"Welcome ladiiiies and geeentlmeeeeeeeeeeeeen!" The theme to the tournaments is blasting through the speakers and the many many searchlights are dancing all over the arena. "We've got a treat for you tonight!" The man points at the entrance, and immediately three spotlights follow that direction towards the entrance. "After the amazing duel between Misaka-kun and the Layer Phantom, in which Misaka came on top... he now gets another chance to prove himself to have improved! Because he gets to battle...." A small moment where the announcer pauses, and the crowd becomes quiet at the exact same moment. "THE WHITO-STORREMU!" He does love his engrish after all. "Come on duelists, show yourself and allow the crowd to give you a warm welcome! Here they are, the most promising duelists this kanto qualifiers tournament is showing, Misaka Keiichi, and Aogiri Mikage!"

As Mikage walks out into the light, she pulls a set of headphones from her ears and tucks a little radio into the front pocket of her pull-over. She gives a small wave to the crowd, but still doesn't seem quite as calm as she might normally be. Could it be that she's unnerved by having to fight such a strong opponent as Keiichi? Or could there be something else going on here? Still, after surveying the multitude of shifting colors that is the audience to her... Miki turns to look at Keiichi. "Let's have fun, okay, Misaka-kun? I want to see how much you and Zankoku have learned." It's as close to a 'challenge' as you might see coming from the shy duelist.

Then, Mikage is off walking towards one side of the layer floor and her egg-shaped chair. She has never been one for too much talk, so as she settles in, she plugs her headset into the front and then holds Rei out on her arm as the chair moves upwards towards it's duel-level location.

Misaka Keiichi makes his way out into the lights as well, shielding his eyes a bit to prevent blilndness. He offers a frinedly smile towards Mikage as she speaks and nods in return, "Hai, we'll do our best to give you a challenge." There is a bit of a grin on his face as he speaks, and then he too is off towards his seat to settle in and get ready. The headset is slipped on and activated, and Zankoku is held within his right hand as he peers down towards his angel and silently hopes for the best.

"Now that our duelists are ready! Let the seats rise to the layer!" There is a soft click beneath Keiichi and Mikage before the crane lifts them up to the height of the tournament layer. "And as always, I have the pleasure to shout to you..." And then, in his most dramatic voice! "ENTRY~ANGEL!"

Mikage lets out a small sigh as she rises to her feet, trying to block out the sound of the crowds. She reaches up with her free hand, clicking the bat-like wings of her headset into the 'on' position, blinking once as the layer-level view from the cameras below flashes into her vision. She takes a deep breath, holding her angel out onto her open palm. "Spirits of wind and water. Spirit of my heart, will of my soul, when all is lost... be my wings! Rei!" And with that, Mikage tosses the small gargoyle angel towards the shimmering layer.

As she passes through the layer barrier, Rei flares her wings, slowly descending to land with a clock on the surface. Only... to see it shift into the form of the clock tower. Her face falls a little bit, knowing just how difficult this particular layer could be. It is -not- going to be a fun match, it is going to be one of those matches that drives a person nuts.

Keiichi makes the final adjustments necessary and then sucks in a deep breath and then sighs it out to steady himself. This was going to be a tough battle no matter how you looked at it. Keiichi smiles a little as he looks over towards the Mikage and the now layer-side Rei, giving a nod their way before he rises up a bit.

Zankoku is lifted high above his head, and then in one sweeping motion is tossed towards the layer while Keiichi calls out, "Never give up, even when staring in the grim face of death, Zankoku!" The angel is launched, spinning through the air before passing through the layer barrier and sending ripples out from the point of impact. While passing through his body is coated in a bright energy, shortly followed by the zombie-angel's eyes opening slowly and flashing a brilliant red. The energy coat then twists and corrupts into a dark purplish colour before it is sucked into his body, followed by a flexing and a twist that sends him hurtling down towards the myriad of gears and clockwork mechanisms.

After he lands upon one of the larger gears before taking note of his surroundings and in particular his target. Unfortunately a little too much time is taken though as his cloak gets caught up in the gear, tugging at his neck and causing him to flail around a little before yanking it free. A glare is shot at the offending mechanism before he leaps off towards where Rei is, and bursts forth towards her as he touches the ground. He wasn't going to waste anymore time in such a dangerous place! When in range he leaps up into a twisting spin and kicks out at the gargoyle's head, hoping to catch her off guard! It wasn't likely though.

Rather than stepping backwards into one of the dangerous mechanisms of the machine, Rei, instead, moves forward to meet the attack, jabbing her armored shoulder towards the kick, and returning some of the damage in kind. *CLANG* as the two hits strike together, Rei is knocked slightly off-balance and is forced to stick her hand out to catch herself, which results in her arm getting slightly nicked by one of the cogs. Hissing, it's clear she doesn't like being in this place any more than Zankoku. So, she tries to press the offensive, lest she get driven back into the clock's moving parts. Lashing out, she steps forward and spins a kick high towards the Zombie's shoulder, a second one following low towards his legs.

Zankoku recoils away as his foot clangs against that heavily armored shoulder of Rei's, his head smashing against a low hanging piece of clockwork as well. By the time he's regained his senses, Rei was already upon him! He had a feeling she was coming though, and brings up an arm up to block the higher kick while managing to hop over the lower one. As he hands he snaps into a quick low spin of his own in an attempt to knock the gargoyle off her own two feet! As he does his cloak seems to get caught again, tugging away at him after the attack is delivered.

It seems almost sheer luck that Rei manages to get out of the way of the attack. She steps backwards, and happens to find herself on a cog that spins sideways and momentarily out of sight. Blinking, she seems surprised, but uses the moment of safety to click her horns into place. As she comes around once more to the open area where she last saw Zankoku, she lowers her head, and barrels forward, a flare of aura energy flashing out behind her. This is risky, and she knows it, but staying here very long is risky for both angels, so better pull out whatever she can now, rather than holding it in reserves.

Zankoku seemed to be ahead of the game regarding this particular attack, and manages to shift his body in such a manner that the horns totally miss impaling him and instead graze along his side. Just as that happens though he shifts out into an away spin and brings a foot around for another roundhouse styled kick at her head. His cloak of course gets caught once more, but this time he just slips out of it after a good choking. It was getting in the way too much!

Rather than jumping around and risking getting herself caught by the turning metal, Rei instead... takes a more defensive approach. She ducks her head, focusing the aura around her into a shield which seems to repell most of the incomming attack. However... the moment she moves from her defensive stance, her tail gets caught causing her to yelp and jump upwards. The chitters that follow from the gargoyle, are probably a string of bestial curses. Still, as she nurses her tail with one hand, her other extends outward towards Zankoku. As she roars towards him, there is a bright, nearly blinding flash of light, and then a wave of sound that seems to cause the whole clock to reverberate, and some dinstant chimes somewhere below to ring out... Bong... Bong...

Zankoku expends a great deal of energy to avoid the thunder blast, and still manages to get blinded for all his trouble. On the plus side though, he was undamaged and somehow managed to totally avoid getting struck by the cogs, whirlygigs, or thingamabobs all over the place in the clock. Still trying to blink away the flashies in his eyes, he lunges towards the gargoyle's last known position and rakes his hand out wildly, hoping to hit... something, anything really. It was a gamble though with his current visual state.

Being stuck between a rock and a hard-place, Rei doesn't seem to be able to come up with much of a defense other than just standing there as the attack comes. It's a bit off-target, but it does strike her across the forehead, causing her to take a step back against one of the moving mechanisms, and blood to get into her eyes. As she rubs her eyes with one hand, it seems that she's taking the moment to collect herself. Afterall, there isn't much else she can do with her eyes clouded. Unlike other angels, her accuracy isn't tuned enough to attack even when unable to see.

Zankoku felt contact with his blind swing, and nods to himself satisifed. He backs off for now though to clear up his vision and take on a defensive posture. Not being able to see in this place was dangerous though, and his foot sets right between two of the catches on one of the gears, and the resulting painful squeeze would make him cry out in pain, if he could. Nursing his foot a bit and hunkers down into a low defensive crouch, taking time to think about how to proceed from here.

It seems that Rei is done with thinking, she draws her wings close to her and begins to spin, heedless of the damage it does when her wings strike against moving parts. Luckily, they aren't exactly important bodyparts for anything other than flight. As she spins, however, the air begins to swirl around her, threatening to suck one right into the center of the spin, and right into the hard blow that awaits for any who don't escape the wind's pull.

Dark energies circle about Zankoku's form as Rei shifts into her spin, and instead of fighting the flow of the wind he goes right along with it! He carefully calculates his path so that it avoids any major obstacles or intrusions, and finally brings himself in close to the gargoyle while grinning his twisted little grin. When she is in reach, he carefully times out a strike towards her neck, one whose origin is quite familiar to her. There was a little more oomph to it though, probably due to a mix of the centrifugal force and dark energies he'd sucked up only a moment ago!

At the last moment, Rei seems to realize that her attack is being turned somewhat against her, so she stops the spin abruptly and ducks her head, letting the attack clang off of her armored shoulder. It's only a veteran's battle wisdom that allows them to rally their defenses when things change in such a way, and Rei certainly shows how experienced she is on the layer. Of course, experience doesn't solve anything, and it surely doesn't help her when it comes to keeping out of the way of the mechanations within the clock. She steps back, and then flaps her wings slightly, going into a small hover. Not able to attain full flight, she pushes off from one of the walls and dives herself at Zankoku, trying to knock him back, and give herself enough space to plan her next attack.

Once more Zankoku shows his impressive skills at dodging attacks when one might not expect it, narrowly avoiding the blitzkreig styled attack of Rei's. As she's passing by though, he shifts to try and heft his knee up into a knee lift sorta kick towards her abdomen, haping to catch her off guard since she was still midway through flight. Indeed, experience could not account for everything, and both of these deuses had quite a bit of it stocked away. Unfortunately for Keiichi it looked like he was on the losing end of this battle for the moment. He grits his teeth slightly and focuses all of his attention on the battle, any one little mistake could cost him here.

Have you ever seen kids working with the 'horse' in gym class in your traditional Japanese anime? Well, Rei grabs on to Zankoku's knee, and vaults herself forward, using the speed of his own kick and the forward motion of her previous attack to launch her over him, into the air, with a half-turn flip, and then in a crouch like some gymnast who just decided to improvise. However, rather than posing and waiting for her score, she turns almost instantly and slashes through the air. From her fingertips, three blades of pure ice slash through the air directly, leaving lingering bits of snowflakes in the air.

Zankoku furrows his brows slightly as Rei vaults over him, his eyes following her movements carefully to see what will happen next. As her clawed fingertips slash through the air, the zombie-angel is already crouched low with both hands pressed to the ground. Dark energies swirl up around his arms and then out into a shield that intercepts most of the attack's force, only allowing some of the kinetic energy behind it to smash through. That was just the beginning though, as the ground begins to rumble and shake.

At varying intervals large headstones begin pushing their way through the base floor of the clock, some of them clogging up gears, others breaking the finer intricacies of the clockwork device. And from the ground before them, zombie arms squirm up and take hold before pulling themselves out of their clocky grave. It seems many poor souls died to make this place, and were left buried in the foundations between floors, or something. After a few of them rise up out of the ground, Zankoku's gaze shifts towards Rei with a brilliant red glow emitting from his eyes. He wasn't going to go down without a fight it seemed, and this time he was bringing a few friends!

Several hand sprout up around the gargoyle's feet, attempting to take hold of them and keep her from moving around too much. At the same time, a pair of zombies off to either side of her grab a third and each send it flying through the air towards her. The two incoming zombies gurgle and moan their discontent with this, but still claw out at the gargoyle when the get the chance! And finally, Zankoku himself, launces into an attack, moving full tilt in an attempt to ram her over and knock her into the ground, where more hands might find hold and keep her trapped if he is lucky enough to manage it!

As the headstones rise up out of the ground, Rei watches with a strange sort of fascinated horror. She hasn't seen this before, at least not in person, and for a creature so aligned with nature, seeing the living dead come out of the ground at her... is more than a little frightening. As she steps back, she finds her foot caught by a gruesome, moldering hand. She tries to kick it away, only to have it replaced by two more. With the hands grasping at her feet and tail, there is little way for Rei to avoid the attack that comes from Zankoku. There is a flash, and a puff of grave-dust...

But when the dust clears, Rei is being held in the arms of a ghostly version of her beloved, Kamui. The two stand ontop of a gravestone showing the little angel on it. The cat-boy angel makes sure his mate is safe, and then looks at Zankoku, and pulls down the edge of one eye while sticking his tongue out. Then, he hops back into the grave, his ghostly rear appearing for one moment as he smacks it. Strange ghost-cat.

Rei, shaken but not stirred from her task, takes a few breaths and then manages to gather the courage to walk back out into the clocktower that seems to slowly be becoming a graveyard. Even as the hands grasp at her, she tries to push through them, lashing a hard punch out towards Zankoku. Did she think she could stop the undead by beating them to death? Well, at the last moment, there is a *click* as her arm blade extends, and she pulls her arm sideways, trying to slice the blade across the necromancer's chest.

Zankoku watches as Kamui comes to the rescue, much as Rei had during his last battle with the kitty-cat. He took a moment to lament in the fact that the blow he struck the ghostly her did not actually carry over into this particular fight. He can only smirk at the antics of his previous foe while settling into a defensive posture to prepare for what was to come.

The clock tower was now even more looking to be a graveyard, as various patches of dirt and grass sprout through the flooring, and the walls begin to buckle and crack away as a wrought iron-fence pokes through them. The gears begin to fall and shatter all around them as the earth rises up to claim the metal. The ceiling falls away and comes crashing to the ground, opening up to a full orange moon above. There are still some remants though, and there was still some difficulty in moving around.

Zankoku brings his hands up as Rei rushes in for the attack, a deviant energy field forming between them and guiding her blade off course enough so that it only knicks the zombie-angel. The red glow in his eyes never leaves though, and in fact seems to intensify even more so. There is another burst of energy as he launches himself forward, raining blow after blow at his opponent hoping to keep her at bay. The end was near, his end, but he would not give up just yet. He would go down giving it every last bit of energy he had, and his little zombie buddies would help. They seemed to be creeping up from behind, intent on clawing and scratching at her should she venture to escape in that direction.

Somehow, out of the reaches of Rei's reserves... she manages to draw up a bit of energy to summon her shield once more. More than a shield, really, but armor that seems to shimmer with the same blues and greens that seem to always dwell within her aura. It seems almost as if the powers of nature are trying to fight back against the darkness of the layer. So, struggling forward, Rei winces as a scratch in her leg seems to be paining her, a bit of black ooze lingering as if it were infected by some dark force. Still... she trudges, step by step, until she makes it within range of Zankoku. Staring at him, her lips purse slightly... and then. *swish* She aims a smack of her tail towards his face. Bad Zombie. No cookie.

Zankoku's blitzkreig left him in pretty bad shape, he'd pretty much hit the ground in a mostly kneeled position by the time Rei was moving back in at him. He rises to his feet slowly, staggering a bit, but unwilling to admit defeat before it is handed to him. It soon is though, with the slap of a tail. It appears that's all it would take so far in, just one little slap of the tail sends him staggering backwards with flailing arms before he falls to the ground. His head smacks into one of the headstones now littering the layer, giving a dull *thwack* sound as it does. When he's finally laying innert upon the ground, it almost looked like his neck was broken and hanging all limp like. He clearly wasn't going to get up after this though, and it seemed that Rei would be the victor. Perhaps Kamui could revel in the fact that his beloved had garnered some vengeance on his behalf.

Keiichi exhales his deep breath he'd been holding in that final moment. The hurtle was too high, and he just couldn't quite make it. "Mn. Need more practice I guess... or more tricks perhaps." He grins to himself as he slides his headset from his head, and prepares for the chair to cart him down towards the layer so he could pick up his angel.

"OHHHHHHHH!" The very last moments of the duel, the crowd had become as quiet as a mouse. It was almost as if nobody wanted to be distracted by anyone. There even is a popcorn-seller in the corner of a hallway, gagged by a flag that says: 'Go Rei!', although one can't see it with how far it is rolled up and stuffed in the guy's mouth.

The buzzer sounds, and the announcer finally makes himself known again as he repeats his previous word... "Ohhhhhhhh!" following it up by announcing, "Rei! WIN!" Bang! The layer slowly turns off, but the searchlights that center onto the layer make it seem almost as if the machine is still activated. "What an exiting battle! Never before has the crowd help their breath for this long!" Did someone in the crowd just faint? "Rei has won this duel, along with her deus, the WHIT-OH-STOR-REMUUUU!"

As the buzzer sounds... Mikage finally seems to relax. She releases the white-knuckle hold she'd had on the chair. Rei, just seems to look down at Zankoku, and then fall forward onto her knees in exaustion. The clock took a lot out of both angels, that much is certain, and while Rei may have stood victorious, she looks almost dead enough to crawl into one of the graves that had only recently occupied the layer. As Miki lifts the headset up, her angel's eyes close as she goes inactive... for a well deserved rest.

"Whew..." The girl shakes her head, waving once for the crowd and then lowering the chair to the layer to retrieve her angel. "That wasn't a very fair layer to play on." She comments, trying to let her voice lift over the crowd to Keiichi. "Ne, rematch after the tournament? On a layer that's more fair for both of us?" She tilts her head, leaving the offer out there as she picks up her angel, dusting her off and surveying the damage.
Mikage takes Rei from Layer.

Keiichi's chair moves in so he can retrieve his angel as well, and since they were a bit closer it was easier to hear at this point. He plucks Zankoku up and the chair then moves towards the ground to let him out as he speaks, "I think that'd be rather fun." He grins a bit as he finally gets out and closes the distance a bit, to make talking easier. He wasn't exactly a loud person either. "With no cogs or wheels to get caught up on," he chuckles a bit and nods while looking his angel over a bit, a little maintenance and he'd be good to go again it seemed.

With a nod, Mikage takes the boy's words as acceptance of her challenge, but she isn't one to press the issue. If he tracks her down, she'll give him another shot at it. Still, being shy by nature, she only waits a moment before stepping down from the chair and heading off towards the waiting room. As famous as her dueling skills may have made her, crowds and bright lights have never been the focus of Mikage's life. Besides, she has to go make sure her fiancee knows that she beat Zankoku for him, and that Kamui helped.