chaos_anomaly: (Default)
C. Anomaly ([personal profile] chaos_anomaly) wrote2011-06-08 04:55 am

(no subject)

WoL + Lightning Fail At Exhibition Matches:

to the leader, the pariah, the victim, the messiah [CLOSED]
CHARACTERS: Warrior of Light and Lightning, with a cameo by Orihime in the end.
DATE: Afternoon, Tue. June 7th
WHERE: A secluded little battlefield--I mean, clearing--in the Ithir forest
SUMMARY: Warrior and Lightning have an exhibition match, except oops Lightning still hates his guts. Things get. ...Out of hand.
WARNING(S): Violence, sexual tension, physics ala Square Enix :|b
DISCLAIMER: Godmodding is very apparent but was done with the permission from both players. (Seriously, it was just easier to do it in a log we both wanted finished asap... and we’re still a day late, fff)

He had amassed enough skill with the devices (and perhaps managed to find help for this specific function) that he could just manage to get it to record more than just a face, or a body...but, with the proper settings, the edge of a good-sized clearing in the Ithir forest, ideal for this match. It was a good combination of open (so that the match could be observed clearly) and forested (to prove that he didn’t need a wide open space to be effective), and it was far from anyone or anything--important, as fights between the gods’ hand-picked soldiers often became destructive.

Lightning was busy with her own device--recording an introduction. She would be done soon, though...then fighting. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of that. They’d fought before, many times, usually friendly spars...once far from friendly. But all that had been without him knowing what he knew now. It was strange, surprising; he had always believed Lightning had tolerated him rather than actually liked him, and after the events of the twelfth cycle he had known for what he thought was fact that she hated him. And he was (almost) at peace with that...but it appeared he hadn’t been quite right.

But it was time to put that from his mind. He left the device where it was, then went to the appointed starting place. He was already stretched and limber, and when Lightning was in the proper place, all he said was a curt “Prepare yourself.”

Then it began.

She eyed him for a moment, one hand on her waist and the other brushing against the hilt of her still holstered weapon. Prepare herself, huh? She didn’t need to prepare herself. Anything he put out, she could take it. The last fight they had was a stalemate, a forced ceasefire caused by Cosmos interrupting their fight. She was damn ready then to take him on completely and hold nothing back. She couldn’t afford to then, not when at the time she thought he was a traitor.

“Tch.” Lightning cocked her head to the side, feigning disinterest.

At this time, he was just a familiar face and nothing more. He wasn’t her enemy, not completely per se but he still hadn’t earned back her trust. Not like Kain did. Kain who could have easily just ran away or allowed himself to be put to sleep by Golbez, but instead chose to come back and fight with the rest of them, with her on that damn suicide mission of theirs.

Yet, they did it. They closed the portal, their sacrifice was not in vain. The Conflict obviously ended the Cycle after they all died. It was a good thought but it did nothing to sooth the worries and concerns Lightning had about her comrades. The ones she fought to the end with, the ones who weren’t here. She wasn’t alone, the Warrior was here. As was the Schoolboy and apparently two people who claimed to be from the same world she was from.

Grabbing Blaze Fire’s hilt, she pulled her weapon from it’s holster swiftly. Less than a second, her sword brandished toward the Warrior. “Come on, show me what you got.” Her lips twitched, almost into a full smirk before she charged, her feet featherlight against the ground as she dashed toward the taller male.

Lightning was always fast--quicker than he was--but knowing this meant he was prepared for it. When she came at him, he was already in a battle stance, watching her closely and carefully. She was a veteran, as was he, she would surely know better than to simply charge him head-on. What would she do...? Anticipating a dodge, he flung out his shield, curved it in an arc--he would be right behind it, sword in hand, aiming to catch her in the vulnerable moments, before she could reorient herself from ducking the blow.

Almost immediately, she leaped to the side, rolling once before switching into a low spinning attack. Keeping her center of gravity low, Lightning allowed her momentum to carry her across the clear field they chose for their fight. If it connected, she’d immediate switch her gunblade into it’s gun form and fire a shot point blank at the Warrior. If not, well, Lightning already was making plans for her next move. She’d use swift Launch strike, a flurry of sword slashes as she charged forward.

Or maybe she’d switch to her Ravager paradigm. It all depended on his next move.

He wasn’t their leader for no reason, he was good. Real good and sometimes strength alone determined whether someone was fit to lead or not. She knew that long before they fought that one time in front of Cosmos, back when it was just her and the Warrior travelling through the world to face their enemies before the Conflict started. Back then, she only studied his attacks, his movements. During their last fight, she knew exactly how much stronger he was compared to her but whereas he excelled in strength, hers was speed.

She wasn’t called Lightning for nothing.

That wasn’t unanticipated--more than just foot speed, Lightning had agility and fast reflexes--but anticipation didn’t solve everything. He had enough time to resign himself to the fact that first blood would be Lightning’s before he was taking the force behind her motions and the harsh impact of the blade against his armor. Yes, armor protected against the cutting edge, but Lightning wasn’t so gentle that her blows wouldn’t still be felt.

There was little gentle about her at all, the Warrior knew--and what gentleness she did have wasn’t ever going to be directed at him. It made her, in a way, ideal for this match--she wouldn’t dream of going easy on him, even in something allegedly aimed to make him look competent and capable. And that was good, for how would fighting someone who simply let him win make him look good?

Of course, that didn’t mean he was simply going to let her have her way. He had fought her, he knew how she liked to follow up the spinning sword--at the instant he heard the mechanical sound of her saber transforming, his left hand shot out, to grasp the barrel. If he connected, he’d force the shot to miss--and, depending on how quick Lightning was to recover, he could pull her off balance, or maybe off her feet entirely.

The sudden grasp of the barrel had her eyes widening but only for a moment. Immediately she narrowed her gaze before improvising as he pulled her weapon away from her just as her trigger finger began to pull. The bullet deflected, grazing against edge of his shoulder armor but Lightning already had started her next charge.

Still low, she spun once more in a low roundhouse kick toward the Warrior’s ankles. Whether he jumped or not, Lightning didn’t care. She needed him to let go of her weapon and hopefully this would do it. If not, he could probably pull her blade from her with his stronger strength if she wasn’t careful.

Damn it, he didn’t do anything like this the last time.

Can’t underestimate him. Despite her aggravation, her lips curled into a smirk. Guess he does have a few tricks his gauntlet. For an “exhibition” match this might actually turn out interesting, especially of both of them were serious about this duel.

He was stronger, yes. He probably could have pulled her weapon out of her grasp, thrown it aside--but what would the point have been? Even if he didn’t know she could have summoned it back in seconds, she didn’t need the gunblade to cast her elemental spells. Far more important was keeping his feet--such as it were.

The graze against his pauldron was barely noticeable, but it did let him know it was “safe” to release the barrel and jump--not just dodge her sweeping kick but jump into the air, above her. She was light, and quick, and would follow him there soon, he knew...but he was more adept in the air than he would seem at first glance. Quickly, while he still had the advantage of the higher ground, he flung his shield down--to spin, to stun and injure her--and if successful, to make her vulnerable to a sword swipe that could fling her far away.

He wasn’t to be underestimated--but neither was she. The respect so many of their fellows had for her, she had earned, and not through kind words and sympathy. The two of them could fight on an equal footing--and should, if this match was to serve its purpose.

Immediately, Lightning raised her weapon at the last moment. Maybe too late when the shield slammed into her solar plexus, driving her up into the air. Stunned, she could only grit her teeth as he continued with his combination, a fast and furious flurry of strikes that almost stole her breath from her body. At the final strike, a thrust of his sword, Lightning was sent flying.

A glance behind her and she knew she speeding toward a large tree trunk. Twisting around, she hit the trunk feet first and immediately jumped off into the air. It took effort and skill but she had plenty. This wasn’t over, not yet.

Closing her eyes for only the briefest of moments, she concentrated hard as rings of colored light surrounded her. When they faded, she curled into her self and yelled, “Blizzara!”

He could feel cold air enveloping him, see the frost in the air--but this spell, the trick was to wait until the last--second. The Warrior flipped forward gracefully, and the massive block of ice filled the space behind him, not the one he was in.

But now--what to do? She was the one with the height advantage, and as she was now--shifted into that strange “mode” that allowed her to cast her most dangerous spells, there was no place far or near that was truly safe. He hesitated in thought, but only for a moment. Then, he was running full tilt--but not for her, rather towards the tree she had recently leaped from, and with a bit of a jump, he was running straight up it. Vertical movement was just as speedy as horizontal for him, and he was closing in on Lightning, trying to pressure her. If he could force a careless action from her...he didn’t carry a shield for nothing.

Heat burned on her chest, right over the marking on her chest just like it always did when she cast a spell. The first time it happened, she was taken by surprised and almost got herself killed back in the early days of the Conflict but the heat was welcomed now. She was used to it. It wasn’t even a harsh burn but a warming feeling that occurred every time she used a spell, in this form or the other. It didn’t matter if it was an elemental spell or even that ‘Ruin’ or ‘Ruinga’, the sensation was the same.

She never told anyone about it, never heard anyone complain of the same thing. It was her own problem, assuming there even was one. Her chest warmed and that was it but on some days when she wasn’t fighting, Lightning would stare at the mark, the tattoo and remember... something.

A glow, hard and bright. And pain.

Then the memory would fade and she’d be stuck with nothing.

Focusing on the now, she waited until the Warrior rushed toward her, using the trees as his running platforms. It was obvious he wasn’t running toward her. He was trying to get above her, probably to use another one of his Shield attacks against her. Those she remembered were the only ones he had that could be done at an angle. When he drew closer, she straightened her sword arm and leaped toward him swiftly before slashing at him, “Try this on!”

He dodged the first strike, then the second but her momentum carried her, keeping her closing in until suddenly he found himself caught into her own combination. Time slowed as Lightning struck with what seemed like a multitude of sword slashes, thrusts and feints. It lasted for probably only few seconds for anyone watching (maybe even one) before finally, she called out, “Get lost!”

Her last attack sent him flying into the air, toward the opposite side of the clearing.

He and his comrades--all of them--were handpicked by Cosmos to fight in her war, trusted to be strong enough to kill monsters, demons, and even gods if need be. Some of them were human, some of them were blessed, empowered--some of them were more than human, and it was in moments like this that he was forcefully, painfully reminded of what it felt like, to deal with those with such powers.

Slash, thrust, feint and a kick--it came faster than he could react to, almost faster than he could see--and he shut his eyes, gritted his teeth and endured what he must--it ended with a gunshot, the pain of the point-blank muzzle heat highlighting that caused by the bullet impact against armor, and then it was over and he was flying away.

However, he landed on his feet. He skidded a few feet back, steadying himself with one hand on the ground and looked up--while he was flying, Lightning had pressed her advantage and sent air magic after him. Speed was of the essence, and he didn’t trust his shield to reflect that, not now...”Tch,” and his hand went a belt pouch, pulling out two strange fangs. “Give me strength,” he said, almost as if in prayer, before offering up one--this became an arrow of flame, colliding with the rushing air and, as per the rules magic was bound by, nullifying it. Another almost-prayer, and the other vanished into midair--but ice was now falling onto Lightning.

Would she halt the spell? Almost certainly, but it would hopefully buy enough time. The Warrior dug his sword into the ground, then swung it out, at Lightning, sending massive columns of light bursting from the ground--and himself dashing behind them, right at her. She had the advantage at range, and he refused to let her keep it.

Dammit. Lightning scowled, narrowing her eyes at the huge fireball that sped her way. She couldn’t block it, not yet. Not now. Her feet were already carrying her toward him, she had to roll to the side, dodge it. So she did, there was still some distance between her and the fire spell. But she never caught sight of the fireball changing its trajectory slightly to keep homing in on her.

Ice struck her back from above, stunning her momentarily before the fireball hit dead on. She was thrown back. Her clothes were singed by the heat but she shook it off. She had worse. This wasn’t the first she got struck by a fire spell, or an ice spell. She fought at least one False Hero manikin to know exactly what these magic attacks could do.

In midair, she caught herself, immediately focusing on the task at hand. She’d worry about injuries she just sustained later when she had a moment to catch her breath; they weren’t serious. Weren’t fatal. But the stream of light, the bursts of Lights exploding from the ground in column after column heading her way could be. It took her some effort to force herself to jump again, this time the side. She just narrowly avoided one column of light but soon another set were heading her way.

Lightning allowed herself to fall to the ground, ignore the sounds of falling trees behind her and waited until the second wave got close enough. This one had to be timed right if she wanted to avoid it. She took a breath. Still your mind, move on instinct.

She felt the warmth of light on her face and then she jumped high into the air, moving forward. She spun and flipped over a slow emerging column of light. When she landed, Lightning jerked her head up and immediately stood up, raising her gunblade over her head, she yelled, “Have some more!”

Her blade disappeared, changing (shifting) into an even more massive weapon. Zantetsuken, her double edged sword. The one she used when she wanted to attempt a killshot, a final blow. She spun her hand and then sent the massive S-shaped weapon flying toward the Warrior. Her hand felt empty but she nevertheless continued her sprint toward him until she was close enough to send out a spell that still had a chance to hit long after she cast it.


The final column of that shining wave of light faded in time for him to see and hear Lightning brandishing her Zantetsuken--he just narrowed his eyes and sped up, straight for her, almost as if the disc of razor-sharp winds wasn’t there. And when he would have run into it, at, again, the last second, he ducked under, rolling and landing on his feet again, looking for Lightning--

--and finding a storm, finding wind and lightning. Not the slicing blades but still dangerous, and this time, too close to counter with what magic (if it could ever be called that) that he had. There was nothing for it but to weather the blow, so he braced himself, shield in front of his face, teeth gritted against the electricity, and when the gale ended--there, there she was. Charging at him, gunblade at the ready, and an unusually fierce look in her eyes...even for her. What was she planning?

Whatever it was, he wasn’t going to just wait and see, standing like a perfect target. There was a tree behind him, and swiftly he turned, running up it, seeking the higher ground (or air, as the case may be), where a good counter could be launched, and then he could--

“Who are you watching?”


He jagged left to catch a knot under his foot, and pushed off, upwards, as hard as he could--he didn’t see Lightning, but he felt her pass underneath him, the rush of displaced air...and then the tree he was running on creaked and started to topple over. His balance shaky, the Warrior leapt from it, landing in the upper branches of a tree still there, where was she?


He dodged.

Lightning scowled, her arms still outstretched with one half of Zantetsuken (identical mirror image broadswords) in both hands. She was open. Vulnerable. She couldn’t react fast enough when she felt a shield strike her back and sending her back into the air. He juggled her in midair, using his shield and sword to attack her fast and hard. A gasp of pain and Lightning dug deep for something, anything to stop him in mid-attack.

She couldn’t. She was caught, trapped in a similar manner he was when she used her own combination, Army of One, earlier.

A grunt tore from her when he sent her flying into the air but this time, this time he followed after her. Magic assaulted her from below, sending her spinning in the air. Pulses of magic and heat slammed into her repeatedly. One glance below her and Lightning closed her eyes, bracing herself for impact.

The Warrior made an upward thrust of his sword, some distance below her feet but it wasn’t his sword that struck. It was a massive blade of energy in the shape of his weapon that sent her flying through the tree canopies.

Pain electrified her back when she slammed through multiple tree branches, snapping each and everyone until she finally broke through the trees. Then she was falling, back down toward the forest floor. Gritting her teeth, she threw down an Aerora below her, hoping to use the air spell to keep herself aloft until she could recover and buy herself some time to plan her next move. When the first only kept her floating for only a moment, Lightning sent another and another until descended slowly down onto a unscathed branch. She took a deep breath and immediately started running, putting more distance between her and the Warrior.

Her nerves were fried, her body trembled from the aftermath of being hit by the Warrior’s magic, his light.

Scowling, Lightning slowed to a stop and switched Paradigms. Whispering to not draw attention to her location, Lightning reached for the warm light she always felt in this form, “I can fix this.”


Nothing happened.

Any small, arboreal creature in the area had long since fled or dug deep into its den--given the destruction going on, no animal short of a true monster would dare be out anymore--so when the Warrior heard the sound of something moving in the branches, something that wasn’t breeze or debris, he knew who it had to be. His search for her finally over, he followed the sound of her footsteps always and whatever fleeting flashes of her he could catch through the foliage. She didn’t come fully in view, though, for some time after she stopped moving--when he had run up the tree she was perched in, and found the branch where she was healing herself.

Or rather, attempting to heal herself. It was obvious nothing was happening--there was no magical energy flowing, only Lightning frozen with a stunned look on her face--and then another attempt. The Warrior almost felt bad. He had known before the match began, for days already, that Attollo disallowed any healing other than what it saw fit to grant its prisoners. Lightning, clearly, had not been so informed. He almost felt bad.

However, he wasn’t going to get another chance like this. The light gathered around him, sang through his blade as three slices in quick succession sent Lightning flying, and with a bound he followed her out of the forest and once more into the little clearing.

“You’re mine,” he growled, pulling her down from the air with his shield--and when she was in front of him, stunned and injured... “Take this!” This wasn’t the rune saber, the blade of light--there was only swordplay, no magic other than skill and virtuosity with his preferred weapon, a flurry of vicious strikes that ended in a brutal thrust: the bitter end of any chance she had at a comeback.

This match was over.

She held back a scream as he attacked her with one of his more deadly sword attacks. Her clothes were torn, slashed through and the bite of his sword sliced through to her skin, leaving lacerations on her arms and torso. Then he knocked her away, stealing all the air from her lungs with that final blow. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t see anything beyond the haze of agony but one thought remained.

I can’t stop now.

Her eyes snapped open and rather than letting her back slam into another tree, Lightning attempted another jump in midair, recovering from her stagger and glared at him. No holding back. None whatsoever, not that she was earlier but now? She was going all out. All she could see now was red, anger boiled inside her and Lightning charged forward.

Dashing straight at him through the air, circles of red appeared. Her weapon shifted into its gun mode and Lightning brandished it toward the Warrior.

In quick succession, she fired. Once. Twice. Three times at him.

The first struck his chest, the second his shoulder.

The third she aimed toward his head.

The impact of her bullet against his head wouldn’t kill him, not with that helmet on him but it did exactly what she wanted. His helmet went flying, landing some distance away from him.

Lightning charged forward, flinging out her weapon to the side until it snapped back into sword mode. She slammed the edge of her blade against his midsection, the one place on his torso that wasn’t covered with hard armor plating. Following that attack with a hard improvised kick inspired by Tifa, she sent him flying backwards but she didn’t let him go too far.

She straightened her body in midair and dropped her hands. Her gunblade disappeared and the two halves of Zantetsuken appeared. They spun around her quickly as Thunder and Lightning surrounded the Warrior. The magic struck him repeatedly, juggling him in the air.

“Enjoy the view!”

Lightning flung her head back as a large blast of magic struck down from the heavens, almost illuminating the entire clearing.

For anyone viewing their devices to watch their spar, their screens would have gone completely white, but only for a moment.

He was surprised when she got back up from that, and then his eyebrows went up as she charged. He knew her, and he knew himself--or he thought he did, he thought he had beaten her fairly into submission. But this...

He had enough time to discern that something was very wrong, ominously wrong, and that somewhere he had made a big mistake before she fired. A bullet against his chest, he expected and took. A bullet hitting his shoulder--not surprising, not unbearable.

His head whipped back violently as the third bullet hit his helmet and the chunk of metal flew off, embedding itself horns-first in the ground. What?!

The Warrior jerked his head towards Lightning, his gaze not questioning but demanding. Lightning was a talented markswoman. She did not miss like that, she did not make mistakes like that--her shot hit his head, she had been aiming for his head. That wasn’t a move for a spar, or an exhibition match, that was intent to kill. What was she--

She wasn’t answering questions. He wasn’t prepared to counter her attacks, and pain bloomed in the gash in his side, and the kick she landed on him would leave a nasty bruise, but far more important was the surge of electricity heating the air--it was felt before it could be seen, and he was still too stunned and disbelieving to take advantage of that chance of escape. When the lightning bolts coursed through the air and his body, juggling him, there was no escape from what was coming, and not even the capacity to brace himself against a blast of thunder magic, or the subsequent slamming into the dirt.

It was impossible not to cry out in pain, and almost impossible to pick himself up off the ground, the lingering electricity disrupting his control over his body--the Warrior had only managed to push himself up to his knees when Lightning hit the ground--gracefully, feet first--only feet before him.

She still wielded Zantetsuken.

“This is gonna sting!” sounded almost mocking, before once more electricity filled the air, filled him, and once more he hit the dirt.

This time he forced himself to his feet through sheer force of will--smoke rising from him, but he couldn’t afford to linger or even feel pain; whatever had come over Lightning, he had to stop it--stop her...

His first clue that she had managed to get behind him was the sharp jerk on his cape--his balance faltered but the Warrior was moving and instantly ripped at the fastenings keeping it on his shoulders, spinning to face her. What had been an article of clothing was now just a long length of fabric, either end held by both of them--he used his momentum to twist and twirl and wrap the cape around Lightning--to incapacitate her, hold her until she saw reason again.

Her sense of their surroundings faded. It wasn’t the forest. She wasn’t in Attollo. All she could see is him and only him. The Warrior—the traitor--that stood between her and everything else. Just an obstacle in her way, something she needed to take down. Hard and fast. Before he harmed anyone else, just like Kain did.

Fabric started to encase around her but Lightning’s free hand reached into her pocket and drew out the knife she always kept on her. She flicked it open with a snap of her wrist, shredding threw the yellow cape with both knife and sword. Once freed, she slashed at the Warrior but he turned. Her steel met the black of his bicep, cutting through the rough material easily as if it was nothing until she drew blood and he fell back to avoid a loss of limb.

Lightning’s anger and frustration fueled her, adding more intensity to her attacks as she immediate transitioned into another sword attack, this time from the air. She dashed toward him then paused for only the briefest of moments before slamming down on top of him. She attacked him with her sword, using her legs to kick him downward. Stay down!

She didn’t waste time, switching immediately to Ravager before forcing herself to perform another Army of One, this time with more power and impact than before. Her blade’s tip slide between the plates of armor, ripping through at least one or two of the fasteners on either side of his body, just beneath his arms. She might have caught another on his waist but Lightning didn’t waste any thought on it. Instead, she delivered her attacks with more aggression, probably matching the same ferocity as his Bitter End’s power.

Once completed, she allowed him to fly as she landed softly on the ground. Curling her hand, she waved her arm up and down three times. Small balls of concentrated fire, three glowing orbs of immense heat slowly moved away from her before immediately flying after the Warrior with speed equal to her own. They raced after him just as she followed. Lights surrounded Lightning twice more until she was back safely in Commando mode. Medic was useless.

Only pure strength and magic will deal with this threat.

Lightning dropped low and followed the Fires spells with a hasty Blitz.

She had gone mad. What other explanation was there? Why else would she be trying to turn a spar, a friendly fight, into a death match? He didn’t understand, and could only try to stop her, to bring her to her senses before anyone--either her or him--was seriously injured.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t doing a very good job. He was disadvantaged, inherently--she fought fiercely, without regard for life or limb, even her own, and thus moved, attacked, with a ferocity he didn’t dare duplicate lest it lead to accident and tragedy. So, it seemed, the only thing he could do was endure--but even he couldn’t last forever.

His world consisted of pain, and little more, as she caught him with her sword and gun--he gritted his teeth against the pain of impact--and again, when Lightning picked him up off the ground and propelled him through the air at blade tip, feeling the straps that held his armor on sever. He just barely managed to recover enough to land on his feet, after she sent him flying, though the armor was askew, no longer tightly fitting. The Warrior straightened, panting as he gave her a very dark look--then, without taking his eyes off her, he undid the remaining straps and flung the breast and backplate to the ground. As they were, they were useless, and would only interfere.

What he saw coming at him were fireballs--with a hard look, he swiped them away with his sword...and did not see Lightning’s charge, the same one she had opened the fight with, until it was too late to block it. She hit him, hard enough to knock the wind out of him, and seconds later he was airborne again, flying back into the thicker foliage with a flinch-inducing crashing sound.

There was a moment of silence. Then another. And another.

Then, arcing from the canopy came a half-dozen swords of flame, reaching their peak--then homing in and accelerating at a remarkable rate.

Lightning!” The Warrior’s voice was hard as steel, following his fire swords with remarkable speed himself--injuries aside, losing all that metal weight wasn’t a complete loss. His face was tight and cold, his eyes intent. If this was how it had to be, then so be it.

Her spin attack didn’t connect. Lightning didn’t waste time trying to aim her weapon at the Warrior. On the edge of her peripheral vision, she could see them--swords of magic in hues of orange and red flying toward her location. A multitude of them but unlike his other attacks, they were slow. Slow enough to dodge long before they ever reached her.

Lightning went right, tumbling into a crouching position. She brandished her left hand, still holding the knife toward the direction those swords had to come from. “Ruinga!”

The spell missed but exploded upon contact with the ground. A smoke cloud obscured all vision but that was exactly what Lightning wanted.

A diversion.

She rushed through the smokescreen, sliding almost to a stop before sending out another Ruinga toward a random direction. She could hear him, the clanking of his armor ruined any chance of stealth he could have wanted. There. From the right, somewhere to her right and coming fast. He was trying to close her in. Fine. Let him.

Another Ruinga flew toward him, just as Lightning dodged out of a way of an incoming sword thrust. She spun slightly, turning around until she faced his back. She called out, echoing the same words he growled out moments earlier. The only warning he had before she struck.

You’re mine!”

Her focus narrowed. Immediately, her sword descended and pounded on his back repeatedly, tearing through the fabric of his shirt. She drew blood from him, ignoring his grunts of pain as she took advantage of his current stunned state. Dropping the knife onto the ground, ignoring the small thud, Lightning sprung quickly into a Flourish of Steel.

Waving Zantetsuken, she struck harder against his back with the jagged edges of her massive sword. Without his armor, the assault would be even more pain-ridden and Lightning didn’t give a damn about it. A single mantra repeated endlessly in her mind, driving out any possible chance of her regaining her senses. Of snapping out of whatever state she was in.

Eliminate the threat. No holding back.

Just as she was about to deliver the last blow of her attack, abruptly, the Warrior turned and grabbed a hold of one of her wrists. Sudden surprise made her stumble, her weapon shifting once more to her gunblade. Growling low, she sprang another round house kick toward his face, trying to get him to let go of her. He did but he snagged the red scarf that hung behind her. A scarf that, until now, Lightning never considered being a hindrance.

The Warrior was dimly aware that what she was doing was going to leave marks, and an even more distant part pessimistically wondered if Ithir’s healing springs were exceptionally good, or if the wounds would leave scars no matter what. Vaguely he tried to think if he had seen a tailor anywhere, as his clothes would need repair at best and replacement at worst, and fuzzily he wondered how much Lancelot would charge to repair his armor.

Mostly, though, a cold sort of anger was building in him. This madness that had taken Lightning--he was never amused at it, or tolerant of it, but this was more than enough. He was not going to put up with this, he was not going to indulge this temper tantrum anymore. And if he had to beat her into the dirt until she couldn’t lift her weapon anymore to get her to behave like a rational person again, then he would beat her into the dirt until she had no choice but to surrender.

Though the damage being done to him was only increasing, the pain was vanishing, and it allowed him to notice a small pause, a slight vulnerability--with a speed and precision impressive even for him, his hand shot out, took her wrist, and dragged her low. Lightning countered, as expected, which was dodged with a quick bend and twist and with his other hand he took firm hold of the red capelet behind her shoulder. He didn’t give her a chance to counter or even process what he was doing; in the same motion he turned, dragging Lightning behind him by the cape--and turned again, until he could no longer feel her body dragging against the dirt--and turned again, the fabric of the cape was now taut in his hands from centrifugal force--and turned one last time, and at the right moment, he let go.

The recovery of the swing led straight into the start of another wave of light columns, ripping through the ground after her--perfect efficiency, not a wasted moment, not a wasted movement. The tree she’d hit wouldn’t survive the impact and the erupting, searing light, but she would. And--yes, there they came, ripples in the air signifying magic, more of the air magic, but nothing he could not handle, because now, as he was, it felt like there was nothing he could not handle.

He probably avoided most of the slicing winds, probably--somewhere deep in the back of his mind registered new wetness and coolness not attributable to sweat--but even if he didn’t, it didn’t slow him down. If he weren’t so angry, this feeling or lack thereof would have been beautiful and thrilling--as it was, he only hung onto it grimly, shored himself up against it, and drew upon it as he closed the distance to Lightning. She was responding with more thunder magic, thin bolts hitting the ground, hitting him, and when this surge of icy fury was over he would ache for days but for right now despite the obvious damage it was doing...nothing clouded his mind, he saw nothing but Lightning’s movements, the pattern of the electricity. And when there was a pause, he saw that, reacted--the white fang he held in his fist was offered up and now his own lightning struck her, pinned her still for just long enough...

“Release!” His shield moved of its own accord. Or not quite--a beam of light still connected it to his hand, but it definitely snatched Lightning towards him without him touching it. His arm moved in brutal strikes, the shield mimicking its master’s motions--until it slammed into Lightning a final time, and the Warrior called it back and followed Lightning again--if she surrendered now, then he would accept it. If she did not, then until she did, he would not stop.

Another gasp tore from her throat. Her back collided with another tree, snapping the thick trunk that was twice her size into two. She struck another tree and cracked the wood. The bark scraped at her back, ripping the already present tears of fabric further. Falling on the ground, Lightning groaned heavily before crawling onto all fours. She coughed and ignored the taste of blood in her mouth. Her chest ached; no, it throbbed with agonizing pain with each breath she took.

Shaking her head, she scowled and hissed darkly. No giving up. Not yet, it’s not over yet. There will be no surrender. Absolutely none. She had to keep going. She needed to keep going, to keep fighting. At least then she’d serve her purpose—her friends, her surrogate family would be safe. All of them, especially from traitors like him.

Traitors who took matters in their own hands. Traitors who took—stole—choices before they could be made.

Gripping tightly on the hilt of Blaze Fire, Lightning took one shaky deep breath and then another. She coughed again, spitting blood on the floor. Dragging a forearm across her mouth, she ignored the crimson stain and stood. Footsteps, clanking noises against cracking branches and crushed leaves were becoming louder.

He was getting closer. Probably to deliver the final blow.

Lightning scoffed and stood. She held her weapon in one hand and waited. He’d expect an Aerora, even as he raced to close the distance. He’d expect a fire or three, maybe but there was one spell she hadn’t yet used against him. A spell she didn’t use often but maybe, if she combined it with another, then there will be a chance.

One more deep breath and she closed her eyes. Even though he divulged some of his armor already, he still carried enough to make noise. Just as she heard him cry out, readying another attack, Lightning leaped into the air, jumping over him before screaming out the name of her only Ice Spell, and then another. And another. Three of them in quick succession, all cast to deliberately leave no space in between to run or flee. No escape. None whatsoever. He was trapped, the sucking vortex of the Blizzara spells pulling him into the center of one. Lightning flung her hand out toward him, staring at directly into his face with narrowed eyes.

A large orb of water, a sphere of liquid erupted from her palm. It was bigger than her, the diameter matching her height almost as it slowly loomed closer toward the Warrior. There was one moment of opportunity for the slow spell to strike, the moment between the Blizzara’s vortex and the subsequent explosion. Lightning timed it perfectly, watching as the Watera slammed directly into the Blizzara-encased Warrior, throwing him straight toward the sky.

She chased after him, following him during his flight skyward as she shifted her Paradigm until she was once more in her Commando form. No more Ravager. No more running. Now it was personal. Lightning swallowed metallic taste of blood as she flung her hand out once more and directed three smaller versions of Ruin (faster moving small orbs of magic) toward the Warrior. She struck him with the first and he went flying once more.

Using a tree branch as a platform, Lightning jumped after him until she was close enough to fire her gunblade three times in a Blaze Rush. “You’re toast,” she screamed, charging at him once more with her weapon. She sent him flying again, payback for earlier.

Without hesitation, she immediately struck him once more with the first move of a Smite combination but on her second, her sword struck something solid. Her arm bounced back, Lightning cursed harsh vibrations coursing through her arm. A yellow light glowed hot against her face, when she looked up, she could barely make out the Warriors face as he held his sword and shield in front of him.


Sheer energy slammed into her, tossing her backwards. He followed and before Lightning could catch her bearings, he struck. Once more, his shield caught her. He juggled her through the air before he thrust his sword upward. She felt the magic of his power (his light) course through her—the same way he did before.

Even as she tried to block it, she couldn’t. Her limbs wouldn’t move, numb from the electrifying energy assaulted her from all directions. The massive sword of light, his Rune Saber, stabbed her from below. Lightning gritted her teeth and covered her face with one arm as she tore through the tree canopy once more but this time, he didn’t follow her. Instead, he stayed hovering for only a moment, possibly waiting until gravity took a hold of her again.

Tightening her jaw, Lightning twisted until she started falling face first. Immediately she threw down several Ruins toward him, more as a diversion than an actual attack. She followed her magic flurry by switching her weapon into its gun mode. Not caring about technique and skill, she fired bullet after bullet downward toward him. Most bounced off his shield which he used to defend himself from her Ruins, some grazed his arms and torso. None had penetrated his body completely and once more, that was what Lightning wanted.

She was going to impale him with her sword.

Lightning landed on the floor with a soft thud. The wind picked up, almost as if sensing a storm was arriving. She ignored cool air brushing against the tears of her shirt, the caresses of the forest breeze against the lacerations on her torso. Her jacket was shredded; the brown sleeveless turtleneck equally ruined. A black strap of her bra peered through one of the rips on her shoulders, the cup with its laced edge peaked out of another tear on her chest.

The sky darkened. She didn’t give him much of a chance to defend himself as Lightning drew her namesake from the sky. A multitude of bolts struck the ground, slamming him down hard onto the floor. She didn’t wait until the storm was over.

Lightning dashed toward him until she stood over him and then drew her sword downward in a thrust, even as she saw out of the corner of her eye—movement .

By the time it registered, her strike drew to a dead stop. The sharpness of a steel sword’s tip pressed hard against one of the tears on her torso, the one over her heart, against the red and black marking on her chest. Her sword’s tip stopped just above his Adam’s apple, drawing a small drop of blood from his neck.


Post a comment in response:

Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.