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:Alive: The Southern Sufferring | Co-hosted by Baron Von Hollow

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6:00 A.M.

New Orleans, Louisiana

The Superdome

 

They had managed not to starve themselves of one of the bodies most important functions:  sleep.  While minimal, the survivors had intentions to 'keep watch' over one another during the night hours, despite being the only remaining human beings on the planet.  At exactly six o' clock a.m. the next morning, a powerful, resounding thunder rocked the Superdome, shaking the survivors awake.  The initial strike was merely the sound of the cross above the Superdome fading away, exploding out of existence.  What followed was a soft, soothing series of chimes as the barrier that protected the survivors and their temporary home gently fell over the Superdome, like golden sand.  The early morning was dangerously quiet, with no immediate signs of a threat.  With no roosters around, no crows to squawk, or dogs to bark, the silence befell the city like a disease, and would eat away at the sanity of any normal person.  The survivors stood to their feet, looking at each other in turn with a sign of caution over their faces.  

 

"Well?" Des asked first.

 

"That must have been the barrier," Mia said solemnly.

 

"What now?" asked Leroy

 

With phones in hand, each survivor opened their phones, and Yuel sprouted out in a single large hologram in the center of the group.  "With the barrier down, you are in danger.  Majin now have access to this place, and with your Fayth still being untapped, the threat levels of the Majin are greatly increased.  But for now, it doesn't seem like they know that you are here."

 

How curious.  Despite having tracked the survivors to the Superdome initially, there was no sign of the Majin.  No unexpected growl, nor out of place footprint or slash mark.  

 

"But, if you recall, you still have a lot of work to do.  You must find clues that will lead you in the direction of the Majin, and find out how and why they have come to your planet."

 

"Waitwaitwait a minute.  You want us to go into the Majin?" Christina asked, raising an eyebrow.

 

"Yes and no.  While you shouldn't rush head first into their nests, you have to get to the root of the problem.  You cannot stay here forever, survivors."

 

The survivors looked to each other again, then back down to Yuel.  "Then what did you have in mind, fairy lady?" Jared asked now.  

 

"Well, I don't think this place is safe any longer," Yuel said suddenly.  "You are correct in that there are no Majin nearby.  Not now.  But the sound of the barrier falling is sure to draw attention.  Even if they cannot pinpoint it, they are sure to discover--"

 

"Now, hang on.  If the Majin have forgotten we're here, why should we leave now?  Wouldn't it be better to hole up here as long as possible, and move later?" said a careful Riku.

 

"He's got a good point.  No need in getting ourselves killed if the Majin aren't even going to attack us," Amaris said, siding with Riku.

 

"Well, this is true, but--"

 

"I dunno.  I'm not liking this whole 'explore the desolate and destroyed world filled with monsters that wanna kill you' plan," Des said, in agreement with Riku and Amaris.  

 

"Whoa, whoa.  You wanna stay here?  We've got little food, and a small amount of water.  We might last another twelve hours, if that.  There's no way.  I say we get our sheet and go," Jared said firmly.

 

"I'm with him on this one.  We stay here, we're only putting ourselves in a trap.  We'll get surrounded and killed.  At least outside, we can run."  Christina had made her thoughts known.  And Leroy, who had been directly across from her raised a hand.

 

"I'm gonna go ahead and say we abandon ship.  Being from the barbie, I love explorin'.  Different situation, but I'm not bad at findin' a couple utensils."

 

"Utensils?" the other six said in unison.

 

"Utensils," Leroy affirmed.

 

The only one yet to voice their opinion was Mia.  The voice was tied at three to three, with Mia being the remaining voice of concern.  But of course, Mia was in reserve.  She was keeping to herself, unsure of a right or wrong answer.  Even if there wasn't one, she had immense pressure being placed on her head, and the entire group of survivors--including Yuel--were looking to her for an answer.

 

"Well, Mia?"

 

"You're the last one."

 

"We need to hear from you."

 

"Don't be shy about it."

 

"Speak up, love."

 

"C'mon shorty."

 

"STOP!!  Stop!  Just--just let me think, okay!?" she said finally.  Mia put herself in the corner of the press box alone,  scratching at her head.  On one hand, staying in the Superdome would likely prove to be safer overall.  They had a handful of supplies, and the Majin weren't around.  But they wouldn't last long.  But if they left, they had a chance to stock up on goods, and perhaps secure a new place to sleep.  But in the end, "does it really matter?  We're going to die anyway," she mumbled to herself.  Minutes passed.  An hour passed.  Eventually, the clocks on the survivors phones read 8 o'clock a.m., as Mia still was unable to reach a decision.

 

The survivors, in that time, had managed to eat up half of their twelve cans of chili, being the only food they had.  Mia finally stood up, having struggled with her decision to no avail.  She looked around at the now empty cans of chili, and began to wonder if they were going to make it at all.  She let out an exasperated sigh, frustrated with the entire situation.  But before Mia could finally speak, there was a quiet buzz outside of the Superdome, just noticeable to the silence in the press box.  Mia looked around, down to the football field, then to the survivors.  "Does anyone hear that?"

 

The survivors stood back up, and they all poked their heads outside of the broken glass of the press box.  What sounded like the buzzing of hundreds of bees drew nearer to the survivors at an alarming rate.  That's when they got their first close up glance at a Majin.  Two enormous mosquito like creatures came buzzing out of the bottom of the stadium, entering the football field.  The survivors observed the creatures closely, their mouths agape.  Some of them disgusted, some of them afraid, and some of them unimpressed, the survivors ducked down inside of the press box.  

 

"That thing is huge," Christina said softly.

 

"Bet he'd make for a good sammich," Leroy joked, having just eaten.

 

"Leroy!"

 

"But, now what?  We can't fight the damn things!" Christina argued.

 

"Yes, you can!" Yuel chimed in.  "But you have to believe that you can.  That's what Fayth is all about.  When things look grim, you can't give in.  You have to dig in, and dig deep, and hold on.  And with that persistence, with that strength--"

 

"Yuel, this is no time for anime quotes!" squeaked Riku.

 

"But you can!  You can fight the Majin and win!  You weren't chosen because you couldn't win.  You were chosen because you were the only ones who can!"

 

Braced against the wall below the broken press box window, the survivors gave each other a look, daring someone else to go first.  The large mosquito like creatures buzzed curiously around the Superdome, but were unable to fit their massive bodies into the smaller, closed in sections of the arena.  With just the two of them, the survivors were sure they could handle these few Majin, or at least out run them.   And Christina, being the wild card that she is, made the first move.

 

Without waiting for the other survivors to make a move, she leaped to her feet, and began screaming at the Majin.  "Hey!   HEY!  Come and get me!"

 

" 'Come and get me!?'  Are you trying to die!?" asked Des sarcastically.

 

But it was at that time that the giant mosquito Majin noticed Christina, and instead began to flee.  They dove back from whence they came, and exited the Superdome.

 

"Well, what'd ya know?  I scared 'em off," Christina said proudly.  "And don't come ba--back?"

 

What happened next was not an illusion, nor was it a fluke.  The mosquito Majin returned, and in great numbers.  Instead of fleeing, they had gone to retrieve their allies, and tell them of the location of the survivors.  Ten, twenty, forty, fifty of the giant mosquito like creature filled the stadium, in rapid succession.  Christina ducked down into the press box again, taking cover.  "We may have a problem," she said just as the other survivors peered over the broken window.

 

"Yeah.  Many, many, big problems," Leroy said with a forced chuckle.

 

"We need to get out of here,"  Christina said, her voice shaking slightly as she balled her fist.

 

"How!?  They're surrounding our only transportation!" Des said fiercely.  

 

"They're surrounding the entire stadium!  How the hell should I know!?" Christina retorted.

 

"Hey!" Jared barked.  "Now is not the time for in-fighting."

 

Jared stood up first now, and made his way to the door of the conference room.  He put a hand on the door knob, and looked back to the others.  "We're supposed to save the world, right?"  His voice was stern, and the look on his face was one of absolute seriousness.  "And all we have to do. . .is believe right?  Trust in our--fayth was it?  But if Yuel is right, then we should get going."  Christina stood up next, sighing, but walking over to Jared's side.  She remained silent, as she observed the remaining five survivors with worry in her eyes.  Could they really do this?  They didn't have a plan, they had yet to see their Fayths in action, and they were outnumbered.  "Now I say, we get out there and we kill these bastards," he said gesturing towards the large Majin in the stands and field of the Superdome.  "Before they kill us."

 

Reluctantly, the survivors stood up, trying to prepare themselves for a life or death situation.  Yuel smiled, remaining visibly present.  "The only way you're going to unlock your Fayth, is to call to it.  You must speak its name.  You must say it with purpose, and with clarity.  And when you do, all of its strength will become yours to wield."

 

"But, how do we know our Fayth's name?" asked Riku.

 

"It will appear before you, in plain sight.  But do not be alarmed, as the runic words will be easy to decipher, and you will be greatly rewarded by your Fayth."  Yuel smiled, her confidence brimming.  

 

At last, the survivors gathered at the door to the press box, huddled around the door knob.  "I'm gonna open this thing, and we're gonna make a run for it.  We need to make for the police cart and get the hell outta here.  Christina, you have the keys?" Jared asked, quickly glancing at the red head.

 

She jingled them in her hand, nodding.  "Let's go," she added.

 

"Stay close, and help each other.  And if your Fayth appears, answer it," Jared said looking around the room.

 

"Cheesy as it is, you have to be serious.  Say it like you mean it," Christina said.

 

"But where are we even going?" Mia questioned.  

 

"We'll wing it," Jared confirmed.

 

Jared ripped open the press box door, and bolted to his east, with the other survivors close behind him.  And upon turning the corner, they were able to see the open field of the stadium, littered with the flying Majin.  There, in the center of the football field, lie their only transportation, surrounded by enemies.  As they stared down at it, several of the large mosquito creatures raised their tiny heads, and peered directly into the eyes of the survivors.

 

 

NEW OBJECTIVE:

CROSS THE STADIUM

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"s***." Jared blurted out the first word that came to mind as he caught sight of their only escape from this sanctuary turned slaughter house. The Majin had completely taken over the field, and there was no way that anyone was getting into that car without being torn to shreds. Halting his advance, Jared took a minute to observe the Majin. Only a handful of them had actually taken notice of him and the other survivors as they stepped onto the field... but that was enough, right? It was only a matter seconds before they alerted the others and the part would be swarmed. Suddenly images from his conversation with Christina seemed to come flooding back.... 
 
 
 

iU8EggM.png

 
A few hours earlier...
 
"And what'd ya make of this whole thing, anyway?  The old guy said we're the last ones on the planet.  Where do we even begin?" 
 
Jared stared at the red haired woman for a moment, as if contemplating whether or not he should share his true thoughts. Finally coming to the conclusion that there was no point in lying to someone like Christina, the boy sighed before running his fingers through his hair. "I personally think we're pretty f***ed..." Though his tone hadn't shifted, the boy's face showed obvious melancholy. Allowing his gaze to fall back down to the gun that the others had entrusted him with, he let loose another sigh before flashing Christina a rare smile. "But I'm sure as hell going to fight to prove myself wrong..." Allowing his face to melt back to it's difficult expression, Jared turned back to the group of sleeping survivors. "We have Yui. She'll set us in the right direction... I guess we'll just have to wing it from there."

 

iU8EggM.png

 

 

"Christina..." Jared called over the humming of the Majins, his hand sliding down to where the gun laid tucked into his pants. He was shaking. Even though his nerves had caused his body to go completely numb, he somehow knew that he was shaking like a coward. 

 

 "One of us could fire it and theoretically attract the attention of the Majins so the others can escape; it's certainly loud enough. But that person would probably be eaten. Hence the getting us killed part." Des's voice echoed within his mind. "Thanks for the confidence boost, princess... but I'm not dying here." He thought to himself as he gripped the pistol tightly in his right hand. Drawing the firearm, the boy hastily clicked off the safety before glancing back at the others. Though the his expression showed calm determination, he still found himself fighting the urge to drop the pistol and flee. "Thanks for giving me the gun, a******s..." He couldn't help but offer another one of his painfully dry jokes before letting loose a final sigh. 

 

"get them to the car." He locked eyes with Christina before raising the pistol to the air and letting off two shots. The sounds of the gun could be heard all throughout the dome, causing the Majin to all begin feverishly searching for the source. Watching as the mosters began to train their sights on him, Jared shifted his gaze towards the stands. Firing off another shot, the boy began running in the opposite direction of the car, causing a large group of the Majin to take flight and begin their pursuit. "just make sure you guy's don't bail without me!"   

 

 

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"Get them to the car." 

 

Christina hesitated, looking to the police cart below, then back to Jared, as he clutched the firearm in his hand.  "Get 'em to the car?  What are you--"  Flinching, Christina ducked as Jared fired off two shots, running away from the other survivors.

 

"Just make sure you guy's don't bail without me!" 

 

"Jared!  sheet. sheet!"  Christina began bolting towards the police cart, yelling to the five behind her.  "Let's go!  Get your asses in the cart!  I'm driving!"   They had to be careful.  The press box was more than eight stories (800 feet) above the playing field, and jumping down the stands was a sure way to get your legs broken.  But Christina was reckless, hopping over guard rails, in a desperate move to get the cart engine started at the least.  But as she leaped the first rail on the top floor, she found herself falling ten feet at a time, forcing herself to tuck and roll to brace the impact.  "Watch that first step!" she called up to the others.  Jared had gone sprinting off to distract the mosquito monsters, drawing a large number of them towards himself.

 

However, not every one of the Majin would be swayed and lured in.  Two of the Maleficent Mosques lay their eyes on Christina, just as she fell from the top floor.  And there were still eight floors to jump down.  Their small heads twitched, as they blinked their beady eyes and trained them on the red headed girl.  She looked left, and looked right, but Christina had landed in a nigh escapable position.  One of the Mosques dove at her, stinger first.  Christina barely had time to think before she rolled forwards, barely avoiding the stinger as it grazed her arm.  She landed, wincing, against a guard rail.  With the first Mosque's stinger stuck in the concrete wall, the second Mosque gave chase, as Christina bolted to her feet, and began running to the nearest staircase.  She opted out of jumping the rails again, for fear of further injuring herself.  But in doing so, the stairs took longer to reach, and stood at varying angles across the arena.  "Who designed this place!?" she screamed, stumbling onto the seventh floor.  The second Mosque was right on her heels, its enormous wings drowning out the cries of the other survivors in her ears.  

 

And as Jared continued firing, taking off away from the survivors, Christina kept running, hoping that the others were right behind her.  Staircase after staircase, it felt as though she would never reach the bottom.  Not at this pace.  Meanwhile, two floors above her, the first Mosque that had attacked her had become free, and flew back into the air with its sights set on the other five survivors.  

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6:05 AM, Super Dome, Pressbox

 

Everything had shifted so quickly the minute the sun began to rise in the hell of Old New Orleans. To make matters worse, the Majin were apparently smart enough to use scouting patrol's to call in back up as the seven quickly realized. Majin were now flowing into the stadium one by one. The insectoid monsters filled the stadium with their humming. They hadn't forgotten about them, they were waiting. The Majin had been waiting for the barrier to come down the entire time. Why didn't Riku see it earlier? Their was no reason that the Majin would have forgotten. Humans were supposedly their main source of prey, and they've been without humans for several years now. Why would they forget about them? Why would they give up on them? The monsters that toppled thousands of years of human civilization, human power, would not forget this so easily.

 

Their only chance was to somehow make it to the police cart past the sea of Majin and somehow outrun them. Riku knew that this would never work, but what other choice did they have? None of them could summon their Fayth yet, none them even knew how. They had the gun, but the note from earlier had already told them that they couldn't kill the Majin with that, and even if they did, they only had seven shots. Even if all seven were perfectly aimed at weak points, the numbers vastly outmatched their bullets.

 

bgqcOGx.png

 

As they stepped out onto the field, Riku saw a few of them take interest in the party, and it was only a matter of time before they alerted the other Majin and pierced every one of them one hundred times over. Riku made a single motion as if to back up and return to the press box, but as he did he saw Jared make his move. The exact opposite of Riku's. Jared stepped calmly out and pulled the gun from his pants behind him.

 

"get them to the car." Jared said as he fired off two shots from the gun. The sound was loud, much louder than the overwhelming humming, and the Majin seemed to recognize it. The noise drew them all towards Jared as he fired yet another shot into the stadium and ran backwards, intending to draw the Majin away from the others.

 

"just make sure you guy's don't bail without me!"  

 

 

 

Riku watched in horror as the man whom he'd just met and barely shared words with lead away an army of killer bugs to protect six strangers. There was no way that he could escape that situation alive, Jared had to have known that. Yet he did it anyways, and Riku couldn't even begin to express how overwhelmingly grateful he was as he turned and made his escape, watching Jared the entire time as the Majin bore down upon him.

 

Then Riku stopped. This wasn't right. They shouldn't be abandoning Jared to an army of monsters that had no right to exist. He couldn't stand it. He couldn't stand it and yet he himself was shaking from the fear of just being near the Majin with his head screaming at him to keep running. He looked after the others, who were nearly at the police cart now, glancing between Christina, Leroy, and Mia. Then without a word, Riku barreled forward, not towards the Police Cart, back back towards Jared.

 

"Riku, what are you-" But Riku silenced Yuel before she could protest to his actions by turning off his phone. 

 

What am I doing? Riku thought as he ducked and dodged through the Majin and urged his body to move faster. This was stupid. There was nothing more to say about it, this wasn't valiance or bravery, this was just idiocy. Even so, Riku did not stop. Even though his brain had been pleading with his body to turn back and escape with his life, Riku didn't listen.

 

One of the Majin saw Riku and moved to intercept him, but Riku wouldn't allow himself to be stopped. He raised his fist, and brought it down as hard as he could against the Majin's face, or at least what looked like it's face. He did not expect this to help, but to his surprise, the Majin was sent slamming into the ground beside him. For a second, Riku thought he saw something. Some kind of azure light, coating his hand as he struck the Majin, but he payed little attention to it, as the Majin he'd hit recovered and sank it's needle through Riku's calf. A small scream escaped Riku's lungs as the needle cut through his flesh and sprayed a small fountain of blood out as the Majin pulled the needle from Riku's leg. 

 

This didn't stop him though. Riku continued to make his mad dash towards Jared. Finally Riku made it to the man, but only just in time to put himself between Jared and the needle of one of the mosquitoes. The needle drove itself through Riku's chest, piercing his heart, and exiting through his back. It was going to kill both of them. Both Riku and Jared would die now, and Riku's idiotic move would have been all for naught. No. Screw that. If Riku was going to die, then Jared would live.

 

Time seemed to slow down as the needle traveled deeper and deeper through Riku's chest. Summoning every once of strength Riku had left, he reached out with both hands and grabbed the needle, attempting to hold it back and prevent Jared from sharing his fate. Blood covered his hands as it sprayed out from his chest. His hands burned as the friction from the needle on his skin ripped them apart. Finally the needle had been stopped. To Riku's annoyance, the needle still pierce through Jared, but Riku managed to at least redirect it to a less vital area, as well as hold it back just barely enough. Jared was injured, but he would live.

 

"You? Wh-what are you?..." 

 

"Not even sure... myself...Just... go..." Riku said as his consciousness began to fade. The world was going black and Riku could feel nothing but the pain in his chest, hands, and calf as the needle was pulled from his chest and he fell to the ground. A large pool of blood began to form around him as he lay there. 

The Majin don't eat the dead...

That was his only comfort now. Knowing that dying here spared him a more painful death later. A few more thoughts rushed through his head. His father, his sister, Chigusa and Yusuke, and the last six people he'd met at the end of all things. Then as if he had simply fallen asleep, Riku drifted off, and there was nothing.

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"Get them to the car." 

 

Mia's mouth dropped open as the suited man ran from the press box firing the gun off as he went the mosquito creatures buzzing after him. His first instinct would've been to run. Run as fast he could to get to that police cart. Yet when he tried to use his feet to move Mia found that he just couldn't. It was horrifying... terrible the large bugs rained their stingers down on Jared, the older man barely managing to avoid their strikes. 

 

Christina had already begun bolting down the steps of the stadium throwing herself from the 8 story press box. Riku also seemed to be running down. Seeing this was all the motivation Mia need to get his butt in gear. Running as fast he could in his boots Mia bolted down the steps of the stadium thankful none of the bug Majin had noticed him yet. 

 

From the corner of his eye Mia saw something odd. Turning his Mia looked flabbergasted as Riku turned from running down the stairs moving back to wear Jared was.

 

"That idiot! Jared's trying to make sure we get out alive! What's he doing...!"

 

Mia looked back and forth between Riku and the police cart. If he ran now Mia knew he could make it to the police cart, however even though he couldn't see Riku clearly Mia knew he wouldn't be able to do much.  

 

sheet. sheet. sheet. sheet. sheet!!!!!!

 

Mia turned from the police cart running towards Riku and Jared's location. Fortunately the Maleficent Mosques seemed occupied with Riku and Jared, not taking much notice of the white haired teen running through their ranks. Unfortunately Mia appeared just in time to watch Riku pierced through the heart by the Mosque falling into a pool of his own blood.

 

Rushing to his side Mia made sure to check his pulse first. 

 

"Thank god... he's still breathing... barely, but still..." Mia exhaled the breath he hadn't know he'd been holding. From here Mia didn't know exactly know what his plan was. The entire swarm of Majin was focus on Mia and RIku now, and Mia was quite unsure of what to do. Gulping loudly Mia stared terrified at the mosquito Majin.

 

"Mia, you half to activate your Fayth or you're going to die!" 

 

Mia was snapped out of his panicked state, looking down to where his phone was. Rather than looking at his phone though Mia eyes rested on the glowing blue ring of runes around his wrist. The Maleficent Mosques charged, and Mia spoke the name.

 

"Thoth."

 

Light rays shot from Mia's wrist, blinding both the white haired teen, and the insect Majin. When the light faded Mia could see a thick tome in his hand, and power surging through his body.

 

"Oh, wow..." Mia said with a breathy whisper. Standing to face the now recovering Majin the tome in Mia's hand began to flip rapidly and he knew exactly what to do.

 

BGM - Fate/Extra OST- Battle (v5)

 

"The Magus!" As Mia spoke the name of the spell, several glowing cards flew from the book surrounding the frail teen's body. Flicking his hand out Mia's summoned cards flew towards the Majin swarm shredding through some of their bodies. Despite Mia's attack he'd hardly put a dent in the hoard, however Mia knew that both he and Riku'd die before he even started to whittle down the swarm. So, Mia made an executive decision.

 

"The Empress!" A white aura surrounded Mia and Riku as the young man's wounds began to patch themselves up. He'd lost a lot of blood, Mia could tell, but if he focused Mia might still be able to save Riku's life. The Maleficent Mosques charged again, forcing Mia to stop healing momentarily loading another volley of the Magus to attack the mosquito Majin, pushing them back slightly using the interval in between the waves of attacking creatures to heal Riku's wound.

 

"Huuh... huuh..." Mia huffed heavily. Switching spells so rapidly was beginning to take his toll on him. If the others didn't pitch in soon, both he and Riku might both end up dead.

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Leroy had just woken up about a couple of minutes ago, and the next the he knows, the whole stadium that had been so well protected before had been flooded with mosquito like creatures.  Leroy couldn't help but giggle.  Mosquitoes were the least of his worries back home.  However, these weren't creature that could be so easily swatted.  

 

"Bummer..."  That's all Leroy could really say.  Fear had settled where there was usually calm.

 

"Get them to the car." Jared said.  This man was on a suicide mission!  He had ran off to distract the majin by shooting that ineffective gun all willy-nilly!  However, not all the attention was diverted from the group and Christina had figured that out rather soon, opting to jump over the railing to the floor below.  Riku and Mia had taken to trying to follow Jared.

 

"You bloody idiots!  But then again...you're my idiots!"  Looking up at the swarm of maleficent mosques above him, a grand idea popped in Leroy's head.  A stupid idea, but a grand idea nonetheless!  He bolted in the opposite direction, not towards the police cart, and not towards Jared's position.  He instead opted to run back into the box, and break down the shabby barrier they had placed over the shattered window.  Leroy jumped up into the window and grinned.  "Actually...I prefer the air!"  Leroy jumped out of the box window, into the swarm of Maleficent Mosques, gripping hopelessly to try and catch one of the hundreds that were buzzing around.  His hand came in contact with a weird fluff, and he gripped tightly!  

 

"YEEHAW!"  He exclaimed.  "Now this is what I like to call the Leroy Rodeo!  Or Leroydeo for shor-!"  He was caught off guard when the mosque started jerking violently, finally noticing the extra weight that had been placed on it's back.  "How do you use the controls on this thing!?  It ain't like no plane I evah flew!"  Leroy firmly gripped the mosque's antennae, and it gave off a slight squealing noise.  "I am an amazing pilot..."  With his modesty put aside, Leroy moved the antennae in the direction of his teammates that were in danger.  Mia was now glowing, and Riku lay in a pool of his own blood.  The serious tone had finally settled into Leroy's mind, this wasn't a game.  His new found friends were in danger!

 

"GET A MOVE ON YA DAMN INSECT!"  He pushed the antennae forward, and the mosque hurtled towards the survivors at top speeds, impaling other mosques on the way like some sort of shish kabob.  It reminded him of shrimp on the barbie back home...what a strange thought to have at this time!  Leroy noticed that he had to ditch his ride, impaling too many of it's fellow mosque had made the ride a little bumpier, as the mosque was falling out of the air.  Leroy looked around to see if he could hitch another ride, but no mosque was close by.  

 

"Well...guess I had a fun ride."  Leroy straddled the side of the mosque, and sluggishly fell off.  His eyes were closed as he free fell towards the stadium.  At least everyone else seemed to be safe...that's all Leroy could hope for anyway.  They could get out of here...too bad they wouldn't get anymore comic relief, save for Jared's dry humor.  

 

"LEROY!  OPEN YOUR EYES YOU BIG DOLT!"  He heard Yuel's pleas, and decided to do as she say.  With his mouth agate, he saw his arm illuminated in jade like runes.  Could he make out what they say?  As a matter of fact, he could!  There was no doubt about it.

 

"Quetzalcoatl..."

 

A breeze...what was this breeze?  It didn't feel like what he was feeling while he was free falling...no...it made him feel way lighter.  As a matter of fact, Leroy seemed to be weightless in the air.  "I can...I can fly?"

 

"How appropriate!  Your Fayth totally fits you dummy!" Yuel said gleefully.

 

"What...this is my Fayth...I feel so different."  A majin was on a crash course for him, proboscis ready to pierce.  Leroy grabbed it out of mid air, a wide eyed look showed on his face.  "I feel so...strong."  Leroy bent the proboscis upwards, and it snapped violently.  The mosque dropped out of the sky.  "I feel so....Alive!"  Leroy dove through the air, trying to reach the others in time to save them.   

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"...we'll wing it? Seriously?" Des mused aloud to no-one in particular, before rolling her eyes as everyone had left before her, 'Ugh, typical conformist thinking.'

 

So she trailed behind... and she trailed behind rather slowly. She'd tried running before; and with these cursed shoes she was wearing, she was lucky to have managed to travel in a straight line all this time. However, Yuel was really not liking this lack of urgency that Des seemed to be having.

 

"Do you really want to die out here?!" she yelled at her, "Hurry the hell up!"

 

"Look, I can move too slowly to outrun one of these damned Majin and be eaten, or I can trip and fall and be eaten," Destiny stated matter-of-factly, "I'd rather not have the latter happen, thank you very much. And besides, weren't these Fayth things supposed to be awaken when we were in danger or something?"

 

"Well, yeah, but you can't just purposefully endanger yourself; that goes against the whole concept of...! Holy funk, NOOO!!" Yuel screamed at that last part.

 

"Hm? Something wrong?"

 

"Riku just got stabbed by a Mosque! I... I don't know if he's gonna make it..."

 

"Hey, that's my role you're trying to steal! Casting general doubt and sheet, please..."

 

Eventually though, the fact that Riku had been stung sank into Des' mind as well. She thought about the next thing that would happen to the party. And then she thought about the damned things swarming into the Super Dome. How many more of them could there possibly be? And what else did the Majins have up their sleeves? Des froze in place, standing right out into the open where she was at her most vulnerable.

 

What little hope Des could've possibly managed to maintain before had vanished completely...

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Christina was drawing closer and closer to the police cart, when she heard a whooping.  It was Leroy, above her.  This crazy bastard had gone and wrangled himself a ride on one of the Mosques!  "Leroy, what the hell are you--oh, nice!" she said as Leroy steered one of the large insect Majin directly into skewering its allies.  But Christina, who foolishly took her eyes off of her target, was now cornered by two of the giant Majin as she rolled to the third floor.  When she stood up, they had her pinned against the wall, their stingers holding Christina in place.  She wrenched and wrestled to get away from them, but it was no use.  Their beady eyes stared at Christina, almost as if they were laughing at her futile attempts to break free of their grips.  Christina couldn't help but stop, and look her enemy in the eyes.  She was furious now.  Not with the Majin, but with herself.  She had one job--secure the cart.  And in that, she had failed.  A tear ran down her face, as the Majin opened their enormous mouths, revealing an array of what seemed like thousands of teeth.

 

She turned her head, not wanting to face death head on.  Two long, silvery tongues ran over her, sending a chill down Christina's spine as the Majin sampled their prey.  And with the taste of fresh human on their tongues, the Majin stretched our their necks, and began to feast.  They started at her shoulders, tearing off Christina's flesh chunks at a time.  She wailed in pain, squirming as they tore her down.  They bit into her legs, causing her to lose her balance and slump over.  They ripped at her stomach, her intestines showing as she bled heavily.  And as Christina slumped over, dying, she only grew more angry.  Struggling still, with the very little amount of strength in her body, Christina opened her eyes, only able to watch as the Majin feasted upon her.

 

Her body burned in pain, her heartbeat escalating, and her pulse slowing.  But the burning grew stronger, and stronger, as Christina grew angrier and angrier.  She turned her head as best she could, looking over the enemy.  "Get. . . off," she muttered, barely able to speak.  But upon further examining the Majin, a blur in her vision caused her to question if she was still alive.  Runic symbols and lettering clouded her view, causing her to blink, as she slowly slipped out of consciousness.  Christina wavered on the edge of death, gambling with the hope of humanity.  And with her last breath, she was able to read the Rune symbols, and call out to the god of war.  As blood trickled out of her mouth, she spoke.

 

"Ares."

BGM:  Where Da Hood At

 

She could feel it stemming from the soles of her feet.  Christina blinked.  Once.  Twice.  Unsure of what she was seeing.  A bold, bright fire began to consume her, driving back the Majin.  Her wounds slowly began to close, the fire tightly sealing away her blood and organs once more.  Christina was now fully enveloped in flames, panicking softly.  But the flames were not hot.  They were soothing, and they gave Christina sensation of excitement.  She rolled her shoulder, as the flesh regenerated.  A smile crept across her face, as she began to feel confident.  She dropped her arms freely, and drew her right arm back as far as possible.  A massive eruption of fire, blood, and rage completely sank the third and fourth floors on the press box side of the Superdome.  And a loud wail of "funk off!!" caused a few of the Majin to look her way as she tossed the now crisply burnt bodies of her enemies into the air.   With a following leap, she finished them off, rocketing from the floor and bursting through the corpses of the Majin with a fiery uppercut.  And as Christina landed, she ran her hands around her wrists, as the wounds over her body healed with an extreme flame.  Two large, spiked and flaming gauntlets adorned her hands now, as the fiery red head had become the embodiment of war.  Christina sighed, breathing heavily as she examined her new found strength. 

 

"Fayth, huh?" she questioned softly.  She raised her head, setting her sights on the horde of Majin that threatened the survivors.  She squatted down as far as her knees would take her, and exploded from the melted remains of the floor that surrounded her.  And as a daring Mosque dove towards her, Christina drew both her fists over her head, and slammed the Mosque down on its head, sending it crashing into the ground below, spiraling to its flaming death.  And as the momentum carried her, she intercepted a sting attack from a new Mosque, pushing off of the obliterated skull of the previous victim.  Catching the stinger with her burning gauntlets, Christina pulled herself in towards the Mosque, and headbutted the creature with all her might.  

 

The Mosque reeled backwards, and Christina pulled in the opposite direction, severing the Mosque's stinger from its body.  And as she fell, she pressured the giant stinger in her hands, flipping it around so that the point faced its owner.  With a resounding crash, Christina drove the stinger through the face of the Majin, impaling it to the ground.  Panting, Christina wiped her forehead, as she looked upwards.

 

She threw her fists into the air in a victorious cry, loosing a torrent of flame.  "Come and get it you beady eyed fucks!" she screamed

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“Y-You… idiot!” Jared choked as the Majin's stinger was ripped from his chest. His grip loosened around Riku’s shoulder as both boys fell to the ground. He had seen it all happen so vividly. The stinger flying through the air towards him, Riku diving in it’s path in an attempt to shield him, and then the Japanese boy using the last of his strength to divert the stinger from Jared’s heart, sparring his life and the expense of his own. Jared had tried to stop him, but he just wasn’t fast enough… 

 

The world seemed to slow down around Jared. Sensing Mia at his side, the boy couldn’t help but grit his teeth in rage. Did these kids not get that he fired the gun so that they could get to safety?! He was now painfully aware of how futile his act of bravery really was… “It doesn’t matter how ballsy you are, huh?” He mumbled to himself deliriously. The pain in his chest was beginning to become unbearable, and as he looked down to inspect the wound; he was met with a massive hole in his chest. Quickly averting his eyes, he realized that Mia had awakened her Fayth, and was now fending off the swarm of Majin by herself as she guarded Riku’s corps. 

 

And here he was, sitting in a pool of his own blood feeling sorry for himself… powerless. “Dammit….” The boy growled, as he glared at his bloodstained palm. “I-I won't die here... they wont die here!” He could feel rage surging from the depth of his very being and with it a new wave of strength. Suddenly the boy was enveloped in a shining aura of light, and a series of ocean blue glyphs seemed to manifest themselves around his palm and began swirling around his hand rapidly. "I'll fight." 

 

“That’s it, Jared focus! Call it’s name!” Yui’s voice sounded from his pocket.

 

"Power..." Trembling from the waves of emotion and energy that seemed to swirling within him, the boy’s mind suddenly began crystal clear. He was within the eye of the storm now, and everything else around him came to grinding halt as Jared struggled to decipher the glyphs. "Give me your power,"

 

                                                                                                                             “S-Susanoo.”  

 

 

As Mia panted from the extensive use of his new powers, ten of the Majin hovered overhead. Sensing their target’s weakness, the monsters joined together for a combined assault. As the beasts descended on the Mia and Riku, the pair of survivors would sense a volatile explosion of energy from behind them. In that instant, Jared's presence would vanish, only to reappear in front of Mia seconds afterwords.  

 

"Amazing." Jared mumbled to himself in awe, as he observed the Majin diving towards him and his allies in slow motion. In his hands he brandished a katana with an ocean blue hilt, and scabbard that was as black as the night sky. Jared had never felt so powerful in all of his life; every cell in his body seemed to alive with with electricity, and though the boy had yet to realize it, he was enveloped in an azure cloak of lightning that hugged his body like armor. 

 

Shifting to a Iaito stance that he never once knew before, the boy allowed the Majin to continue their painfully slow advance before making his move. Though his assault would have been nothing more than a blur to any spectators, Jared unleashed a flurry slashes upon the ten targets; dashing between the Majin with inhuman speed, and cutting clean through their wings and horrific bodies as if they were sculpted from butter. Though his bloody dance had felt like a small eternity for Jared, he reappeared in front of  Mia in only eight short seconds, holding his blade and scabbard out in front of him as he slammed them together. "Swallow's Furry." He recited the name of the spell he had just completed, only have his moment victory stolen upon sensing movement from his flank. 

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Fanatics Dream, Between Life and Death

 

Riku awoke, and to his surprise, to find himself back in his classroom at Tokyo University. It was daylight, with the sun slowly beginning to set. The city outside was still in perfect condition, or at least better than the condition of New Orleans as there was not a single ruin to be seen on the skyline. Better though, there were still people down in the city as well as in Riku's classroom. The whole event within New Orleans must have been just a dream. The Majin, the horrifying world he was in. None of it was real. Riku let out a sigh of relief as he looked up to his professor and began to pretend as if he hadn't fallen asleep.

 

"Fayth. People don't really think about the word too often or what it means to have Fayth. Generally used as a religious term, faith as defined by most dictionaries of the world, is a complete trust in something or someone, or the strength of one's belief's in something unknown, even when little or no proof supports it. By a further definition, it could be argued that faith is the power of the human will. Human's are unique in this regard, as we are the only beings on the planet, or perhaps in the universe capable of generating Fayth. We have no idea what could potentially happen to us, but yet we keep Fayth and tell ourselves that we'll make it through the next day. However, for some of us, our Fayth may break sometimes. Right Satsura-San?" 

 

"I... what?" Riku had understood what his professor was saying, but something about it seemed off. The way in which he referred to faith was almost exactly the same as how that cellphone fairy Yuel did in his dream. It... it was just a dream, right? He quickly saw that it wasn't as the blackboard at the back of the classroom suddenly began to display the other six survivors that he had been with previously, as well as Riku's subsequently being killed. It wasn't just this however, the others were being shown too. Mia, desperately attempting to fight off the Majin and protect Riku's quickly fading body. Jared falling to his knees as blood leaked from his wound, and then standing again, using a coat of lighting and a katana to cleave through several Majin. Des freezing in place as the Majin begin to surround her, Leroy making a mount out of one of the Mosque's, and then taking off through the air as he summoned a long staff, Christina being viciously eaten alive and then erupting into a burning comet as she tore other Majin apart.

 

"Seems things are pretty hopeless for you Satsura-San. Yet each of your friends continues to fight. Now, what about you? Do you wish to simply roll over and end things now? Do you have faith that you'll be able to succeed in this?" 
 

"I... What can I do? I'm just a normal kid... How could someone like me save anyone?" The scenery had changed. Riku was now the only person aside from he professor in what was now the ruined landscape of Tokyo. Riku felt like he should be scared, but no fear gripped him as he continued his conversation with the professor.

"Seems you felt differently when you rushed in to save Jared. Perhaps what should be asked is why you chose to do something so out of character?" 

 

"He was going to die... I wanted to help him. I didn't want him or anyone else to die. I just... I couldn't stand it."

 

"So you acted on an altruistic desire to help someone, even though you knew it would cost you your life? What about after?" 

 

"I... I don't know... But... I want to help... I at least want to do better than that pathetic attempt... There has to be something more I could have done."

The professor smiled, then looked to Riku with something of an admiration in his eyes. It seemed that was the answer that the professor was waiting for.

 

"Then help him. Stand and fight Riku Satsura. Show the world the brilliant light of your Fayth." 

 

As Riku began to regain consciousness, he thought he saw the image of his professor reshape into that of the man he'd seen in his dream earlier, and then fade away. 

 

Super Dome, New Orleans

 

 

Azure light began to emanate from Riku's body as he snapped back to the real world. No, it wasn't light. It was energy. This was the Fayth that Yuel was talking about. At least a part of it. This was part of Riku's Fayth. His human will to fight, survive, and protect his allies. Riku smiled slightly as he pulled himself to his feet. His wounds were completely healed, as if they had never even been made. His headphones which he had previously been wearing around his neck now lay in the pool of his blood, smashed and broken. That was fine. He didn't need them anymore. 

 

Power coursed through Riku's body as the Azure Energy began to expand and fill the section of the stadium that he was in. He felt empowered. Both from Mia's healing and his growing Fayth eagerly awaiting it's activation. Riku raised his right hand and made as if he were going to grip the hilt of a sword. Not far off, Jared was facing off against the Mosques protecting a slowly weakening Mia. Other Mosque's began to converge on him, leaving Riku little time to react, but he would make it. The azure surrounding him made him supremely confident that he could protect Jared, Mia, and all of the survivors the same way the other man had so many years ago.

 

Glyphs the likes of which Riku had never seen spiraled around his wrist. Despite his having never seen anything like them though, Riku found he could read them. However he didn't have to. There was only one that could be his Fayth. The one who had created Japan and vowed to saved 1500 lives each day. His Fayth, the one whom he'd seen in his dream, the one whose power Riku now called upon was...

 

"IZANAGI!!"

 

The azure energy exploded in a shockwave of power, then all at once converged around Riku's right arm, slowly forming a black gauntlet around his hand and the massive koi fish guarded katana. Blade now in hand, Riku dashed forward at speeds that no average human eyes could read, placing himself once again between a Mosque and Jared, but this time Riku was not going to sacrifice himself. This time Riku brought Izanagi down one the Majin, cutting cleaning through the monsters shell and bringing the edge out through the Majin's throat. The crimson blood of the Majin splattered across the ground and stained Riku's blade, but Riku wasn't finished. Spiraling around, Riku sliced another in two, angling the attack so as to splatter the blood of this one into the eyes of the next two, then raised his palm against the now blinded Majin. Two pools of azure energy formed beside Riku and another above his head, rippling as swords and spears emerged from them and held position, awaiting Riku's command.

 

"Tohtsuka!"

 

The weapons blasted forward, spinning through the air as they traveled closer to their targets they sank their blades into the three Mosque's that Riku had been aiming for. Confidence and optimism filled Rike as he put his back to Jareds and glared at the oncoming Majin. Mia stood a short distance away, and from what Riku could tell her Fayth was more geared towards empowering those around her. With his and Jareds power, combined with Mia's support, there was no way they could lose to these monsters. Hell it was possible they could even take on more of them if they needed to. All the same, Riku couldn't help but ask in a rhetorical tone.

 

"Think we can take them?"

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7:15 A.M.

New Orleans, Louisiana

The Superdome

 

The Majin had begun to fall.  With the survivors having grasped on to short straws of victory, they began to climb out of the whole in which they had been buried.  But some time, along the period in which the survivors had unlocked their Fayth abilities, and the time in which the Maleficent Mosques began to drop, the corpses of the Majin twitched and contorted as if they were still alive.  All around, a tiny screeching be heard, almost as if someone was crying out for help.  But it was in fact, a new enemy.  Out of the fifty Mosques that stood before the survivors, the corpses of forty of them had burst open, spewing forth an acidic crimson and white blood, while giving birth to a smaller, more dangerous enemy.  They numbered in the tens, twenties, fifties, hundreds.  For every one Maleficent Mosque corpse, ten of the tiniest, deadliest spiders emerged, their emerald green hide and their eight legs giving them away.  With more than forty Mosques dead, the spiders numbered four hundred, as a wide spread panic erupted among the survivors.  While they were not in great size, they were of great threat.  They spat their webs out in large numbers, creating a slowing field wherever they pleased.

 

The spiders quickly outnumbered the survivors, naturally.  Riku, Mia, and Jared were backed into an even worse predicament now, threatened to be pinned if they were caught by the webs of these spiderlings.  And Christina, who was alone on the bottom floor now, had been completely surrounded.  Even with fire at her fingertips, they just kept coming.  The number of spiders continued to grow, even as the survivors wiped them out.  And now, they had managed to climb their way up to the eighth floor, to find two more victims in Destiny and Amaris.

 

The only person who seemed to be out of reach of the Corpse Spiders, was Leroy, who was still acrobatically flying about the arena.  Even so, however, the spiders were climbing along the walls with their powerful legs, threatening to leap atop Leroy even with his positional advantage.  With webs raining down all around Leroy and Christina, and large numbers of spiders surrounding Riku, Mia, Jared, Destiny, and Amaris, the survivors had two choices to make:

 

Flee or die.

 

And to make matters worse, the Mosques began to flood into the dome again, having heard the cry of their fallen brethren.  It had become an insect stadium, peddling solely to the lives of these Majin now.  Killing the Mosques would only lead to more Corpse Spiders, which would in turn, call forth a horde of Mosques.  The cycle of life and death continues.

 

NEW OBJECTIVE

ABANDON THE SUPERDOME

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It wasn't looking good at all. These Majin kept surrounding everyone...and whilst some were able to bring forth their Fayths, Amaris and Des were in the middle of a cluster of Corpse Spiders. It didn't look good one bit...but however, this didn't stop the young man in his stride.

 

He looked around as he stood in front of Des, who was still in her freezing state of fear, as he watched as the spiders began to descend in hordes. This isn't good... he thought, biting his lip some as he watched them surround the pair. Amaris took a deep breath as he turned to face Des. "When I give the word...run, got it?" he asked, seeing the young girl nod slightly. He turned back towards the disgustingly grotesque Majin as his eyes drifted towards a lone piece of pipe. His plan was in work...all he needed to do...

 

"NOW!"

 

GANGSTA OST ReCreation

 

Amaris yelled this, as he and Des began to run, his hand making contact with the pipe. He twirled it around in his hand before striking at the Majin, knocking it back as he continued his little assault, succeeding in knocking it back and dazing it. This gave the pair a way to run away now. "C'mon!" he said to Des as they continued to run, the young Japanese boy striking at the Majin spiders to clear a path for them.

 

It wasn't long before the pair reunited with the others, as they were finally surrounded by the Mosques and the Corpse Spiders. They all were back to back as they looked at the scenery they were currently in. Amaris held up the now badly banged up piece of pipe as he glanced over at the others. "Sad to say...this pipe has like, two more hits in it. Any ideas on escape?"

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Finally, the group had made it to one spot!  However, the situation had taken a sour turn, and Leroy had to dodge the Mosques that were now exploding right next to him.  He had to get to the others, but these spiders that filled the mosque continued to get in his way.

 

"I need a pair of windshield wipah's for all these buggahs!"  He dodged the webs that rained down above him.  "OY!  You'll get my clothes all mucked up you damn majin!"  The wind whispered to Leroy, as if the two had been mates for the longest time.  It made him smile bigger than he ever had before.  "Alright!  Let's do it then!  Serpent Spiral!"  Leroy begun twisting rapidly through the air towards his group.  The air around him became sharp, and dense, creating a cyclone like presence around him.  Anything in his wake was ripped to shreds, spiders and mosque alike.  However, the horde of mosque only exploded to bring forth more spiders, and the spiders were attracting the mosques.  Leroy couldn't rip through the horde without puking his guts out, so he had to make another plan.  

 

He made sure to spin towards his fellow survivors.  As he landed on the ground, Leroy took the air that surrounded him in a cyclone like state, and expanded it outwards, making sure his teammates would pass through without harm.  The wind was now a barrier for the team.  It's sharpness and density were enough to block out and shred the majin that tried to enter.  "RAAAAH!!"  Leroy screamed, it seemed the vortex he had created was putting somewhat of a strain on him.  "Alright you guys...here's the plan!  I'm gonna extend a tunnel made from this here wind i'm blowin' all the way to the exit over there!"  Leroy nudged his head in the direction to the nearest exit.  His hands were to busy controlling the windy dome.  "READY....SETTY....GO!"

 

With one hand held to the sky to control the dome, He pushed his hand out to extend a segment outward that lead to freedom.  "I'll be right behind you all!  I promise!"  But would he...of course he would!  He'd been in these sorts of pickles on the daily basis back home!  He tried to hide whatever uncertainty he had behind his smile.  

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Des didn't even know what she was thinking. She'd been so focused on running that she didn't even see that she had the chance to summon her Fayth. And now that she missed that chance, she was expected to run even further away in these stupid shoes that'd only set her up to trip and fall and be eaten alive. With a heavy sigh, Des stared blankly at her wrist again, just barely catching the runes that'd glowed on it before they vanished completely.

 

"...Thanatos, huh?" she said solemnly, "I'll remember that."

 

She wasn't sure when the next chance to summon Thanatos would arrive. But she was sure of one thing; those runes were indeed easy to read after all. However, she didn't have the time to reminisce; Leroy had already set up a wind tunnel down the exit path, to stop the Majin from following them down it.

 

"I'll be right behind you all! I promise!" he called out, but Des immediately shook her head. She was too hesitant to just leave him there and take his word that he'd be OK. But what could she do? It wasn't like the chance to draw out her Fayth could possibly come so soon... was it?


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7:35 A.M.

New Orleans, Louisiana

 

The Superdome

 

 

 

"Think we can take them?"

 

As if on cue, the corps of the mosquito-like Majin erupted into an army of spiders. The initially joy and shock of Riku's revival had been completely wiped away in a matter of seconds, and now Jared's face twisted into a scowl as he watch the new threat lunch it's attack on his teammates as they made their way towards the vehicle. "You just had to ask, huh?" Jared muttered over his shoulder as he pressed his back against Riku's. "You better not die again." He was only half joking. Shifting his gaze to Mia, the boy gave his ally a slight nod. "I'm counting on you too." 

 

And with that, they were upon them. Spiders and alien silk flying everywhere, as the fresh army of Majin tried to overwhelm the trio with their sheer numbers. Jared once again became a blur, using his speed and his Susanoo's immense cutting power to rip through any webs that neared Riku and Mia, as well as slay any spiders that got within his friend's comfort zones, allowing them to make full use of their superior range.

 

Though the group seemed to be holding their own for the time being, it didn't take long for Jared to realize just how bad their situation was. No matter how many spiders he cut down, they just kept coming, and although he knew he could trust Riku to cover his blindspots; the boy knew all too well that they were both beginning to exhaust themselves. Glancing over to the others, Jared watched a Leroy set loose a barrier of wind and instantly recognized that this would be their one and only chance of escaping this deathtrap. "Guys!" He called over the sounds of battle as he swatted away a spider that made a jump for Riku's back. "We need to move!" As he spoke, the boy ran his ring and pointer finger across Susanoo's blade, causing it erupt in a cloak of crackling electricity. "HOWLING SORROW!" The boy roared the name of the spell, before swiping his blade in a broad arc, causing a large crescent of electricity to slice through the horde of spiders, momentary carving a path towards the car for him the others. 

 

Sure that the rest would follow, Jared dashed towards the car, desperately fighting through the horde of insectiod Majin. "Christina, you driving this thing or what?!" He shouted over to the red head as he hastily cut through the webs that had been spun over the vehicle.  

 

"Sad to say...this pipe has like, two more hits in it. Any ideas on escape?"

 

"Yea. Get in the f***ing car!" Jared barked before swing the vehicle's door open and motioning for the rest of the survivors to pack themselves inside. "Com'on com'on! Leroy bought us some time, but we need get the hell out here..." Turning back to Christina's direction, the boy swiped his hand across his blade once more, before sending another crescent of lightning towards the red haired boxer, vary narrowly missing the woman and slicing a small path through her attackers, hopefully giving her an opening to make her move. Once they had all assembled in the vehicle, Jared looked up towards Leroy before leaping onto the roof of the police car and hammering his fists several times to signal it was time to pull off. "Yo, Peter Pan! Let's go, we're not leaving without you, man!" He called up to the other boy as the car's engine roared to life. 

 

[spoiler= OOC PLEASE READ] We're moving things along guys... Get your last swings in, but just make sure you're in the car by the end of your posts.    

 

 

NEW OBJECTIVE

Get in the Car and say your goodbyes to the Superdome

 

  

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Mia was running on empty. Even though the two boys had awakened their own Fayth's Mia had expended quite a bit of her own mana keeping them safe, and at this point she wasn't quite sure if she could keep it up much longer, thankfully Riku and Jared's Fayth's seemed to be able to keep the monsters at bay quite well, giving Mia some time to rest and recover... that is until the corpses of the Majin they'd killed began to burst open, releasing Spider Majin.

 

"Fweh... fweh... just... our... fweh... luck..." Mia wheezed, shakily getting to her feet summoning another volley of the Magus' cards. 

 

"Guys! We need to move!" Mia heard Jared call from behind her.

 

"Yeah, what else is new Captain obvious, and just how do you propose we do that!?" Mia screamed back at him as she bisected another spider that launched itself at her. Those things where getting tenacious, and Mia was recovering any strength any time soon, and then... gone. As Mia tried to summon another volley of cards her Fayth simply disappeared... she was out of mana and now defenseless... she was going to die here... 

 

"HOWLING SORROW!"

 

Mia's eyes widened as she felt the powerful attack even with her back turned blowing back all the spiders, and killing the ones in the blast's direct path.

 

"Ho-ho-holy sheet..." Mia said in an awed whisper, mouth agape. She didn't have a long to time to gawk though, moving quickly Mia was right behind Jared huffing and puffing along the path of rubble Jared had create almost right to the police cart. As they began to approach the cart Mia was beginning to see the black on the edges of her vision, and knew what was coming.

 

'Not now, I am not going to die... not now!' Mia thought. During the fight because of the adrenaline running through her system Mia'd been able to ignore the fire in her body, but now it was wearing off, and she found herself close to exhaustion. They were close... Mia could see the car, and she pushed with the last of her strength collapsing into the back seat of the car.

 

"Wooo..." Mia said dazily taking in heavy breaths, "we made it..." That was the last the white haired teen said before the blackness claimed her, and she passed out.

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"Alright, let's get the hell outta here!" Christina called back to Jared and the others.  Excluding Leroy, they had all piled onto the Police Cart, providing cover for Christina as she dashed over to them as quickly as possible.  Snatching the key from her right pocket, Christina slid into the Police Cart, and slammed on the gas.  They smashed over thousands of spiders at a time, Mosque's barreling past their heads in rage.  The Majin gave chase immediately, their loud, obnoxious wing beats putting a sense of urgency into Christina as she steered as carefully but quickly as possible.  "Jared.  Get your phone out."  Jared didn't bother asking why, as Christina turned down a maintenance tunnel and flicked on the lights of the Police Cart.  Nearly avoiding a concrete column, Christina swerved, keeping the cart just on balance.  "Yuel," Christina said to Jared's phone.  The sprite showed her face, looking around and finding Christina at last.  "You're all okay!" she said with a sigh of relief.  "We're fine for now.  I doubt it, but I need to know if you have anything--anything at all--on this city.  Any maps, any information?"

Yuel dropped her head, and began apologizing immediately.

 

"I'm sorry Christina, but I won't have more information about the city unless you get out and search it."

 

"Then that's what we're gonna have to do," Christina said turning a corner and reaching the enormous parking garage.

 

Jared turned to Yuel now, also prodding her with questions.  "What about water sources?  It'd be easiest for us to get around this dump of a town if we can follow a river."

 

Yuel shut her eyes, and began concentrating, as Christina spotted light ahead.  "Daylight!" she said excitedly.  Meanwhile, Yuel was deep in thought, as if trying to mentally find a source of water.  "Christina!" she chirped suddenly.  "North-West!  There's a river nearby."  "North-West?"  "Hang left!"

 

"You got it."  Upon exiting the Super Dome, Christina made a sharp left turn, onto Poydras Street, which was littered with incoming Majin.  A spark lit up in Jared's hand, and above, a wind began to gather at the palms of Leroy.  Riku's wrists glowed a brilliant hue of blue, as Christina drove straight into the Mosques ahead.  With a fierce gust of wind, Leroy managed to knock six of the Mosques into one another, as Jared fired a single white-hot streak of lightning into their heads to finish them off.  "Oy!  These are my skies!" Leroy taunted, as the Majin collapsed.  Christina avoided the Majin as best she could, as her eyes laid upon the Mississippi River ahead.  "Almost there."

 

"Christina, go left again, and keep following the water.  I'm reading the city as we travel."

 

"Fine.  Just keep those things off of me!"

 

"Easy enough," Riku assured them as he slammed his fist outside of the Police Cart.

 

Riku obliged, snuffing an up close Mosque in the face, sending it reeling into the street.  As Christina turned, she heard a loud crash behind her, as she peeked her head behind her.  "What'd you guys do?" she joked, laughing.  Then, two more crashes landed in front of her, forcing Christina to dodge them and nearly topple the Police Cart.  She swerved, swearing as the Cart spun around rapidly.  Christina slammed on the breaks, as an enormous piece of stone landed in front of the survivors.  With their backs to the water, Christina turned the Cart around, as she looked up and down at the stone monstrosity that strolled slowly towards them now.  

 

"Cripplers!" Yuel screeched.

 

"Screw that!" Christina said slamming on the gas and screeching forward.  The Cripplers were slow, so keeping up with the Police Cart would not be an option.  "Yuel, where are we going?"  "Keep North.  I have a little bit more information now, and its piling on as you follow the river.  There's a lot of information in this area.  Keep going!"

 

Christina nodded silently, as they kept along the bank of the murky river.  The Majin attacks seemed to stop suddenly, as a cool breeze blew in from the Mississippi River, sending a chill over the survivors.  But up ahead, the East of the river had been cut off.  A collapsed building blocked their path, sealing off the East bank for now.  "Guess we keep straight then.  I'll try to find a way around."

 

And as Christina pressed North, she could feel the air growing colder, dropping one to three degrees as she neared a second source of water.  Driving carefully over rubble and stone, Christina passed through a ripped open record shop.  Beside it, a small grocery and an Autozone.  All of this was situated quaintly along the road beside an even larger, man made lake called Lake Pontchartrain.  Christina stopped the Cart, as the Majin seemed to have strayed away suddenly.  "Guess they don't like the water," she said to herself softly, stepping out of the cart.  Taking her phone from her pocket, Christina stretched.  "Okay Yuel.  What'd ya got for me?"

 

Yuel nodded, as she went on about the immediate area.  "The grocery nearby may have canned goods.  Take what you can and keep your strength up.  There's an automobile repair shop nearby.  There may be tools you can use, but I'm not sure of their condition.  I don't advise wasting your time there.  And, there's a record store just behind you.  There could be some available music for you inside.  If I can read the format, I can probably absorb it and translate it for you if you'd like."

 

For the first time since they had started off in this apocalypse, Christina smiled.  "Music huh?  I'm willing to check that out for now.  Anything else Yuel?"  

 

The Sprite nodded.  "If you'd like to remain in the area for a short time, I'm picking up an intense wave of information for the city at this point precisely.  I can possibly map out the entire side of the bank, possibly extending over the lake."

 

"So we gotta hang out and explore huh?  Might as well get something to eat then, too," Christina said walking past the Cart and stepping over the shattered brick wall into the record store.  

 

"Don't worry.  I only need twenty minutes to break down this information.  It's not much, but it will help.  Hopefully, I'll be able to gain some knowledge on the Majin around us as well.  I'm starting my analysis."  Christina nodded, as she began sifting through rubble looking for old records of music.  She found her first record, not by a group she recognized.  "The Struts huh?" she said to herself.  "May as well keep it."  Christina found a number of records, some she knew, and some she didn't.  She piled them together and sat them atop a dusty counter top, as she awaited Yuel to finish her work.

 

"Eighteen minutes and counting."

 

NEW OBJECTIVE

SEARCH THE IMMEDIATE AREA WHILE YUEL COMPLETES HER ANALYSIS

TIME REMAINING:  17:30

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It was a narrow escape...but it was an escape nevertheless. Christina put the petal to the metal, literally, as she followed Yuel's directions towards the north-west part of New Orleans. It seemed like they had most of the Majin behind them...keyword: SEEMED.

 

Nevertheless, they found themselves in a different part of New Orleans, seeing a grocery store, an automobile repair shop, and a record store. Yuel had given them exactly 18 minutes to explore until her immediate analysis was finished. Not wanting to wait, Amaris headed over towards the record shop.

 

"Seems you finally get your wish on music, Ishida-kun!~" Yuel was heard chirping from Amaris' pocket.

 

"It seems so." Amaris replied, pulling out his phone as he looked through the records the shop had to offer. He looked through the groups and sighed. Most of it was all in english, and although he could understand it, he preferred something more in his nationalit- "Wait a moment..." he paused as he saw a familiar group name - One OK Rock. And then another - Back-On. His eyes widened as he saw bands and artists of his home of Japan being here in the store.

 

"You surprised?"

 

"I am actually. Didn't realize that music from Japan would make it all the way here." Amaris smiled as he started grabbing the records he wanted. One OK Rock, Back-On, Wada Kouji, and many many more. He placed them on a small table that was obviously used for a display and he smiled once more. He flipped out his phone once more, before seeing Yuel smiling. "Alright Yuel, I'm ready for some music."

 

"Roger that!~" Yuel chimed happily before a small loading screen was seen, but only for a short time period. "Alrighty! You're records have all been uploaded into my database! Hope you enjoy, Ishida-kun!"

 

Amaris smirked and pulled out a pair of headphones from his opposite pocket, putting one earbud in his left ear before plugging it in the jack. He flicked open the library of his newly put in music, as he started walking out of the record store. His thumb flicked through the song list, until he finally put a song on, as it started playing.

 

Raise Your Flag

 

The young man began to nod his head a bit as he walked around through area. He knew the others would probably be on the other stores doing what they could, so he decided to venture off, hoping to find other supplies and possibly some new locations for them to make camp.

 

"Are you sure to wander off like this?"

 

Amaris looked at Yuel, still listening to his jam. He shrugged and smiled at the small digital sprite. "Not sure, but I'm sure there might be something out here that may be needed." he said, putting his phone in his pocket, as he continued to walk through the streets. However, something caused him to stop...as he looked down the direction of a lone alleyway that lead to a small hotel complex...

 

A-mar-is...

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They had stopped for now.  Leroy was tuckered out from the strain that was put on his body protecting his fellow survivors.  He was happy though, they all got out without a scratch on them...besides the time that Riku kinda got run through...NEVERTHELESS!  

 

"The grocery nearby may have canned goods.  Take what you can and keep your strength up.  There's an automobile repair shop nearby.  There may be tools you can use, but I'm not sure of their condition.  I don't advise wasting your time there.  And, there's a record store just behind you.  There could be some available music for you inside.  If I can read the format, I can probably absorb it and translate it for you if you'd like."

 

"Did somebody say...food?"  

 

"No Leroy...I said Grocery."  

 

"Tomata, Tomata!"  Leroy's stomach growled.  "Whoops...shouldn't have woke the poor bloke up ay?  Well that's where I'll be headed."  Leroy hopped out of the back of the police cart, and started his pilgrimage to the local grocer.  His hands were held behind his head in an iconic "I'm lazy but i'm still cool" kinda pose.

 

The store was barren...of course  What was he expecting?  He trekked down each aisle, desperately something to stuff his face with, and possibly share with the others.  His face turned white when the only thing he saw was his worst enemies.  "BRUSSEL SPROUTS?!  I know now that this place is officially hell."  Leroy pretended to wipe a tear off his cheek.  He supposed that beggars couldn't be choosers, and took the three cans that stood in various poses on the shelf.  He was delighted when he turned around to see a can of pickles, and dill pickles at that!  He grabbed the jar and placed it with the others in a jumbled pile in his arms.  "I shoulda' got a cart huh?"  

 

At that moment, something fell onto Leroy's head.  "Majin attack?!  Here?!"  He looked behind him to notice a small shopping basket.  

 

"YOU DOOFUS!  Don't scare me like that again, Idiot..."  Yuel actually sounded like she cared, and Leroy smiled.  Maybe she wasn't just some program.  He rubbed his head and looked towards the ceiling to notice a shopping basket sized hole in the wall.  It must've been lodged there for some unknown reason.  He picked the basket up and placed his cans and jars in it, still scouring the store for something more he could scavenge...like meat!  

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Jared sat atop of the police cruiser as he watched Christina and Amaris head off in the direction of the record store, and Leroy made his way towards the grocery. "Amaris doesnt have his Fayth yet, but Christina should be able to protect him... and Leroy can fly, so getting out of trouble shouldn't be too hard." He assured himself, before taking a long hard drag from his cigarette. Though the Majin seemed to have opted not to following them here, the boy figured he'd rather be safe than sorry.

 

Glancing between Des and Riku for moment, the Jared's eyes widened upon realizing that nobody had gotten Mia out of the car.  "She couldn't still be asleep..." Mumbling to nobody in particular, he slid off the roof of the vehicle to peer inside. There he was met with a still very much unconscious Mia curled into a small ball in the backseat. "..." His expression softening slightly, the boy couldn't help but acknowledge just how adorable the scene was.  

 

Exhaling a large cloud of smoke, the Jared sighed before opening the car door and gently lifting the girl into his arms; she was actually a little heavier then expected. For a moment, he found himself contemplating simply waking her up, but instantly reconsidered after the images of Mia fending off the swarm of Majin by herself came flooding in from the far reaches of his memories. She had protected him and Riku whilst they were both knocking on death's door, and had she not been there, Jared was almost certain that he would have died long before he could have called upon Susanoo. "Welp, kid, I guess you earned yourself a quick five, huh?" He whispered, placing the cigarette in the corner of his mouth, before propping his sleeping ally onto his back as if he were giving her a piggy back ride. 

 

"I'm not gonna go forcing baby sitting on any of the others... they're probably just as beat." Gripping Mia by the legs to support her, Jared began walking towards the automobile repair shop. Even if Yui suspected that the tools inside wouldn't be of any use, the team couldn't afford to miss out on any supplies that they could muster. Upon arriving at the door, the boy peered into the shop to find that it's interior wasn't nearly as trashed as one would expect, with only minimal signs of looting, and no blood or shredded bodies. "The owners must have bailed before s*** hit the fan." He mumbled to a sleeping Mia, not expecting a response. "Alright let's see what they left for us..." 

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Fifteen Minutes Later . . .

 

Christina was flipping through records, when she gave Yuel a shout.  "Hey, how's that download coming?"  Yuel, confused, looked up.  "Download?  Oh, you mean the analysis!  Yes, er, I need approximately one hundred twenty seconds and I'll have a complete layout of this side of the city.  I'm actually doing a scan of the lake as we spe--oh no.  No.  No, no, no, this is not good."

 

Christina raised an eyebrow.  "What's the matter Yuel?"

 

"You need to leave.  Now."

 

"Whoa, whoa, we just got here.  Leroy's grabbing food and--"

 

"Christina.  Listen to me.  You need to abandon this area.  Get away from the lake.  And be quiet about it.  Do not incite panic into the others.  Calmly, and quickly, leave."  Yuel's voice was intense, and riddled with fear.  Christina didn't want to question Yuel, as she was obviously very serious.  She had last seen Jared, who had been walking towards the auto repair shop.  Amaris had already disappeared, and she had to get them together.  She dropped the records she had and bolted towards him with urgency.

 

She found him just as he was about to step inside the auto-shop.  "We gotta go."

 

Jared stopped, turning around.  "Go?  I thought we were gonna grab supplies, and then push outta here?"

 

"Apparently that isn't gonna happen.  Yuel said we need to leave.  Now."

 

"Well what's the rush?"

 

"Hell if I know.  But she's freaking out."

 

Slipping his phone out of his pocket, Jared asked Yuel himself.  "What's wrong shrimp?"

 

"Jared, I cannot explain how important it is that you all leave this area.  I cannot waste much more time.  Please, heed my warning."

 

Jared nodded, righting Mia on his back and moving back to the Police Cart.  Sliding the girl inside, he cupped his hands, and began wailing for the others.  "Yo, we need to leave!  Let's go!"  Christina slapped his hands down as she followed behind Jared.  "Are you nuts?  You trying to call Majin or something?"  Jared scoffed.  "Relax Red.  Nothin' around here, remember."  Christina turned Jared to face her.  "Look, whatever Yuel's scared of, she said we need to be quiet.  So just pretend you're sneaking out of some broad's house at 2 a.m. and text them."  Jared rolled his eyes.  "Fine, whatever, let's just get--"

 

"You're too late," Yuel said sprouting up from Jared and Christina's phones.  "It heard you."

 

At Yuel's words, a guttural grumbling came from beneath the survivors, as a violent crash shook the ground and woke Mia, while knocking Riku and Des from the Police Cart.  "What the hell!?" Christina said tumbling over.  She scrambled to her feet, helping up the others.  "Yuel, what--!?"

 

"This area is abandoned by Majin because they fear what lies beneath it!  This isn't a Majin safe zone!  It's a Lord's Nest!  Get away from the lake!" Yuel cried.

 

BGM:  Fume Knight

 

At Yuel's cry, the water erupted upwards, a large cascade of water towering above them.  The survivors scrambled into the record shop, to avoid being crushed by the sheer volume of water that rained down on them.  Hidden beneath the murky waters of Louisiana was an enormous creature, standing at over three hundred feet and weighing more than nine hundred thousand pounds, stood an elongated Majin.  It's head was white, covered in a powerful black armor, spiked above it.  It had four arms, all of which it used to move and strike.  It's body was entirely muscle, as its bare torso showed.  It was covered head to toe in an unbreakable metal that was leagues above any metal on earth.  It's arms bore heavy shackles, to keep the creature balanced.  And beneath the cloth that hid its lower body, were two powerful legs that further supported the massive Majin.  This was Dominance:  The Great Hammer.

 

Yuel's eyes widened in horror, as the survivors rounded the corner of the now flooded record shop.  The Police Cart was being dragged away by the forceful current from the lake that Dominance had emerged.  Christina began stepping backwards, as they realized their ride was gone.  "Holy--"

 

"sheet."

 

"Uhm, I don't think we're ready for this!"

 

"I agree!"

 

"So what do we do!?"

 

 

NEW OBJECTIVE:

 

FIGHT OR RUN

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A-mar-is...

 

Amaris' eyes widened when he heard this a second time. "T-That voice...it couldn't be. A-Asa?" he asked himself, before he felt compelled to go down the alleyway and towards the hotel building. The voice was still heard, but once he finally entered the building, it was silenced.

 

"ASA! Asa it's Amaris...please let me know your here!" he yelled, before he heard Yuel scream. "Y-Yuel? What's the matter?"

 

"The others...the others...we stopped at a Lord's Nest!"

 

"Whoa...whoa...in plain Japanese Yuel..."

 

"Their in trouble...we have to go now!!"

 

"B-But..." Amaris started, before he heard the voice again. "Asa! Where are you? Please...where are you?!" Again, the young man was only met with silence...

 

Suspense

 

Before too long, something stirred around Amaris as he was quickly knocked back into the wall. He groaned as he slowly got up, before seeing the faint image of a creature...it was a Majin. When he tried to throw something at it...it was almost like it vanished before his eyes. He felt his heart going ninety miles an hour as he looked around the main floor for this creature.

 

"Y-Yuel...what the hell is this?!"

 

"Oh no...I-Ishida-kun! You've been tricked by a Lying Ripper!!" Yuel said quickly. "You have to get out of there!!"

 

"N-No arguments th-" Amaris tried to get up and head back out of the exit, but was knocked back yet again, as his body slid against the floor, hitting the opposite wall of the room. He cursed under his breath as the creature appeared in his view again...and from its mouth...it spoke and made the young man shudder.

 

"Amaris...what's wrong? It's me...Asa~ C'mon...don't fight..."

 

This voice...it was Asa's...and this creature...it... Amaris slowly stood up as the Lying Ripper disappeared again, as his fists clenched tightly. "Using...Asa's voice...you...BASTARD!!!" he yelled as now he felt a huge surge of energy surrounding his arms as he felt different. Surrounding his arms, runic lettering appeared in light blue to circle around them.

 

"You did it! Your Fayth is unlocked...do you know what to do, Ishida-kun?"

 

Amaris only nodded, looking at the runic lettering. At first he couldn't read it...but now...now he could. With a fierce determination, he spoke the word:

 

"TSUKUYOMI!!"

 

Battle Theme

 

The letters dissipated as now they began to form something in Amaris' hands, a pair of crescent moon blades. He gripped them tightly as he could almost hear the Majin hissing at the appearance of these blades. His eyes narrowed as he surveyed the area...somehow...he felt different. He heard stirring on his left, as he jumped back, seeing the Lying Ripper appear from his left, striking but missed completely.

 

"A-Amaris...! Please don't..."

 

"You still continue to use her voice...how low can you creatures be?!" Amaris demanded, as his blades began to shine brightly. "Don't you ever bring Asa into this, you damn bastard!!!" He yelled as he struck at the Lying Ripper once more, before hearing it howl out in pain, as he watched it bubble up and melt.

 

"I-Ishida-kun....?"

 

"I know...let's go help our friends...." Amaris said simply, slowly turned around, and made his way back to the others, almost with a tear in his eye....

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TLkEqYE.png
"Um, I don't think we're ready for this!" Destiny screamed. She and several of the others were already trapped in the record shop, which had already been flooded by the giant creature that had emerged from the lake. Furthermore, the police vehicle that they'd used to get here was pushed downstream by the current. No doubt Mia was in agreement considering the sudden predicament, but it was Riku who asked the obvious question.
 
"So what do we do?!" unfortunately, that was exactly what Des was trying to, but failing to accomplish thinking of. They could all try to fight the damned thing, but it was too strong. They could all try to run, but the sheer size of the thing along would be just enough to enable it to cover more ground. They could all try to hide in separate buildings, but while it might be unable to find them immediately, it might frustratedly crush any number of buildings in the attempt, potentially taking any number of the survivors down with them. Not mention that the mission was failed the moment a single one of them was slain. Of course, last time Jared opted to distract the Majin well everyone else attempted to escape, and they all knew how well that went. There wasn't a single outcome that Des could think of that would have a favorable outcome. So, she decided on the one that would be the least damaging in the very likely event that everything went oh so horribly wrong.
 
"Bugger it, one of us is going to have to distract the thing while everyone else escapes," Des eventually said, "And since I'm the one that suggested it, I should go."
 
"WHAT??!!" the other survivors gasped in unison, but Yuel was the only one that wasn't too shocked to further protest, "But you don't even have a Fayth...!"

 

"...yet, I know that!" Des stated flatly, "But I'll never get if I just keep running away from everything! Besides, all my life I've been secretly wanting to die. But I was never 100% ready for it until now. It's about time I manned up and learned to embrace my possible death for once in my life!"

 

"Des, how could you...?!" Yuel paused mid-sentence, seeing the runes flash on Des' wrist again. Was it the noble speech that Des made enough to make them glow again? She wasn't too sure. However, she felt obligated to respect Des' words as she left the others, more than prepared to face the Majin before them all.

 

...

 

Persona 2: Innocent Sin OST: Final Boss Theme

 

Seconds later, with nothing but devastation around the two, Des stared down the massive Majin. The beast roared in intimidation, but it had no effect on the Gothic survivor; not this time. Instead, she thrust her rune arm to one side as she called the name of her Fayth

 

"THANATOS!!"

 

In an instant, a black aura swirled around her outstretched hand as her Fayth began to materialize, seeming to take the form of a large, two-handed sword. The handle was the first thing to take shape, with thick red chains wrapping themselves around the outstretched hand. The hilt had taken the form of a skull, with two small glass orbs that housed orange flames that burned upside down. A much larger flaming glass orb materialized along the length of the cobalt blue blade, right near the tip. Even after the sword was fully formed, the black aura continued to swirl around the sword itself, and it felt very cold.

 

"This is it," she said to herself, before facing the Majin she was supposed to distract, "Now stop dicking around and make your move, yeah?" 

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Stand and Fight BMG

 

"But I'll never get if I just keep running away from everything! Besides, all my life I've been secretly wanting to die. But I was never 100% ready for it until now. It's about time I manned up and learned to embrace my possible death for once in my life!"

 

Jared watched in silence as Des stepped forward towards the massive beast, summoning her Fayth and challenging the Majin in an attempt to distract it whilst the others made their escape. Glancing down at his right hand, the boy realized he was shaking again. "Dammit..." A single curse managed to free it's self from clenched teeth, as Jared forced his trembling body to move. Having found out first hand what happened to heros in this world, how could he possibly run and let this girl throw her life away for his? Images of Riku's sacrifice echoed within his psyche, causing the boy's shaking to intensify.

 

"Now stop dicking around and make your move, yeah?" 

 

"No." Placing his hand on Des's shoulder, Jared commanded his body to move to her side. Disgusted by his own cowardice, the lightning wielding survivor ran his free hand roughly through his hair before sighing loudly. "No more sacrifices..."  He was now speaking to the entirety of the group. "Remember what the big guy said? If one of us kicks the bucket, we're all f***ed away." Turning over his shoulder to meet the gaze of the other survivors, the boy forced himself to adopt an air of cold determination; he couldn't afford to be afraid.

 

"We'll fight together."

 

Ripping his hand from Des's shoulder, Jared slammed both palms together, causing the air around him to crackle with electricity. Sizing up his target, he took note of the fact that the beast was still standing in what was left of the lake, and instantly knew what their first move should be; he just hoped that Leroy would react fast enough. "Anathema." He spoke the name of his spell before stretching his arms wide to allow what appeared to be a spear of raw lightning to manifest itself in the center. "So what do say, guys?" He called out to his allies over the roar of the electricity. "How about we follow princess's lead, and say hello?!" 

 

Grabbing Anathema, Jared raised the spear over his shoulder, and set his sights on the Majin. "Leroy, the water!" He barked to his wind manipulating ally, before cocking his arm back and tossing the javelin of electricity towards their foe with all of his might. 

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Leroy's basket still looked a little empty.  It's contents were the things he had found earlier, plus a jar of peanut butter and two chicken noodle soup cans.  He smiled as he skipped through the store with the bag.  "This should be enough for those gluttons don't ya think Yuel?"  

 

"Leroy!  The sky!  GET TO IT NOW!!"  Yuel shouted from his pocket.  It made Leroy jump it was so loud.  

 

"Oy oy!  You don't have to tell me twice!"  With that, his eyes glew with a green hue as he activated his fayth.  A jade staff materialized out of the air, and Leroy gripped it firmly.  The staff shined like emerald, and the mid section seemed to have a metallic serpent twisting around it.  In the other hand was his basket full of food for the group, no way was he letting this go.  He jumped up into the air, and twirled his staff like a propeller to blast through the top of the grocery store.  The next thing he saw gave him the biggest scare of his life.  This beast must've been the size of a skyscraper.  "Oy Yuel...that doesn't happen to be some sorta super majin would it?"  The pixie's voice quivered as she spoke.

 

"That is Dominance...The great hammer...I had hoped you wouldn't have encountered such a major threat so early but I....I....I miscalculated."  Leroy blinked rapidly, Yuel was now scared beyond belief.  He looked to the giant majin, and shook his fist at him.

 

"Oy you lump o' ugly!  You're scarin' my friendo!"  He looked towards the record shop, he could tell that his comrades had been stuck in there when the water flooded the city, but two people had stepped out.  Des had activated her Fayth, and Jared had shot a lightning bolt at the giant creature.

 

"Leroy, the water!"

 

The command from Jared made him spring into action.  "You nerd!  But I like your style I'll give ya that one!  SERPENT CYCLONE!"  Again with a propeller like motion, Leroy spun his jade staff, but aimed the vortex downward.  He sucked in the water through the wind, and gathered it into a Typhoon of sorts.  He launched the Typhoon into the path of the lightning bolt that Jared had shot out, and if Leroy knew anything about water and electricity, he knew it wouldn't just tickle that giant.  

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