that blocked out their light aside from the light of the eerie eyes staring a them. With the sealing of the dome of the dome the large eyes opened once again. A sudden force of air and a strange sudden grip on the Unsent Samurai’s heart. Beyond his control his mouth opened and a dark mist escaped his mouth and into the air, pulled upwards like the air itself. His head and eyes followed, focused, intent.

Leon had fallen to one knee, his gunblade dug into the stone ground as the blood rain soaked and seared his very being in scalding agony. When the rain had finally stopped he slowly managed to push himself back up to his feet again and be able to properly see the horror that awaited. He watched, unsure what to do as the writhing darkness closed in around them, creating a dome that blocked all light from above. The eerie dim glow of the countless eyes on the wall and the large primary eyes, acting as the only light. Leon could do nothing as he felt the strange shift in the air and the uncontrollable force that caused his mouth to open. He watched wary as the black mist that had risen from his own throat floated among the mist from the others. Unsure what it meant, but dreading it all the same. As he stood, silenced, staring transfixed into the abyss above.

A rough breath of life that could have come from a corpse brought the corsair back into consciousness. His body still bloody, battered, and weak. He didn’t want to move, wasn’t even sure if he was able to as his mouth fell agape as he gazed up at the horror above, at a loss for words. Not even groans of pain could escape his mouth as he tried to will his body to move once again.

{{Cue: Memento Mori}}

”So fall the final shards!”
“Ill fates, false hopes, ne’ermore shall light grant strength,”
“Yet still you struggle?”
“Your ends are written.

The dark collective whispered as the laughter returned and then everything went haywire. All his senses, magnified to dizzying and nauseating extremes by his enhanced senses as nothing made sense as voices continued to assault the corsair’s mind and sight as he could see the words swirl and twist all around him. James just wanted it all to end. Things made even less sense as the darkness above took on the visage of a face emerging through the darkness with a malevolent smile on it’s face, most likely enjoying their agony.

Things only got worse as Kyla was taken as everyone else had been and the laughter only got so much worse as she prepared her spell. The spell that had been used multiple times to spectacular effect, was now being turned on them. The corsair was unable to struggle or prevent it as he was once again drawn into the darkness. Sheer, manic laughter greeted him as darkness once more coursed through his veins stealing his power and adding it to the corrupted tree. His power taken the Lunar Gunner was dropped mercilessly on the stone floor along with all the others. Negativity flowed through his mind, despair, frustration, pain, and even a slight hint of hopelessness as he stared at the Tree of Unity, defiled into a Tree of Devastation. All the corsair could do was try to stay hopeful and tune out the insanity that surrounded him. He closed his eyes as the spell was unleashed.

Auron could do nothing, none of them could as the darkness took Kyla and then took their power to fuel her spell. Even the warrior monk crashed to his back as he was released and was unable to rise as the spell finished and unleashed. The explosions of magic surrounded the Unsent Samurai striking, rending his very soul in sheer agony as he yelled. He felt as if his physical form was about to torn asunder and it took all that he had to maintain a physical form. His body and soul long past it’s limits though not allowed to break down or collapse.

Leon remained silent as the darkness took on it’s form and drew them all down into the darkness to feed on their power to fuel Kyla’s spell. When he crashed and the spell unleashed he writhed and shouted in agony, his voice surely joining and lost amongst all of the others as he wanted nothing more than for it to end. To lose consciousness, perhaps even to die, anything at that point to end the pain his very heart and soul endured.

James' shouts and cries of pain melded with all of the others that rang out across the field as the spell hit, tearing at his very heart and soul. He writhed and tossed as his consciousness was held preventing the sweet relief that passing out once again would bring. He kept his eyes shut through all the agony and waited for it to end as he too was lost in the oblivion…


When James’ eyes next opened he wasn’t sure if they had opened at all. Surrounding him was only blackness and a deep, deep, silence the likes of which the corsair had never experienced before. He was alone, floating? Lying down? He honestly couldn’t tell and didn’t even care. He wanted nothing more than to sleep and thus he let his eyes close, welcoming the silence and pitch black that was normally so hard to obtain when he normally slept.

A powerful slam on his back brought James’ eyes open in an instant and he had expected the breath to be forced out of his lungs from the impact, but there was no burst of air… No need to breathe, not even lingering pain aside from the initial impact. He was wide awake then and looked around at his new surroundings, what little there was to see. Blackness, nothing else aside from the smooth, sleek surface on which he stood. As he looked at the floor he noted small swirls of color, all deep blues and indigo. The dark hues seemed to move and surround him and then yellow orbs… pairs of them. The glowing orbs rose out of the ground and took on the all too familiar height and stance of Shadow Heartless that surrounded the corsair.

{{Cue: Reluctant Heroes}}

In a flash of light that was almost blinding to the corsair his hexagun was in his right hand and his left hand was was brought up, fingers curled like claws as he prepared to strike.

’Fen, I’m going to need your help here…. Fenrir?’ He called out to no response from the Lunar Wolf, a bit of mental feeling revealed the Lunar Wolf to be sleeping deeply, unable to be stirred.

With a sigh of desperation he turned his focus back to the Heartless that surrounded him. It was strange, they weren’t lunging at him. They just stood there, gazing at him, not even poised to strike, but definitely ready to. He could tell that any act of aggression would spell the end of him.

Suddenly there was a flicker of light, pure, brilliant, radiant, blinding and warm that quickly spread into what could only be a doorway. A way out of the black void. The Heartless scattered, afraid of the light. Their heads twitchily looking from James to the door. The corsair relaxed his stance and released his hexagun, feeling assured the Heartless would not strike. as he stared, his eyes squinting to shield them partially from the blinding light. He felt the tug of his heart as it pulled him towards the door, but something stayed his feet from running straight into the door way. Was it lethargy? Apathy? That held him rooted to the spot as he stared at the apparent way out of the Void.

’Should I fall into the shadows?’ He asked, staring at the non-aggressive creatures that stared at him. There was something inviting about the prospect of his story ending, all of the pain being over at last. To go through the door meant a return to conflict, to the raging war. To the loss from conflict. For a brief moment he closed his eyes basking in the warmth as if it would be the last time he ever saw the light.

”Wake up.”

A voice? Voices? He could hear them calling. Calling through the door, calling him back. The loneliness he had been feeling since coming here ebbed away as he opened his eyes looking straight into the door, letting the light of the doorway touch him, touch his heart. He basked in it, soaked up the light letting it fill his heart. His left and right hands raised to the necklace that held his aethecite charm and his right thumb and index touched the titanium band on his left ring finger. His wedding ring. He couldn’t stay, he knew that beyond a shadow of a doubt. He needed to return to his wife, his friends, his allies They needed him. He could not abandon them, he would not abandon them. Without another glance at the Heartless he smiled as he walked through the Light filled Doorway. His battle was not over, his story would go on.

’I will return to you, love. I promise.’  

Jeimuzu Kuro
Jeimuzu Kuro's avatar

KHBTD : Kingdom Hearts Roleplaying and OoC

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