Orange Thread, Part 3 - Black v Gray

Riventon and Griselda have their first meeting. The wrong people at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Date: 2016-01-26
Pose Count: 25
Griselda 2016-01-26 03:09:22 24881
    It's a quiet night tonight, or at least it is now. Whatever fireworks might have happened elsewhere, beyond the notice of the thankfully oblivious nonmagical citizens of this city, the last few hours in this corner of downtown Mitakihara have been peaceful. To those watching this scene from above, soaring with the aid of either magic or too-similar technology, the only sound this late is the wind in one's ears as they drift over the late night skyline. Below, the last few cars carry home those salarimen either determined enough or compelled to work this late.

    Windy. It's definitely that too. It's not quite to the point of gusting, but it's certainly noticeable, both to those hapless passerbys clutching their belongings tight on the ground and, especially, those in the air above. Sudden microclimates, meteorologists have taken to calling it, theorized to be yet another unexpected result of climate change. Conspiracy theorists say it's not that at all, that it's the result of otherworldly powers seeping into our world. People will believe anything.
Takashi Agera 2016-01-26 03:21:13 24893
Riventon is still in the sky. Just because he got beaten back by the magical girls doesn't mean he didn't get important information he can call a success. But the fight took enough out of him that he is more logical, more rational, though the rage and anger and hate is still boiling just underneath. And in a way, that makes him more dangerous.

Something, though, pulls at him, at the edges of his mind as he soars. It's not Ayana or Still Night, both of what he's actually looking for, but an energy source. A new one. His Device confirms the waveform as unique. Unique means interesting. And interesting things always get his curiosity.

He flies, soaring above the night sky, despite the obvious damage to his barrier jacket. It's just one contact. Not six. He'll be alright... and just in case, he slams another set of cartridges onto his gauntlet...

And then he creates a large barrier, pulling the interesting energy signature and it's bearer into an alternate dimension. Cuttting off escape, and reinforcement.
Griselda 2016-01-26 03:47:58 24918
    Science. Science might have a lot to say about what's going on tonight.

    "The signature is human." Midchildian devices tended to be a little more concerned with study and have better sensors than those of Belka; it was usually that side of Axion that spoke in moments like this. A pause followed, one that was perhaps uncharacteristic of a device with numerous improvements to its analysis engine. That usually meant . . . "Signature is unknown." Perhaps not a surprise. Nexuses like modern Tokyo attract every sort of comer and goer. It's hard to count just how many sources of power seem to be flowing through this area these days. "Biometric scans indicate a female. Estimated age: twelve years." Even less of a surprise. Yet another magical girl. Maybe. "Power level unknown."

    Whoever she is and whatever she wants, the barrier seems to get her attention. Closer now, Axion gets a fix on her location and direction. She doesn't seem to be interested in a fight. That might be a good thing. If she's afraid, maybe she's too weak to fight, or maybe she can be "reasoned" with. Still out of sight, she cuts a straight line toward the barrier's outer edge. With her speed, she must be a flyer. She's fast too. Not quite Mach Fate, but close. She doesn't really think she's going to break through, though, does she? Another amateur?

    The girl stops at the edge of the barrier, apparently stopped cold. Caged. Takashi can't quite see her yet. She's too low to the ground, obscured still by the highrises which dot the area.

    Emotion, though? Emotion might have something else to say about tonight. In that moment of pause, with Takashi's quarry backed against the wall, the wind shifts. Above, the clouds pick up their pace almost imperceptibly as they begin to drift faster in tonight's overcast sky, a barely noticeable change from their usual lazy pace. Whether or not Takashi feels the uneasiness lingering in the air is questionable; this night is one of rage for him, and he just might not be able to see past it. Anyone else, though, might sense it. Tonight? Tonight is going to be a bad night.
Takashi Agera 2016-01-26 04:04:03 24932
Riventon drops to the ground. He's still overloaded, overflowing with black, vile energy, energy that tries to escape at the moment of contact with anything else. Blackess spreads to the ground momentarily with every step he takes - asphalt cracks and leaves behind circles of uneeven ground, exposed to the entropy of raw negative energy. Occasionally, black drops of energy fall from fingertips, from edges of a blueblack lab coat, from pointed hair, negative energy leaking out of him.

"You should come out, wheoever you are." Riventon says loud, green eyes glaring back and forth. He can't feel the uneasiness in the air - the turmoil of his heart is too loud on its own. "I'd much rather discuss things with you, but I am not in the mood for patience."
Griselda 2016-01-26 04:29:12 24956
    Does she feel it? She has to. No matter who she is and what level of experience she has, this much dark energy is palpable. An aura of dread hangs about Riventon now, drips down from him and seeps into the senses of anyone with any level of magical sensitivity. Does he know how it makes her feel? Is that even the sort of thing he thinks about? Maybe he doesn't need to put much thought into it; logic has its dictates. The assumption that he leaves fear in his wake, especially in his present state, is the sensible one. That would be the expected reaction. She's hiding, after all. As Riventon makes his way down the road toward the girl's last scanned location, passing by the faint images of those just outside the barrier, she's nowhere in sight.

    "What do you want to discuss?" The voice is young. It could be twelve, maybe younger, but definitely not older. Her tone is uncertain, apprehensive. It's far from terror, but the fear can be heard, lingering in the back of her throat, suppressed but still audible to those with an ear for it.

    Yes, she feels it.

    The visibility changes as he walks. It's subtle, and it could easily be a late night fog rolling into Tokyo from the bay. That happens often, especially during this season. An inquisitive mind might start to feel that all of this isn't quite coincidence, though; it's still the most likely answer, but that margin of likelihood is growing progressively slimmer. Maybe he already knows, though. Maybe Takashi can hear it with supercharged senses. "Mist Direct," whispered words of activation somewhere he can't place. Is she trying to cover her flight? Or maybe he can't, with dark blood rushing in his ears.

    "You don't look very friendly." There's a flicker in the corner of his eye, to his right, partially obscured by the ever-thickening fog: a shadow darting from behind one piece of cover to another, making its way down a side street, away from Takashi.
Takashi Agera 2016-01-26 04:58:27 24980
Riventon glares at the place where the voice came from - which is probably not where Griselda is anymore. "I'm only unfriendly if you don't do what I want. I can get very unfriendly, very quickly, that's true." He looks around as the mist rolls in.

"I am also not a fan of hide and seek." he says, thrusting out his gauntlet.

<COMMENCING AREA SEARCH> Axion calls out. Two little orbs escape from their holding bays on the bottom of the gauntlet, and after orbiting Riventon for a moment, go sailing into the mist. At little bursts of what seem like magical movement, they fire small black beams out, though they score no hits.

"Really, though. The fog isn't even a unique trick. The bigger thing you need to understand is that you can't leave. This world isn't even real. You and I - and nobody else - are in a Barrier, a world created by my device. Everything else is out of phase. The only way out of here is through me."

"So I'd like to talk about that strange form of magic you're using. It's unqiue as far as I've seen. The longer you wait to explain yourself, the more likely it is I'm just going to try to find you, beat it out of you, and then take it home with me. Clock is ticking, kid."
Griselda 2016-01-26 05:19:23 24993
    Riventon holds onto enough of himself in this moment to retain his tactical expertise. Or at the very least, to avoid acting rashly. Why wouldn't he? Things are calm, after all, for now. He has been controlling the situation so far. But even he can likely sense it now; the wind gusts faster now, even within the wind shadow of the skyscrapers around him. There's another flicker of motion to his left, shadows flitting between obstructions, into and out of sight for only the briefest moment. Is it real? Or is it merely the dark blood suffusing his mind playing tricks on him? Dark energy, after all, likely has its side effects.

    "I'm scared," the voice calls out. It sounds a little less genuine now, though. It's a lie, except it's not really. Takashi can still sense it, that faint sliver of fear somewhere, even if the girl won't admit it to herself, even if she thinks it's only a feint. Power is power, after all, and it's hard to spit in the face of it, no matter who you are or what you can do. That kind of bravery, perhaps, is reserved for those foolish people called heroes.

    Riventon's sensors grow progressively more occluded, the fog doing its work. But he knows what he's doing. He stands his ground. If her response to the pain of his seeker's rays don't reveal her location, the magical reaction of her shield against their attacks will. Absent that, he's at least wearing her down. He doesn't need to attack her directly yet. He just needs to force her hand. He just needs to wait for . . .

    "Grays! . . ." The first word is sharp, loud, sounding with an intensity that can only be magical. It's more confident too, the "feigned" hesitation absent now. There's no doubt now. A fight it is. But Riventon gets what he needs: warning. Axion's voice sounds clearly before she can finish, his seekers zipping past him over his shoulders to attack their now spotted foe. <CONTACT: REAR>

Takashi Agera 2016-01-26 05:34:35 24999
Riventon, as usual, is saved from a surprise attack by his device. One of the biggest advantages he gained from rebuilding Axion with newer parts is its faster automated reaction time. A Mid-Childan circle appears behind him, a Round Shield, and Griselda's attack breaks against it before Riventon is even fully aware of it. That shield buys him time to put up a second one behind it, and between the two, Riventon stands fast against the attack, though the first automatic shield shatters against it.

<SCHATTENSCHLAG> Riventon's device calls out as he retalliates, a massive bolt of black energy that erupts out of his gauntlet, surging at the area where he thinks Griselda was. The energy beam is utterly massive, and the shockwave clears away some of the fog. You don't have to be terribly exact when you can clear out areas. "Now you've gotten on my bad side." Riventon says.

Axion pings softly. <Estimated Threat: S class.> Riventon's body responds to this by tightening a bit. "Oh, for a girl with a small voice you're not playing around as much as you want me to think, are you."
Griselda 2016-01-26 06:09:19 25007
    Riventon catches sight of her as he turns about. Now that she's in sight, she doesn't quite look the part of the normal magical girl. Not beyond the superficial. Yes, she might be almost disarming at first glance, with a black, lacey dress of Gothic style that wouldn't be out of place on an Akihabara cosplayer and a weapon, a parasol no less, that doesn't exactly scream threat. But the look on her face lacks the usual softness and empathy that one sees in magical girls. It's not even the hard determination that mahou shoujo show in their darkest moments. No, this is something worse. What's missing on her face isn't compassion. What's missing is humanity. Wrong, maybe, is the right word. This isn't just self-serving evil or wicked selfishness or a hunger for power; this is something that seems palpably wrong.

    But she doesn't quite seem immune to emotion, whoever and whatever she is. Not to fear or shock certainly. She doesn't expect the shield, she doesn't expect her enemy to see it coming, and she doesn't expect the rapid counter. She's used to easier targets, maybe. The massive beam streaks toward her, and for a moment, her eyes go wide. Actual surprise. Fast reflexes launch her out of the way at a rapid speed, up into the air, where she stays. But that moment costs her. She catches the outer edge of the blast wave, her magical fog dissipating around her, the shockwave launching her even farther away. Not quite the defensive type.

    But not fragile either. She's damaged, but not significantly, and she recovers quickly enough, hovering higher. An airborne fighter. The look on her face, though, is still a little surprised. She's not used to this level of adversity. She might have trained reflexes and power, but she doesn't quite seem like a hardened, experienced fighter. But she's not hesitating, at least. Her parasol rises into the air, suddenly moving with superhuman speed and precision. Here her style of attack makes itself known. She's . . . drawing?

    Riventon can see them forming in the sky above the two of them, images of clouds rendered as charcoal art, surprisingly artistic and lifelike. And as her "spell" continues, those clouds begin to slowly morph from art into actual existence.
Takashi Agera 2016-02-09 11:49:27 27931
Riventon takes to the skies - another thing they have in common, is that at least in this henshin, he's a nimble aerial combatant in his own right, disdaining gravity as well as any other Mid-childan mage. "Well, you're not playing around, even though I wouldn't say you're dressed up for war." Not that the man in the black labcoat is, either. He's holding fast as she draws clouds in the air, eyes watching carefully, device recording just as carefully.

"So, do you have a name, or should I just call you parasol-san?" he asks, and small orbs of darkness begin to generate behind him, slowly growing, beating like black hearts and enlarging into crackling, beachball-sized orbs of negative energy. "I'm Riventon. Scientist." he adds, appending a title to his name as an afterthought.

He's trying to puzzle out where she might be from - where her powers come from. It's odd, he considers, how the idea of someone drawing charcoal clouds into reality doesn't even phase him anymore. He's seen a lot of crazy things recently.
Griselda 2016-02-09 12:08:38 27932
    There's a certain haughtiness that's starting to return to the girl's tone as she speaks. Is that complacency? Does she have an ace up her sleeve that will turn the battle in her favor? Or is she just used to playing the tough girl? It could be the latter. For every girl like her, there are handful lined up to oppose her. Whoever her usual opponents are, is she used to winning against them? "Griselda!" she calls out as she continues her "casting," the emphasis on her name almost making it sound like she thinks that's something to remember. "Pay very close attention to what's about to happen next, Scientist-san . . ." That kind of taunting seems a bit of a change from her usual tactics; maybe she's not really that clever.

    Above the combatants, the mundane weather starts to get more severe. The big storm that's coming hasn't yet made landfall, though. This is her work, presumably.

    "Drain . . ." A few rapid swipes of Griselda's parasol start to bring her drawn clouds into sharp definition, as the images receives their final detail work. "Cloud!" And then they fade into reality, thick gray clouds swirling above Riventon before a heavy rain starts to fall. This rain is more energy than water, though, gray and sinister, and it doesn't seem to care much for gravity, following instead the whims of Griselda and her parasol. The drops twist midair, streaking toward Riventon in a rapid barrage.
Takashi Agera 2016-02-09 12:21:29 27934
It's such an interesting attack though, that Riventon may not see it as an attack - or perhaps he does, but he chooses to try to experience it? It's why he doesn't put up a barrier against it - it's why he's laughing - for at least a moment - as the rain falls around him, falls on him. "The whole 'drawing in reality' thing is neat, but don't you think you should've drawn something a little bit more dangerous?" he asks, looking at her. And it's about when it hits - that familiar feeling of drain but different - after all, the streaks of color that are running off him and being replaced with monotone greyness is different than just a normal energy drain.

Riventon dashes backwards, trying to make sense of the feeling, and of the situation - and the fact that this grey girl is apparently attacking color itself, something Riventon understands as a factor of light, but not as a fundamental part of existence. The raindrops are chasing him rather than falling, and he raises his left hand - lab coat streaked with lines of grey where the color has been taken - and the orbs he generated earlier surge forward at Griselda.

"I don't know what you've done, but it's upsetting me!" he says. That's putting it mildly. There wasn't a lot of positive emotion within him to begin with, and now she's gone and pulled a lot of that out. Right now he's still trying to dodge the raindrops as they soar through the air, but there's a large part of him that seriously wants to pummel what looks to be for all intents and purposes a ten year old - not because she's in the way of an experiment, and not to test her, but just because he's extremly mad, the color drain on his positive emotions like rubbing salt in an open wound.
Griselda 2016-02-09 12:39:15 27935
    The visibility is dropping, slowly. It's the same magical mist as before, just less concealing both physically and magically, thinner now as it's raised above ground level and spread over a wider area. It doesn't do much for the moment, though. She's still in plain sight, at this range.

    "Mad, aren't you?" This style of communication? This seems to be her element, each mocking word rolling off her tongue. She's used to doing this. "It hurts, doesn't it?" Is she trying to piss him off? A hint of uncertainty creeps back into her voice with that second line, but it's more subtle now, and it would be easy enough for someone to miss that in Riventon's state of mind. Maybe she's not quite sure what's going to happen if he loses it.

    She lifts higher into the air, starting to drift now, though she stays below the skyline, keeping the skyscrapers of the area available as cover. And then she levels her parasol. No words this time, she simply fires a salvo of energy bolts. Gray energy streaks toward Riventon; these blasts are a little more "normal" in appearance, though they're still comprised of that peculiar energy she uses. But this time, at least if they connect, they might actually sting. And once the bolts are away, she simply watches intently, clearly trying to read Riventon's next move.
Takashi Agera 2016-02-09 12:46:06 27937
Riventon listens to her as the fog rolls in - perhaps listens to her a little too closely, perhaps out of character for him, the wound in his heart and soul a bit too fresh for him to avoid feeling it so keenly. Mad? He's furious. He's been percolating at mad for a few days ever since someone shattered the bond with his fox. The pain - the pain is still more emotional than physical even with that color drain, but now there's this obnoxious child mocking him?

There's a limit to what he can stand and that limit's a lot lower right now, between his own raw heart and the emotional effects of the color drain. But unlike most people she's fought, those negative emotions can be transformed into a sort of dark power by Riventon - when your body is half-monster, tapping into the dark power can be easier.

He surges at her suddenly - those blasts coming in at and around him, and some of them hit, making him grimace, as he surges towards her like a black comet, a dark deep obsidian black to the greys of her attack. And before he gets to her, he fades out - taking a trek into the Dusk Zone so he can leave out, trying to slam into her from another angle - gauntlet surging with that same deep, pure black power, a manifestation of his anger - at her, at the loss of his familiar, at everything he can bring to mind.

"You want to know about hurt? Pain?" he asks - more snarls than speaks in an almost feral tone - that gauntlet reaching out for her neck, but it'll settled for a hand, an arm, a wrist. Anywhere he can get to her, to start to channel his own black energy into her. He has no idea if they grey girl will be able to hold it - and if she can? There's still one of those beachball sized energy orbs trailing around, ready to slam into her back. If only he can grab hold...
Griselda 2016-02-09 13:00:35 27938
    Griselda's eyes follow him, unflinching, her gaze tracing his rapid movements. It shows again there. She's not quite an amateur; someone has taught her the techniques of fighting, at least on a basic level. But then he winks from existence as he shifts into the Dusk Zone, and in that instance, her face shows a moment of surprise and panic. No, she's definitely not battle hardened. If she's used to winning, she's either winning through power alone, or her enemies are even less combat experienced than her.

    She had a response planned, though, and instinct pushes her to continue with her plan. She breaks away, cutting a straight line to her side, trying to evade. This was her intent all along, it seems. She was trying to goad him into following her. Why? To draw him into a dogfight in the air? To play another card she hasn't shown yet?

    Whatever her plan was, she doesn't really have a counter for his sudden disappearance. She moves, yes, but it's already too late; he's already too close. She has the speed and acceleration, but this close, with her movement so predictable, he manages to grab hold. Her eyes go wide as she starts to turn, just in time to see her opponent materialize behind her.
Takashi Agera 2016-02-09 13:11:11 27940
Riventon reaches out and grabs for her wrist, gauntlet flaring with black energy, holding her fast, feeding that toxic energy directly into her - his eyes are flaring with anger at her little snarky remarks. "I'll teach you a lesson." he says as he does so. "Next time you'll shut your mouth when around your superiors!" he adds.

If she was a youma, or an emissary from the Dark Kingdom, that'd be one thing, but how the herald of the Gray Kingdom reacts to unfiltered Dark Energy may yet to be seen. But being so close to her, connected directly to her, his own defensive options are essentially non-existent - not that he seems to be concerned with defense, or anything more than hurting her.

"You don't even know what you're dealing with, do you? I'm not just some wandering youma!"
Griselda 2016-02-09 14:46:02 27945
    Griselda's face contorts, crying out in pain as the raw darkness seeps into her wrist. Whoever she is, there's apparently enough human in her for that to hurt. This probably wasn't part of her plan. How much damage she actually has taken is hard to tell, but it's definitely something.

    The gray girl instinctively tries to pull away, but she can't quite; she certainly has more strength than the average normal human, but it's not enough to shake Riventon loose. Melee might not be her thing. It takes her a few moments to find herself.

    Dark gray feathered wings flap once, a quick burst of thrust dragging Riventon along with her. And while he's caught in that moment of suddenly shifted momentum, Griselda's parasol comes slicing toward Riventon's head. Even without him defending, it doesn't do much damage. It doesn't seem to be a melee weapon. But damage might not have been the goal. She waits until she connects, for that moment of distraction, before suddenly tumbling midair and then stopping, using their shared momentum to dislodge Riventon where her raw strength couldn't, trying to send him flying toward a nearby building.

    And then she's away. So much for the confidence and taunts; now it seems she's running. But she leaves a parting gift. She looks back as she cuts a straight line away from Riventon, waving her parasol. Another attack? "Gris . . . " Around her, charcoal drawings of baseball-sized chunks of ice start to form. "Haille!" Grisaille? Riventon has probably studied enough to catch that as yet another art term.

    The one hurts. More than any of the previous attacks she's used, this one seems intended to deal raw damage across a wide area. Whether or not it hits is another matter; it's also a fair bit slower. That doesn't help the buildings, though. She's desperate enough to inflict a bit of collateral damage now, the hail chunks easily tearing through the reinforced glass of the building Riventon was thrown toward.

    And then she's gone, zipping around another nearby skyscraper. Not one for a direct fight, it seems. She seems to know this terrain, and she's willing to use it to her advantage. Was her attack just a diversion to get away? Whatever the case, that dark energy did a number on her. She's slower now.
Takashi Agera 2016-02-09 15:02:51 27947
Riventon was not expecting to get clocked by a parasol today. It's another thing in the long list of things he wasn't prepared for in this fight. Like the way she twists and and tumbles and dislodges him with the combined shock of the way she's moving and the surprise of being whacked by the parasol lets her launch him into a nearby window - which he doesn't break, but he does crack, before turning around. Hard to admit it, but she might be more agile in the air than he is.

The hailstorm has already started, though, and he 'donated' a fair amount of his own energy into that attack - plus, he didn't come into this fight at full strength anyways. And dumping that energy into her, into his attack has also, perhaps paradoxically, cleared his mind.

A Round Shield comes up as a massive lance of hail shatters against it just in time. Griselda has power, too. That power still holds his interest, and with the continued shielding against those massive hail shocks, he's zipping around between the buildings.

This is, after all, near his own home turf - his town, his school, his job - and it's where he spends a lot of time flying. He's zipping through the skyscrapers, on a course to intercept Griselda. And when he does, he shouts at her. "I didn't give you permission to leave. You're still being rude."
Griselda 2016-02-09 15:26:13 27949
    The weather worsens. Beyond the barrier, it's a downpour now in downtown, growing in intensity as the gray girl is pushed harder in this fight. And within it, the elements seem to have turned against Riventon. As he gives chase amidst the driving rain, volleys of hail continue to wind their way toward him. But Griselda's aim is far from perfect while she's zipping through the air, and between Riventon's dodging and shielding, her attacks do little more than allow her to keep her distance. It buys her time and little more.

    But slowly, the gap between them starts to narrow. This kind of evasion is a losing strategy.

    She's slowed now by her battle damage, and her only real edge is agility; she seems to try to leverage that. She dives, dropping lower, to about forty feet. It's not just skyscrapers anymore. Now the two of them are winding between mid-rise residential buildings and shopping malls: Axion's thrusters versus the gray girl's wings. The terrain is a lot more cluttered; is she trying to lose him by outmaneuvering him? Maybe. She pitches hard right, cutting a near right angle into a narrow alley to her side. She probably lost a lot of speed turning that hard, though. This might actually make it easier for him to catch her.

    As Riventon rounds the corner to follow, though, he finds Griselda no longer moving, instead hovering there directly ahead of him. Forming around her, he recognizes what she's rapidly drawing, a line art depiction of wind. A trap? "Grays . . . " She only had a split second, though. How much damage is she going to get out of this rushed of an attack? "Gale!"

    None, it seems. The attack doesn't carry much magic with it. It's just wind this time, all of the attack's energy poured into a gust that sends Riventon flying back out of the alley, across the street, and into a building. What was the point of that?
Takashi Agera 2016-02-09 15:48:49 27951
Riventon is really chasing her now, actively trying to hunt her as the smaller, agile girl zips through the streets, moving high and low. He's firing small little thin beams at her, too - the light show from both of them is more about trying to control the movement of the other person than anything. He's closing on her as he rounds that corner - she probably can't hold herself together after another attack, he figures, so all he has to do is close back to melee range.

She's gotten a little bit further out than he was expecting, so instead of grabbing her, all he gets is a facefull of wind - that powerful gale shunting him backwards instantly, even though he tries to fly against it, and he makes some forward progress before it's wrested away from him, flying backwards even as he tries to push against it. And then he's slammed into the wall pretty hard, which elicits a groan.

"You're gonna be one of those little kids in the commercials with the sad music about how only a few yen a day could help this disabled girl." he manages to shout against the wind as he tries to break free from the wind.
Griselda 2016-02-09 16:22:12 27953
    Along the wall Riventon finds himself thrown against, though, dark humanoid forms snake and gather. He saw one of these before, when the fight was just starting. Maybe he thought it was a trick of the light then. Now, though, they can be made out clearly: human-shaped masses of colorless gray that flow along solid objects. It's a few at first, then a dozen, then two dozen. They wind toward him impossibly fast, and then they're under him, around him, animating the nearby rubble, pinning his arms and legs, holding him firmly in place. He can sense the draining wrongness as they bind him.

    Griselda hovers closer and lifts her parasol. She mouths something wordlessly, her face partially obscured by black hair blowing in the gusting wind, "Goodbye, scientist-kun."

    And then Riventon starts to notice it: his hair standing on end. Above him, in the thick gray soup of stormclouds that now blankets downtown Mitakihara, arcs of electricity circulate on the bottoms of clouds. Was this all deliberate? Using the enclosed space of the barrier to build up charge while stalling until her minions showed up? She's not stupid, it seems.

    Her parasol starts to drift and swirl. Riventon can't quite see what she's drawing, though, if anything, at least until those drawings starts to snake down through the cloud cover. Multiple arcs of lightning cut a jagged path downward, all of them leading to one spot: to him.

    A palpable aura of energy starts to fill the air, and it's not a pleasant feeling. This isn't a purification attack. It doesn't feel gentle or warm; healing is likely not a goal for the gray girl hovering in the air before Riventon. No, the more of that power she channels, the more the look on Griselda's face makes her intentions clear. She doesn't really care what happens to him. This strike is intended to end this, maybe even to end him too. Is she capable of that?

    And then she starts to speak, the attack finally coming into focus. Around Riventon, the air crackles and the smell of ozone fills his nose. "Achroma- . . . " He's still bound. He probably doesn't want to take the attack. And if it's really lightning, it's doubtful he could dodge it once it's done casting. But Griselda isn't done yet; this attack is slow to build, and he has time left. It might only be a second or two more, but with enough adrenaline, one can think of a lot to do in a very short timespan.
Takashi Agera 2016-02-09 19:24:54 27956
Riventon tries to fight against the shades - they remind him, in small ways, of the creatures he created as a kid, of the youma he spawns solo now. But these aren't, they're creatures of null color, creatures hostile to him.

And then he's cognisant enough as he fights off the shades - a fight he could probably win if he wasn't so much drained from this fight right after the last fight - aware enough to know Griselda is channeling power, channeling it for an attack. There's a number of ways out of this, and it's deciding the way to react that might mean the difference between victory and defeat. Or perhaps worse.

Riventon shouts out, putting up a row of magic circles. But these aren't spheres - they're not solid, they're focusing circles, each like a lens. "You think you can beat me, little girl?!" he shouts, and there's a shudder as the world tries to handle the two of them charging power, Hiroko's energy and Riventon's black power.


Riventon tries to meet Hiroko's blast with a surging bolt of black energy of his own - the strongest attack he can muster in his current state, a beam of black energy that's somehow so dark it hurts to look at, a strange dark brightness that causes ill effects on those around. He's going to meet Hiroko's force with force of his own - like most things in combat, he's going to fight to overpower her with raw strength now - emotional strength, energy strength, the beam focused by those strange magical lenses into a terrifying thing.
Griselda 2016-02-09 20:46:56 27957
    As Riventon focuses his attack, Griselda completes her creation. "Achroman . . ." She lifts her parasol high, pointing it at the surging thunderheads above them. "Candle!" And then her parasol slices downward, jagged arcs of lightning moving in unison, downward from the clouds toward Riventon. A bright flash of light illuminates the rainy night, just in time to highlight the beam of pitch black darkness streaking toward the gray girl. A defeaning thunderclap reverberates through the air.

    Griselda hits first. A bolt of summoned lightning intersects with Riventon's restrained form. It's perhaps not the raw electricity he might have been expecting, though. Instead, it's a surge of of gray energy that tears through him, and a split second later, that energy explodes outward from his body, carrying his color away in what almost seems like a brilliant fireworks display. It's not a pleasant process, though, as pretty as it might be. It's color that it takes, but with that color, much more is lost. Ambition, hope, love, even some types of anger, and all the other feelings that make a person feel vital and alive and whole: that's their color, and that's what's taken. It's usually a process that leaves one facing exhaustion and emptiness, though it's hard to say how Riventon might react to what he just endured. This particular attack is particularly hungry, after all, and this strike is less the subtle draining he felt earlier and more a painful feeling of something being ripped out of him.

    But she's not done. Another bolt streaks toward him. How many did she summon? How many more are to come? He probably counted at least four. She really did want to end this, it seems, consequences be damned. It's perhaps fortunate for him that the others don't connect.

    Before her follow-up strikes can land, that black bolt finds Griselda. She holds her parasol steady in the attack's path, the beam splitting around her to her left and right, the gray girl trying to maintain a defense while sustaining her attack. She can't manage it for more than a few seconds, though. Whether it's inexperience or simply her reaching her limit, she can't control that much magical power at once.

    Her defense fails first. The delicate lace and wire arms of her parasol crumple as the massive beam converges on her again and then overtakes her completely. For a second, she's lost in that void, a brief scream of both pain and surprise heard before she's drowned out by the energy of the attack. When it subsides, Griselda's falling from the sky, the lace of her dress singed in places, a few burning feathers catching the gusting wind and floating off into the storm above.

    Her magic fractures absent her control. Those streaks of lightning turn away from Riventon and run wild. One slams into a nearby skyscraper, blowing out three stories of glass and chunks of reinforced concrete. Another strikes a tall oak down the street, the tree's sap instantly superheating and exploding outward with bark shrapnel flying in every direction. Two more fork and rake across the street, frying power lines and popping open a fire hydrant, water gushing a few stories into the air.

    It's almost a dead drop for Griselda. The gray girl falls a good thirty feet before hitting the wet pavement with a faint, almost underwhelming thud. This fight is apparently over.
Takashi Agera 2016-02-09 21:47:17 27958
Well, the good news is, he didn't take the full force of Griselda's attack directly. The bad news is - even the little bit that hit successfully is a vicious and brutal thing. The thunderclap brings soundwaves that rock through his body - but the bolt it heralds is not one that attacks the body with electricity but the spirit with drain.

And then tears peices of color, of emotion out of him. That process is less than joyful. And Riventon, lately, has had more than enough bits of himself forcibly removed, thank-you-very-much.

At least, he thinks, a cloud of dull feelings overlain on his personality like a smothering blanket, he didn't have to suffer the effects of the rest, and he can hear Griselda's shout as she gets an attack back in reply. Not how he planned it, but it saved him from the worst as the other bolts go streaking by. It's a miracle how he's still on his feet - able to pull away from the henchman shades, hit the ground, and stagger around, despite looking worse than just pale.

He is still moving towards her though - even if he can't get himself together enough to fight, his curiosity somehow, even after all of that color drain, is keeping him moving forward. Even as the barrier begins to fade away.
Griselda 2016-02-09 22:51:13 27960
    There's perhaps a disquieting lack of response from Griselda as Riventon approaches. Did he really hit her that hard? Is she unconscious? Worse? The one sign of life from her, perhaps, is that the storm still swirls above them. But even with the rain, the night seems oddly peaceful now, with the battle over and the barrier beginning to crumble, the signs of their struggle disappearing around them.

    Riventon has closed about half of the distance between them when Griselda finally moves. Gloved fingers curl briefly, then hands press against the hard ground below. She pushes herself up, slowly and only with considerable effort. She's not doing so well, judging by the exhausted, worn-down look on her face. Whatever aura of threat she might have had before, Riventon can barely sense any energy left in her now. However much energy remained after his attack, she seems to have burned it off in her final strike gone awry.

    Griselda doesn't even seem to notice Riventon's approach. She seems preoccupied or maybe just dazed after taking that hit. She struggles to her feet, the silver point of her parasol audibly dragging along the ground as she rises. Something looks wrong with her; just desserts, maybe. Her free hand rises, fingers curling around the gray crystal which hangs on her neck.

    Griselda finally hears Riventon's footsteps. She turns to look at him, and for a brief moment, the expression on her face is almost normal, like any other mundane girl. She looks a little younger now, maybe closer to her true age. In that moment, they have something in common, even if that something is both of them being robbed of their masks by being beaten down to the point of patheticness. But that moment is interrupted by a strange sound: a faint cracking sound, barely audible, like fractures slowly spreading through a window. Energy starts to surge inside Griselda again, rising rapidly, almost seeming to come from nowhere. That power is palpable, not only to Axion but probably to Riventon himself as someone with magical sensitivity. It doesn't look like she's enjoying the process, though, or even benefitting from it. It's something ugly and unfriendly, even to her.

    Griselda's grip tightens around her crystal, the lace around her neck bunching in her hand. She doubles over in pain. A few moments pass like that. When her face again rises, she still looks exhausted, but her expression has changed to one of wary defensiveness. No trust for Riventon, certainly. Up above the two of them, the barrier finally starts to collapse entirely, and Griselda doesn't seem to have any intent to stick around and talk. One of her wings looks a little damaged, but she manages to get herself into the air nonetheless after a few troubled beats. And then she's gone.