Darkstalkers: End-Game

Ains had been on the run for awhile, the DNS soldiers had not given up. He managed to remain hidden in a small locker. Finally the foot steps had stopped and he was able to get out. Ahead of him was a cleanser, and beyond that a sterile room. He proceeded into that room, hoping that nobody was there. To his luck, nobody was in the room, just was bunch of cylinders with a metal casing. It was odd though, the metal casing was behind glass, almost like the first room. A quick look around and the place looked a lot like the first room, only whiter. He moved to the center, accessing the files once more. "Alpha Project, New Schedules, Coffee in the Breakroom, what's this?" Ains was now staring at another file, this one on the scheduling and announcements board throughout the facilities. "Stage One, nearing completion. Tournament progress, preliminaries." He read aloud. "Why would they be tracking the tournament's progress? This place resembles research, not the committee." He leaned on the controls, accidentally hitting a button. The glass covered cylinders removed the metal casing. Inside them was the same liquid from the first room but these were different. Inside each of them was a person hooked up to several monitoring devices. "What the hell is this?" While glimpsing through the tubes he noticed a face he recognized, the indentation on his forehead still there. "Demitri, you too?" It had only been about twenty minutes after his match, but none-the-less he was down here. Voices from the sterilization room prompted him to hide again. Ains did the best he could and took refuge behind the metal base of one of the holding tanks. It kept him out of view as the scientists returned.
"You think they caught the intruder? I mean, I use this research to feed my kids, I don't need it destroyed."
"Well the halls are still crawling with the guards. I doubt it. Don't worry Marty, I'm sure they will catch him."
"but if he sees this room, and what we've been doing, don't you think he might get a little angry?"
"What are the chances one of them will even come close to figuring out what we are doing? You remember their ruler right? Queen whats-her-face, she tried finding out what was going on and look at her now." The more confident man opened up a direct feed to the Facility 7 B92 room. She was stored in one of the same holding tanks just like Demitri.
"I guess your right, we'll need to focus on the tournament for now. We got what, eight more arrivals to put in here once they are defeated?"
"Something like that." Ains waited for the scientists to become involved in their work before he took off back through the locker room. He managed to find rest as he entered several offices again. "Grr." Ains slammed his fist against a table breaking it into two as well as breaking a flower vase while doing so. "They will not get away with this. I'll have to find Rose and tell her what I found." He looked around for another exit. He saw a door much like the one he first came in through. He tried it but the door was locked. The keypad was the only way to access it. "I'll have to play the waiting game for now." He muttered as he tried to stealthily hide behind a desk.
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Almost instantly, Bishaoumon charged at Rose, his blade held firmly in hand. He thrusted at her, and Rose took the opportunity to crouch under the blade, sweeping the ground to trip him. To her surprise, her foot passed straight through him, legs and all. He made an attempt to kick her, but she quickly leapt back, keeping her distance for now.

"I know I hit him... What's going on?"

Regaining her balance and composure, she made the first move this time, leaping at the samurai, aiming a quick swipe at his face, but to no avail. Rose advanced further, swiping back and forth, phasing through each and every time. This time, he was ready, punishing Rose with a powerful shoulder charge to her face, the steel shoulder pads slamming her back, the blood from her mouth just barely visible.

"What the hell? I can't hit him, but he can...He can hit me?...I need time to think! Okay, as long as I keep my distance, he can't hurt me.... Time to come up with-Ack!"

Rose's thoughts were cut short as the flames floating behind Bishoumon had combined to form one massive spectral arm that had managed to grab Rose while she was off guard. As the arm slingshotted back to its master, Rose found herself unable to escape, the grip too tight to do much more than struggle. The warrior rushed once again, meeting the arm halfway with another powerful shoulder charge, knocking Rose into the barrier, the sheer force sending her a short distance into the air, Bishaoumon readying his blade, making a running thrust just before she hit the ground, piercing her hand, and pinning her to the barrier with his weapon. The barrier began to work its magic, sending powerful electric shocks coursing through her body. Rose finally cracked and yelled in pain, before the samurai yanked his weapon out, a faint electric current visible. She forced her eyes open, able to see the crackling electricity spread from the blade to the armor before disappearing.

"That's...That's how I'll win...", she muttered to herself as her opponent turned his back , apparently thinking she was done for.

"I'm...not done yet!", she yelled, her knees shaking as she stood up again.

He readied himself for an attack, his sword ready for the finishing blow. She ran straigh for him once again, and he lunged forward. This time, she was prepared, as she leapt over the blade and the samurai altogether, landing behind him with a powerful backwards kick to the back of the armor. Sure enough, it had an effect, and knocked him back a few feet.

"I get it...The armor...and that sword are still physical objects... And him...it...Must be held in place by them... All I have to do is destroy them!"

Bishaoumon turned around, and Rose ran again, her body twisting to avoid a few strikes from the sword, finally morphing into the familiar image of a small white cat and springboarding off the katana. He reacted quickly and swung in a clockwise motion, making a large cut across her midsection, but Rose kept herself steady, headed straight for the mouth in the middle of his armor. She gripped the teeth with the claws, waiting for the right moment. She heard a slight distortion in the air as the samurai aimed his blade backwards, trying to skewer her while she was vulnerable. At that moment, she leapt off the armor, causing the samurai to plunge his own weapon into his precious armor. While he was shocked, Rose reverted to her normal state, and delivered one devestating kick to the hilt of the katana, forcing it straight through the back of the armor, and charged him into the field jsut as he had done before, finally twisting the blade out as the armor cracked apart in a pile of fragments. The body of her opponent became distorted and disappeared like some sort of mist, the only reminders thrown upon the floor.

"I don't believe it! I'm not sure what exactly just happened, but the winner is Rose!!"

Rose staggered past the now deactivated barriers, her stomach injury bleeding more by the minute. That last attack had done a number to her, a large cut spanning almost her entire front side. She held it tight, attempting to keep herself walking. Towards the exit, a few doctors waited for her, explaining themselves quickly.

"We're here to fix that wound there, that's all. It'll take no time at all, so please relax, ma'am."

She didn't have much of a choice, so Rose accepted the offer, one of the male doctors holding her up. She had seen him before... It was the same person who was outside of the tournament area... Dark hair, glasses.. Was he some kind of researcher?...This wasn't the time to think about it, though.


Aquaeous slept soundly, her breath rising and falling with effort as Ferocious placed her on the bed. She had somewhat of a fever, if it could be called one, where she was heating up one moment and freezing up the next; droplets of water hovered about the sheets he'd tucked her into.

"Mama....Papa..." she was murmuring in her sleep, which was presumably a nightmare, "F...ero..." Her powers started to calm, but her mind was not at ease. A burst of water rushed around her, turning the entire bed into an intricate icy one, with swirling designs at the head and base. As if it were protecting her from Fero's heat, the water swirled into a radish shape and surrounded her body, freezing so that it was a thin layer of ice. She was like an imprisoned ice princess.



Ferocious Strife

Ferocious watched Aqueous for a while, listening to her murmurs. He wanted to shake her awake and ask her why she was saying his name in her nightmare, but she needed her rest. And as soon as he'd stepped closer, this entire ice castle had formed around her to protect her.

"We really are opposites aren't we...." He paused, "sister...?"

Then, he turned to hear the annoucement, surprised to find himself relieved that Rose had won. Aqueous took a liking to her, he justified his feelings before dashing out of the room, closing it behind him. He'd come right back. He needed to check on Rose first.

When he entered the stadium, Rose was being helped by some men who he didn't recognize.

"Rose," he walked over quickly. "Congratulations," his voice was cold, not on purpose, but only because with one eye, he watched the men suspiciously. Doctors? For DarkStalkers? What a laugh. "Aqueous is sleeping. You should come get some rest, too." He stated firmly.

I'm doing this for my sister. He kept telling himself. Why was he meddling in these other people was a question that kept bothering him. He had never cared about these other dark stalkers before, but something about Rose and Aqueous made him feel that he couldn't just walk away.

Even if Aqua wasn't really his sister...

Rose turned her head to face Ferocious as he congratulated her, unsure of whether to stay silent or knock his lights out, before she noticed his eyes watching the men. So you can have me yourself? God, what's with you? Who's side are you on?...

"I'll be fine- I just need to get this...closed up, that's all... Just...watch over Aqueous, or... I promise you...I'll hunt you down."

Her eyes seemed to pierce his body as she made her promise to Ferocious, continuing her journey to a medical room afterwards, not taking her eyes off of him until she entered a hallway, the electronic door shutting behind her. To be honest...If they try to make a move now...I'm out of luck. After a few minutes of being guided through the brightly lit hallway, another door slid open, allowing Rose and her escorts entry into a mid-sized room, equipped with fairly typical medical equipment. The men lowered Rose onto a medical bed, signalling her to take her hands off the wound, so they could start their jobs.

We're going to inject you with an anasthetic to nullify the pain you're experiencing, understand? We need you to try resting, and we'll get this fixed up, okay?
Rose nodded lightly. closing her eyes as the anasthetic went to work, slowly but surely falling asleep.

"Get a move on, everyone!"

"...Rose, how'd you get yourself into this mess...."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- About 2-3 hours later...

Rose awoke to an almost empty room, save for herself and that familiar man she had already seen 3 times already. He was leaning against the wall lazily, noticing Rose beginning to move around.

"It's a good thing you finished that fight when you did...If that cut were any deeper, you might not have made it. I had to leave the room- I can't stand blood, you see."

Rose sat up straight in bed, clutching her stomach, which was now covered in fresh bandages across her whole body , as she answered back.
"Not much of a doctor then, are you?"

The man chuckled, "Yes, I suppose you're right, Rose. Oh, I wouldn't move too quickly. Not quite yet, anyway. That wound is pretty bad, and we couldn't stitch it up quickly enough. I'm sure you must eager to see your friends, right? Just be sure you don't put too much pressure on that injury, or it won't bode well for your body, okay?"

"So why'd you help me out, anyway? You can already see I'm nothing like all of you... Everyone hates us."

"Not everyone...That's what the DNS is here to help with. To put a stop to the segregation that's been going on. They'll make a world that's safe for everyone to live in harmony.

To make a safe world? To live in harmony?! It took all of her willpower to keep herself from bursting out in anger, her fists shaking, her stomach going into a bit of pain. So that's what he means...

"Oh, I almost forgot! While you were out, this arrived for you... Someone said it belonged to your mother?"

In his hand was a sizeable white flower and a metal clip. He got off the wall, walked over to Rose, and carefully clipped it in her hair, on the side of her head. Rose sniffed the air, now filled with a sweet fragrance mixed with the scent of her mom.
Rose was stunned, stuttering as she aked him, "Wh-where...what...How did you get this?!"

"A hooded man came to me and said to deliver it to you, that's all. So, I take it he was telling the truth?"

Rose stood up again, and slowly made her way out of the room, heading towards her room, leaving the man by himself. After a few seconds, he muttered to himself airily.

"...I think that's the last time I'll see you like this, Rose...I'm sorry. Don't get yourself hurt."
Ains had a lot of time to think to himself. There was nobody using that door and nobody coming near the area at all. So he decided to use the time to recap what events had happened so far. 'Cannot believe just yesterday I was sitting in a hotel watching television for clues. These last twenty four hours have been tough. First there was that attack on Aquaeous and Rose by the DNS soldiers. Then Ferocious came along and tried to start a fight. Not long after that I spotted the tournament and signed up. Demitiri was a hard match up and after that he was taken to this facility hidden beneath the arena. Why would they preserve Darkstalkers? It just does not make sense. And they kept Morrigan for awhile as well. Could they be researching new technology to fight us by watching our battles? No, that would be too open, they would have no idea who would enter. I need to get out of here so I can meet with everyone again.' Ains thought to himself not noticing the footsteps coming from down the hall. They broke his concentration as they stopped right in front of the desk he was hiding behind. A few papers were shuffled around and eventually the person must have turned towards the door. The key code beeped and then the door let out a tone. There was the click of the door opening and Ains took his chance. Again he managed to get his foot in the door and snuck out. He had somehow managed to get on the West wing. The only thing he could do for the moment was return to his room.

Back in his quarters he felt a lot better, the injuries seemingly gone now. "My next match will be even more brutal and these are darkstalkers with no loyalties." A quick face wash in the sink and he was ready to go across the hallway to Rose's room. He stood at the front of the door and knocked. Hopefully he would get an answer.

Ferocious Strife

Aqua was still asleep, in her little castle of ice & Ferocious was on the other side of the, as far as possible from her frigid air. He sat on the small sofa seat and browsed idly through a newspaper. Aqua had fallen asleep in Rose's room, which was somewhat of a good thing, because Fero was furious that Rose had let herself be taken away by those men. What had become of her ? What would happen now ? Fero had no answers and that made him very, very angry.

He bolted up as someone knocked on the door and rushed over, pulling it open with such anxiety that the metal doorknob sizzled at his touch. He stood face to face with Ains.

"Its you." He spat, obviously disappointed,"Aquaeous will wake up soon. She'll want to know. Where's Rose?"

It was the man he had seen earlier. His attitude was not any different but his eyes had definitely changed. His eyes were softer than before easing Ains' tension when talking to him. He was still blocking the doorway, obviously intending to keep him out. "I have no idea where Rose is. In fact, that is why I came over here to see if she was in." He had no time to argue with Ferocious, he needed to develop a plan, one between him and the other two he knew were on his side. Turning away he started browsing the hallways for any sign of Rose.
Rose wandered in the hallways, stumbling a few times as she made her way back to the main lobby, using the walls for support.


She didn't know it, but Ains was right around the corner. It might've been a good idea to check around as she rounded the corner quickly.

Meanwhile, in the arena, a large wave of DNS troops appeared, confronting the clashing Darkstalkers. The commander gave the order to open fire, and the pair was pelted with a storm of bullets, the guns smoking. The group made way for one more soldier, supporting a gigantic rocket launcher with his shoulder, firing at the secluded part of the stands, an explosion shaking it to its core. The resulting blast fired large chunks of rock at both Pavor and Raptor, burying them underneath the debris.
"Mission accomplished, sir?"
"Hoorah, soldiers!"

The charismatic announcer had apparently returned to his seat, as his voice rang over the intercom, signalling the final match of the round.

" The last match of this round, but most certainly not the least! It's Jon Talbain versus...Delano Kraven!!! May the final two combatants please report to the arena!"

Ferocious Strife

"Damn it. They took her away." Ferocious was through with acting like he didn't care. He ran a hand through his hair with a frustrated groan. "Damn it. Damn it. Damn it. She wouldn't listen to me. She wanted to go with them! They called themselves Doctors!" He paced into the room, looking over at Aquaeous sleeping and sighed heavily, turning back to Ains.

"We have to find her. For Aqua's sake."




The ice castle surrounding Aqua began to melt away slowly, pools of water spilling around and about the bed as her eyes fluttered open. She felt refreshed, but still a little sleep, the grogginess of healing had not worn off. She sat up carefully, blinking to adjust her eyes to the light as she heard Ferocious speaking to someone. Find who? Who's lost? She wanted to jump out of bed and ring his neck so that he would answer her question, but she felt so stiff, as if she were waking up for the first time in years.

Slowly, she managed to turn and slide her legs over the side of the bed. She saw Ains and Ferocious in the doorway and looked about the room quietly. She felt tired and sleepy, but her memory was returning slowly. She had fought that monster of a man and his powers of lightening and won. And then...she had slept soundly. She had wanted to fight, Aqua remembered, but she hadn't known it would be so painful to fight that much. She blinked away her sleepiness as she recalled her initial fear. And then it hit her. Rose hadn't wanted her to fight. Rose had tried to protect her from this feeling of being restless yet frozen while being awake.

"W-Where's Rose..?" She croaked out, her voice slightly hoarse as well.

Ains was now about ready to round a corner when he bumped into Rose. They both fell to the ground and Ains decided to make good of a situation. "Ah there you are. We should head back to the room, I've got some information that might be helpful." Ains got up, and extended his hand helping Rose up. As she was about to speak the announcer blared something into the PA system mic.

"There has been hide nor hair of Delano since we announced the fight. So by default Jon Talbain is our winner! Remember folks, we will be resting for a moment before we move onto our final bracket. Feel free to get confections at any of our convenient stands around the arena. Also the fights are sponsored by Munch Brand Candy Bars, mmm that good chocolate honey nut taste.
As Ains offered his hand to Rose, she looked away for a moment, gently grabbing it a moment later, letting herself get pulled up.

"...We should head back to the room, I've got some information that might be helpful."

Rose nodded quietly, still under a bit of pain from the surgery. She treaded lightly, trying not to put her wound under too much pressure, just like that man said, all while attempting not to let Ains take notice, putting on a fake smile to throw him off. Finally reaching her room, she found herself bleeding just a bit, out of view for the most part. Much to her confusion, she found Ferocious guarding the entrance, then saw who he was protecting: Aqueous. She couldn't let the girl see her weak. Breathing a bit heavily, she put on a show, smiling all the while.

"Whew...It's a bit of a walk to get her...They could've put some kind of elevator or something..."

She had overheard the last little bit of Ferocious's worries, and smirked a bit, trying to reassure Aqueous.

"Heh, don't talk like that...People might actually think you care, right? All they did was close it up, and give me some fresh bandages, okay? You need to worry about your buddies finding you here, don't ya think?"

Rose couldn't explain, but the room seemed quite frigid, and for some reason, there was a rather large puddle of water encircling the bed. She wanted to tell Ains something, but there was no time. The finals were starting, and from the sound in Ains' voice, he had something important to say, so Rose sat down next to Aqueous, wrapping her arms around her to warm her off a little, despite the freezing temperatures.
Now that everyone was in the room Ains sat in the corner and pulled up a chair. He did not mind Ferocious being there, he felt pretty confident he was currently not a threat. He began telling everyone about what he found. Everything from the secret researching, the cryogenic pods, and listing the data stored on the computers. However, he left out the bit where he found Morrigan. He did not want Ferocious catching onto his true goals in case he still was working for the DNS. After everything was said and done he took in a deep breath as if relieving a weight off his shoulders. "So now that we know what is happening to the losers…what will we do when we get to the finals?"
Rose listened quietly to what Ains was explaining, her grip on Aqueous getting tighter as his explanation went on, unaware of how quickly she was actually gripping her.

"So now that we know what is happening to the losers…what will we do when we get to the finals?"

"...I don't know. If those were just the first round of opponents...I don't know... I guess all we can do is...Just don't lose.

With that, Rose stood up and walked towards Ains, beckoning for him to join her outside the room, obviously about to ask him something she didn't want anyone else to hear. Once she was sure they were out of earshot, she explained herself.

"Ains. I know I said we can't lose, but...
We have to beat these opponents, and I'm sure they'll be even worse than the ones we just came from. Can we win?...
And...what happens if we do manage to beat them? We'll have to fight each other, and...I won't fight you two...
I want you to promise me two things, Ains, please?
If Aqueous' next fight gets too bad...I don't care how you do it, just stop the fight, please?
The second...Promise me that you'll watch over us all. Please..."
Ains was surprised by Rose's lack of confidence. She had all the enthusiasm when he first met her but now that seemed to vanish with these two requests. The darkstalker did not know what to say precisely. "You can be sure that I'll try to protect you all. But with the committee here still being in control I doubt I'll survive a fight against the DNS soldiers here. If it does come to that you two run as far away as possible, do not argue with me on this. I will find some way to manage on my own." Ains was being completely sincere. He knew that if Morrigan hadn't been captured, he would have most likely been the next King. The duty of the King was to protect its people and anyone in trouble for that matter. It was his duty to protect those before him. "Rose, I do not want to fight against you either but we have to give something to the audience. The world is a stage, and this stage is rigged. Fight fire with fire and your sure to get burnt, but I'm vampiric in nature, those burns will heal faster and more efficient. You will defeat me in the final round, and I will see what else I can gather from these dolts." Ains whispered hoping Rose got the message.


Aqueous had opened her mouth to ask again, but Rose had appeared. The girl came straight to her and wrapped her in a hug. Aqua leaned against her quietly, savoring the feeling of Rose's motherly presence. She smiled silghtly, but said nothing. She was still half-asleep, slowly awakening. She wanted to tell Rose she was holding her too tight, but she didn't really mind, it felt nice to be held so tightly, to be held with so much love. Aqueous was overwhelmed with security.

She watched Rose go speak with Ains and looked over at Ferocious. She was awake now, blinking away her sleepiness.

"You're not really my father, are you?" she asked, back to her usual behavior.



Ferocious Strife

Ferocious grinned at Rose when she commented on his lamentations and watched her sit with Aqueous. He didn't like Ains very much because the man blatantly ignored him and made him feel inferior at times. Thus, he kept quiet during the small discussion. Only raising an eyebrow at the mention of the DNS. He glanced at them as they walked outside, suspicious, but he knew he had to pretend it was nothing or fiesty little Aqueous would jump at the opportunity to eavesdrop.

She spoke then, and he looked at her, incredulous.

"You heard me?" He asked, surprised. The blue-haired child giggled at him and rolled her eyes. She fell back onto the damp sheets, laughing.

Ferocious had never been so confused. Was that a yes or a no ?

Once Ains turned for the hallway the announcer came on.

"Thank you everyone for being so patient. The starting ceremony for the finalists will begin in just a few minutes. We ask all our competitors to make their way to the ring."

Ains had no choice but to go. He knew the others would follow shortly after. "Almost the best time to get us." Ains mumbled to himself. There was no turning back on a promise now.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlXCexeWLG8"]YouTube- Ragnarok Online - Theme of Juno[/ame]

From the hallway he could hear the trumpets blaring and the band just going away with their practiced melody. Everyone stepped out of the shadows as the announcer welcomed them. The music continued playing as they all approached the center of the arena. It was now dark as could be but the lights lighting the arena made it seem almost like midday. Once they all made it to the center of the arena the loud voice commanding them from before showed his face. He was like he imagined, a brown haired scraggily human far too enthusiastic about his job.
"Congratulations finalists and welcome to the last bracket. Eight competitors seven fights and I'm sure they will be intense and grueling for all the audience. The man passing by is now handing out a small metallic device, please keep this on your person as it is your ticket into the arena. It also monitors your health which will be displayed on the screen behind me." The announcer turned on a holographic screen behind him which portrayed a normal body. There was a section for both arms, both legs, lower torso, upper torso, and the head. All these sections were filled in with a green light. "You will see that this might be the spitting image of you all. If you get hurt during the battle the audience will be sure to see it. Green for no damage, yellow for painful, and red for nearly useless. We have one last surprise so let me finish up quickly."
Ains was getting bored of the announcer's voice and started to look amongst the other competitors. There were several who looked pretty nasty, others who looked timid but probably just as fierce, and one cloaked figure. For some reason he was drawn to that person his eyes not moving an inch. 'Who is this person? Why do I feel an odd sensation when looking at them?' Ains asked himself as he continued to analyze the fighter. He had not watched any of the matches as he was stuck in the lower levels of the arena half the time. During this time the announcer was telling who would fight who and the vampire was completely oblivious. He did not even look at his opponent until the trumpets blared in his ears again.
"So now that you know who you are fighting get prepared. The first match will be Rose vs. Gemini. The match will start in five minutes as the devices are fitted to you properly and linked to the viewer. To commemorate this moment here comes our flame of victory." An athletic boy just came running out of one of the hallways with a torch. 'Pfff, a very typical human event.' Ains thought to himself as he looked at the bracket and his opponent finally. "Lilith, where have I heard that name before?"
Rose stepped out into the arena, watching the final rounds kick off. The hooded figure gave off a strange vibe, something Rose couldn't quite put her finger on. However, she was too distracted by the trumpets blaring to put too much thought into it. She took a quick glance at Ains, and he too, seemed to notice the hooded person.

"So now that you know who you are fighting get prepared. The first match will be Rose vs. Gemini. The match will start in five minutes as the devices are fitted to you properly and linked to the viewer. To commemorate this moment here comes our flame of victory."

Rose walked back to her room, sighing heavily as she took a quick moment to relax. Gemini? Okay... She gripped the small mechanical device she had been given, and quickly pinned it to her chest, experiencing a fleeting moment of pain.
"...It's time to go, then."
She exited her room and walked towards the arena quickly, two guards stopping her before she entered.

"Okay, you're good. Good luck, Ms. Rose."

Rose stepped into the brightly lit arena, covered in what appeared to be sand. At the same time, she saw her opponent entering from the north entrance, though she wasn't completely visible yet.

"Alright! We're going to heat these fights up! Bring in the terrain!

Rose took a few steps back as the center of the arena dropped down on some sort of elevator, being replace with more sand and rather large stones. Terrain? ...So this was the other surprise...

"It looks like a duel in the desert, folks! Alright, will the combatants please approach the center of the arena?"

Rose did just that, just like her opponent. It was a girl... She finally got a chance to see her opponent, and her mind struggled to comprehend what was happening.
Her opponent, Gemini, looked...just like her! The only way to tell the two apart was the black fur her opponent had, and the small gun holster strung around her hip, a small old-style handgun resting in it. Wha...What the hell? She's... What is this? This smell...I know her?! She's...Is she related? What kind of trick is this...But...there's no mistaking that smell...She's...related to me. But I still...I have to beat her- I'll ask questions later!

The monitors placed all around the arena clicked on. Divided evenly among them were respective images of Rose and Gemini's vital signs.

GEMINI: All green
ROSE: Lower torso-yellow-orange
All else green
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"Let the fight...begin!
Instantly, Gemini lunged at Rose with a right hook, catching her completely off guard. Rose staggered back a little, staring at Gemini, focusing on her opponent. Apparently, her opponent was doing the same thing. Rose decided to make an advance this time, dropping on all fours on the ground before bounding at Gemini, who stood her ground stubbornly. As she got within striking range, Rose began to rise from the ground, aiming a punch at her gut. Gemini leapt back, and launched a powerful kick at Rose in retaliation, once again hitting its mark. The cameras zoomed in at Rose, bringing into view her bandages, her injury just beginning to bleed through. Damnit... Rose had the wind knocked out of her, trying to catch a few deep breaths before her opponent came rushing at her again, intent on finishing her assault. Rose threw a defensive punch, which Gemini quickly grabbed a hold of, a rather wicked grin on her face. Rose twisted her body around in an odd form of a dropkick, causing her opponent to jump back, only to leap at her again. Rose readied her guard, fully prepared for the incoming strike, but at the last moment, her opponent transformed, shrinking into a cat and sinking its claws into Rose's fist before it retracted them, leaping at Rose's head as she tried grabbing her opponent unsucessfully. As Gemini's claws made contact with a few strings of hair, Gemini reverted to her normal form, grabbing her entire head, and with a grunt of effort, flipped Rose over her body completely, sending her slamming into the ground, the sand splashing around the impact zone. Rose was unable to retaliate, almost as if everything was in super-fast motion.
She even...has the same abilities as I do?...No...she's better at using them...

Gemini took a few steps back, as if to tell Rose to get up for some more. Rose crawled to her knees, on all fours, her head facing the sand. One hand clutched at her bandages, which were were being stained red from her wound. The other hand covered her mouth as she felt something coming up, and found blood on her hand, as well.

GEMINI: All green
ROSE: Head- green-yellow
Upper torso- light yellow
Lower torso, bright orange
Extremities-dark green
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Rose brought herself to her feet, taking a few heavy breaths before thinking about how she was going to fight. She knows all my moves....All of them...She knows everything I can do...And she'll take it...And make it better...Damnit, I'm not done yet!
She shook her head, beads of sweat flying off her face.
"Who are you?!", Rose yelled as she ran towards Gemini again, desperate for an answer, any form of acknowledgement from this doppleganger of hers. Rose launched a heavy punch directly for her face, and found her move telegraphed. Gemini ducked under the attack, and grabbed her arm, twisting it quickly, as Rose let out a yell, her arm ready to crack under the pressure. Just as quickly, Gemini slammed her knee into Rose's gut several times. It was pretty obvious she knew exactly where her weak spot was now. She shoved her knee one more time, before whispering into Rose's ear,

"Does it hurt? I'm the real one, not...you!"

Gemini delivered one more devastating kick to Rose's injury with enough force to slam her into one of the stones in the arena, dust covering the scene momentarily. Rose had fallen down, slumped against the stone with her head hanging down again, blood dribbling down her face and stomach, leaving a trail from all the places she had traveled in the arena.

Her hair was matted to her face, and tears began to run down her face slowly.

Gemini took a few steps towards Rose, and reached for her waist, pulling out the small handgun, rubbing it along her cheeks confidently.

"You look just like me...Not anymore."

Mom...What is this? Why didn't I know about her before?...Why does she hate me...Is she looking for you, too? ...No, she can't be. She just wants blood... I have to do something...Now. Rose, in a sudden rush, grabbed onto Gemini's arm, and got in a kick to her gut, knocking the gun out her hands as it clattered to her ground. Both of the girls grabbed for it, and Rose managed to secure it first. She pressed one hand against the rock for support, and kept the gun level with Gemini's head.

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"Please forfeit the match...I don't want to...pull the trigger..."

Gemini remained silent, glaring at Rose stubbornly, forced to stand still, at Rose's mercy.

Rose's vision began to blur, and her head started spinning round and round, getting harder and harder to keep a lock on Gemini.


The blood loss finally got the better of Rose as she fell to the earth, nothing more than a thud symbolizing it. Gemini realized what had happened, and pried the gun from Rose's hand, despite her helpless state. Her eyes twitched ever so slightly, and she pulled the trigger three times, piercing Rose like lightning, but she was unable to even yell. All she could do was drift into the dark.

"....Mom...This is it?..."

GEMINI: Lower torso-dark green
ROSE: Lower torso-red
Upper torso-red
Left arm-orange-red
Right arm-yellow
Legs- yellow

Gemini kneeled down, noticing the flower in Rose's hair. To add insult to injury, she ripped it straight out her hair, throwing it on the floor before turning her back and leaving the arena, leaving Rose laying in her blood. A team of paramedics rushed out and lifted her onto a stretcher, running into the building to the ER sections immediately. Shocked, the crowd murmered, before the announcer finally recovered.

"Rest assured, she's going to get the finest care we can give her! But nonetheless, we have to continue, so Gemini is our winner!"

The flower remained in the puddle, its pure white petals now stained with crimson, a miniscule monument to Rose's failure.
Ains had been waiting in the main arena entrance hallway. 'I should have helped her. She would never be in this condition if I only would have screwed the rules.' Ains thought to himself. Rose was quickly carried away and the only thing he thought of doing was grabbing that flower that had been drenched in blood. Picking it up the petals were stained and even the veins inside the plant were soaking up the blood as if to nurture itself. He now turned to follow the paramedics taking Rose back to the ER.

In a matter of moments he was there staring in through the glass watching Rose be mended together. He knew what they might do to her as he clutched the bloody flower. "Rose, for you." was the only thing Ains managed to get out before moving onto watching the next match. Aquaeous against Pyron.


"Rose! No! Rose!" Aqueous was screaming as Ferocious pulled her back, arms tightly wound around her waist from behind. He was strong, but she was kicking and screaming, her eyes wide with horror at seeing Rose defeated so brutally. She thrashed as Fero tried to restrain her, reminding her that her match was next, but as he led her over to the stadium, there was something strange about the way she pushed him aside and strolled over to her battle. It was unlike her. To walk so swiftly. To be so rough.

Her eyes were hard, the blue twinkle gone, her mouth pressed into a thin line. Rose...Mother...Father...It's all the same... She was thinking too much, her thoughts overwhelmed her. As she was announced onto the field, Aqueous felt the intense pressure rise, her body heating up more than it ever had before. She felt that feeling of losing consciousness and then, in a sudden fierce rush of feelings, a surge of water burst around her spiraling in uncontrollable sequences. Her eyes turned the color of the water as it rushed about her, as if sharpened metallic blades that would cut someone to pieces if they came near.


Aqueous fell to her knees, breathing hard. She glanced at the monitor with a frown. The screen showed her left arm red and her shoulder almost so. She frowned. She couldn't lose. She just couldn't. Not when Rose had lost. Now when her parents had lost. Why was the world cruel enough to take these people away from her? Why?

And then, without another look at her opponent's stats, Aqueous ran ahead, water in her hands as she dodged his attacks and lept into the air to shoot a direct stream of sharp icicles at him. Then she twirled in mid-air and whipped her arm across, creating a spiked sheet of ice that went slicing at his stomach.

The monitor blinked to show the final part of his body turning numb, slowly, the color oozed into red. Aqueous landed, breathing hard. Her right arm, left leg, shoulder, and even her left leg were starting to show signs of trouble. Her upper torso was almost finished, but in a few seconds, his would be too.

"It's over," she snarled, standing up. A burst of blue colors emitted from her body, sending a huge tsunami wave towards him. It was sudden and loud, causing the floor to shake. As blinding as it was, Aqueous stared at it head on, watching as her opponent fell to the ground, her memories flashing before her.

This isn't the first time...I've done that... And seconds after being declared the victor, the girl fell slowly and dramatically to ground.

Rose lay silently in the hospital, hooked up to life support, several surgeons standing beside her bed, focusing on removing the bullets, letting them fall into a small dish with a loud clink. Heavy footsteps signalled the arrival of a rather imposing man in the room. He was quite fit, muscles almost pushed past normal limits. He wore what appeared to be a military uniform, though his rank was unknown. An unmoving grimace marked his face as he moved closer and closer to the unconscious Rose. After a few moments of silence, he said with a rather deep voice, a hint of a Russian accent detectable.

"Take her to the facility. Forget the machines, she'll make it there, at least."

The team quickly responded,

"Yes sir, Mr. Krauser, sir!"

It was obvious they were scared of him.

A wicked smirk formed on his face, and with that, he made an exit just as calmly as he had entered the room. The surgeons prepped the stretcher, and hoisted her back on it, hastily exiting the room, disconnecting the life support. They headed out the exit past the guards posted there. If anything, security had gotten even tighter, though the reason was unknown. A small armored vehicle was parked outside, awaiting the surgeons. The lay the stretcher inside the back of the vehicle, and slammed the double doors shut, Krauser watching from afar.
"Heh...And now I get to have my fun..."
He made his way back into the building nonchalantly, chuckling before disappearing from sight again.

"It's time for our next match: Ains vs Liliiiiiiiiith!!!! Let me hear you all get pumped up!!!"