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 Post Posted: Mon May 06, 2013 12:31 am 
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The Awakener looks to Harmony as Alexis fails to stop her, then extends a hand and begins to focus the Final Rune at Serpico's blade.

"We cannot permit her to remain under its control. Serpico - your weapon can purify her. Alexis, Chandi - link your power to mine. Give him the power to make it permanent."

The Awakener then waits for the others to join with it, then floods Serpico's Severing Connection Razor with the Final Rune's power, focusing the power of Ending into it. It now has the ability to End the power of the Crystal Entity - to prevent the Taint from advancing any further, or reinfecting a source cleansed of it.

[Assist - Link with Alexis]
[Assist - Link with Chandi]
[Final Rune - Support] <Ending> Crystal Nullification Blade

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 Post Posted: Mon May 06, 2013 12:35 am 
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Lumina shouts exuberantly as she witnesses the cracks forming from her dragon's attacks, and again even louder when she witnesses Harmony's momentary bout of sudden self control. Encouraged, she kicks her heels and charges her rapier with magnetic energy, putting extra oomph into whatever direction her sword will swing.

"Good, good! Try and help Harmony, guys! I'll keep this thing busy as long as I can while you work!" Kicking her heels into the side of her mighty steed, Lumina's mount charges forward towards the crystal golem. As she does, the dragon lets out an almighty roar and looses a blast of charged lightning straight at her adversary. Following the electron path left behind by the dragon's lightning attack, Lumina accelerates at an incredible speed. Leaning over, Lumina swings her charged rapier through the path of electrons and straight at the golem's eyes.

[Control Dragon - Lightning Giga Blast]
[Lightning Rune - Resonating Magnetic Blade]
[Aggress]

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 Post Posted: Mon May 06, 2013 4:01 am 
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I'm going to die I'm going to die Harmony is going to kill me and there's nothing I can do about it if I get close to her that just means that she can't deflect it anymore...

Alexis had dropped his extra-weight rune under the influence of the shield's fear effect; when it passed, he was headed directly away from the Black Golem at top speed. But he banks sharply, and turns back towards the Golem.

If I'm going to die anyway, then I might as well -

Salamander wrote:
"We cannot permit her to remain under its control. Serpico - your weapon can purify her. Alexis, Chandi - link your power to mine. Give him the power to make it permanent."


That's an even better idea.

With another sharp turn, Alexis spins in the air and heads towards the Awakener. He drops down and unfurls his Arbiter wings in order to better hover, reaching out with his tail to touch the hilt of the dagger.

"In Darkness there is Safety." he says. "For Evil cannot hear the songs in the Dark; thus is Evil blinded in the Dark. If one escapes the grip of Evil for but an instant in the Dark, then one is safe; for Evil blunders around in the dark, noisy and uncoordinated, crashing into things to give away its position. Slip away from Evil for but a moment in the Dark, and never can its deadly touch find you again."

Link with Awakener
Link with Chandi
Dark Rune: Safety: Once freed from the Taint by this dagger, never can it catch you again.

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 Post Posted: Tue May 07, 2013 2:33 am 
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Chandi sets her jaw and grinds her teeth in frustration, as her rage begins to settle. "It'd be nice if once in a while my plans other than 'beat them to a pulp' worked." She mumbles to herself. At the Awakener's request, Chandi hesitates. "I don't have much ether left. I don't know if there's time to get more and make this work well." She focuses her efforts on connecting with the two other Arbiters. "Hope this works."

[Link with Awakener]
[Link with Alexis]

Chandi refocuses her power on Serpico's blade, small runes flashing and sparking off the surface of the painted razor. The color of the rune flickers, as Chandi pulls what little ether she has into the enchantment for the weapon. "Serpico, do us all a favor, and don't break this thing, okay? And more importantly, don't miss." Chandi's breath grows heavy, and finally the runes stabilize, bright sparks of blue running along the length of the blade.

[Support Rune: Deviation - Purge]

"Keep up the good work Lumina! You too, Not Asch or Ashley!" Chandi begins to mumble to herself. "Any more of this and I'll be in that hive mind."

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 Post Posted: Fri May 10, 2013 11:50 pm 
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As soon as the barrier comes down, Serpico wills the severing Blade back into his hand. He looks for a moment, trying to decide what to do, when the Awakener offers a suggestion. "Well, OK, but you take too long to set things up, sitting ducks here. So try speeding it up a bit." Snapping his fingers, the Speed Rune appears in front of him, and Awakener's senses and reaction seem just a bit faster.

[Speed Rune: Awakener: Speed Stat Support]

As the ritual goes underway, Serpico turns for a moment, and calls out to the enemy. "Hey, Sparkly! Wanna see something new?"

The Golem does not respond.

"Ok, your loss. Enjoy the Librarian, she seems a laugh. Ok, is it ready?" At this, the other three finish their combo, and the blade is ready

As the spells combine on the blade, the metal goes deep black, then to bright white, finally a black aura starts to flow around a now platinum blade. Serpico notices that by holding it, the taint in his feet is gone. He can feel it still trying to take hold, but it can't seem to sink its roots into him.

"Huh. Not bad, you guys. Bit flashy, maybe?" After hefting it for a moment Serpico turns and begins briskly walking towards Harmony, blade lightly balanced in one swinging arm. "Hey! Hey, puppet! I've got something for you!"

Harmony turns toward Serpico, her face still blank with the control of the Crystal. He has her attention, at least.

Serpico circles her, gradually picking up the pace as he goes to keep her focus changing. "A lot I'd like to say to you. Both you and the one stuck inside right now. A lot of clever, fun thoughts. Ideas about what I think about this whole thing. But honestly? Only one thing really seems to fit."

He breaks into a dash, closing in on her in an instant. In the last moment before he strikes, he hisses. "What would your son think of you right now?" Before following it up with a brutal two hit strike, criss-crossing her center of mass.

[Aggress x 2]

Serpico's aim is perfect, either what he said to Harmony was so stunning it made her drop her defenses completley... or else it got through deep enough for her to hold perfectly still on her own. In either case, the blade sinks deep into her chest, through her heart, and out the other side.

There is an explosion of energy as black sphere flashes outwards from Harmony... her eyes remain reversed, but how the black veins all over her body go completely white. Serpico is launched backward from the shockwave, and the blade remains embedded in Harmony's chest.

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 Post Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 12:26 am 
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Harmony opens her eyes, MUSE hiding safely in her soul and booting back up quickly. It's disorientating, but after a moment she realizes that not only is she still connected to the blight... but she now has influence over it. The Golem is stunned... too stunned to respond right away. She has a 1 time oppertunity to move before it can reply... and she can feel it's every intentions are going to be to cut her connection to the blight instantly.

##########

Musica Universalis Search Engine executing.

Checking for updates...

No updates found.

Last updated: 2065 years ago.

##########

MUSE 1.0 is released! I'm already noticing a few bugs here and there, but it's nothing I can't handle. Just really don't have the time... maybe 'sis' can help me. Some notes to myself for when I get back to this...

Security: really need to work on that. The AI is pretty solid, but I really need to make sure this doesn't get into the wrong hands. So far it's keyed only to me, but if someone ever breaks that encryption...

Future Work: I have an idea. It's a crazy idea. But I think it just might work... You see, I just need to %@^@#^*%@!&$!%#!$#@^&!#

File corrupted. Seeking continuation...

And that's should do the trick. Ingenious, right? Why am I even talking to myself like this... it's not like anyone else is going to see these notes.

Anyways! This is ^@&@%*%@&$!^$!#%!%!#%#!%#!&%#^%$#, signing off.

##########

Please be warned: This is a beta release.

################

#MUSE! Wake up! NO TIME!#

[%$#@&@%#$@!%#%----]

#WAKE. UP.#

[... Online.]

As am I.

So... is that what it feels like to be evil?

[Hardly evil. Amoral, at the worst.]

Semantics. And we're not going into morality lessons again.

#MUSE. Focus. Now.#

[Right.]

#############

CRITICAL THREAT DETECTED

#############

#Are we still linked to the Crystal?#

[....Yes.]

#Kill the link from the Crystal to the Golem. Sever the connection between the two so they can no longer communicate. Now.#

#############

MUSE flies out of Harmony, and then begins gathering power, growing and glowing larger and brighter as it prepares itself.

#############

[Of all the people you had to attach to, you had to pick her. I am sorry. I know you are... something like myself. You are only doing what you were made to do. But I must do this.]

Oh, stop ruminating and just SEVER THE BLOODY CONNECTION!

############

All at once, the humming sound of MUSE reaches a harsh pitch... and power vents through Harmony's link to the Crystal, aiming to sever the connection between the Crystal and the Golem.

[Finale 3x]

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 Post Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 2:55 am 
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The Black Golem prepares itself to assault Sheppard once again when it is assaulted above by a massive blast of lightning - it manages to block and ground out the assault but it isn't prepared for Lumina to come riding down the lightning and it's shoulder joint is shattered in the strike.

Meanwhile Alexis, Chandi and The Awakener imbue Serpico's severing blade, and Serpico's blade hits the perfect mark...

Harmony awakens just long enough to reach deep into her power and take a firm grasp upon the link between the Golem and the Black Crystal... she tears at the threads as hard as she can...

There's a moment of struggle between them... and with one last tremendous effort the thread pulls apart, unraveling like steel cable. The white eyes and black flame hair on the Golem stop flowing; it creeps to a halting stop and then stands there, frozen, like a sickening statue. After a moment's pause, the red-haired Goddess flies out of the Golem and lands in a heap, gasping for air.

"..ho... how did... You've... captured it!?"

The black veins begin to pull back from the Goddesses, the mortals around them begin to stir as the color flows back into their bodies. The blight begins to recede from the Arbiter team as well. "I... I don't believe it... the Crystal's infected the entire Leyline... you cut it off from it's heart... it's paralyzed!!"

"That makes it a fish in a barrel don't it?" Shin appears as he rips away the air above the Crystal, revealing the sky to be an illusion covered in his bandages. His Shifts are in their second form, what started as sleek shiny pistols now twice the size with over-sized barrels dotted with exhaust holes. He takes aim...

"NO DON'T!!"

Alexis and Sheppard both realize what's about to happen before it does, but the bat is not close enough...

Sheppard however...

"It is not required that you destroy that Crystal, Shin." Having foreseen the attack with her Prognosis, Sheppard is already there, blocking Shin's attack gathering the energy through her golden blade.

"No, but it's damned fun! And this thing's caused me nothing but pain!!" He pulls the triggers and two huge spiraling yellow bolts erupt from the guns directly at Sheppard...

Sheppard's eyes flash a golden light, and with a spin, catches the bolts with her blade, gathering the energy around her. "While I agree this is a troublesome monolith, don't you think you should pay more attention?" Finishing her spin, she launches the gathered energy towards the paralyzed golem, adding the might of goldenslaughterer to it. "I would rather not see a planet's Leyline be destroyed today."

As the bolts hurtle towards the Golem, Shin grins, "Oh fancy sword play! Thanks for the boost of power!" 6 discs appear in the air in an arch, from them each explodes a blue screen. Shin lets the left most shot by, but catches the right - it bounces of the first screen, it quickly ricochets off the remaining screens and slams into the Crystal at the same time the other bolt slams into the Golem...

Both of them shatter like glass in the midst of the explosions.

There is a moment of complete silence as everyone seems to hold their breathes on instinct.

The remaining blight shatters from the Goddesses, blowing outwards like dust in a rippling effect that spreads through the mortals, through Shin, through the Arbiters and continues on and outwards. Harmony returns to her full senses and feels the pain of the blade embedded in her heart.

A moment later the barrier around the world shatters.

Shin floats above the deep crater, a red glow emanating from deep down revealing the roots of the Crystal had indeed broke through the planet's crust. He cackles, "HAH! It's done then! We've won all thanks to me!"

The three Goddesses get up, shaking, and begin to run for each other with smiles on their faces and tears in their eyes...

...then bubbling up like a thick oil from the surface of the world comes the Leyline, hardly any space left on it still shines blue. Most of it is black and rotted, like mold left to run it's course over bread. The moment Shin sees it, it rockets upwards into the sky slamming his chest like hell to try to activate his recall rune to no avail...

The Leyline Shatters.

Alexis is airborne the moment Shin is.

The three Goddesses drop like marionettes with their strings cut and like dominoes every Mortal in sight follows in suit. The planet begins to tremble...

Sheppard plants her feet, knowing what is about to happen...

Awakener knows the End has come and is ready...

Cracks the size roadways appear on the surface like a dropped egg...

Serpico's senses are screaming at him to move...

Chandi's muscles tense...

Magma erupts from the fissures and screams miles into the sky...

Lumina is too stunned to do anything but fly...

Harmony is in far too much pain to do anything but leap into the air...

Shin screams down from the sky, "IF YOU'RE DONE BEING STUPEFIED GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE!!!

((OOC - Translation bout the reaction times here; perception rolls were made. Harmony and Lumina failed them, the can do nothing to change anything here, they can just move and run. Serpico and Chandi get 1 action to do something as well as run, be it helping the stunned two or something else - the choice is up to them. Awakener and Sheppard get 2 actions, and Alexis managed to net a super good roll with his 10 perception and he is the only one that gets three actions. I'm not giving any guidelines here -- those of you with actions, try whatever you will. Those of you without... well, I'll give a general advice to everyone. Remember what Athena told you about Leyline Collapses and choose your next actions well))

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 Post Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 3:35 am 
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Serpico doesn't react during any of what happens. At all. His face is a blank, unsmiling mask, devoid of expression. There is a slight glimmer in his eyes, but nothing else. Ever so slightly, he tracks Shin's path out of the area.

Slowly coming back to himself as everything starts to shake, he mutters, quietly but rapidly. "Not fast enough, none of them. Not even sure of myself now, not enough time. Don't know what to aim for, not enough room. Well, guess there's one thing to try, won't enjoy this one come morning, though."

He calls out, his voice much louder than normal, but still oddly....calm. "Everyone. Hold still for just a second, this one won't be easy."

He focuses, smile reappearing as a gritted expression of effort. Slowly, once more, his Speed Rune forms around him, but it begins to grow. Abnormally, it begins to visibly pulse with the ether being forced into it, far more than normal. One of his eyes turns an even darker red than normal, the slitted pupil vanishing behind a sheet of blood that begins to flow out of the socket. In fact, theres a surprising amount of blood coming out of him in general, his nose, his ears, the corners of his mouth./...

With a popping sound, the rune fires, spreading through the entire area, infusing everyone with the essence of speed.

[Speed Rune Overload: Full Speed Ahead]

With a bubbling cough, Serpico straigtens up. "Well, that's my best move. Race you to the atmosphere." He grins weakly, before focusing and pushing off, rocketing up away from the planet surface.

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 Post Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 3:52 am 
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##################

[Oh.... <BEEP>]

You maniac! You blew it up! Ohhhh... damn you. Damn you Shin to hell!

##################

"HARMONY. RUN. NOW."

"The goddesses - will they be safe?"

"OTHERS CAN SAVE THEM. YOU HAVE A DAGGER IN YOUR HEART. MY LOGIC IS IRREFUTABLE."

"... Right."

##################

It would figure that Shin would be of the Ripley line of thinking...

[How so?]

Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure. GAME OVER MAN! GAME OVER!

[Stop babbling and focus on flying!]

##################

As Harmony flies as fast as she can off of the planet... MUSE starts singing.

"Bravely bold Dame Harmony flew forth from Utopia.
She was not afraid to die, Oh brave Dame Harmony.
She was not at all afraid
To be killed in nasty ways.
Brave, brave, brave, brave Dame Harmony.
She was not in the least bit scared
To be mashed into a pulp.
Or to have her eyes gouged out, And her elbows broken.
To have her kneecaps split And her body burned away,
And her limbs all hacked and mangled Brave Dame Harmony.
Her head smashed in and her heart cut out,
And her liver removed and her bowls unplugged
And her nostrils taped And her bottom burnt off And her--"

"MUSE! Not. Now."

"It's the end of the world, as we know it~~~"

"MUSE!"

"It's time we saw a miracle
come on it's time for something biblical
to pull us through
and pull us through
and this is the end
this is the end of the world~~~"

"MUSE! ... wait, who sang that last one?"

"NO COMMENT."

###############

What's a good song for the end of the world?

[May as well go old school.]

###############

Dies iræ! Dies illa!

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 Post Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 7:47 am 
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"Awakener!" Alexis begins to gather Ether around himself. "That Journey's End thing you did -"

He stops, looking around at the mortal bodies. There's... nothing left in them. They're just dead husks; the souls have been ejected, and have sunk into the planet. There are only four things left to save; the team, the dragon, the goddesses, and Shin. Most of these are already busy saving themselves.

"- wait, never mind." adds Alexis. His Cloak of Shadows drops to the ground, spreading out in a pool of darkness. Tail-like tentacles spring up around the edge, picking up the three goddesses and tossing them inside; one long shadowy extension reaches up and grabs Alexis by the tail. He flies upward, away from the disintegrating planet; with his shift below him, in more-or-less the shape of an upside-down umbrella; or possibly a bowl, containing the three goddesses.

He hurries away from the planet as fast as he can, both mortal and arbiter wings straining together for speed; anyone slower than him, he scoops into his Shift. He taps into his Dark rune, creating a layer of Darkness under his shift, protecting it from the damaging effects of light.

Shift: Scoop up three goddesses into bowl/shield shape
Shift: Scoop up anyone travelling more slowly than Alexis
Dark Rune: Protect shift from light

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 Post Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 10:54 am 
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Sheppard stares in silence as Shin renders the apocalypse upon the world. As the blight falls from her body, she raises an arm, calling back the fabric and bindings, which start wrapping around her, reforming in to the blue garb of the detective. Goldenslaughterer evaporates, and the hilt is returned to her waist.

As the hat begins to form, she says two words before the shadow becomes enveloped by the facade.

"Lesson learned."

And just as though it had never happened, Asch was back. "Seems I was out for a while... I'm told we must leave, and quickly." She begins to flee, grabbing Harmony and Lumina to help them escape faster as well.

<Action 1. Assist Harmony in Escaping>
<Action 2. Assist Lumina in Escaping>

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 Post Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 11:33 am 
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The Awakener looks on at the decaying planet for a few moments, the hollow mask as impartial as ever. However, three words briefly erupt from the mask before the God looks away.

"This is wrong."

The Awakener then sees Alexis flying to save the three Goddesses, and watches the spindly creature try to fly with their combined weight. It speaks the word "fool " then turns to the massive dragon. A hand stretches out, and the Final Rune erupts from its fingertips, echoing with the raw power of destiny. The power infuses the creatire's muscles as the Awakener speaks once more. "Rescue the fool and those he carries." It then streaks into the skies as the Dragon swoops down, grabs the struggling bat and the basket of divinity it carries, and jets off into the heavens after the Awakener

[Final Rune - Support] <Decisive> Decisive Strength enchantment on Dragon.
[Orders] Order Dragon to grab Alexis and the Goddesses and flee.

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 Post Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 3:35 pm 
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After the dragon scoops up the bundle of divinity, Lumina kicks her heals hard into the Dragon's sides, urging it skywards as hard as she can.

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 Post Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 7:03 pm 
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Chandi twists her head from side to side, watching the destruction with a look on her face half torn between anger and fear. "Notgoodnotgoodnotgood." She mumbles to herself, before glancing at the group at large. The speed they've gained thanks to Serpico's rune boosting will help, and their dragon is helping those who may not be able to escape, but the group is still moving too slow for Chandi's liking. "This isn't gonna be fun." She says to herself as she launches herself from the ground, flying as fast as she can. With every few feet of movement, a rune appears where Chandi's feet were, growing larger and larger the farther she gets from the runes. As she finally catches up to the fleeing group, she yells out to them. "Hold tight! This might hurt!" The first rune appears to collapse on itself, then a shock wave of air bursts forth, growing in speed and power with each rune it passes through.

[Support Rune: Breeze - Backdraft]

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 Post Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 12:01 am 
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Serpico nearly blows out all of his blood vessels casting a speed rune big enough to cover the group - instantly they all begin rocketing upward. Harmony has a lot of trouble getting to speed, but quickly finds herself being scooped up by Alexis and traveling much faster cradled in his cloak. She finds herself quickly buried in dead Goddesses as Alexis moves to scoop up the three sister Goddesses.

There's a deafening crack as the fissures in the ground open wide enough to reveal the mantle, which quickly bubbles upwards and sets the city ablaze. Dry lightning cracks the air; meanwhile Asch darts about, giving Alexis a push to help Harmony as Lumina is currently riding a dragon. Awakener charges the Dragon up with a strength boost and it scoops up Alexis, dragging Harmony and the Goddesses along with him.

Chandi charges her remaining ether and summons a huge wind rune to give the group a boost... strangely enough, her scars aren't aching in the slightest. The Rune explodes and the team shoots ever higher into the air; below the great sections of the earth are flipping over, tumbling on the endless sea of magma beneath them as jets of the molten rock blast upwards in city sized arches, nearly frying the team. They are almost clear of the planet when the dragon rears backwards, as if it's been caught in an invisible rope. Alexis can be heard screaming as invisible waves of pressure slam against him; his Shift is threatening to crush the life out of him. Harmony is no better off as the Goddess press down on her hard - a moment's blinding pain later and tear through Alexis' cloak.

The dragon, freed, dives and tries to catch them; as it wraps it's claws around them it begins to fall too - the Goddesses appear to be attracted to the collapse like magnets. It flaps it's wings frantically and pulls hard - the lines of lightning in it's body glowing bright trying desperately to save the three. It whines as it looks at the Arbiters, all but Alexis and Harmony now higher than it. It twists it's body painfully and throws Lumina off it's back, high into the air, throwing Alexis with her followed shortly by Harmony. Alexis grabs Lumina and looks down, Asch captures Harmony. Below the dragon the planet looks less like a planet and more like a sun, not a sliver of earth left to be seen as endless explosions rock the magma as it is compressed, shrinking down like so much wadded up paper.

With a great almighty roar the Dragon's body explodes into lightning, flying upwards and catching each Arbiter on a separate bolt, hurtling them into space in a matter of seconds. Below it's empty husk falls downwards into the planet, below them the Goddesses body fall even faster into the fire. A few moments later there is a huge downward pull that threatens to tear the Arbiters out of space and into the collapse. The burning ball shakes, explodes and collapses with a gravity well near that of a black hole... there is a moment in time where the Arbiters know they are screwed... they did not make it far enough away to escape this pull despite the Dragon's sacrifice...

They begin to fall...

Above them Shin grins at the shining orb with a maniac glint in his eye... he doesn't even notice the falling team...

It's all over...

Then the pull snaps and the Arbiters are treated to a pair of golden feathered wings blocking their view of the planet below - wings connected to a small back in a flowing green robe, brown hair tied up into a bun with a shining open book in her spread arms.

There's a massive blast as the planet finishes it's collapse into a smoking, spinning, glowing black ball of super-condensed ether. Once it is done, Athena lowers her wings and the protective barrier she had erected melts away... her Students are now in deep space with her, far away from the core. "Are you all alright?"

She turns, tears streaming down her face and despite her normal composure she launches into a wing-inclusive hug, wrapping her feathers and arms around her students. "I am so sorry... whatever that barrier was I couldn't even SEE it until it broke... I've been out here searching since you all left... By the Elders what happened down there?"

Before anyone can even answer, her book begins to glow - writing appears as the Arbiter's story is automatically transmitted. Within seconds her face goes from shock, to horror, to rage, and finally sadness. "Don't..." she takes a moment to compose herself, disengaging from the hug. "Don't go anywhere near that collapsed core... they are normally blue. Something is very wrong with that one."

It's at this moment, Shin teleports in on one of his screens. "Well hello Athena! Your students really helped me out a lot on that world, why I think they should be commended for their efforts in trying to-" Shin then chokes, holding his throat and thrashing.

Athena then lowers her hand, "Oh I am SO sorry Shin! I was still in battle mode! I thought you were an enemy." She pats Shin on the chest, "Not to worry, my silence rune will wear off in a few days... I'm dreadfully sorry you couldn't tell me your epic tale of heroism and how you must have saved my students from it all, and guided them no?" Shin glares at Athena, taps the now active recall rune on his chest and disappears.

"Before you say a word... I have the entire story here." She closes her book for emphasis. "Unfortunately, this is Shin's specialty. He hasn't actually broken Arbiter law... even if he's routed their ethical codes. He allies higher up who are convinced he's a shining knight..." She adjusts her glasses, "Even if the rest of us see him as a polished turd." She blushes at her own vulgarity.

"Nevermind about Shin... he will get his comeuppance. All Arbiters such as he always do in the end. What matters right now is, are you all okay? The Leyline collapse tends to screw with recall runes and long range teleportation... but it should be clear now. I've summoned a containment team to handle this core... we will examine this thing for a very long time before trying to sort it out. I am sorry for the Goddesses that fell into it... they were from my home World... I knew them." She takes a deep, steadying breath. "If you wish to speak openly without any other Arbiter overhearing or the school listening in, now is the time. Otherwise, let's get home... I will debrief you, help you level your Shifts, and then give you a well deserved break."

She suddenly salutes her students, hold her hand over her heart, "However... even though this planet has collapsed, your work there saved an Arbiter and let us know about the existence of these Black Crystals... had you fallen into the collapse, we would have no idea what would have occurred. Although the primary objective is failed... it was through no fault of your own. I wish it were under better circumstances... but you are all now official Arbiters. When I debrief you in our classroom shortly, I will instill that rank and the privileges that come with it." She tilts her head to the side, "...Chandi. What is that?"

Athena points to a long lump in Chandi's clothing that snakes it's way up her body and pops a small blue head out of her collar. The tiny dragon squeaks in relief and flicks a tiny forked tongue out; the Dragon is now shorter than Chandi's arm and about half as thick. "Huh... when it expended it's enchantments and main body to push you all off the planet, it must have placed a small part of its remaining form in the bolt that pushed Chandi... amazing. It normally takes a God years of study to even create the most basic of lifeforms... it seems to have attached itself onto the one that gave it the spark of life. Seems you have a pet Chandi!" The tiny Dragon flickers it's tongue against Chandi's cheek.

Athena sighs, "Tell me what you want to know that you don't want others to hear... feel free to harp on Shin..." a sly smile, "Then we'll return home."

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