Episode #23
Synopsis written by Tim Miller (trmiller@bcpl.net)

With the object of their quest now in Eris' hands, Lina and her friends face off with Eris and Rezo. Lina demands that Eris return the tablet to them, but Eris points out that the tablet was originally Rezo's, and says that it should go back to its original owner. Lina sort of concedes that point, but is this Rezo really the proper owner of the tablet? - and she launches a Burst Rondo attack. The tablet is incredibly powerful, and Eris uses it to deflect Lina's magical assault - but she doesn't expect Zelgadis' attack, and he leaps past her, swinging his sword at Rezo.

Rezo's headband is cut in half, and flutters to the ground. "You've added some jewelry since we last met," Zelgadis notes, "... COPY REZO!" And indeed, one of the copy-control gems which the Vrumuguns all had is embedded in the forehead of this Rezo. With this information now solidly in hand, Lina goes ahead with putting together the pieces of the mystery: Eris created the horde of Vrumuguns (if you can call such placid sorcerers a "horde") while honing her copy magic, and made Copy Rezo as well.

They attack Eris and Rezo en masse, but Eris uses the magic of the tablet to repel their attack - but every time Eris invokes that power, Sylphiel senses a strong reaction from Flagoon, the holy tree of Sairaag. While fighting, Eris explains that the tablet was made to fight Shabranigdu; how are Lina and her allies supposed to fight back against magic like that? Eris goes on to explain her own history with Rezo: she was his most devoted follower, travelling with him as he performed his miracles, and studied white magic with him in this very laboratory ... and also witnessed his despair as none of the spells he cast restored his sight. Eris was left behind when Rezo departed in search of the Philosopher's Stone ... and then learned of his death at Lina's hands.

As Rezo's last living follower, Eris believes it is her duty to carry out his revenge against those who killed him. That's why she created the Copy Rezo, and why she needed the Sword of Light to open the seal above the laboratory - and why she is now wielding the tablet which embodies Rezo's legacy. But Sylphiel knows that the tablet's power will release a terrible disaster, and she pleads with Eris not to use it. Lina takes flight with a Levitation spell, trying to intercept Eris (who is already airborne), but the Copy Rezo hurls his staff at her like a spear; the staff is blasted aside by one of Zelgadis' spell bolts, and he challenges Rezo himself, saying "Your fight is with me!"

Zelgadis and Rezo begin fighting; Rezo's surprisingly good with his staff for a "blind" man, and Zelgadis is hard-pressed to defend himself. As they fight, Rezo asks if he was expecting to fight someone with the power of the original Rezo, and remarks, "There's no rule that states that a copy cannot surpass the original." Sure enough, Rezo seems to have a definite advantage; he and Zelgadis lock weapons, staff against sword, and Zelgadis isn't able to attack while he's holding up his defense.

While Zelgadis and Rezo are battling, Eris begins an incantation: the spell to resurrect the demon beast Zanaffar - the same Zanaffar which destroyed ancient Sairaag, a being of such infinite evil that its evil continued to exist as a miasma, even after Zanaffar was killed by the Swordsman of Light. Zanaffar is so powerful, Lina knows, that the demon beast might even be a match for Shabranigdo in power - but Eris is planning to release that power now! Lina and her allies have to prevent the completion of Eris' spell: the tablet is being pulled towards a niche in the wall, and when it makes contact ... that's it.

Lina takes to the air again, and Eris flings one of her control gems at Lina's forehead - but Lina's headband is special; Eris' magic won't work through it. Undaunted, Eris flings another jewel, and Lina dodges easily ... but Eris wasn't aiming at Lina. She was aiming at Gourry, whom Sylphiel is bringing up behind Lina.

Eris is brought back to the ground a moment later as Lina casts a stunning Mono Bolt, and the spunky redhead stands over her a moment later. However, Eris' smirk doesn't go unnoticed, and as Lina is asking why Eris looks so smug, Gourry walks up and smites Lina upside the head. Lina looks up and asks why Gourry did that. His response: "Must ... kill ... Lina" - and then he draws his sword and comes after her, totally ignoring Sylphiel's attempts to stop him.

This skirmish distracts Zelgadis, and Rezo grabs his throat, starting a continuous electrical attack which Zelgadis can't resist. But fortunately for Zelgadis, Amelia comes to his rescue, casting a Diem Wing which forces Rezo to release Zelgadis. Rezo gets away, but Zel and Amelia have to assist Lina instead of going after him. As Lina is struggling to hold Gourry at bay, Zelgadis asks Sylphiel for a Flare Arrow - and dissuades Amelia from casting the spell instead. Sylphiel casts the spell ... and comes up with a Flare Dart, much smaller than Amelia's Flare Arrow would have been. Zelgadis comments, "This will do perfectly," and flicks the dart at Gourry's forehead.

It goes off, covering Gourry's face with soot ... but the control jewel which Eris implanted shatters, freeing Gourry from her control. Gourry has absolutely NO memories of what was just going on, and Lina starts beating him up over his ignorance ...

... but in the distraction, they've lost their last chance to stop Eris' spell. The tablet fits perfectly into the niche in the wall, and energy starts streaming up and down the wall from it; the ceiling far above is disintegrated as an immense magic circle, etched into the floor of the laboratory, begins to power up - destroying everything on the floor in the process, and forcing Lina and the others to take to the air once more.

There's nothing they can do now but watch as the magic circle starts to emit a collossal pillar of energy, with Copy Rezo floating in the center. Zanaffar's power starts to fill him, and Eris starts to laugh triumphantly with the knowledge that Rezo's vengeance will finally be carried out - but a beam of energy pierces her heart ... coming from Rezo's hand. "I'm afraid you misunderstand all of this," he tells her calmly.

Eris plummets to the ground, her life fading, and Copy Rezo walks towards her as Lina and the others continue to watch in shocked silence. The control gem glows, and separates from Rezo's forehead as he expels it by his own power. "Rezo's vengeance will be carried out," Copy Rezo states to the dying Eris as he crushes the gem. "However, it will be on my terms."

Episode #24
Synopsis written by Lina Inverse (lina@maison-otaku.net)

This episode begins with a slight flashback to epsiode 23's end: Rezo kills Eris, then removes the gem in his forehead which allowed her to control him as a copy. The evil miasma that is Zanaffar takes a roughly hydra-shape of blue-white light around Rezo; Zelgadis refers to the "psychic pressure" as incredible. Lina and company are both confused and somewhat horrified by these acts. Lina asks the eternal question: "Why?", and the copy Rezo simply replies that while Eris lived, he could not fulfill his objective: surpassing the original Rezo.

How would this be achieved? The answer is clear: by killing Lina Inverse and anyone partially responsible for the defeat of Shabranigdu and the original Rezo. Sylpheel asks, horrified, if that's really a reason to kill your own creator. At that point, the badly injured and dying Eris comments weakly that the copy Rezo is really nothing more than that...a copy, one she could never perfect no matter how hard she tried. The Copy Rezo, annoyed by this, just grins and vaporizes Eris, whose last words as she fades into the light are "Rezo-sama...where have you gone?"

Lina and her companions can only look on in horror, but this reflection is short-lived as Rezo fully accepts the power of Zanaffar and attacks! Everyone is sent scrambling for cover as he casually and apparently effortlessly takes chunks out of the landscape in an attempt to kill the 5 adventurers. Taking the time to gloat, Rezo describes Zanaffar as a being of limitless demonic power, who can make anyone joined with him practically invincible. Lina takes this rather well, considering: she notes that the group has an ace in the hole: Gourry's Sword of Light!

Inspired, Gourry charges Rezo with the Hikari no Ken blazing; however, his attack is repelled and he gets the snot soundly beat out of him by Rezo, who explains that while the legends of the Hikari no Kenshin defeating Zanaffar are correct, that may not be the case now. Of course, he then attacks the group once again, sending them scattering. Zelgadis attempts a Fireball, but it of course has practically no effect. Lina, Amelia, and Sylpheel are caught by surprise and are almost killed by a slab of stone that is shaken loose in the destruction caused by Rezo's magic; however, it is the Red Priest who saves them at the last minute.

Lina is suitably confused by this, and asks Rezo his reasoning behind that. He laughs and states simply that such a death wouldn't be sporting...he encourages Lina-tachi to fight him for real, so that he can truly surpass the original Rezo. Otherwise his victory will mean nothing. Lina counters that she and the others could hardly be expected to cut loose and fight fully in such an enclosed space, hoping to buy some time.

Much to her surprise, Rezo calls that bluff. He then smiles widely, gathering great magical power...Lina is initially frightened by this, until Zelgadis points out that it's mostly the room being affected by the power. Rezo just grins and promises to show Lina-tachi "Something truly spectacular!", just as he had before blowing up Sairaag. The magic power grows steadily stronger as Lina and her friends are enclosed in a Raywing bubble which carries them up and out...shortly before Rezo blows the entire laboratory and most of Old Sairaag with it to kingdom come, leaving our heroes floating in mid-air to watch the devastation once again as Rezo displays his power.

Hoping to buy some time, Lina and company flee via Raywing to the far side of the Holy Tree Flagoon...however, on the way there Sylpheel's psychic impressions from the Holy Tree being again, and she starts to wonder about what the connection could be. This is interrupted, however, as Rezo begins his attack anew once more when they land, encouraging Lina to attack him...and finally revealing his intent: to have Lina cast the Giga Slave at him in some weird attempt to see if he can truly surpass the original Rezo or not.

Sylpheel of course at this point warns once again about the nature of the Giga Slave; Lina herself comments that she dare not use it, stating that one slip could mean doom for herself, and potentially many others. Rezo doesn't seem to care, and attacks the others while saying so. The heroes counterattack as best they can; Amelia attacks with the "Blade of Justice!" but curses it when Rezo easy blocks it, while Zel and Gourry try more conventional attacks and are soundly thumped. Rezo is gloating on this for a moment when a small red "pop" of magic catches his attention: Sylpheel attempting to cast a Flare Arrow at him, while shakily warning him to "Prepare to die!"

Rezo laughs this off and moves to strike Sylpheel, but she is saved at the last minute by Gourry, who takes the brunt of the blow, shielding the priestess. Rezo simply grins and follows them, as Gourry backs up with Sylpheel, before finally making a full retreat as Rezo comes to a stop, taunting Gourry for not fighting. At this point, however, we cut to Lina standing in a pit below Rezo. She comments that the miasma's absorption shield can't protect him at close range, before unleashing a concentrated Dragu Slave right at the clone. The destructive power rages upward in a fiery tornado...but when it clears, Rezo still stands, unharmed.

Before Lina has time to bemoan this failure, Rezo begins attacking Zelgadis, Amelia, and Gourry...hoping to goad her into using the Giga Slave in order to save her friends. "Come now, Lina Inverse...how many of them must get hurt before you'll fight me?" When at last Gourry goes down for the count, the Hikari no Ken falling out of his grasp, Lina's anger takes over and she prepares to cast the Giga Slave, despite Sylpheel's entreaties for her NOT to. She picks up the Hikari no Ken, apologizing to Gourry and promising to return it, before facing Rezo and casting the Giga Slave.

However, before she can finish the chant, Sylpheel bodily throws herself at Lina, crying out for her not to use the most powerful attack spell known. The Hikari no Ken, previously crackling with the same energy as when Lina defeated Shabranigdu, begins to die down as Gourry awakens and Lina promises Sylpheel she won't use the Giga Slave. Rezo doesn't seem to like this, though, and casts a beam of light like that used to kill Eris at Sylpheel, enraged that she interfered. No one has time to ract except Lina, who tosses Sylpheel out of the way...but takes the attack herself, falling to the ground in a bloody heap. Gourry almost loses it completely, as does Sylpheel...while Rezo watches on in curiousity, and our heroine lies dead on the ground...

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