Cherry Blossom Procession 4 8 C

[20:21] <@AdEvaGM> ["Mary's awake." Said Ezra.-
[20:21] <@AdEvaGM> [He took a deep breath.-
[20:21] <@AdEvaGM> ["Send the order down: execute the Solomons and the Damocles' Dysangelion."-
[20:22] <@AdEvaGM> ["Yes, sir." Said Frederick. He reached for the console-
[20:22] <@AdEvaGM> [A bolter shot.-
[20:22] <@AdEvaGM> [Frederick collapsed.-
[20:22] <@AdEvaGM> [Ezra leapt. "What-"-
[20:23] <@AdEvaGM> [Tokuro, his Apostle, was standing over Frederick's body. In his left hand was a bolt pistol. His eyes were milky white.-
[20:24] <@AdEvaGM> [He shakily stretched his hand out over the console. The hand began to crackle with dark electric sparks-
[20:24] <@AdEvaGM> [Ezra's eyes widened. "A hacking spawn-"-
[20:24] <@AdEvaGM> [A discharge.-
[20:24] <@AdEvaGM> [The Damocles's lights flickered for a moment.-
[20:25] <@AdEvaGM> [Across the warship, the Phantoms- who had been disarmed and kept in cells- suddenly stirred. The doors to their cells clicked and opened.-
[20:25] <@AdEvaGM> [The apparatus around Sophia's Dysangelion froze, and went inert.-
[20:25] <@AdEvaGM> [The vessel's Knights broke out of their cells and rushed the guards.-
[20:26] <@AdEvaGM> [In his own monastic cell, Augustine knelt, a weeping eye emblem in his hand.-
[20:26] <@AdEvaGM> [Agatha's cell was already empty.-
[20:26] <@AdEvaGM> [And on the bridge of the Damocles, Ezra Caine drew his sword and pistol. He prepared himself for the fight of his life.]
[20:26] <@AdEvaGM> […-
[15:09] <@AdEvaGM> [The bridge of the Damocles was in flames.-
[15:11] <@AdEvaGM> [Ezra Caine pulled a short sword out of his leg; he growled in pain. The rest of the bridge crew were dead.-
[15:13] <@AdEvaGM> [Phantoms and the odd Adept lay dead around him, too, some slain by his sword, more by his pistol.-
[15:14] <@AdEvaGM> [He leaned against the captain's chair, wiping at the grime and the blood on his face.-
[15:16] <@AdEvaGM> [They'd broken apart the feeble barricades across the bridge doors, and now only smoke and debris kept them out.-
[15:16] <@AdEvaGM> [Not much of a block.-
[15:16] <@AdEvaGM> [A shape appeared in the smoke, taking a second to clear.-
[15:16] <@AdEvaGM> [Aksel walked out of the smoke, a bolt pistol in hand.-
[15:17] <@AdEvaGM> ["My cousin… Really is a fucking monster, isn't she?" Said Ezra, coughing out smoke.-
[15:18] <@AdEvaGM> ["You don't have to die, Ezra." Said Aksel. He pointed his gun at Ezra with a shaky hand; an expression of utter horror on his face. "Please. K-Kill me, get out of here…"-
[15:21] <@AdEvaGM> ["You're fighting her?" Said Ezra. "How?"-
[15:21] <@AdEvaGM> ["I-I don't know, but I-I can't keep doing it, please, just leave…" Pleaded Aksel.-
[15:22] <@AdEvaGM> [Ezra stood- and made a single step forward. Aksel's hand raised of its own accord, aiming directly at Ezra's heart.-
[15:22] <@AdEvaGM> ["Like I said. You're gonna have to kill me." Said Aksel.-
[15:22] <@AdEvaGM> ["I'm not going to kill my friend." Said Ezra.-
[15:23] <@AdEvaGM> ["YOU HAVE A KID!" shouted Aksel, tears starting to pour down his cheeks. "Don't do this to yourself! It's fucking stupid!"-
[15:24] <@AdEvaGM> ["I'm sorry, Aksel." Said Ezra gently. "I want to leave, I truly do. You think I don't want to see Sarah again? I want nothing more right now than to hold her in my arms."-
[15:24] <@AdEvaGM> ["But I can't let anyone have this warship."-
[15:24] <@AdEvaGM> ["Computer." Ezra snapped. "Set self destruct sequence, authorisation Ezra-NS-001-C."-
[15:24] <@AdEvaGM> ["I-I can't let you do that!" Shouted Aksel.-
[15:25] <@AdEvaGM> [Ezra tapped the console on his chair.-
[15:25] <@AdEvaGM> […-
[15:50] <Eli> And elsewhere on the ship, Eli's earbud gave a short set of beeps in response. It was somewhat unnecessary: She'd started sprinting for the engine room when the makeshift battle lines of the ship's defenders began to buckle, anticipating the order.-
[15:50] <Eli> Bodies were everywhere, as were slick patches of still-wet blood, but she couldn't afford to slow and she certainly couldn't afford to fall - by her reckoning there were at least five Phantoms behind her, and she knew they were faster.-
[15:50] <Eli> "Shit shit shit shit," she muttered. One hand dangled uselessly by her side, the wrist snapped and mangled.-
[15:50] <Eli> When the t-junction towards the engine room loomed ahead of her, she took the corner wide. Without slowing down, she slammed one hand out to hook something to the wall and then disappeared around the opposite corner and out of sight.-
[15:51] <Eli> Surovite razor-wire: It was thin, extremely durable and very difficult to see unless you were looking carefully. The first pursuing Phantom struck the piece pulled taut across the junction neck-first, slicing deep and sending her down in a shower of blood.-
[15:53] <Eli> The other Phantoms had to pull up short, the second only barely stopping in time. By then Eli was already back around the corner, ducking low under the wire and punching a knife through the back of the nearest enemy's knee.
[15:55] <Eli> The sudden attack might've staggered other groups of enemies for longer, but Phantoms were fast in every way that mattered. By the time she'd stood and readied herself, the remaining three undamaged Phantoms already had swords drawn.-
[16:01] <Eli> Bad odds. She moved anyway.-
[16:01] <Eli> She dashed at one, knife flashing, but when the sword came down for her neck she had already converted the movement into a slide aided by a blood-slick.-
[16:01] <Eli> She shifted her knees, turned into the skid and hurled a knife at the space between her attacker's shoulder blades, burying it to the hilt. The Phantom dropped like a stone.-
[16:05] <Eli> The other two were already on her by the time she was on her feet, and this time she couldn't avoid them. One carved a gash into her shoulder, while the other simply stabbed deep into her side.-
[16:05] <Eli> She howled in pain and fury. Before the Phantom could draw her sword away, she'd yanked another garrotte of razor wire from the dispenser on her gauntlet. She looped it tight around the Phantom's arm and pulled as hard as she could.-
[16:10] <Eli> The hand, severed at the wrist, fell to the floor as the Phantom staggered back. Eli pulled the sword from her side with her remaining hand, vision beginning to blur, but her hand stayed steady as she readied herself to deal with the last unharmed Phantom.-
[16:12] <Eli> There was a sharp hissing sound a few feet behind her. She saw a spray of blood and crystaline shards burst from her chest, and before she could comprehend what was happening she was falling, the strength gone from her legs.-
[16:14] <Eli> The second Phantom, with its mutilated leg, had found her feet again. One hand was holding the wall for balance, while the other held a shuriken pistol.-
[16:14] <Eli> She lowered her weapon to where Eli now lay, aiming for her head.
[16:15] <@AdEvaGM> […-
[16:19] <@AdEvaGM> [Ezra made another step.-
[16:19] <@AdEvaGM> [Aksel's grip tightened. "Don't make me do it-"-
[16:20] <@AdEvaGM> ["She can't make you kill me, Aksel." Said Ezra, his voice perfectly calm. "You can fight her now, then you can fight her all the way back. Come on. Do it for Roku."-
[16:20] <@AdEvaGM> ["EZRA, PLEASE-"-
[16:20] <@AdEvaGM> [But Ezra spoke over the top of him. "The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?"-
[16:22] <@AdEvaGM> [The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?-
[16:23] <@AdEvaGM> [Augustine knelt in his cell. Like the others, his kill-collar had been broken.-
[16:23] <@AdEvaGM> [But for now, he was free of Mary's control- for he was in a different form.-
[16:24] <@AdEvaGM> [This form was of a tall white-skinned man with black hair and brown eyes. He had used this form to smuggle neurotoxin, once.-
[16:24] <@AdEvaGM> [In his hand he held his icon, the weeping eye.-
[16:24] <@AdEvaGM> [Mary was pursuing him. Pursuing him with a vengeance.-
[16:24] <@AdEvaGM> [Within a few seconds, his form collapsed, the barriers around it broken. Augustine shifted.-
[16:27] <@AdEvaGM> [When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.-
[16:28] <@AdEvaGM> [Now he was a child, a girl of about ten years old, with short red hair. No one suspected a crying child; he had used this form to infiltrate close to a target, once.-
[16:28] <@AdEvaGM> [He held the icon in his hands. Hovering atop it was a single eternity tear.-
[16:29] <@AdEvaGM> [Though an army besiege me, I will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.-
[16:29] <@AdEvaGM> [Sophia had been thrown to the ground.-
[16:29] <@AdEvaGM> [Something was happening inside her, something powerful, overwhelming. Parts of herself she hadn't even realised were gone…-
[16:31] <@AdEvaGM> [One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and seek him in His temple.-
[16:32] <@AdEvaGM> [Augustine knew. Half an Angel's soul had been used to empower Adam's Cradle. And now that it had been destroyed…-
[16:34] <@AdEvaGM> [His childlike form had been shattered. Now he was a young British man- in this form he had tried to become Prime Minister. In this form, he had loved a princess, and then a queen, once.-
[16:35] <@AdEvaGM> [For in the day of trouble, he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.-
[16:36] <@AdEvaGM> [The eternity tear began to spin. Slowly, but ever faster. The small end began to elongate. Sidney White was already starting to crumble.-
[16:37] <@AdEvaGM> [Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary, I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music.-
[16:40] <@AdEvaGM> [Now he was akin to an Iron Guard, with brown skin and shaven head. In this form, he'd incriminated the United States by killing criminals in the underground. In this form, he'd sold a Colombian warhead to a warlord, once.-
[16:40] <@AdEvaGM> [Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me.-
[16:41] <@AdEvaGM> [Sophia stood in front of her Dysangelion. It had been silent for sometime, ever since it had been imprisoned within the Damocles. It has always oddly repulsed her; she'd never used it, never been comfortable with it. But now it was stirring- the part of her within was stirring.-
[16:43] <@AdEvaGM> [My heart says of you, "Seek His face!" Your face, Lord, I will seek.-
[16:43] <@AdEvaGM> [The Iron Guard was gone. In its place was Monica Messina.-
[16:44] <@AdEvaGM> ["This was my favourite form." Said Monica. "This is the face by which my friends knew me."-
[16:44] <@AdEvaGM> [The eternity tear continued to spin, taking the form of a knife.-
[16:45] <@AdEvaGM> [Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior.-
[16:46] <@AdEvaGM> [Sophia took a step toward the Dysangelion; it pulled itself free of its killswitch harness, and lowered a hand down toward her.-
[16:46] <@AdEvaGM> [Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.-
[16:47] <@AdEvaGM> [Ezra grabbed the gun in Aksel's hand. He tried to keep it steady, even as Aksel shook.-
[16:47] <@AdEvaGM> ["Why are you doing this…?" Said Aksel, his eyes filled with tears.-
[16:47] <@AdEvaGM> ["Because I trust you." Said Ezra.-
[16:48] <@AdEvaGM> [Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.-
[16:48] <@AdEvaGM> [Aksel fired. The shot tore Ezra's ribcage apart.-
[16:53] <@AdEvaGM> [Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting lies.-
[16:53] <@AdEvaGM> [Monica was starting to die.-
[16:54] <@AdEvaGM> [She grasped the eternity tear knife in one hand and the icon in the other.-
[16:54] <@AdEvaGM> [I remain confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.-
[16:54] <@AdEvaGM> [She plunged it into her core.-
[16:54] <@AdEvaGM> [Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.-
[16:54] <@AdEvaGM> […-
[17:05] <Eli> Eli could see again.-
[17:05] <Eli> Her eyes had remained open, but at some indistinct point they'd stopped seeing. But now… she endured the burst of pain as she turned her head, searching for the Phantoms.-
[17:05] <Eli> The three still living had stalled. The one missing a hand sat on the ground, masked face staring slackly down at the freely bleeding stump. The one that shot her had dropped her gun, and was staring into space. The third had simply begun to wander away, loosely-held sword dragging against the floor as she went.-
[17:07] <Eli> And Eli herself… she was lying in a puddle of her own blood, her jacket riddled with holes where the shurikens had shredded through her chest. It should've been enough to kill her, but the wounds had simply stopped bleeding; it was as though someone had invisibly plugged them.-
[17:08] <Eli> In her hands - tightly gripped in one, barely held at all in her broken left - were the sigilite knives Augustine had given her, drawn from the ether.-
[17:11] <Eli> She didn't understand, but understanding was secondary. She knew. She knew she could stand, and so she did. She staggered to her feet and simply walked away from the stunned Phantoms, picking up speed as she rounded the corner and headed for the engine room.-
[17:24] <Eli> The icon of Augustine shone beneath her uniform, eye and teardrop visible even through her jacket. She found the engine room was already occupied - a squad of Phantoms and an Adept - but knowing helped that too.-
[17:24] <Eli> She knew she could beat them, and so she did.-
[17:24] <Eli> Her hands seemed to move of their own volition, dreamlike, but the motions were as practiced and deadly as they had ever been. The sigilite knives seemed to strike true wherever they went, finding a home in jaw and throat and chest; a whirlwind of death.-
[17:25] <Eli> Occasionally she would throw one of the knives knowing they would return to her, and so they did. Sometimes they bounced uncannily from surface to surface, slicing limbs and throats as they went, and sometimes they simply hurtled back to her hand as if magnetized.-
[17:25] <Eli> The Adept fell last, but when the time came she knew how to punch the sigilite blade through his field and into his throat.-
[17:26] <Eli> It was only when she came to herself that she realized the damage she had taken in turn. The gash across her stomach would've been enough, as would the shuriken rounds that had torn her left arm to ribbons, but she could only stare dumbly down at the sword the Adept had run straight through her chest with his last breath. Eli's legs folded from under her, dropping her to her knees.-
[17:26] <Eli> It was hard to breathe.-
[17:26] <Eli> But that was alright.-
[17:26] <Eli> Wheezing and bleeding, she managed to drag herself to the main command console. As she pulled herself up to reach the interface with one unsteady hand, she knew what to do.
[17:27] <@AdEvaGM> [ Glory to He who comes in the name of the Lord. ]

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