The Phenomenal Fracas (GBS2G6) [Round Five: The Ambitus Phenomenon]

The Phenomenal Fracas (GBS2G6) [Round Five: The Ambitus Phenomenon]
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by MrGuy.

Blackmask blocked the suddenly intense sun with a gloved hand. The shine, contrasting with the relative darkness of Afterparty, was too much-- for the most part, the pirate was used to either mist, smog, or the interior of an airship, and the blast of yellow was a tad painful at first. Upon acclimating and noting the position of the large field relative to the manor, two conflicting thoughts immediately took over Ripper's thought processes. These, naturally, consisted roughly of "Where is the core" and "Mansion mansion mansion treasure."

Upon considering the situation, Ripper eventually arrived at a conclusion. Going to need to contact the ghost. Disturbing the dead is a bad idea. The mansion might have a way to contact the dead without disturbing them. Sufficiently convinced, the pirate immediately headed for the entrance of the mansion. It was, naturally, incredibly ostentatious-- a marble doorframe with intricate engravings. Blackmask briefly considered opening the door, decided this would be boring, and instead kicked it off of its hinges before wandering into the house, only momentarily distracted by the brief crashing of glass audible from a couple rooms over. A massive staircase directly in front, and at least seven doors to each side. Ripper briefly considered what was necessary to contact a ghost. Need something to get her attention... something to prove I'm not planning to hurt her, peace offering maybe... something to trade for the core... and, if it comes down to it, something to kill her. Lessee, then... I can probably boil that down to six or so pieces of booty... some sorta instrument, grog, maybe some grub, maybe some jewelry, some... iron and salt and stuff?-- Ripper, despite being superstitious, was not very good at it-- Bible o' course, and a new sword.

Thinking further, the pirate began narrowing down which rooms might contain said. Food, salt and drink's going to be either in the cellar or the kitchen... jewelry'd be in a bedroom, Good Book and instrument either there or in the study... hell if I know where I'll find me some iron. Ah, well. Time to weigh anchor. Ripper began opening doors on either side, looking for the kitchen. Upon finding and entering it after several incorrect guesses, Ripper immediately stuffed the candelabra and salt shaker away, then got to raiding the cupboards, giving a brief glance to the bizarre icebox in the corner. Let's see... flour, crackers, ooh, jerky... here we go, a pastry o' some kind. Blackmask pulled out the jerky and pastry, staring at the packaging somewhat confused. A furious rip managed to liberate the contents, which were gingerly placed away so as not to harm them. Whipping open the refrigerator, figuring that iceboxes were iceboxes, Ripper winced at the blast of musty air that emanated from it, having long since stopped receiving its supply of power. Uh, right then. I'll belay the wine for now, then... The pirate headed out of the room straight into another, far worse disappointment: around twenty grains of sparkling sand were visible at the foot of the staircase.

Begad. This is... a problem. Best be avoidin' the upstairs, then... The pirate began checking more doors. Bathroom... closet... wait, what’s this? Behind the door was what appeared to be a study. Blackmask’s eyes briefly drifted to the small spatter of blood and bile on the carpeting before latching onto the bookcase in a corner. The pirate quickly began rooting through it, looking for a Bible or guide to exorcisms or something along those lines, but was disappointed on almost every front. However, despite none of the books available being suitable for communing with a ghost, one managed to stand out among all the rest: a thick green book entitled Scourge of the Stratosphere: An Annotated History of High-Flying Piracy. Ripper, overcome with egotism, quickly grabbed the book and flipped to the index.

Blackmask: Ripper, 182. Slasher, 184.

The indignant raider began unwittingly thinking out loud. “Slasher Blackmask? What variety of rudder-rot is that supposed to be...” A quick flip to page 182 led to the pirate being struck dumb, but only for a brief moment. “Impossible... no...” A quick flip to page 184 revealed an only slightly less unwelcome line of text:

<span style="font-family: Franklin Gothic Medium">“Slasher took control of the Hellium Razor in April of 1848, with no one outside its crew the wiser, after Ripper’s ‘mysterious disappearance’. Taking on the old captain’s mask and name, Slasher did his best to maintain the Blackmask legacy. He did an astoundingly good job—in fact, not until he was on his deathbed in 1878 did he reveal that he was not the real Ripper—rather, the real Ripper was”

Blackmask furiously tore out pages 181-184 and ripped them to shreds. “THAT... LOUSY... LUBBER! I TOLD HIM THAT IN THE STRICTEST CONFIDENCE, AND TOLD HIM THAT HE MUST NEVER LET ANYONE KNOW HE WASN’T THE REAL ME!” The pirate furiously punched the bookcase repeatedly, reducing two of its shelves to mere splinters, before finally calming down and doubling over. Too late to do anything about it. Doesn’t matter anymore, does it? Doubt I’ll ever make it back home anyway... Blackmask sighed and left the room, back into the hallway, to begin trying more and more doors in order to tie the plan together.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by MalkyTop.

Eureka had no idea what was up with the light show but it had been annoying and painful. Her eyes were still watering and she stumbled right onto a bed, which was so soft, it allowed her to sink quite a bit into the matress. It was very comfortable. Too comfortable. She stood back up again, somehow disturbed, as she had the strange, irrational fear that the bed would swallow her whole.

It was then her wounds reminded her in a rather painful manner that some of them needed tending to. She stumbled again, this time onto a chair that almost tilted over too far, raised her shirt a little and gave a short intake of breath at what she saw. That crazy horned lady thing didn't hold anything back. Her fingers had left neat holes from which blood had flown out freely. She wouldn't be surprised if they had scraped against her ribs. Bandages wrapped around her torso. If this kept up, she would run out of bandages...

Letting her bloodied clothes drop now, she started actually looking around the room. It had the feeling of 'guest bedroom' all over it, with the leafy wallpaper and the queen-sized bed with the nice sheets and the framed paintings that depicted a generic landscape (which nobody really hung up in their own rooms because their wallspace could be used for something much more interesting). The dressers were empty as well as the closet.

Though actually, she had no idea what an average bedroom in a mansion looked like. Maybe fabulously rich people did decorate their rooms with paintings of generic landscapes that were vaguely European. It did seem like the bed had been used recently. No dust.

But...the silence was still there, looming dramatically. Eureka hadn't heard a thing after the Prestigimawhatzits stopped talking. It seemed there was absolutely nobody around. She felt rather...alone.

She tried the door. It was locked. However, it didn't seem as though it was built to withstand a big bundle of balled-up cloth colliding with it at a high velocity, so she got her scarf ready. But wait. What the heck was she doing? There were most certainly a bunch of other nasty characters out there ready to kill her in probably gruesome ways. Smashing down doors would just draw attention to her. Wherever they were. Wherever she was. Whatever.

She glanced out the window and saw she was on the second floor. So the only entrance was the door and anybody coming in would have no idea she was here. So she could catch anybody off guard if they happened to find her here. Staying inside this room was sounding better and better.

Eureka slumped in the chair again and glanced at the desk. Well, it was probably going to be a boring wait, so she might as well search it.

Some of the drawers were locked and Eureka was strangely compelled to respect the privacy of whoever decided his things were secret enough to hide away. She didn't find much, mostly letters she didn't feel like opening and various types of pens, one which she took and started spinning around in boredom. The last drawer she opened had a leather-bound book in it. Fancy golden letters described the book as a Journal.

This one she was willing to check out. Still spinning the pen between her fingers, she opened to the first page.

November 20th

Father gave me this as a present. "For your darkest secrets," he said. Now why would I want to write my darkest secrets down for someone else to come along and read? Because certainly if someone else finds this, they will open up and read it
(and here Eureka nervously glanced over her shoulder before continuing) in curiosity and then my secrets would no longer be secret. I can't help but think that this present is the most useless thing Father had ever given me. But I will still write in it. At least for remembering important things I forget.

November 21st

Had a strange dream. I regret that I've completely forgotten it by now. Ah well. There was probably no meaning behind it anyways.

November 22nd

Must remember to get milk.

Eureka sighed and started flipping ahead until she found a rather long one that seemed more interesting than grocery troubles.

I feel so conflicted and I have thought about this so often as I lay in bed that I have gotten absolutely no sleep in the last few days. It is a sin according to God, as the preacher says, and it will no doubt hurt our family's reputation. Writing it out here will just be confessing it, so I refuse to. Because it can't be true. This must be a test and I intend to pass it. Soon this will go away and I can get back to sleep.

No, it can't be denied any longer. It is only a self-destructive path to continue ignoring my feelings. Everything feels right when I'm around her, so why should I loathe myself for it?

Because God will loathe me for it. Because she is much too young. Because she is my sister.

He'll kill me. He'll absolutely go insane if I ever tell him I love Plkf

Eureka paused, blink, and read the sentence again.

He'll absolutely go insane if I ever tell him I love Sdfj

Eureka rubbed her eyes. Great. On top of everything, she was hallucinating. Quickly, she flipped through more pages, skimming them, finding names that were either jumpled messes of random letters or crossed out heavily altogether. She stopped randomly.

Wdkl died today. The whole manor is in mourning. I can see the lake outside my window an d the boat she had tried to grab is still floating there. The water looks filthy to me now. The funeral is two days from now.

Tried to get out her body today. Rope snapped.

Tried to get out her body today. Flkjds almost drowned. Sdlkj is convinced we shouldn't try anymore. Funeral is held without her body.

Tried to get out her body tonight. I could see it clearly through the water and she looks no different, as though she had simply chosen to sleep in the lake's bottom. She looked so close. I leaned over and fell in, but didn't panic. For the few moments I was near her, I felt calm. The calmest I had been ever since the accident. But then I was fished out. Someone had seen my sneaking out at night. Sewoij is certain this is a sign.

We are leaving. My room looks oddly bare now. I intend on leaving this journal behind. I don't want anybody to find it.

And that would seem to be the end of that.

But there was more.

I can still see her I can hear her voice it is so melodious I wish I could be near her again

Eureka paused, wondering if she should really continue. Before, it had been just creepy. Now it was...well, creepier. She flipped through the much more had he written before he supposedly left?

At the last page, she couldn't help but notice that the entry was writing itself out. Ink neatly spelled out the words in perfect handwriting, repeating the phrase, they say I am not well but I am feeling fine over and over. She watched, her pen now poised right above the paper, completely still. The ink reached the end of the page and a new, blank one appeared. She would have been more surprised, but suddenly, this seemed rather normal.

Done with the journal entry, she carefully closed the book and set the pen in its place. As though she were following a well-rehearsed ritual, she licked her fingers and pinched out the candle that was there to the side, draped her coat over the chair, and shuffled over to the bed and slowly slid herself under the covers.

Almost immediately, she fell asleep.

Before she did, she hoped she would dream of her again and hoped that everybody else would stop fussing over her. They all kept saying she wasn't well, but really, she was feeling fine.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by MrGuy.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by SleepingOrange.

Blackmask was frustrated; it wasn't even as though he had a very good idea of what he needed or what he needed to do for this séance or exorcism or whatever it was or was going to be, and he couldn't even find things that matched the vague ideas he had. Where were you supposed to find a sword in a manor like this, anyway? After several minutes of banging around through the various rooms on the first floor, the pirate found himself back in the entry hall. He tapped his mask pensively, pondering his next course of action; he wasn't immediately struck by anything, but something did gradually dawn on him.

Hadn't he kicked in that door? What was it doing, then, standing tall and intact as though it hadn't been touched since being installed? A few moments later, the lack of any sand on the floor became apparent as well. He was certain that there had, just a minute ago, been a small pile of ominous sand scattered at the base of the stairs, and now... Nothing. Everything in this room was as pristine as it could possibly be. Ripper grunted and tapped his foot, thinking, then moved to the entryway and experimentally kicked over the umbrella stand. It sat there, unmoving and with its contents disgorged across the floor. Just as the pirate had given up and was about to get back to his search, though, it quivered for a moment then righted itself; several of the umbrellas and canes swung in a wide arc as they returned to their resting place, barking Blackmask's shins before sliding smugly back into the stand.

Muriegro's footfalls were the only sound as he approached the lake. He approached the shore and waited for something to happen; when nothing did, he simply sat down next to an outcropping of reeds and waited. It would have been peaceful and a pleasant rest were it not for the unignorable unnatural silence and the slight sense of tension that permeated the house and its grounds. Laguja found itself wondering what the witch had brought them here for if she was just going to stay silent in her weedy grave, letting fish suck on her face.

If pincushions could blink as something suddenly dawned on them, this one would have. Not a bird or insect could be found near the manor, not a single squirrel chittered in the trees or mole tunneled through the gardens; nothing lived or moved here but silent, perfect plants. But the lake had been full of fish. Even a glance at the shallows confirmed that little glittering minnows were darting between the shadows of lily pads. It was... Well, it was weird, but it didn't seem particularly relevant or helpful. No frogs though, it noticed, or dragonflies either. Nothing you'd expect to see near a body of water like this, just the stuff in it.

As the weapon idly mulled this over, the priest trailed the tips of his fingers through the cool water. Moments after he began doing so, a faint voice floated over the lake. It was difficult to make out what it was saying, but Laguja reasoned it could only come from one person. Maybe her powers didn't extend past the lake for some reason. Ghosts and the like do sometimes have strong attachments to the place of their death, especially the ghosts of young or weak-willed people. Sighing inasmuch as it could, the pincushion had Muriegro wade into the shallows; the voice became louder and a bit more clear, but it was still impossible to get one word in three. A bit more mental nudging, and the obedient man was moving into the deeper areas, treading water as best he could in a robe.

The almost-shrill tones of a little girl's voice filled Laguja's consciousness again. "Oh, good, you're finally here! I'm so excited, aren't you? It's going to be so nice to get out of here finally. I mean, I loved this lake, but it gets soooo old after a while, especially if you drowned in it, you know?"

For the first time, Laguja actually contributed to the conversation. "What exactly do you intend to do, and what did you need me for? I was under the impression that as far as you were aware, you were just a normal little girl."

The response was odd. Two voices replied, both the same voice and both speaking at the same time; someone less adept and practiced with mental communication might not have been able to make out either, but Laguja was easily able to separate out:

"What do you mean? I am just a normal girl. I just died is all. I asked you to come here because my idea was to let you figure out what to do!"

"Things become clearer in death. I brought you here to I could borrow some of your power and let me be more than a soul bound to a skeleton."

The pincushion was equally taken aback by both responses, as well as by the fact that there had been two responses at once. It stopped to form a reply, but before it could get one out, it felt a slight draining sensation. Before it could say anything, the sensation was gone; not wanting to take any chances, however, Laguja ordered its servant back out of the water. Muriegro complied, and before long he was standing on the shore again. He shook himself, trying to get at least some of the moisture out of his waterlogged robes and turned back to the lake.

Things were as still and calm as they used to be for several minutes as Muriegro sunned himself and Laguja thought. As they did so, though, a small hand appeared on the shore of the lake. The priest leapt to his feet, and a little girl hauled herself onto the ground. It wasn't what the pincushion had expected: she was a normal-looking girl in a yellow dress and white pinafore, curly brown hair pulled back into two tight pigtails. There was nothing skeletal about her at all as she beamed up at the hooded figure in front of her and bubbled "Thanks! I don't know what you did, but it sure worked!".

Laguja gradually became aware that if it didn't focus directly on the girl, it could see her as she really was: an ambulatory skeleton with scraps of slick flesh hanging off her and the Endorphic Core lodged in her ribcage. But as long as the focus was on her, she was just a cute little girl in nice but slightly old-fashioned clothes.

Lily clasped her hands and smiled broadly. "What should we do first?"
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by Anomaly.

Syvex eventually came upon the main staircase of the manor, albeit guided slightly by a series of crashes and muffled yelling from the floor below. Slightly intrigued, though wary, Syvex clambered over the railing and made his way down the wall (he found stairs to be a waste of time). The foyer of the manor was brilliantly lit by the enormous picture windows on either side of the door, reflecting off of the marble columns that lined the entryway. Syvex reeled from the brightness, inadvertently stumbling into the pirate as he dashed from another doorway.

"You be out for my blood again, serpent?" The pirate swiftly stepped back and drew his pistol, as little good as the bullets would likely do.

Syvex lurched back to an upright stance, and held up a hand as nonthreateningly as possible. "No, stop. I don't want to fight you again."

The pirate's eyes widened subtly for a split second. Before he'd be after me at the drop of a hat, and now the bloody thing's askin' for peace? Best be careful with this one. "Why the change o' heart?"

Syvex's grin returned to his face, albeit weakly. "Several reasons. You were willing to defend the city against a near-invincible foe, despite the odds. I assume that it was for the innocent civilians; after all, if you'd managed to kill him we'd have been taken away anyway. I guess the place wasn't even real, but... Maybe you're not as bad as you look. Truth be told, I only attacked you at first because of the Presti... digi... whatever his name was called you a 'pirate'..."

Syvex shuddered at the thought of the attack; those "pirates" armed with flamethrowers... He shook himself out of his daze and continued. "Pirate must mean something different wherever you come from. But the most important thing is, we share a common enemy. Tamerlane. The 'sandman'. And let's face it, he'll just be harder to take down if we're fighting each other. At the very least, a nonaggression pact will do. What do you say?"

The pirate considered Syvex's offer. Sure, the serpent could double-cross him at any time, but then again, he had also tried to stop Tamerlane back in the city. Besides, even if he did, he wouldn't stand much of a chance in this light. "...Aye, serp... Syvex. I'll accept your offer."

Syvex's smile widened further. "Now we can focus on killing Sandman instead of pointless squabbling. Just try not to die before he does, okay?" Without waiting for a response, Syvex set off down another hallway, detecting darkness from beneath but being in no condition to break directly through the floor. Syvex soon came to an unassuming door at the end of the hall, having nothing to distinguish it for most from every other door except for its location. Further credence was given to its importance to the serpent by the strengthening of darkness behind the door. Unhesitatingly, he threw it open, revealing an old but nonetheless spotless staircase leading down into darkness.

Syvex could immediately see an identical door at the bottom of the stairs, shrouded in darkness. Stairs again. Fantastic. Syvex sighed, then slid uncomfortably down the stairs (his only other option being the walls, which were lined with unlit lamps). As he approached the bottom, a vague sense of uneasiness began to wash over him. For a moment, he was almost afraid to open the door, though he could not tell why. After taking a moment to gather his thoughts, he reached for the doorknob, finding it to be stuck. Now determined to make his way into the darkness despite the unsettling feeling, Syvex gripped it with another hand. And another. Despite his best efforts, the door would not yield. The serpent became frustrated rather quickly, and reared back on the stairs several steps up before leaping for the door and smashing it to the ground.

Immediately, Syvex's vision was intruded on by light, especially strange since he had clearly seen darkness behind that door. Coming to his senses, Syvex noticed directly in front of him the startled visage of Muriegro, a young girl following directly behind. The latter replied "Hey, watch out! You could've gotten... hurt!" The slight pause before the last word seemed especially peculiar to Syvex, more so than the girl's simple presence, as well as the description the Prestidigitator had given: She’s a charming little girl. It was a terrible shame… she went swimming in the lake and never came back. Never even broke the surface again, not after that day, and never would she breath air again. Coming to his senses, Syvex immediately noticed that he was, in fact, outdoors. The picture windows were to either side of him, and the foyer back through the doorway.

"Er, sorry about the mess. I was just... leaving?" Confused, Syvex fled down the path which lead to the door. This wasn't right. How had he ended up in front of the manor when he broke through the basement door? Where did that little girl come from? Why was she following the cultist, of all people? Questions raced through his mind, accompanied by no reasonable answers. He could barely focus on the slew of conundrums the manor posed while he was directly in the sun's scorching rays.

As Syvex approached the lake (though he didn't specifically know it was even there), the same sense of uneasiness that had washed over him on the stairs returned, albeit more weakly. Before long, he stumbled over a ledge he had failed to see, falling into the placid waters of the lake. Fortunately, Syvex knew how to swim, though it escaped him how exactly he knew. After a moment, it hit him: it was dark underwater. He inhaled deeply, filling his quartet of lungs with a large volume of air, then dove under the surface. The fish which inhabited the waters skirted away from him; fight-or-flight had selected the obvious choice.

As Syvex sunk deeper, however, he noticed that something was deeply wrong. There was something down here, but it certainly wasn't the remains of the girl. Approaching the lakebed, the feeling only amplified. Syvex began to hear faintly, as if in the corner of his mind:

yes come join us it beckons come no go back return leave join us

Syvex was getting nervous. There was nothing here, and yet, these conflicting voices. It was almost as if there were a multitude speaking with one voice in the serpent's head, and his descent served only to amplify it.

leave this place join us become one return forget

That's enough. It's not worth it. Syvex turned and began to swim for the surface, as the voices subsided. He soon surfaced and pulled himself back to the shore, letting out a gasp of air. Yet, the bottom of lake... in some strange way, it beckoned to him. Something had to be down there.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by MrGuy.

Blackmask sighed at Syvex's departure, then shrugged and proceeded up the stairs. No booty left here. Suppose I'll have to go up these blasted things eventually. The stairs creaked in a manner that actually managed to soothe the pirate's nerves, a manner so overstated that it simply couldn't be frightening. The second floor had many more doors, and rather noticeably, a chandelier and a balcony. Ripper merely shrugged, not having a particular need for either, and began moving towards one of the bedrooms. A gloved hand touched the doorknob, but almost immediately shrunk back, quivering-- the brass was incredibly cold to the touch, as if it had laid in a snowdrift overnight before being surreptiously placed back in its socket. Slowly and carefully, Ripper extended the hand again, and found the doorknob disconcertingly warm. The knob turned with a slight click, and opened up into a sparsely-furnished room with a cloth mage in the bed.

The pirate very nearly slammed the door out of reflex, but caught the mistake just in time to stop. Before a second, slower attempt, though, Ripper peeked back in. The smell of kerosene immediately became apparent, as did the fact that it was currently impossible to look at Eureka-- well, at her torso, anyway-- without experiencing blurry vision and a whanging headache. Blackmask then left the room once again and headed slightly down the hall. Hell. Something's wrong there... that girl ain't addled enough to just lie down in the middle of a fight... oh, Hell. This ain't good. The pirate's stride increased until reaching a room several doors down, flinging open its entrance, and closing and locking the door. It was a small study-- a writing desk, a kerosene lamp, and a couple more bookcases, one of which, the raider gleefuly noted, was a King James Bible. That's some fair winds, alright. Guess I'll give it the once-over... Ripper exhaled in relief and picked it up, holding it tight, before beginning to flip through the holy book. The first passage landed on was Genesis 19:30.

And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father [is] old, and [there is] not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, [and] lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.

The pirate flipped to the next page and landed on 6:12, and-- naturally quite baffled-- proceeded to flip back and forth between the two pages until it was completely apparent that yes, Ripper was reading in the right direction and had not skipped a page. Heart pounding, the raider pressed on.

And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this [is the fashion] which thou shalt make it [of]: The length of the ark [shall be] three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; [with] lower, second, and third [stories] shalt thou make it. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein [is] the breath of life, from under heaven; [and] every thing that [is] in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.

22:2-- And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid [it] upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

Revelation 2:5-- Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and [I know] the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but [are] the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast [some] of you (them)into prison, that(th)ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Blackmask stared in disbelief and kept flipping the pages. And Lot went up out of Zoar... And God looked upon the earth... Take now thy son... Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen... 19:30, 6:12, 22:2, 2:5, 19:30, 6:12, 22:2, 2:5, the same four passages over and over again, marked up in the exact same manner, for page after page after page, until finally, in one fluid motion, Blackmask tossed the Bible to the ground, whipped out the gleaming pistol, and fired six rounds through the cover. Twelve seconds passed with nothing happening before the pirate's jittering hand, as if by delayed reflex, shot to mask, to heart, to shoulder and shoulder. God have mercy, but far as I'm concerned, destroying a book that poxed is the exact opposite of desecrating it...

Ripper's eyes jerked to the writing desk and narrowed immediately thereafter. A small pile of parchment was on the desk, and the pirate knew that suppressing the desire to find out what was on it would be a losing battle-- but with the mansion repairing itself, the doorknob, and now this, no gambles could be accepted. A circle of salt around the writings, then, and a pinch in the reader's mouth, and it was time to begin.

November 18th. Have tried to explain to GSKDAL, but he still doesn't understand. Simply asked why, if such problems came up, the baby couldn't simply be "gotten rid of before it existed". I did my best to explain to him that sins won't fix sins-- to no avail. Reverend EQRPO equally unable to get through to him. Note to self: Purchase diary for him; hopefully he can "write it out."

Not wanting to touch the page, the pirate instead carefully turned it over with the butt of the pistol before reading on.

November 24th. Caught WQIOMK peeping on QREK in the shower today. Lacking any other recourse, he is to be confined to his room, excepting mealtimes, from now on.

November 25th. Heard sinister whispering when passing QWNEKO's room today. Couldn't make out what it said. I'm starting to believe that the boy has a devil in him. Note to self: Call Reverend KTASNX to check.

November 27th. Whispering continues. Reverend said that the boy has no foreign spirits in him, but that there is "indeed something amiss" in the house. I bade him farewell before coming to one conclusion: LWKD is the one. She must be fixed to keep her influence off.

November 29th. Whispering is becoming louder and more frequent. Able to make out "the cross" today. Is the spirit going to make her destroy it so it cannot be used against it? Can't let that happen.

November 30th. Brought cross to ADSO. No reaction. Worse than I thought-- whispers yesterday must have been gloating about immunity to the cross. There's only one possibility-- she is not possessed by a devil, but Satan himself, and as a former archangel the power of the cross cannot destroy him. The only way to ensure safety is to kill her.

December 4th. Suggested we go fishing tomorrow. The deed is almost done, and not a moment too soon-- the whispering drowns out my thoughts, telling me to stop. I must not fold. He would not appreciate it.

December 6th. Finally did it. While on lake, clubbed her with cross and shoved her into water. Tried to struggle back in, but failed. No need to worry about the demons anymore. I expect ADSOJO will make a full recovery. A shame my beloved NCQP had to die, but there was no other option. I do what must be done.

December 8th. New voices today. I like them a lot better. They tell me I was right to have killed her. Must be the voices of angels.

Ripper shuddered and turned from the desk, practically sprinting out of the room. Good God almighty, that man was insane. Things are bad, Adrian. You better find that dog of a snake and make sure he doesn't leave you for one instant. Because the pirate knew that, as bizarre as it seemed, being with Syvex was almost infinitely safer than being alone.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by Wojjan.


EDIT: Canceling my reserve, couldn't get anything good out.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur.
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by granolaman.



Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by Wojjan.

Giving Nottles permission to act before the reserve that was here.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur.
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by Not The Author.

Miq was confused. You weren’t just whisked away from some great big tower in the middle of nowhere, forced to sit through some great big monologue, shown some great big mansion, then left alone in some great big attic to mull over your thoughts. Things like that typically culminated in some sort of opulent ceremony, followed by fine dining and more speeches. But no, she’d just been sent to some attic somewhere. Granted, it was a nice attic, but there wasn’t anyone around. Nobody to dine, nobody to make more speeches, nobody to go dancing to the latest mechanipiano concerto piece or whateverthehell they did in places like this.

After a few minutes of growing restless, she finally realized that there wasn’t anybody to hide from, either. Then she was in heaven. The attic was filled with a ridiculous volume of boxes and miscellany, plenty of things to rifle through and inspect for value. But as Miq looked about, she found everything was either too big or too boring. A crib, an old pair of wooden oars, a few fancy portraits – and all the boxes mostly contained clothes and pictures and books and toys that had long since passed out of usefulness; nothing of any value but the sentimental kind, and who cared about that?

So she tried getting in one of the boxes. After all, a wastebasket is not typical fare for an indoor environment, and Miq was naturally inclined to blend in as much as possible. These boxes were all over the attic, and wouldn’t seem too out of place in the rest of the house while she searched for something more suitable. They were the natural choice of camouflage, so Miq slipped out of her trash can and into one of the emptier ones.

The fusion ritual initiated immediately upon contact with the crate. Various three-dimensional alchemic glyphs appeared in the air surrounding the box, radiating soft light of every color. They spun about, smaller ones appearing and disappearing in patterns only a trained eye would be able to discern. The symbols oscillated faster as Miq settled into the box, tendrils flowing out and sticking to the sides. Prime arcane schemata blurred into a single glowing sphere, vanishing in a cloud of smoke as the ceremony concluded.

Before she could wonder why her teeth hadn’t grown in, the box unceremoniously flung her out.

She panicked and scrambled for her old shell. She took a moment to catch her figurative breath, shed a few flakes of glass, and figure out what the hell just happened before moving on to the next logical step.

She tried again.

Several times.

The boxes grew progressively better at deflecting her attempts to control them, and the Mimic finally gave up when she stopped being able to touch the boxes entirely. Oh, but what did she care if the boxes didn’t want her? She didn’t want the boxes either! They weren’t even very good boxes, anyway. All flimsy and cardboard and hang on what’s this

Carelessly knocking down the same precarious stack of packages for the third time, the wastebin tottered over to an ornate wooden chest. Unsurprisingly, it was locked, but locks were easy when your body was malleable semifluid. Miq popped it open, and was immediately disappointed. All it contained was a moldy sunhat, a framed picture, two books, a pair of keys, and a gold locket. Wait. Keys and a locket? Score.

Really, it was too bad that
the boxes around here didn’t want her to get in them. This one was fairly roomy, but not too much hassle to maneuver. Just the right size for her to make off with it, even taking the hat and books into account. Plus it was a chest. You like chests, don’t you? Of course you do. Just hop right in, would you? There's a good girl.

Some seconds later, and the trashcan with teeth was just a trashcan with teeth. Miq smiled and skittered about, testing her new chassis. Usually new shells weren’t so responsive right away, but this one seemed to have taken a liking to her. Now she just had to run along somewhere they won’t find you. Hmm… Where could you… Oh! The garden! I used to play there all the time as a child...

Miq wasn’t quite sure who “they” were, but not being found was just what she was good at. Now she just had to figure out a way down from the window oh of course why hadn’t she thought of that before?

On the way down, the newly-turned chest had enough time to wonder if she had thought it, before being distracted by all the pretty hedge sculptures and running headlong into the ground.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by Wojjan.

The change of rounds brought about many things in the contestants. The pirate would have been very avaricious at the sight of such a bright, ornate abode, yet the snake would have been more taken aback by the gushing light. Nevertheless, both of them would feel a bit crestfallen after noticing Thatix, not Tamerlane was the eliminatee of the first round. The rapid flow of events near the end of the round would no doubt have rendered Miq quite confused, ceremonious or no, and the paranoid cloth mage surely felt incredibly uneasy wandering around in someone else's house and what if they suddenly came in.

Those are all very easy things to understand.

Riko however had to deal with the memories of his astral projection being cast back into his own mind flashing before him thoughts of not existing, the uncertainity around Lenore's well-being, who by now was the only member of his squad still alive. He faced the need to break away, the incredibly guilty pleasure his copy had had in killing Thatix off, memories of his wife, his daughter, and the constant drumming noise of something gnawing, shouting it all wasn't real. He couldn't help but sense and feel the searing bright lights emitting from outside the picture window, and quite a bit of thirst, no doubt the aftermath of the hot desert air from before, even though he had never been to a desert ever before. He caught himself intrigued by the specifics of copying people to fight for your own pleasure and demanded himself to snap out of it, then remembered he spent a fair bit of time arguing with himself over the telephone.

His head was already brim-filled with worries and thoughts, so for the moment the urge to go to the garden didn't really fit into his scheme yet.

He barely was able to approach the drapes of the large window before him, andwhen he finally felt the velvet stroking its fingertips gave it a swift yank. The curtains creased together, the swung away again, the ocean of bordeaux enveloping the sunlight whole. The bright light was dimmed severely, but still quite noticably shining. It was getting a bit hot.

Riko exited the foyerlike room the Prestidigitator dropped him in, and intuitively made his way into the kitchen. This would for any person with a sense of direction be a simple feat in any other case. In this manor, though, the pathways and doors and rooms had been seemingly scrambled at random to create a labyrinthine structure where next to a dining room one could find a broom closet. As if the house never was meant to be lived in.

The scientist walked into the kitchen which thank everything holy still bordered the living room, and he raided the cupboards and drawers for anything to refresh his throat. He struck an almost epic pose after finding one dusty bottle of wine. He pulled up a chair and rested for a while, after what he had been through so far not even bothering to fetch a glass to pour the beverage in.

Moments later...

Riko glanced at the bottle, half of it perplexion, the other half disbelief that a bottle could so very quickly become half-empty. He stood up and walked down the hallways, surprisingly not all too drunk. When finally though his primary needs were satisfied and he felt a bit curious as to what exactly he'd find in the garden, he got a phone call. He hoped it wouldn't be himself this time.

"Oh my god, sugarcube, I've been so worried!"
"Honeycomb! What's wrong?"
"What's wrong? You have disappeared from everywhere and now they're sending squads to look for you! That's wrong!"
Riko blinked and stared a bit, suddenly realising to how much he had grown accustomed in the last few hours.
"Look, honey, I'm safe, and I'm alive. That's what matters, okay?"

While his wife answered, Riko noticed the pool in the garden glimmering due to the harsh sunlight. The sun found itself in such a position to cast waving patterns of dancing lights upon the kitchen ceiling. Though the garden was large, the nearly setting sun was still able to project its rays into the estate. The scientist looked up and marveled at the rocking reflections, gently swinging towards the kitchen door. Almost urging him to open it, and catch some air. Maybe go for a swim.

Riko tugged at his scarf, to loosen its grip on his face. It was beginning to get significantly hotter since he had closed the drapes, but nursing only a slight tipsy feeling he wasn't really up for opening the blinds and windows to let fresh air stream in. Besides, with a single look outside he could predict the garden air would have the same heat as in the foyer. He took his scarf completely off now, revealing his mouth. He gasped as if he were a parched fish swimming, or rather drowning in a lake of lukewarm air.

He was starting to get more or less curious about that pool.

The communicator clicked, whirred and beeped once. It then beeped again to make way for Lenore's voice. "Riko? Riko! Are y..." kkkkrrtchz Then Lenore's voice was shoved aside by that one beep again which was soon replaced by static.

The scientist clawed at his waist where he holstered his phone, and frantically started twisting dials. Most of the frequencies gave away a static, to which he got increasingly nervous as it continued. One of the channels, however, broadcasted a message:

"...verthrow these unworthy grandmasters. I assume that, if you..." Static obscured the voice of Vandrel Rheinhardt. " out. Together, we can fight for our freedom."

Ten minutes into the next round and he already received the next groundbreaking phone call to send him in an existential crisis. Riko tried to formulate a reply, and noticing no immediate answer kept talking. He figured there being some kind of lag on the messages.

"Hello. My name is Riko, and I'm also stuck in a battle to death. I did not catch the entire message you were going to send me, but judging by your wording you too are stuck in one against your will. I have contacts with the outside world, and if ou would like to cooperate, an escape from these arenas could be possible. If this message reaches the wrong person, please do not simply disregard it. I am in need, and could use every help you could send me, however you would."

He expected no answer in the near future and continued browsing through the channels. On one he caught a glimpse of Lenore's voice: "...ko you're jumpin..."

Jumping, in multiversal physics, is a term for rapidly switching places in a dimension other then the first three. Since by most creatures the fourth and succeeding dimensions are not sensible, the subjects usually experience no symptoms of the quick flashing. More dimensionally aware creatures that exist in more than one slice of fourth dimension would maybe feel severe disorientation.

In Riko's case, him being a human, he wasn't even aware of the fact he was moving at all, but in retrospect it explained the bad reception he's been having.

Since until the Prestidigitator's ruse wore off, or until he'd find a way to top it there would be no contacting Lenore, and being reassured because her voice meant she was mostly safe, Riko finally got back to the garden, and the pool.

But yet again it would have to wait, because he was going to get delayed by a certain shadow snake.

quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur.
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by Anomaly.

"Subject 384. Can you hear me? Respond."

The serpent groaned in response as Dr. Hikaru's voice crackled through his head. Implanting the device directly into his brain had not been a simple task, to be sure. The fact that his physiology was so drastically different from that of humans only exacerbated the situation, requiring multiple minor vivisections by the scientists before the device could even be completed. They were not especially careful, considering his powerful regeneration abilities. Subject 384 was slowly growing to dislike Interstice.

"Is that a yes? Am I coming through clearly?"

"Y... yes. You're clear..." He could barely focus due to the aftereffects of the sedative. Hikaru continued, unabated.

"Good, good. What we've implanted into your head is essentially a two-way communicator. No matter where you are on the planet, we'll be able to contact you with it, and you can respond as you just did. The device uses technology from our classified "Dimensional Gate" project, by the way. Not that it's actually relevant, but you should theoretically be able to adjust it to different "dimensional frequencies" and pick up transmissions from beyond our own universe simply by focusing on the device. I'm sure you can figure out how. Of course, it won't be necessary now, or possibly ever, but perhaps after this war is over...." He trailed off. The serpent was confused by his tirade and tuned out most of it before again falling unconscious.

The next day, he would be sent to war.

- - - - - - - - - -

Syvex picked himself up from the ground at the lakeside. The experience underwater seemed almost like a dream, or rather, a nightmare. The voices... he had to have been imagining them. But no, that wasn't possible. Something was down there, far beyond his ability to comprehend. And he would be hard pressed to focus during the daytime, especially in his severely weakened state. Left with no other apparent options, he decided to return to the manor and search for anything that might explain what was going on, or perhaps to find Eureka or even Tamerlane. He cringed at the thought of the latter. He would have to die at some point. Soon was the preferable option.

Syvex made his way back along the path to the manor, determining from the position of the most intense light that it was somewhere around noon. There would be no solace in this round. The path wove lazily through the hilly grounds, with little discernable pattern or order in its

<font color="red">forget what i saw it sees it knows forget

Syvex stopped immediately. "Who's there?" There was no one in sight, no sound besides the rustling of leaves as the wind blew through the trees. "...Probably... probably nothing."

forget forget it sees you it comes no stopping can't forgetcan't stop it can't run

Again, no one around. The voice seemed to be in his head, just as before. Great. Now I'm going crazy, too. Syvex started back toward the manor, pledging to himself that the spectral voices were nothing but a delusion. Deep down, however, he knew it wasn't that simple. The voices, the spatial disconnectedness of the manor... The little girl had to have something to do with it. There was something... uncanny about her. Especially so, considering the lack of human remains in the lake.

Before he could think on it anymore, Syvex's view was replaced in a brief flash by... something. Something almost incomprehensible to him, though a humanoid species would not find it quite as alarming. In that fleeting instant, his field of vision was narrowed considerably. Stranger still was the... vibrance of the scene. One would be hard pressed to describe the feeling of seeing colors for the first time. And despite the ambient light of the scene, everything was clear. The lake. The path. The little girl. The life.

As soon as it had begun, it ended. Syvex stumbled forward, clutching his head. Whatever he had seen, it had been here. But assuredly long ago, before the supernatural had taken a strong hold. Taking a few more moments to stave off utter disorientation, Syvex continued along the path. The last leg of the rather short journey was completely silent, besides the faint swishing the serpent made as he slithered down the gravel path.

As he came back to the front door, Syvex was by now nonplussed by the fact that it was perfectly undamaged. With any luck, it would actually lead to the room behind it rather than the attic or a washroom. Sure enough, the manor was once more euclidean, and every bit as unpleasantly bright as before. Without a second thought, Syvex headed for the hallway leading to the basement, and once again descended the staircase. The door was once more sealed. Syvex could tell it was pitch black behind the door, but was strangely unable to open even the smallest of rifts within. Sighing, he slunk back up toward the lobby, then ascended to the second floor.

Pausing to listen, he heard a faint noise emanating from a nearby room, whose door he found to be stuck fast. Opening a small duo of portals, he was able to listen in more closely, hearing distinctly the voice of Eureka Finch. She seemed to be mumbling something in her sleep (why was she sleeping now?) about her "sister", but peculiarly, instead of a name, random gibberish syllables escaped her lips instead. Seeing as she was in no immediate danger, Syvex decided to look around a little further before returning. Another faint sound in the background led him down yet another corridor, before running face-to-face into Riko.

Memories of Dr. Hikaru, stronger than ever, rushed back to the serpent. His constant masked condescendence, his betrayal... Syvex hated scientists more than anything. It didn't help Riko's case any that he vaguely resembled Hikaru, albeit with more hair. Syvex did what seemed natural and, to the scientist's confusion, fled through the closest door. Through the door was a rather large conservatory, with various dusty instruments strewn about haphazardly, untouched in decades. Most of them Syvex did not recognize, as his experience with music in general was very limited. Before Syvex could do anything more, a voice crackled faintly in his head, unintelligible save a few words due to interference.</font>

"....victim... battle t... eath.... home.... Vand.... hardt.... battl.... asters.... ultiverse...."

"Not this again..." Syvex mumbled. He failed to notice at first that Riko was peering quizzically through the now-open door.

"Not what?" Syvex immediately took notice at the scientist's question and backed against the wall, taking the opportunity to close the curtains on one of the windows as well. Seeing no other exit, he decided the best course of action was to talk his way out of it. His fear was likely irrational in any case.

"...A message, maybe. Something about victims and a battle to the death and some guy named... Um... 'Vand... something somethinghardt.' Or maybe I'm just hearing voices yet again."

Riko stepped into the room. "It's not just you. I received a similar message a few minutes ago, possibly the same one. How, exactly, are you receiving it?"

Syvex immediately remembered the long-unused communicator. should theoretically be able to adjust it to different "dimensional frequencies" and pick up transmissions from beyond our own universe simply by focusing on the device. "Some kind of implanted communicator thing. I don't really know how it works, but it works between dimensions, I think." He stopped and attempted to "focus" on it, but was unable to do much of anything to clear up the interference.

"Nope, not working." He thought back to the Prestidigitator's introduction of the man, the only information Syvex knew about him. "...Do you have something that could restore my natural abilities, maybe? Might be worth a try."

"I think so... Syvex, was it?" The scientist rifled through his surprisingly large collection of vials before producing one and holding it up in the dim light. He was hesitant to part with such a potent solution, but, as previously demonstrated, the serpent had the ability to warp space. A potential escape from this macabre "contest" was enough for him to take the risk. He handed the vial to Syvex.

"...By the way, just in case you're trying to poison me, I'll just tell you now that it won't have much effect. Just a thought for you." As a test, Syvex ingested a small drop of the sludgey fluid. Immediately, his surroundings grew clearer, and he felt more empowered. As a test, he shut the curtains on another window, then focused and opened two portals, one below a dusty violin and one immediately above. He imperceptibly chuckled to himself as he broke the loop, smashing the instrument to pieces. He then remembered that Riko was still watching him, wondering if it was really a good idea to help the serpent.

"Erm... right. Nothing." Syvex downed another small part of the solution, his power rapidly returning to him. He recapped the vial and handed it back after about half, just in case it were to be needed again. He hesitantly thanked the scientist before focusing in on the communicator, finding himself able to adjust the frequency slightly through application of his vaguely-understood "shadow energy". The static cleared slightly, but of course, the message didn't play again. Nonetheless, Syvex formulated a response.

"This is Syvex. I don't know who you are, but I'm in another of these battle-to-the-death things you mentioned. I'm guessing it's the same deal with you, randomly pulled from your home to kill some people with no real explanation. Honestly, I'm content with just escaping, since I doubt that we can take down someone with this much power, let alone several of them. If I find some way to get out of here, maybe I could help some of you as well. But I doubt that I could do much alone regardless. I'll leave my communicator on this frequency. Syvex out."

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by MalkyTop.

Eureka woke up. But you know, she had always been a light sleeper.

As she got out of the soft bed, she noticed her bloody shirt and grimaced. She would have to remember to wash it at some point.

She put on the coat she had hung on the chair just a moment before and shouldered it on. Or actually, it was an article of clothing that was having trouble deciding whether it was a coat or a sweatshirt. Though it had lapels, it also had a hood. Strings dangled down that allowed her to tighten it as she pleased. There were no buttons so she was forced to let it hang open, revealing her grey T-shirt. No, it wasn't grey, that was a horrible color for a gentlemanly shirt, of course, it was white.

After a moment, Eureka frowned in confusion. What the hell was a sweatshirt?

It's a piece of clothing, nitwit, it keeps you warm.

It seemed completely unnecessary. Coats keep you warm too. And they certainly were more fancy. And more polite to wear in public.

Whatever sweatshirts are very acceptable and wearing fancy clothing gets you noticed. You don't like getting noticed. I mean, I don't like getting noticed.

Getting noticed is good, though. You can't be a respectable member of society if you don't make yourself known.

Oh shut up you don't know anything.

Eureka stood for a long time, her arm halfway through her coat-sweatshirt, before she finally decided that this was not something to debate. She started pacing the room, wondering when the warden would come to let her out. Surely it was time for breakfast already? She checked the closet even though she knew there was no reason to. She contemplated writing in her journal again, but, well, nothing interesting had happened yet. She tried to remember what she had dreamed about, but struggled to even catch a wisp of the dream and so just gave up.

She sat patiently at her desk and, in boredom, stared out the window.

It was the same old tranquil scene out there. The setting was supposed to be tranquil. It was good for her. Helped her to not hurt herself or whatever it was she apparently kept doing. But her wandering eyes caught something that gave her pause.

She must really be going insane, because that couldn't be what she thought it was.

But when she blinked, she was still there. For a while, she grinned uncertainly. But who was that man with her?

Ah, Murray...ego? Maybe? And he apparently had some sort of...thing...

But what was he doing near her? Well, of course he was here because of the battle. Like she was here. No, she was here because she was 'sick.' But she was also here because of the battle. That still did not explain why he was near her. He wasn't about to kill her, was she? No, she doesn't have anything to do with the battle but wait he could still be planning on killing her because savages are known to kill for no reason okay seriously that was just racist stop that but she was in danger...

Well, she was supposed to be fighting Murrayego. And you know what? She was fine with that.

Eureka leapt out of her chair and marched to the door. She was stopped very quickly when she remembered that her door was supposed to be locked. Then she just took care of it by pounding it down with her scarf (which was having trouble deciding whether it was a scarf or a tie, come to think of it.)

Eureka clenched her gloves nervously (the gloves which were having trouble deciding whether they were white and finely-woven or fingerless and woolen), afraid that the wardens would come running and force her back into bed and make her swallow horrid medicine, but the house was silent. She stepped out hesitantly. She couldn't remember the last time she was out without supervision.

Actually, yes she could, that was only a while ago, before that thing with the journal and this confusing two-minds thing.

She ignored herself and continued walking slowly, steadily gaining confidence as the wardens continued to fail to show up. She hadn't realized at the time, but her heart had been beating too quickly for her own good, but now that she was no longer nervous about getting caught, she quickly tromped down the stairs, then stopped at the end.

Where exactly was the back door?

Shouldn't you know?

Eureka bit her lip. She...couldn't remember. This was...she had to remember. Maybe she could jump out a window.

If you're going to stick around at least take care of yourself. Me, I mean. Glass embedded in flesh isn't fun.

Find the door, right.

Eureka stepped to the right. Then she stepped to the left. Then she stopped again. She really ought to make a decision already, now she just looked silly. But still, if she went the wrong way, that just meant taking longer to get to her. But she's taking too long right now, wasting time, and besides, how big could a house be? It shouldn't be too hard to find a stupid door. And so Eureka lunged towards the left and didn't think about what if the door was down the right.

She practically ran right into another man. This man was in a mask. That's extremely suspicious. What reason could a man have to hide his face? Some sort of disfigurement? Perhaps he was in the middle of a crime and did not want his face to be seen? Oh crap what if it was a new warden and

No, it's another battle contestant. A guy...named...uh...ended with an 'er'...why is he looking at me like that.

"You're...awake," the man said, looking her up and down. He seemed very wary of her, though she couldn't imagine why. He was slowly getting into a defensive stance and there seemed to be something in his hand. A weapon? Eureka stepped back a little, but tried to smile in a way that was as friendly as possible.

"Yes. I rested well. And how are"

Ripper Blackmask stared. Apparently, she hadn't yet broken the habit of getting everybodys' names horribly wrong.

He hesitated for a split second, but made his decision. Quickly, he flung his hand out and threw salt right in her face.

She was blinded. Somehow, it hurt. She had a headache. Her mouth turned dry and oh god why did she have a headache. Eureka stumbled back, coughing. Her heart stopped for a few seconds, but started again.

"What the he--" Eureka stopped herself because she shouldn't curse. It wasn't nice. Even if her sight was now blurry and the only thing she could taste was salt now. Her face calmed and, instead of the expressive scowl, she held a confused and bewildered look. "What the blazes was that for?"

Ripper stared at her, a bit uncertain how he should react now. Eureka continued coughing. She really needed a drink now.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by granolaman.

“I heard you accepted his offer.”

“I had to. There was no other option. It was the only way to keep you safe.”

“I worry for you love, how can you be sure this is the right path?”

“Because we are still alive, and we are still together, this is how I know”

“If there is no deterring you then, promise me one thing Tam. Promise you he won’t make you forget about us.”

“I promise Marian.”

Tamerlane awoke with a start.

He sat up from where he’d collapsed and almost immediately got knocked back down from the head rush. The power backlash from the Endorphic Core was enormous, it took him nearly a minute to clear his head enough to even look around. The room he had taken refuge in appeared to be some sort of nursery. Wooden toys sat tidily on shelves around the room but other than that, the place seemed a little barren. Where’s all the furniture? He wondered as he turned towards the door. Oh, right. A large barricade of every heavy object in room had been erected in front of the entrance.

His headache flared up again and sent him back down to the floor clutching his head. He stayed down for a moment until he was sure the worst of it had past. Slowly, he rose to his feet. His legs trembled for a bit but they managed to keep him up. Think, think! What happened? What went wrong? There was the sandstorm, then the pirate showed up, but I subdued him. Then the snake followed him too. The snake! It nearly killed me! Tamerlane stumbled and held his head again. His memories seemed hazy and unclear. The whole room felt hazy, in fact. All of his senses seemed dulled compared to earlier.

All right, what else happened. I didn’t die, I wound up in the foyer of some mansion. He struggled to remember more, but everything after that was a blur. He had walked upstairs and into this room, and blocked the door before collapsing. Frankly he was surprised he’d found enough energy to move all of that furniture in the first place. I secured the room, and then I passed out. And then… His thoughts turned to his dream. Unlike everything else, the image of a raven-haired woman in desert silks remained crystal clear in his mind, clearer than any dream should be. Who was she? Why does it feel like I know her from somewhere? Tamerlane shook his head. This was no time to be dwelling on dreams, there was a battle going on.

Tamerlane knelt down and pulled a handful of sand out of his pocket. The room still seemed fuzzy, but he felt his mind was slowly clearing up. Regardless, he needed to know if he was in any shape to fight. He concentrated on the pile, urging it move. Nothing happened. He tried harder, concentrating on nothing but bending the sand to his will. Slowly, the tiny pile began to twist and twirl on the ground. With a quick smirk, he began adding shape and definition to his swirl, his mind adapting to its former level. Then the sand disappeared.

He sat there for a moment, perplexed. He couldn’t quite grasp what just happened, the sand simply vanished into thin air. Annoyed, he reached back into his pocket to grab more sand before he stopped himself. No, my supply of sand is limited as it is; I can’t waste it all trying to figure out what happened. I have to be careful with my resources from now on. He replaced the sand in his pocket as stood back up. At least I still have my sword. I won’t be completely defenseless here.

His hand brushed against something else in his pocket. Tamerlane paused and pulled out Syvex’s severed hand. The claws had begun to wither and curl into the palm, but the appendage still glowed its dark aura. Serpent, you cost me my victory in the city. He clenched the claw in his fist and dropped it back into his coat, you will suffer for this, I assure you.

Tamerlane decided it was time to leave. He dismantled the barricade without trouble; his strength already well on its way to being restored. With any luck, I should be back to full strength before I run into any of the other contestants. He pulled the final chair away from the door and swung it open. On the other side, Riko and Syvex stood, wearing the same surprised expression that crossed Tamerlane’s face.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by Anomaly.

"...Persistent, aren't you, Sandman? I would've thought that knocking you off a cliff would be enough to kill you."

"Serpent. Don't bother with your usual taunting. It's time for you to die."

Syvex snickered. "I almost succeeded in killing you when you were at god-like levels of power and I was severely weakened. And now? If you're determined enough, go for it!"

Riko quickly interjected, "...Syvex. The thing about th-"

"Not now, Riko. This.... this is personal." Syvex immediately rammed an open palm into Tamerlane's face, knocking him back into the nursery. He wasted no time in following the sand mage in, slamming the door behind him. As Tamerlane struggled to his feet, Syvex greeted him with a fist, knocking him backwards once again.

"Is that the best you can do? Is it?! I'm disappointed!"

Tamerlane pulled himself upward once again, this time swiftly blocking the serpent's blow with a cushion of sand. The sand formed itself into a small blade and slashed cleanly through Syvex's side, releasing a spray of purple-black blood across the nursery. The serpent laughed again, taking hold of an infant's crib, and immediately tossing it in Tamerlane's direction. The latter dove out of the way just in time to avoid the brunt of the assault, instead simply being grazed by shrapnel as it smashed against a back wall. He took purchase of two splintered bars of the crib, charging Syvex in a desperate assault.

Syvex easily took hold of both bars with two of his left hands, readying another series of attacks with his others. He didn't expect, however, that Tamerlane would leap forward into a kick, hitting the serpent squarely in the jaw. Syvex's concentration broke just long enough for the bars to be wrenched from his grasp, and subsequently be plunged into the open, though healing, wound. Syvex came to his senses and forced the bars back out, bringing with them the mangled remains of a heart, still spurting blood. The serpent's expression became one of surprise, with perhaps a tinge of amusement.

"Very good, Sandman! But, you know, it's too bad that there's still four more where that came from." Syvex rushed Tamerlane and sliced across his chest with the spikes on his arm - not enough to incapacitate him, but certainly enough to cause pain. The sand mage stepped back, clutching his wounds.

"What's wrong? I'd have thought you'd be hacking me to bits with sand by now." Tamerlane didn't respond, again stepping out of the way as the broken shrapnel of the crib flew past to reassemble itself. Syvex was less lucky, being sliced by several splintered fragments of wood as they forced their way behind him. Compounding this, Tamerlane had once more rushed forward to take him on, landing more than one blow before the serpent retreated. Syvex sighed, slowly inching toward the back wall as Tamerlane advanced.

"I don't suppose you'd like to stop now, would you?" Syvex questioned, trailing purplish ooze across the floor.

"Not until all of you are dead, serpent." Tamerlane made a point of breaking off two more wooden bars as weapons; they had worked well so far.

"Your loss, Sandman." Syvex, reaching the back wall, immediately threw closed the shutters to the room's one open window, drenching the room in shadow. Not enough to completely prevent Tamerlane from seeing, but more than enough to fully empower the serpent. It seemed that the latter had disappeared in the instant it took for the sand mage's eyes to adjust, before the sudden realization struck as a sharp blow sent him sprawling forward. He rolled out of the way of a burst of darkness, springing back to his feet and attempting to stab the serpent again. One of the bars managed to barely scrape by, penetrating the serpent's skin but not successfully hitting any "vital" organs.

Syvex's smile dropped slightly. "That's enough, Sandman. Die." In an instant, Tamerlane was suspended above the ground, held in the air by the throat. It was clear that Syvex was straining to hold him up with a single hand, but that didn't make much of a difference. A choke hold was a choke hold, deadly in any case. Tamerlane scrabbled against Syvex's deathgrip, but to no avail. Perhaps just in time, however, the serpent had another of the disorienting "visions". For an instant, Syvex's arm was replaced by a human arm; Tamerlane by a boy no older than his early teenage years.

forget what i saw can't forget must remember no can't happen didn't happencan't be happening

Syvex dropped Tamerlane, and began clutching his head again as the grating voice reverberated through his skull. He struggled toward the door, shutting it behind him before collapsing to the ground entirely.

- - - - - - - - - -

Syvex woke with a start, finding himself on the floor in an unfamiliar room. With some dismay, he noticed under his claws some crude scratchings, apparently made by him: forget what i saw. The same phrase the voice seemed to love repeating. So I am going insane. Wonderful.

Syvex got off the ground and examined the cluttered room. It was quite a bit larger than the others he had been in, being mostly filled with various boxes and other random detritus. There were two windows on the side of the room closest to Syvex, and two doors leading out. On a nearby wooden box, Syvex found a book of some sort, likely a ragged journal. Unfortunately, despite spending several months at Interstice, he had never learned to read very well. He could pick out a few choice words: daughter.... drowned... lake... But he had little context to back them up. He decided to take the book with him and get aid from someone more... literate.

The attic was, on the whole, uninteresting. He checked the two doors, but found them to both be firmly locked. Or perhaps held shut by the same force that kept him out of the basement. Syvex paused in consideration. He would probably be safer here than anywhere else in the manor. If he were to barricade the doors, he could simply wait in safety for someone to die. Then he thought about Eureka. He had had to save her how many times back in the city? Four? Five? He couldn't simply wait around up here when there were lives at stake.

His mind made up, Syvex flung the wooden crate towards a window, smashing it to pieces. He hauled himself out onto the side wall of the manor, and quickly slunk to the ground level, though still remaining on the wall. Maneuvering around the side of house, he could faintly, but distinctly, hear the cloth mage's voice. He stopped at the window which he guessed was closest to her, then smashed his way through, slightly cutting up his arms in the process. He fell through the curtains, and landed directly in between Eureka Finch and Ripper Blackmask. The latter stayed silent, but the former immediately muttered quietly, doubtfully by her own will:


Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by Wojjan.

The scientist spectated the battle raging on in the room, which was a... garage? Toolshed? The rooms in the house didn't have a peculiar interest in - a gush of sand flew past him, he quickly ducked - making clear exactly what purpose they had. He repeatedly tried to reach to Syvex, but he was too busy - streams of sand and drips of blood merged before his feet - fighting the guy he already killed before.

"Syvex," he retried, "you really shouldn't be-"
"Not now," Syvex hissed at Riko.
The scientist decided not to interrupt, for the sake of his own life. He then noticed he had been neglecting that pool for quite some time.

He headed outside, and shielded his eyes from the harsh sun that so cast the dancing patterns on his eyes earlier. The patterns of the hedges and flowers were impeccably placed, but not with much detail. The plants lacked something, though Riko could not exactly explain what, scientifically, and he didn't bother to waste time on abstract concepts like soul.

Pool pool pool pool pool.

<font color="#804060">The scientist walked through the garden, oblivious
pool of the other contestants who had already strode through the pool same garden before him. He promenaded through the perfectly pool cut bushes, walked past the well-preserved flowers, and ended up at where pool he, as he felt it, should have ended up long ago. Before pool the battle even started. He needed to be here, he was pool supposed to be here. He looked into the pool water, and saw something dancing pool on the lakebed. It swayed back pool and forth because of the pool waves, which were pool indeed out pool of place pool due to the pool lack of wind. He pool squatted pool and peered a pool little closer, pool but still pool couldn't pool </font>quite make pool pool out pool pool pool the object. Just pool a pool little pool pool pool pool pool pool pool pool closer...

All the contestants which by dumb luck had ended up in the garden could have heard, and the taller even seen the tremendous splash of the scientist as he dove headfirst into the pool. Some of his potions and swills diluted into the chloridic water, polluting the lake with the power to spark electricity from its fingers, the ability to breathe underwater and magnetic feet.

Riko stood straight at the bottom of the pool, his hood and scarf floating around in the thick fluids he spilled into it. He only then realised he was going to drown. He frantically tried to swim up, but something had apparently grabbed at his feet, forbidding him to surface. He felt his breath run out, and with a final gasp gave up on escaping, and on life.

He then noticed that while he wasn't an expert on drowning he should at least be losing consciousness by now.

All things considered, while he could breathe underwater the bottom of the pool wasn't exactly the place where he'd want to exactly spend the round. He checked his pockets for what he could use to get out, and then noticed the potions that went missing. Then he noticed the labels on the flasks being peeled off by the hazardous chemical mix.

Hold on, hazardous chemical mix?

Riko noticed osmosis pushing the murky brown cloud of underwater magnetlightning into his direction. He quickly zapped his fingertips at his feet, and the shock caused their magnetic capabilities overloaded. The scientist swam back to the surface, noticing what appeared to be a little girl crying in pain as his poisons spread through the vast waters.

Father? Why can't I ever go to the lake with you? It seems so enjoyable to spend our sunday outside!
Now now, my dear! Wouldn’t it be... er... best, for you if you stayed inside? You're looking, um, rather frail.
But father, I want to spend the day with you instead of my brother.
Young lady, did you and him have a fight?
...Okay. For once, I'll have you come with me, to go fishing. Only if you promise to tell me about what happened. How about it?
Thank you, father!

He quickly sped off back towards the house, both scared and confused where those thoughts came from and why more thoughts? Why even more thoughts in his mind? They weren't his! Then why was he there? Why was he there? He was there! He couldn't save her! She was so beautiful! His poor, poor, pool GQKY.

Riko stumbled through the corridors of the mazelike mansion; each turn further blurred his vision and reduced it to hues of memorial grey and brown, floaters of a young girl skipping her way outside bejewelling his eyes with a single, detailed sense of colour. She was so beautiful. Why did she have to go? Why didn't she go? She was the devil, she was so beautiful, she wasn't the devil.

He was the devil.

The scientist's eyes were enveloped by the sepia shroud, and he slowly lost interest in anything other than QVGP. After staggering from the violent memories getting the jump on him, Riko entered the sleeping chambers – or rather, the hallways leading towards them, - and walked into an odd scene. There she stood. Eureka Finch, his very own son, who by her own hands forced him into killing LVDG.

The cloth mage had discarded her baggy clothes and slouching pose for a more formal attire. He stood perfectly straight, chest forward, with his black suit, adorned with those fiendish velvet white gloves. He was the devil.

“Finch! This ends here! Give me back my daughter, dog of the devil!”

At that point a shadow snake fell from the curtains.


The war serpent looked around in a daze and there were colours everywhere. He saw the malicious black with the naïve white and the screaming orange and cyan with the purple as fatalistic mediator between the two and saw the bright white reflecting off the coral tiles in herringbone and it hurt and he saw the chirp green outside generously spread out in the garden and his stomach really hurt and he saw the young yellow dress playing on the chirp.

“Father? What ails you? What have... Have I done something to displease you?”

She was so beautiful and he saw the sad red leaking from his abdomen onto the coral and the red why was it red had the shape of a pentacle and it was deep and the red no it is black was everywhere especially on his claws and why was she smiling?

“You know damn well what you did, demon! Immunity from the cross is not enough to overthrow Pastor Blackhood. After all those sessions with him you deserve to know at least that much!”

“Now wot're you planning, science pansy?!”

“Silence, Blackhood! You have wasted enough kind words and effort on this demon child! This ends!”

He remembered what he was doing he felt it hurt it burned sand everywhere it hurt everywhere he had to get it out get it out he was so weak so bright white red yellow so beautiful she was so beautiful.

FDKJEO only cried as Finch was electrocuted by Riko's index finger.

December 18

they are all dead they are all dead they are all dead they are all dead


quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur.
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by MalkyTop.

Getting electrocuted was not the greatest experience in the world. It wasn't as though she didn't know this already, but actually going through this cemented this thought. And, as she fell over to the ground, her muscles giving out on her, those damn traitors, she had time for two thoughts. One of them went something along the lines of 'why father why why why th the pain why.'

The other went something like 'goddammit I knew you'd get me killed when I die can I at least have this body to myself now would appreciate it I sure hope some other stupid insane thing doesn't happen to me at the last second.'

And then she landed and shuddered before suddenly growing unnaturally still.

It didn't even take that long for Syvex to leap blindly towards Riko.

The colors were still there, beating his mind, thrashing it even, but he could still tell at least vaguely what was going on. And that blur of black and white and brown and gah all those other insidioiusly bright colors, it was definitely Eureka going down and he couldn't say he particularly liked that. So Riko's sick, triumphant smile was quickly wiped off his pale face when he was suddenly on the ground as well and there was a heavy load in the form of an angry, black serpent on his chest.

"Get off!" the scientist roared and again, electricity crackled from his fingers and again he aimed them at another living being and Syvex was thrown back and crashed against the wall before struggling upright again. Riko aimed more lightning at him until he decided it would be best to have a tactical retreat. He promptly disappeared through a portal and Riko once again stood triumphant.

"Pastor," he barked, dusting off his clothes.

Ripper jumpped and hesitantly said, "...Yes...?"

"I would like to attend a confession, Pastor," Riko continued, now sounding very shaken. "And I would like to prepare an unmarked burial for--" and here, he turned to gesture and possibly spit upon the body of his former son but found there was no body to spit upon. "...What...? Where did he go?!"

"Uh," Ripper said, having seen the second portal pull Eureka through but not exactly willing to tell the insane Riko. "Well...uh...witch...craft...?"

Riko's face darkened. "Of course. Come, Pastor, I think I may need your help in purifying my old abode."

Blackmask inwardly groaned but still, as Riko stiffly turned around to walk through the halls, he followed behind.

Salt apparently didn't work so well, but maybe he could figure something else out...


And with a jerk, Eureka sat up. Or rather, more like convulsed in a way that forced her to sit up.

She had no idea where she was and it seemed that her eyes weren't seeing right so for now she couldn't know at all and oh god she ached all over though actually she felt numb and her hands were shaking augh dammit and for some reason all her thoughts were being said in a Brittish accent or something.

"God fucking dammit!" she shouted, or would have, if she were able to shout clearly.

"G-god fug--fucking dammit," she titubated instead.

Wait what the hell? What sort of word was 'titubated?' That sounded vaguely...sexually related.

No, it's a word meaning 'to stumble.' I stumbled in speech, so I thought it fit.

Oh god her head hurt gaaaah.

"I'm glad you're back to normal," Sytex Cylix Steelix Syvex said, coming out from some sort of dark corner and where was she anyways she still hadn't figured it out yet. The shadow snake stared down at her as she clutched her head. "Or...are you?"

The dickcissel shook her head and okay wait now I know that's a dirty word.

Actually, it's a type of finch. I was making a pun.

That was a stupid pun.

And okay, maybe I was hinting something too because honestly I'm not exactly nice.

Gaaah dammit why won't you leave stop thinking we're an 'us' does that even make sense aaaaagh.

"I'll take that as a 'no,'" Syvex said slowly. Eureka wasn't looking too well. She looked like she was going to tear out her hair, and actually, now that he stared at it, another flash of color blinded him...but whatever these confusing colors were...was her hair...

" your hair getting darker?"

Eureka looked up at him for the first time and then picked at her hair to try to look at it but her hair was too short for her to really get a good glance, but yes, perhaps it was getting darker.

Syvex rubbed his eyes before he remembered that he didn't have any. The flashes of color wasn't as severe as before, but blinding. "Ugh...uh...your eyes might be changing color too."

Eureka stared up at him again, looking panicked, before she started beating her head. Syvex caught her arms. "Don't."

And Eureka sat on the floor of whatever the hell room she was in and dammit this place this sucked so much. "I, I--he--I...khkhkhan't get ooout," she finally managed to moan.

Syvex wasn't entirely quite sure what this meant, but at least Eureka was starting to look like Eureka, despite the hair and eyes. Her scarf was looking like a scarf at least, though her jacket-sweatshirt still seemed to be arguing against itself. Maybe the shock did something...weird. "Alright, whoever you're supposed to be or at least partly supposed to be, do you know what's in the basement?"

The random flashes of color had apparently stopped by now, but he was somehow sure that if he moved around too much, they would start up again. Eureka stared at him again, not even trying to tug her arms out of his grasp. "I--I, I, he, I don't know you sh-shouldn't go duh-own there..."

Syvex made some sort of exhaling frustrated noise. "Can't anything here just make sense? I don't know, is it too hard to ask for somehting concrete here?"

Eureka unfolded herself from the floor and hesitantly stood up, wrenching her arms away this time with a patented Eureka glare, which Syvex was actually relieved to see. ", er...oh da--da..." She took a deep breath. "Damn it, so I'm not thinking so well ugh...I'm, no, he's...there's some stupid family issues going on here and I don't want to be a part of it but I've been forced into it so look let's just get out of here so th-this guy can stop whining to me..."

"Family issues?" Syvex repeated, thinking about the journal he had picked up. "I think someone wrote about that stuff in here...though I haven't been able to understand the writing..."

Eureka cringed away from the journal and massaged her head again. "D-don't even...I-I'm not going to tell you what that says. Could probably guess, though. Probablyaboutmybeautifulsister--" Eureka almost bit her tongue trying to stop herself. Syvex stared at her.

It was almost getting awkward in here.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by SleepingOrange.

Muriegro had been wandering around the garden with Lily for some time as the other contestants lost themselves more and more to the corrupting influences of the dysfunctional ghosts that pervaded the gorgeous manner. He, or rather, his handler, had to actually contribute to the conversation very rarely; the little girl seemed ecstatic to simply have someone to talk to after who-knows-how-long of being conscious and immobile at the bottom of a silent lake with fish nibbling at her remains. She had taken to calling him Murray and pointing at every object or place they passed and saying things like "And that's where I used to..." or "... the time I lost Dolly..." or "Daddy always told me...". The cultist and his god were content to follow her and glean what they could about the round's setting for now.

It was quite a placid walk; while near-drowinings and possessions and lightning fights were cropping up and disappearing elsewhere, the two figures of Lily and the priest drifted calmly through the eerie beauty of the grounds. At the same time as near-idle chatter was pouring from the illusory lips of the reanimated child, the pincushion was carefully investigating her dual nature. From the first few lines it heard from the second voice, Laguja had suspected that the calmer, more knowledgeable presence was essentially what had arisen from the girl's magical nature as the shackles of youth and life had unbound it; the idol's careful magical and mental prodding seemed to be bearing this theory out. It was still Lily in every way, but without the filter of childhood applied. It rather doubted that the girl let herself see the witch inside herself even now that she was dead, and so it was forced to manifest itself as a separate entity of sorts.

Lily stopped them at a small bench and fountain under a few picturesque birch trees and sat down, patting the seat beside her and smiling. Muriegro joined her, folding his ragged hands in the lap of his more-ragged robe.

"Thanks for getting me out of that lake, Murray. I really appreciate it! And you're so nice too..." She slipped her hand into one of the priest's and grinned sheepishly. "You remind me of my daddy before things got weird with him and my brother and the lake and the voices." The little girl, apparently oblivious of her companion's grotesqueness and savagery, leaned her head against him. "It's nice to be out of the lake, especially with nobody saying I'm the devil when they think I can't hear."

Laguja turned Muriegro's head towards his charge. "What exactly are you talking about? There is clearly some force at work on this house, but I assumed it was the doing of the one who brought us here."

Lily's innocent voice queried confusedly, but the godling tuned it out, focusing instead on her other half's response. "No, this house was cursed long before you or your handler arrived. I'm not sure why, but it began to twist and corrupt its occupants as they lived in it; part of me suspects it was my birth and the influence of my undeveloped powers that exacerbated what was a low-level haunting or demonic taint. In the end, the entire family was turned against itself, and my father killed me, convinced that I was possessed by Satan himself."

It was rather odd listening to what the more knowledgeable aspect of the girl had to say, primarily because her other half had by now laughed off the question and was swinging her legs idly and playing with the hem of her dress; the explanation continued despite her illusory mouth not moving and her apparent attention focused elsewhere. "No-one lived for much longer following my death of course. I was still unconsciously amplifying whatever malign force existed in the house even from the bottom of the lake, and the madness that had destroyed them continued to drag them further into the darkness. I don't know much about the events since my death, being bound to the lake, but I can sense that their souls are still trapped here, unable to move on."

Were he the one in control, Muriegro's eyebrows would have furrowed. Laguja been unable to detect any such spirits when it had searched the manor, but there seemed to be no reason to doubt her words. Perhaps another, finer search was in order... Its musings were interrupted when Lily suddenly jumped off the bench and grabbed its servant's hand. "Come on, let's go see the bees!"

The pincushion allowed its vessel to be dragged back along the path; it wasn't sure what its plan was at the moment, but it figured that the best way to achieve its long-term goals for now was to learn as much as it could about the witch and the house, and that meant sticking with the little girl. It was also rather nice to have someone who unswervingly cared about and respected it again; it wasn't the same thing as worship by a long stretch, but divinity can make do.

The odd pair reached the hives in little time and with no real interruptions; it was occasionally possible to hear snatches of raised voices coming from inside the house proper since the grounds were so otherwise quiet, but impossible to make anything out. Lily looked upset at their stillness and moved over to the closest one, calling out "Hello? Beeees?"; when there was no response, she tapped on the side of the hive.

There was a very faint sound, like a sudden sharp exhalation from a mouth several yards away, and a slight sense of vibration. Both lasted for only a moment, and following their passage was silence again. After a moment of Lily circling the hive and peering into its entry, the manor groaned as though every wooden beam and strut was being twisted to near-breaking, and a loud buzzing welled up inside the hives. A single worker flew out of the closest one; the girl smiled as the bee landed on her hand and crawled up her arm, and the house's screaming rose even higher. Finally, an enormous swarm rose from each of the previously-still apiaries and spread into the air, and the manor went silent, leaving only an undefined feling of dread permeating the air.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by Anomaly.

"'Beautiful sister'? What are you talking about?"

"...N-nothing. Th-this guy i--th-jjjour-journal... He... AAARGH!"

"Okay, I get it. Another one of those things is wreaking havoc with your mind. Can you please try to focus? There's something in the basement, and it's probably the cause of all of this. I'm going after it."

"N-no, it'ss d-danger-erous. Gggod... d-dammit... Sh-shouldn't g-goooOOOAUUUGH"

Letting off an ear-shattering scream, Eureka doubled over on the ground, clutching her head. As Syvex regained his bearings, creaking reverberated through the entire manor, almost as if it was breaking apart. The dull reverberations gave rise to a great cacophony, growing to unbearable levels before returning to normalcy as if nothing had happened. Syvex opened the door and gave a cursory examination of the hallway, noticing nothing out of the ordinary. Except the brief flashes of color, of course - they hadn't simply stopped. Altogether, that is. Though it had been hard to notice through the utter chaos and confusion, during that short time there had been a complete secession of color. Even afterward, the rate and magnitude of flashes had dropped dramatically. Eureka, however, hadn't fared so well.

"G..god ffug-k...king M-my... s-sist... no..."

"...You know what? The 'ghosts' are causing all of this, and the 'ghosts' don't want us in the basement. That's exactly where I'm going. I've had it. ...Are you okay?"

Eureka struggled to pull herself off of the ground and face the serpent, clutching her head with one hand. A grimace fixed on her face, she barely managed to spit out, "D--do I look okay you?"

"Better than you did a minute ago. Just... lock the door after I leave. Riko's out to kill you."

Not waiting for a response, Syvex headed out into the long corridor and quietly shut the door behind him. He had managed to take Eureka back to the guest bedroom where he had begun this ordeal. As he made his way back toward the stairs as he previously had, he noted (with some dismay) that the appearance of the colors had increased in frequency again. The large amounts of ornate paintings and lavish decoration made what should have been a simple trip down a hallway into a confusing ordeal for the serpent. As he reached the railing adjacent to the staircase, looking out over the manor's front hallway, Syvex noted with further dismay that he was growing accustomed to the all-too-frequent flashes of color.

The serpent hoisted himself over the railing to begin his descent of the wall, but immediately stopped himself. Riko is still down there, no doubt still out for blood. And with his... lightning powers? He could kill me pretty handily with those. I'd have no choice but to kill him, but he's too useful for it to come to that... Syvex clambered back up the wall to the second floor and entered another door. He found himself in what appeared to be some sort of odd lavatory, and wasted no time in opening a portal to the room below. But, something was wrong. Just ten or so minutes earlier he had had no trouble with opening rifts over fairly long distances, but now he was having a minute bit of difficulty just through a single floor. What had Riko been trying to say to him about the vial? I need to hurry.

Syvex leapt through the portal and fell into a cramped pantry, stocked with oddly-pristine food and spices. As he prepared to open a rift to the basement, however, the smell of the pantry reminded him that he hadn't eaten for... However long he had been in stasis. He wasn't exactly sure how long it had been. Nonetheless, he quickly took purchase of a loaf of bread and virtually swallowed it whole, almost as a second thought. He then proceeded to create a portal on the door, and attempted to open its counterpart beneath the floor. At first, he felt minor resistance. Channeling further energy, this resistance grew in magnitude, as the manor once more began to creak and groan before starting to shake violently.

- - - - - - - - - -

The Malevolence was displeased. Years had passed without intrusion, without incident. Any unfortunate soul who had managed to find their way onto the grounds was more often than not found dead the next morning, or driven away out of terror. After a while they had simply stopped coming altogether. The witch lay dormant in the eternally-placid lake, the manor house was in perfect order, the spirits were peacefully sealed away... just as the Malevolence intended.

Those years ago, The Malevolence had been sure to dispose of all the tenants of the manor, one by one. The first to go was, of course, the one who unknowingly posed a threat to it. The eldest one was of great help in the matter before The Malevolence ended him, too. Even in their deaths, the Malevolence held domination over all of them, ensuring they were to forever be held dormant. Ten years of utmost peace.

However, those ten years of silence had once more been interrupted by outsiders. These seven had appeared out of seemingly nowhere, apparently for no other purpose than to interfere with the stillness of eternity. The Malevolence was less than enthused. They had released the witch, who had already attempted to restore the grounds to their former hideousness, teeming with life. Worse still, the spirits had also broken free, wasting little time in inhabiting the minds of the intruders. The Malevolence could barely control most of them, retaining full influence on only the one who had been its puppet over a decade prior. One of these intruders had even tried to enter the Basement. The Malevolence could not allow that to happen. Even worse, that same one was trying to tear asunder the barriers placed there for that express purpose.

This was unacceptable.

- - - - - - - - - -

After much straining, the house stopped shaking violently and Syvex's portal opened successfully. Must've broken through. Here we go. Syvex leapt headlong into the deep purple rift, find himself deposited... into a bunch of clothing. Not a basement, but instead somebody's cramped, unimpressive bedroom closet. He threw off a few assorted socks and other detritus before proceeding through the door. Peculiarly, he found himself standing in a back hallway of some sort rather than a bedroom as would be expected in any sane structure. Listening intently, he heard the voices of Riko and the pirate echo faintly down the hallway.

- - - - - - - - - -

"So, um, you need help with cleansin' this serpent o' yours?"

"In so few words, yes. We cannot simply allow this demon to roam freely, now, can we?"

"...O' course not. We need t' exorcise this demon right away. You got some... erm... holy water on you?"

"Yes, of course. In my bedchamber on the second floor. By the way, Pastor, your manner of speech has seemed rather odd lately. Is something wrong?"

"Erm... no, nothing." Ripper cleared his throat, mainly for emphasis. "How do you expect we find 'im with this 'witchcraft' goin' on?"

"I wouldn't worry, Pastor. He's still around somewhere, I'm sure. Such are the ways of these devils. After we're through with this serpent, those deplorable demon-children will also have to go, quite naturally. Perhaps we should start with Mjnr. I doubt she is under any sort of protection right now."

"...I'm, um, sorry, I didn't catch that name."

"Fdji, my unfortunately possessed daughter, of course. Are you feeling alright, Pastor?"

"...Aye. I'm fine." Blackmask didn't like the position he had gotten himself into. Riko was possessed by another of these damnable spirits, rambling on about killing the others like it was nothing. The British accent certainly didn't help any. Somehow, Ripper would have to get the evil spirit exorcised. "Riko" kept calling him pastor... Ripper took on a rather unsettled facial expression. What if there was a pastor? And worse still, what if it was inhabiting him? Ripper was nervous at the thought, especially since on these haunted grounds it was more than likely.

"Something the matter, Pastor?"

"No, I'm, um, okay, really. In fact, I-"

"In my way again, pirate? Ah, and you've been joined by the scientist. How pathetic."

Ripper and the possessed scientist turned around to see Tamerlane, body covered in cuts and bruises, clothing stained with purple-black blood. Riko's eyes narrowed. "Scientist? What the hell are you talking about? Get out of my house, you miscreant."

Tamerlane's expression remained unchanged. "I seek the serpent. Get out of my way, and I'll spare you for now. I would not be opposed to killing either of you if you come between me and my target."

"You have a quarrel with this demon as well? We were on our way to kill him when you showed up unannounced."

"...I see I have no choice. This is personal, and I can't let you interfere. It ends here for both of you."

Tamerlane whipped a decent quantity of sand from his pockets and quickly flung it at Blackmask, pinning him to the ground. He then unsheathed his rarely-used sword and slowly approached the pirate, intent on a clean, effortless kill. What he was unexpectedly met with, however, was a jolt of electricity in the back. The sand mage pivoted angrily, only to be met by a very peeved Riko. Electricity crackled around his fingertips. "You would strike down a man of God? Blasphemer! Heretic!"

"A 'man of God'? This pathetic cretin? I think you are very confused, scientist. Perhaps I should simply strike you down instead."

Tamerlane instinctively sidestepped to avoid another jolt of electricity, then turned and kicked Riko in the stomach in the same fluid motion. He held the sword to the scientist's neck.

"You should've just stayed out of the way, scien-"

- - - - - - - - - -

Tamerlane was suddenly and abruptly cut off midsentence, and the sounds of the clash between the three were immediately silenced. Syvex thought this more than a little strange, and cautiously ventured out into the hallway where they had been just moments ago. What he found was unnerving. In the middle of the hallway was... the front entrance of the manor? The large windows stretched up to the ceiling and out to the walls, and were abruptly cut off. This can't be right. It's just another of these... "spirits". It's all in my head and I'm just going insane. Yes, that's it. I'm insane. This is all just a dream and I'll wake up any minute now. ...What am I even thinking? Need to keep going.

Syvex threw open the horribly misplaced front door, noting that, rather than the patio and the path to the lake, it instead lead directly out into a massive garden. He was greeted by rather grotesque images made from... trees? Very rarely did war-torn earth have greenery of any sort, yet here it was more than plentiful, enough to waste on such frivolities. Much smaller plants littered the landscape, divided only by stone paths twisting and turning throughout. The brief flashes brought him the dizzying amount of color in these small plants, much worse than the by-comparison mild coloration of the manor's interior. Over a large but low wall of rather blocky plants, he could see a massive group of trees, most bearing the (in his memory) very rare gift of fruit. Further along a different path, there seemed to be some sort of enclosure of the same wall-plants, these being well above human height. Further along this path was some sort of burial site, pockmarked with various stones placed at odd angles. Syvex couldn't make out much more than blocky generalizations of the objects beyond a certain point; his vision had further deteriorated.

Syvex turned back and headed through the side door of house, which to a casual external observer would appear perfectly normal. The door led him out directly into the conservatory where he had fairly recently smashed the stringed instrument to small pieces. The pieces had, of course, reassembled themselves in this time. Syvex closed the door behind him and scouted out the room, finding absolutely nothing out of the ordinary, nothing to allude to the fact that reality had stopped making any goddamned sense. Slightly unexpected, however, was the fact that the room it opened into was upside-down. Or so it seemed from Syvex's perspective - what Eureka saw as the door opened was an equally upside-down conservatory. She then saw Syvex enter the room upside-down and immediately fall to the ground after crossing planes of gravity.

"...Wasn't expecting that. Erm, I'd recommend being careful around doors. Or anything that you can't see, for that matter."

"Wh-what the hell did... youdispleaaaaase- no argh what did you do this time?"

"It may or may not have actually been my fault. I'm going to try to find the basement again, if you'll excuse me."

Syvex threw open the door to the closet, leading him back into the attic. Subtle as it was, Syvex became aware of a minute warping of the structure of the room itself. Strangely bent floorboards, slightly misshapen windows... Whatever it was that the manor was doing, it was much more apparent up here. Desperate, Syvex tried another portal, destination picked effectively at random, only to be met with further resistance. As he strained to open the aperture, barely perceptible whispers began to gather in his mind, slowly growing louder and louder, more and more audible. Without warning, Syvex was painfully stricken to the ground by some unseen force. The world around him faded into darkness, only to be swiftly replaced in quick flashes of almost-familiar scenes, as if from a memory.

In an instant, Syvex was in a cold, dimly-lit metal hallway, a hideously bright glow filling his vision. On each side, a heavily-armored human grasping him tightly by his top set of limbs. The other four were either heavily mangled or missing entirely, and the claws on what hands he had left had been brutally and imprecisely sliced off. He tried to speak, but found that he had been shot in the throat, doubtlessly by one of the assault rifles carried by the guards flanking the two "escorts". This scene was quickly replaced; Syvex now found himself on a familiar operating table. Unable to stop them, the serpent could only watch as the two "surgeons" (if such a description could even apply) approached with vicious-looking tools, a grim demeanor set in their narrowed eyes. In another flash, Syvex found himself standing in a dark forest, untouched by the devastation the serpent had seen through most of his life. It was completely unfamiliar, as compared to the painful memory invoked by the other two scenes. And yet... The unfamiliarity only served to worsen things.

Within seconds of the debacle's start, it was over. Syvex found himself to still be in the attic; however, the room melted away into an ornate dining chamber, which itself appeared to be impossibly twisted: its other end was nearly perpendicular to the end connecting to the attic. Syvex's mind was wracked with questions. Could the spirits of this manor have replicated those scenes just to torment him? At this point, it seemed almost certain. Knowing it would only be in vain, Syvex weakly lifted one of his hands to point at the ceiling, and attempted to open one more rift. To his surprise, the portal opened effortlessly, shears of wind stirring up papers nearby.

Syvex, genuinely surprised, hastened up the wall and, making use of his sharp claws, struggled his way to the purple-black hole in the ceiling. He reached through and began to pull himself through, and instantly, planes of gravity switched. He was now hanging high above the gardens, halfway through a portal which he could barely sustain. Before Syvex could turn back, the vial's energy abruptly ran out. Syvex could sustain the rift no longer. He felt the incredibly painful sensation of bisection beneath his lowest set of arms as the portal closed around him, severing his lower half and dropping him through the air. Barely conscious, Syvex plummeted and ultimately crashed to the ground in a grassy field, virtually on top of a wooden chest.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by Wojjan.

The clashing forces in the hallway stood perfectly still, in whatever statuesque pose the battle halted in. From the floor, they could only assume from the basement, a strange red seeped through the boards, taking the form of inkblots, then morphing vaguely into one form or the other and endlessly contradicting itself as if it were a shapeshifter getting numerous descriptions on what this beast it was replicating actually was.

Of course, that was pretty natural because the run-ins the contestants remembered with Thatix were rough, action-filled, and jam-packed with intense fury. Only the pirate, who had once posed as Thatix' fence in the council had a clear idea of how exactly her figure looked.

The result of the transformation again set the battle in motion, as Malevolence had scanned their minds for traces of a form most of them hated and feared. This was about as close as it would get with two of its three victims being far too battle-ready to scare away easily.

“Hah! And you thought it was over! Think again, members of the chancel! My wrath knows no bounds, even beyond death!”

A puzzled Riko looked at the fireflies, buzzing around angrily, snapping at him in clear unison. They kept repeating some garbled threats about a 'scientist murderer' of sorts but neither Blackhood or the man he had recently encountered looked anything of the sort.

“I think you're mistaken. If you're looking for the man who invaded my house, by all means drag him down back to hell with you, demon, but stay no longer! Pastor Blackhood here is armed with various tools to vanquish fiends such as you!”

Okay, now Thatix didn't get anything anymore. I mean it was pretty obvious that she meant him, right? The guy who killed her? Well technically she killed herself for making all that glass but she couldn't be angry at herself the whole time, that was bad karma. So she thought it made sense to be angry at him, right? It did! Then why wasn't he responding because it was pretty obvious even to her that he's a scientist and even more so that he's a murderer so huh? What was going on here?

“Still no reply? I say bego-”

Thatix kind of hated herself for not answering in all the time she was thinking this deal over because it made a really bad sixth impression. She guessed that number. It seemed like the sixth. Let's recheck, there's that time with the bar, no wait he wasn't there. Then with all his clones and that tunnel and that was pretty confusing. They were all him so technically it's the twenty... twentiest?

The scientist, in the meantime, remembered. She stood there, the woman of bugs who killed his entire team, and she just smugly smiled, with no remorse at all, no clue that what she did there was even remotely evil.

And in that light, he snapped back to himself.

“Y-You! You!”

Other than 'you' and some primal roars the chemist couldn't force anything else remotely resembling sound, so he gave up on trying to lecture her again – as if she was going to listen this time around – and instead used his crackling fingertips to zap every of her bugs to death. It went pretty smoothly, because after all he had experience with killing Thatix. She didn't even have any idea what was going on before all her insects lied unconscious on the floor. He felt pretty good again.

Malevolence wasn't all that happy being beaten up so quickly, and especially since Mr. Thunder there just shocked her to her core without even batting an eye, she thought it would be better to keep him possessed just a while longer. In hindsight it seemed a pretty foolish move, taking the slew of people head-on.

Malevolence manipulated the spirit that had resided in this house for so long, and coerced him to regain the talons of his mind.

It didn't really work out.

Riko was too vigorously present at the time, filled with the sheer rage seeing Thatix brought about in him, and so the father could only halfway merge with the scientist, engineering a strange split-personality where both halves, Riko and the father, were simultaneously present.

All of their memories of the battle, his wife, Lily, his son,
the pool, Syvex, the pool, the battle, the devil, GRIMACE, the pastor, Joni, the pool, Thatix, the pool, oh god the pool why, everything flowed together, both memories muddling each other to the point where neither the scientist or the father could discern the two. It all congregated in one giant mess of thoughts.

The strange accent this carried through was rapidly flicking between Riko's slight Brooklyn and the ancient British.

“I don't presume any of you had an idea what she was on about?”

The other two battlers stared in awe at the image of the scientist, lightning protruding from his fingers into the carcasses of the various bugs. They now had seen what exactly he was capable of, and for at least the time being would ideate him as a formidable foe.



“Ah, yes, it doesn't matter. You're right. Anyway...”

Riko pointed at Tamerlane, who in turn shuddered lightly. Perfectly acceptable regarding the latest events.

“Get out of my house, Tamerlane.”

The sand warrior sped off. He'd fight him on equal terms, later. It didn't seem like the serpent would tread near such a spectacular lightshow after all.

“And as for you, Pastor Blackmask, I won't need your assistance any longer. Goodbye.”

Riko sauntered into the hallways, appearing to know exactly which way to go, leaving a thoroughly befuddled Ripper wondering what the hell just happened here.

“What the hell just happened there?”


Syvex was growing short on power. His meeting with Miq only slowed him down in finding Riko. While after drinking the Riko's vial he had felt the darkness streaming through him, now it was practically dried up. He hated himself for not listening already. He was growing weak, and the brilliance of the manor hindered him even further.

And at that critical point, salvation was nearby.

The scientist walked right at him, clearly noticing the serpent crawling with much less of his typical smarmy elan. Syvex didn't heed the fact that Riko didn't speed up seeing him in danger, or motioned towards him in any other way than a very determined smile. When he finally stood before him while his eyes flickered, his usual teal tint rhythmically and acutely lighting up in Malevolence's red like bright strobe lights, only then did he notice the fleeting chill in the back of his mind. Something warning him that he wasn't safe.

“Riko! Your potion is wearing off. Do you have another?”

“I tried to tell you, it was only a temporal solution. You'd need surgery to completely fix the issue. I think you have Superluminitis Atralis. It's a minor procedure, really, and once this battle we're in stops jumping in four-space, I could get a ship here with a sterile room...”

“Yeah yeah, blah blah blah. Do you have one of those drinks or not?”

Riko straightened his posture, his red eyes now looking at the space right above the skinklike devil. His British flair showed and spoke.

“Yes. But why should I, Syvex? Do you truly ask a lending hand from the person whose children you both tainted? No, I think you know better than that. I think you want to provoke me. This house,” he sniffed, “My poor daughter Lily... She has a strong spirit. Of course it's hard for you to stay in such a bright environment, haunted by the girl you killed! You want me to kill you!”

Riko shook his head, knowing exactly what the demon was scheming.

“No, I won't send you back to hell. I will keep you here, and I will sever the one bond with this world you still have! You will wilt away for the rest of your days here, in this bright house. That'll be your punishment for the things you did to me, Syvex!”

And he walked on, with a clear destination in mind.

“Hold on, so what you're saying is you're going to kill your son?”

The serpent thought what exactly that meant in the land of sense.

“You're going to kill Finch?”

He tried his very best to keep up with the scientist, but as he shot a warning bolt into the air from his index finger, he realised Eureka was on her own this time around.


Eureka sat on the floor, recovering from the spirit's violent assault on her well-being, waiting for the signal Syvex was gonna give her or whatever his plan was. She didn't really care. Of all the rooms she'd been in, this one felt pretty safe, considering the door was locked. She wondered why that crazy snake even bothered with the basement at all. He kept talking about possession, but she was feeling pretty fine by now.

Then suddenly she heard a hissing sound as the bronze lock corroded and fell off.

“Oh god Syvex please be you. Please, please, please be you.”

The door slammed open, and Riko stood very firmly in the alleyway in a Spartanly straight pose.

“Um, hi?”

“You're sick.”

“Well yeah, weirdo. There were ghosts and you shot me. No wonder I feel awful.”

“And I failed, apparently.”

"Huh? Wait, what?!

Riko readied his hand.

“It won't happen again, Finch. This time, you die, and the devil you're helping dies as well!"

quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur.
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by MalkyTop.

Despite her stupid headache and the stupid ghosts and her stupid sister and all this stupid weird confusing crap going on, Eureka had never jumped to her feet so quickly before. It was a good thing too, as it was probably hard to dodge lightning bolts when you’re sitting down trying to at least sort out your own mind.

“Hey!” she yelped, ducking behind the bed and painfully bashing her leg on the bedpost along the way. “No, wait, you don’t—DAD! Dammit!” And now the bed was starting to burn. She jumped behind the dresser and managed to tip it over towards the scientist, who simply blasted it apart with more lightning, making splinters rain down upon her face. At the same time, though, she had managed to take out some bandages and now wrapped them around his arms and twisted them around behind his back, as though manipulating a puppet. One of her eyes was now shut. She made a mental note to pull out any splinters at some later point in time.

Briefly, she held a hand to her head as Riko struggled and tried to shoot lighting at something, perhaps at his bonds or at Finch, but she kept him facing her and his arms always behind him and he only managed to zap the ceiling. “This always happens! Why do I have to get involved in these things?! I don’t want to! Why can’t everybody just leave me alone? Why did I have to get possessed? Why did I have to be chosen for this stupid battle? Why did I have to get involved with the Kingpins and my s-stupid sister and things can never be simple and why can’t you just GET OUT.

Possibly ranting to more than just her assaulter now, Eureka raised Riko by his arms and pinned him against the wall. Unfortunately, this finally gave him the clear shot that he wanted and he took it and she soon remembered exactly why she hated getting electrocuted so much.

Oh and lookit that her mind’s all jumbled again after she worked so hard to separate it and hello false memories and boy, this lust is just a little disturbing but you know what it’s true love so just shut up besides haven’t you ever heard of the saying ‘different strokes for different folks’ and would you leave please but the strangest thing was that she couldn’t now even if she wanted to and oh god oh god she didn’t mean for this to happen she only needed a way to get back to the lake at least one last time she didn’t mean to get stuck like this no, father, don’t do it, don’t do it please no I have to I hate you I hate to but I have you

The shock didn’t seem to be as strong as before because Eureka regained some form of consciousness rather quickly and found that she was screaming something though she wasn’t quite sure what and Father was standing over her with a finger pointed straight between her eyes. It looked like she was going to die, but she couldn’t die right now. She had to keep going, even if she was stuck. That was no excuse to forget about her.

And suddenly, she was grasping his sleeve and suddenly his collar was closing in around his neck and suddenly he was choking and she pushed his arm up so the spark of lightning didn’t kill her and as he struggled for breath, she pushed him over but no, she couldn’t just leave him to suffocate so she at least loosened it again but now what she had to leave hurry hurry hurry don’t trust the doors don’t trust the doors don’t trust the doors

She jumped out the nearest window.

It would have been a long fall. It would have even been a fatal fall. Only if the window actually led outside, however. As it was, the window instead led to the pantry, the tiny pantry, and she slammed headfirst into the door and it crashed open and she tumbled out and rolled into the floor which was now a wall. When she stood up, she found herself standing on a door. The floor was a stretch of doors going down an impossibly long hallway that ended in a door. The ceiling was doors. The walls were doors. She was in a giant hall of doors. She was in a giant door.

You can’t trust doors. Every door would lead to death. She was sure of that. But there were no windows to foolishly jump through anymore. Only doors that stared down at her with their gleaming doorknobs. Which one led down to the basement? No, all of them led down to the basement, she could feel it, she could feel them, that horrible feeling seeping out, it was too late, it was much too late. That anger, that malice, that
malevolence, the one who had taken her first name and taken all names from her first memory, so that the only thing she had was a love for a nameless sister, it did it again. She didn’t think it could, but she was certain it did and now she was nameless once again, it’s horrible, horrible, she had to get out. There had to be a place with no doors and she had to get there before her entire identity was stolen.

She started running as doors suddenly started opening behind her, creating such a clattering racket that it might have driven her insane if she weren’t insane already. There was a stairway of doors and she ran up it, clutching on to the railing as doors started opening beneath her feet, but she stubbed her hand on the tiny knobs of the door-railing oh my god its everywhere it’s all around her it’s suffocating her

She crashed into a window at the top of the stairs and fell out and landed on the roof of the house. She scrabbled a bit on the shingles until she stopped sliding down towards the edge, then sat and craned her head upwards. There was no sign of a window anywhere. Unless you counted all the broken glass surrounding her. She crawled towards the edge and peered over. It sure was a long way down. But there was the lake! So beautiful. Especially now that she was so close. It was too bad she had no idea how to get off the roof.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by granolaman.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by MrGuy.

Blackmask thought very hard about what had just occurred, because it was starting to become overwhelming. Something about a Pastor Blackhood... man of the cloth. And now everyone’s gone insane. The pirate began sweating, rather worried about what was going to happen next, and as the rooms shifted their positions, the kitchen and the second-floor bathroom merging into some variety of five-dimensional pantry, there was only one apparent escape route.

The pirate vaulted out the window, perching briefly on the wooden chest before bounding off through the study and into the cave, wait, this wasn’t right at all. Turning around, Blackmask headed back into the pantry by way of the lake and proceeded into the mountains to reach the attic, no, that wasn’t it either. At this point, the raider had begun to manifest a rather vexatious headache, which—combined with the general fear and confusion at the goings-on, and an increasing worry that survival was becoming increasingly unlikely, and recovery of the Core even moreso—was enough to send Adrian O'Gearailt crashing to the floor, or more accurately through it since the process led into a closet.

Ripper sat down on the floor, breathing heavily. Escape was impossible, a direct confrontation unthinkable. There was clearly only one way for the pirate to succeed, and two gloved hands extended in a desperate call for aid. Please work please work please work.

“Pastor Blackhood! If you still haunt this place, I beg you, come forth and grant me your aid in bringing these tortured souls to their eternal rest!”

There was a brief pause before an apparition appeared before the pirate: A tall man in a black cloak and a white collar, with thinning brown hair, a pair of spectacles and a bible in his right hand. “Hello, my son.”

Ripper bowed. “Pastor, I have to... that is...” A cough. “I’m Catholic.” The ghost simply smiled back. “You are still a child of god, and such differences are irrelevant in such a situation. What matters is that the people still bound to this house are released. Come with me.” The pastor led Blackmask through the house, evidently unfazed by its warped state, and briefly passed through a bedroom, Ripper grabbing a couple things from an end table. “There is a grave threat looming, my son. You must take pains to prevent the worst from happening.” A door loomed before the pirate and the pastor, which opened into a large array of beehives. By squinting, the pirate could just manage to make out the forms of Muriegro and Lily in the midst of a whirlwind of insects.

Making sure the mask was tightly attached, Ripper approached the swarm; the vast swathes of bees harmlessly assaulted the more-or-less airtight pirate as both of the individuals amongst it turned to face the newcomer. Lily smiled and shouted in greeting, “Hi, Mister Pirate! Are you going to be my friend too?” Ripper responded by turning to Muriegro; the priest simply stared back, evidently unperturbed, focusing instead on the other personality’s words, inaudible to the pirate, and roughly along the lines of “The pirate wishes to sieze my power. You know what must be done.”

The priest sighed, though it was more likely than not that he was expressing the pincushion’s feelings about the situation. There was, of course, no particular reason to let the witch treat him as a servant; nonetheless, ingratiating himself with her couldn’t hurt in any way, and disabling the raider was hardly a disadvantage, so they might as well go ahead and do so. Ripper quickly doubled over in pain from the powerful psychic assault that followed, and it didn’t take long for Laguja to worm its way through the foreign mind and into a position where it could control the pirate.

Blackmask’s right hand quivered as the battle of wills took place, but before long it slammed into the pirate’s face. Again and again, the fist was forced against its former master, first smashing the mask so hard it could barely cling onto its owner, next clawing at the other hand furiously, and finally grabbing the pistol and shooting its owner in the side. Screaming in fury, Ripper finally wrenched back control of the unruly appendage from Laguja. Bullets fired at the dark priest proved meaningless—without fail, each and every one just barely missed the priest, being pushed slightly to the side by an imperceptible forcefield. Left with but one resource, the pirate used the technique which had proved successful hundreds of times before: a headlong charge.

Pain rang out in every section of the pirate, pain enough to bring an ordinary man to his knees, pain both physical and mental as every bad memory in a lifetime was brought to the top. Despite all this, the charge did not stop. Conditioned by years of fighting and vast heaps of fortune placed into the Core, the pirate barelled forward, stretching an arm out; keeping connected to reality by focusing like a laser on the knocked-out tooth, the dents in the mask, the claw marks in the hand, not allowing anything to distract from progressing ever forward; until a gloved hand closed around the pincushion’s pouch. There was a brief struggle between Ripper and Muriegro over the container, each desperately tugging at the pouch, Muriegro slashing at Ripper’s arms and Ripper kicking Muriegro in the side, but eventually the raider managed to wrest the pouch away and toss it into the distance. The pirate cackled loudly before turning to Lily. “So much for yer friend, lassie. Now’s your chance to dance with Jack Ketch!”

Lily scowled back at the pirate. “You aren’t a very good friend, mister.” The flesh slowly fell away from her face, and Ripper’s eyes widened from behind the mask as the placid girl was displaced by a skeleton with furiously glowing eyes. Her tone had also changed to that of someone far older and wiser than the little girl, the one Muriegro had managed to discern earlier. “Leave now, before you bring everything to ruin.”

The fear that Blackmask should have, by all rights, been practically paralyzed by, faded into meaninglessness. All that mattered now was the gleaming pyramid inside the skeleton’s ribcage, and how to get at it as quickly as possible. Another charge and the pirate was quickly flung backwards across the field by a magical blast fired mere milliseconds after the first move. Muriegro’s companionship, offered to the other side of Lily, had been continuously charging the Core to the point where the witch’s ghost was far more powerful than any other entity she could expect to face any time soon—all Ripper could do was charge, and charge again, occasionally firing the pistol to no visible effect, desperately attempting to get at the Core, but the only result of any of this was the raider lying in a crumpled heap on the ground, staring up at the skull peering back. “Do you see now why you should leave?” The witch prepared for one last blast, which would surely finish off the weakened pirate. “Pray, Blackmask. Pray that this pastor will shorten your stay in purgatory.”

Ripper, bloody mouth just barely visible through a cracked section of mask, responded with a genuine grin. “Yer right addled if ye think I’ll be giving up my prize so quickly, lassie.” With one final reserve of willpower, the pirate struggled upward, whipped out the gun, and thrust it into Lily’s ribcage. “Be ye live, or be ye dead... Old man Blackmask has yer head!” The raider was secretly quite proud of the line, planned since the first whisper of a haunting, but didn’t get too distracted by it.

Six point-blank shots to the ribcage, fired off just before the coup de grace could be performed; shots which, one after the other, slowly blasted the Core backwards until the last one knocked it right out of the ribcage, landing right where the priest would have been had he not long since left to retrieve the source of his power; six point-blank shots sending magical energy flowing out of the ghost, and six point-blank shots allowing Ripper just enough time to reluctantly cram some stolen baubles—probably cursed anyway, knowing this place—into the slot, causing the wounds to slowly mend themselves. Ripper Blackmask laughed uproariously, finally reunited with the treasure, when Lily simply groaned out a response as the pastor gazed in horror at the mansion.

“I told you that you would ruin everything.”

A pool of red was very gradually seeping out of the foundation of the mansion; the grass it touched turned to cracked brown, and a tree began withering. The bees desperately attempted to beat it back, but they only shrivelled and died as well. And Ripper Blackmask could only stare, paralyzed with fear, as the pool slowly but steadily spread further and further...

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by Wojjan.

Riko recollected himself pensively, gripping like a menacing fool onto... quite frankly anything. Were it a nightstand, a bed, the carpet, it hardly mattered to the scientist. He just wanted to feel something, anything. He had to touch something just to get the world's reply that he was still alive.

He didn't feel anything.

In a hasty flurry of motions Riko flung his limbs around, apparently trying to get up and to his own surprise succeeding to. Then the panic kicked in.

Riko had always had a strange way of coping with bad news. First, upon noticing or receiving word of the bad situation, he spun around like an emergency vehicle's flashing light. When the feeling completely sank in he tipped over, and grabbed frantically onto a piece of furniture to remain stable after such a horrendous shock.

In this case however the scientist soon felt that with touching the room his pessimistic fear only grew larger, and retracted as quickly as his hand reflexively ended up on the bedside table, as if it were an igneous oven.

But through all the unhinged thoughts fluttering through his shattered self, he could only think of one thing.

Why did she stop?

It could arguably be called strange that after his involuntary attempt at murder on Eureka, after being overpowered by the possessed girl and after being strangled by his very own sweater, that this was the first thing that Riko wondered.

But he did raise a valid point. Why did Eureka stop?


Malevolence has a strange relation with the grounds to which it was bound – or rather, to which one could presume it was bound.

While it does puppeteer for the berserking spirits of the grieving household, those wraiths were mettlesome and vigorous, and they tried their very best as mere puppets could to block the Malevolence from growing stronger.

With the arrival of the battlers in the mansion, however, Lily received the item to repel Malevolence as much as possible. It was actually both propitious and inopportune that the Core had been placed in the spirit's possession. The presence of the pyramid made of the house the clean slate the players were first greeted with, but the presence of these vengeful fighters gave Malevolence a freebie, a loophole in its own system to no longer having to control the deceased puppets that constantly refused to dance in accordance. And as the savage servant to Laguja had already partly explored, Riko had proven with his slightly stressed behaviour to fit such a description perfectly.

Malevolence of course decided not to let him escape. With such fear he had, and the hatred the possession thrust into him, and every inch of sadness and grief and vengeance that all welled up at the same time as he relentlessly tore into the apparition of Thatix, with such emotions and flair, Malevolence would grow beyond comparison!

The contestants were the catalyst Malevolence needed to break its chains. Riko more than anyone else present.

The force of sadness and madness had a goal, then. It had to keep that man, that thoroughly human man in its grasp.


It was pretty understandable thought of the pirate, when he at a swift glance noticed the environment deteriorating and assumed the mansion was melting, or dissolving into the red smog forming on the ground near it. He had more important matters than noticing it creep into the ground and eat away at anything living on or in it. The pool, for instance. The murky brown water was steadily overflowing, and reached at the pirate's feet, which soon retracted back to safer ground due to the mild buzz contact with the ooze had shocked them with.

Only then did Ripper truly realise what a predicament he was in. He was standing on one of the few healthy spots around the entire manor, trapped between magnet-lightning water and red melting housepuke, trapped with an amazon and a little girl, both in possession of magic so incredible it could quite possibly blow him up, revive him and then kill him off again in a single second. If he were to survive at all there better be a miracle waiting to happen right about now.




Blackmask turned around, and regarding the sight before him got pretty annoyed about how late he was noticing things lately. Apparently flesh wounds can be pretty distracting if you need to think straight.

Before him stood Lily. She was far from either version of herself.

The girl let out a horrifying screech, and as if it had finally spotted a target the red foam leaking from under the house crept closer faster and faster, causing Blackmask to reposition himself somewhere between its shredding trail of decay and the foul, fetid water laced with potions. The smog engulfed Lily's corpse, and through her even more lifeless body the malevolence channeled all of her magic.

The young girl again assumed her more familiar form, but it seemed as if this time it was pasted onto her by something that had never seen a human being before. Her bones shifted endlessly, and the illusory skin Malevolence gave her was like a rubber sack, useful only to contain her corpse. Bones jutted out at random and every muscle her tethered spirit could still move cramped up in agony. The girl tried to resist, because she knew this was the hex or the hexer of the mansion and it was going to hurt everyone again, but in the end her skeleton fell mute and immobile. She hung like a marionette, suspended in the stagnant air, her jaw stuck in a choking hold to her chest. A voice sounded – no, crashed through every living being in the mansion.



The scientist had finally calmed down from what had gone about in the whatever room, and was finally ready to head out and search for anything living. His son would no doubt be hiding somewhere, and it was time to repay him for what he had done. Yes, he showed mercy. Would you trust a devil on that alone? That wasn't mercy, it was pity.

When he found himself staring at the top of a very gaudy piano upon opening the door Riko could think of about twenty scientific reasons that was completely impossible.

Closing the door again (the conservatory was quite large, and he had never been that great at facing heights) he decided to try again at his sweet escape and entered the wardrobe. Eighteenth-century houses were of course very much desired for their built in kitchens in wardrobes. At least he was again somewhere he recognised. With some luck the door outside would still lead outs...

Outside was red and dying and it was coming from the basement.

As the father in him reached desperately for the doorknob he could do little to prevent it. With some luck the door outside would lead to somewhere completely different.


You shouldn't have just run away, you know.

Shut up.

Think of what he did to you and Li-

Shut uuuuuuuuuup.

Fine, jeez.

Why did you stop?

I just did.

Yes, but why?

Because it's unethical or something I dunno. Why wouldn't I stop?

He's a devil.


Both of them.

Okay look you aren't helping with this headache and I'm really starting to regret not killing him because that'd mean I'm no longer stuck with... us. Wow that sounds so dumb.

You wouldn't do that. That wouldn't solve my problem. And by that I mean our problem.

quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur.
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round Two: Witch's Haunt]
Originally posted on MSPA by whoosh!.