(The Long Walk is a mid-story that explores the events that occured after "Dusk" - when Inferno and Red went on a year-long journey across varied realms before finally heading back to Red's world for the events of "Court Of The Red Queen": thus this is set in the past, as far as Villains RPG canon is concerned and will focus mainly on Red (myself) and Inferno as well as other characters as they choose to appear.)
The scene begins in a vast desert as a woman in red walks alongside a dark yet regal figure, the two seeming out of place yet quite calm - the woman seeming to entertain the latter with a tale as they continued along the endless sea of sand.
"..Long ago man and giant lived in peace, or so the tale goes, then one year a famine swept across the land and people began to suffer terribly.. the giants also began to starve and in desperation they turned to humans as a source of food - thus Cormoran was born.. the first of the Man-Eaters.. he and his kind waged a terrible battle with the Monarchy.. it was said that the battle did not cease until a strange man in a tophat arrived in town.. he gave the Monarchy an ancient bell and when they rang it Cormoran and his followers were driven insane - forced to flee into the mountains.. yet as they did so many peaceful giants were also slaughtered in the aftermath.. it is said that ever since then man and giant have been enemies.." the woman says, keeping her face hidden by her red cloak, shielding herself from the desert heat.
The dark figure shakes his head slightly "..so all that talk about a beanstalk and a golden harp was just fantasy? hmm.. well.. makes sense.. I suppose.. wait.. no, it doesn't.. still, interesting story nevertheless Red..".
The woman in red simply keeps walking as she replies, "you'll be surprised how stories alter over age, you know some people still think I'm afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.. at any rate, Inferno, you've still to share a story with me, it's been nearly a month now and all we've been doing is walking aimlessly - I thought this was a chance to get to know one another.."
Inferno keeps walking as well, looking ahead "alright.. you want a story? here we go.. long ago there were two brothers, one was proud and strong the other timid and weak.. they grew to hate one another.. manipulated by a vengeful dragon and a mad tyrant.. these brothers fought until the strong did slay the weak.. but the dragon was not finished.. she brought the weak brother back, bestowed upon him the power of a god unleashed him upon the universe with the task of shaping it in her image.. yet the tyrant also made his move, he stole from the dragon a daughter and broke her mind, unleashing her upon the universe with the task of utterly annihilating it.."
Red looks to Inferno for a brief moment as if to speak when she stops, the image of a large floating city above the desert sand making her take notice as she looks up - "..is this the place you were talking about?" she asks, giving Inferno another glance as she watches the floating city with a mixture of curiosity and confusion.
Inferno nods a little as he looks up at the floating city, "the floating city of Omnus, it's a legend even in Avalon but I had a feeling their was truth to it.. after all that has happened I guess we all need to rethink the idea of "fairy tales".." - he raises a hand in the air, as he does so a beam of light shines down from the city and envelops him and Red, he offers his spare hand to Red "..come, it's safe.. I promise..".
Red takes Inferno's hand and thinks for a moment "..don't you worry about me, Inferno.. it's you who should be careful.. chasing fairy tales can be a dangerous thing.. you don't always know what awaits you at the end of the journey..".
Inferno smiles at Red as the light transports the two of them inside the floating city, "I'm always careful, Red - you should know that by now..".
Inferno and Red materialize in a large metal room that is connected via a flight of stairs to a large circular hallway filled with all manner of creatures from across the multiverse - some familiar and some completely alien.
An armored guard resembling a teddy bear, complete with slightly disturbing button-eyes lumbers over to Inferno and Red alongside another guard, who resembles a bipedal lizard.
"Welcome to Omnus, the multiversal city - we are sure you have much to discuss so please, follow us.. the Caretaker will be happy to answer your questions" the lizard guard states and motions for Inferno and Red to follow it down the stairs.
(OOC: any one can join at this point, old and new, some may already be aware of Omnus others may be exploring it for the first time - it's up to you really)
"I'm coming as well, if you guys don't mind." Amnesty walks up to Red and Inferno. "I didn't expect to come across the two of you all the way out here."
Red nods a little to Amnesty, "so you're curious about this "multiversal city" as well? I admit when Inferno told me about it I thought it was a legend and little else.. yet here we are.." - she watches as the guards head to a nearby set of doors that bare the symbol of a phoenix emerging from stylised flames.
One of the guards places a hand on a small monitor and the sound of mechanical beeping can be heard before the doors lift - the other guard beckons the group inside "..come, the Caretaker awaits..".
Amnesty nods. "Yes, my parents used to tell me stories of it when I was a little girl, and after... when they were no longer around, my tutors told me I might one day visit this place, and as you said it: here we are..." She then walks towards the guards.
Red nods a little then enters the room, as she does so she lays eyes on the mysterious Caretaker - almost instantly her eyes grow wide as the Caretaker is revealed to be a youthful woman fused with a number of slightly disturbing cybernetic enhancements that make her resemble in some ways a spider from the waist down: strapped to a large cybernetic "web" that shimmers every now and then to reveal complex circuitry running along its surface.
"..Red? is that you? Oh.. it's been so long.. and you brought friends.. please.. don't be frightened.." the woman speaks, looking to Red and the others with one functional eye while the other seems to be dull and lifeless.
"Gretel? is that you?" Red blinks, almost dropping to her knees as she gazes at the figure.
"..please.. they call me Mara now.. Caretaker Mara to be precise.. don't be afraid.. I have so much to share with you.." the woman replies.
Inferno flinches slightly at the unexpected sight, a little repulsed but trying his best not to show it as he steps forward "..uh.. I.. I apologise for intruding but do you know each other?" he asks, looking between Red and Caretaker Mara.
Amnesty does not show any emotion upon seeing the caretaker though she does seem interested in her connection with Red. "It seems rather obvious they have met each other before, Inferno."
Red looks to Caretaker Mara "..we grew up together.. Gretel used to come to the fields sometimes and play games.. yet after what happened to Hansel.. I.. I thought she was dead..".
Caretaker Mara tilts her head a little at Red "..don't be sad, Red.. it's true that Hansel's death made me run away.. I was scared and angry.. but then I found Omnus.. with Omnus I gained a purpose.. to care for all the visitors of this city.. I can never forget Hansel but I can be happy knowing that here I am doing what he would of wanted..".
Caretaker Mara then looks to Amnesty and Inferno "..no more sadness, Red - please.. introduce me to your friends.. they are very beautiful.. and very wise.." - she smiles a little, the "web" shimmering, despite her alien features her smiles seems geniunely benevolent, she is clearly happy to have visitors.
Amnesty lifts her head up. "My name is Amnesty, and I am the prin... I mean queen of Silvast, a land that lies deep within the Twilight, which explains why you've probably never heard of it. It is an honour to visit your city, I've heard many tales about it."
Caretaker Mara smiles a little more, the "web" shimmers to reveal a faint image of Silvast - then fades away in a ripple of light "..I have heard of Silvast, that is the wonder of Omnus, it is connected to all worlds - great and small.. oh, but please do not think of me as an intruder princess, I am connected to all worlds by this web.. yet I can never influence them.. think of me as an observer of the night sky.. indeed the only realm I can directly influence is Omnus itself.." - she moves a few of her mechanical limbs and plucks at some of the web's string, as she does so the metallic roof opens to reveal vast blue skies.
Inferno watches all of this then steps forward again as he addresses the caretaker "I am Inferno Pendragon, King Of The Twilight Dragon-Flight and the rightful heir of Avalon..".
Caretaker Mara's smile grows a little wider as she moves over quite suddenly and latches onto Inferno, "oh Red! you never told me you had a boyfriend! I'm all jealous now!" - her mechanical limbs move around with surprising (almost distubing) agility as she hangs from the "web".
Red blinks and seems to get mildly angry as she tries to pull Inferno from the Caretaker's grip "..excuse me, Mara.. but I believe we have business to attend to.." she says.
Amnesty seems slightly shocked by Mara showing her an image of her own lands but quickly recovers, watching the events with Inferno with interest.
Inferno seems confused as he is latched onto like that, trying his best to stay formal "..I.. wait.. we're not.." he begins, only to go silent as Red starts to pull him away - opting for keeping his mouth shut as he notices the anger in her voice.
Caretaker Mara releases Inferno and looks to Red with mild concern as she leans back on the "web" - which shimmers once again with her movements: "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you.. I just got a little excited.. it's been so long since I've had a friend visit.. but.. yes.. you're right.." - she perks herself up, taking on a more formal stance as she looks at the group "..let's get to business shall we? I suppose you all have questions.. so please.. ask away.. I'll try to answer what I can..".
Inferno thinks for a moment, looking to Red - then to Mara.. he steps forward again and speaks up "..well, I have a question.. if you don't mind.. the web you're on.. how does it work? I've never seen magic like that before.."
Caretaker Mara smiles a little and moves a few of her limbs, causing the "web" to shimmer - complex circuitry once again being shown before fading away - "..it's not magic, my dear - it is advanced technology from the creators of Omnus.. they were a race of observers.. this web allowed them to observe all worlds in the multiverse.. yet they could never interfere with them.. sadly these great observers died out quite some time ago.. I am now tasked with continuing their work.. safeguarding this great city and ensuring its many visitors are made to feel welcome and safe in their passage through its halls..".
Red frowns slightly, "..which bring us to my question, Gret.. I mean Mara.. namely the nature of this "multiversal city".. it would seem to me this is some sort of hub.. a nexus between worlds.. yet you claim to have no influence over any of these worlds.."
Caretaker Mara nods and leans back on the "web" - looking to Red "..Omnus is a place for explorers to come and rest as they travel between worlds, I can not leave Omnus - for this web not only acts as a mirror to the multiverse but it is also the strings that hold Omnus together.. even if I could influence other worlds the effort of caring for Omnus is far too great for me to even consider wasting any effort on outside realms.." - as she speaks she moves one of her limbs, causing a very beeping sounds to emit as varied machinery across the area start performing varied tasks.
Amnesty looks at Mara. "So, if I understand your explanation correctly, you can observe every world, but you cannot influence them? But if you can't influence them, what's the use of observing?"
Caretaker Mara smiles and answers Amnesty simply "have you ever stared at the night sky and found yourself observing the stars? you have no influence over them.. in fact most stars that are visible to the eye have already began to die out.. like photographs of a time gone by.. yet the simple act of observing can be rewarding in itself..".
Red looks ready to speak again when a few guards interrupt, "Caretaker! we apologize for the interruption but this visitor insisted on speaking with you.. we tried to -".
The guards are shoved aside as a rather irate man barges in and waves a fist at Caretaker Mara "I can't do business like this! I demand you do something! this city is ruining me!".
Caretaker Mara's eyes momentarily narrow as her expression becomes oddly serious, then she changes quickly - becoming kinder as she looks to Red and the others "..I'm afraid you'll need to excuse me for a moment, this is the price of being the Caretaker I am afraid - you must be tired, please make yourselves at home.. guards, escort them to their quarters..".
As she says this a few guards appear either side of the group, gently but surely guiding them oout of the room - as they begin to leave more guards enter the room and block the view of the irate man as they form a line across the room.
Amnesty simply follows the guards, though she does turn around to look at the newcomer.
Inferno heads out and doesn't seem too concerned about the irate man, having dealt with similar things in his short experience of being a Royal Advisor in Avalon - prior to his fall from grace.
The guards proceed to lead the group across the crowded hallways, the crowds parting to allow them passage - the inhabitants are strange and unusual even to experienced explorers with many new and unexpected species to be found wandering around in an ordered fashion: it is clear that Caretaker Mara keeps Omnus in meticulous condition.
One of the guards stops and motions to Inferno, while the others continue leading Red and Amnesty further along the hallway: "..come sir, this is your room.." the guard notes.
Red stops and seems reluctant to move, yet does so as the guards continue pressing forward "do not be concerned, the Caretaker simply felt it would be more appropriate for you ladies to have your privacy: you shall be united with your friend by the morning.." one of the guards states, Red doesn't seem to agree but doesn't say anything as she moves along, though she does comment to Amnesty in a quiet tone, so as not to be heard by the guards: "..I don't trust this "Cartaker".. Gretel was a strange girl.. when Hansel died.. she vanished.. now she's changed her appearance.. her name.. I don't think she's even fully human anymore.. be careful.."
Amnesty projects her voice in Red's mind, to prevent the guards from listening. "Red, you should know I'm always careful, though I think you may be right about the Caretaker. Something didn't seem right, but I don't know what is is... not yet."
Meanwhile Inferno looks to Red and Amnesty for a moment as they pass, then enters his room - a little confused at first but soon figuring that it wasn't that surprising, he shrugs a little and makes for the nearest bed to rest for a bit.
The guards lead Red and Amnesty further down the hallway then open a door and allow them access to a small but comfortable room - nodding a little as they head out again "..the Caretaker shall speak with you in the morning, until then please try to rest.. you have had a long day.." one of the guards notes, then closes the door behind themselves.
At the same time Inferno is greeted to a surprise as he lays down on the bed, which quickly wraps around him like a cocoon - leaving only his head exposed as a nightmarish image suddenly reveals itself as he looks to the ceiling, finding himself staring at Caretaker Mara, hanging upside down as she looks to him with disturbingly emotionless eyes.
"..now that Red and Amnesty are occupied I believe the time has come for me to ask you some questions, Inferno.. about Avalon.. questions you may not like very much.. however you should of thought about that before you betrayed your own kind.. now.. hold still.. this is going to hurt..".
With that Caretaker Mara narrows her eyes and Inferno is soon transported to what appears to be a nightmarish-version of a dentist's chair - with a collection of horrific experimentation tools hanging all over the room as Mara hangs in place like a spider on her web, grabbing a few of the tools.
Meanwhile, Amnesty turns towards Red. "I'm not sure, but I have the feeling something is wrong here. I just don't feel at ease..."
Red nods a little but ultimately sits down, placing her axe on the ground as she takes her hood down, revealing her long brown hair and green eyes: "..I know how you feel, however it's getting late - maybe this will make more sense in the morning.. just keep alert.." she replies.
The next morning starts rather abruptly as several guards enter the room at the break of dawn, they are of varied species - many of which have not been seen before, such as what appears to be a two-headed ogre and a strange humanoid with what appears to be a clock in place of a head.
"We apologize for the interuption, ladies - the Caretaker requires your presence at once.. your companion has been found guilty of crimes against Omnus.." one of the guards explains.
Amnesty appears oout of the shadows as she steps away from the corner where she'd been standing. "Then we better follow you..." she speaks, before sending a message to Red: "I knew something was going to happen. I don't like the looks of it..."
Red frowns and picks up her axe, one of the guards seem ready to stop her but freeze when she gives a look that can only be described as terrifying - her eyes blazing with fury as she growls slightly, "..let's go - I think it's time the "Caretaker" and I had a real conversation..".
The guards lead Red and Amnesty down the hallway, as they do so the atmosphere has changed considerably - the once busy halls are now scattered as groups of people huddle around one another, being pushed aside by guards: a sizable number of them also being dragged down the hallway towards the Caretaker's chamber.
Red simply keeps her gaze forward as she moves across the hallway, her grip tightening on her axe as she starts to breathe deeper - as if holding back deep rage: the doors to the Caretaker's chamers swinging open after a small trek to reveal a frightening sight.
Caretaker Mara was laying on the great "web" - several guards surrounding her while six unnamed figures lay on the ground near the guards, their faces covered by bags as they were contained via heavy chains:
"..hello Red, Amnesty.. please.. come forward.. you're just in time.." Caretaker Mara says, her expression now deadly serious - drastically different from her previous friendly demeanour: made all the more sinister by the array of experimentation-tools now fused onto her spider-like cybernetic-limbs.
Amnesty looks at the figures before speaking with an ice-cold voice: "What is the meaning of this?"
Caretaker Mara doesn't respond directly, instead motioning for the guards to remove the bags - revealing the faces of the six figures: one of whom is Inferno, badly cut and bruised (though slowly healing) while the others resemble a variety of species never-before-seen to Red or Amnesty: they too show signs of having been subjected to torture.
"..for years I have been content with observing the universe, however I can no longer do so.. you see.. I have been called forth by a higher-power.. one beyond your understanding.. which is why I have called you two here.. so that you can bare witness to a new beginning for Omnus.. and the multiverse itself.." Mara states, a hint of madness starting to edge into her otherwise emotionless voice.
Red's eyes widen as she spots Inferno but she nearly freezes entirely when she lays eyes on another male nearby - who was so badly deformed he barely even resembled a living being.. in fact it doesn't take long to realise he isn't a living being, instead he is some kind of horrendous mix of machine and man.
"..my god.. Hansel? ..Mara.. he - he's your brother!" Red blinks, shocked at first then growing angry near the end of the sentence as she tightens her grip on the axe - pointing it at Caretaker Mara.
"I knew something was wrong here," Amnesty speaks as she draws one of her swords.
Cartaker Mara frowns as she manipulates the web with her mechanical limbs, as she does so the prisoners lift into the air, the chains which bind them fastening onto the web as the figures begin to shake and twist: the web revealing images of six unique worlds, one of which is noticable as Avalon.
".. Hansel was a good boy.. he didn't deserve to die.. I didn't know what to do.. I wanted so badly to see him again.. to hear him laugh.. so I went to the only one who could help me.."
Red blinks again, gripping her axe tightly as she breathes heavily - looking to Mara with a mixture of fear and disgust "..what did you do, Gretel?".
Caretaker Mara continues manipulating the web as she speaks, the prisoners beginning to "dance" disturbingly like puppets on strings - the images of the worlds becoming more intrusive as it shows in great detail armies, weapons and impressive structures from each world as the web chronicles the information like a computer downloading data.
".. we're nothing but puppets.. the master has returned.. truth is.. he never truly left.."
Red growls and readies herself as she declares, "..you're insane..".
Caretaker Mara motions a little and the guards begin to surround Red and Amnesty as she notes darkly,
".. we're all mad here.. Red..".
Amnesty raises her hand and a wind starts to blow through the room. "Back off," she notes to the guards.
Inferno suddenly jerks to life as he opens his eyes and tugs on his chains, causing them to strain as he reaches over towards Red and Amnesty "..Red! ..Amnesty! .. Stop! ..the web.. if you destroy the web.. you destroy Omnus! .. everyone in the city will die!".
Amnesty looks at Inferno. "Then I guess that's not a good option..." She then turns towards the guards again. "One more warning. Leave this room now, or face the consequences."
Caretaker Mara twists violently on the strings of the web, causing the images to filter in at a faster rate as her prisoners continue to "dance" painfully - their minds acting as links to each world as Mara strips them down: taking in every sight, sound, smell and taste from the ever-changing environments:
"... the master wants knowledge.. I provide the master with knowledge.. all knowledge.. I am his eyes.. his eternal watcher in a sea of chaos.. guards... bring them to me.. the master wants them to join the dance.."
The guards suddenly attack, swarming around Amnesty and Red - the room beginning to shake as the environment begins to warp and shift in seemingly impossible ways.
Red staggers a little, then focuses and leaps at Mara - managing to climb onto the web, clutching her axe as she yells at Amnesty "..get as many people as you can.. get them out of here.. I'm tearing this web down. it's the only option we have.."
Amnesty closes her eyes and uses her telepathy to speak out to the entire city. "Citizens of Omnus. Listen carefully. You do now know me, but I do know you. Caretaker Mara is not who you think she is. She is dangerous. All of you should leave Omnus at this very moment. If you do not, you will throw away your own life, and the lives of those you love. Be wise and leave now!"
As Amnesty speaks out the citizens of Omnus go into a panic and begin to flee, however their attempts are cut short as Mara manipulates the web, causing security-doors to slam shut: sealing hapless citizens in prisons as they cry out in fear, the entire city beginning to spin out of control.
"..MONSTER!" Red yells, aiming her axe at Mara only to fall back as Mara slashes her with one of her modified limbs - scuttling after her in a disturbing manner as she grabs one of Red's legs and begins to slowly bring one of her limbs closer: the tip of which has been replaced by a lethal-looking drill.
"..the master wants you alive, Red.. however you'll be surprised what you can live through.." Mara says with a disturbing lack of emotion.
Inferno tugs on his chains harder and harder, straining himself as he attempts to break them - snarling as he forms large draconic talons, digging them into the ground as he breathes heavily "..I've.. had.. enough!" he growls.
Amnesty sends a powerful sphere of magic directed at the drill moving towards Red. "Release the citizens. Right now!"
As Amnesty does this the guards swarm around her, attacking en mass as the sphere of magic blasts Caretaker Mara's limb with sufficient force to break the drill off: causing her to stagger long enough for Red to deliver a powerful kick at her midsection, making Mara tumble further as the web (along with the rest of Omnus) begins to shake violently.
"..death... is.. the.. only.. escape.." "..won't.. let.. them.. go.." Mara says, her words emotionless yet strained as she tries to catch her breath, once again manipulating the strings of the web to keep the security doors sealed shut as citizens try to pry them open with any available tools they have: a struggle for survival washing over the city, turning its once tranquil halls into a scene of utter chaos.
Amnesty looks at the guards and frowns. "I've warned you once, and I'll do it again. Beware: my next warning will be lethal," she speaks while drawing her sword.
Inferno strains, his chains shuddering before finally shattering as he takes flight across the room - doing a U-turn as he rams himself into the side of Caretaker Mara, growling "..who is your master!? tell us.. before we kill you..".
Caretaker Mara stumbles as Inferno rams into her, mechanical limbs swinging around in a disturbing "dance" - dangerous tools flying in all directions as she defiantly notes "..you will learn.. soon enough.." - as she continues to struggle Red takes advantage of the situation and cuts into the "web": causing the room to shake violently as the security doors across Omnus swing open, allowing the panicked citizens to start fleeing into nearby escape-pods.
The guards continue to advance upon Amnesty until an ominous voice suddenly stops them in their tracks, a new figure emerging from high above - literally dropping from the ceiling via a large floating "throne" that is covered in wires and deadly-looking weapony.
"..you fought well Red, however it is time for you to stop.." the figure notes with a voice that is calm and gentle, yet laced with unmistakable malice - the figure resembling a frail old man, completely bald and dressed in rags with a patch over his right eye.
Upon hearing this voice Red turns around, her eyes growing wide for a moment before flaring up in rage as she snarls slightly ".. I should of known.. Gepetto!".
The old man affords Red a small smile as he continues to hover in place with the aid of the "chair" - watching as Caretaker Mara begins to recover, scuttling over to the "thread" Red had cut, beginning to repair it as Gepetto turns to face the group once more:
"..I had wished to keep my involvement in this affair a secret but you have forced my hand, you see those people you helped to escape were part of my research.. research you have now jeopardized.. but not destroyed.. no, you see I can always start again.. with the aid of Mara I have collected information on innumerable worlds.. an encyclopedia of knowledge.."
A small glowing orb of energy soon emerges from the "Web" - solidifying into what appears to be a pearl that shimmers like a rainbow - images of worlds and beings appearing and vanishing every now and then as the orb floats towards Gepetto's outstretched hand.
"..I call it the Pearl of Wisdom.. quite beautiful, is it not?" Gepetto states.
Amnesty frowns. "What's the purpose of this so-called research? What do you hope to achieve?"
Gepetto simply hovers in place as he notes, "..my dear, if you are unable to know such things by yourself then what use is their in me telling you? it'd be like teaching a snail how to walk.. utterly futile..".
Caretaker Mara tugs on a few of the threads on the "Web" and the area breaks away from the rest of Omnus - bits and pieces of the once proud city now falling to the ground below as the roof above the group shatters, leaving them on an open-top platform that resembles in many ways a massive chess table.
"..I would love to be the one to destroy you Red, after what you did to me - however I have places to be.. Mara - dispose of them.. though do try and keep Red alive if possible.. the master has plans for her.." Gepetto notes, then flies up into the air with the aid of his "chair" - disappearing into the skies above.
Chapter 5 (Caretaker Mara Battle)
<edit below for the confrontation>
Amnesty draws her sword and looks at Red. "How much trouble are we in exactly?"
Inferno spreads his wings and flies at Mara, not seeming to care much for strategy or reason - aiming to charge straight into the madwoman.
Red lifts her axe and readies herself, looking at Mara but speaking to Amnesty "..the important thing is we got the innocents out of Omnus - we can survive this.. I think..".
Caretaker Mara leaps off the web and hits Inferno with one of her front limbs, deflecting his charge as she activates more of the strange weapons attached to each limb - whirling blades and saws flashing dangerous alongside a pair of gigantic "scissors" and what appears to be a mechanical scorpion-like tail.
Amnesty moves behind Caretaker Mara and charges at the tail in an attempt to cut it of.
Inferno recovers and flies forward again, this time forming two blades of crackling black energy - slicing at Mara's front limbs as he speaks "..Red, that old man.. who was he? why was he here?".
Caretaker Mara's tail falls off only to rapidly regrow, wires and metal merging back together as she swings the newly form tail at Amnesty, aiming to cut at her with its barb.
As Inferno slices at Mara's front limbs she rears up, attacking with the pair of "scissors" in one limb and a buzzing saw on the other - "..you survive.. you die.. doesn't matter.. we're all going crazy.. you'll see.. no escape.. from the master..".
Red growls as she charges with her axe and hits at Mara's side, only to find the cuts her axe form rapidly repairing themselves - "his name is Gepetto.. he's a monster.. he's also insane.. he doesn't need a reason to cause havoc.. other than he can.." - she frowns as another few swings of her axe result in yet more regeneration on Mara's part - "..damnit.. Gepetto's enchanted the armor.. I should of known..".
Amnesty creates a small orb of energy in the palms of her hands and fires it at Mara.
Inferno reacts by flying backwards and unleashing a beam of dark energy at Mara which acts like a semisolid battering-ram of force - his eyes flashing red in the process: "..of course.. another psychotic..".
Mara continues to attack as the group's efforts slowly but surely hack away at her remaining armor - however it keeps regenerating and Red looks around in desperation before finally figuring out what to do: grabbing her axe in both hands she slams it against the floor, which begins to splinter and crack.
"..what are you doing? ..stop.. no escape.. no hope.." Mara says as she notices Red's move, trying to knock her aside.
Amnesty stands between Red and Mara. "If you wish to have a go at her, you shall have to take me down first."
Inferno notices Red's attack and suddenly understands, "..Amnesty.. keep Mara busy.. I think I understand what we have to do.." - he then begins to charge up a ball of Twilight energy as he looks at the splintered floor.
Amnesty spreads her arms, creating hundreds of little birds, each of which functions both to cause harm and to stun Mara's senses as they flutter around her.