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by the crazed individuals of Giga-Works*

*We can take credit for none of the characters or elements presented below. All of them are copyright H. Kanzaka / R. Araizumi: Even the dead ones!

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EPISODE #2: The Woes of A Sorcery Genius

            Friar Mikshann bounced about the Temple of Restoration with the air of a bumble-bee (and with the shape to match.) He stroked his short beard in between large bites from a buttered scone. Pausing for a moment at one of the collection boxes, he carefully looked over either shoulder... before helping himself to a gracious handful from the box's contents. His eyes darted once more to either side and he drew the scone close to his corny grin.

"I am not very pleased by the way you manage funds," a calm voice rang menacingly from the shadows.

"Do you know who you're talkin' to, buddy?!" the fat priest yelled angrily at the intruder.

"Not quite," the voice admitted, "but perhaps you know me."

            The scone fell to the floor as the stranger stepped into the light. The Friar's chins sank, his knees instinctively dropping to the floor.

"F-f-f-f-fu-founding Father!" he stammered. His hands flew from his pockets into a praying clasp (and in doing so, several coins fell out of the robes.) A look of guilt and terror flooded over him.

            The founder smiled at the display, but he motioned for the wretch to stand. He continued to speak, the twinge of urgency in his tone.

"I can easily overlook this... snag. I do, however, have very pressing business to attend to. Have you carried out my instructions in the letter? To the letter?"

            A bead of sweat trickled down the groveling priest's face, stopped only by his goatee. He desperately opened his mouth in his defense, but only boggy air escaped. Wiping off his palms, he finally mustered the courage to look the visitor in the face.

"Well, N-no, but we have our best man on it."

"And who would that-"

            The stranger stopped himself, immediately realizing who their "best man" was.


            The only thing keeping the jaws of Lina, Filia, and Gourry from hitting the floor was the table they sat at. Moments ago, Zelgadis had been thrown into the inn ... by another Zelgadis! After seconds of scuffling, one Zelgadis dragged the other out a colossal hole in the wall.

            A completely confused Lina stared blankly at the breach in the wall. Now she KNEW she wasn't seeing things. Before, on the rooftop, she thought it was just Xellos up to his usual dirty tricks. But this... this was the truth of it now.

            Jumping up, she put one hand on her hip and the other with a single index finger pointing to the sky.

"C'mon Gourry, Filia! We have to go and help, Zelgadis (which ever one he is...)"

            She jumped over the dented table and ran to the door, her black cape fluttering behind her. A dry cough from back at the table caught her attention.

            Gourry was pointing subtly at an empty space on the table, specifically the area between his fork and knife. Lina trembled slightly as her stomach snarled.

"Then again," Lina said as she slid back into her sit, "We don't want to rush into things."

            Brother Rimmour's lips pursed and his face was almost serious. With each second that he was subject to Xellos's overly smug grin, another involuntary spasm contorted his face.

"The cockatrice blood....... ah... well.... we don't have it any the present."

            Xellos's happy, cheerful eyes slowly opened, revealing two dark cesspools of violet.

"That would be bad news for you indeed." The tone in his voice had changed from Xellos's normal genkiness to a cold and metallic one.

            Br. Rimmour, rather than being frightened, drew him self up, nostrils flaring. He stood up indignantly, taking Xellos completely by surprise for the second time that afternoon.

            "Well, sorry to disrupt your hunt for an exotic lubricant, but I'm afraid it's not my problem, you Satan's-little-helper! It has been stolen by the Temple of Restoration (ugly goits), AND, according to Alchemy Temple Block Directive 4912, is no longer my jurisdiction and/or concern. Now go pester them! I'm sure they'd enjoy your little S & M show much better than I would. Now... Smeg off!"

            The Honorable Brother Rimmour sat down with a huff and continued processing inventory for the newly arrived dragon rectums.

            Xellos was frozen between complete and utter surprise, and the desire to turn the Honorable Brother Rimmour's face inside out. Instead, he remembered his orders just in time and tried to collect himself (not without twitching violently.)

"mustn't be harmed..." Xellos muttered to himself over and over again.....

            Br. Rimmour looked up from his paperwork. "You still here?...They sell fuzzy hand cuffs and whips at the gift store, 'Father Frootloop.' Now get out before I transmute your hair into prawn curry! Tah-tah!"

            Xellos cursed audibly and "shah"ed himself away... "accidentally" setting fire to Brother Rimmour's wallpaper.

            Reappearing in the dusty street, Xellos desperately needed to vent some anger... by tormenting his favorite playmates, of course.

            Hanging limp from the severe beating that the look-alike chimera had inflicted, Zelgadis looked at the ground and wondered where he was being taken. Suddenly tossed to the cobblestone road, he could vaguely see the shadow of yet another person standing over him. All Zelgadis could verify about this third person (from the vantage point of the cobblestones) was that he was clothed in a deep red robe.

"Did you do what I requested?" the robed figure asked. Try as he might, Zelgadis couldn't place the voice amongst the jackhammers in his head. His voice was, however, young but deep.

"Yes, and I even got a little extra." The chimera kicked Zelgadis in the side. The double even sounded like Zelgadis.

"Very good, now give it to me,"

            The doppleganger revealed a glass bottle to the young man, only to recoil it from his associates reach.

"So tell me," the double asked with a grin, "What's so special about this blood? It has no power to change me back, and we both know what that means. I keep it until you provide your part."

"What?! Cross me, and you will not see this hour through! Now GIVE IT to ME!!"

            The chimera nonchalantly put the bottle back in his cloak and turned away from the man. "NO." Starting to walk away, he paused for a moment and swiveled around.

"Oh," he chuckled, motioning to the immobile Zelgadis, "and you can keep him. Just place him in a sunny window and water him periodically." He promptly dashed away and faded out of Zelgadis's sight.

"Damn that arrogant fool, I'll have him flayed." The volume of the young man's voice lowered. "But how?"

            Starting to pace, the Anonymous nearly tripped over Zelgadis, who had been attempting to stand up.

"That's IT! You, on your feet." He lightly kicked Zel, obtaining the opposite effect by tipping Zelgadis over.

"My, he did do a number on you, didn't he? Well, next time you will be prepared."

            The young man heaved Zel's arm across his shoulder. The last thing Zelgadis noticed before he swirled into unconsciousness was that he was being lugged towards Temple Row.

            "Finally!" Gourry and Lina said in unison as the gargantuan trays of food were brought to the table. Puddle of drool had begun to accumulate on the floor.

            Considering Gourry was devouring the entrees in before the waiters could place them on the table, he was not in his most observant of modes. He did not notice the miniature ripple in Filia's cup of tea. He did not notice a faint rumbling, crescendoing with every second. But Gourry, even while trying to shove a 2 foot side of ribs, 2 four inch pork chops, and an 8 inch chicken breast into his 5 inch mouth, couldn't miss this.

            A crowd of four dozen screaming teenage girls gushed through the hole in the wall towards Lina & company. Each wearing red clothes striped white, yellow tube-tops, black headbands, dark shoulder pads, and billowing black capes, of all body shapes and sizes, blondes and brunettes (though half were red-heads, natural or not), and of various young ages, they all screamed with ecstasy at the site of Lina Inverse. They swarmed around her, praising her, asking for her autograph, trying to steal her boots. Lina was engulfed by her fan club.

            Yes, even Gourry noticed.

            Lina screamed as the mob of other Lina's surrounded her, begging for autographs and pulling on her clothes. Since when did I have a fan club?

            Filia, who had escaped trampling by dodging under the over-laden table, calmly continued sipping her tea as if occurrences like this happened everyday (which they did.) I do wish that they would hurry up with their eating and all, she thought, sighing. We'll never manage to get anything done at this rate.

            Jumping up into the rafters, Lina stared down at the ravenous fans. Nearby she could see a whimpering Gourry and, under the table, an unusually calm Filia.

"Gourry! Filia!" she called out. "We need to go and help Zel!"

Jumping to the floor just beyond the Lina-ettes' reach, Lina bolted for the door. She glanced back over her shoulder and past her black cape to yell, "C'MON, GOURRY! FILIA!"

            Lina's exit was suddenly blocked off by a Purple-haired figure who "shah"ed directly in front of her, thus giving the Lina-ettes a chance to maul her again. Xellos, of course, had appeared in Lina's way, and was now laughing his ass off. His shrill nasal laughter echoed throughout the building at the sight of the throng fighting over Lina's sweatband.

"Why Lina, you don't seem to be enjoying your fame," he managed to say through his obnoxious hooting. He tried to say something else but was cut off by another fit of giggles. He eventually had trouble standing and resorted to hanging/rocking back and forth in the air, laughing hysterically.

            Just as Friar Mikshann felt despair and anguish grip him by his large neck, who should enter the Temple but the young man, Mikshann's "best man" so to speak. He hitched up his robe slightly and waddled to where the young man was standing, completely ignoring the unconscious Zelgadis on the marble floor. His smile dimmed as he heard the chanting of monks in the neighboring rooms.

"Welcome to the Temple Of Restoration," Mikshann said in to the young man, all the while holding a finger to his lips so that he'd know they weren't safe to talk. "How may I be of Service?"

            The young man looked at him calmly and then gestured towards Zel on the floor.

"Not me, it's for him."

            The clergyman took one look at the unconscious Zelgadis and became furious. He picked Zel up off the floor and held him at eye level (surprising what you can do when you're mad.)

"GIVE IT BACK THIS INSTANT, BUB!" he shouted at Zelgadis, who just wobbled about in his hands like a noodle. Friar Mikshann turned to the anonymous young man and Zelgadis sank to the floor.

"I refuse to treat this-this... monstrosity."

"Well, why not?"

"Because he stole a very unique item that, until most recently, had been in my possession."

The young man stirred slightly. "And what would that be?"

"A bottle of Cockatrice Blood."

Lina, drowning in the mass of Lina-ettes, glared at the laughing Xellos. She should have known better- of course it was Xellos, causing this amount of trouble. And I'm almost sure HE'S the one in charge of these double Zels.

            It had been at that point when she noticed that someone had taken her sweatband. That ticked her off. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, touched the sweatband of Lina Inverse, the sorcery genius.

"Gray Bomb!"

            The Lina-ettes in her immediate vicinity froze where they stood, her spiffy little spell having blasted them to the core. Snatching her sweatband, Lina crawled out of the statues and glared at Xellos.

"I bet you found that funny, didn't you, Xellos? Well, let's see how you like this!"

            With her speed and agility (my, my, such an ego Lina-san ^.^) she grabbed Xellos into a headlock. "Now, tell me what you know!" She emphasized her point by clamping down hard on his neck.

            Gourry, meanwhile, felt it more pressing that they track down and rescue Zelgadis (from... Zelgadis.) Gourry sprang into action- literally. His powerful legs bounced him along the ground, sending Lina-ettes flying like ten-pins. His lunge took him under the table to scoop up Filia, bouncing off the far inn wall, and landing him next to Lina. He grabbed Lina around her slim waist and jumped past Xellos, over the crowd, and out the hole in the wall. His hair blowing majestically, he shouted into the night air: "Wetssh Shayve Zewl!"

            Apparently, Gourry had been able to perform such a feat of agility with a turkey leg in his mouth.

            A block down from the restaurant, Gourry slowed to a halt, breathing deeply through a smile and a drumstick. The dragoness Filia, you see, is a lot heavier than you would expect (and Lina only looks petite.) Gourry's smile faded when he heard a low rumbling behind him. Over his shoulder he barely made out a dust cloud, caused by a swarm of screaming Lina fans. Xellos floated above the crowd, laughing.

"Oh Shyth," he said through the turkey leg.

            Filia glared angrily at the laughing Xellos and at the howling mob of Lina-ettes. The growl within her crescendoed while she struggled out of Gourry's grip.

"I've had enough of this!! Mazoku namagomi!!"

            Holding her hands in front of her, she closed her eyes and concentrated. Lina, meanwhile, was about to beat Gourry's head in for holding her by the waist, but the thought quickly fled her mind when she saw Filia become infused with a golden light, transforming into her dragon-form. Lina's fiery eyes widened in what could easily have been fear.

Dragon-Filia turned towards Xellos and smirked. "Flame breath!!"

            Pushing from Gourry, Lina picked Gourry up over her own head and started running for her life. She didn't want to bother with either her fans or an angry golden dragon.

"Hurry, Gourry! Go! Go! Go!"

            The impostor Zelgadis dropped from the skylight onto the black marble floor of the Temple of Restoration. He loosened his bite on the slender dagger in his teeth, withdrawing it slowly. At the other end of the chamber were the young man in red and the slug Mikshann, both bickering childishly about something. It was too perfect, easier than killing fish in a

... small container.

            Not-Zelgadis crept behind a closer column and quivered slightly with anticipation.

            A giant sound like the tearing of sheet metal rent Not-Zel's ears, followed by earth-shaking explosions. He took a step back and from the cover of a column peered at his two targets. The young man and Friar Mikshann had felt the explosive force too, and they looked about frantically. While the young man had also taken a single step back, the Friar seemed to have a different strategy, which he presented by falling on his face (not to mention on top of the unconscious Zelgadis.)

            Even though he couldn't see his face, Not-Zelgadis could feel the young man's intensity. The anonymous young man barked a final word to Mikshann before the youth ran further into the temple. Not-Zelgadis stopped himself from intercepting- his target had too great a head start and knew the temple much better.

            Mikshann looked up from the limp Zel (OUR Zel) as another blast shook the temple. He didn't seem to notice Not-Zelgadis in the same room, his fist imbedded into a pillar.

            Lina (never one to pay attention to where she was going) had wound up on the Temple Row, and, thanks to her amazing luck with chance and game, ran into the exact temple where Zel (both of them, mind you- there isn't just one unhappy chimera anymore,) was. She was clearly confused.


            Gourry followed shortly after her with a similar responce imprinted on his face.

            Xellos was having his first bad day in what must have been centuries. Between the cockatrice blood, the double Zels, the Honorable Brother Rimmour and the misconceptions of Lina Inverse, it had been a pretty crappy day thus far. Mind you, he had been cut in half, crushed, folded, spindled and mutilated before, but that had all been according to plan!

            Xellos appeared in front of Lina in the Temple. Over the not too-distant shouting of the Lina-ettes and the rampage of Filia, Xellos still managed to say something sarcastic.

"So you didn't like your little fan club? I can't figure you sometimes. What I wouldn't give to have girls crawling over me," he added, the last part with a wicked grin. "Well, I suppose I have to give you some hints or this damn day might never end!"

            He was getting rather weary of the whole idea, so he massaged his temples and began his explanation, all the while too frazzled to notice the 'Zelgadi' behind him. He paused for a moment and started his explanation.

"I was sent by the Mistress Zelas-Metallium to retrieve an item of great power, and upon arriving at its station, I found it had been stolen and is now at the Restorative Temple. I need you, Lina Inverse, to help me get it back."

            After randomly casting Flame Breath a few dozen times, Filia looked around her and realized that Xellos, Lina and Gourry had disappeared. The only people left were the somewhat toasted members of the Lina fan club.

"Lina-san?! Gourry-san?! Hmm... I wonder where they went to..."

            Shrugging, Filia flapped her great wings and took to the air. She found her way to the Temple Row and happened to see Gourry as he dashed into the Temple of Restoration. She changed back to her human form and hastily stepped into the temple.

            Lina blinked several times, surprised at Xellos's words. Then again, she knew better, and immediately crossed her arms over her chest.

"You... need MY help?" Her gaze narrowed. "Just WHAT do you need my help with? But whatever it is, you know its going to cost you."

            Xellos was about to say yes, but his pride got the better of him.

"No, I don't NEED your help, but I'm pretty sure your friend Zelgadis (or one of him anyway) has something to do with this... he may not be on your side this time."
            Xellos paused for a moment so Lina could absorb this. She blinked, not quite sure what to think.

            Xellos waved his staff around at the red tapestries and obsidian doorways inside the ziggurat. He stated that somewhere inside that structure was his objective, and he had to find out where it was and how to get it back. His face suddenly split into a cheerful grin.

"I'll give you a reward when we're done!"

            Filia had stepped into the temple just in time to see Xellos asking Lina to help him. She quickly set herself between the two and glared at Lina.

"Lina-san! Don't do it! I'm very sure he's up to no good!"

            Xellos was getting very pissed off. He started to mentally count to ten, but he then recognized a perfect target to vent his steam upon. He already started to feel better.

            "Filia, Lina already knows I'm up to no good; I'm just asking if she wants in or out. And, if we're gonna start pointing fingers, I'm sure Lina would love to know why a Dragon Priestess would come so far to see the Temple of Alchemy... I'm sure it wasn't just the tasteless decor that drew you inside."

Xellos waggled his finger accusingly at Filia and clucked his tongue.

            Bit by bit, Not-Zelgadis had become overwhelmingly furious- particularly at Xellos, so cocky, so high and mighty. Stealthy as a cat, Not-Zel sidestepped across the marble floor... straight into a pillar. He quickly climbed to his feet and his eyes focused yet again on Xellos's back.

"That's it," Not-Zel roared. "Get your purple hair out of my sight or bite the dust!"

            Until that point, most of those present had completely forgotten either Zelgadis.

"Combat Rule #1:" Gourry mentally recalled, "Observation is key!"

            Surveying the surroundings, Gourry quickly saw the temple had been built entirely of black and white marble, though mostly black. Red banners were strung throughout, hanging at multiple levels. Though the room was quite large, it seemed to lead upwards to an even larger or equally important room. Meanwhile, smaller doorways were on the sides of the room and the entrance was to Gourry's back. Eight pillars supported the roof, four in each of two rows, the rows twenty or so feet apart.

            People: Just to the right of Gourry was Lina, who was staring intently at Not-Zelgadis (and rightfully so.) The angry doppleganger had just finished casting an enchantment on his sword and was starting his charge towards Xellos. Filia and the Mazoku Priest, however, didn't seem to notice and/or care as they were locked in a heated argument. Last of all, Gourry spied the other Zelgadis unconscious in the corner. Hunched over him was Friar Mikshann, red with rage. The friar exclaimed curious comments like, "Give me back what I rightfully stole," while trying to punch Zel's face without hurting his hand.

"So why were you at the Alchemy temple huh?" Xellos asked, continuing his taunting. "If the Ryuzoku are so hard up for cash that they need to transmute things," sigh, "Well, you are a pitiable race after all."

            Xellos took a handful of coins from his pouch and let them drop on the floor.

"Here... spend it in good health." He could hardly contain his glee.

            Lina's eyes shifted from Xellos to Filia to Xellos to Filia again. She was getting rather dizzy. When will those two EVER get along long enough for me to get some food? Her attention then went to Gourry, who was staring at their surroundings. Lina had a nice comment about his studious gaze, but something else had caught her attention... namely an incoming chimera with intent to kill.

            Her right eyebrow twitching, Filia stared angrily at the coins that Xellos offered her and clenched her fists in fury.

"For your information, Mazoku namagomi, what I was doing this afternoon is none of your business whatsoever. And... here's what I think of your pathetic coins... FLAME BREATH!!"

            Xellos grinned again and "shah"ed out of the projected path of Filia's Flame Breath. The bright flames shot past and managed to hit the advancing Not-Zelgadis, engulfing him in flames.

            Xellos reappeared next to Filia. "AGAIN with the dragon violence. You really can't help it, can you? Hmm... I wonder if Golems burn... I guess we'll find out."

            One Zel was clearly burnt extra well and the other being bullied by a portly priest. Lina was slowly getting irritated. Filia's shouts towards Xellos were becoming annoying.

"OKAY!!" Lina said, turning to Xellos. "Fine, I'll help you, but only if it helps Zelgadis out. And the Zel being OUR Zelgadis."

            Before Filia could start up, Lina put her hand up in silence and dragged the smoking Zelgadis over to a corner. With a look of sheer determination and, presumably, craziness, she dropped the Zel next to his twin.

"Start explaining and start right now or I'm Dragon Slave-ing you to L-sama herself," Lina exclaimed with her usual subtle approach.

"He's a Copy," a voice rang calmly from the neighboring room. Lina could hear the footsteps of the speaker drawing closer and closer, in addition to hard wooden clicking.

            "The Zelgadis you know and love, (don't ask me how,) is only a 50% chimera. Even with that small amount, he has become bitter and impatient- no doubt you have noticed.

            "The other is a copy made from Zelgadis's blood. I turned him into a 100% Full Fledged Chimera, with more power than he could possible control. Soon he will become physically and psychologically unstable. He's already started to degrade."

            Walking into the room was none other than Rezo the Red Priest. His eyes were closed, but he was looking directly at Lina Inverse. His robes were red, purple, and black, the same color as the temple.

"Now, once I get the Cockatrice Blood, we will be unstoppable."

"Your eminence!" a voice broke out from the corner. Everyone turned to see Friar Mikshann attempting to stand up for himself. "T-the blood... I can s-still get-"

"Leave, Mikshann," Rezo said without turning his head.

"W-what do you want me-"

"Collect alms, go on a pilgrimage, I don't care! Just leave."

"Of course, founding father."

Despite the fact he was too large to miss, the Friar's exit went unnoticed.

            Lina looked from Zel, to Zel, to Rezo, and then back to the Zels, and finally back to Rezo. Now her day was complete. Xellos was being a pain, there were two (no, not just one, TWO!) Zels, Rezo was back for the, what is it now, THIRD time, and she STILL hadn't eaten. What did I do to deserve this?

"Curse those unoriginal writers," she muttered to herself.

Rezo smiled smugly. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

            Lina put her hands on her hips, staring at Rezo with increasing temper.

"Let me get this straight- You make a copy of Zelgadis, thinking you can control him better than the original, and then realized that you can't FULLY control him only after you sent him after this Cockatrice Blood you so dearly want. Seems very foolish to me. Besides, why make an even stronger version of a vengeful Zelgadis? He could rise against you and kill you, you know. He does have quite a hunger for revenge."

            Lina grinned smugly at her ability to put an entire situation in just a few sentences. It almost faltered when she remembered Xellos's request for her help. Uh-oh....don't tell me we're going to have a whole 'nother "Clair Bible" hunt...

            The young man from earlier appeared from behind Rezo. The deep red rope he wore was not unlike Rezo's. The figure stepped next to the Red Priest and took a long look at the people gathered before him. With a swift motion, the young man threw back his hood to revel himself. Our heroes stared in awe at an un-transformed Zelgadis!

Xellos's hand scratched his head, thoughtfully. His eyebrows arched terrifically high and a bead of sweat graced his brow.

"Uhh...this was unexpected."

"Well," the human Zelgadis said at the site of Lina and company, "I see the gang's all here." He then looked at the two other Zel's.

"And you two are here also here. Good. Now then," he asked, turning to Rezo, "shall we get started?"

            Lina's jaw touched the floor at the human Zel's entrance. She had only dealt with a chimeric Zel, so seeing him in his uncorrupted form was a total shock. A slight blush graced her cheeks, but it quickly faded. He obviously wasn't her Zel. He would never dress as the man he hated. NEVER.

"So... there are three now. Great... that's just great. Gimmee a break!" she said, throwing her hands in the air with frustration. Now what am I going to do? She looked to Xellos.

"What do you mean you didn't expect this? You are supposed to know what's going on!" Little steam trails lifted off her head. This was NOT her ideal day...

Xellos reared his head around irritably at Lina.

"What do you mean I'm supposed to know what's going on??? I'm not Omniscient!"

" yet." he added, thoughtfully.

            Filia, now utterly confused, looked from Lina to Xellos to the two new arrivals (Gourry merely stood there with his chin resting on the floor.) Filia leaned close to Lina and whispered,

"Isn't that guy in the red robes the Red Priest Rezo? He seems to know you guys... And who's that Zel-lookalike with him? What's going on here, Lina-san??"

            Xellos tried desperately to regain his cool. He was thoroughly confused, but not overly concerned. This was a setback to his mission, but not one to worry about. Then again, there were four powerful entities there, one of them definitely not a force to underestimate. Word also had it that Rezo was not the most cooperative of guys. If he stood in Xellos's way... well... that bridge would be crossed when it was arrived at.

            What intrigued Xellos was who Rezo was... he definitely was a copy....but who would make another copy?

"damn..." Xellos muttered, "this is getting annoying."

            Rezo was turned to the human Zelgadis beside him, completely ignoring the bickering and questions of the insects.

"Who do YOU think we should start-"

            Rezo cut himself off with a laugh, his hand moving to the back of his head.

"I keep forgetting, you've never met most of them. Allow me to introduce them to you."

            His staff pointed to Gourry, whose jaw was STILL touching the ground. "He is Gourry Gabriev, the above-average wielder of the famous Sword of Light."

            The staff moved to Filia. "I've never heard her voice before, but judging by her elocution and flame breath, she's likely to be a Golden Dragon."

            His staff then pointed to the unconscious Zelgadis. "This was the original Copy, the exact same as you, except with Chimeric form and attitude."

            Speaking to the Human Zel behind him, he tried to emphasize the irony of the situation. "For the past few years, this Copy has been wandering over this entire continent, all the while believing he was the original."

            He then turned to the charred Zelgadis. "This is the more recent Copy, the one I created shortly after you made me. He has been obedient thus far, but that may quickly change as he degrades."

            The tone in Rezo's voice turned from playful to deadly serious.

"Lastly, we have the juvenile Lina Inverse..." She could hear his grip on the staff tighten.

            His voice changed to contain a mix of concern and curiosity. "... and what appears to be the Mazoku priest Xellos..."

            For the first time, Rezo addressed Lina and her friends, his staff pointing to the Human Zelgadis.

"Allow me to introduce.....

the One and Only Zelgadis."


Join us next time for...

A-chan: "Voice" of Lina Inverse, Moderator
Paper Tiger: "Voice" of Gourry Gabriev and Rezo, Editor
Mo-chan: "Voice" of Xellos and Rimmour, Illustrator (and all-around Smart-ass)
White Knight: "Voice" of Zel, Not-Zel, and Human Zel, Web Designer
Moonhawk: "Voice" of Filia, (And Voice of Reason)