Episode #19
Synopsis written by Tim Miller (trmiller@bcpl.net)

Faced with a second Rezo, and holding clear memories of the first Rezo's death, Lina confidently declares that this Rezo must be an impostor. Zelgadis agrees, but Amelia is stunned to hear that Lina and Zelgadis killed the "original" Rezo: without knowing about Shabranigdu, Amelia doesn't know that Rezo wasn't the great man that all the legends say he was. Lina explains matters for Amelia in short terms, but Rezo brings up another question which is just as valid: "Did you really manage to kill me?"

Still certain that this Rezo is a fake, Lina and Zelgadis cast spell attacks at him; he easily repels both of their attacks, then delivers a truly massive fireball which takes the combined efforts of Lina, Zelgadis, and Amelia to hold back. Unfortunately, this is only a fraction of Rezo's power, and he is sending an even more powerful blast their way when another spell is cast from behind the party, shielding them from the next assault by Rezo. Sylphiel, worried about her Gourry, has come to join the group.

Lina knows that with Sylphiel to protect them, the rest of the group can attack at full power, so ... they retreat, knowing that even now they're no match for Rezo.

After regrouping in a ruined building and making the necessary introductions, the group wonders whether this Rezo could really be a copy? And, if he is a copy, how can this Rezo be so powerful? Lina decides that they're just going to have to ask an expert on Copying people, and knows of a research laboratory nearby where there are sorcerers working on Copying. Zelgadis has his own investigation to pursue, and leaves the group, saying that they'll rendevous in the same place at noon the next day.

Gourry is starting to get really tired of being flown all over the place, but they reach the research facility without incident - that is, until Lina forces her way in (having offered to make a generous donation) and confronts the researchers. The head of the project welcomes her and answers her questions: it's certainly possible to make a Copy of someone which would possess all of the original person's physical capabilities - strength, agility, and endurance. But they don't know whether it's possible for a copy to possess the mental capabilities as well, learned skills such as magic or swordfighting: they haven't had any expert swordsmen or sorcerers to work with. Yet.

Lina happily volunteers Gourry for a test subject; she expects that they'll need to draw a (substantial) blood sample, but the process they're working on only requires a lock of his hair. Gourry puts up a fight, even turning to Sylphiel to try and persuade her not to let them copy him. Sylphiel, though, thinks it would be wonderful to have more Gourrys around, and so a lock of Gourry's hair is pulled out and put into the duplication machine. Lina asks how long the process will take; on hearing that it usually takes a day and a night, she decides to hurry it up by adding more growth medium to the mix. While she's doing that, Gourry takes some of Lina's hair, and puts it into another duplicator, also adding too much growth culture ...

Soon, the process is complete, and they find miniature copies of Gourry and Lina - which are exact duplicates of the originals' personalities, especially their huge appetites and Lina's violent temper. In fact, just as the first Gourry and Lina copies start fighting, hordes of mini-Linas and Gourrys swarm out of the growth chambers and start fighting; Sylphiel even manages to catch a chibi-Gourry of her very own. But then all of the copied Linas and Gourrys start disappearing ... and the original Lina and Gourry and their allies manage to make it out of the building before the copying laboratory goes kaboom.

At about the same time, the current Rezo is sitting in a large chair, hooked up to what looks like some kind of organic machine - a big one. Zangulus makes a scornful comment about Rezo tiring himself out so easily; Eris turns and orders the swordsman out of the room.

Later that day, Lina and her allies are catching up on some badly- needed sleep when Zelgadis returns, and shares information with the rest of the group. Lina tells him that yes, a copy can have all the abilities of the original; Zelgadis says that the original Rezo once told him about an ancient laboratory he'd sealed away, where he kept all of the magical books and items that he'd acquired, somewhere in the old city of Sairaag. Lina immediately realizes that the key to fighting Rezo is somewhere in that lab; of course, she's expecting to find some good treasure as well. Zelgadis also has his own designs on the lab's contents, hoping to find some way to undo the transformation which left him as a human/golem/demon chimera.

But as the group is headed for the lab under cover of night, Rezo himself appears to stop them, accompanied by Eris and Zangulus. Zangulus immediately challenges Gourry, and the two of them begin duelling; Zelgadis, however, moves to take Rezo on single-handedly. Not wanting to get into a protracted fight in the middle of the city, Zelgadis casts a single powerful attack spell; Rezo meets the attack with his own magic, and quickly demonstrates that Zelgadis is no match for him. After Zelgadis is forced to back off, Rezo begins gathering power for another spell ... a much more powerful one ... with so much energy building up that both Eris and Lina realize they have to get out of there. Eris orders Zangulus to retreat, and with some reluctance, he does so.

That leaves Lina and her group. Lina gives orders to the other spellcasters, reinforcing Zelgadis's wind barrier with her own magic as Sylphiel casts her own protection spell, and Amelia levitates the group - hopefully out of harm's way; there's no way to know if they're really safe before Rezo unleashes his spell.

Lina is able to sense that it's some kind of powerful black magic; when the explosion goes off, the effect is similar to a Mega Brand - but on a scale totally unlike anything short of a Dragon Slave, for half of Sairaag is obliterated in the blast ... and as far as Sylphiel can tell, her father is among those killed in Rezo's attack. Rezo himself just stands in the midst of the flames, laughing in triumph.

Episode #20
Synopsis written by Tim Miller (trmiller@bcpl.net)

The power of Rezo's explosive spell was so immense that not only has all of the ground water been forced up to the surface, but the water has actually been heated up - as Amelia finds out when she slips on a rock and falls in. Fortunately, she doesn't get seriously burned in the process.

They gather in a shed, all of them except Sylphiel sitting around a small fire; Sylphiel has sunk into a deep depression over her father's death, and appears to be sleeping on a cot in the corner as the others discuss how they can try to fight Rezo. Gourry mentions their fight against the original Rezo, and asks why Lina can't fight this Rezo the way she beat the original. Lina knows what Gourry is talking about: the Giga Slave, her single most powerful spell ... a spell which draws power from the Dark Lord beyond all Dark Lords, the Lord of Nightmares itself - and a spell which is so powerful that even Lina can't cast it on her own, but has to draw additional power in order to control the spell at all while she's casting it, from a magical item such as Gourry's Sword of Light.

Zelgadis agrees that they'll have to try the Giga Slave - risky as it is, it may be their only chance to fight Rezo. But Sylphiel has awakened, and now warns Lina against ever casting the Giga Slave again, if she can avoid it. "If you miscast the spell," she warns Lina, "it wouldn't just kill us; it could consume the world in a void of nothingness." This revelation surprises even Lina - she knew that casting the Giga Slave meant putting herself at a major risk of death or worse, but to risk destroying the world?

With the Giga Slave disqualified, the group's best chance to fight against Rezo is definitely somewhere in the original Rezo's legacy: the items that are sealed within his old laboratory. And there's only one person in the group who knows how to get to that laboratory: Sylphiel. But she's still so depressed over her father's apparent death that she's seemingly unwilling to lead them to the laboratory, so Zelgadis starts prodding her: "Are you going to let them [Rezo and his allies] get away with murder?"

Unable to stay, Sylphiel says that she's going to get more wood for the fire, and goes outside. Gourry decides to go after her, to try and cheer her up if he can. Outside, Sylphiel is having a hard time gathering the wood she needs - she can pick up a few sticks, but soon she's dropping a piece every time she bends down to pick up another, and Gourry decides to try and help her. A minor mishap which causes them both to stumble starts bringing Sylphiel out of her funk, and she actually giggles when she realizes that she and Gourry are holding onto the same piece of wood.

As for Lina ... she's taking advantage of the hot water to enjoy a good soak. Amelia doesn't seem to be too happy about Lina's carefree attitude - she's more worried about what's going on and what they're likely to face; Lina tries to persuade Amelia to stop sulking and come enjoy the water. Neither of them notices that they're being spied on by some kind of fish-man which is hovering overhead ...

As Sylphiel and Gourry finish gathering wood, they begin talking about Lina Inverse; Sylphiel is in love with Gourry, and is worried that he may actually like Lina. Gourry, on the other hand, is too clueless to realize that Sylphiel's in love with him. She starts to ask him, "Promise me that you'll come back alive from fighting Rezo; if you do ..." She trails off, and Gourry tries to fill in the blank: "You'll make me some more of your great cooking?" Sylphiel just smiles, laughs a little, and lets Gourry think of it that way.

In the meantime, the fish-man which was spying on Lina and Amelia is reporting to Eris on what he saw. Eris, however, has her own claim on Rezo's legacy, and doesn't plan to let the others get there before she does. The remainder of her chimeras are released from their tanks, and she sends the fish-man Rahanimu, along with the other chimeras, to kill the adventurers.

Morning dawns, and Lina leads her group as they set off to uncover Rezo's legacy and look for a way to defeat Rezo. Things go smoothly at first, with Sylphiel picking out their route through what's left of the city as they run; however, trouble comes looking for them in the form of Rahanimu, who is capable of flying with incredible speed. He stops for a moment in front of the group, clearly visible long enough for Lina to get disgusted - and for Gourry to comment on the fish-man's "sexy legs" - then resumes his attack, trying to smash into Lina in mid-flight. The group splits up then, with Lina forced to stay flat on the ground while Rahanimu's buzzing her ("Why do I always get the ugly fish monsters?"), and Zelgadis and Amelia driven into one of the few intact buildings, where a large horde of other chimeras attacks them in turn. Gourry and Sylphiel wander even further off, winding up in the Miasma Forest, and they aren't alone: Zangulus shows up to challenge Gourry.

Fighting alongside Zelgadis, Amelia alternates between spell attacks and fighting with her own bare hands and feet - apparently she's picking up Lina's style of combat. But, there are too many chimeras for them to fight piecemeal, so Zelgadis orders Amelia to get out, and then finishes off the entire horde with a sizable fireball. Amelia manages to scramble out just ahead of the explosion; Zelgadis protects himself with a Raywing spell, escaping the building, then lands next to Lina and helps her finish off Rahanimu - holding up his sword and slicing the fish-man in half as Rahanimu flies past. Lina is almost embarassed by how easily Zelgadis dealt with Rahanimu.

Back in the Miasma Forest, it seems that Zangulus has the advantage when Gourry's arm smashes into a tree, leaving him injured; Zangulus is pressing in for the kill when Gourry lunges to save Sylphiel from a falling tree, and Zangulus knocks his sword away. Panicking, Sylphiel tries to attack Zangulus in order to protect Gourry; however, he forces her back - and Gourry is able to grab Sylphiel's staff and smash Zangulus in the face with it. Zangulus winds up retreating, his pride and looks damaged.

Shortly thereafter, Amelia is the first to see Gourry and Sylphiel - and totally misinterprets what they're doing, as she turns around and tries her best to keep Lina from looking at the two of them. Amelia actually leaps up and grabs onto Lina, smashing her chest into Lina's face in her efforts, but all Sylphiel is doing is healing Gourry's arm. Lina proceeds to pry the younger Amelia off of her and starts beating her up unmercifully. "Bad enough that a younger girl has bigger breasts without getting them squashed into my face!!" Lina shouts as she tortures Amelia. Hearing the commotion, Sylphiel turns and waves at the other three, and eventually they get moving again.

Rezo is somehow able to "see" Lina and the others, as though in a dream vision, and he gets up from the "chair" while Eris is sleeping. She wakes to see him standing several feet away, surrounded by a red aura ...

Lina and her cohorts finally reach the original Rezo's old laboratory without further incident, and she opens the door with a Flare Arrow spell. None of them have any guess as to what they'll find inside, but there's no turning back now ...

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