The Trial Of The Century [First Story Event]

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Post by Best Girl on Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:04 pm

"Viola." The woman didn't stop Avery from fumbling on his words, just answering his question on her name by repeating herself. She was more focused on the purple-suit gent approaching the trio, likely to inform her that a seat had been safely secured. Though, her attention was pulled back in by the notion of a photo. Govanni and the boys would always yank her into pictures for no reason other than the feeling of togetherness and watching it captured. For the Vertueux family, their bond was important to frame. For two strangers? It... wasn't exactly the most appealing thought. Face scrunching into a bit of a perplexed frown, Avery earnestly called for it and had already zipped into place. Gabrio had joined in too, giving an enthusiastic response to the sudden request.

It was hard to turn down, mainly because they had mostly got into place without her consent. "... Hmph." Viola scoffed, letting her expression soften with a small smile and leaning in close enough to get into the shot.

The escort patiently waited for the picture to be taken, unwilling to interrupt but one couldn't tell if it was out of politeness or not given the stern look on his face. Eyes cloaked by the shade found under his violet hat, lips held shut to present the composed image of solid aloofness. After estimating that the photo had been taken, he finally got within range to address the gangster lady. "Viola, we're ready." His tone was gruff, yet calm to not come off as a threat to the two civilians.

"Ah, alright." The amazon broke formation, turning her back to her new acquaintances while looking over her shoulder. "You two watch yourselves. Though I rationalized that it'd be difficult for our phantom thief to escape, this man is unique and anything can happen." A warning, letting an apprehensiveness seep from her tongue - her own concern and doubt in the logic presented. After the photo, Viola's smile faded as the air of stoicism returned. With that, the duo departed into the curious and bustling herd surrounding the courthouse to make their way inside. It only took a few moments for the clapping of heels to blend in with the chaotic activity of those around. From there, she would be forced to stand in a free space in the hall of justice - despite being promised a seat - and witness the verdict.
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Post by Doggo on Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:42 am

"Eighteen..." the cat trailed off at the girl's response to his questions. "What a shame. The world's soon to ruin you if it hasn't already. Make you into another one of its legion of obtuse adults." Ténèbres continued which twinges of resentment to his voice. The cat had never met an adult human he much liked. Not that this wasn't a biased view based on his first experience with them. Still, Josette as she named herself wasn't so far gone into the realm of adulthood that Ténèbres couldn't like her for the moment. Maybe he could even help her not get so awful for a while longer than most humans her age. If he felt like lecturing anyway. How invested he was in a human he'd just met remained to be seen.

"You might be surprised to learn," the feline started in regards to Josettes other questions about him "That the language of cats doesn't really accommodate or call for specific words or labels for things". Ténèbres' tone was clearly patronizing for this first statement but it became more sincere as he carried on. "Yet, there was a time when I was given a name and I've grown somewhat attached to it since. I go by Ténèbres." he said as he turned to Josette for the introduction and lowered his head as if he were a gentleman bowing to a lady.

"As for my plan. I simply need a place to watch. If the Fantôme is found guilty as he ought to be then I'll need not take any action today. Should you humans prove incapable of serving justice then that task falls to me." the cat explained in answer to the girl's final question. There was a clear anger building up in him as he spoke. It was less in his tone and much more in the way his body was tensing up at the thoughts going through his head. While he had not spoken to why, it was clear the result of the trial was important to him. As luck would have it they were approaching one of the several entrances to the room the trial was taking place in. Someone had just opened the door to enter and  the cat quickly jumped into Josette's shadow, utterly disappearing in the process. Though if Josette turned herself about she'd see the same bright green eyes staring out despite the cat's form having vanished away.

"Your turn to lead Josette. Go find yourself a seat or some place to stand. I'll be right by you all the while." came Ténèbres' voice.
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Post by Lily on Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:35 am

Josette snickered, "Legion of obtuse adults, is it?" Josette repeated, "No, I have no intention of joining something like that," she assured the cat. After all, Josette thought, she had never been a part of society before, and society definitely did not want her to be a part of it. So she simply decided she'd remain as she was, whether she was six, eighteen, or forty. Still, Josette wasn't entirely sure she disagreed with Ténèbres. Most of the adults in her life had been of little help to her, most often being police officers getting in her way, merchants chasing her off, or random passersby who didn't give a damn about a teenage girl with no home. No, she found much more luck with people she could relate to. Other street rats. Or stray cats, for that matter. So Josette thought she understood where her feline companion was coming from.

After Ténèbres introduced himself, Josette smirked, "You know," she said, "the language of cats may not be ideal for names, but then, you're not speaking the language of cats right now, are you?" Josette still wasn't entirely certain if Ténèbres was actually speaking French, or if she was simply able to understand his meows as if he were, but based on the way he spoke, and his ability to communicate his name, she was willing to take a gamble. That name, though. 'Ténèbres, really? How edgy.' Perhaps a fitting name for one with fur so dark, but it seemed just a tad on the nose to Josette.

Ténèbres' plan caught Josette somewhat off guard. His anger was something she hadn't been expecting, especially from a cat. Had this so-called Fantôme done something to hurt him? Killed a loved one, perhaps? Another cat? A human he knew? He had a collar, which implied he belonged to a family, but no owner in sight. Josette couldn't say which was true, but she thought it'd be impolite to pry. Still, the cat's conviction was clear. While she normally may have doubted a simple cat's ability to kill someone, especially a known serial killer, Ténèbres was no ordinary cat. If his friend was anything like Back In Black, he would be more than capable of ending a human's life. And that was no issue for Josette. If this Fantôme truly had killed so many people, who was Josette to judge if someone decided to take his life in retaliation. The law had never been her greatest concern. So, as the cat melded into her shadow, Josette decided she had no reason not to help, and entered the courtroom. It was very crowded, but a lifetime of slipping through busy crowds without being seen helped Josette easily maneuver through, and find a vantage point from which to watch the trial unfold.

-----------------------------------------------

Hundreds of meters away, on the balcony of an extravagant villa, a much smaller crowd had gathered.

"432.35 meters... 34 degrees, south-southwest. That's the last of them."

"How many does that make? Five?"

"Six, counting the newcomer."

"It's almost time then, yes?"

"Any minute now. Are you ready?"

"Aye, ready."

In the courthouse or Clairmaix, the trial of the mysterious Fantôme was finally coming to a close. All arguments had been made, and it seemed the court had long since made up its mind. The judge silenced the court, and began to speak, "A verdict has been reached. On the charges of grand larceny and multiple accounts of first-degree murder, the court of Clairmaix hereby finds the defendant, Soren Lebeau-"

Before the judge could finish his sentence, the red-haired man sitting at the defendant's desk suddenly spoke, for the first time since the trial began, "Ah, Monsieur le Président? I fear I must interrupt you there. You see, you can not hand down your verdict just yet."

The judge raised an eyebrow, then shook his head, "No, I believe I very well can. This is my court, and I can do as I please. If you interrupt me once more, you will be restrained. You won't receive another warning."

"No, no!" the defendant interrupted once more, "I believe you have misunderstood me!" The man suddenly stood up, causing all those nearby to jump in surprise. The bailiff quickly recovered and started to rush the man, but the man continued, undaunted, "For you see, you can not declare a verdict without a defendant!"

"Showtime."

The doors to the courtroom suddenly swung open, and a massive cloud of pink smoke rushed in like a storm. Seemingly oblivious to the smoke, the audience paid no attention, still fixated on the man's dramatic performance. In an instant however, the smoke had filled the room, and one by one, everyone in the court fell to the ground, asleep. As the bailiff attempted to tackle the red-haired defendant, the man's body suddenly turned into a thick blue slime in his grasp, and fell to the ground in a puddle, leaving the bailiff empty handed, a moment before he fell like the rest.

"Gah!" Josette shouted as she buried her mouth and nose into her elbow. It seemed that, unlike most of the people in the room, she had actually noticed the smoke approaching, and tried to protect herself from it. Already however, she could start to feel herself becoming drowsy. 'What is that smell? Fruit...? It's like some kind of perfume,' she noted of the weird pink smoke. "Back In Black!" she shouted, and once more the black-and-white figure appeared before her, swinging its cape in a large circle around her, swallowing the smoke into its void, leaving a hole of clean air in the otherwise impenetrable barrier of smoke. Josette looked behind herself suddenly, "Ténèbres, are you okay?" she asked her feline companion. If this smoke had put him to sleep like it had the others, she would have to work extra hard to protect him. She wouldn't have too much time to begin thinking about that, however. In the now clear air, Josette noticed that her pocket-watch shining brightly within her pocket. She didn't even have time to say "What the-?" before another voice pierced the smoke.

"It's so lovely to finally meet you," said the voice, and from within the smoke reappeared the figure of the red-haired man. From another location, the same voice spoke, "What a fascinating Stand you have. Would you like to test it against a real opponent?" Another man, identical to the first, appeared from the smoke alongside the first.

"Stand? What are you talking about?" Josette demanded, as yet more copies of the man appeared all around her, emerging from the smoke into her safe-zone, "And what the Hell is going on here?" It was as if the man had cloned himself. Did he have some sort of supernatural ability too? What were the odds of that? As one of the men approached her, Josette willed Back In Black to rush forward. "NONONONONONONO-NOIR!" the spirit cried as it unleashed a flurry of punches on the man. With each blow, the man's body caved, before deteriorating into a pile of blue slime, just as it had before. This was getting too weird. But at least it seemed the individual men wouldn't be too much of a threat. As half a dozen of these slime-creatures rushed Josette, she readied herself and Back In Black to fight back, and protect Ténèbres if need be.

Josette was not alone in her situation however. Also in the courtroom was a barely-dressed woman, armed with an ornate pistol that shined just as Josette's pocket-watch. Just as Josette, a series of these slime-creatures identical to the defendant approached her, attempting to cut her off. "You must be quite strong to resist this smoke," said one. "But is your strength your own, or the strength of a group?" asked another. "How will you fare when you are outnumbered?" asked a third, as the multitude of men closed in to attack Viola in a mob.

Elsewhere in the courtroom, Titus Foil, the pendant around his neck shining brightly, found himself similarly surrounded by these seeming clones. "What a beautiful piece of jewelry," one clone said as it ran in to throw a punch at the man. Another rushed him from behind, "But what I'm truly interested in..." he trailed off, only for a third to come in, jumping him from the side and add, "Is that Stand of yours!" Wasting no time, three more copies of the man ran to mob Titus from his other side.

------------------------------

Meanwhile, outside the courthouse, the situation was no better. Soon after the Fantôme's grand claim and then disappearance, a similar pink cloud rushed to fill in the space around the courthouse, and just as before, the people began to fall to the ground, fast asleep, one by one. The white-haired boy, Gabrio, may have had time to take notice of this smoke and react, but before the smoke even came close to reaching him, a much more pressing matter ran across his eyes. From out of the blue, an arrow with a strange golden head flew through the sky, and in a single instant, ran through the chest of Avery, standing next to him, and pierced his heart. Just as in the courtroom, multiple identical men approached Gabrio and the now-injured Avery, "Fancy that," said one, "not one I would have expected the arrow to choose." Another chimed in, "Will he survive, and become a chosen one? Or will he perish like the rest? Did the arrow choose wisely, or was it mistaken?" A third grinned menacingly at Gabrio, "And you. Will you be around long enough to find out?" The group of slime-clones rushed the young boy, seemingly fully ready to beat the young child senseless.
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Post by Tomiix on Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:39 am

The trial was long and arduous, and rather boring. Titus was not an active participant, however watching a trial in which the defendant never defends themselves is, in the end, a long farce. It seemed the defendant knew he had no recourse, and was willing to let the trial continue instead of wasting his energy. Titus's mind wandered, as the bow and arrow were presented as evidence. Leaving here with them would prove to be quite the problem. He considered his options, and decided it was probably best to wait until after the trial. Using speedwagon resources to simply make them disappear through clerical error would be a lot simpler than just outright stealing them. He would just need to make sure no one else tried to make a move on them in the meantime.

The trial was coming to a close, and the judge began to give his judgment, when the silent man stood and began to interrupt. Would the phantom, now revealed to be named Soren really make him go through the entire trial to attempt his escape? Titus stiffened up and muttered to himself. "The squire Muse... fetch me my guns." Mere moments afterwards, and as quick as lightning Titus's bare holsters that made it past the metal detectors now had experimental but deadly high capacity magnum pistols fed to them by small metal gauntlets. Titus's hands relaxed down to his sidearms as he waited.

Titus waited for the moment, and it came when Soren announced his intent to escape. Titus began to approach the prosecutors bench, to attempt to help secure the man when suddenly the doors slammed open, and smoke poured in. This entire courtroom was one big setup, and who knows how many people were compromised to allow such a coordinated chemical attack. People started dropping like flies, and Titus had to think quickly.

"Squire Muse! Fetch me a gasmask!" In that moment another armored gauntlet, similar to the one who provided his pistols, had a gasmask in hand. Titus quickly strapped it on and breathed in clean air. Protecting himself from the immediate danger, Titus turns back to the defendants bench. It seems the bailiff tackled Soren only to find that he disappeared. A moment of anguish was replaced with a moment of confusion, as suddenly before Titus could regain his bearings Soren appeared in front of him, and all around him! 'I was compromised?' 'He knows about my stand?' Questions flurried in Foil's mind but he had to set them aside to deal with the immediate threat.

"Unlike your other victims, I am not defenseless. Knight of Cydonia!" With the cry for aid from a different stand, it appears around Titus. A tall hulking body clad in heavy armor, with a heroic crown like helmet and flowing cape, with a massive greatsword on his back, bigger and heavier looking than looks practical to fight with for a man. A metalic, echoing voice speaks. "Your unparalleled greed will be your undoing, evildoer." Titus in a fluid motion, as he called for his stand drew up his two pistols, and beared down on the Soren in front and to the side of him. Firing at them center mass with the stopping power of his magnum ammunition. Knight of Cydonia kept a defensive posture around Titus, it's body overtaking his as if he wore the armor himself. As long as it stayed there, these clones shouldn't be able to harm Titus. With one hand and one motion Knight draws it's greatsword and swings in a cleaving motion at the three clones on Titus's other flank. While using it's other arm to block and create distance from the last clone.
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Post by CM_Renji on Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:47 am

Gabrio bid farewell to Viola, who headed inside to watch the proceedings. A few minutes passed… until...

“What the…? What is that?” Waves of pink vapor started pouring out from the courthouse and onto the streets. Gabrio watched in disbelief as people started falling to the ground. Before he could even begin to grasp what was happening, a golden arrow shot straight through the chest of Avery. There was no doubt in his mind that it had pierced the young man straight in the heart.

“A-Avery!” He screamed in agony before turning to see another horrific sight. A small group of identical looking red-haired men shuffled menacingly towards the two of them and spoke in a most sinister manner. This all couldn’t be happening. This must be a nightmare, Gabrio thought. The boys legs quivered as the clones approached with bloodlust in their eyes. He turned back to Avery, who was in desperate need of help. The boy took a step back towards Avery as the clones came nearer.

The boy thought to himself. “I have to help him! We have to help him!” His body shook like a leaf in the wind, it was clear that he was possessed by fear, but he couldn’t run. A fiery red aura sparked to life as it engulfed Gabrio’s entire body.

JUDAS PRIEST!

Appearing out of the thin air was a truly horrifying sight. A demon with crimson skin and black fur emerged behind Gabrio. He donned a strange mask on his face and large horns on his head. It's as if the devil itself had revealed itself to man. The demon glowed with an aura as well, one slightly darker than Gabrio’s. The being, this thing, had no fear in its eyes. It simply had a goal.

Gabrio shouted out. “Avery, I swear that you’re gonna be okay!” The being known as Judas Priest turned its back to Gabrio and held Avery upright. With a swift YANK it removed the arrow, and just as swiftly it plunged its hand directly into Avery’s chest. Its eyes glowed bright yellow and the veins in its arms began to swell and pump blood into the young man. The blood not only replaced the blood that Avery had lost, but also effectively rebuilt his heart as well. There would be pain, but after his miracle restoration was complete, Avery should feel as good as new and without pain.

“This is going to take a minute…” Judas Priest was entirely preoccupied in its mission of healing Avery, leaving Gabrio to defend himself. The boy raised his fists as the group of villainous scoundrels had finally closed in. Not only that, but the pink mist was heading towards the two as well. This didn't look good.
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Post by Best Girl on Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:51 am

Unfortunately, Viola had missed most of the trial when she was interested in the arguments connecting the phantom thief to the series of murders. Though, she did hear a summary of how they were discovered on his person after the strings of crimes started, which spoke volumes. The Vertueux family members in the courtroom were not here to judge a man based on reports, news, and the like. Instead, they had come to watch personally to gauge the man himself in the defendant's seat. Now, that curiosity has been mostly sated with the bow and arrows in question being used as evidence, but not the inquiries they saved for the redhead who said nothing during the proceedings. Viola stood next to the escort from before and another woman in a darker, violet dress - others of their ranks in distanced, varying seating. Some of them had joined the occasional bouts of talkative activity in pauses of debates, but not the blonde. She was one of the few who stared and stared at the man behind everything...

... and could only find more questions. He seemed bored, his gaze unfocused on the trial and more into space with just enough attention to be ready for any important calls. While one could think of it as something up his sleeve, it could be that he's already conceded to fate and is just waiting for a verdict.

The squad stationed here specialized in cleaning scum from the streets, yet not indiscriminately. They did thorough research on anyone and everyone who would be selected as targets. Fantôme de Pomme was no exception and his arrest did not concern them more than who he really was as a man behind a mask of criminal grandeur. Viola's scowl grew ever so slightly as everything progressed with absolutely no input and she couldn't find a single tell to his character in-depth.

Then, he decided to answer her questions in a way not unexpected, but still jarring.

Fantôme de Pomme rose from his seat, declaring that a verdict could not be reached despite the overwhelming disadvantage. In fact, the villain claimed the reason was because there was no defendant! Viola, like others, was fixated on the spectacle but the courtroom doors flying open did not go unnoticed. What did go undetected, however, was a surge of pink miasma flooding into the building. As civilians began dropping to the ground, the Vertueux members had realized the smoke at the same time... and it was too late since they were falling as well. Viola's own bodyguards advised she escaped while they tried to not inhale the tainted air, only to fail as the assassin even caught one of her fellows. "What the-?!" It was no good, her ally was unconscious and she lost sight of the man of the hour in the growing haze. Thankfully, sheer force of will kept herself in action as she gently rested the other mafia member on the ground.

Chaos swallowed the vicinity, hearing short-lived panic from any of those who saw the mist before being enveloped into the darkness of sleep. Viola's mind raced quickly, clenching her teeth with choked and scarce breathing as she stared at the floor. If he wanted to kill everyone, then this isn't exactly the way to go about it, I'd hope! Okay, justify he won't slaughter the people in the area. That gave her freedom to leave her fellow and rise to a standing position, quickly arming herself with her position before beginning to move. Although, that hasty motion to flee was interrupted by the voice of the phantom thief. In fact, the same voice spoke again immediately after without pause, which was explained by the sight of... multiples of him?

"What in blazes-" They intentionally outnumbered her from their words, trying to pick at the woman as protectors were incapacitated. Viola, in her fast-thinking and incredible bravery went undaunted and evaded quickly - dodging the sudden assault as her hand made contact with a courtroom bench.

There, a weapon! The gangster quickly jumped backward, putting some distance but keeping the seat in sight. Her deep voice resounded, carrying purpose and power. "Avantasia!" A sound akin to glass breaking was heard, and an ethereal gale was conjured behind her mid-leap. In it, a purple aura blazed and an armored specter materialized, coated in silver metal and dark red coloring with fur-collars and cuffs. It was dressed almost humanly, outfitted with a jeweled chest plate, leather pants, and a long, flowing coat. This mortal-design similarly ended at its head, shapely oddly and armored as well, having a gleaming light burn to life. Viola leaned onto her Stand, arms stretched outward as if falling back to be caught by the ghostly bodyguard. At the Stand Master's call, its hand rose as the final piece of its appearance formed: a large, metallic ring that arrived alongside the sound of a tuning fork. That hand carried a ghostly fire, directed toward the bench that now seated no one. Within an instant, the air about it shifted violently and it was forcibly sent careening at the gathering of clones. For good measure, a second one was blasted forth as the woman landed. The amazonian alien hissing akin to a wild animal warning others to stay away.

Viola's pistol was loaded, on guard and alert. Her mind fought against the smoke, but didn't know how long that would last. Need to make a break for it when it's clear... I need to call Govanni! Though, she heard faint murmurs of the phantom thief's voice in the distance... Was someone else in the courtroom in the same situation? If he can duplicate himself, it's not all that shocking, but... Who else was awake? Could they defend themselves? Cautiously scanning the room through the fog, having a comrade that could handle at least some form of combat would up their chances of escaping unscathed.
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Post by Doggo on Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:36 am

Ms. Jolicouer talked a good game. She seemed almost as resentful of adult humans as Ténèbres himself. Well, he doubted the feeling ran quite so deep but then he didn't know much about Josette past her name and inability to stay well informed without feline interference. Her response to cat language did make him wonder though. Was he actually speaking French? Before Josette, no one had ever understood him. To humans it was all meows but he knew what he was attempting to speak. It must be he was actually speaking the human language and only this girl had the ears to hear him. However it worked, he was thankful for the cooperative shadow to hide in as the trial proceeded.

The actual proceedings held very little of the cat's attention. Humans grandstanding and attempting to prove points might have been interesting on any other day but his focus was elsewhere. Ténèbres watched the defendant's every move, took in every detail of the man who stole his boy away from him. He made no grand motions, never added anything to the discourse about his fate. He simply sat there, no doubt wondering if he couldn't somehow claim another victim before the day was over.

It took a while but Ténèbres perked up as the judge began to speak. It was time to pass a verdict and the entire court seemed convinced. The cat could relax knowing humans weren't totally incompetent in upholding their own laws. But something changed. The defendant spoke for the first time and declared no verdict could be passed without the accused there. All at once the man disappeared and a pink smoke began filling the room. The scent was oppressive the sensitive feline noise and the more it approached the more fatigued he felt. Josette's quick action spared him from passing out but it took him a moment longer to shake off the effects.

"I'm... I'm fine." he responded as he began shaking himself back into focus. The coin attached to his collar was shining, revealing some of his neck and chest from the girl's shadow and more generally outlining his shape within it. "What on earth..." he questioned as his mind still tried to shake off the stupor. A voice addressed Josette. A man within the smoke who appeared in several different places. Now there were blue slime creatures moving about and Ténèbres wasn't certain he'd managed to remain conscious anymore. In a final bid to stir himself the cat bit into his own leg and the shock to his system got his brain back on track.

"Turn Off The Lights!" he called and a flurry of shuriken sailed over Josette's head and into each of the slime creatures as they approached. To the girl's side appeared the cat's Stand as the man had seemed to refer to the beings they could summon. It looked like something of a robot ninja adorned in black with red accents and scarf as well as white attachments resembling bones. Its one visible eye shone a bright green that matched the cat's. It was shorter than the girl but none the less it seemed ready to fight as it drew a Japanese style sword from off its back complete with skull pommel. Josette would feel a sudden weight at her shoulder as Ténèbres jumped up onto it, revealing himself from her shadow in the process.

"Not to state the obvious, but we need to get out of here." he said as calmly as he could under the circumstances. He and Turn Off The Lights were scanning different portions of the room looking for the best exit and looking for others present amidst the smoke. The latter however was more directly focused on slashing back the slimes as they approached, a pronounced "Tch..." accenting each strike.
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Post by FourthWave on Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:11 pm

After asking Gabrio and Viola for a photo, Avery found himself surrounded by the two peculiar but friendly foreigners. Deep inside, he didn't expect them to agree that easily, but he was happy regardless. Both the kid and the miss got close to him in order to appear in the shot, and the young man used the 'Cheeeeeeese!' Gabrio said as a signal to finally take the photo. It took a couple of seconds, but the camera did his work and took the photo of the trio. 'Sorry about that' He mentioned, apologizing for how slow his camera was. 'It's an old model. A little bit slower than most cameras, but works just as well. Now, let's see the phot- Huh?'. Sadly for him, the camera shut down suddenly. No matter how many buttons he pressed or how many times, it wasn't responding. 'Oh my, this must be from when the guard throwed it. I thought I cought it without a problem. Oh well, if you could give me a minute or two...'.

Then, a man in a purple suit and wearing a purple hat approached the trio, telling Viola that 'they were ready', whatever that was supposed to mean. Avery didn't pay that much attention as he was trying to fix the camera, using one of the many homemade tricks his father taught him for nearly every appliance malfunction. It was mainly removing the battery and put it back again, but it worked wonders... Most of the time. After that, the Viola followed said man, not before saying what could be interpreted as a goodbye. 'You two watch yourselves' She said, taking the time to also reassure them that it would be highly unlikely for the phantom thief to escape. But, given his unique nature, anything could happen.

'Yeah yeah. Take care...' Said Avery without knowing, still focused on fixing his camera. The miracle trick didn't work, so he had to use his plan B, also taught by his father: Repeat Plan A until it works. If the young man had noticed that Viola was leaving, and to the courthouse no less, he definitely would've said goodbye and asked her to take him with them. The trial was the whole reason he came to Clairmaix to begin with. However, as long as the camera stayed unresponsive, he would also stay that way. At least Gabrio bid her farewell properly.

It took him quite some time, but in the end he managed to get his trusted camera back to work. He moved quickly among the options in its menu, looking for the last photo taken fearing that it could've dissapeared thanks to that sudden malfunction. Thankfully, he saw the photo was intact, letting out a sigh of relief. 'Oh my, I thought it dissapeared. I'll be honest, I was kinda holding my breath while looking for it...'.

Avery took his time to detail the photo, sporting a huge grin all the way. 'Haha, young Gabrio, what's this? Your smile looks like you're in a lot of pain!' He said between laughs. He then proceeded to see Viola. At first glance it seemed that she wasn't even smiling, but after giving it, ehem, a good look he noticed that she was in fact sporting a smile, albeit a pretty small one. 'Oh, miss Viola. I know we're strangers and all, but you could try to smile a little mo-'. He then noticed that she wasn't there. '-Oh... She's gone... Well, young Gabrio, that leaves just the two of us. Wanna see the rest of my photos?'.

Of course, he just forgot that just a few minutes ago he was going to talk to the guards about the intruders he saw earlier. 'Miss Viola knows about them too' He thought. 'So, maybe she mentioned something to the guards on her way to the courthouse'. With this reasoning, he decided to remain with Gabrio a little longer.

However, his peaceful time with his new a acquaintance was cut short by a strange sight. A weird pink cloud began to surround the courthouse, and the people in the area began to fall unconscious one by one. Gabrio took notice of this quite quickly, asking the obvious questions of what the hell was that. 'Oh no...' Said Avery, worried that his fears might have come true. He learned a lot about terrorist attacks through the news, and new pretty well the kind of weapons they could use. Something like this to release a criminal like that wouldn't be that unlikely. 'Young Gabrio... I think we need to get out of here now. That smoke could be a chemical weapon. Like the ones used by terrorists'.

Avery planned to grab Gabrio by the wrist and run like hell. To his surprise, he managed to remain calm enough to think about what to do in that situation. However... 'Young Gabrio, we need to-'. He suddenly stopped before he got the time to put his plan in motion, feeling like something just impacted his chest, making him retreat a bit. 'Huh... What was tha-?'. He lowered his head, seeing the back of an arrow sticking out of his chest. 'Young... Gabrio...'. The young man didn't panic, even thought Gabrio did; all the strength he had before was suddenly siphoned out of his body. All he could do was process the fact that... He was going to die. No one has survived an arrow through the heart. He wouldn't be the first.

Through his mind flashed all kind of images. Mostly his memories and deepest desires. All the things he wanted to do but now couldn't. How his family would be sad upon hearing about his death. The many friends he won't get to meet. A single tear dropped from his eye. There was to much to think about, but no time to do it.

He quickly fell to his knees, feeling pain like never before. Slowly succumbing to his mortal wound, he told the young kid '... I don't... Think this can be fixed'. The duo was quickly surrounded by what appeared to be identical red-haired men, but Avery couldn't detail them. What was clear if that they surely didn't have the best of intentions. They started talking among themselves, but, at this moment, everything they said was just distant voices on Avery's ears. 'Young... Gabrio...' He said, his conciousness fading. '... Please... Run'.

And with this, Avery finally closed his eyes.

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Post by CM_Renji on Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:25 pm

Avery spoke in a calm demeanor telling the boy to run. The young man seemed certain of his own death, it could be heard in his voice. This wound was unlike any Judas Priest had healed before, and while Gabrio hoped that he could heal it, he wasn’t certain it would work. Regardless, he was going to try.

Pink mist started flooding down the street in full force, knocking out anyone who was unfortunate enough to breathe it in. There was only one real option. “Mmmmph…” Gabrio held his breath as the ominous pink clouds swept over him and Avery.

“…?”

A swift punch to the gut knocked the boy back a bit. The trio of fiends were here, and weren’t showing mercy. He looked up to see a group of menacing shadows walking through the clouds. Without warning, the boy had his head kicked to the side, and immediately after another man grabbed the boy by his hair and gave him a brutal knee directly to the face. Though his face was battered, he had just managed to keep his breath held. Gabrio quickly struggled from the man’s grasp and launched himself at his leg, trying to force him to the ground. His eyes widened as the leg began to shift and jiggle and began turning into strange blue slime. “What?!”

One of the other men took this as an opportunity to grab hold of the boy by his neck. With both hands, he held Gabrio up and started choking him. “Mmm- mmphh!” His face was turning red, he hadn’t been able to breathe this whole time and now he was being literally lifted off his feet and strangled. He released the breath he had been holding onto for the past minute. “Kaa!” Gabrio lacked the strength to fight back against these men, but he was determined to stay alive.

Fortunately for the duo, Judas Priest was finishing his restoration. After filling Avery’s body back with everything it needed, the creature pulled its hand back. A spark ignited and suddenly both of Judas Priest’s hands were covered in purple flames! It laid its hands onto the young man’s chest and back and began to cauterize the wounds shut. Within seconds, his body was completely restored. One could only hope that his spirit had not yet left its home.

The other two men started walking towards Avery, perhaps to make sure he was dead.. “J…. ah…..” Gabrio couldn’t even speak. It wasn’t needed though. Judas Priest turned back to his master and jumped towards his assailant. The creature grabbed onto the man’s head and forcibly shoved him to the ground. Gabrio hit the ground and started gasping for air. Knowing he had little time, he quickly dove into action himself. He darted towards Avery’s body and picked him up with Judas Priest, then started retreating from the attackers.

“Crap… so… tired…” The few short gasps of air he’d taken in had filled his lungs with the strange smoke. He forced himself onward, but he could only imagine he too would be collapsed on the floor like everyone else momentarily. “We’ll both… get away…” Gabrio said to Avery, still uncertain if his healing had actually worked.
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Post by Lily on Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:40 am

Josette didn't have very much time to register the appearance of Turn Off The Lights, currently being too preoccupied with the swarm of foes approaching her, but she was nonetheless grateful to see that Ténèbres was okay, and that he was lending a paw in their defense. The clones infront of her flinched and staggered as shurriken sailed into them, causing chunks of blue slime to fall away from the wounds, but it deterred them for only a moment, and they again continued their assault. Back In Black let loose another flurry of punches, reducing two of their foes to puddles of slime, but a third escaped his rush and threw his own punch, slamming Josette across the face. She staggered, her head spinning, and nearly fell away into the smoke, but was quick enough to sweep her leg out and trip her assailant before she did so. The tangled mess of legs caused Josette to fall to the ground, but locked her in place so she stayed in her "safe zone." As she fell, she reached up with one arm to support Ténèbres, making sure he didn't fall from her shoulders. With their foe on the ground, Back In Black delivered a swift stomp to its head, destroying it instantly. Josette stood up and said, "Sorry about that," she looked around, trying to find any way out of the courtroom, but the smoke was too thick to effectively see through.

While Turn Off The Lights held off their foes from behind, cutting them down with ease, Josette decided she'd just have to trust her instincts and hope she remembered which way she came in. Back In Black suddenly flew behind her, joining Ténèbres' stand, but not to unleash another flurry of blows. This time, the cloaked figure spread its cape wide, and from within it, a rush of pink smoke flew out and into the faces of the clones. Josette wasn't sure it would have any effect, but it was worth a shot, and she needed to empty Back In Black's cape anyway. A moment later, Back In Black was in front of her once more, and began flying forward, taking the smoke into its cape, clearing a path for her and Ténèbres. "Let's go!" Josette ran through the path of clear air, leaving any remaining clones in her dust, and escaped through the door of the courtroom. Outside, in the halls of the courthouse, the smoke seemed oddly less thick, and didn't reach to her mouth, it all coalescing around her waist. She didn't want to waste time questioning it, however. Instead, she made a beeline for entrance of the courthouse. She just had to get herself and Ténèbres away, and not run into any more of those clones. Simple, right?

The sound of gunfire pierced the courtroom as bullets effortlessly tore through the bodies of the men attacking Titus Foil. The two clones shot by Titus dropped backwards, instantly turning into puddles of blue slime on the ground, while the wave attacking him from behind were cleaved in twain by the Knight's sword. The final clone recovered from his blocked attack and laughed, "Impressive! Very impressive!" he lauded Titus, "Quite a dramatic personality you have, too! You really should be on my side. We'd get along great," he said, and even more clones of the man began to appear from the smoke, "What do you say? Work with me, and I can promise you wealth beyond your wildest dreams! Or I can end your life right here." With that, another half a dozen clones rushed Titus at once, each from a different angle. While his Stand's armor made it difficult for the clones to land any sort of clean blow, they had a sheer numbers advantage. Beyond that, it seemed that they had another goal in mind. As the group closed in, while the rest of the clones launched punches and kicks and tackles at Titus and his Knight, one used the chaos to reach their hand out and attempt to tear the glowing pendant from Tidus' body.

Also in the courtroom, a loud crash echoed, followed by a second, as two benches flew through the air and slammed into the clones approaching Viola, destroying them instantly. Viola would have a brief reprieve from her assailants as they were reduced to slime under the force of her attack, but she wouldn't be able to get far before familiar voices rang out from within the smoke, "I must admit, even I wasn't expecting such a powerful and sudden attack!" Another half-dozen clones approached Viola from behind, "You really are something else. Perhaps it's time you leave that little 'family' of yours and come work for me, instead. I promise the pay is much better, and I'm much more reliable than those goons," said one of the clones, gesturing back to the men Viola had come with with his head, "Besides, crime is crime, no?" The six men suddenly dispersed, separating themselves so as not to to be so vulnerable to flying benches. One by one the exited the smoke at random angles, attempting a hit-and-run strategy to leave a single hit on the woman, then disappear back into the smoke.

Gabrio had been holding his own, the the men assaulting him were weakening, their injuries seeping blue slime, their bodies deteriorating. One seemed unable to get up after being thrust to the ground, and slowly melted away, while another slowly approach Gabrio and Avery. The third, the least injured, approached at a similar pace, but seemingly out of choice instead of necessity, "A healer, are you?" the clone noted, "How wonderful! I could use someone like you. What say you help me out a little. And if the boy survives, he can help out too. You'll be rich, and happy, and I'll even stop beating you," he offered, "it's really a no-brainer. And if you say no, well," in a burst of speed, the healthiest clone ran forward, and jammed his knee into Gabrio's head. All the while, another set of clones began emerging within the smoke, slowly, menacingly, approaching Gabrio and Avery.
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Post by Doggo on Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:43 am

Ténèbres yowled as Josette fell over from the creature's attack. He dug his claws into the girl's clothes and shoulder as well to hang on through the abrupt movement. She apologized as she stood again which the cat appreciated but somehow doubted this would be the only instance before they'd managed to escape. He couldn't complain too much as he needed the perch to get above the gas. Turn Off the Lights and Back in Black had managed to mostly repel their attackers and with the given opening the girl took off running for the exit.

"Can't you go any faster?" the cat said, still finding something worth complaining about. He could have run much faster than this but given the gas was still up to the girl's waist he'd have to put up with her pace. But still, he thought if anything having their life in danger would be sufficient to get humans to get moving. Or maybe this was in fact the best she could do. That sounded almost sad when he thought of it like that. Well there was still something he could do. Turn Off The Lights ran past the duo and went on ahead, his arms straight behind him as he ran to let everyone know this guy was a ninja and he was fast.

"I'll scout out the safest path." Ténèbres stated. Without explaining as much he implied he could at least see what his Stand did or else the comment and maneuver wouldn't make much sense. He was intent upon not being ambushed on the way out.
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Post by Tomiix on Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:17 pm

Titus's relief at how quickly they fell was shortly lived at the discovery that they came back as quickly and in greater numbers. This fight was not looking like it was winnable. Even Knight had his limits, and Titus couldn't just stand there forever. The offer from Soren to join him was not very convincing, nor was it very genuine if it was the choice between that and death. The fact that he offered in the first place was amusing, he must not know as much as he leads on. However, his prized amulet glowing and him reaching for it? That was the oddest play Soren could of made. The locket contained a picture of his kid brother, and was how he kept his memory close to him for the day to day. It held some monetary value but it was mostly valuable because of the meaning it had for his family. Why was it glowing? It doesn't normally do that. Is this the work of an enemy stand? Titus learned from another stand user in the speedwagon foundation that there were multiple types of stands that did a variety of odd things, sometimes with very specific requirements. Perhaps this was the effect of one? If so defending his amulet should be his priority, as well as finding those stand arrows.

Titus also noted a crash across the room, as a beautiful women seemed to be fighting more Sorens with a stand of her own. Another stand user was amongst them that wasn't an enemy? Titus decides it will be best to work with numbers and devises a plan. "Squire Muse... fetch my sabre and the spiked tower shield." A shorter knight emerged from Titus and drew the two out of it's bag, throwing them in the air. In one movement Titus drops his guns into his holsters and catches his sabre, and Knight catches the tall spiked shield. Squire disappears into Titus, who in sync with Knight charges the clones standing between him and Viola with the spiked shield to break their line. Titus has one hand out with his sabre as the other clenches his locket tightly to his chest to keep it out of grubby hands. "Foolish fiend! The hands of justice don't stab backs. We are vowed to ensure your fate." The metallic and dramatic voice of Cydonia cried out as it charged. It leaped, launching Titus in the direction of Viola. Using his incessant hollering as cover, Titus whispers a difficult request of Muse as they soar. "Muse, fetch a stand arrow... and if you cannot, tell us where it is." Muse, fulfilling its stand function, activates its ability. A copy of Muse appearing instantaneously in the area of the closest stand arrow. Unprepared for whatever defences there may be, but prepared to vanish if they are too great.

As Titus continues the fall, slashing at a clone that Knight did not charge through as he lands, Titus calls out to Viola as he finishes the fall and recovers. The ghostly Knight taking up his posture perfectly to protect him as it holds a shield to his flank.  "You have no reason to trust me, but it seems we have a common enemy. Let's get somewhere more strategic." Titus wasn't sure if he was putting his trust in the right place, but the odds were better two versus all than one versus all. That he knew for certain. Even if their goals didn't completely line up in the future, surely they could find common ground in survival as they tried to escape the courthouse, now madhouse.
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Post by CM_Renji on Tue Dec 25, 2018 2:57 pm

The man prattled on, stating that he could use the two. Gabrio paid no heed to his words, instead using what strength he had to stumble away from the dangerous man and the oncoming wave of pink smoke. Gabrio’s eyes widened as he saw a figure lunge in front of him, catching him completely off guard.

The clone delivered a vicious knee to his head, bloodying Gabrio’s face and causing him to let out a shriek from the pain. He fell hard onto the ground with a thud, landing on his back. The boy let out labored breaths as he attempted to push himself to get back up. Blood trickled down his face as he stared down the malevolent man who had struck him. He shifted his legs around so that he was now on his hands and knees. His eyelids began to falter as the strange pink substance was now affecting him in full force.

Footsteps sounded in the boys ears. It seemed that there were more foes coming from the direction of the courthouse. He reached forward and started crawling in the same direction he had been heading before, straight in the path of the clone that had assaulted him. Gabrio concluded that this choice was the least suicidal. After only a few seconds of crawling, the boy’s body froze up. He could feel himself passing out. He was still just holding onto consciousness, but his body simply wouldn’t move anymore. “I can’t keep my eyes open…” he thought to himself.

In an instant, Judas Priest acted to protect its master. The demon set Avery down against a nearby wall and lunged forward, unleashing a barrage of swipes towards the menacing man. Its attacks were extremely sluggish, and didn’t carry much force behind them. Regardless if this accomplished anything, Judas Priest quickly started fading away after its tantrum had concluded. Gabrio muttered quietly just before he fell unconscious. “Help…”
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Post by FourthWave on Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:45 pm

'H-Hello?'

A voice resounded through an empty space. It was white... Or was it black? It could be both, and it still won't matter. There was nothing there. Or maybe everything was there. Too much questions, and all the time in the world to answer. But no one that could actually answer. The voice that resounded belonged to no other than Avery. Even though he closed his eyes for what he presumed would be his last time, he suddenly found himself walking, or floating, ot both at the same time, in this strange place.

'Is anybody here?'

He kept asking, unsure if it would even be useful, if someone would answer. The young man was sure that, after recieving that peculiar-looking arrow to the chest, specifically his heart, he couldn't be transported to anywhere else than heaven, even thought he imagined it looking way different. There was that small chance that he could've gone to, well, hell, a place he also pictured quite differently, but upon remembering his bad deeds done during his whole life, he found that the only 'bad thing' he did was steal a toy from his cousin. And he ended up giving it back two days later. Maybe, just maybe, he ended up in some kind of purgatory... If that's the correct term to describe that.

Any of the three didn't look like the correct choice.

'H-Hello? Hello!? Someone! Please!! PLEASE!!!'

The desperation was slowly eating him. He didn't knew how much time has passed since he got there; seconds felt like weeks and weeks felt like months. Maybe he was getting crazy. In just the few seconds he's been there... Or was it weeks? Whatever. In the time he's been there, Avery remained in constant motion, be it floating or walking, for quite a while. That was until he was surprised by a somewhat familiar figure.

It was... A human silhouette, sitting on what could be asumed was the floor of the place, even though no horizon was visible. The silhouette was empty, had no features. You couldn't even figure out if it was male or female, or even if it was staring back at you. It basically was the outline of a human figure, sitting on the floor with it right arm resting on his right knee.

'Huh... Hi there?'

The whole encounter didn't last that much. Once Avery set his sight on the strange creature, he felt a sudden strong breeze. For the first time since he arrived into that space, the young man felt the need to protect himself from something external, covering his face with his right hand as the air impacted his face. And, just like that, he woke up, seated quite comfortably against wall. A wall he wasn't close to the last time he checked.

'What th-?' He said unconsciously, but stopped and grabbed his chest once noticing the pain he felt there. Remembering the fact that he was shot with an arrow a few minutes ago, he lowered his gaze in terror, expecting to see the end of an arrow sticking from his chest. However, he only found a big hole on his sweater and a big blood stain surrounding it. There was no sign of the arrow, and even his skin where it should be was intact. 'H-How? How I'm still alive?' He thought, dumbfounded at the fact that a direct wound to the heart could be healed so fast and so perfectly.

'Wait... Young Gabrio!' He jumped, noticing said kid that was accompanying him was nowhere to be seen. Avery got up with some difficulty, and looked everywhere searching for any trace of the boy. He finally saw him, a few steps away from him... Unconscious on the floor. The few bits Avery could see of his face, he recognized the presence of blood on it. He then noticed the pink smoke that was getting closer, and the identical red-haired men that surrounded them before. And they looked just like... The phantom thief.

His first reaction was to run away, not minding the fact that the Fantôme de Pomme not only escaped but also managed to multiply. It was obvious that everything that went wrong a few minutes ago on the courthouse was all because of him. He was this close to getting away from the area, this close to running away and don't turn back... Until he noticed something important.

He woke up in a place he wasn't close to when he was shot with the arrow. He was likely put there by someone. The only person close enough to him to do that was... Gabrio. The same kid that was lying unconscious on the floor, surrounded by clones of one of the most wanted criminals in the whole world. Leaving him there to his fate, after everything Avery thought the kid did for him, would be... Wrong.

'... Goddamnit'

Taking a deep breath and grabbing his chest, Avery ran towards the fallen Gabrio, covering his face with his right arm in order to not inhale much of that pink smoke. He stood between the clones and the kid, with the clear intention to protect him from the assailants. 'Stay... Away... From him...' He amidst long breaths. He took a step forward to show the attackers he was serious in his intentions, even though he knew he couldn't do anything.

He didn't realize that his step caused a gust of wind that seemed to dissipate some of the pink smoke surrounding them.

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Post by Best Girl on Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:15 pm

Viola quickly turned at the sound of the phantom thief voice, seeing Soren's clones ready to pounce with the new tactic of separate attacks. This would make her Stand's ability difficult to smash them apart together, but the replicas melting into slime didn't go unnoticed. Ah... I'm being underestimated. She wore a crooked grin, clearly annoyed by the sight of her clenched teeth now grinding in a contained rage.

The gang star proceeded to defend herself through hasty reflexes and use the gaudy, shining pistol in hand to blow lead into each clone. Instinctively her body moved, blasting one as her arms crossed then another with the slamming of her heel. A third met the same fate with a dramatic twirl before being sent off, each bullet coming with the explosion of gunpowder and the resounding tuning fork. That firing power was drastically enhanced by the unique ability of Avantasia, transforming handgun shells via force of shotgun blasts. Significant blowback to the offending party kept Viola safe in the flurry of dramatic fire, applying pressure to a heel's pitch and threatening to fall back on one foot in a showy display. Avantasia's gravity manipulating pulled her from the floor, levitating into the air with a kick in what seemed like a big leap. Following that, the now sixth clone of the half-dozen was shot by a bullet that went unaffected by the Stand's power, merely stunning it.

This being because it was finished off by the stranger who appeared to her aid.

Spinning through the air, that same heel was the first part of her personage to land, tearing through the pink fog akin to a top. The ornate gun was aimed in the late clones' direction and a hand drew itself to her hip, Avantasia holding its hand out above the firearm. "My family is more than a band of mindless fools! I will not be so easily manipulated either! Regardless of crime being crime, I will not be looked down upon!" Her flowing, shiny yellow locks danced with the descent and prideful roar.

Having gotten that out of her system, Avantasia's gravity returned the bullets lodged into the slime duplicates through coordinated movement and its master looked upon the "friendly" fellow nearby. "... No issue here, let's do as you say." While placing faith in the stranger was shaky, that booming declaration from what was likely the floating knight - given the assumption of echoing against metal - led her to believe it was a safe enough bet. It was that shout that caught her attention in the first place... That, and the burning curiosity of... Is that thing... like Avantasia? The amazon had already guessed at the girl from before having a similar ability, recalling the specter in the window... But this was much closer, seeing it in a similar position near Titus as Avantasia was to her.

"Huh... Huh?" The heat cooled down for a minute which gave way to Viola's confusion upon seeing... Spectres glowing? "What in the world..." It had gone entirely unnoticed, having Soren's attacks take up attention instead. Yet, now with a moment to spare, the firearm and the newcomer's pendant around his neck both radiated with light. "Hm... Better to worry about as we get out of here. Lead the way." Subtly offering cover fire for a temporary ally, she reloaded the gun and the largely-built Stand remained on standby.
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Post by Lily on Thu Dec 27, 2018 7:10 pm

In all the chaos and confusion outside, it seemed the arrow that had pierced and nearly killed Avery had disappeared. In one moment, it was in the man's chest, but then Judas Priest ripped it out. Where had it gone then? It seemed Gabrio merely cast it aside, unconcerned about the arrow, worried only about healing the injured man before him. Deep within the pink smoke, where the arrow had clattered against the ground, now far away from where Gabrio, Avery, and the slimy clones were, a different slimy shape materialized: A vaguely humanoid figure made of the same kind of blue slime as all of Soren's clones. Its torso was segmented into floating disk-like shapes that dripped onto each other, seemingly held by thin golden ring on their perimeter, while its arms and legs stretched far beyond normal human length, and lack a defined shape. From the uppermost disk of the creature's torso, a neck sprouted that merged seamlessly into a translucent head, inside which were two glowing eye-like orbs. The creature - the Stand - formed up from the ground, its body flowing like a liquid through the cracks in the ground, before forming up into its vaguely recognizable shape. It glanced around for a moment, then reached down to retrieve the arrow that sat at its feet. However, as it reached down, a miniature knight suddenly appeared before it, Tidus's squire Muse, as it were. The slime that comprised the Stand's face grotesquely split apart, giving way to what could charitably be described as a malicious grin. "Not so fast!" cried the Stand gleefully. The voice was not that of Soren, but a high-pitched, sleazy voice. The Stand brought its slimy fists together, and quickly drove them down upon Muse, ready to deliver it a clobbering, only for Muse to flee before it had a chance. "Hmph," the Stand made a sound of annoyance, "Fine, be that way."

Once more, the Stand reached down and grabbed the golden arrow. Almost immediately, the arrow was sucked up through its hand, and began floating in the goo of the Stand's arm. "Easiest game of my life," it congratulated itself, but then paused, "that said... These stand users are a little more trouble than I thought they'd be. Perhaps it's time to move to phase two." With that, the Stand quickly liquified, once more falling into the cracks in the ground, and slithering away unseen.

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'Woah, he's fast!' Josette thought, watching Turn Off The Lights run cooly ahead of them, 'He's like some kind of ninja!' Following his lead, Josette took a somewhat roundabout path through the courthouse, avoid a handful of clones that were strewn about the building, and taking care not to step on any of the unconscious civilians littering the ground. Soon enough, Josette and Ténèbres burst from the Courthouse and into the outdoors. However, Josette was disappointed to see that things were no better out here than they were inside. Pink smoke still filled the area, and bodies still littered the ground. But now, just within the smoke, she could hear something going on. Someone still conscious, standing up to these weird slimy assailants. Were they, perhaps, someone like Josette and Ténèbres? Or just a brave soul resisting the sleep-inducing smoke? She swore under her breath, "If someone else is fighting these freaks on their own, they could probably use our help," she said to Ténèbres, "I'd love to run and let them handle it on their own, but I think we need help, too." Without waiting for Ténèbres' thoughts on the matter, Josette ran in to help. As she barrelled down the steps of the courthouse, a tiny drop of a blue slime fell on her shoulder, opposite Ténèbres, from the roof. In the thick smoke, the drop was practically unnoticeable, and her adrenaline blocked out the light sensation of its landing. As she approached Avery however, the slime travelled over her shoulder and down her back, slowly growing in size, and then ultimately dropping to the ground and slithering through the cracks in the ground, unnoticed.

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"So he lives after all!"

Soren's clones grinned at the newly vivified Avery, "But alas, I'm afraid we can't simply stay away from that one. He has something we need!" The clones slowly began to close in on Avery, "Unless, of course, you intend to MAKE us stay away from him. Go on, show us what you're capable of!" Then, in an instant, half a dozen of them began running, arms ready to pummel Avery, yet now expecting his Stand to be unleashed at any moment.

What they got was not what they expected.

"NONONONONONO-NOIR!"

With a shout and a flurry of punches, Back In Black suddenly flew out from behind Avery and blasted one of the clones away with its disembodied hands, reducing it to a puddle of slime. Then, Back In Black whirled around and slammed its leg into another, halting its run and throwing it to the ground, though not destroying it. Trailing just behind her Stand, Josette ran up to Avery's side, "Hey," she said, "need some help?"

The clones halted for just a moment to take in their newly arrived foes, but quickly recovered, and began rushing the Avery, and the new arrivals, once more.

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Still inside the courtroom, Titus and Viola appeared to be making progress against the waves of Soren clones, as their assault began to slow with each one destroyed. They even had a brief moment of respite where the attacks stopped altogether. However, from the door leading into the courtroom came a new foe to stop their retreat. A dozen seeming clones appeared within the doorway, but not clones of Soren. The one who appeared now was a freckled, bespectacled young woman, no older than twenty, with black and red hair, and a casual gothic attire, compared to Soren's fancy dress. "I hope you weren't getting too used to fighting Soren," said one of the girls, "because we thought it would be interesting to change it up a little." As the Soren clones before them, the girls rushed the pair together, but these ones seemed to have a slightly different strategy, employing more acrobatic maneuvers and swift kicks and jabs compared to the brutish slams of Soren's clones. All the while during their assault, one or two clones would make a quick grab for Titus' pendant or Viola's gun, aiming to swipe it and flee. And while Titus and Viola worked through these girls, more and more copies of her began materializing in the hallways, slowly shuffling their way towards the courtroom to deter and hopefully defeat the pair.
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Post by Doggo on Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:46 pm

The ninja spectre ran about the halls ahead of the duo, occasionally redirecting them based on how accessible different parts of the building were. They'd run into more of the stranger creatures which it could either avoid or slash down if they blocked a vital path. Not terribly far behind came Ténèbres still riding atop Josette's shoulder. Not the ideal escape position but it spared him the smoke knocking him out. Eventually the girl's legs got them outside only to reveal the smoke and creatures extended even to out here. They heard noises in the mix of things. Someone else was still up and seemed to be fighting for their life too. Josette was set on helping them which the cat seemed less than thrilled about.

"Listen, there's altruism and then there's being stu-" he was caught off as the girl ran off before he could reply. In his position he was more ready to quip than to hang on and so he finished the last syllable "-pid" as a yowl as he scrambled to secure himself onto her shoulder again. The slime drop hit the girl's other shoulder in the process and thus escaped his detection. Back in place with a scowl secured on his face his attention turned to locating the others in the smoke. Back in Black led the charge as Ténèbres and Turn Off the Lights focused on directions other than ahead of Josette. Soon her Stand found a mark and saved a young man's life. The feline was ready to question all of this but then his attention was caught by something else. The sight of Gabrio's unconscious body.

This was only a boy.

About the age his own boy would be by now.

The cat hissed in anger as he arched his back and riled his fur up in the process. A storm of shuriken flew out from behind the newly arrived duo, all taking different arcs through the air into nearby clones. Turn Off the Lights followed it up by taking to Gabrio's side. The ninja began lifting and moving the boy closer to Josette and Ténèbres' side where the cat could watch over him more closely.
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Post by FourthWave on Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:09 am

'So he lives after all!'

With this line, the phantom thief's clones greeted the seemingly uninjured but still hurt Avery. This made obvious the fact that they were aware that he got shot with the arrow earlier. In fact, they could've been responsible for that attack. However, that didn't explain why, of all the people in the area, they decided to target him in particular. Why was he so special? Or was it just a simple mistake?

'But alas' The clones continued, 'I'm afraid we can't simply stay away from that one. He has something we need!'

'What?' Avery thought while the attackers began to close on him. 'Gabrio has something they need?'. There was no way a kid could have something that could be of the interest of a world-class criminal. 'It doesn't make any sens-'. But then, the young man remembered a crucial detail as he clutched his chest - His miraculous healing. What if Gabrio had something to do with it? Did he have a special medicine? The hands of a God? Both? Whatever it was, now he could get why the wanted it so much.

'Unless, of course, you intend to MAKE us stay away from him. Go on, show us what you're capable of!'

In an instant after they finished talking, many clones began running towards Avery, with the clear intention to finish the job the arrow couldn't. The young man was too shocked to move, and he knew pretty well he couldn't fight, much less against a dozen of adversaries. He closed his eyes, waiting the first punch to hit... But it never came. Instead, he heard a really strange shout and felt someone passing besides him. When he opened his eyes, the first thing he saw was a completely caped figure standing between him and the clones, with one of them on the floor and the rest standing still.

'Hey' Said a voice coming from Avery's side. 'Need some help?'

To his surprise, it belonged to none other than the girl with red and black hair that intruded earlier into the courthouse. 'I-It's you!' He said, completely astonished to see her out of the building. Under normal circumstances, Avery would get away from her immediately as to him it was clear that she had something to do with the present situation. But given that she was standing right beside him, offering help and all, and that the clones were resuming their charge towards them, something said to him that she had nothing to do with it. Also, she had the cat on her shoulder, and it seemed really angry with the situation given thay it hissed, arched its back and riled his fur up.

Yes, he noticed all of that. He loves cats, among many animals.

Multiple shurikens flew out from behind them, taking nearly impossible twists and turns to hit nearby clones. Then, some kind of kid ninja approached them, having taken the unconscious Gabrio with him. Though this was way too much for Avery to process, he resorted to just let out a sigh, smile and answer the question the girl made earlier.

'Yes... I would appreciate all the help I could get, miss'. Still grabbing his chest, Avery took a new stance to better fight the clones. He wasn't sure if he could do it, but it didn't matter anymore.

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Post by Tomiix on Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:28 pm

Titus looks at the clones of the girls and scoffs. This is a distraction, a grand show to allow for some greater goal, like Soren's escape. The Phantom wanted to steal something from him, but in all fairness Titus had a similar goal. Titus clutches his locket with his hand, and looks to the beautiful women with the similar stand. She hadn't killed him, and even seemed amiable to helping him out of this jam.

"Long story short, we need to get the arrow out of his possession, and keep our glowing objects close. If you're okay with that, allow me."

Titus looks towards his companion Muse, who points straight upwards. With that, Knight of Cydonia raises his tower shield, and bashes outwards to keep the clones away while Titus puts a respectful but firm arm around Viola's waist. Muse's ability, Fetch allows him to find a weapon and locate it for Titus, which gives him a sense of where weapons are. A weapon as unique as the stand arrow allows for close range precise tracking. Knight takes a step back and will attempt to launch Titus up towards the roof with it's powerful stand jump, and will attempt to break through the ceiling up to the villian on the roof with a powerful stand barrage with it's large sword. However, the jump looked close, and Titus wasn't so sure he was going to reach, and begins looking for platforms to land on to serve as a continuing point. "Our quarry is up on the roof, we need to breach through!" yells the metallic voice.
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Post by Best Girl on Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:04 am

Viola followed the stranger out of the courtroom, trying to stay alert and keeping an eye out for any objects she can use to thwart the enemy's movements. Unfortunately, right out the door was a woman with her own duplications. The phantom thief having allies was nothing surprising and they likely had someone - if not Soren himself - on clone duty with some kind of strange ability. What stuck out beyond that... was how the woman resembled the girl who got in through the window. "The same hair and glasses..." Pondering her murmur had to come later though, as they began a complicated assault that would be time-consuming to handle. No real leverage to immediately fling objects at them.

Titus was quick on his feet, thankfully. Viola listened to his short explanation and clutched her handgun tightly, keeping it close instead of being ready to fire. Avantasia would have to cover her to protect the memento... That is, until he grabbed the perplexed blonde. "Huh-" An unfinished reaction slipped from the lips, Through the armored knight's power, they were launched into the sky and rocketed toward the ceiling. With only seconds to react, Viola took note of the leap looking as if it'll just barely make it. Yet, Knight of Cydonia was already preparing an attack from the looks of it.

A boost, eh?

"SHIRAAAA!!" Viola hollers, eyes locked toward the upper surface. The need for platforms was made irrelevant as the resonating tuning fork sounded. Avantasia's power reversed their gravity, accelerating their momentum skyward and drastically increasing the weight of its own arms. Reeling its arm back, one mighty swing punctured the roof and blasted a gaping hole through the structure. In a single stroke, she opened the way for the steel warrior to subsequently attack on arrival while also letting the raining debris impede the woman's advances below.
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Post by Lily on Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:51 pm

Sitting atop the roof of the courthouse, the slimy Stand watched as the clones below continued to fight the young Stand-users. Despite the thick smoke, it was not difficult for him to see; everything his clones could see were transmitted back to him as well, after all, and the clones peered through the pink haze with ease. It was because of this trait of his that he noticed his enemies in the courthouse choosing to ignore the threats he had sent their way, and to come face him directly, 'Shit!' he thought suddenly, instinctively liquifying and slithering away from his position on the roof. A moment later, Viola and Titus burst through the roof with incredible force, leaving a gaping hole in the roof. From behind, the Stand reformed and said, "I'm not paying for that," he shook his head, "Honestly. Destruction of property is a crime, you know."

The Stand spread its arms and lifted its hands towards the sky, and as if on cue, half a dozen clones arose in front of it, three Sorens and three Josettes, seemingly spawning from nothing at all. Then, with a flick of the Stand's hand, the clones started sprinting towards the pair. Their movements were simple, not even bothering for punches or kicks anymore. Their only goal was to slip past the Stands and tackle their users back down the hole whence they came. Additionally, the Stand raised its arms skyward, and two globs of blue slime fired into the air like artillery shells, poised to slam down on top of his foes, even if they avoided his clones' assault. Even if they dodged the initial globs, he thought, the splash would still hit them. And that would be enough.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

There were so many of them. Even as Ténèbres struck down several clones at once in a fit of anger, the numbers of clones only seemed to grow, never shrink. What's worse, Ténèbres seemed to have found some kid who had gotten hurt in all this action. He wasn't just passed out like everyone else, he was clearly injured, probably as a result of all the clones. 'God, just some kid,' Josette thought bitterly, 'What kind of jerk would go that far?' Her mind flashed back to years ago. Her only friend, ripped away from her in an instant, by a monster with an arrow.

There was no way. Was it just coincidence? The man who stole his life... He had yellow hair, she was certain of it. She could never forget that. But the connection was too eerie to ignore. The idea that this scum would be willing to hurt, even kill, someone that young ignited a forgotten drive in Josette. She didn't even know if this kid was alive, but if he was, Josette was not going to let these assholes change that. She shifted her body to cover Gabrio's body as much as possible from her side, hoping the other two would act in kind.

One by one, as the onslaught of clones ran up to her, Back In Black attempted to punch them away. But she could not weather the storm forever. As she punched one away, another come from her side and lept on her, striking her across the face and making her see stars. She shifted her body weight and tossed the clone to the ground, stomping on it to cause it to liquify, but in her moment of distraction, Back In Black let another clone slip through the cracks, which tackled her to the ground. Two more seized this opportunity, and began to gang up on her, beating her into the ground while she weakly tried to throw them off or have Back In Black beat them down. As she flailed and twisted and turned on the ground, one clone was actually thrown away from her body. In a moment uncharacteristic of the highly aggressive clones, this one began to retreat, running through the pink smoke like it was afraid. Another was crushed under Back In Black's fists, causing it to turn back into slime and fall away. The third would not relent, however, pinning Josette to the ground and practically throttling her, not giving her an inch for counter-attack.

The clones weren't giving Ténèbres or Avery a break either. The ones on Ténèbres' side were largely held up dealing with Turn Off The Lights, but attempted to take any opening they could to slip past his Stand and stomp the little kitten into the ground. Stand or no, a cat couldn't take much direct damage. On Avery's side however, a mob of nearly half a dozen clones were quickly closing in. They made to tackle him, reaching for his arms to hold him down while the others threw punches at his face and gut. The man still hadn't shown his Stand, but they knew he had to have one, if he had survived the arrow. Seeing what it was capable of would be absolutely vital to them.
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Post by Doggo on Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:33 pm

Josette had picked up on Ténèbres' move to cover the unconscious Gabrio. Once the boy was in place Turn Off the Lights returned to holding back the wave of clones closing in from the cloud of smoke. The cat leaped from off the girl's shoulder to the ground as different clones began taking swings at her. Now on the ground he was free to move about as he pleased yet there was always the threat of the pink smoke immobilizing him again. He stood in front of the boy as he directed his Stand's movements. The ninja's strikes were precise and effective, yet the creatures looked for any opening. When it moved to strike one down another would dash in at the tom himself. For the most part he was light enough on his feet to jump out of the way of such things until his Stand could clear the threat from off of him.

"There's far too many of them for me to keep this up." Ténèbres thought as he just barely avoided another attack. The numbers were such that they could outpace his stamina. The thought crossed his mind to simply run away. He was small and fast enough that nothing here could catch him. It would be simple to hide away. He wasn't attached to any of the humans affected by the day's insanity it would be nothing heartbreaking. "Some thanks to a kind woman feeding me that would be." he chided himself. Another look behind to the injured boy cemented in his mind he was going to fight this out. But this moment of distraction was not wasted on the clones' part as one approached and delivered a quick stamp to the cat's hind quarters.

"Damn you!" he shouted in pain as Turn Off the Lights rammed its blade into the creature before it could continue grinding the cat into the dirt. With a "tch" and a single fluid motion it withdrew the blade and threw the creature off its master. Ténèbres snarled as he stood again and found he couldn't put weight on his rear left leg without it hurting. On three legs he stood even less chance at avoiding incoming attacks so he called his Stand in close and resorted to throwing shuriken which he hoped would provide less windows to be attacked. Through the shared sensory information of his Stand the cat saw the Avery being closed in on and Josette being pinned but he wasn't in a position to provide much effort past a stray shuriken toss when more immediate clones weren't pressing up against him.
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Post by Best Girl on Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:30 pm

Avantasia's might was incredible...! The blast from its fist stirring up a mighty gale as if to announce the duo's arrival. There, some kind of... creature was stationed on the roof. It was difficult to make out, but it had the faint makings of an actual face, even showing a mouth for brief intervals. With the odd occurrence of today, the gang star thought it could've been the cause... Well, before it spawned a helping of clones and attacked them, confirming in only a moment. Damn... Their descent would be met by the duplications charging, likely aiming to sent them back down into the hellhole of smoke. This was followed by globs of the repulsive ooze fired toward them, ensuring they were overwhelmed. A wise tactic since it was only the couple of Stand users versus a barrage they had little time to react to, leaving mere seconds for a reaction.

Unfortunately for the enemy Stand, that wouldn't work on Viola, as shown by a fierce expression painted on after gauging the situation. The shining Specters fired a few bullets from above, aiming to stop some of the clones while Titus could hopefully cover getting the rest upon touching the ground. All that mattered was a spare second for Viola and Avantasia to raise a hand each: "Neverland!" The air twisted and contorted in a space above and in front of them, pressurizing it through the invisible force of gravity and stopped the slimy projectiles like some sort of wall, then having them dart toward the amazon and her Stand. Instead of hitting her, they revolved around her in orbit - her own gravitational pull.

"You picked a bad matchup, ah?! My Avantasia is above that!" Through a cocky grin and a boastful bellow, Viola began moving to close the distance as soon as her heel hit the surface. While running forward, she also waving her arm forth in a sweeping motion, return firing the slime artillery in an attempt to bombard him the same way. This charge was also placing faith in the stranger she was teaming up with, needing Titus to respond quickly and pressure their foe on top of dispatching the remaining slime creations. A bit of a tall order, but he seemed capable enough. If nothing else, Viola resumed firing her own gun after launching the enemy's bullets back at them.

Through combined efforts of the knights and the gravity-warping specter, the gap was closed between them and the enemy. Charging alongside the metal warrior and meeting the other that seemingly blinked near the slime Stand, Viola stopped on a dime as she was in range and Avantasia strongly clenched its fists. "SHIRARARARA!!" A quick dinging of the tuning fork, Viola and her ghastly bodyguard became lighter. This sacrificed some striking power, but allowed a sudden flurry of punches in an attempt to combo-attack with the others and overwhelm their opponent through speed and ferocity.


Last edited by Best Girl on Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by FourthWave on Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:37 pm

As soon as he positioned himself better to fight off the clones, Avery noticed how the girl turned back in order to protect the still unconscious Gabrio. The cat jumped off her shoulder and then... Well, he could've continued to keep track of their movements, but he was now facing a problem of his own. Namely, a whole new set of clones that were closing on him. 'Oh, you want to fight?' He asked in a rather uncharacteristic manner. 'Then come and get me, dogs!' He shouted at them, confident in the fact that they couldn't harm him not even in the slightest.

'How was he so sure?' You might ask. Well, you see, after analizing the completely surreal and bizarre situation he found himself in (Facing identical duplicates of one of the most, if not the most wanted world-class criminal alongside an illegal trespasser, an unconscious kid, some kind of caped crusader, a midget ninja, and a really, really cute cat) for like, five to six seconds, he managed to reach a logical and understandable conclusion.

He was dreaming, of course.

No, really. He knew he wasn't going to have a peaceful night since he ate the special dinner the hostal he was staying in was serving. There were too much... How can I describe it? Fibers. The fact that the girl came back, seemingly out of nowhere, and offered her help to fight off the clones convinced him completely - He saw a movie just like that the night before! With the clones and the outrageous choices of hair color in the female protagonist! To him, everything that happened from the moment he went to sleep to that very moment was a product of his fragile and easily influenced imagination. And know that he knew he was dreaming, he could easily control everything in his surroundings.

He could fly off, he could open the floor where the clones were, he could do everything. However, nothing could beat a good ol' fashioned fistfight. 'Are you scared or what!? Come here and make my day!' Avery fired off every action movie line he could remember at them, knowing that he was in control. He not only dared, but invited the clones to punch him as hard as they could. He even closed his eyes, stretched his arms and took the famous and never-failing 'T-pose'. You know, just asserting dominance.

It went as well as you could expect. Two clones tackled him (Something he didn't saw coming) and knocked him to the ground. They followed this by holding him down grabbing him by his arms, and then proceded to basically do a line to punch him in the face, the stomach, or both. Repeatedly. Avery was starting to think that he wasn't dreaming at all. He was having a nightmare, and a pretty wild one.

One of the many punches to his face threw his glasses to the side, rendering virtually blind until he could locate them. 'W-Wait!!' He shouted. 'My glass-!!' But then was suddenly interrupted by punch to his gut. They were punching him for quite some time, but he reacted only when the glasses were tossed aside. The loss of his most precious object seemed to turn a switch on the young man, as he started to fight back against his attackers by flailing his legs (Which had remained completely free from the very beginning), hoping he could at least hit one or two of them. For the clones this was nothing but a minor hindrance, so they didn't expect a sudden surge of wind that knocked them over. Avery felt free, and attributed this to his flawless technique.

He took this opportunity to crawl to where he thought his glasses landed. Luckily for him, he turned out to be right. He sighed in relief as he carefully picked them up from the ground, noting how unscathed they were. He then stood up and put his glasses one again, turning back to check on his attackers. To his surprise, one was already charging at him and ready to punch him, so he raised his arms and closed his eyes in an instinctive attempt to protect his face. He knew pretty well that he didn't have the strength to block the attack, so he waited for the hit to land.

But he didn't felt anything like that. Instead, he felt a new and sudden surge of wind, this time going upwards. Avery opened his eyes once again to see what happened. To say that he was shocked to see that the clone was now lacking roughly 40% of his arm, with the same strange blue slime he saw earlier oozing from where the rest of his limb should be, would be a complete and somewhat undignified understatement.

The young man didn't even have the time to be surprised by this sight, noticing how some kind of smoke appeared to be rising from the spot just beside him. He lowered his gaze quickly, expecting some kind of smoke grenade or another chemical weapon. However, what he saw was something even weirder.

A vaguely humanoid form, sitting on the floor with a hunched posture, resting his right arm on his right knee and having his right hand slightly raised up. Avery only had one comment to this strange sight.

'... What?'.

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Post by Tomiix on Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:51 am

Titus rushed forward, with Knight of Cydonia charging with his spiked tower shield as Titus fired his gun at the clones, clutching his prized amulet as he eliminated the foes Knight was covering him from. A path was cleared, and as he continued his approach, he watched as the beautiful woman used her stand... (Avantasia?) to reflect the enemy stands attack back at it. Whatever power her stand had seemed to be full of potential uses, as Titus can't quite fully grasp what she is doing. He was focused on solving another puzzle, however. The puzzle of how to secure the stand arrow Soren was manipulating.

"Squire Muse... spiked gauntlet." With that command, Muse reached into it's little bag and presented it to Titus as they approached. "For you, wear it and retrieve the stand arrow!" Despite being the silent partner of the two knights, Cydonia was still expressive and seemed uncertain, but a copy of it with the spiked gauntlet equipped appears next to where the stand arrow is again. The muse clone with lightning fast speed punching into the gooey stand, attempting to steal the arrow off of it and vanishing.

"Villain! The only one who will be paying is thou, when thy be apprehended!" a metallic voice echoed, as the knight, breaking the line boisterously challenged Soren. Titus wasn't one for dramatics, and was focused on observing Soren for clues on how his stand worked, and any details of how to abuse it's weaknesses. He didn't seem any bit exhausted with these clones taken down. Are they not part of his stand? Is eliminating them a waste of time?
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