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Author Topic: MRverse: The Great Raid of 2017  (Read 511 times)

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Offline MahluaandMilk

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MRverse: The Great Raid of 2017
« on: December 26, 2017, 03:31:56 PM »
It's that time of year again, folks, and now Coryn and I can reveal that secret little project we've been working on for a while now. If you've read the title of the thread, you can probably already guess it--so without any further delay, I hope all of us here on MangaRaiders can come together for another year of adventure, triumph, and panties.

As night falls over MR City on December 26th, 2017, all is quiet. Street lights hum to life in the early darkness. Strings of colored Christmas lights and garlands hang from storefronts and rooftops. Soft Christmas melodies play on street speakers, and a gentle snow begins to fall. All is quiet, and all is at peace.

This is where our story begins. Hush now children, and listen to our tale.
The night was quiet and at peace, because no Raider with half a brain would be caught outside after sundown on December 26th, for this is the night of The Great After Christmas Panty Raid: an annual MangaRaiders tradition in which Raiders navigate the city-turned-booby-trapped-death-maze in order to 'raid’ a symbolic set of panties. To anyone who can complete this task, the reward is a night spent with the Ecchi Twin of their choice. It is, of course, the job of the Twins to stop the Raiders at all costs. There was no room for compassion on either side. One team would stand victorious come morning, and since the raid’s conception, that team had been the Twins, without fail.

This night, another team of Raiders set out to change that.

“I'm getting a little feedback on the conversation matrix again. Raising power to compensate. Increase frequency just a tad,” said Coryn, who sat hovering in the center of a large shield bubble.

“Realigning now,” replied Mahlua, sitting on the inside wall of said bubble, slowly orbiting Coryn as they conversed.
   
Unlike Coryn's regular bubbles, magical symbols snaked around the surface, courtesy of Mahlua. Coryn looked past them, and then past the eleven other bubbles that enclosed the bubble he and Mahlua occupied. Between each bubble layer were sandwiched smaller bubbles, each of which contained a member of the Raider’s team, for a total of twenty-seven. And then at the very top, Coryn perceived Lego, whose legs were firmly held in place by two special cells of Coryn's hexagonal shield pattern.

Atop the outermost shield, Lego pulled his coat in tightly to fight off the chill of the night. Despite locating their launch site at ground level, by the time the final bubble had been constructed, Lego had found himself easily five stories in the air.

He gazed off at MR Tower and tugged gently at his legs. In addition to being held by the bubble, Mahlua's magics were clinging to his legs. They reminded him of veins. Or spider webs. Purple, softly glowing spider webs. Lego let fly a shiver unrelated to the cold, and flicked on the radio in his ear. “Are you sure about this Coryn? Last time I tried this I set the atmosphere on fire…” He gave it another moment’s thought. “And then I killed you! Remember that time I killed you?”

Coryn's voice came in with a heavy static, no doubt the effect of the multiple shields. “Hard to forget. Just keep it to about ten percent power.”

“Roger that. Ready and waiting.”

Coryn finished the last of his calculations. The mad pulsing of his eyes returned to standard pace, and he switched over to an open broadcast. “Okay Raiders, we are approximately t-minus five minutes. Let's run through the plan one last time, with feeling!

“Thanks to last year's raid, we have finally determined the specific room within the tower where the finish line is located. Now, last year's strategy of divide and conquer went understandably poorly, so this year we are taking the exact opposite approach. Our target is in sight, and we will be taking the most direct attack.

“By combining Mahlua's ability to store magical energy with my force fields, we have created a positive feedback loop of power. This allows me to create a stronger shield, and is why you are staring at a kaleidoscope of hieroglyphs right now. This excess energy is also being fed to Lego up top... say hello Lego.”

“Hello~!”

“Thank you Lego. The excess energy is being fed to Lego up top in order to power his Himmlisch Uzustand transformation, while simultaneously conserving his own power. He will be providing our offensive capabilities, while my shields will provide the defense. We are calling this construct the ‘Magic Bullet’--which brings me to your part.

“Should the outer shell fail, Lego will be brought down to the next level via the special tether cells at his feet. However, your own personal bubbles are being powered by the potential between the shield layer above you, and the one below you. If you're outer shell goes down, you will have approximately three seconds before your personal bubble breaks as well. Use this time to prepare yourself. Once your bubble is gone, it becomes your job to distract and delay the twins for as long as possible. This will only be effective as long as both Twins are engaged. They will surely realize our plan quickly. If one of them is free to attack us, we will not make it. This is why there are two of you in between each shell. Once again, I apologize to those of you who drew the short straw, and ended up towards the outside of the Bullet.

“To whomever makes it to the treasure room itself: make sure to claim the prize at the same time as those around you. We don't know if they will allow for multiple victors, (seeing as how there have been no victors at all), so our best bet is to aim for simultaneous victory.

“Finally, to all of you I say: Good luck, and Godspeed. May your sacrifices not be in vain.”

The Bullet fell silent. All within waited with bated breath for the signal to begin.

---

Across town, past the mechanized horrors, the hidden traps, the pitfalls, the winding roads and chilling winter wind, waited the twins.

The pair wore their usual sexy Santa get-ups, seemingly unaffected by the chill. Ecchi-tan surveyed the horizon, wooden sword in hand. She scrunched her nose up, discontentment spreading on her face. “It doesn't make any sense Lewd, it's like they're just missing. Do you think we scared them off?”

Lewd-tan leaned against a structural support, a piece of ribbon candy rolling around on her tongue. “They'll be old and gray before they give up.”

“Then how come I can't feel them?” pouted Ecchi.

Lewd smiled back at her, hard candy clenched between her molars. “It's not that they ain't there Sis. It's that they AIN'T there.”

“Huh?”

“If they weren't playin’ tonight, we'd still be able to sense 'em. But they're missing entirely. There's a hole where they should be.”

A look of understanding dawned on Ecchi-tan's face. “Ooh! I get it! They're hiding from us on purpose! But won't we figure it out once they set off the traps?”

Lewd-tan crunched through the rest of her candy and approached the roof’s edge. “Let's find out.” She raised her arm, and swiped it across to her left. The air parted, a vacuum formed, and as it collapsed back in on itself, a sonic boom was sent racing across the city, officially announcing the start of the games.

---

The participants knew the game had started long before the shock wave had blasted a wave of snow that hit them. At one mile off, Mahlua maximized her power output. At five-hundred yards, Coryn reinforced the exterior shields. At ten feet, Lego set the world on fire.

“HIMMLISH UZUSTAND!”

The initial wave of heat melted the snow to water. The second, coming in only a fraction of a fraction of a second later, vaporized that water to gas. By the time the third wave was past, the gaseous atoms had long since ceased to be, and only existed as a smattering of sub-atomic particles dancing wild through the ether.

Coryn waited for his shields to break, but they never did. Even without squinting he could see Lego now: golden clothes, afro a great flaming mass, and a long blade of fiery darkness. His radio wouldn’t have survived, so a few prearranged seconds after the signal, Coryn initiated the warp effect of his shields, and sent the Bullet screaming into the night.
   
Lego knew the course well. He had run it every year since its inception after all. The first obstacles were the living bindings. Ropes, leather straps, chains, all flew against his might. They never stood a chance. He didn’t even lift his sword. Next came the spring and other mechanically driven traps. Lego directed his will against them, and they too crumbled. Still, his sword remained at rest.

Mahlua reforged her sigils to meet their opposition. The shields needed new sigils at a mind-boggling rate. The makeup of Coryn’s shields were changing constantly. Lego’s meager weight shifts above caused reality to shiver. Amazingly, they were already three quarters of the way to the tower. The magic detected that Lego was finally swinging his blade. They were encountering missiles and moving landscape by now. The Twins were almost certainly getting ready for them. You can’t send something like what they had constructed blasting on a straight line through the city without raising attention. It was now that the plan would tell. Make or break time, and Mahlua had to prepare the grand finale. So far she had been concentrating on just a single concept: “Forward”. It was time to change tact.

---

It had been hard for the Twins to get a grasp on what exactly they were looking at. Still unable to feel any energy signatures, they could only guess what the flaming comet heading their way actually was. It wasn’t until too late that Lewd-tan finally recognized the flaming figure glued to the front of the thing.

“WHAT THE F---?!”

She was cut off as the Bullet abruptly changed direction and smashed right into her. Lewd impacted on the bubble itself, but the outer shell was glowing red with the heat, and her pristine fur collar came away from it looking more black bear than polar.
   
“Sis, language!” shouted Ecchi-tan.

“Not now!” yelled Lewd. “We gotta stop that thing!”

But the Bullet had become insanely aggressive. It had been obvious to everyone that if Lewd or Ecchi were left standing by the time the team were inside the tower, then they would almost certainly destroy the Raiders. They could have rushed the treasure room directly, but the prized garments would disappear in Lego’s fire before they could have broken through the wall and disassembled the Bullet. There was then, only one possible course of action. Team Raider was going to take the Twins to battle then and there.

The Bullet looped around in the air and struck at Ecchi-tan. She and her fire were without a doubt the greatest combat threat, but Lego wasn’t feeling very scared of being burned at the moment. As for her physical strength, he suspected he was about to give her a run for her money.

The two collided. Lego was surprised that her wooden sword didn’t turn to charcoal before him, but that was a Tan’s weapon for you. He was more than satisfied when Ecchi failed to stop their advance, and they collectively sent her into the ground.

Lewd-tan watched her sister disappear into the earth, quickly followed by a giant flaming orb. She knew her twin was strong enough to take the abuse, but even she had to question how long it would before she would get back up after a hit like that. But Lewd wasn’t about to sit on her hands and wait for them to come back up. She immediately set to work gathering snow. It came to her call both from the drifts on the streets below and from the sky above where it still fell. Above her a great and inverted spire formed--a spike of ice infused with Tan energy and amassed to the size of a small skyscraper. If this didn’t stop them, she wasn’t sure anything she could summon up would.

She briefly considered that she may actually have to swallow her pride that night, but she was cut off when the Bullet burst from the ground below her. Lego was at the front of it, but to her great surprise, Lewd realized that Ecchi was still engaged with the flaming force. For a moment she despaired. It wasn’t in her nature to sacrifice others; however, in this case, she believed that history would vindicate her actions.

“Sorry Sis! But you’re gonna have to get out of the way pretty damn quick!” Lewd-tan lashed out with her whip and encircled the spike, and with the kind of resolve only achieved when one’s back is firmly against a wall, launched the frosty projectile right at her beloved twin sister’s back.
   
Lego of course, could see the spear coming. This left him with a conundrum. He could either, A: Let Ecchi-tan take the brunt of the hit, and give the team their greatest chance at victory. Or he could take Option B: Throw Ecchi-tan out of the way like the true gentlemen he knew himself in his heart-of-hearts to be, saving her, but most definitely blowing a hit to their possibility of success.

To Lego, there was no question at all.

“Goodbye, my sweet banana!”

“My sweet what?” replied Ecchi-tan. She was going to follow up on the inquiry, but Lego grabbed her by the collar and sent her flying into a nearby rooftop. She groaned and shook herself out of the crater, glaring in the direction of the Bullet. She then understood the scope of her peril only moments before, and made a silent vow to thank Lego for it later.

Meanwhile, Lego raised his dark blade, and drew out every last bit of energy he could from Mahlua’s magic. “Let’s go! Bankai!”

He fell upon the tip of the spear. It shattered before him, giving way to his magnificent heat.

To an outside observer, perhaps an observer who had seen too much anime, this would have looked like the climactic event from the big final battle. The attack is broken, the heroes emerge victorious. Everyone goes home happy. This is because this outside observer would have seen too many people walk away from the epicenters of massive explosions without so much as a scratch, and indeed, if the hero is hurt in any way, it’s nothing a few bandages won’t fix.

Unfortunately for our heroes, steam explosions are no laughing matter. Especially when that steam was just until moments before, a Tan magic infused block of ice the size of a ten story building.

The outermost bubble failed almost instantly, much to the chagrin of those Raiders in the farthest orbit. Equally annoyed were those in the next six levels down. It goes without saying that their personal bubbles failed to survive until their hypothesized three seconds of residual power ran out. On the upside, Coryn’s tether cells held up under the stress, in no small part thanks to Mahlua’s magic running through them, and Lego found himself replanted on the much diminished Bullet.

Lego scanned the sky to see if he could spot either of the Twins, but they were out of sight, along with several of the buildings that usually surrounded MR Tower. Not wasting any time, Coryn redirected the Bullet towards where they knew the treasure room to be. Lego reverted his transformation, using the last of its strength to smash through the wall. The remaining Bullet finished the DIY entry, and once fully inside, Coryn broke the whole system apart, depositing himself, Lego, Mahula, Forlorn Serpent, Devola, Eukocar, and three other Raiders within the gilded space.

Before them lay their metaphorical prizes. A pair of panties hung neatly on a line, each representing one of the Twins. Whichever they grasped, would be the twin that they would spend the night in the loving embrace of.

To be honest, no one standing in the room that night really believed they would make it. A lesser team would break into anarchy at this point, but they were no amateurs. They had drilled day-in and day-out for this moment. As one they split into two teams, sorted by the prize they sought. Coryn and Mahlua headed up Team Lewd, four other raiders in tow. Lego headed Team Ecchi, with his own pair of comrades. Together they reached the far end of the room, reached out their hands, and with one final, terrified look over their shoulders, took firm hold of their destinies.

This children, is the part of the tale where I would like to tell you that all nine of those Raiders went on to enjoy a night of licentious bliss with a beautiful woman. I wish I could tell you of how they all went away from those nights, fully satisfied in every sense of the word.

I wish I could tell you that story children, but alas, I cannot. Because none of those Raiders had succeeded in that moment. Oh yes, they really did reach that treasure room, and they really did touch those sacred and silky delicates. But that is not the end of our story. No, dear children, our story is only beginning.

---
"My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!"--Marquis de Sade
"A loss of innocence / one hand to wash the other / be a perfectionist / you're nothing if you're just another"--TBM, "Goodnight"
Got Ecchi? Join us.

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: MRverse: The Great Raid of 2017
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2017, 03:43:42 PM »
So, what happened to our dear Raiders? Guess you'll have to read part 2 to find out...

Chapter 1
Part 2

Coryn wanted to puke, an urge only intensified by another Raider actually puking a few feet away from him, much to Mahlua’s emetophobic dismay. Interdimensional travel can be hard enough on a body when one is prepared for it--but when you weren’t prepared to do anything except maybe lie down on a soft mattress, then it was like getting gut punched by God’s own fist.

Information slowly filtered into his brain. The calculations needed to maintain the Bullet had taken their toll. Finally free of them, the excess heat slowly transferred to the air from his skin, the full picture had begun to unfold. They were at the bottom of a pit. Smooth red walls reached up towards the heavens around them--and boy were those heavens bright. What had been a dark night shifted to a bright day. Bringing his gaze down away from the clouds above, Coryn realized there were dark openings in the walls. Three of them in fact, stretching out towards who knew what. While he stared down the passages, it all finally came together as a true whole. “We’re in a maze?”

“That you are Participant!”

All eyes shot to the two columns of walls which divided the paths. Atop each stood one of the Twins. They had changed out of their Santa get-ups, and donned their regular clothing. Each was suspiciously free of damage as well, although everyone was quickly informed of why.

“Welcome to EcchiWorld, Team Raider!” Lewd-tan called.
   
“Where all your dreams come true!” added Ecchi-tan.

“Is that the official motto now?” Lewd asked, resting a hand on her hip.

“I don’t know!” chirped Ecchi.

An audible murmur came from below. The Raiders had clearly not come to a consensus as to what it all meant. Finally, a brave voice asked the question everyone was thinking. “So...did we win?” All grew quiet and stared up at the twins. Hopes rose, only to have Ecchi-tan shut them right the hell back down.

“Nope!” She replied, winking and giving the peace sign. It was disgustingly cute given the circumstances. Still, the Raiders found it in their hearts to forgive her (some more easily than others). She just had that kind of face.

“So what’s the deal?” Forlorn Serpent asked.
   
Lewd-tan seemed to contemplate her response for a moment before answering. “Well, as you may be aware, Sis and I are pretty restricted in power when visiting MR. We just can’t live up to our full potential over there. So we figured, if you guys can’t beat us at full strength, then we can’t really say you truly earned your reward, now can we?” There were a few murmurs of begrudging acknowledgement before she continued. “And so, we set it up that if you could make it to the top of the tower, then you would get teleported over here so we can really test you. So good job everyone, really impressive. But you’ve just beat Level 1.”

There was a stunned silence, which Ecchi-tan finally broke. “Sorry everyone! It’s not that we kept it a secret from you exactly. It’s just you never really asked what would happen if you got through everything we had laid out for you back on MR.” More silence. “But I promise, if you get through all the trials here on EcchiWorld, then we actually will reward you!”

With the crowd’s mood elevated a little, the two sisters disappeared, leaving the Raiders to contemplate their plan of action. There was a round of angry words directed at the senior participants, and a rebuttal about how they couldn’t possibly know either. I mean, come on, who would have ever suspected? This was followed by a round of agreement, and then a round of head scratching. A brief round of cursing the gods and/or crying took place, but everyone assembled voted not to revisit the topic any time soon. Finally, productive discussion took place.

“So it’s a maze? We just have to solve it then? Right?”

“‘Maze’ is too soft of a word. I think ‘labyrinth’ is probably more accurate.”

“Explain.”

“It’s the Great Raid. If that place isn’t full of traps and monsters, then my name isn’t--”

“No no, I agree. It’s definitely a labyrinth. Going in there is just inviting a world of pain.”

“So we don’t go in?”

“Then what? Just sit here and die of dehydration.”

“What about Lego and Coryn? Can’t they just do some Mod stuff and make it go away?”

“Mod  powers aren’t allowed in the rules. It’d be cheating.”

“Didn’t you read the rules?”

“I skimmed the pamphlet, sure.”
   
“There’s a bigger problem we aren’t addressing. We don’t even know how big the labyrinth is, or what’s past it.”

“There’s no way it’s just the maze- I mean ‘labyrinth’. They’ve definitely got all sorts of fun activities on the other side.”

Another round of head nodding took place.

“What were the first Great Raids like? When you didn’t know about anything that would happen.”

“Good point. You guys definitely learned something from back then right?”

“Oh sure, it’s just I don’t think y’all are gonna like it.”

“Hit us with it.”
   
“Fact finding mission.”

“Sounds boring.”

“Not so boring when you’re running around with your trenchcoat on fire. I’ll tell you that.”
   
“Personal experience?”
   
“I really liked that coat…”

A round of consolation was in order. But with that decided. The teams formed up. Lego and Coryn each took a team based on their seniority, and Mahlua took the final team based on previous performance. Taking deep breaths, three teams of three set off down each of the three passages. Their fates uncertain, their minds made up, their hearts resolute. They were going to trailblaze as far as they could, and go down fighting. And if by some stroke of luck one of them did make it to the end, they promised not to brag about it.

And there you have it. The fate of these nine brave raiders hangs in the balance...
"My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!"--Marquis de Sade
"A loss of innocence / one hand to wash the other / be a perfectionist / you're nothing if you're just another"--TBM, "Goodnight"
Got Ecchi? Join us.

Offline Fronomenal

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Re: MRverse: The Great Raid of 2017
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2017, 08:28:45 PM »
Aw man this was a fun read. I had a feeling the tans had an extra card up their sleeve and boy what a card it was. I can't wait for what's in store next! Great work!


Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: MRverse: The Great Raid of 2017
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2017, 09:38:02 PM »
Another day, another chapter. Saddle up, Raiders.

Now, heed my words little ones. Our tale now continues. This is where the true terror begins! I see that the youngest among you have already drifted off to sleep. Let them rest, it will save them the harsh lessons for another year to come. Quiet now, as we continue.
The heavens above provided more than enough light for the high-walled maze that sprawled before Lego’s company as they crossed the threshold of the imposing entranceway. Lego marched at the head of his small platoon, careful to examine each turn for potential threats. Surely the Twins had something around just about every corner, he figured, although after keeping on the straight and narrow for four or five intersections, he began to wonder about that.

“Sir,” one of the Raiders piped up, “Don’t you think things are too quiet here?”

“I do,” he replied, nose wrinkling in concentration.

Looking ahead, Lego saw a wall barring them from continuing straight for much longer. They’d have to take a corner, despite the danger no doubt lying in wait for them. He took a deep breath and kept his sword by his side, ready for action at a moment’s notice.

Sweat formed on his brow as he held up a hand, giving the signal for the others to hold back. Video-game style, he put his back to the wall and held his sword upright, allowing him to see his own reflection. With a gentle turn of the wrist, he could peek around the corner safely, or so he thought. His miscalculation sat with the brightness of the sky and its angle with the sword, causing a glare effect.

Around the bend sat a sleeping dragon. Startled, Lego threw his sword back down at his side in an attempt to sneak to the other corner where, hopefully, a less imposing foe would meet them. Much to his disdain, the glare made a gentle glide, caressing the dragon’s face, right over its eyes. It cracked open an eye just in time to see an afro and trench coat passing to the other corner. A low rumble rattled in its throat, echoing through the maze.

Lego froze and swore under his breath. He hoped that standing still would make him appear invisible, although the mighty beast began to rise. As its talons dug into the earth, a gentle quake alerted the others to the massive threat. Lego pointed his finger in the direction of the foe for the next Raiders, who began preparing for battle.

When the dragon craned its long neck towards the bright heavens, it let out an explosive roar. In response, Lego belted out his command: “CHARGE, MEN!”

He hoped that taking the beast down as soon as possible would permit access to a more valuable depth of the labyrinth. With that in mind, his crew joined him in a rousing war cry.

---

The distant sounds of screams echoed to Mahlua’s party. Some of the raiders grew concerned for their fellow comrades, especially as the ferocious roars of a dragon followed the sounds of clashing. Mahlua turned to face them, arms crossed.

“We’ll all be facing our share of trials here. We’re not in Kansas anymore, and it’s even possible that we may be in a greater danger than we ever were in MR City,” she explained, “But don’t fear for the others--focus on what lies in store for us. Trust Lego and Coryn as leaders, and trust the brave souls with them. We must be prepared to fail, but fully equipped to succeed. This is the furthest the raid has ever gone, so we don’t have the luxury of getting cold feet now.”

A rousing cheer met her speech’s end. Heartened, the raiders returned to the task at hand: their own maze. With a Witch at the head of the pack, they were able to detect upcoming threats, and many jokes were made about having a bonus on perception check rolls. After every turn, Mahlua instructed the Raiders to turn around and examine the turn from behind, and to memorize it in case the maze turned them around and caused them to encounter the same space again. They continued on in this manner until the small crew began to complain about tired feet and every turn starting to look the same as the last.

Mahlua’s eyebrows knitted together in frustration; nevertheless, she relented, dropped into a seated position, and took off her backpack to ruffle through it. Gratefully, the heavy-breathing Raiders dropped to the ground, many dozing where they fell.

“If everything is blurring together, your minds probably need a break. We won’t rest for long, but do relax yourselves,” Mahlua commanded, pushing an array of objects in her bag aside until she found what she was looking for at the bottom of her bag. The nearby exhausted Raiders raised eyebrows as their leader withdrew a small crystal sphere.

Holding the crystal at comfortable eye level, Mahlua exhaled all the breath from her lungs and paced her breathing. Her teammates sat up to observe the curious occasion. As their leader began to slip into a meditative state, the usually invisible hieroglyphics along her body began to radiate a faint purple glow. “Show me,” she said, voice not sounding all her own. Hairs raised on many a Raider’s neck.

A small puff of smoke appeared within the crystal. It swirled around until Mahlua began to make out a loop. The vision spread before her in the tiny ball between her fingers, and her eyes faded to the same purple glow as her tattoos. She saw an overhead view of herself and the group of Raiders with her, and as they progressed, the maze around them shifted, reorganizing itself and keeping them stuck along a certain path. “I see,” she said, standing up. She let her eyelids drop and blink a few times. The glow faded from her eyes and her skin returned to its normal, non-luminescent state.

“Men, I’ve found the source of the problem,” Mahlua announced. “We seem to be stuck in an illusion-based maze that rearranges itself around us to keep us trapped here. If that’s the case, then the only way to break the illusion is to find a hole in it and punch it through.”

“And how exactly do we do that?” Devola asked.

“By taking a wrong turn,” Mahlua replied, lips curling into a too-confident smile.

---

In the final portion of the maze, Coryn tugged his Urahara hat down to shield his eyes. He observed every small detail with scrutiny and led his men down the path of least resistance, as far as he could discern. The distant cries of Lego’s group reached them, and the team progressed ever onward, stone-faced. The scientist only elected the best, after all.

The twists and turns of the walls engulfed the raiders until they reached a large, open space in the shape of a circle. A fountain sat at its center, gently bubbling water forth. The scene appeared serene, and the flow of water generated a soothing, calm atmosphere. Coryn held up his hand to signal for his men to stay on guard. He had seen the Twins utilize this kind of trope during the last raid, knowing a sudden clear space almost always signaled a miniboss.

Coryn pressed his lips together in deep thought. His team was likely about to walk into a battle as large as the distant screams of Lego’s team, if not bigger, and yet his calculations determined this path to be the only one that lead beyond the others. If they wanted to claim the Twin’s prize, this was a trial they would have to undertake.

“Prepare yourselves, Raiders. Something’s lurking in this area, and I don’t like the false sense of security the Twins have set up here,” he said. As he felt his men secure, Coryn took the first step forward. Nothing happened at first, but the air became thick with tension; nevertheless, he continued his lead. The group made its way through the clearing, all eyes on red alert, scanning the surroundings for any sign of trouble. Breathing felt like drawing in fog. Still nothing.

Once the raiders passed the fountain, the tension dispersed. Many sighed a sigh of relief, but every muscle in Coryn’s body tensed. He whipped around to check on the central structure, earning a few confused looks. At first, nothing seemed to change. Coryn narrowed his eyes in suspicion and took a step forward.

“Aw...you can always tell the newbies from the veterans,” a familiar voice called. All blood froze in that moment.

In front of the fountain, Ecchi-tan phased into view, as if she had been cloaked with some sort of invisibility device. She sat on the fountain’s ledge, legs crossed, one hand to support her weight and the other holding her infamous weapon of choice. A small smile played on her lips.

“Sorry, did I ruin your surprise attack?” Coryn called, resting a hand on his hip. As terrible of an idea as provoking the Tan was, it felt like the right thing to say.

Ecchi-tan let out a chirp of genuine laughter at the ploy. “I suppose it’s not much of a surprise if everyone could feel the energy building up here,” she said, rising from the ledge, “But what can I say? I’m the heavy-hitter. Sis is more the master of subtlety.”

The ground quivered around the team, erupting into four fantastic golem beasts and countless small projectiles. Coryn initiated an electromagnetic sequence to repel the first wave of attack from the chunks of earth thrown their way. The other raiders drew their weapons and set themselves into battle formations to deal with the golems.

Ecchi-tan rolled her head around her shoulders in a singular, fluid motion. “You Raiders may have beaten me before back in your city, but will your skills be enough to take me down when I’m in top form?”

“Guess we’ll find out,” Coryn quipped, refreshing his cybernetic sequences.

“Well, then? Don’t leave me hanging,” Ecchi-tan called back, smile widening into something sinister.

Without another word, Coryn charged for the Tan, and the disciplined fighters launched their preemptive strike on the surrounding golems. The strategy was to disengage any distractions or interference to take down the primary threat, which the leader would hold back until the critical moment.

---
"My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!"--Marquis de Sade
"A loss of innocence / one hand to wash the other / be a perfectionist / you're nothing if you're just another"--TBM, "Goodnight"
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Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: MRverse: The Great Raid of 2017
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2017, 09:47:00 PM »
And, of course, due to character limit, it's easier to separate the chapters into two parts. How will the Raiders address the challenges posed to their teams?

Chapter 2
Part 2
Meanwhile, the war with the dragon raged. The two Raiders on Lego's team had already sustained minor injuries by the beast’s massive talons. Lego scowled in disgust.

The long-range fighter worked to keep the massive dragon at bay while the middle and short-range fighters sidestepped every blow from the beast’s claws. The scales deflected bullets with ease, and very little magic seemed to have any effect. It didn’t have a weak spot in sight.

Lego gripped his sword and launched himself into the air, swinging for the creature’s extended neck. As expected, the blade didn’t pierce, so the mod used his momentum to propel himself higher, towards the dragon’s head. The beast craned its neck to assess the threat and blew a hot breath, not quite fire, at the man. Despite the stench, Lego swung again, this time aiming for the two glowing yellow eyes glaring him down. Just as the dragon started to blink, Lego smiled and engulfed his blade with sacred flame, scorching his target to uselessness. The beast reared back and let out a heinous screech of pain. Gravity took hold and the mod began to descend, taking a few more strikes at the exposed jugular before rolling safely on the ground.

The dragon continued to sway and roar. “Now’s our chance!” Lego declared, making a mad dash for the beast’s underbelly. The rest of the team followed in kind, cautious of the stomping paws. Once directly under the dragon, the crew directed full force attacks at the slightly softer scale tissue. Finally, they found a break in the scale pattern and pierced through. Hot blood dripped through the exposed cracks. Above, the dragon continued to screech in dismay. It attempted to take a step back, but crashed into the wall behind it, causing it to lose balance and start to collapse.

The raiders scrambled out of the way and headed for the turn that awaited them behind the hefty foe. Its screams of agony grew weaker as blood continued to spew from the open wounds.

“Shouldn’t we finish it off?” Forlorn Serpent asked the commander.

“Leave it. It should bleed out pretty soon. Besides, there are going to be more threats as we go forward from here. It’s best to take them out as quickly as possible and keep moving.” Lego said, pressing his back against the wall and examining the next turn. He held up his hand with the sign to go ahead.

Lego’s team took the corner and found themselves face-to-face with more walls and more maze structure. There was a collective sigh of relief. The warriors continued straight, with the echoes of the dying dragon fading behind them. Once a safe distance away, Lego called for a short rest for the two injured raiders to dress their wounds from battle. A few crude bandages stopped the bleeding and the rest allowed the raiders to regain their strength. Lego specifically chose these raiders for their morale and ability to press on.

The warriors quickly began to get restless, itching to press forward.

“C’mon, we can’t sit around too long. We don’t want the other teams to get ahead of us, now do we?” one of them said, slapping a hand to his knee and standing up.

“Damn straight. We’re gonna get that prize and be legends,” the other said, holding his fists above his face in a boxing stance, beaming from ear to ear despite the gash across his arm.

“That’s what I like to hear,” Lego said, a proud smile curling under his face mask.

The group collected itself and continued onward along the straight path until they again reached a twist in the walls that they could not avoid. As they turned the corner, an obstacle course from hell sprawled out before them. Heat seared from the pit of molten lava below. Small, thin pillars just wide enough to sustain one man littered the place. Various ledges formed structures similar to rock climbing walls, and multiple chains hung from rafters constructed for the purpose of swinging from place to place. They would have to make it across the vast room without falling to certain death, and before the heat took them under.

Lego turned back to his men and found them all nodding, eyes stern as stone. Challenge accepted.

---

Mahlua let her eyes unfocus, but kept her senses on high alert. Her team of raiders followed behind her and exchanged confused glances over the cryptic solution. Once again, the maze appeared to swallow them whole and lose them along its digestive tract. As they followed the path before them, they came to a corner open to their right. The raiders began to let their feet carry them along, but their commander, glass-eyed, kept straight.

“What are you doing?” one of the raiders asked, glancing at the high wall as if it might bite everyone if touched.

“Taking a wrong turn, like I said,” Mahlua replied, refusing to change pace. With the next step, she should have hit the wall with her knee, but instead, she phased through it. “Come along,” she beckoned as she stepped through the seemingly solid wall.

The pair looked at one another, befuddled. One of them made an are-you-kidding face, and the other followed with a shrug. They eventually faced the illusion and stepped through. On the other side, Mahlua rested her shoulder on another wall, arms crossed.

Above them, the light had changed. A dim torch flame replaced the pale sunlight, and the dirt path shifted to a marvelous tile floor, adorned with a plush red carpeting. “Looks like we got the VIP welcome,” Mahlua joked, kicking herself off the wall and turning to continue along the path, “Which, knowing the Twins, means trouble.”

Sweat beaded on the Raiders’ foreheads. The red carpet led along the building, winding its way up a spiral staircase before opening into a massive white room. Its whiteness seems to project its own light, yet cast no shadows. One by one, the Raiders crossed the threshold of the last step onto the silken, marble floor. As Mahlua stopped forward, her tattoos and eyes burned bright and luminescent once more. Everyone’s arm hairs stood on end.

“There is the presence of the divine here,” Mahlua said.

Silence padded the room. The air hung stiffly, as if it had the intention to suffocate the Raiders. All eyes traced the circumference of the dizzyingly white space. Still, nothing.

Shakily, Mahlua stepped through the silence, which hung on her like a cloak. Her footsteps did not echo. As she approached the edge of the mysterious space, she found that the wall was made of a similar material to the floor, and had a slight reflective quality. The thought struck her that they had found a pocket dimension. Her heart hardened and her face dropped. The wall mirrored her disdain at first, but the faint reflection on the shiny surface slowly crept into a smile. Mahlua gasped in horror.

“F8ck! Doppelgangers!” She called to the Raiders behind her, “ We gotta get out of here!”

Mahlua’s men nodded and dashed for the stairs. Devola reached the edge, but instead of going down, he skidded over where the entrance was as if it had turned into the same solid surface of the ground.

“Uh, boss?”

A sudden wave of nausea crashed over the crew. From below, Mahlua witnessed hands rise from the floor and pull their victims under. The assailants appeared to be the copies of the Raiders. Mahlua lurched toward them in an attempt to give them something to grab onto in their current plane, but a firm grasp clenched her bicep.

“Trying to save everyone else again? Smart as you are, you could never think to save yourself, could you?”

Mahlua froze. It felt like she had been struck by lightning, and not in the fun way. Her blood stopped. Every ounce of strength she had felt like it had been pummeled into the ground.

The voice was her own.

She really f8ckin’ hated mirrors.

---

Electric lights exploded along the battlefield, powdering earthen projectiles and golem bits into dust. Ecchi-tan danced around her multitude of magic and traps with Coryn in tow. Her playful laughter echoed in everyone’s ears--taunted them.

Coryn sent a wave of electricity through his cybernetic arm and swung forward to release it as a massive stun pulse. Ecchi-tan gracefully twirled aside, a cruel smile painted on her too-young face. She countered his attack with a lunge of her bokken, which Coryn barely managed to avoid.

Around them, the golems, with many of their limbs destroyed, began to fall. The ground quaked and cracked under their weight. Raiders gathered around Coryn to provide back-up as he charged up for another attack. Ecchi-tan flash stepped, and a heavy thud cracked over one of the flanking raider’s heads.

“Now, now,” she said, “It’s rude to interrupt a one-on-one fight.”

The other two raiders scrunched up their faces in disdain, but took a hesitant step back. Coryn’s arm illuminated with searing orange light that crackled the air around it. Mahlua’s lessons, and his study of her magic had advanced his cybernetic research by decades. He felt exceptionally grateful for that when it came to his newfound capacity for magic-esque offense.

“Yeah, guys. You might wanna step back for this one,” Coryn chuckled.

With a wave of his arm, flames erupted around the battlefield and encircled the two lead combattants. The fire rose high enough to block all outside views. Coryn set his jaw and took a deep breath. He knew that this would be his last shot. He could see it in how the crew was slowing down with exhaustion after fighting the golems--Hell, even he was tired from dealing with Ecchi. He made a grave miscalculation of the Twin’s new power.

“Oh? You look so serious,” Ecchi-tan said. She flash stepped mere inches from his face. “You couldn’t possibly be considering a surrender, hiding yourself off from everyone like that, could you?” She paused for a moment. Her red eyes scanned his face for the faintest twitch to read. “No,” she said, tapping a finger to her chin. “That’s not like you. What’s going on in that little metal skull of yours, Coryn?”

Coryn began to mumble. “Divulge every secret...overturn every hidden thought...drown in lust…”

Ecchi-tan’s eyes widened in shock. She whipped her head from side to side, but the fire still blazed high on all sides, caging her in with the beast. Coryn’s eyes glowed bright blue. He held his arms out with his palms facing upwards. A smug grin tugged on his lips.

“Peek like a pervert, EPISTAXIS!”

One challenge met, and onto the next challenge we go. So goes the beloved Raid. Coming soon (read: tomorrow), the climatic conclusion of our tale!
"My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!"--Marquis de Sade
"A loss of innocence / one hand to wash the other / be a perfectionist / you're nothing if you're just another"--TBM, "Goodnight"
Got Ecchi? Join us.

Offline Coryn

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Re: MRverse: The Great Raid of 2017
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2017, 10:18:05 PM »
And this year's Great Raid comes to a close! Chapter 3 and the Epilogue follow below, but first, a couple shout outs.


First of all a big thank you to Mahlua for helping write the Raid this year. This thing is a always a bit of silly fun for around the holidays, and it was great to work with someone else on it.

Also a shout out to Lego, who we abused deeply in writing this year. He was supposed to help write as well, but was sadly afflicted with an unforgiving school schedule. Here's to next year.


I also want to drop a link to a playlist that we put together which sort of sums of the Twins and the Great Raid in general. Take a listen if you've got the time. https://open.spotify.com/user/mattbunyard/playlist/0l3jOZS2mvofUFf4YX9EKu


Finally, on to the EPIC CONCLUSION!


CHAPTER 3, PART 1:

Listen well children, as our tale concludes. The events which I am about to describe to you run concurrently, such that our tale will finish in a single glorious moment. Now pay attention, for you will not want to miss a single detail.

Lego leapt deftly between the platforms, dodged gracefully beneath hidden traps, and sailed above to molten rock coating the floor. He had seen these kinds of traps before in MR. The lava was certainly a nice touch (or was it magma?), but nothing that he had grown used to in the early stages of the Raid was going to bring him down. He looked back on his remaining compatriots and was reminded that most of them weren't seasoned veterans such as himself.

Lego took a breath atop spike covered log, which had nearly sent the Raider who clung to the bottom of it to a toasty death. The mod smiled down at his companion. “Yo Forlorn! Still kicking I see! Still alive, that's good.”

The log hung vertically, so Forlorn began climbing the spikes like the rungs of a ladder. “I'm beginning to question if being alive at the end of this is the best idea. Being dead will likely be less painful.”

Lego laughed, for pain was one of the prizes he sought in this contest. Ecchi-tan was known far and wide for the tortures she could inflict. It was those short-sighted fools who were blind to see the possibilities directly in front of them. Lego would have his Yandere-hime yet, no matter how long it would take him to talk Ecchi into it.

Lego broke out of his reverie as Forlorn’s arm slapped against to top of the log. Together, they surveyed the remaining obstacle course. Spinning blades, flying pendulums, disappearing platforms, fireballs bursting up from the depths. So far, so Mario Brothers, but what caught their eye lay beyond all of that. The walls of the maze closed in, creating the egress point of the course. Before sweet salvation, there was a wide stone platform cantilevered from the walls. Lego's finely tuned senses were setting off alarms. It was too wide to be a simple landing platform, too deep to promise safe passage. He was staring at an arena.

He turned his gaze back on the obstacles he had already passed. A distant speck of the third Raider on his team was making an attempt at leaping between two moving poles. Their timing was off, and the Raider sailed through the air. Lego watched in anticipation as his companion hurtled towards the lava. To his relief, they disappeared in a cloud of pixelated teleportation energy before getting too close to the intense heat. Lego removed his metaphorical hat and held it above his heart. “My unending gratitude to you, unnamed red shirt. Because of you, our database has one less gap in it. Now then.” He turned his gaze on Forlorn, who was still catching his breath on the edge of the log. “It's time to contribute to the greater good Forlorn.”

The recuperating Raider looked up at the mod. “What did you say?”

He had little time to ponder Lego's response as he was grabbed by the shirt collar and hoisted into the air. “Clench your teeth!” Lego threw Forlorn with all his might, and Forlorn sailed over the rest of the course. It wasn't a glamorous landing when he came into contact with the far away platform, but he at least had the good sense to tuck and roll.

With a few leaps, Lego took up a high vantage point atop the framing of a large fan which had momentarily threatened to blow him off his footing. Once there, he waited patiently and watched. Forlorn eventually found his footing again, and waved at Lego to indicate he was alright. After five minutes passed, the tossed was beginning to wonder just what the tossee was thinking about upon his perch.

Finally, Lego decided it was safe to approach. As he worked his way past the rest of the obstacles, he began to question his decision. Perhaps he was too quick to judge the twins. It was an awfully large labyrinth after all. Maybe they were purposely giving them a place to rest. Perhaps, it would be a merry Great Raid after all.

It was a good thing that Lego was too much of a cynic to really believe that. It would have made this next bit much harder.

Lego landed and approached Forlorn. Forlorn waved, and opened his mouth to say something, but never got the chance. The Raider disappeared beneath a great, clawed foot. Lego found himself staring down a very familiar dragon, albeit a very familiar dragon now fully outfitted with cybernetic repairs and enhancements.

“Those twins really do work fast.” Lego looked around to see how his clever quip had been received, but was quickly reminded that he was now alone. That was of course, except for the cyber-dragon roaring in his face. “I really should have finished you off the first time.”

A dull purple light began to build in the dragon’s chest, emanating from the seams of its new body. Lego watched as the light climbed up it's neck, building in intensity all of the way. It occurred to Lego that now was the time to draw his sword, and it was not a moment too soon. The dragon’s mouth widened. From it burst a wide and wild beam of searing plasma. The mod raised his blade and braced himself. Idly, he pondered it he would be completely incinerated before the blast reached the beginning of the obstacle course, or if there would still be a few cinders left.

---

There was nothing wrong with mirrors of course, as a concept. Ingenious idea really, something that could show you your reflection when a calm pond isn't readily at hand. Mahlua didn't have a problem with mirrors in this regard. Rather, she took ire with those things which lurked on the other side of them.

Being a practical witch then, she had prepared for such an eventuality. However, it was quickly becoming apparent to her that her comrades had not foreseen such things. If her senses were correct, their doppelgangers didn't seem to be any stronger than they were themselves. Whatever magic that was at play was only able to copy their abilities, not enhance them. It was a small mercy for all involved. Even if it was an even match on paper, the psychological effect of fighting your double tended to do mean things to an unprepared mind.

Mahlua wished them all the best, but in the meantime…

She stared into the eyes of the mirror Mahlua. Pulsing magic energies stared back at her. She took in as many details as she could. Same hair, same face, same body. Aside from the reversal of the sigils running up her, its arms, it was a perfect piece of replication.

A few indecent thoughts flew through her mind. Having a perfect clone on hand was an interesting thought experiment she had entertained with some of the other, more adventurous Raiders. Although Coryn, who was known to keep a few replacement bodies on hand himself, had never acquiesced to their requests. She made a mental note to petition him in the morning on the grounds of ‘personal training’.

Finally, she was fully pulled all the way into the mirror world. At first it felt like she was going to fall into the sky, but gravity soon rooted her to the polished floor. Mahlua spied her teammates each dealing with their own mirrors. Devola was grappling with his on the ground. The third Raider was doing decidedly worse off. She groaned audibly as he was dragged off into one of the walls. One mirror dimension was bad enough, but an infinite number stretching off in all directions? That wasn't a depth she needed to plumb at the moment.

“There's one every year…”

Mahlua turned back towards her own double. It was being incredibly polite given the circumstances. Maybe that was a part of being a copy? Perhaps personality played as much into it as physical power. If that was the case, reason might help her yet. “You said I wouldn't think to save myself. But if you're a copy of myself, then the true must be the same for you. I just have to take you down, and then mopping up the other two will come easy.”

“Unless, of course…” Replied the duplicate. “That too has been reversed?”

“If that were the case, you would have thrown away half of your advantage.”

The double chuckled. “Oh well. It was worth a shot. You're too clever by half.”

“You're the last person I need telling me that.”

The mirror began circling Mahlua. “Just a little self reflection.”

Mahlua circled her in turn. “Was that a pun?”

The double winked at her. “It ain't a thang girl.”

Mahlua's eyes widened. “Wait a second, that accent!” But she wasn't given time to collect her thoughts. One moment, Mahlua stared into her own eyes, and the next, she was thrown across the room as the bolt of lightning her doppelganger had turned into coursed through her torso and out her back.

Mahlua snatched one last glance at the other Mahlua as she bounced against the reflective floor. It was crouched on the wall, seemingly free from gravity's pull. Mahlua received a wicked smile from her mirror. It wasn't a look she liked to see on her own face--but as consciousness faded, all thoughts and worries fell to black. All except for one. In a few moments, when she came back around, she was going to rain seven kinds of hell upon anything that so much as resembled herself.

---

Ecchi-tan was blown clear as blue energy erupted from Coryn. She slid to a halt in the air before reaching the flame wall. Coryn was completely obscured by the pulsing pillar. She could only make out a dark shape at it's center, but she knew what was coming.

Years ago, long before his death and subsequent cybernetic transformation, Coryn had conducted an experiment which had accidentally imbued a number of Raiders with special powers. It was not until some time later that the experiment was repeated, and a way to cure them of their accursed powers was discovered. Ecchi was positive that Coryn had cleansed himself, but it seemed that he had been keeping secrets.

Typical.

The light show faded. Coryn's outfit had been replaced with a black, slim fit suit. In his hands were a pair of swords: two large scimitars, their blades of sapphire blue metal. From the end of each hilt, seven rough rubies hung, lashed together by a length of leather. They looked more like something from a video game than anything forged by earthly hands.

It had been a while since Ecchi-tan had seen Coryn with a sword in each hand. She well remembered just how dangerous that made him. She no longer needed to see the look in his eyes to understand how serious he was about beating her. For the first time, Ecchi seriously questioned if Coryn was going to get the better of her.

She decided she wouldn't give him the chance.

Ecchi-tan braced herself and wound up for an attack. She narrowed her gaze on Coryn. To her surprise, he was staring right back at her, not flinching a muscle. Until he wasn't, of course.

Coryn appeared right in front of her. His body was in mid spin. As the blades came around in her direction, dark red liquid erupted from the tips of the swords. It reached her a moment later, and the two great crescents slammed into her midsection with the force of a truck. Ecchi-tan flew back and impacted the burning barrier. The lateral force of the attack sent her sliding against the surface of fire. When she broke free, her hair was singed, and her clothes were tenuously holding together in some places.

More distressing was that she rode the surface of the flames at all. This was no normal fire. She detected traces of Coryn's shield tech and Mahlua's magic. Alarmed, Ecchi located Coryn's team through the haze. Eukocar and a Raider she could not identify were making for the room’s exit while Coryn occupied her. She raised an arm, and with it the entrance and exit closed, becoming indistinguishable from the towering red walls of the labyrinth. She turned back to Coryn.

“It's a clever ploy Coryn, but I'm not letting you out of here.”

Coryn floated on the far side of the enclosure. He took a few experimental swings with his Teisopakutou. “Escape was never my goal Ecchi. Not after running into you. Admittedly, I am a little disappointed that those two didn't make a break for it sooner. But it's their funeral.” He pointed one of the scimitars at her. “Let's just enjoy dueling, like we used to.” Coryn flashed her a sly smile.

Ecchi-tan smiled back and gave him a subtle wink. “Now that, is your funeral.”

This time, it was Ecchi who took Coryn by surprise. She slammed her bokken against both of his blades at once. They snapped back against his shoulders, and she drove him into the stone below. Coryn rose to meet her, but Ecchi’s sword was now engulfed in flames of her own. With a flick of his wrist, Coryn drew a circle in the air, and from the tip of his sword formed a blood shield dome around himself. Ecchi-tan roared at his tactic. “You've trapped yourself Coryn! It's over!”

She knew the shield would never hold. She was right. Coryn knew this as well, which is why when Ecchi-tan's fire blasted away the shell, Coryn was no longer inside. He flashed stepped out of the dome. Ecchi-tan could sense his killing intent behind her, an unstoppable force catching her between an immovable object.

What Coryn did not realize was that he was still not as fast as he hoped to be. He miscalculated. Somewhere, a one had not been carried, and Coryn understood too late that he was ten fold slower than expected.

Ecchi's sword hit him lengthwise across the chest. The buttons of his shirt and jacket shattered, his tie unraveled into threads, torn clothing exploded into the wind. A moment later, Coryn watched in horror as the flesh on his chest caved, and he thanked his past self for thinking to reinforce his future self's ribs.

Coryn landed a dozen yards away. He dug his blades into the ground to keep from hitting the flame wall, and ultimately used them to keep his face from hitting the ground. Ecchi-tan was already striding toward him, bokken resting at her side. “I'm sorry Coryn, but I need you to take a nap! Don't worry, I promise I won't peek on you!”

Her opponent chuckled, and it stopped her in her tracks. This time she knew better than to close the distance. She raised an eyebrow. “Unless you want me to peek?”

Coryn raised his head. “No, no, my dear Tan. I was just contemplating the look on your face when I beat you.”

“What? What are you talking about?”

“I think it's time to feel that sweet release.” He winked at her. “Bankai!”



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Offline Coryn

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Re: MRverse: The Great Raid of 2017
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2017, 10:19:52 PM »
CHAPTER 3, PART 2:

Lego grimaced as the dragon’s plasma breath burned away his face mask, a fair bit of his coat, and saddest of all, the outside layer of his afro. The smell of burning hair did not suit him. He could already hear Fronomenal poking fun at him. Lego resolved that if he was to suffer such indignation, he could not leave without regaining at least some of his honor.

Lego endured until the end. To his credit, the dragon seemed genuinely impressed when it discovered the Raider still standing in the glowing groove that had once been solid stone. At least, Lego interpreted it as surprise. He was not well versed in the body language of mythical beasts. In fact, he was unsure where the Twins had magicked up a dragon from in the first place. They weren't real, right?

The dragon quickly reminded Lego how real it was with a spin of its body. Its armored tail smacked Lego straight off the platform. Lego came to a soft-ish landing on the maze wall. The dragon turned around towards him, and Lego was relieved to see that while still vanquished, Forlorn was not a red stain on the stones. Not out of concern for Forlorn in particular, but because that would have been disgusting, and he was still saving a slice of pie in his refrigerator from the night before. The last thing Lego needed was to lose his appetite. After all, a starving war orphan (which he totally was, he promised), needed as many calories as he could get his hands on.

That would be of little comfort if he didn't beat the damn dragon though.

Lego studied the beast. As expected, the majority of the upgrades were concentrated where Lego's team had previously damaged it. However, he detected pulses of energy out to its limbs and head. There was something else going on below the surface, and he was going to see it for himself.

The dragon repositioned itself and let loose with another plasma beam. This time Lego shot away from it. He ran across the curved wall, hurtled over the exit, and slid to a stop behind the dragon. It spun its head around in an attempt to catch up with its pesky target, but he had been too fast for it. Lego launched from the wall and aimed the tip of his sword squarely at the monster's back.

There was the satisfying sensation of the tip of his sword meeting resistance at the metal armor plate, then sinking deep into the dragon's innards. Sparks shot in all directions, and Lego smiled as his glasses reflected the light. This was going to be easier than he thought.

It was less satisfying when the blade refused to come back out, and Lego felt the dragon beginning to take flight.

“Oh no! Oh come on! Stay on the ground! Nice dragon! Good dragon!”

But his protestations were for naught. The dragon lifted off, and began a slow spiral towards the sky. With each beat of its great wings, Lego was bucked, but he held tight and soon found himself high above the labyrinth’s walls. As the dragon reached the apex of its arc, Lego experienced a moment of peace. The sky above him was clear and bright, and around him stretched the maze, winding and infinite.



Infinite?

That didn't make any sense.

Indeed. No matter what direction Lego turned his head, he could perceive no end to the labyrinth. He could not even locate their starting location. Surely they could not have gone that far, and surely the maze could not go on forever. Lego began to form a theory concerning the maze’s design, but he quickly had to abandon it as the dragon dived, and he went into free fall.

The mod planted his feet against the beast’s back, gripped the hilt of his sword, and gave it one last futile tug. Still nothing. Lego stood, puzzled, as the dragon continued its descent. He could feel the dragon beginning a slow spin in the air, which if he was correct, would lead to him becoming an afro sandwich if he didn't get clear. This dragon evidently had low self-preservation priorities. As he reached a forty-five degree angle, Lego decided that if he couldn't get his sword out, he was just going to have to push it farther in.

Energy arced across the metal plating of the dragon’s back as Lego fed power to his femptomachines. It scored the area black as he felt gravity beginning to pull him down. Lego’s feet dangled free as the dragon finished its spin. The ground was coming quickly now, very quickly indeed.

Luckily for Lego, gravity had nothing on him.

Just before the dragon struck, Lego brought his legs in close, and when he felt them touch the stone, he pushed off with all his might. The weakened metal gave way, and he found himself momentarily amongst the inner workings of the beast. Fleshy organs were sectioned away in clear sacks, metal struts provided support where bones had been previously. All of it glowed faintly purple from the coursing energy. There was precious little time to study it however, and Lego burst free as the dragon finished slamming against the solid platform.

Lego landed gracefully near the platform’s edge. The carcass of the dragon lay between him and the exit. He shook the blood from his sword, and step forwards.

And then the dragon shuddered.

The beast was still not dead, and Lego was feeling the effects of his battle. As the dragon rose, he could see clearly though the gap he had made in its body. Fluids poured forth, sparks danced across the stones. It was a miracle of engineering that the creature still functioned. Lego half expected it to give out on its own, but as the purple glow began to build again for another plasma beam, he knew his luck was out. There was only one way he knew to end this fight now. “Hold still monster, I’m going to cut you straight down the middle this time.” Although, he did not know if he had the power to back up his claim.

---

Mahlua awoke from her brief stint of blackness. She leaped to her feet, only to find her mirror nonchalantly watching her. By her own estimation, she had only been unconscious for a few minutes, but in that time Devola had disappeared. She was alone with her double. Ideal under different conditions, but now was not the time. Now was not the time for anything but one thing.

Mahlua roared, pulled upon a great force within her, and charged up her sigils. Flashy power up moves took their toll on a body, but she needed power, and she needed it fast. Thankfully, her double seemed to be caught off guard by this maneuver, and was unable to escape when Mahlua slammed into her with all the force of a lighting storm. She grabbed the double by the head and slammed it against the polished walls. Not letting her momentum die, Mahlua shot a quarter of the way around the wall, gouging out a grove with her double’s head. She would have taken it further, but the double disappeared from her grasp, leaving only a nasty electrical burn on her palm. Mahlua could feel the double coming around, and this time she was the one to disappear when the double smashed into the wall in lighting bolt form.

Mahlua had expected it to break the wall, but instead the double phased right through. She spun quickly to try and uncover the direction the doppelganger would return from, but she did not think to look down. The mirror caught her in the gut, and sent her up into the air with such force that Mahlua was afraid she was going to lose her dinner. She would have continued with this line of thought, if not for her double appearing now above her, and smacking her back down with a pair of clenched fists to the small of Mahlua’s back.

The witch half hoped that she too would be able to phase through the polished floor, but instead, Mahlua only felt the cold embrace of it as her face made touchdown ahead of the rest of her body. For a moment she thought her neck was going to snap, and she was right. But she had foreseen this particular event, even if it had only been while rocketing towards the ground. Mahlua reverted to lighting before the full force of the impact could be felt, and made a bid for open air. For a moment she entertained thoughts of coming back around and taking her double from the side, but those hopes came crashing down as she felt a foot connect with her kidney.

A kidney that should have been made of electrons at that moment, if she was recalling correctly.

Mahlua was rudely snapped back into her human form, and once again found herself skidding across the smooth floor. Her journey finally reached its end in the corner where floor and wall met. With shaky arms, she pushed herself up into a reclined position. The double was coming her way, an unnerving smile on its lips. Mahlua resolved to do some facial exercises when she got home. She wanted to make sure she never replicated that expression by accident. That was, if she didn’t throw out every mirror in her home first. Now however, there was more pressing business. Mahlua glowered at the double as it came to a rest in front of her. “How did you land that kick on me? That shouldn’t have been possible…”

The double chuckled at her. It seemed to Mahlua that it was enjoying this way too much. “I can read you like a book. All I had to do was hit the right place, add a touch of repelling magic, and presto chango, one sapphic witch up against the wall.”

Mahlua let her arms give out, and dropped her head low. She hoped it would read as a sign that she was giving up, and not that she was using her hair to disguise what she was doing with her right hand. “Clever, wish I’d have thought of it.”

“And that’s the real tragedy here isn’t? Well then.” The double raised its arm and formed a pulsing ball of purple electricity. Mahlua saw familiar symbols dancing within it. She knew her handiwork even when it was reversed. There would be no walking away from that blast. She wondered if the double actually cared that it was going to get caught up in it as well. ‘No’, she figured. Easy come, easy go. Especially a mirror double in a hall of reflections. But the double was taking too much time. It was gloating, and that was going to cost it.

Still, it didn’t make what she did next hurt any less.

Mahlua laughed out loud. It was a wicked laugh she had put together specifically for scaring Raiders who didn’t take her magic seriously. It certainly put the double on alert, but that wouldn’t save it. Mahlua moved aside, revealing an intricately, if hastily drawn magic circle. Only now did the doppelganger realize its mistake, but it could no longer stop Mahlua from slapping a bloodied palm down, and unleashing what she had built up.

Purple lighting arched out in all directions. It was indiscriminate in its work. A massive bolt slammed into the double’s chest, and Mahlua smiled as she watched its skin appear to split and crack like the dry desert floor. But she had no time to appreciate her a job well done. Bolts just as strong began to cut into her body as well. Mahlua was blasted off her feet and onto the wall. All around the room the polished surfaces cracked, turning the single large reflections into an infinite number of tiny replications of the world. She wondered if the others in her team were going to be okay, she wondered if Lego and Coryn were doing alright. She wondered how long she would be eating all of her meals out of a straw.

Finally the attack subsided. Mahla fell to her knees. Shards of floor and wall coated the ground, and she cut her hands and legs as she crawled towards the center of the room. There, her double stood hunched over. It looked much the same as its surroundings. There was a slight crackling sound as it moved, and Mahlua watched as tiny sections of skin fell to the ground. Through the tiny gaps she could see only darkness, but there was energy leaking from them. Just enough energy that she finally grasped what had been eluding her. She grinned as the caster’s identity was revealed to her. No wonder she was having such a hard time.

There was no time to brag however. The double was already forming another blast in its open palms. It seemed to have enough energy left for one last attack. Mahlua felt that went for her as well. Fitting, for a mirror clone to give out at the same time as the one being mirrored.

Mahlua climbed to her feet, and began charging her runes for one last go. Lighting pulsed down to her hands, energy coalesced. All light except for that of their priming attacks seemed to turn to night. Mahlua wasn’t sure if she was going to survive this, but she was damn sure going to make sure her double didn’t.

---

'Bankai’ was not a word Ecchi-tan was hoping to hear that night. Coming from Lego it would have been harmless enough, he used it as a war cry. But coming from anyone else? That boded trouble. Even as she put as much space between Coryn and herself as possible (which wasn't much), she knew it wouldn't be enough.

Blue energy flowed out from Coryn. His scimitars warped, growing larger and jagged. The gems tied to the hilts of the blades floated into the air, and glowed with such intensity that Ecchi was forced to shield her eyes. She encased herself in flame for she knew what came next. Coryn pulled the tips of his swords from the ground. “Plimmyrismeno Potami Epistaxis!” Blood gushed from where his blades emerged. It poured out at a rate which should not have been possible for such small openings, but soon the entire arena became submerged beneath the surging fluid. Ecchi-tan was forced against Coryn’s barrier, only to have it give way behind her. The force field gave out, and blood filled the entire room. By now the volume of blood had grown too large even for the wider area. Out of desperation, Ecchi threw open the entrance and exit. Blood forced its way through, and Ecchi could feel as Coryn’s teammates were ushered out along with it. She contemplated pursuing them, but she soon realized that they had been caught up with the tide, and would no longer be putting up any resistance.

Finally the surge subsided. Ecchi-tan dropped to the ground, only to find that even with the infinite area of the maze at her disposal, Coryn’s ocean of blood remained knee height. The level showed no signs of lowering, and Ecchi basked in the recognition that Coryn’s Epistaxis was all it promised and more. She took a certain pride in taking part in its creation, but now she regretted it more than a little.

Coryn too, stood in the knee deep sea. He glowed in the mid-day sun from the excess energy he was producing. The mod began to walk steadily towards his opponent. Even at his even pace, Ecchi could tell with each step he took that the viscous liquid was not impeding him in the slightest. She herself could already feel her feet shifting with the subtle undercurrents. Coryn had claimed the home field advantage in its entirety. Still, Ecchi-tan was not one to give up so easily. “I’m impressed Coryn. I didn’t think you had enough power left to perform Bankai.”

Coryn still kept up his approach. “To be honest with you, I really don’t. Even with the Teisopakutou transformation, I’m still running on reserves. I estimate I can maintain combat levels for another five minutes.” He came to a halt. “Think you can finish me by then?”

Ecchi-tan smirked at him. Her fires had been brought down to a smolder, but now they were bolstered to a roaring inferno. “You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for you to ask me that. But at least buy me dinner first.” She fluttered her lashes at that last statement. For a moment the pair showed a mutual admiration, but before the waves could settle, they flash-stepped to a spot directly between their starting positions. Swords clashed with such force that Coryn’s sea was momentarily returned to dry land.

They missed their sparring partner.

Ecchi-tan spun a kick towards Coryn’s side. He knocked her foot out of the way with a rogue wave. Coryn bashed up Ecchi’s bokken and slashed at her stomach with his other arm. She deftly maneuvered to the side, and smacked him square across the back with the side of her weapon. Coryn nearly lost his balance, but caught himself with a wave that rose out of the blood. He found his balance and road it up into the sky. When the moment was right, he looped back around, and fell upon Ecchi with both blades at once. She defended with her sword, and sent Coryn flying off at a ninety degree angle. For a moment he seemed destined to be flattened against the arena walls, but another wave caught him in its gentle embrace. This time however he did not immediately respond. Instead, the ocean began to swirl, forcing the blood higher and higher until Ecchi-tan stood in the eye of a raging whirlpool.

She could detect Coryn amongst the red. He had fallen back into the waves, but she could still pick out his energy signature. It was dizzying to look at, but even with her eyes closed it was like being buzzed by a particularly aggressive bee. Ecchi pondered if Coryn could actually last the whole five minutes he promised. He was surely testing that hypothesis with this little show of force. Still, it would be no good for Ecchi to simply run down the clock. There was no satisfaction in such a hollow victory. Luckily for her, Coryn had no intention of that either.

The first sign that he was about to make his move was when Ecchi-tan felt his energy shift down to her level in the room. With the sides of whirlpool only feet from her, there would be no time to recover if she didn’t deflect the first attack. This became harder than expected when Coryn showed himself. His whole body was spinning like a top, and he was grasping his swords by the leather strap attached to their hilts. The extra momentum caught Ecchi by surprise, and while she was still able to get her own sword up in time, she was knocked back into the swirling blood.

Now inside the belly of the beast, she felt Coryn coming around again. He was surging towards her in the opposite direction of the pool’s spin, trying to catch her off guard. However, Coryn was becoming overconfident. His extra expense up front was going to cost him in this moment.

Ecchi-tan was still holding back.

She sucked her flames back into her soul, and there, she let them wait, and grow. A Tan’s powers were a funny thing. They were indescribably linked to the Tan’s very existence. They powered her, and she powered them. It was pure force of will which could hold entire worlds together. Ecchi-tan split her power equally with Lewd in many ways, but her twin could not hold a candle to Ecchi’s inborn talent for sheer destructive force. It was now that that difference shown through.

As Coryn made is final approach, he raised both arms in order to deliver the decisive stroke. Once he was fully open, Ecchi-tan released her power. Before he knew what was happening, Coryn was forming a Coryn shaped hole in the far side of the room. His whirlpool fell apart around him, falling in wide sheets to the bottom of the arena. Ecchi-tan floated in the air opposite him. Fire raged around her body, but she was not yet done. Neither was Coryn, she felt, but that was only going to last for one more attack. Ecchi let go of her hold on gravity, and dropped to her feet. Blood splashed around her as the flames around her body migrated down her arms and into her wooden sword.

Coryn could see this from his vantage point, and recognized the end of his battle arriving. With the last of his strength, he pulled his churning sea around him. Coryn rose into the air. Up above his impression in the wall, up above the labyrinth itself. The great sea formed up behind him, and took hold to both blades. Down below, Ecchi-tan’s flames finished coalescing around her blade, and condensed down to it surface. They sparked, and their light grew white hot. If one were to listen in, it would sound like a rocket engine was clasped in Ecchi’s gentle hands. She roared at Coryn, and he roared in return. “NOW, MAY YOU DROWN FOREVER IN MY LIVING SEAS!”

---

Lego rushed the great dragon before him, energy arcing from his blade.

Mahlua released a great beam of arcane magic at her own mirror image, sigils aflame.

Coryn fell upon Ecchi-tan, an infinite ocean of blood at his back.

---

Lego stood on the far side of the beast. Lighting crackled between its two halves. He looked down at his sword. The femptomachines which comprised it had given their last. He mourned it as it turned to useless dust in his hand. Sparks few behind him as the dragon’s energy supply began to go critical. He willed his legs to move, yet they refused to budge.

---

Mahlua watched as what remained of her shattered double blew away in the wind. For a moment she swore she could almost see Lewd-tan releasing her puppet’s strings. Even a Tan’s powers could only go so far it seemed. She looked down at the hole seared through her abdomen, and remembered that they went far enough.

---

Coryn knelt upon the ground, a hilt in each hand, their blades shattered to glittering shards. Bloody rain coated what remained of his ruined suit, and cooled the black, scorching burns which covered him from the waist up. His sea had run dry, but nothing could take away the joy he felt at seeing the scattered splinters of Ecchi-tan’s sword at his feet.

---

Legomaestro. Raid Status: K.O.

Mahluaandmilk. Raid Status: K.O.

Coryn Sken. Raid Status: K.O.


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Offline Coryn

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Re: MRverse: The Great Raid of 2017
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2017, 10:20:39 PM »
EPILOGUE

“And that, my dear children, is the story of the Great Panty Raid of 2017! Truly it was an epic tale, which shall be told for generations! Let it not frighten you, for we brave heroes shall always rise to challenge the Raid!”

   The reaction in the MR Pub was decidedly underwhelming. Coryn had been telling his story for what felt like days now, and several of the Raiders in attendance had already drifted off to a boozy slumber. For those who remained, they quietly wondered if Coryn had even noticed their lack of interest. At least, they thought it was Coryn. It was hard to tell given he was caked in a body cast from the waist up. The only way they knew for sure was the soft glow of his eyes from deep within the eyeholes which had been cut for him. Beside his wheelchair sat another. This one contained Mahlua, who, despite being held rigid by several supports to keep her torso from collapsing without a center, was at least able to move her arms. Next to her, Lego had been wheeled in on a hospital gurney. He enjoyed the privacy of a full body cast up to his neck. Someone had wrapped a bandage around his afro as well, presumably for comedic effect.

   Crickets chirped as Coryn floated his drink over to his mouth with a small shield bubble. He took a long drink from its silly straw as Mahlua pouted to no one in particular. “You guys wouldn’t know a good story if it stepped on your foot.”

   A loud hiccup emanated from the direction of Lego’s head. “Yeah! What shesh said!”

   No one was sure what Pub-tan had put in the drinks she was serving to the returning Raiders that night, and she wasn’t telling as she quietly polished glasses behind the bar. Anyone who wasn’t currently experiencing intense pain thought it better to not ask.

   MR-tan was hunched over a back turned chair, staring vacantly at the three injured contestants. “How is it that you three fall for this trap every year? You’re never going to beat them you know.”

   Mahlua nodded in response. “That may be. But, winning isn’t important.”

   “The important thing…” Continued Lego.

   “Is the Raid itself.” Finished Coryn. “Because raiding…”

   “Is what we do.” Responded all three in unison. Dawn arrived on the morning of December 27th. It seemed that even with all that had happened, The Great Raid would continue on, as long as there were Raiders who dreamed to live up to their name.



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Offline eukocar

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Re: MRverse: The Great Raid of 2017
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2017, 07:39:46 AM »
amazing story  :clapping:

i didnt do much research on the mr verse so some parts where a bit confusing.

thanks for including me in to the story it was an pleasant surprise!

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: MRverse: The Great Raid of 2017
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2017, 09:14:43 PM »
It's totally fine (and I'd almost go as far as to say "normal") to not know the complete lore. I write for the MRverse but even I didn't know Coryn had a Bankai until working on this project and being linked back to that old story set.
"My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!"--Marquis de Sade
"A loss of innocence / one hand to wash the other / be a perfectionist / you're nothing if you're just another"--TBM, "Goodnight"
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Offline Coryn

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Re: MRverse: The Great Raid of 2017
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2017, 10:04:49 PM »
True enough. It's entirely possible that Lego and myself are the only ones who have actually read every MR story to date, and I'm not even sure that much is true. The Canon guide will still get you 90% up to speed though, even without delving into specific stories.

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Offline Fronomenal

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Re: MRverse: The Great Raid of 2017
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2017, 10:18:00 AM »
Coryn has a Bankai that he used an MR Canon???

...

...

...

What freaking story was that!? Only Bankais I saw was in Mortal Combat.

Also, random, but Bankai sounds like something you would pick up in a store in the hood. I can imagine myself walking in to my local grocery store around the block and asking the cashier, "Aye yall got any Bankais up in here? Let me get two of them joints if yall do"



Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: MRverse: The Great Raid of 2017
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2017, 10:41:09 AM »
"Bankai? Is that like a Faygo?" xD
"My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!"--Marquis de Sade
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Offline legomaestro

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Re: MRverse: The Great Raid of 2017
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2017, 11:29:23 AM »
The playlist. The damn playlist man. It has vibes for days.

Stop burning and bandaging my afro plz.

The epic battles though.

Love it, love it all.

What did Coryn's Bankai mean? Dude that was epic, even damaging ecchi-tans bokken.

And RIP Mahlua. Nega versions are never fun to fight. Like I said I laughed when you swore at their appearance.
 

Offline Coryn

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Re: MRverse: The Great Raid of 2017
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2017, 12:43:31 PM »
Well, the bankai was an Ecchi Raider exclusive. Don't think of it as something I'll be whipping out again. Sorta loses impact if it keeps getting used.


@Mahlua: my mom surprised me with a bunch of faygo when I got home for Christmas cause she knew how much I used to drink it. It was like 2012 all over again

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