secretofthefox: (help wanted broken heart)
Sol ☼ Thomas "Tan" Moore ([personal profile] secretofthefox) wrote2015-10-24 01:03 am

Memory 35

Positive Neutral: Sight vs. Ice
Won: Day 180
Game: picking a fight with ten year olds

This memory picks up immediately after this, with Laura admitting (through writing) that she's known, or at least had a feeling, that the power over Metal she'd been wielding all this time wasn't hers. It was what Tan had mentioned that had confirmed it for her, about the male voice he'd heard, but she'd suspected for a while that there was something off about it.

Biggs holds out her hand and offers a deal. Give her the necklace, the source of the Angel of Metal that she's been wielding, and she can leave without harm. She can go home. She can live an ordinary life, and the Null under Biggs' command won't harm even a hair on her head. Surely she would rather be safe. Surely her sister would rather know that she doesn't have to worry for her safety. So just give her the necklace.

Kim lets out an anguished cry as her attacks on the ice get more desperate, less effectual. Tan tries to yell "Don't listen to her!" with a tone that speaks of experience with this (?), but there's no context here. Nor is there any indication whether Laura can hear past any of the ice or not.

The necklace sparkles as Laura makes a small metal lockbox. Then, slowly, Laura's hands reach up to the back of her neck, despite the shouts not to listen. About halfway up, she pauses and seems to... struggle against herself, but she bites her lip and manages to unclasp it and pull it off. She places the necklace in the box and shuts it, then places it on the ground in front of her. Biggs smiles wickedly...

But then Laura quickly draws a circle around it with her foot, and a glimmering half-spherical shell that seems to be made of pure light appears around it. Laura then stares Biggs down and writes,

You're lying.

When Biggs (who is just as shocked as any at this development) retorts that the Null doesn't lie, Laura starts almost shimmering, and words start appearing around her in the air, written in her hand but without her needing to lift a finger, sparkling in rainbow colors.

If Alex was your only target, why attack me?

I used to have strange dreams. Now I know what they meant.

Just because I don't have the power of Metal doesn't mean I don't have power.

You wanted both of us, but you'd take having Alex and me being blinded to the truth, wouldn't you?

And then, when they've sat there for long enough to have been read, they're replaced by the words,

I finally understand. I am the Angel of Sight.

At this point, the far wall of the sanctuary from where Tan is standing bursts into a blinding light for a moment, revealing a flower-filled field on the other side. (Was it always there? The windows showed ice and snow...) In through this opening steps a majestic white unicorn, which seems to be ignoring everything but Laura, even as Biggs tries to shoot spikes of ice at her as she walks. The moment they look into each other's eyes, Laura and the Unicorn seem to just know who the other is (which Tan can 100% relate to). They seem to come to a silent understanding, and the two of them face Biggs together, Laura still clutching her notebook but filled with renewed resolve and perhaps more strength than Tan's ever seen her with.

Biggs glowers at the pair and grudgingly admits that she's right. Though it wasn't technically a lie, just leaving out certain truths. Then she decides that fine, she gave the girl a chance, now time to kill her and take both Angels by force. So with an incantation that calls forth her Angel but leaves out a name (which is weird) and invokes the Null in its place, Biggs transforms into her Angelic form. She's almost Grim Reaper-ish, with Null pouring out where animal features should obviously be but aren't, and wielding a scythe of ice.

Laura, in turn, writes the incantation that comes to mind in a circle around herself, but freezes when it's time to invoke her Angel's name. The Unicorn informs her that the spell that suppresses her power is weak, but to be truly free of it, she'll need to speak the name this one time. Laura looks up at her partner despondently, because she can't! But the Unicorn tells her that she has to, and that she has has every faith that she can.

And so she takes a deep breath and tries. It starts out as a hesitant whisper, then it gains strength, until the last syllable is shouted with all her might.


She transforms in a flash of light, though Tan is distracted here because his bracelet starts glowing, and the charm that's silver with some gold splits in two, one silver, one gold.

And when things can be seen again, she's in an elegant white dress with gold embroidery, a horn crowning her head like a tiara, her hair silvery and pouring down her back like a mane, six white wings on her back, wielding a book and a quill pen.

The battle begins, and while Biggs' scythe and ice are combined in a fairly traditional manner (albeit with dark wisps of Null mixed in), Laura's fighting style involves directing paper to attack from a range, as well as writing things into existence. Small things, nothing huge, but she writes up such things as a rain of knives, a giant stone wall to block an attack, and at one point she even writes up a clone illusion of herself to keep Biggs busy while she hides in an invisibility illusion and catches her breath, though this trick is found out pretty quickly.

Even with Laura fighting with power that's truly her own and without outside influences draining her constantly, however, she still starts losing to Biggs' attacks. She doesn't have the same experience as her former teacher, after all. Tan punches the ice again to try futilely to melt it, because it's obvious she needs help but they can't get to her.

But then Tan recalls that Norbert had been saying something the night before about a losing battle that he came out of, and asks him how he had the strength to pull through. Norbert says it's because the Night Phoenixes were yelling words of encouragement to him. (Context in a different memory.) And Tan suddenly hits a brainwave, because that which is seen and that which is heard should complement each other, right? So if Norbert gets power from the spoken word, then maybe...

Norbert realizes where Tan is going with this and spreads the plan to the others, and Tan gets to work. He might not be able to melt the ice, but he can sure write with fire and let it be seen through the ice. So he writes with his fire (backwards so that it can be read from the sanctuary), You can do it, Laura!

He can see the others making their own signs and holding them up from behind the door they're locked behind, similar messages to his own. (Except Kim's, hers reads ねえちゃん, がんばって! and he has no idea what that means but it's probably encouragement...)

And Laura can see them too, and she smiles warmly at the support she's getting. Even though she's down, it helps her get back on her feet, and she gathers one final light-based blast in her hand that she floods the room with. Biggs screams.

Nothing can be seen for about a minute, it's just too bright. When the light dies down, though, Laura is standing in the middle of the room, her hand outstretched but her dress bloodied, her expression one of shock.

Biggs collapses to the ground, dead, impaled on her own scythe.

A screech fills everyone's ears as a huge shadow of Null leaves Biggs' body and dissolves into purple sparkles.

Without Biggs putting energy into keeping it from melting, the ice wall in front of Tan is no match for his flames, and he finally makes it through. Similarly, Kim finally manages to slash through the ice wall in the choir loft, and she leaps down without a thought, needing to get to her sister as soon as her legs can carry her.

The rest manage to finally slash through the door, too.

But ultimately, as she lets her Angelic form fade and the Unicorn reappears beside her, Laura collapses into Kim's arms and just starts crying like she hasn't in years, as though she'd forgotten how, just re-figured it out, and it's surprising her into a feedback loop of tears.

What He Learns
☼ ...okay so actually Laura is the Angel of Sight.
☼ The necklace has a chunk of the Angel of Metal in it and was just suppressing that.
☼ Explains some stuff...
☼ and that explains the discrepancies with the bracelet, if it changed here...
☼ Also Tony confirmed for Lightning via process of elimination.
☼ Biggs took a corrupt Angelic form, but the animal traits were obviously missing, Null fumes leaking out where they would be... What's up with that? What happened to her spirit companion?
☼ (Her weapon of choice being a scythe is ironic considering the game this shard was won in...)
☼ Character introduction: the Unicorn, Laura's spirit companion (no name given)
☼ And Laura's Angel is Metatron.
☼ The necklace was also preventing her from even trying to speak.
☼ From the sound of it, she's going to have to go to speech therapy if she ever wants to be able to speak at a normal volume and consistency again, but good to know she *has* a voice.
☼ Also she's pretty OP.
☼ And she wields a book and a feather pen. ...Just roll with it.
☼ (She's basically a cross between the ladies from Read or Die and Amaterasu from Okami, if Tan had any concept of either of them.)
☼ And she gets strength from written words of encouragement.
☼ (Norbert gets strength from sounds of encouragement.)
☼ (...Maybe he gets strength from lots of fire around? Wouldn't surprise him, it relaxes him... Maybe they all get strength from their respective Thing being around.)
☼ ...So yeah, Jessica Biggs is dead now, impaled on her own scythe. .-.

This is one of those scenes that's super important to me but not as much to Tan's character.

For the curious, what happens during the spot where Tan can't see is, Laura offers her hand to a prone Jessica Biggs, with a message of reconciliation and starting over. She can leave the Null, join the other Angels, she's forgiven for everything, so take her hand. Jessica hesitates, then starts to reach to take that hand, but then her other hand moves to strike Laura with her scythe in a last-ditch attack.

Whether the fact that this attack backfires and stabs Jessica instead is the true Jessica sacrificing herself to prevent the Null from using her anymore, or whether Laura had crafted a special illusion that would reflect attacks back on the wielder? No one can say. I'm not even sure, and I'm the writer here. Maybe someday I'll know for sure.