----- Chapter 12 : Pray, for "IDOLA" the Distorted -----

It was almost without warning when the familiar hum of her mag boosting her aura resounded through the clearing and Rico froze in her tracks, the hairs on the back of her neck standing on end.

"He's here, isn't he?" She said out aloud, trying to suppress the fear in her voice.

It took great will power to get her legs moving again. As she approached the monument she could see the faint traces of characters that had once adorned its surface, well worn by countless centuries of wind and rain. Rico had nearly reached it when the ground began to shake, gentle at first and then increasing with violence. It stopped abruptly and Rico was just able to catch a glimpse of a shockwave sweeping towards her before being knocked to the ground.

Standing up she saw that the monument had gone along with the grass, indeed with the exception of her the clearing was empty. Rising from the ground they came, alien-looking mines, spiked and spinning, they moved in random patterns but Rico cut them down with ease. With a significant proportion of them defeated the rest 'died' tumbling to the ground and vanishing. This was followed by an organic noise and an almighty roar.

Rico stared at disbelief at the monstrosity before her eyes, it seemed to extend in every direction. A collection of arms, legs, heads and wings, it was the very sum of the ruins creatures. She knew now that they were not guards placed to stop intruders, they were foul children of this dark god.

Rico knew that this was it. This was her moment and it would require something special. With a deft flick of the wrist she activated her inventory and drew out the Red Sword. A prototype given to her by Heathcliff Flowen, she had been reluctant to use it even to the end for fear of breaking it. But there would be no second chances here, it was now or never.

Raising the sword high above her head she charged towards it, her body no longer tired but surging with new-found energy, building speed with every step.

"Time to die Falz!" she screamed defiantly at the beast.

And then in that final moment she offered up one last prayer, barely louder than a whisper. "Father... Forgive me..."