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Thread: Final Fantasy Chronicles of Exigo: The Fall of Spira

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    Exclamation Final Fantasy Chronicles of Exigo: The Fall of Spira

    The following is going to be a full upload of a previous RP that precedes the events of Final Fantasy Chronicles of Exigo: Brave New World - Final Fantasy VIII. The original forum that housed this RP has since ceased operation and I had been requested by a former RPer to release a copy for her to reread. I felt this was a good opportunity to perhaps drive activity towards the new RP in the form of inspiration or even just to show how fun RPing can be for newcomers. I’ll be compiling the posts little by little when I have the time, but I intend to reupload all of the posts.

    So with that said, here is

    Final Fantasy ~ Chronicles of Exigo
    The Fall of Spira

    Pyreflies; no one knows exactly what these are. All we know is that they comprise all life on the planet. Pyreflies are the lifeblood of Spira, nourishing it through renewal, developing it through the many experiences its creations gain, the constant progression which provides the planet with growth.


    The Farplane stands as the heart of Spira; it delivers the pyreflies from its basin deep within the center of the planet to the outlying areas of its surface, both ending and creating life. Without the Farplane, Spira could no longer maintain the natural way of things and thus would slowly die. Some call it paradise when one is at one's end. It is positive energy, an entity of pure growth and progress.



    Via Infinito would then be its polar opposite. It consists of the negative energy, of destruction and decay, but it has yet a very important role in the survival of Spira. It works against the Farplane, pumping its own current into the world. Its sole purpose is to taint lives to give rise to fiends and unsent, the darkest of Spira's wondrous creatures. Those of Spira who have traversed the chasm yet lived to recount their journey often note it as a tartaros of sorts, the realm of chaos and despair.


    Let it not be misread; these two entities are not at war, but rather compose the two aspects to life: harmony and disarray. Should one come to harm, the balance would be lost and Spira would be doomed to desolation.



    This brings our tale to a small Al Bhed child named Shinra who is about to approach his golden age in Spira's timeline. Shinra is a genius, a prodigy, who has on many occasion bolstered the accessories of Spira's most prominent. At this moment, he has begun conducting experiments on the Farplane itself, particularly the positive energy it contains. Unknowingly, his extraction of such sensitive powers is weakening it. While still slight enough to go unnoticed, the changes are quickly being recognised by Via Infinito. It is assured that action will be taken so that the balance of Spira does not become irreversibly disturbed.


    A promotional advert has been released by Rin's agency, the sponsor to Shinra's campaign, to gather researchers and workers for the labs and Bikanel Digs. Currently, they are under license to excavate all areas of the desert island by The Machine Faction, but Gippal has personally voiced his disdain for the agency.


    Flyer to aid in Farplane Energy Research Endeavors
    Greetings citizens of Spira. The former Age of Sin is over and the Eternal Calm has truly set in. New research has made the first steps back to Spira's golden age, to a world filled with Machina Cities. Join us in helping the push back to true civilisation! Please contact Villa at the Calm Lands branch to apply.

    Welcome one and all. Welcome to the Technological Revolution!



    Elsewhere, a spirited young woman, Rikku, continues on her own journey. Three months have passed since she faced her last mission as a member of the Gullwings Spherehunter group along with fellow members Paine and Yuna at Yadonoki Tower. Currently, she travels around the planet helping others while trying to gain more knowledge about Spira’s past. Her goal is to help people with machina with the intent of not making the same mistakes that occurred in the past, mistakes which led to war and generations of suffering. In order to do this she would need information about its history. She would continue spherehunting, which experience taught her was the best method in acquiring the data she seeks. Her travels led her to Via Infinito where it is rumoured that Trema had not yet destroyed all the spheres. Somewhere deep within its recesses, one sphere remained. The rumour went on to say that Trema had lost it deep in Via Infinito, deeming the trek too perilous for any to seek and therefore in a position equivalent to destruction. Following this lead, Rikku endeavoured into the depths, confidence in her accomplishments driving her to fulfill the task at hand. This was the last that anyone had seen of the Al Bhed.



    It has since been several days and Rikku has yet to emerge to the surface. Baralai was the only one she notified of this mission, contacted only for permission to access the chasm. The Praetor had been sworn to secrecy as Rikku feared her mission directives would only distract her cousin and friends from their much deserved peace. However, with her disappearance, he could no longer stand idly by, having distributed notice in secret to fellow governing parties, the Youth League and Machine Faction.


    Baralai's Notice

    Attention able-bodied free agents of Spira:
    I call you under grave circumstance. One of our world's finest spherehunters has gone missing in the depths of the Via Infinito, a large chasm hidden within Bevelle's walls. I fear what may have befallen her and wish to call upon volunteers to travel into the labyrinth and bring her home. This mission is to be cover and confidential. I wish not to alarm outside parties.
    Thank you. That is all.



    What all this could bode for Spira has yet to be seen, but the paths and choices made in the coming days could set the fate for generations to come.

    Notes: Me and Zera have come together to make an RP on Spira. <Since Zera made Exigo extremely complicated>>=o I resent that remark! we’ve decided to go back to the roots where it is much more simple. According to Zera’s timeline it started in Spira, so naturally as me and Zera are past fanficcers of Spira we have brought to a much more simpler RP, and one which everyone can hopefully enjoy.

    ------
    Nikki
    Name: Nikki

    Age: 18

    Race: Human

    Home: Bevelle

    Appearance:

    She looks exactly like in this picture and she is of average height.

    Class: Archer

    Biography: Until the age of 5 Nikki had been very content with her life, she had loving parents and a little sister who was 4 years old. She spent her days playing blitzball with her little sister in the streets of Bevelle. She loved each day as it came and felt very safe from Sin within Bevelle’s huge walls. She made loads of friends at her classes of becoming an Archer, and she loved listening to the story of how past summoners defeated Sin. She would always be at the front listening to the many stories that the Priests told.
    That was until one day when Nikki was 5 years old, Nikki was playing at a friend’s house over at the north end of Bevelle. Her parents had decided to take her younger sister shopping for shoes in the south end of Bevelle, where the quality was said to be much higher. Unfortunately Sin was dangerously close to Bevelle and attacked the south side of Bevelle, killing her whole family. On that day Nikki lost her innocence, learning that the huge walls that surrounded her can never protect anyone against Sin, and that the world wasn’t a happy place, it was a nightmare.

    After that day the Priests took in the orphan and they brought her based on Yevon’s teachings. As she grew up and experienced many more losses of friends she made, she started to not socialise with anyone. She thought if she didn’t get close to anyone then she wouldn’t get hurt. She still listened to the wonderful stories but she was always at the back. Even through Lord Braska’s Calm she knew it would not last, and just kept herself to herself. The only thing she focused on were the teachings and her training on to becoming an Archer.

    When Braska’s Calm ended and Sin returned Nikki immediately joined the Crusaders, still she made no friends but she wanted to make a difference. She believed her faith in Yevon had chosen this path for her, but she had refused to take part in the Operation on Mushroom Rock Road, believing that Machina will only bring Sin’s wrath. She soon after the Operation resigned from the Crusaders and headed once again back to the temples for advice on her path and for even more training.

    When the Eternal Calm arrived her faith in Yevon had completely withered away, everything she believed in had been a lie according to the Lady Yuna. She was distraught and didn’t know where to turn, that was when she joined the Youth League. The people there seemed to share her ideas about rebuilding a new Spira. But she was very lonely still, she found it difficult to talk to anyone, now the threat that Sin was gone, she had the freedom to be happy. But she didn’t know where to start. So she hid behind her stoic disguise. Not letting anyone in.

    At this present time Nikki is still lost on what to do with her freedom, but she is very slowly finding herself. She has slowly become more sociable, but she still has no real path or friends in life. That is until she saw a flyer in Bevelle about rescuing Rikku. A chance to meet new people and put her fighting skills to good use, she decided she would volunteer her services.


    ------

    Name: Iezak

    Age: Old, but he looks 30.

    Race: Unsent *for a twist*

    Home: Bevelle was his home while he was living, but he was killed in Bikanel, which is where his spirit rose.

    Appearance:

    Weapon/Tool: MRI (Mobile Resonance Imaging), Tectonic charges, Gravity Gun *who says being an archaeologist has to be boring? *

    Class: Archaeology and moderate Tectonics knowledge

    Biography: Born during the Age of Sin, he was a citizen of Bevelle and undertook a excavations education in order to find a way to stop Sin by researching the advanced civilisation of the past. He was out by the Calm Lands, investigating a signal during Gandof's battle against Sin. He would discover the legendary Sun Sigil, unearthing it and recovering it until the final strike of Gandof's Final Aeon opened a chasm in the plains. Iezak was fortunate to have kept his life, but the Sun Sigil was lost to him.

    Following the incident, he would focus on older areas of the planet, noting that they would probably hold the best results. Zanarkand's Ruins held nothing left intact besides the Dome, which summoners had been going to for a long time, finding nothing of significance. Apart from that, the fiends and unsent alone were reason enough not to endeavour further.

    Instead, Iezak would roam across the Al Bhed island of Bikanel where he noted the heathens to have uncovered ancient machina. If they could discover so much treacherous artifacts from the past, perhaps the reverse could be done and some good could come from those wretched sands.

    One day, however, his fate would be met as a creature rose from the depths, spewing poisons and a thick miasma that he could not resist. Death was not the end for him. He could not abandon his quest to save Spira from Sin, which was furthered by its downfall as the next movement was one towards a regression that bore Sin in the first place.

    Posing as a new researcher for the heathen child, Shinra's excavation team, he would work both to uncover the past and hinder the heathens' path toward Spira's destruction.


    ------

    Name: Hunter

    Age: 20

    Race: Al Bhed

    Home: Home, but currently the Bikanel excavation site.

    Appearance:



    During the Age of Sin, he dyed his hair and wore shades to hide his true race from those who despised his people.



    Weapon/Tool: RKX-11, remote excavations machina that can be used as a mechanized suit for more directed digging by a conscious user.

    Class: Basic Excavations

    Biography: He grew up in Bikanel and knew only that the outside world despised him due to the misguided fanaticism of Yevon. At a young age, he would dye his hair black to gain as much contrast as he could from his race. With a young Gippal and other Al Bhed, they would travel to Bevelle and other cities under Yevon to discover the activities and plans for stopping Sin. While Hunter hid and had a better chance of gaining this information, pride from his companions would prevent them from taking the same steps.


    ------

    Name: Mishka Guado

    Age: 17

    Race: Guado

    Home: Guadosalam, but she now travels where she needs to be.

    Appearance:

    The hair only appears like human hair, though it is actually more related to a thin and flimsy root of an herb only found in Guadosalam and grows out from two thicker protrusions at the sides of her skull that spike at the tips to appear like pointed ears, though her true ears are in front, covered by hair.


    Weapon/Tool: Wrist-mounted crossbow, two-handed broadsword

    Class: Spherehunter of the Warrior Class

    Biography: Growing up to a very liberal family, she was always scolded by the other guado of the underground city. Eventually, she would decide the city was too smothering and left to live her own life. This reached a specific path once Sin was defeated and the rise of spherehunters began. Finding a group trying to get started, she would join as an outcast, the ronso members of the group alienating her for what "her" leader had done to them. Eventually, she would prove herself and become the team's leader, but it would be disbanded following the end of the power struggle of the reigning factions. Again a free agent, she would discover the notice Baralai made while working on a mission for the Youth League. Via Infinito was a part of Bevelle her group had not dared enter, but she knew that was where her destiny awaited.



    ------

    Name: Cecyann

    Age: 20

    Race: Human

    Home: Luca


    Appearance:

    Weapon: Calibur; A broadsword wide enough to protect Cyan and others effectively as a shield. Its blade's alloy is light enough which enables her to maneuver Calibur with fair precision. The blade has an emeraldian hue and the handle has a chain on its end that displays a Moonlily shaped amethyst.

    Class: Paladin


    Biography:


    Born in Besaid Island, Cyan didn’t have the time to know her birth town as she changed home to Luca at the age of 2, where she has lived for 6 years. During this time in the new city, she was a healthy child, confident in her own worth, strength and energy. Her easy going personality granted the girl many friends despite those repelled by her “bossy” and “tomboy” natured demeanours. Her conscious, honest and core bluntness earned her the respect from adults: qualities she persists in maintaining until today.

    The “grownup” shell she has developed very early was promoted by her father – or rather – because of her father, Galekko. This man harboured only shadow in his heart ever since his light was taken away. He was widowed. Since an early age, Cyan had to bring as much energy to her family as she possibly could; she wanted to make them happy.

    Cyan’s mother, Habbo, died during the current Calm in an accident in Besaid. This only caused Galekko to curse the irony of losing his wife during the time of peace, when Sin is not a threat. The event changed him from then after; burdened with sadness he never really managed to hide from his two daughters – Cyan and Reffa – age of 2 and 1 (respectively).
    This was why Galekko, not able to live in the island anymore, moved his family to Luca. There, even though quite absent in mind, he managed to bring a peaceful life to his little girls. Reffa was the girl who loved to pick flowers close to the Mi’hen Highroad; Cyan was the juvenile blitzball player.



    ~ 12 years ago ~
    Cyan is 8 years old
    Reffa is 7 years old


    Spira was overwhelmed with joy with the news of Lord Braska, from Bevelle, bringing a new Calm to the Lands. Everyone seemed happy, knowing they were safe from Sin during this time. Even Galekko, who knew only too well not to count on Sin alone to bring misery, seemed to still sigh in relief, as he knew the following 10 years were ideal for his children to keep growing into women. Positive feelings he kept opaque, regardless.



    ~ 5 years ago ~
    Cyan is 15 years old
    Reffa is 14 years old


    Cyan was not only a very proficient blitzball player but she was also a decent swordsman – something she initiated as a hobby and lasted in grand part due to her protective character; she believed that, one day, she would serve a summoner as his/her guardian but, before most, she wanted her family safe. This swordskill activity raised Cyan’s ego even more; she was proud of herself.

    Years later, she will come to look back at these days with bitterness, blaming her over-confidence.

    One day, Cyan compelled Reffa to go on a walk through the Mi’hen Highroad; to a place further than what Reffa was used to. She promised that the flowers they’d find would be the most beautiful Reffa could ever hope for. She guaranteed her blade would guard them off fiends, throughout a safe journey to the Moonflow – to the Moonlilies.

    It was in the middle of laughs and idle banter, however, that Cyan failed to see the danger that awaited them: an Ochu paired with a water flan. Upon realizing her carelessness, Cyan rushed to the front row, readying a defensive position, holding up her Variable Steel weapon. She glanced rapidly at her sister, hurrying her to hide. It took a shout for Reffa to lose her stunned figure and follow her older sister’s request. Cyan leapt and pierced her sword into the Ochu, but it was as if the creature had been slightly scratched. Not only that, the water flan kept casting Water spells to the bigger fiend which seemed to heal his wounds. It was a losing battle and they would have to escape.

    Cyan kept trying to evade the fiend’s tentacles but it wasn’t soon when one of them hit her, throwing her to the ground and causing a dark substance to leak into her eyes, blinding her.
    “Cyan! Here, I brought eyedrops!” She heard the sister rushing to her rescue. Cyan shouted at Reffa not to rush to her aid. The water flan followed Reffa’s quick movement and, with a water spell, knocked her back. Confused with the attack, Reffa couldn’t avoid the powerful Ochu’s lunge. It threw her several feet away where she rested motionless.




    Still blind and now mute with bewilderment upon her sister’s scream, Cyan hurried to the place where she heard her sister’s body fall. She kneed down by her, shaking her shoulder. She called for her name, wishing for a response from Reffa’s part who remained in full stillness. Cyan was oblivious to the sounds behind her as some people seemed to have joined the fight against the Ochu. She reached to her pouch, looking for the miracle feather. When she found the Phoenix Down, she placed it on top of Reffa’s chest. Cyan grasped her sister’s hand in a quiet sulk. One that grew into a river of tears as she realized the Phoenix Down was not working.

    A hand was placed on Cyan’s shoulder. “…I’m sorry. Her wounds are… far too deep for the miracle to happen. Yevon can’t reach her anymore...” The man’s voice was only saying what Cyan already knew. He sprinkled some Eyedrops in her eyes.
    “Please allow Lady Gatha to perform the sending.” he requested. Cyan turned her teary gaze slightly to the path behind the man’s figure; she realized this was a Summoner and her group of guardians. They appeared to have defeated the fiends.

    All Cyan did was nod her head slightly in a positive response. Looking down, eyes closed, she kneed down once again, hugging her sister’s body while avoiding the thought of her father having to face the same ironic fate a second time.



    ~ 3 years ago ~
    Cyan is 18 years old.


    Lady Yuna’s Eternal Calm arrives. Yevonites’ beliefs have been disregarded throughout Spira as the truth had been unveiled. Cyan was part of the Crusaders who were used to be sided with Yevon. Now, they – and Cyan – are part of the Youth League. A group lead by Meyvn Nooj that strives to find out everything there is to know about Spira’s past. The Sphere Hunters were also born. New Yevon, lead by Praetor Baralai, was composed of old ideals inserted in the newborn Spira’s context. And finally the Machine Faction: the only truly neutral Group who would come to rename Machina as Machines, in order to end the old stigma.



    ~ Present Time ~


    Cyan's Theme
    After the disband of the Youth League and New Yevon groups upon Lady Yuna’s latest heroic deed, Cyan is immersed in Sphere Hunting. She has come to realize – along with all Spira – that this world keeps many secrets and there are many still to be unfolded. It was in this context she heard of the flyer from Bevelle to rescue Rikku. She decided she would join as not only she thought Rikku - as the guardian she was – deserved all the help from the world but because of the rumour about the Sphere within.

    It was a good time for Cyan to feel worthy once again.


    ------

    Name: Valvaris "Val"
    Age: 17
    Gender: Male
    Race: Human
    Home: Kilika
    Appearance:
    Features:
    Emerald-colored eyes
    Light-brown hair
    174cm, 64kg

    Hair: Short hair with an asymmetrical fringe sliding towards the right, as such - -


    --credited to HJI


    Accesories:
    (1) Small sized green-colored earring on the left ear
    (2) Black-colored bikers gloves, as such --

    ---credited to Amazon

    (3) [unseen] Black-colored socks

    Shirt:
    (1) Black-colored Undershirt
    (2) White-colored fullbody Robe [with about 3 buttons from below the chest to the stomach]


    ---credited to Prodirectsoccer


    ---credited to drawin

    (3) A brown sash on the waist, inside the robe, to hold the two guns

    Pants:
    White-colored. plain cargo pants (without the designs), as such --

    ---credited to Usoutdoorstore


    Boots:
    Black-colored boots, as such (full black, without the brown) --

    ---credited to Altrec
    Weapon:
    Vibrant Vische [:wee-shay:] - Dark Green-colored pistols [similar to Yuna's Gunner version]
    Class: Exquisivor [= Black Magic Gunner] [:ex-kui-see-ver]

    - An Exquisivor uses two Machina "Magic-Powered" Guns to fight. The guns converts the user's magical energy into bullets to be fired upon the enemies.
    - Exquisivors' normal attacks are stronger than an average Black Mage, but their magical prowess are not as strong. The main advantages Exquisivors have compared to other classes are that they are able to infuse elemental powers in their attacks at lower casting duration AND able to fire two attacks of different elements at the same time.
    - Stronger and more experienced Exquisivors are able to fire stronger versions of the basic elemental attacks.
    Biography:
    Valvaris was born in the town of Kilika a few years before Lord Braska's Calm. He grew up knowing the existence of Sin, and had been brought to the Temple by his parents often, essentially making him a follower of Yevon. But he never liked Yevon. Despite the protests from all villagers over the existence of Machina, he loved the idea of Machinas. He does not believe that Machina brought upon them Sin, but he cannot explain how did Sin appear and he cannot express his interest for Machina either. He could only secretly learn bits and bits of Machinas, especially through people who possesed Machina, whom stopped by Kilika. In one of Sin's attacks before Lord Braska's Calm, his parents were taken away. They were washed into the ocean, and were never found. Valvaris survived the attack as he gripped onto a rock using all of his strength. As the attack ended, he passed out and slowly drift away. Luckily, he was saved by another villager who survived, before he got washed into the open sea, suffering the same fate as his parents.

    [Age 5] As the villagers were rebuilding their home, Lord Braska's Calm came. During the first year of the Calm, more ships came over to Kilika, whether as a pitstop for merchants, or travelers going around the world. And during one of these times, Val met a man, an Al Bhed, named Cid. He learned so many things about Machina from Cid, until the day Cid was to journey away from Kilika. On the ship, Cid shouted to him, who was on the deck, whether Valvaris wants to follow himself to see more Machinas. Val was delighted, and he decided to follow him, since the villagers began harboring hate towards Val due to his interest in Machina. Valvaris followed Cid all over the world for 7 years, visiting various places, whether they stored any Machinas or not. He even ventured into HOME at Bikanel Island, the land for the Al Bhed. There, he learnt various skills in assembling and dismantling simple Machinas. He even learnt skills and techniques using a pair of Machina "Magic-Powered" Guns, which converts the user's magical energy into bullets to be fired upon the enemies.

    [Age 12] One day, while in Luca, Cid decided that he had to head back to Bikanel for some urgent matters, Val wanted to tag along, but was stopped by Cid. Cid told him, "There are many more things to learn from around the world, go and venture, and find what is most important to you. Remember, do not use Machinas for harmful deeds." Val stayed back in Luca, waving goodbye to Cid who was on a ship to Bikanel. Before Cid left, he gave Valvaris a pair of Machina MP Guns - Vibrant Vische as a gift. Val spent his days in Luca helping others examine, repair and maintain Machinas. Many had assumed he is an Al-Bhed due to his proficiency in dealing with Machinas, especially at that young age. He was one of the surviving members during the Operation Miihen a few years after, too.

    [Age 15] Soon after, came the Eternal Calm, brought by Lady Yuna. With that, Val joined the Youth League in attempt to hunt spheres, to learn more about Machina, and the world -- Spira. He made many friends throughout his time in the Youth League, but he did not try to make himself shine too much. He does not like showing off, but he is definitely slightly more talented than many of the Youth League members. However, only he himself knows that.

    [Age 17] After the disbandment of the Youth League, Val continued being a sphere hunter. There is so much more to learn about Machina, and there are so many more mysteries to be unravelled. Val, being the guy who likes exploring and learning, he decided to keep searching for spheres. However, later in the year, he found out from Baralai's Notice that Rikku is missing. Val knew Rikku when he was young, since he had travelled to Bikanel with Cid before. He decided to join in the Rikku Search-and-Rescue Mission, as a childhood friend; and as repayment for all that Cid had done for him.



    ------

    Yuubou
    Age: 18
    Race: Al Bhed
    Home: Deserted island village near Luca
    Appearance: Looks like this, but have an overcoat similar to Kingdom Hearts' Seifer's design instead of the white tunic. The gloves should be fingerless and golden-yellowish, I forgot to change the colours. And it's hard to see from here, but he wears a golden earring on his left ear.
    Class: Martial Artist
    - Much like monk, uses fist, palm and kicks to perform moves, but focuses more on agility instead of strength.



    Yuki
    Age: 18
    Race: Al Bhed
    Home: Deserted island village near Luca
    Appearance: ...... It is a cheerleeading uniform. Her job class requires it. She wears a silver earring, and suppose to have a pair of futuristic looking sunglasses. Sims 3 doesn't have it. Just... imagine it. =P
    Class: Psychic
    Biography: Immediately after Braska's Calm, Yuki and Yuubou were seperated from their parents and their other Al Bhed friends during one of the relatively minor but inevitable attack by the followers of Yevon. Unable to go to Home at Bikanel because of the lack of transportation, Yuki and Yuubou stayed at the island about 25 nautical miles (46300m) east of Luca. There, they found an elderly Sage, who told them that he will be dying and had them made his apprentices.

    Despite being elderly and a Sage, he moves fast and attacks powerfully. At the same time, he cast spells that the twins had never seen before (not that they had much to see, being two kids and all). The twins had a difficult time coping with the sudden change of lifestyle, though soon they kept up and starts their apprenticeship officially, with Yuki learning and helping with the advanced magics that the Sage is researching on, and Yuubou the way of martial arts the Sage has been uncovering.

    The Sage uses an ancient Machina spherecorder to record both of the twins' progress in their apprenticeship, which at the time is zero but is promising. Every sphere he made he stores it in hopes to uncover more of their secrets. Until the age of 15, this has been life for the twins. Over time, the twins have been picking up other skills, most prominently being stealth skills for slipping out to play and explore, and some times just to escape from their master. This is of course, due to their natural speed and agility as Al Bheds that they mastered the skill with ease.

    On their 15th year of life, their master finally passed away. They buried their master of mysterious origin with the Al Bhed ritual, well, what's left of it in their minds anyway, and due to their ever-playful attitude, decided to roam the world with the intention of searching their parents. They packed their bags, with food enough for a few days of sea travel, a few older spheres their master owned to study, the spherecorder, and off they went with a raft built with tree trunks in the forest.

    They reached Luca first, where it was the nearest to their island. There they met people with special disdain towards them. At first they didn't understand, and greet people as they do when they are kids. That was not necessarily the problem, if only they had learned to speak Spiran. Yes, their problem is that they greet each and every person they met in Al Bhed, which is their mother tongue, which they have used for 15 years. Come to think of it. They also used it on the island. Was their master an Al Bhed? No. He doesn't have green eyes. Their master is a very mysterious person indeed. Anyway, that's their problem. Being the smart kid that they are, they soon figured the problem out. Since then, they kept their tongue and started learning Spiran, while journeying to find out about their parents.

    It was one year later that they heard their parents were at Kilika Island, so they traveled all the way there from Moonflow, convinced that their parents will finally unite with them. Alas, just before they reach Kilika, Sin came and destroyed it in front of their very own eyes. They were devastated, but they pulled through and started helping restoring Kilika. Apparently Kilikans wouldn't turn Al Bhed helping hands away afterall. It is then that the twins decided to help people, while maintaining their battle prowess researches.

    A few months passed, and the twins were on the roads again, wandering around, helping others as well as learning Spiran language that they now speak half fluently. They traveled to Home after it's been destroyed. They met Rin, who, at the time, tried to rebuild Home, and got on Fahrenheit with the others. In a few days time, they've learnt all the paths atop of the Fahrenheit, including finding a deserted room of some sort to study their spheres. When Eternal Calm came, they were so excited to land that they left one of their studied spheres onboard, which later got picked up by an Al Bhed child prodigy named Shinra, who turned it into a dressphere YRP used. Of course, the twins doesn't know.

    Two years after Eternal Calm first came, the twins finally returned to their home 25 nautical miles east of Luca. Within these two years they joined the Machine Faction because it felt right to rejoin their race. They digged a few times, got bored, and left the deserts. And they promptly left again after packing more of the ancient spheres to study. They went all over Spira, searching for spheres similar to their own, in hopes to finish the research their late master started.

    A few months passed again since their adventure to roam all of Spira. There has been a certain rumour about some huge superweapon being unleashed, but that's not possible. Huge destroy-all superweapon only exists in fairytales. The more important stuff is that the two opposing factions, Youth League and New Yevon were fighting over trivial matters and most likely a war will start soon. Fortunately on the hands of High Summoner Yuna and the self-proclaimed Friendly Neighbourhood Gullwing, the conflict was resolved as easy as a pie, or so it seems.

    Currently, three months after the speech High Summoner Yuna gave, the twins was staying in Kilika, living on canoe maneuvering. When they got the message that the New Yevon Praetor Balarai sent, they immediately got excited at the chance to go adventure again. They packed their stuffs, went back their home near Luca and packed more spheres, and left for Bevelle. What lies ahead, they do not know.


    ------

    Name: Joseph
    Age: 20
    Race: Human
    Home: Kilika

    Appearance:

    Wears some black pants, blue coat. Also has a rosary around his neck, hidden by his shirt
    Class: Samurai
    Weapon: Gerbera Straight, a katana with a red and gold hilt and handle. Also has a mirror finish blade
    Biography:
    Until Joseph was age 6, his life seems normal. He had loving parents and an older brother Jason. However that all changed when Sin attacked Kilika. Joseph and Jason were playing in the forest with some friends so they were spared, but lost both parents as a result.

    They were moved to Luca to stay with an uncle. Joseph decided to learn the way of the sword, hoping that he could defeat Sin when it came. Then several years later, he heard news that Braska defeated Sin. While he was happy, he continued his training knowing that one day, Sin will return. Jason, on the other hand, studied magic in hopes to join his brother in battle. Joseph also learned some magic from his brother.

    When Joseph was 16, more bad news hit him. Jason had died when Sin unexpectedly appeared while helping people in Kilika. Joseph spent an entire day cursing Sin while mourning for his brother. The only thing that was left was the rosary that survived. With that, he travelled the world, honing his sword and skills so as to become a guardian for a summoner.

    With the arrival of the Eternal Calm, he became unsure of what he wanted to do. He then received a letter from the swordsman that taught him. He wanted him to come back and teach some students. He decided to do so and returned to Luca.

    Several years later, he saw a flyer about Rikku’s disappearance. He decided to help and after getting his master’s permission, he set off for another adventure.


    ------

    Name: Kyra



    Age: 20


    Race: Human


    Home: Original Home: Esther. Landed in Bikanel desert and was found by Al Behd- Who let her stay in home since they thought she was hit with Sin’s Toxin, even though they found her in an escape pod. After Yuna brought the eternal calm she’s been travelling all over Spira not really residing in any specific area.


    Appearance: Blonde hair, Blue eyes, Height 5”4’, Medium Build. Put into perspective Kind of like Rinoa, but better looking with blonde hair and blue eyes. I’m More or less describing myself. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures on this computer.


    Weapon/Tool: Gunblade



    Class: Fiend Analyser/Warrior


    Biography: Grew up in Esther, Moved to the space station when she was 16. At that time she wasn’t getting along with her family and wanted to make her own life, away from them. She took on astronomy and studied the sorceress with the others at the space station. She also studied the monsters on the moon and became knowledgeable of many races of monsters. When Squall had to save Rinoa at the space station, Kyra’s life had become a living nightmare. All that she had ever dreamed of was falling apart. She didn’t know what to do, so she jumped into an escape pod but forgot to set the coordinates in order to get back to earth. When she fell asleep in the pod, next thing she knew when she awoke, she was on a collision course to a certain planet. She tried to figure out the star system, but wasn’t able to. Doing everything she possibly could in order to prevent death, she saw a blinding light. That was the last thing she could remember after that point. She was found in Bikanel by one of the excavation teams. Cid took her in after she had told him her story about living on a space station for 4 years studying astronomy and Sorceress Adel. Although he didn’t believe her story, he told her about Sin and its toxin and how it might have affected her. Although this new place was foreign to her, they treated her like family. She had become very good friends with Rikku, but when Rikku took off to find Yuna to stop her pilgrimage, she went her own way. After Yuna brought the eternal calm, she was still in her travels with consisted of studying fiends. She had come across the calm lands and the old man’s beastery and found her passion. Finding different ways to kill and tame fiends, nothing could stand in her way. She then began to wonder what the pyreflies were and where they go. She began travelling to the Farplane not only to see where they go, but what they can do. She was told that they feed off memories. She remembered her family and how much she actually missed them. She also began to think that if they react to people’s memories, would this give her an opportunity to see her family again?She arrived only to find that since the fall of Sin and since the Guado were disappearing, the Farplane was slowly falling apart. In that instance, she turned toward Bevelle to see if she could get any answers. Baralai had informed her of the Via Inferno. Although it was full of negative energy, she thought there may be a way to find some sort of positive energy and eventually find a way to the Farplane. It did sound rather crazy, but she figured she may as well try. After all of the crazy things she had been through, she thought she could handle anything.



    ------

    Name: Keema



    Age: 21


    Race: Guado


    Home: Guadosalem


    Appearance: Very tall and skinny, brown hair gelled so it parted almost looking like it is in pigtails but much more stiffer. Brown eyes with a long nose and a narrow face. Is where light purple robes and light pink flame design lining the bottom of it. She is wearing light pink sandles.


    Class: Beast master – Can summon and control fiends at will, but only ones she has encountered recently. She has a mass of knowledge to do with the Farplane.


    Biography: Ever since Keema was little she has always felt safe and has been very fascinated by the wonders and mysteries of the Farplane. Ever since her first visit she has always wanted to help to keep the Farplane stable, and keep the balance between the Via Infinito’s energy and the Farplane’s. But when she was little she was also subjected to racism by the humans, but she felt safe and content when Lord Jyscal ruled Guadosalem. Their leader was kind and Keema loved to watch him work, she hoped that one day humans and Guado would be at peace with each other, he was often away negotionating with the other Maesters. Keema continued to study about the Farplane and how to control its energy. She learnt how to control fiends at will during her studies, but also how to not misuse this power. The day that Lord Jyscal died Keema was 18 and she cried and mourned for him. And to her it seemed like the whole of Spira had been affected on that day. She was now able to guard the Farplane and look after it but still her thirst for knowledge was still there and she was still studying, looking at the history of Spira and Yevon. She regulary visited Macalania temple and prayed for the calm to come. The wrath of Sin was getting very tiring to her, she prayed for a Summoner to bring the Calm. Her prayers were indeed answered Keema was very excited because the Summoner Lady Yuna was to wed Maestor Seymore their loyal and knowledgeable leader. She was infact one of the few guado chosen with the responsibility to get the bride ready. But something was amiss the Lady’s Yuna’s mind seemed to be elsewhere as she styled her hair. The Lady Yuna didn’t say much to her the whole time, but Keema didn’t notice she was much too excited about the wedding. But in the middle of the ceremony, it turned out that the Lady Yuna was in fact a traitor. And Keema grew bitter at that. When the Eternal Calm came Keema despaired at the fact that she and the others followed Seymore blindly, thinking that he was only doing it for the good of Spira. Their Leader had grew twisted and with that she and Guado fled to Macalania forest, for fear that the Ronso might take revenge on them. Praying (even though Yevon had turned out to be false) seemed to be the only thing that comforted her. But she didn’t pray to Yevon, she prayed to those that had fallen and to Lord Jyscal. Two years after the Eternal Calm first arrived and there was much fear among the Guado. The Ronso were angry and they could attack them at any time. A youth they heard had wanted revenge for the fallen Ronso. Keema despaired at not only this but at the dying forest. She began to think that maybe things were better when Sin was around. But this thought was soon discarded as the Guado heard that the Lady Yuna had stopped the Ronso. Keema grew hopeful at this, and she grew even more hopeful when she heard the music from the musicians. Now she has moved back into Guadosalem with Lord Trema as their new leader. There was much work to do with the Farplane it had recently become unstable and she with the other Guado needed to fix it. Also with hopes of the Albehd boy Shinra might be able to restore the Macalania forest, Keema volunteers to go with him into the Farplane, sharing the wonders and mysteries of the Farplane.


    ------

    Name: Kane

    Age: 26

    Race: Human

    Home: Mt Gagazet

    Appearance: Encased in heavy armour, and a full helmet with only eye-slots, as such his identity remains hidden, until he decides to reveal it. The armour is pitch black, with Purple twinge to it. 6ft tall. What looks a like the hilt of a sword/shotgun but with a 3ft blade.

    Weapon/Tool: A custom built blade, using the power of an Al Bhed shotgun and the blade of a 3ft long blade. Also a short one-handed blade, made in the image of the blade wielded by the legendary guardian, Auron, kept on his left side, and one projectile-based side-arm kept in a hidden section on the back of his armour. Special blades in the wrists, so that when he punches his enemies, he causes Pierce Damage. Very weak healing magic, which can be cast on anyone, other than himself, but strong Fire magic, which can only be cast on himself.

    Class: Vigilante (Hybrid Warrior)

    Biography: Kane was a top warrior, with skills in use of a weapon he built himself from his favourite blade, and a few gun parts scrounged from Rin's Calm Lands shop he named the ShotgunBlade. He was also a master in hand-to-hand combat.

    Although weak with healing magic, only having been able to learn Cure, his Evasion was of top form. Sadly, an accident involving a Malboro, too much Fire magic, and his new blade, put him out of action for 3yrs. He ended up having to wear heavy armour to protect him from heavy attacks, that are unavoidable, though it did slow him down considerably.

    Several years later, and Kane was back on his feet, Sin had been recently defeated by Summoner Yuna, and Calm was in full swing, Vegnagun had been defeated, and so Kane decided to wander the wastes of Mt Gagazet to train up himself, and get used to his new armour.

    Kimahri, who, after reading the Via Infinito flyer that had been sent from Bevelle, sent for Kane, and told him to head to Bevelle. Once at Bevelle he was to give the flyer to th guards in Bevelle and say that he was there to join the warriors working their way through Via Infinito to look for a girl who aided the Summoner Yuna as a Guardian, called Rikku.



    ------

    Name: Valeria

    Age:
    33
    Race:
    Human
    Home:
    Luca
    Appearance:

    • She is 5’6” (167 cm) tall and weighs 122 lbs (55 kg) x), with sandy blonde hair and steel blue-grey eyes.
    • Though widowed, she does still bear her wedding ring on her left hand – a silver band with an amethyst gemstone upon it.



    Class:
    Architect/Choreographer; the former is her true occupation and role in the FERE’s endeavors, while the latter was a pastime she shared with her husband and developed into an actual ability she could put to use for her benefit and others. (Being a choreographer basically just means she is a Dancer, with minor combative abilities, but placing more emphasis on healing and support, without the need to use MP, though there is a “charge time” in the sense that the dance needs to be finished for it to work – like the Dancers of FFXI.)

    Biography:
    Born to a wealthy family in Luca of Bevellian descent, Valeria had been raised to lead a generally smooth-sailing, but mostly uneventful life. Home-schooled, she had performed well in art and mathematics, and later on, would express an interest in drawing houses. At age 17, she proceeded to focus on architecture, taking her studies to the schools in Luca and Bevelle.
    It was early on in these that she met her future husband, Giuseppe, who focused on engineering, yet was charmed by her appearances after multiple encounters. After a year, attempting to be better acquainted with her, Giuseppe would ask Valeria out on dates, but would be turned down each time, some rejections more vehement than the rest. Despite this, Giuseppe remained determined and supportive of Valeria during her harder times, and soon enough she warmed up to him, agreeing finally to date him. As years passed, they began to form a real relationship, with Valeria appreciating Giuseppe’s kind actions towards her and reciprocating, and Giuseppe in turn becoming protective of Valeria. After both graduated with degrees in their fields, the two married, and moved into a house of Valeria’s design while still remaining in Luca. Together, they would work to improve the living conditions of the denizens of Spira without blaspheming the teachings of Yevon. In one such time, they had given assistance to the Youth League, with Giuseppe assisting with the manual labor while helping his wife understand the applications the residents had used, and Valeria in replicating the building’s original designs and reinforcing them, as well as instructing how they were to be built to make them sturdiest.
    During the times they were not working, they shared the hobby of dancing, for it gave them a way to stay active while still enjoying themselves – however, their dances, combined with their intimate knowledge of applicable sciences (thus the world around them) led to their realization that they were slowly, but surely, developing a way to use magic – to shape it and redirect it in a way unlike traditional mages – perhaps even in a way that was less forcible, explaining the lack of need to use MP.
    Deciding to take a break some time after Kilika’s restoration, the couple made for a short vacation in Besaid, which they had heard was both beautiful and peaceful. After making their way there, Giuseppe had departed, searching for an area on the island where they could stay both close to the nature and the locals, while Valeria stayed and became acquainted with some of the villagers. However, Giuseppe never returned - alone in the wilderness and unarmed, fiends were quick to surround him and bring an end to his life.

    Come the evening, Valeria grew distressed, knowing something was abnormal about his absence, and come the following morning, she departed to search for him – only to see come afternoon after many hours of searching that Giuseppe had become the thing which killed him, quickly consumed by the fear and confusion instilled in his death, and the following exposure to the preexisting fiends’ malice afterward. Horrified, Valeria ran when she finally discovered what the fiend was, instinctively acting to avoid a similar fate or lose her sanity from the realization. She never saw the fiend that was once her husband again.

    Lamenting, but refusing to give up on life and meet the same end as Giuseppe, Valeria tried to pull herself away from the despair and fear and search for a sense of purpose by returning to Luca. She and her husband had worked together to give comfort to society, and she sought after ways to continue this and make Spira a better place to live. It was during these times she discovered a flyer advertising a campaign led by Shinra, the Al Bhed prodigy, promising a commitment to the advancement of civilization and its technology, to bring back the days where machina were a prominent and dominant aspect of people’s lives – the Farplane Energy Research Endeavors. Many censured it; Valeria, while also of the opinion that Sin’s first arrival during the time machina was misused was no coincidence, reasoned that should technology advance significantly again, then the study of ancient machina to see where things went wrong was imperative to the campaign so the same mistakes would not be made. Taking her knowledge of architecture and magic with her, Valeria enlisted into the FERE, to give herself a sense of purpose, and to see that the campaign’s progress would not eventually lead to another age of shadows.


    ~.~.~.~.~

    CHARACTER LIST:

    Excavation Team
    Iezak~Zerathos986
    Valeria ~ Finisterre
    ~ NPC
    Hunter
    Keema Guado

    Via Infinito Team
    Nikki~01habbo
    Yuki~Tenorphin
    Yuubou~Tenorphin
    Valvaris~Valvaris
    Cecyann~River
    Joseph~Mechwarrior21
    Kyra~RinoaKari16
    Mishka Guado~Zerathos986
    Kane~Kinslayer



    Stay tuned!

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Welcome to the next chapter in Spira's history!


  2. #2
    Valvaris

    A figure emerges from the crowd descending from the ship. The young-looking guy walked down the ramp onto Luca's ground while looking around the land he just arrived in. He started walking towards the center square from the harbour. As the matter of fact, it seems that that is where everyone is heading towards.

    "It's been a long time since I've been back here, huh?" thought the boy, "It's the Blitzball season again, I see."

    He walked away from the square towards one of the houses, and looked at it as if he's making sure he isn't at the wrong door. He knocked on the door. The door creaked open, and right there stood another young man around the age of 20. The man who opened the door gasped in surprise and exclaimed, "Valvaris?! Is that you?" The boy known as Valvaris smiled. He gave the man who opened the door a big hug and said, "It's me alright. You don't recognize me after just two years, Dan?"

    "Of course I do, Val! Come on in!" said Dan, as he ushered Valvaris into the house. Val sat down by the table and Dan sat beside him, as well.

    "How've you been?! Two years ago, you joined the Youth League in sphere-hunting and you never came back! You didn't even drop me a letter or something after I heard the Youth League had been disbanded. I was quite worried about you, Val!"
    "Daniave," laughed Val, "I'm fine, I'm fine. I continued sphere-hunting after the Youth League got disbanded. There's just too many things to learn about Spira and the Machinas! I couldn't stop myself from going after the spheres which contain history of Spira!"
    "You and your Machinas! If I didn't know you well, I'd thought you are an Al Bhed, Val." laughed Dan.
    "Hmmm, by the way, Dan, where is Ridarl? When the Youth League got disbanded, she said she'll return to Luca. Did you see her?"

    "You talking about me?" said a girl's voice from the stairs of house. A girl seemingly same age as Dan walked down from the stairs, towards Daniave and Valvaris.
    "Ridarl!" exclaimed Valvaris as he stood up, and for a moment, he looked confused, "Why are you here Rida? You... two..."
    "Hahaha! We are, well... married." said Dan as he blushed.
    "Oh! Hahaha," laughed Val, "My, congratulations!"
    "Thank you!" replied Ridarl and Daniave, and all three of them sat down by the table again.
    "And with Ridarl here, how could you not have known about me?" asked Val.
    "Well, he meant that you didn't report back to him after Youth League got disbanded, he got worried. You didn't even told me where you were heading towards, too, you know." said Rida.
    "And, I haven't seen you for two years! We've known you since you dropped by in Luca when you were 7. Then you left and when you came back 5 years later, I thought you'd be here for good! Who knows, then you left for Youth League." said Dan.
    "Besides, I'm sure it's been awhile since you came back to Luca, 'aight?" said Rida.
    "Yeah, it's been awhile since I'm back here in Luca again, things seems to be rather peaceful here, huh?" asked Val.
    "Yeah it had. Luca's never been so peaceful. Eternal Calm came and after that, the war between the Youth League and New Yevon ended, all thanks to Lady Yuna." said Dan.

    "But I heard something happened lately." said Rida.
    "What happened?"
    "Not long ago, I heard some news from some other former Youth League members. They told me that Baralai issued a notice regarding the missing of Rikku, which was one of Lady Yuna's guardian. An Al Bhed that!"
    "Rikku?!" exclaimed Val, "What happened to her? What do you mean 'missing'?!"
    "According to Baralai, Rikku went to Via Infinito to search for a sphere, and she never came out ever since. Baralai was worried that she might be in trouble. He sent the notice to recruit warriors to help search for Rikku." explained Rida.

    What came after was a moment of silence. Ridarl and Daniave looked at Valvaris, as he digested the information Ridarl provided. After a while, he spoke.

    "I understand. I think I will join in the search for Rikku."
    "You serious?" exclaimed both Rida and Dan.
    "Yes. I knew her when I was younger, when I visited Home at Bikanel with Cid." and he paused for awhile, "And it is a form of repayment for Cid... she is his daughter after all. I haven't had the chance to repay all that he did for me. This is the least I could do."
    "I understand. You be careful, 'aight?" said Dan.
    "Yeah. Be careful. Remember that if you wanna return, you can always come back to us." said Rida, as she smiled.
    "Thanks, Rida, Dan." said Val as he nodded, and stood up, "I'll be leaving now."
    "To Bevelle?" asked Rida.

    Valvaris nodded. He walked towards the door and opened it. As he step outside, Rida and Dan followed. Val turned back and said, "Do take care."
    "You, too."

    Valvaris walked towards the harbour, with the intention of taking the ship bound to Bevelle. Ever since Youth League and New Yevon are dissolved, the ships are now rather free to go anywhere. Dan and Rida looked at Val as he departed towards the harbour. "Let's hope he'l be alright." said Rida, as Dan hugged her.

    ***A few days later at Bevelle***
    Valvaris is seen walking towards Bevelle from the highroad.

    "I'm coming to save you, Rikku."

    ---To Be Continued---

    Note: I'll be adding posts the way the original RPer had posted them. You'll notice some have image headers while others use a simple coloured name. Originally the RPer who played Cyan created a tag for himself and then created one for haboo who played Nikki following her request. I created tags for my characters, as well.

    Note 2: Happy New Year's everyone!

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Note: Well, that's going to be annoying.

    Joseph

    I was only a half-hour walk away from Bevelle. I would’ve taken a ship straight in but I felt like walking the last bit. After all it has been a few years since I’ve been here and it hasn’t changed. The wind ruffled my hair and gravel crunched under my feet as I continued my walk. As I got closer to my destination, I thought back to the conversation I had with my master

    Flashback

    I walked into my master’s room. As usual, he’s sitting on his knees, reading a book. He looks up as I close the door.

    “Ah Joseph, you’re here. Please sit,” he said, pointing to the mat across from him. I took the seat as he put the book down.

    “How are the new students?” he asked.

    “They’re enthusiastic but are quite a pain to work with,” I sighed.

    “Well you were like that when you started as well,” he chuckled. I smiled a bit, knowing that I was the same.

    “Yes but it seems that these newcomers aren’t learning it as a survival skill anymore. It seems more as entertainment to them,” I replied.

    “Yes but since the Eternal Calm was brought, many do not need to fight. More are interested in living their lives now instead of cowering in fear.”

    “In any case, why did you ask for me to come? Is there another class for me to teach?” I asked. It seems that my master keeps adding more classes as of late.

    “Actually no. It’s about this,” he said, sliding a piece of paper across the table. I picked it up and started reading. After a minute or two, I looked up.

    “Is this for real?”

    “Yes it is. Rikku, Lady Yuna’s guardian has disappeared in the Via Infinito. Baralei sent out this notice to anyone for help,” he explained.

    “And how did you know of this? News doesn’t travel that fast and this was issued just 2 days ago.”

    “A friend gave this notice to me just this morning. He said that maybe I or a teacher may be interested in it. I figure you might want to go so I’m asking you right now,” he said. I looked at the notice again. It was quite tempting. I haven’t been on an adventure for some time now.

    “What of my students?”

    “I’ll get someone to take over from you. I may even be inclined to teach them myself,”

    “Alight then, I’ll go.”
    End Flashback

    The sounds of people brought me out of my thoughts. I could see Bevelle now.

    “Better get moving. The meeting place is on the south side,” as I walked on.



    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Cyan.png
    < Cyan >


    Blitzball season has arrived once again. Luca becomes alive as ever, people coming from all around Spira to watch the matches or even participate in them. One would think that in a world without Sin and its constant threat, people would shift their interest over new activities, new hobbies, new plans to feel excited with. However - and surprisingly - blitzball is still as popular as it was when Spira lived in fear.

    Cyan has a bit of a hard time comprehending this.

    Leaning her back against a wall, arms crossed, she is contemplating the busy atmosphere in the Statue square. The announcements by Bobba and Jimma fill the area along with cheerful hymns, the stairs full of people arriving from Mushroom Rock and the Moonflow, kids running around with balloons, several Blitzball teams’ representatives recruiting new players in the last minute, people entering and leaving the Café, a familiar figure approaching from the right.

    “Cecyann!” the girl called rather anxiously. Cyan didn’t need to look to know who she was. Only one person in the team addressed her by the full name.

    “What are you doing here?? Captain Gazna is waiting! Remember how mad he gets whenever someone’s late! And he is even worse to us being the only human girls in the team, I think! I mean, I don’t know but that must be it! I can’t find any other reason!...”

    “Hi, Dorya.” The words came out of Cyan’s lips carrying a low, uninterested tone. As if predicting Dorya wouldn’t hear them.

    “…which brings upon me great responsibilities!” She paused for a bit, crossing her arms in a quick movement. “Let’s go then!”

    “Sorry,” Cyan replied glancing at the girl only for a second, “I’m not playing the last games.” She could sense Dorya’s bewilderment in her silence. Her mouth was probably slightly opened, together with an overall condescending expression stamped all over her face.

    “It’s a really important game! You can’t leave in the middle of the season!”

    “There are more important things than blitzball.”
    Cyan uncrossed her arms, revealing a piece of paper that she lightly waved, “Plus, I already earned the money I planned to get. I know my father will need it.”

    “What? You’re sending him money? Your father doesn’t even speak to you!”

    Cyan purposely rested a heavy silence. Dorya needed to realize it was none of her business.

    “He has his reasons.”
    For the first time, Cyan faced Dorya completely, “I am sorry about this. But it’s the truth; there are more important things than yet another Blitzball season. I trust Gazna will understand when the time comes.” Her focus shifts to the paper in her hands, “And you’ll just have to go with that.”

    Dorya blabbed some other grumpy noises which Cyan could not understand because of the rest of all the louder sounds in that Square. That’s what she told herself at least, as she read the flyer yet once more. The other girl eventually left.

    Cyan noticed a little boy standing in front of her. She couldn’t tell if he had been there for long or not. He looked no older than 6 and was holding a red balloon with one hand, and an ice cream with the other hand; a bright looking boy.

    “That girl has issues.” The kid said as he licked the ice cream. He was referring to Dorya which made Cyan smile a little.

    He shifted his eyes towards the paper Cyan was holding, curious eyes, “What’s that, Miss?” he asked.
    Cyan knelt down using one knee, so that her height would slightly match the boy’s and tried to explain without details.
    “You know who Rikku is, don’t you?” She asked.
    “I do!” he exclaimed proudly, “My dad talks about her all the time! Momma’s fed up.”
    “…Yes. Well, she helped Spira become a better place for everyone. When I was your age, I couldn’t play as freely as you and your friends can. And it’s thanks to people like Rikku that now you are able to.”
    He licked his ice cream, “Sooo what is that?” focusing on the paper again. Cyan got up.

    “Now it’s time to return the favour. This,” holding up the flyer, “makes me a volunteer for that.”
    “Cool, I want to help too!” he said with a small jump. A reaction expected from a confident child.

    Cyan wore a severe expression, “You go play.” she said bluntly, now with a soft smirk. The kid responded with another lick of his ice cream and a cheerful nod. Another kid bumped onto him in a playful, inviting way. It was enough to have them both run away in a race.

    Cyan walked amidst the masses of people on the city, her own thoughts echoing louder than the street speakers.
    To return the favour was a big understatement. She had more than enough reasons to help Rikku, and it wasn’t just the empty feeling Cyan carried with her. There is a sense of duty that grew with her; a self imposed one that she couldn’t simply ignore.

    It was time to go to Bevelle. Machines would make it a fast travel.




    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~




    Nikki closed the front door behind her, as she stepped out of the flat. But the white door annoyingly creaked open. Nikki sighed turned around and slammed it shut, this time she heard the click of it locking.

    “Damn thing” she muttered as she flicked her blonde hair behind her. She checked she had everything: keys, potions, various accessories to help with the immunity of the various status affects, her arrows were in a brown contained strapped to her back, and she had her bow over her right shoulder. Nodding to herself she walked down the stony path and closed the white gate behind her, out of the garden which had many dying shrubs in. She wasn’t really much of a gardener, but it did bother her that anything she planted would die.

    “Off so early!” exclaimed a voice as Nikki was rereading the flyer, she put the flyer away as a big woman with black curly hair approached her, she was wearing a blue flowery dress with a cream apron on complete with blue sandals. Nikki smiled at her.

    “Afraid so Kyley,” Nikki smiled at her, her neighbour Kyley had always been there for her, and was the only person who was probably a bit close to. The 32 year old woman Kyley looked worriedly at her with her hazel eyes when she saw she was carrying her weapons.

    “I hope you’re not going looking for trouble again; you know how worried I get when you go off looking for fiends to slay.” Kyley crossed her arms. Nikki sighed; of course the woman could also be a pain in the butt at times.

    “I’m sorry Kyley, but there’s someone I need to help. Top secret” she replied with a stern face, as if to say she didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Kyley put up her hands in defeat.

    “Okay, okay, I know you can look after yourself. But here if you are going to slay fiends, take this.” Kyley rummages through her apron pocket and handed Nikki a high potion. Kyley sighed and put her hand through her hair as Nikki accepted the potion. “Please be careful dear” said Kyley. Nikki looked up at Kyley this time her face softer than before.

    “Thank you, and don’t worry I will” She smiled at the older woman and then waved goodbye.

    “Take care,” shouted Kyley after her as Nikki took off down the street. Kyley then went back indoors.

    Nikki was now jogging down through the streets of Bevelle, she hadn’t expected her neighbour to come out and now Nikki was behind. She wanted to get their early so she could assess the situation. The meeting place was in the south side of Bevelle, she had too many bad memories in the south side, and tried to avoid it wherever possible. She didn’t even like going on the high bridge. The specific place was just outside the portal to the Via Infinito, which meant she had to jog all the way round Bevelle up the stairs to the high bridge, cross the high bridge and then turn right inside the temple to the small room. Nikki moaned inwards to herself as she thought of the journey to get there. Whoever designed Bevelle did a really bad job at it, it was easy to get lost here if you weren’t local. Still jogging meant she could loosen her muscles ready for the Via Infinito.

    When Nikki finally got to the entrance of the small room there were two guards.
    “Name?” asked the left hand guard.

    “Nikki, I’m here about the flyer.” The other guard pointed.

    “I’ll escort you to the new place, no ones to go in there with the portal until you’ve had the briefing,” He sighed.

    “You see some of the earlier flyers had the wrong meeting place printed on them, which makes our job harder, because we have to guard this portal,” said the left hand guard. The right hand guard just quickly looked at him, as if to tell him to shut up. He then escorted Nikki to a small room next door.

    Nikki stepped in to find a wooden desk with papers on it, and a computer, around the small room were wooden chairs dotted around against the wall. There was a small stained glass window at the top of the room, on the cream walls with a big round light on the ceiling which dimly glowed. Nikki was the first one to arrive.

    “Well this is cosy” thought Nikki as she went to sit on one of the chairs in the room, she began to polish her bow as she waited for the others. She didn’t have to wait long as people began to file into the room, all chatting and beaming with excitement with the task. Nikki put her hand to her head as she sighed “This isn’t a camping trip, don’t they realise that the Via Infinito is one of the most dangerous places in Spira?” she thought to herself. Barailai then entered to the room along with a worried Gippal. Nikki thought that Gippal probably had a personal reason to get involved.

    “Can I have your attention please?” asked Barailai, the room went silent at that as everyone stood looking attentively at Barailai. Nikki hung her bow over her shoulder and stood up and walked over to the group of people to listen to Barailai. “As you all know it has been three days since Miss Rikku went into the Via Infinito. We want you to go and look for her, but please be warned, the Via Infinito is not to be taken lightly.” Barailai paused to look at everyone to make sure they were listening. “The floors layout can vary for one thing, the Pryeflies that make up the Via Infinito seem to change its shape when no one is there, to guard it from intruders. Another thing is that the fiends down there are more powerful than you have seen anywhere in Spira, if you can it is advisable that you avoid a fight wherever possible. As you venture further down the fiends become more powerful. This is a very high risk mission, and please if you have any children or family you will not be thought of any less if you leave right now.” Barailai then paused as some people muttered that they were sorry as they left the room.

    “We’ve sent a watcher down there to already to look for her. If you guys gather round this computer we can show you what it is like down there,” said Gippal as he began tapping on the computer. Nikki followed people to the computer and watched. The picture was fuzzy but it was clear enough to see a connection. But Nikki heard some gasps from people as they saw an abundance of fiends with Pryeflies swirling around them. It was like a maze down there, and it was just what Nikki had expected. But she hadn’t expected there to be so many fiends. Suddenly the watcher seemed to head straight to the floor and the screen went blank.“Damn it!” said Gippal as he suddenly stood up from the computer. He then grabbed his gun from the corner of the room and rushed out of the room, Nikki guessed to go and fix the watcher, which she thought was stupid, but it seemed he was controlled by his urge to find Rikku.

    “I want you to go after Gippal and help him find Rikku” said Baralia lastly and with that the group headed to the teleport.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Mishka.png

    The Via Infinito... I'd heard tales of that pit. There were those who'd braved just the first level. Seeing just the sight of all the fiends was enough to send them fleeing for the exit portal. Even so, some counts had spoken of finding remains on the very first level and collapsed in front of the exit, at that. It was enough to prevent me from risking my Fangtastic! sphere hunter group. It had been composed mainly of adolescent ronso eager to discover new visions of the past and any excuse to explore the world outside the sacred mountain. I felt a kindred spirit in them since the beginning despite the fact that they felt only enmity for me. With enough time, though, my own reluctance to fall to social norms of a guado befriended them and we became a strong team. A strong team, but definitely not one to take into the Via Infinito.

    “Can I have your attention please?” Baralai called out, alerting me to the mission at hand.

    I had chosen to volunteer following a sphere delivery to Gippal at the Machine Faction. The flyer had caught my eye, though Gippal would immediately advise against my taking part with the Fangtastic!. Sadly, I was hopelessly enthralled and so, here I was, ready to seek the final unknown.

    The Praetor proceeded to go over the known difficulties we'd face, saying, “The floors layout can vary for one thing, the Pryeflies that make up the Via Infinito seem to change its shape when no one is there, to guard it from intruders. Another thing is that the fiends down there are more powerful than you have seen anywhere in Spira, if you can it is advisable that you avoid a fight wherever possible. As you venture further down the fiends become more powerful. This is a very high risk mission, and please if you have any children or family you will not be thought of any less if you leave right now.”

    It was safe to say about half of the people in the oversized audience chamber fled the scene following those words. Next to speak would be Gippal, who immediately located my spot at the left wall. He continued on despite this and told us about a sphere recording from one of his probe drones. Midway through the video, the machina collapsed and the sphere deactivated.

    “Damn it!” He hastily said, grabbing his weapon and taking his leave.

    Watching his exit, I knew I couldn't just leave him to fix the machina or salvage its remains. He hadn't been of particularly sound judgment as of late. Something about the mission seemed very personal to him and personal emotions would only hinder his chances of survival.

    “I want you to go after Gippal and help him find Rikku” Baralai instructed, signaling for us to take our leave.

    As the new party began to exit, I put my long fingers to my mouth and whistled. Gaining their attention, including a very surprised Gippal nearest to the door, I took in a deep breath and began.

    “I think we should diverge into two separate groups. Gippal, sir, you cannot go in alone. I will escort you. You and you can come with me.” I said pointing at the two Al Bhed nearest me, “The rest of you can go ahead and find Rikku. We'll worry about the machina.”

    “Mishka.” Gippal grunted, “Fine, but let's hurry. I want my sentry back online as soon as possible. Via Infinito isn't a safe area so having a mechanical eye'll give us the advantage. As for you, be careful, but move fast. The longer you linger on a floor, the more likely you won't make it to the next one. Please, find Rikku.” He added, this time looking at the archer girl next to him.

    We moved quickly down the corridors between the audience chamber and the entrance portal to the Via Infinito. Before entering, I saw him take another deep breath and patted him on the shoulder to let him know it would be okay, whatever emotional ties he had to the mission. After the light activated on the warp pad from our presence, a blinding light flashed and we were there, level zero.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Kilika Island - Twins' House

    "Where is that""Phoenix Down?" The twins said as they were flipping over the bed and turning over the cupboard respectively. They had been preparing for the trip they have long since abandoned. Well, not really a long time, it's only been a few months, but to the hyperactive twins, it's like forever. Since that day when the notice of Rikku's disappearance came, the twins had been jumping to get a holiday from canoeing to go to Bevelle.

    ----- Earlier that day -----

    Kilika Island - Kilika Port


    "Hey, what's with the speed today, you two?" A fellow canoe maneuverer called out after seeing their speedy and seemingly reckless canoeing. "We're going""to Bevelle!" Like always, the twins completed each other sentences. "Oh? When?" "Tomorrow!" They exclaimed at the same time. "But why?" "A secret""Rescue mission!"

    ----- End Flashback -----

    Kilika Island - Twins' House


    The twins got home early. They've earned enough gils for the day. That and they can't wait. Together they packed all of their gils in their magically enchanted backpack that have enough space to pack a Vegnagun, but still as light as a feather, along with all the healing and offensive items they can find. "Hey! There's""the Chocobo Feather!"

    And there they go on their long-awaited journey after a full night of "There!"s and "I found it!"s.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Mi'ihen Highroad - Rin's Travel Agency


    "We want 50 Hi-potions,""25 Phoenix Downs, 10 Eye Drops,""and 2 Chocobos!" The twins took turns to order all that they want, switching constantly with their excitable personality, timing perfect, confusing the shopkeeper.

    "Got it.. Okay... Check... Noted... ... Wait! Chocobo?" The shopkeeper snapped out of confusion. "Yes, we want to ride""them on our way""to Bevelle!" The shopkeeper exclaimed. "Pid dryd fuimt dyga tyoc! Fro hud dyga y neta uh dra airship? Oui'mm ynneja drana eh yh ruin un dfu." "Dryd fuimt""pa knayd! Fa'ja ymfyoc fyhdat du""neta uh yh airship." Paying with their gils, the twins headed up the airship located at the back of the Agency.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bevelle - Highbridge


    "Wow. Look at""the people." The twins were amazed by the amount of people flooding in Bevelle. There were Youth League's member, as well as people from Machine Faction and New Yevon. Most people that have gotten their hands on the flyers had come. Weirdly, they seemed to be fleeing instead of going to the entrance. Yuki and Yuubou made their way into the former temple of Bevelle, now looking more like a tourist attraction, with some people going out of the audience chamber, and some into the warping room. The twins followed suit and went into the first room on the right in the temple.

    Bevelle - Room to Cloister Dungeon


    Stepping on the warp pad after a somewhat short queue, the twins were teleported into Cloister 0 with a blinding light.

    Via Infinito - Cloister 0


    Yuki and Yuubou were, again, amazed by their surroundings. The cloister is huge, with lights so neatly placed the twins were dumbfounded by the construction work. Pyreflies swirled around the all over the place, and together they make Farplane look pyrefly-less. Glyphs of Yevon was everywhere, making the already gloomy place creepier and darker. Yuki and Yuubou looked at each other, then smiled and walked towards the nearest group of people.


    Al Bhed Translation
    * "But that would take days! Why not take a ride on the
    airship? You'll arrive there in an hour or two."
    ** "That would""be great! We've always wanted to""ride on an airship."

  3. #3
    Valvaris

    Valvaris approaches a door with two guards standing in front of it. The guard on the left held up with left hand in front of Val to stop him in his steps, "Who are you? What are you here for?"

    "Valvaris. For Baralai's Notice."
    "Some notices printed the location of the meeting wrongly. The meeting place is next door. Please, follow me." replied the guard on the right, as he walked towards another similar looking door on the right.

    Valvaris followed the guard to the door, and stepped into the room after the guard opened it. Inside the room, he saw many people who have arrived before he did. Some are sitting quietly in their place, seemingly examining their weapons; some are looking at him as he walked in; while some other gathered together chit-chattering away. The room is filled with noises of different groups bickering in loud voices. Val picked a spot in the west corner of the room and stared into the room, as if he is analyzing the people in the room. Val's habit wherever he may be, is to observe. At this moment, he wants to know what type of people he might be working with during the mission to rescue Rikku.

    "This many people came, but only a few are obviously capable." thought Val.

    As he was observing the people in the room, the door creaked open again. A silhouette of a short-haired woman is seen moving into the room. The woman had light brown hair, with a sheathed sword hanging by her side. Some of the warriors' eyes shifted onto her as she walked in. Val focuses on the silhouette of the woman, and all he hears is the sound of the boots of that woman hitting the floor, because the woman is resonating an aura he feels familiar with. When she arrived at the center of the room, she turned her head around, and Val saw her face. Their eyes met for a second, Val was sure of it.

    "Cyan!" said Val, softly, to himself.

    Val stood up and took a step towards Cyan, who is now heading towards an empty chair, and took seat. Just then, Baralai walked into the room, followed by another man, who Val know as 'Gippal'. Val knew the briefing is about to start. He took a look at Cyan again, before moving forward towards the front of the room, and looks at Baralai attentively. Baralai then began by saying loudly, "Can I have your attention please?" The bickering in the room stopped instantly. Many walked towards Baralai, who began the briefing.

    Baralai briefed the warriors regarding the details of Rikku missing and assured them that it is a dangerous mission. The volunteers are advised to leave if they have families to take care of. Voices are heard as some others exchanged opinions on the said topic, and after that, many left the room through the door Val came in.

    The briefing continues with Gippal offering the crowd to watch scenes that are captured and projected onto a computer screen by a watcher sent down into the Via Infinito. As Val is watching the image, it suddenly blacked out. Gippal lets out a curse before storming off into the direction of the portal to Via Infinito. Baralai immediately reacted, by requesting the remaining warriors in the room to follow Gippal and assist in finding Rikku. After seeing the fiends-filled land of Via Infinito, Val became more worried about Rikku, and became one of the few who first dashed off in the direction of the teleporter.

    Suddenly a loud whistle is heard across the room, and Gippal stopped in his steps. Val almost knocked into Gippal as he, too, made a sudden halt in his footsteps. He turned his head around to search for the source of the sound. His eyes settled upon a Guado. A Guado who seems strong. She then began speaking, "“I think we should diverge into two separate groups. Gippal, sir, you cannot go in alone. I will escort you. You and you can come with me. The rest of you can go ahead and find Rikku. We'll worry about the machina.”

    From Val's distance with Gippal, he heard him muttered, "Mishka", and then continued on with the importance of having the watcher restored. "Mishka..." he thought. Shaking his head to get off from the distractions, he resumed his steps towards the entrance portal of Via Infinito. Behind him, he can hear various footsteps catching up as well. He took a deep breath, and then stepped onto the warp. The last thing he saw, was a bright light enveloping him, and the next scene he saw, is a dim corridor filled with pyreflies, and two fiends standing in front of him.

    The fiends saw Val appearing from the warp, and started to rush towards him. Val side-stepped away to the right to escape from a charging Dingo, and bent his body down as he slide right to avoid another Dingo who is jumping at him. He slid both his hands to the inside of his robe and pulled out two guns, one on each hand. He turned back and aimed his right gun on the charging Dingo and the left gun on the jumping Dingo. He fired both the guns. The jumping Dingo was shot and fell down onto the ground, but the charging one managed to avoid the attack. It began charging at Val again. Val turned around, kick on the wall and made a backwards somersault, landing behind the Dingo and shot at it. The Dingo falls onto the floor and began disintegrating into pyreflies.

    "This place is populated with fiends. We should explore this place with groups of two to three, at least, for the safety of each other. The only person I'd trust from those in the room before is just Cyan. Hope she's next to enter from the warp..." thought Val.

    He didn't know that while he was fighting, there already were warriors who came from the portal. He turned to the portal, just to see a few silhouettes standing there, looking at him.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    Machina, how vile. In the distant past they had brought forth death, destruction, chaos, and rewarded us with Sin. Sin who would ransack all the homes of the innocent, end countless lives across the generations, which we ourselves had done none differently. Sin was a culmination of humanity's inhumanity and we were finally educated on the cause. Machina had given us the possibility for change and progression, but we would fail in favour of power and greed. Machina gave us the means to conquer what we could, decimate what we couldn't. Those who knew this manufactured them by the hundreds of thousands and marched them through Spira's peaceful plains, grounding out all hope for a bright future.

    In spite of this, some on Spira would blind themselves from truth. Some sought further destruction, desired the horror to one day return to us by returning the planet to those misguided eras of old. Those Al Bhed... Those Al Bhed who strove to bring back the Machina age! They were responsible from the beginning, the forerunners of the Machina age! They brought Sin and they wanted Sin's return!

    I knew immediately when that faux of a High Summoner announced the final defeat of Sin. To think that brute force and Al Bhed allies would shun it from existence, hah! I would later discover the reason: She herself bore the same tainted blood! She was like unto them, the same wretched heathens for Sin's path to resurrection. No, the honourable Lord, Yu Yevon, had cursed us with it to show us the way, teach us to be one Spira, united towards building a greater world. Machina had hindered us from such a path. He knew, as I do from his teachings, that the generation that followed him indulged in those devices and became repositories for evil. We must return to his age, to a Spira that desired not the comforts and power of machines. Unfortunately, records of our Lord's world have long been lost to history, but clues may yet exist. That is the only reason I have to remain on Spira though my time has passed. That is the only reason why I had agreed to this...

    “Ladies and gentlemen! I welcome you all to what may well be the stepping stones to Spira's bright new future!” That filth announced up on his Machina-forged fortress.

    This Rin was yet another Al Bhed, the orchestrator of my current occupation. He has aspired to profit from the technology that could build new Machina Cities drawn from the research of yet another heathen spawn, a boy named Shinra. This boy had found a way, not only to harness energy to bring back those accursed constructs, but to drain the very lifeblood from this world.

    “As you all know, my company has come across new developments in technology that could return Spira to its Golden Age! I tell you, what you do today may just pave the way towards a brand new Zanarkand!”

    Followed closely by a rampaging demon, you offal spewing sow.” I grumbled under my breath as I, among other volunteers attended the opening ceremony for the new initiative.

    Rin was also the culprit behind an incident with Machina only a short while before. I had managed to catch wind of such events and gave notice, which created a stir until the gracious heathen summoner appeared, even discovering the plot at hand and allowing it to proceed by not announcing it to the world. The populous remained ignorant to what Machina truly are and what they had done to the Spira of the past. It was enough to show me I had only myself left to actually make a difference.

    Once he was done spouting his lies, I went about my business. Locating the equipment depot, I quickly snatched up a new model MRI that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a simple device, though still a Machina, which I had to accept for now. Next, I would find a satchel to store a few tectonic charges, followed by trying my hand at a “Gravity” gun, another Machina, but one that could maintain my “human” guise better should I need the heavy lifting only my unsent abilities could warrant me.

    “Oh, excuse me.” Another one of those... things said to me.

    Hello, young one.” I greeted, hoping my inner enmity for the creature would not become outwardly apparent, You seem to have lost your way. Might I be of assistance?”

    “Oh, thanks! I actually was a digger before, but it's always good to get advice from someone with more experience. My name's Hunter.” He responded, offering his hand.

    Eying the limb with hidden contempt, I played with the thought of skinning it and him where he stood, but took to simply smiling and taking it, I am Iezak. It's nice to meet you, Hunter.”

    “Hey, all that equipment looks kinda heavy. Why not just grab one of these?” He informed me, leading me to another area of the depot that housed strange metal gargantuans.

    What might those be?”

    “Haha, the latest gear just released by the Machine Faction. They're remote excavations exosuits. You can program them as drones or get in them as a digger suit. They're crude compared to what you've got, but it can get the mundane stuff out of the way.” He said with a laugh, “This one's mine. Iezak, meet the RKX-11. I designed her myself, though I have to admit, there's still a few programming glitches to buff out.”

    After a few more trades with the lad, I began to see a good personality behind him despite his misguided path. Perhaps he only wishes this route as a means of being friend to the leader, Gippal, though his true goals have yet to be realised. I should keep a closer eye on this one as perhaps he can be reeducated in the ways of the light. With that in mind, we set off.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    As Nikki was about to head out the door to follow Gippal, which she thought was very stupid of him to go out on his own. “Does he want to become fiend soup!” thought Nikki, she heard a very loud whistle. She spun quickly around to find that the source came from a female Guado. “Deafen me why don’t you” muttered Nikki under her breath as she felt a ringing in her ears from the sheer volume of it.

    “I think we should diverge into separate groups...”

    “Oh ****...” thought Nikki, “I see she wants to become fiend soup as well” While thinking this she missed part of the Guado’s little “speech”.

    “...I will escort you. You and you come with me. The rest of you go ahead and find Rikku. We’ll worry about the machine.”

    “Hey great idea! Risk your lives to save the machina! Brilliant” thought Nikki. She inwardly face palmed in her head. She was only brought out of her thoughts by Gippal, who had turned to face her.

    “...Please find Rikku” he said as he left with the Guado and the two Albehd.

    “... Oh crap he thinks I’m going to lead!” thought Nikki as she went with the others out the door of the small room.

    “NIKKSTER!” Shouted a young male voice, so all could hear.

    “****” muttered Nikki, she really wasn’t having a good start to the day. Nikki heard some low laughter from some members of the group. She kept walking not once looking at the 14 year old boy who was bounding up towards her. “Go home Kai” Nikki said simply.

    “Awww but mum wanted to make sure you were okay. Anyway who was that Guado chick that came out? She was HOT!” Said Kai with a big grin. His mum Kyley must have sent her son Kai to go and see what she was up to. Kai was short but had spikey brown hair, blue eyes, a rounded face and was wearing black trunks, and was dripping wet.

    “Must have been swimming,” thought Nikki as she stopped to turn round to face him. She didn’t question him why he had walked across Bevelle in just his trunks, it was the norm for him. Although she was surprised that he managed to get in the temple. She could see that he now was cheekily looking at the group, and his eyes rested on Cyan and he gave her a grin.

    “Hey there good looking” said Kai, Nikki groaned and put her hand to her head.

    “If you don’t want an arrow up your ass in ten seconds, then leave” said Nikki, She knew she had wasted enough time already on the boy and walked on with the group. Some had gone ahead, while some had decided to watch, as she went to the portal she could hear the guards stopping him and him protesting.

    As she entered cloister 0 it was very cold, colder than she remembered. More pryeflies were around than she remembered too, she went up to the group while arming herself with her bow and arrow. “Sorry about that he can be a real bugger at times” she said to the group. She recognised both Cyan and Valvaris from the Youth League, but never actually spoken to them. She continued, “It’s quite safe here, so before we go any further I propose that we actually introduce each other to the group. I don’t want to have to call you all “it” or “Hey you,” in battle. So I’m Nikki, I don’t need to actually tell you what my class is” She motioned towards her bow.

    As everyone introduced themselves in turn, she made a mental note to at least learn their names. “Right I suggest we all stick together, good thing about this place there’s a teleport on every floor, easy to get out. If we all split off into groups then we’re more likely to become the fiends dinner, as we are easier to pick off in small groups” She then walked on hoping the group would follow as she jumped down to cloister 1.

    It smelled bad, the pryeflies were very clustered together, fiends were to say the least agitated. Nikki walked only two steps with the group when a little girl in a light pink dress in pink sandals ran up to them. The little girl smiled as the pryeflies floated around her. Nikki immediately went into a defensive mode “Unsent...” thought Nikki. The little girl frowned at the weapon, she looked about 7 or 8 years old.

    “That’s not nice!” she pointed at the bow and arrow being pointed at her. Nikki realised that in reality, this unsent could be over 1000 years old.

    “Who are you?” asked Nikki. The girl smiled and skipped around the group twirled about and laughed.

    “Me? Oh no one,” she replied with a giggle.

    “Have you seen an Albehd with long blond hair come through here?” Nikki asked. The unsent yawned.

    “This is boring, my friend wants to play” she suddenly faded into a cluster of pryeflies which zoomed off into the depths, while a Jumbo Cactur stood there in her place.

    “****!” said Nikki as she fired her arrow at it.

    To be continued... dun dun dun!

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    < Cyan >

    Bevelle has lost its grandeur, as expected. Another noticeable aspect that Spira’s diffusion has brought to its people. The Youth League and New Yevon seem to have toned down their incisive points of view; Bevelle’s face, for one, has come to know several changes, yet again. It seems that, in the last 6 months, the city is having trouble following a sensible direction between an open minded reign and a Yevon oriented one. If anything, it generated a political dilemma.

    “Yevon is no longer New, is it?” Kaim asked rhetorically as he seemed to observe Bevelle’s main road. These were Cyan’s thoughts too. Contrarily to Kaim, however, Cyan’s were amused, not carrying a tone of disbelief in them.

    She glanced at Kaim, lowering her sight to his hand holding a little girl’s. Cyan acted uninterested.

    “Look, Cassey! They’ve changed the guards’ uniforms again!” he pointed to the guards, calling for his daughter’s enthusiasm; a situation that would otherwise be normal, if it wasn’t for his soon farewell. It was none of Cyan’s business to call for a father’s attention. She kept walking the main road between the side lakes. Resonating steps in an abandoned Bevelle.

    “Miss Cyan, might you know why the city seems so unbusy?” Kaim’s voice came from behind. She kept walking.

    “…You are one of few words, aren’t you? I respect that!” truly, he was one who lacked confidence. Cyan thought he was unfitting for the mission not to mention careless: for joining while having a little child and for bringing her with him.

    Kaim was one of the passengers that came together with Cyan in the Airship to the Calm lands. His daughter, Cassey, picked an interest in Cyan’s sword expressing her liking for the large blade and its green coor which she adjectivated as "pretty". Sadly, it was enough for this single parent to engage in idle banter or, to be more exact, an endless monologue.

    The guards escorted the three close to the room where the briefing would take place. Cyan decided she would detach herself from thoughts concerning Cassey and let her father deal with this. Surely, he will be one of many who will give up.

    Passing the door, Cyan noticed the room was smaller than what you would expect; as if the briefing was to be made for a very small group of people. This made Cyan smirk. They would be selective in some way; not everyone in that room would be in the mission.
    Looking around, Cyan recognized a few familiar faces; fellow ex-members of the Youth League. She also noticed most seemed to be too distracted, unaware of what Via Infinito reserves for them. She proceeded to sit on a chair on which she remained for the whole briefing, ignoring minor distractions.

    There was a bit of a commotion during Baralai’s speech as the Watcher seemed to have a problem. It made Gippal and others rush out of the room, only stopping with a sudden, loud whistle from a woman.

    “I think we should diverge into two separate groups. Gippal, sir, you cannot go in alone. I will escort you. You and you can come with me.” She said pointing at the two Al Bhed nearest, “The rest of you can go ahead and find Rikku. We'll worry about the machina.”

    A fair decision, Cyan acknowledged. Even though sudden, the situation seemed to require it. Such eagerness to problem solving, however, made Cyan wary. Gippal did not exchange eyes with Mishka the same way as everyone else. There was more to it than Cyan could possibly care as of now.

    “Hey there good looking.” A young, cocky voice came from a kid wearing a sly grin. Cyan glanced at the kid and then at the archer girl who seemed upset with his presence. She didn’t seem much older than the boy.

    …Both were noisy.

    Cyan kept walking while looking around at the group, as it finally proceeded to the teleporter. He already went in beforehand, she thought to herself. She was almost sure he was who she believed him to be.

    Cloister 0. It still felt the same as before, perhaps colder.

    “Sorry about that he can be a real bugger at times” the archer girl said, probably referring to the boy from before. Cyan, didn’t look back, instead, she stepped in his direction. Upon fully recognizing him, Cyan couldn’t help but smile. Not an honest smile; it purposely expressed dryness.

    “I see you still rush into trouble, boy.” She bluntly stated now with a more provocative facial expression. The boy seemed to bypass it as he smiled back at Cyan not hiding his excitement.

    “Trouble keeps rushing into me!” He put his hand behind his head, in an uncommon mix of cockiness and embarrassment. “It’s good to see you, Cyan.” Cyan responded to this with a positive nod.

    “It’s quite safe here, so before we go any further I propose that we actually introduce each other to the group. I don’t want to have to call you all “it” or “Hey you,” in battle. So I’m Nikki, I don’t need to actually tell you what my class is.” the girl said, now being more incisive in her apparent leader role. Cyan finds it a bit of a waste of time, yet acknowledges the need for teamwork all the same. She is the last one to introduce herself.

    “I’m Cyan. Say my name when you need cover.”

    “That’s… quite the oversized sword.” A woman with a white cape said. Cyan had already forgotten the woman’s name; she was pointing to Calibur on Cyan’s back. Her tone was not one of casuality ot even admiration; on the contrary, it demonstrated disbelief, possibly doubting Cyan’s ability to handle it. She gave a quick, unmoved glance to the woman.

    “When it stands between you and a fiend, you might as well be thankful.” Cyan could see Valvaris nodding positively to this. Both her and Valvaris then jumped making way to cloister 1; others had already done it, yet Cyan knew those few wouldn’t last. She planned to wait for Nikki and the rest once she got to the next cloister.

    Cloister 1 was an almost exact replica of Cloister 0. Unfortunately, it had a surprise.

    “…That’s no little girl, is it?” Val rhetorically asked. He probably had the same belief as Cyan.

    A loud noise came from the teleporter, Cyan didn’t look back on it but she could hear a male voice.

    “The others are coming too!” It was Kaim. What of his daughter, Cyan asked herself, adopting an angry expression and simultaneously noticing her failure when it comes to detachment. He came to a stop when he noticed the little girl.
    “Hey!” he voiced at her, “Are you okay?” Cyan could feel Val glancing at her.

    “Quiet.” She told Kaim for the first time for much of his surprise. She adopted an unarmed, ready position.

    “But… she’s just an…”

    “Unsent...” Nikki voiced Cyan’s suspicion. And it seems the rest of the group had arrived as well.

    “Who are you?” She asked the little girl who seemed to be just amused by that and any other questions. This was not an innocent unsent, not to mention an unsent child is quite rare; it takes a very mature level of resolve for that to happen, yet this child seems to be acting her age if not younger.

    “This is boring, my friend wants to play” a cluster of pyreflies suddenly gave rise to a Jumbo Cactuar. Nikki was the first to react to it as an arrow was seen flying towards it. It became one of the fiend’s thousands of spikes.

    “Whoa, that’s no dingo!”

    Everyone was in an unorganized commotion. Real warriors were going to emerge from this battle, no doubt. The Jumbo Cactuar was in the middle with its awckward, giant position, moving its legs and arms as if it was a mere oversized cactuar with a deeper, laugh resembling, pitch.

    “Hey, all of you! Stand together damn it!”
    Nikki tried to call out for the three mages behind the Jumbo Cactuar. “You have back attack advantage! Don’t waste it!"

    “Fire should be its standard weakness! Exploit it!”
    Cyan gave a nod to Valvaris, aware of his valuable abilities.”

    As several people were attacking the fiend, it seemed to be, somehow, weakening. It was not something expected from an otherwise normal, overly powerful Jumbo Cactuar. Something wasn’t right, hopefully, in the group’s favour.

    “Cyan, look!” Val pointed at the cactuar’s eyes. Cyan immediately realized what he was calling the attention for. The Cactuar’s eyes were cross shaped instead of the standard horizontal lines.

    “Shooters! Aim for its eyes!” Nikki, for one, seemed busy with her own attacking agenda and avoiding the Jumbo’s stomp attacks.
    “Uhh, sure! Just wait until- Ahhh ****!” she interrupted herself “What’s it doing now!”

    The giant Cactuar stopped its movement as it kept making weird, louder noises. His body seemed to be contracting with thousands of small lumps appearing all over its body. Everyone, in their own way, seemed to adopt a defensive stance.

    “Gazillion spikes!!” Nikki squealed, “Everyone! Watch out!”

    Some mages on the other side readied spells while Cyan carved her sword on the ground, as a wall.

    “Stay behind me as effectively as you can!”
    She told some around her.

    “Protect!” “Protect!” “Reflect!” Several mages finally released their protective spells randomly on the small, dispersed groups.

    “Reflect?! Why would anyone-“

    “Take cover!” Cyan interrupted as the fiend suddenly made a louder noise.

    In that moment, millions of spikes flew all over the cloister in a deafening orchestra of sounds. The sound of the spikes hitting metal on shields and armours; the sound of spikes deflected by the stone on the floor and walls; the sound of screams of pain by those who didn’t manage to take shelter effectively despite the shallow protect magic surrounding some of them; the sound of the fiend who seemed to be dancing and laughing as expected from a mischievous cactuar.

    When the wave of spikes finally ceased, Cyan, Val and Nikki - who were behind her, partially sheltered by the Calibur - had no fatal wounds, only with signs of low to moderate damage.

    “You’re still no fun!” the voice of the little girl was heard yet there was no sign of her.

    The voice was interrupted by the elastic sound of a launched arrow right to one of the Jumbo Cactuar’s eyes. It brought a stop to his energetic, never ending dance.

    “What’s happening?” someone asked out loud.

    The Jumbo Cactuar suddenly became wrapped in pyreflies, its shape distorting and becoming less defined. In a second, it burst into many standard sized cactuars for much of everyone’s surprise.

    “Playful, isn’t she.” Val referred to the little girl.

    “Just deal with the small threats now.”


    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Joseph
    This couldn’t get any worse. I was one of the last people to enter the Via Infinito because I wanted to recheck my inventory. After making sure that I had want I needed, I took the portal in. Cloister 0 was empty at that point. I cursed myself for taking too much time checking my inventory and hurried to the portal for the next level, hoping to catch the main group.

    When I got there, it was almost pure mayhem. I arrived just to see one of the archers hit the eye of a Jumbo Cactuar and it dissolving into multiple Cactuars. The Cactuars began running around, attacking the group. Some were trying to protect the injured while others were overwhelmed by these fiends. I drew my sword and quickly joined in, slicing my way to a small group near the center. I cut down a Cactuar just when it jumped at the archer.

    “Thanks. Who..” she began.

    “Name’s Joseph,” I replied, cutting down another Cactuar.

    “Cyan, this isn’t looking good,” the guy with the guns said. He was right, we’re outnumbered at least 3 to 1.

    “That’s an understatement,” she said, looking at the mass of Cactuars. I then saw that some of the Cactuars began bending down.

    “Watch out! 1000 needles!” I exclaimed. With that exclamation, the woman known as Cyan planted her sword in front of her.

    “Everyone get down!” she demanded. I ducked behind her, as did the archer girl and guy with the guns. I heard needles deflect of the sword and her armor. I also heard the pain and gasps of people that didn’t get behind cover and were bombarded with needles.

    “Does anyone know a water spell?” I yelled. Cactuars are generally weak against water. The problem was that most of the black mages were already down or critically injured when I arrived. I swung my sword as did Cyan, trying to cut down the number of Cactuars. Some Cactuars jumped us. Just then, a flood of water knocked them back. I looked back to see that one of the mages managed to cast a Waterga spell.

    This spell caused the other Cactuars to run and become pryeflies again. I let out a big sigh of relief, knowing that this could’ve turned out much worse. We began to tally the amount of wounded.

    “This isn’t good. Around half of our forces are injured critically and require treatment at the surface,” Nikki reported during a quick meeting between me, Cyan and Val.

    “We need to continue on. Those that aren’t that seriously injured can rest on this level till they‘ve regained their strength. Those that need to, take the portal back to the surface. The rest, let’s continue on,” I said, walking to the portal.

  4. #4
    Valvaris

    “I see you still rush into trouble, boy.” Cyan bluntly stated now with a more provocative facial expression.

    Val smiled back at Cyan, he was glad she remembered him. “Trouble keeps rushing into me!", he paused, “It’s good to see you, Cyan.” In which she responded with a nod.

    Just then, the girl with the bow began to talk, requesting everyone to introduce themselves. Her name is Nikki. "Valvaris. I do Magic." He said as he walk away. Cyan was the last to introduce herself, "I’m Cyan. Say my name when you need cover."

    “That’s… quite the oversized sword.” A woman with a white cape said.
    “When it stands between you and a fiend, you might as well be thankful.” Cyan replied, while Val nod in agreement.

    Cyan and Val made their way towards Cloister 1. As all of them entered Cloister 1, they realize it was almost similar to Cloister 0. To their surprise, a little girl was standing in front of them. "...That's no little girl, is it?" Val asked. He knows that Cyan, too, thinks that girl is no ordinary human being.

    Kaim, Cyan's friend from before, came into the scene, wanting to reach for the little girl. Cyan sternly said, "Quiet." Nikki then told everyone that the girl, is most probably an Unsent. She proceeded to ask the girl who is she.

    The girl reacted by saying, "This is boring, my friend wants to play."
    "Friend?" thought Val, "Crap!" as a cluster of pyreflies appears and among it, a Jumbo Cactuar.

    "Whoa, that's no dingo!" Val responded immediately.

    “Hey, all of you! Stand together damn it!” Nikki tried to call out for the three mages behind the Jumbo Cactuar. “You have back attack advantage! Don’t waste it!"

    “Fire should be its standard weakness! Exploit it!” Cyan gave a nod to Valvaris.

    Val immediately sidestepped to an empty spot on his right, and projected himself into the air, to gain a good view of the target. He did a small somersault before aiming both his guns at the Jumbo Cactuar, and two red colored magic-circle patterns appear in front of him, one in front of the other. "Hosha" said Val, as he pulled the trigger on both guns. One red-colored flare appeared from the center of each of the magic circles and home towards the Jumbo Cactuar. Upon contact, the red flares releases a small blast of fire onto the target. Val landed on the ground right after.

    The others were also attacking the Cactuar in that chaos. The enemy, somehow or rather, seems to be weakening. "Not right." thought Val, "That!"

    "Cyan, look!" Val said as he pointed at the Cactuar's eyes. They were cross shaped instead of horizontal lines.

    “Shooters! Aim for its eyes!” shouted Cyan.
    “Uhh, sure! Just wait until- Ahhh ****! What’s it doing now!” exclaimed Nikki.

    The giant Cactuar stopped its movement as it kept making weird, louder noises. His body seemed to be contracting with thousands of small lumps appearing all over its body. Everyone, in their own way, seemed to adopt a defensive stance.

    “Gazillion spikes!!” Nikki squealed, “Everyone! Watch out!”

    Cyan carved her sword on the ground, as a wall; while some other mages are casting Protect spells. One was even casting Reflect.

    “Stay behind me as effectively as you can!” Cyan told some around her.

    “Reflect?! Why would anyone-"

    “Take cover!” Cyan interrupted as the fiend suddenly made a louder noise.

    The attack was unleashed. Millions of spikes flew all over. Sounds of the spikes hitting shields, walls and armors were heard. Some were screaming from pain. Moments later, the attack stopped. Cyan, Val and Nikki were partially sheltered by Cyan's sword, and suffers only slight injuries.

    "You're still no fun!" the voice of the little girl is heard, again.

    An arrow was fired at one of Jumbo Cactuar's eye. The Jumbo Cactuar freezes in action. "What's happening?" someone asked out loud.

    In moments, the Jumbo Cactuar becomes surrounded by pyreflies and burst into many standard sized cactuars.

    "Playful, isn't she." said Val.
    "Just deal with the small threats now."
    "Affirmative." Val begin shooting at the cactuars, who seem to be nimbly dodging his blows.

    "Cyan, this isn't looking good." Val said, as they are outnumbered at least 3 to 1.
    "That's an understatement." replied Cyan.

    The cactuars began moving abnormally and tilting forward. "Watch out! 1000 needles!" exclaimed Joseph, whose name was eavesdropped by him as Joseph was talking to Nikki. Cyan planted her sword in front of her, and demanded everyone to get down. Val immediately dashed behind her, along with Joseph and Nikki. Many others rushed behind as well, trying to be covered, as much as possible. Many were still strucked by the needles of the cactuars.

    “Does anyone know a water spell?” exclaimed Joseph.

    "Fire? or Water?" Val thought,"Screw it." He leaped away from the sword once the cactuars stopped attacking, and projected himself onto the sky again, "Just use both."

    Val aimed his left gun to one of the cactuars on the left, and the right gun to one on the right. A red magic circle pattern appeared in front of the left gun; while a blue magic circle pattern appeared in front of the right gun."Dual-Cast: Hosha. Suisha." Val pulled the trigger on both guns. A red flare appeared from the left while a blue flare appeared from the right. As the red flare made contact, a blast of fire knocked down the cactuar; as the blue flare made contact, a globe of water traps the cactuar in, before dispersing into the air.

    "It was more effective than my normal attacks..." thought Val, "Now off you go, fiends." Val stood up straight from his postion and aimed both his gun in front. The same red and blue magic circle appear side by side each other, in front of each gun. "Dual-Cast: Hodan. Suidan.". Val pulls the triggers. A red-colored rock like object appears from the middle of the red magic circle towards a small group of cactuars in front of him. Upon contact, the red rock exploded into a medium-sized fire blast, burning the cactuars. On the other hand, a blue-colored rock like object appears from the blue magic circle towards another group of cactuars. Upon contact, the blue rock combusts and a surge of water rises from the ground, tossing the cactuars up and drowns them, before disappearing. "Simple deeds."

    As Val turns his head towards Cyan, he sees a few of the cactuars jumped at Cyan. As he tried to dash towards her, a gush of water knocked the cactuars back. It seems a mage was casting a water spell. The rest of the cactuars began to run and disperse into pyreflies.

    “This isn’t good. Around half of our forces are injured critically and require treatment at the surface,” Nikki reported during a quick meeting between Joseph, Cyan and Val.
    “We need to continue on. Those that aren’t that seriously injured can rest on this level till they‘ve regained their strength. Those that need to, take the portal back to the surface. The rest, let’s continue on,” said Joseph, as he walks to the portal.

    "Keep your guards up." Val said, "And don't be too naive." He continued, as he threw a stare at Kaim. He began walking towards the portal. As he passed by Cyan, he gave her a light nod, signifying that he is alright, and she should come, too.

    "I might get questions from the people about being an Exquisivor." Val thought, "Troublesome."

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Mishka.png

    Alright, we'll keep moving!” Gippal shouted to us, jumping the hole into Cloister 5.

    After slicing through the last of the tonberries of Cloister 4, I stopped before the pit, letting the the others pass me. This area was already starting to get the better of me. The essence of death all around distorted my senses. I couldn't tell friend from foe. Everything just smelled so... horrible.

    Our company had started with at least thirty people. A few had run from Cloister 1, the smarter ones. From then on, the battles were countless and we would lose many. I knew that each time one of us fell, it would only add to the overwhelming population down here. No person can honestly admit to finding it a just death to be murdered by unutterable demons such as these. Taking a deep breath, I tried to drown my doubts and fears by reviewing our path to this point. I prayed no fiend would find me as I wasn't sure I could defend myself should the need arise. It started so spirited...

    NIKKSTER!” A young boy shouted, rushing over to our company.

    The archer appointed by Gippal to ensure Rikku's safe return cursed under her breath before saying, “Go home Kai”, alerting me to the boy's name.

    “Awww but mum wanted to make sure you were okay. Anyway who was that Guado chick that came out? She was HOT!” He said, thinking he was out of earshot with me.


    I smiled, looking at myself. Was I hot? I had never looked at it that way. Being with a group of hulking ronso tends to take the lady out of oneself, doesn't it? Walking a few more steps, I would find a reflective surface and even mused myself with twirling some of the Salvia Dill that rested on my head. Unlike most guado, my hair was very soft and delicate even compared to human hair, a gift inherited from my father. I noticed that it also appeared almost like purple colored human hair and found myself giggling.

    Turning, I saw that the others were coming up and the boy from before was being halted by a few guards. Gippal found me then, having equipped his Grinder weapon instead.


    Okay, we'll take out what fiends we need to, then keep moving, alright? I want that sentry fixed. Rikku told me something ugly's gonna be waiting for us down every twenty levels.” He said.

    Understood. Sir...”

    Gippal. I always hated all that 'sir' crap.”

    Gippal, I recommend a tight formation. We can cover each other's backs and the fiends down there are sure to seek any opportunity to separate us.” I suggested.

    I agree with you there. I just hope... hey, where are those twins?”

    I looked around our area with Gippal, but couldn't find them. The archer and most of the others had already left for the pit. After Gippal grunted and put a hand to his face, I knew he must have thought the two had gone off ahead. It was fine for now. I was sure no strong fiends would have clawed their way so far up and not permeate the surface for fresh blood to release into the ether. Motioning for him to follow, we proceeded to the Via Infinito ourselves.

    Right from the start, I saw people running from the pit. I quickly inquired of one as to what the trouble was and would be informed of a monstrous cactuar and a little girl who wasn't a little girl. Nodding with Gippal, we activated the warp, Gippal taking a deep breath to prepare himself first. I would put a hand on his shoulder to let him know it would be okay, that whatever emotional ties he had to the mission, they would be kept safe and his prayers answered. After the light activated, we would instantly find ourselves in Cloister 0 and more would flee for the warp past us.


    You ready?” He asked me.

    Unsheathing my broadsword with my dominant left, I nodded, “Ready when you are.”

    Together, we leaped down into the next cloister. Cloister 1 was chaos. Many were scrambling around the area and attacking everything in sight. The entire floor was littered with cactuar, something I knew a great deal about, having been to the Bikanel deserts in my quests for spheres. They were very difficult to deal with, too, the Fangtastic having hoards of power, but very little in terms of speed. That usually fell on me.
    “Watch out! 1000 needles!” A swordsman wearing a navy cloak yelled, prompting everyone in that area to duck behind the blonde swordswoman.

    “Everyone get down!” She screamed, after planting her large blade into the ground to block the attack.

    "Eep!" The Al Bhed male squealed, seemingly unable to defend himself until his sister came to his aid.

    "Need help, brother?"

    Several others in that part weren't lucky enough to get away and were skewered by the swarm of needles. I and Gippal, thankfully, had been near the entrance and avoided the attack entirely. Attention would be redirected at us, afterward, though. I readied my sword and we decided we'd go to track them down, taking what cactuar we needed with us. As soon as a group neared me, I swung my sword, but five of them would catch its blade together.

    What?” I gasped.

    Suddenly, they burst with an incredible aura and glared daggers of hate into me. I pulled my weapon away and smelled the aura coming from them. It was then, I knew what had happened.

    Oversoul...” It would seem my many encounters with them in Bikanel had left traces of their essence with me, traces that were being recognized by these cactuar... and they were not pleased.

    They aimed another thousand needles attack at me with more building their oversouls. Frantic, I searched my quiver for a suitable arrow, but it was too late. As my smell identified, the attack was ready and they began firing the needles. With broadsword in hand, I attempted to block as many as I could, knowing I would be killed in an instant.

    HIYAA!!!” Gippal roared, slicing apart all the needles with his Grinder before launching missiles to defeat the closest of the oversouled creatures.

    You alright?” He asked, “You said to stay close so stay close. I've been down in the Farplane itself when a wacko turned it into a little plane of horrors. I think I can handle a few cactus things, don't you? C'mon, we should get to those twins and get going pronto.”

    Nodding, I sighed and followed him. “Does anyone know a water spell?”, "Ooh! We know", and "one thing that can help!" were the types of phrases I'd hear and we sliced and skewered our way through.

    One in particular seemed very full of himself. From his “Dual-Cast: Hosha. Suisha." to his "Now off you go, fiends." and then his "Dual-Cast: Hodan. Suidan." to the "Simple deeds." he finished off with, I sensed a lot of confidence. Unfortunately, his magical projectiles were doing well against what cactuar were left so I guess he had a right to be. Still, it irked me. Wengo Ronso was like that, too. I remember having to set him straight a few times, but I think I would leave this mage gunner to himself.

    “This isn’t good. Around half of our forces are injured critically and require treatment at the surface,” The archer said once the battle was finished.

    Looking around, I could see at least a dozen dead and at least five reasonably injured. Ahead, the twins traded glances and the girl would phase them both from sight and reappear near the archer and the others.

    "Hi! We're" She said.

    The boy would continue, "Yuki and Yuubou"

    Followed by the girl again, "and we'd like to join"

    Before the boy would finish, "your group."

    With Gippal, we would approach them, me sheathing my weapon to go help the less injured to their feet. Gippal would take to speaking with the rest of them.

    “We need to continue on. Those that aren’t that seriously injured can rest on this level till they‘ve regained their strength. Those that need to, take the portal back to the surface. The rest, let’s continue on,” The samurai said, suggesting that this level be a camp for them.

    We all knew that wasn't a good plan. The fiends on this floor had been dealt with, but that didn't mean they wouldn't be back. If we left the injured here, they'd be sitting ducks for the next wave.

    "Keep your guards up." The mage gunner said, adding a very arrogant "And don't be too naive." at the end of his speech.

    Gippal would stop them from moving on, though, “Are you looking around? This is the VIA INFINITO! PAY ATTENTION!”

    Immediately, everyone in the room became silent. Gippal would calm himself, putting a tense hand to his irritated temple before taking a breath to continue, “We have about five injured. You three, get them to safety! You can rejoin the party later. The fiends won't have come back so soon so you should be fine catching up. I want you to get these bodies to the temple. There's no justification for leaving them here like this. Have one of the priests upstairs perform a sending for them. I don't want to be responsible for birthing more fiends.”

    When no one moved out of shock at Gippal's frustrated words, he growled and commanded, “I said get these people out of here! NOW!”

    Without a word, the three he ordered took the five injured back to the surface. Meanwhile, Gippal would turn his attention to the twins that had abandoned us earlier.

    You two... Didn't Mishka tell you you were coming with us?” He sneered, eyes narrowing.

    "I-I-I..." The girl stuttered.

    The boy continued for her, "We are sorry, sir, we just"

    Followed by the girl again, "got excited and"

    The boy added, "went ahead to fight the cactuar."

    What are your names?” He said with a sigh.

    "Yuubou, sir, ,and"

    "Yuki."

    You don't follow orders, you're no good to me. You,” He said, looking over at the archer again, “They're your responsibility now. Mishka?”

    Uh, yes?” I stammered, rushing to him.

    What do you think?”

    Turning to the two, I said lowly, “Are you two sure you want to find Rikku with the others?”

    "Yes, locating Rikku is a"

    "top priority and we saw that the cactuar"

    "were getting the upper hand on them so"

    "we should be of more assistance here."

    I nodded, “Okay, take care of them. Um... archer? Uh, I guess they're with you now.”

    What the **** do you mean, archer?! I had everybody introduce themselves already! I'm ****ing Nikki!”She replied.

    Nikki then...” And with a grin, “I wasn't fucking at your fucking group counseling, okay?! There's no need to bitch at me! I was just trying to tell you your new party. I think Gippal and I could take them, though.” I pointed to two others nervously standing behind everyone.

    Uh... sure...” One of them said, walking over.

    Take care of yourselves, okay?” I added to the twins with a smile, “It's unfortunate you won't be with us anymore.”

    It's okay. I'll take care of you, hottie.” A voice echoed from behind.

    When I turned, I saw the sly grin of the same boy from before, his finger rubbing across the bottom of his nose while he looked at me with one eye.

    How did you get here?”

    Oh, I hung onto that thing when I got the chance.” He answered, pointing to the Grinder on Gippal's back.

    Nikki exploded at that moment, “You little bastard! I'll ****ing kill you! The fiends won't get their chance! Come here, you little ****head!”

    I stopped her with a hand on her shoulder and went back to the boy, “This place is dangerous. You shouldn't have come. Do you see those guys over there lifting the dead bodies out? This is no place for a kid.”

    Feh! You're one to talk! You can't be much older than me. What are you? Seventeen?” He exclaimed.

    I was taken aback. He had a keen eye.

    Hehe, got it in one, eh? Nikki hates that about me.”

    You're damn right I do!”

    And you can really sneak around. Well, if she consents, I guess you could tag along.”

    You're not ****ing serious! No way! I'm not letting this dumbass stay down here! His mother would kill me!”

    Like that would stop him.” I mused with a shrug, “So, how about it? You ready to kick some ass and fuck up some fiends?”

    Yea!” He shouted, running to Gippal and the others, “Oh, and I'm an excellent thief, by the way.”

    Nikki smacked her hand to her forehead at that moment.

    The teams were set. Upon entering Cloister 2, we would find ourselves again surrounded, this time by coyotes and divebeaks. Our group would take them down in a straight line, jumping down into the next cloister after I shot a lightning tipped arrow into the Flan Azul barring our path. My arrows were all tipped with a certain time of magic, though far less potent than true magic, it did help in my missions as a sphere hunter. I knew they would be useless against stronger fiends, but they may still distract or slow them enough for my broadsword to do damage.

    On Cloister 3, our company would find many more flan, but also a couple of Iron Giants, some Ahriman, and a Nashorn. The boy thief, Kai, would use his tagged kunai to disable most of the Ahriman swarm, but the Iron Giants and Nashorn guarding the pit the next area were too strong for him.

    Hey, you know your way around a good swear.”I recalled the archer whispering to me when we first arrived in Cloister 2.

    I've been around a rowdy gang of adolescent ronso men. I think I know a few things.” I said with a smile.

    About Kai... take care of him, okay? I know I freaked before, but he can help you. Uh... that's all I want to say.”She told me, running off to fight the nearest coyote.

    Nodding to myself, I rushed in with my broadsword in my left, sidespinning to slice apart the first Iron Giant while Gippal's missiles destroyed the second and moved the Nashorn from our path. Together, we dropped into the next cloister.

    At Cloister 4, we were faced with geckos and Death Daubers at the front, purpurea and two Ochu at the back. There was a Sahagin near the pit with one Red and Yellow Elemental at its sides. The two others began casting tier two magics to clear the weaker Death Daubers and purpurea from the scene while Kai worked on weakening the Ochu. Gippal's missiles decimated the geckos and that left me room to go straight for the Sahagin, flipping the combined Thunder and Fire attacks of the elements and slicing the fiend apart. With a quick pump into my quiver, I loaded a water tipped arrow and fired it at the Red Elemental. Before the next Thunder spell, Kai would throw one of his fire tagged kunai to destroy the Yellow Elemental.

    Good work.” I commented, winking at him with a thumbs up.

    Anything for you, gorgeous.” He said, returning the wink.

    Then, things changed. Suddenly, I heard the distinct chuckle of a stronger fiend and my senses filled with danger and a sense of dread. In the distance, a small light showed us the arriving group of tonberries, butcher knives in hand. Gippal waved for us to jump to the next cloister, but a tonberry had climbed up from there, as well.

    Attack that one! If we get rid of it, we can jump!” I screamed.

    Gippal nodded and began firing at it as it simply walked closer. I noticed that the other tonberries were nearing us as well and signaled for Gippal to fire at them instead and leave the four of us to tend to the one that needed to be beaten.

    Quickly, Kai pulled his four prong shuriken and flung it at the creature, knocking the lamp from its hand. I jumped in close to try and deflect its knife the same way, but it parried and readied for a stab to my middle when one of the mages cast Demi to distract it. It was successful and I quickly rolled out of the way as I saw it moving towards the mage instead. Standing behind it now, I sliced at it only to get its attention back on me. The other mage cast Fira on it, but it was still following me. With my arrows, I fired a lightning tipped one to see if I could paralyze it, but it failed. As it got even closer, Kai rushed in and looked to tap it before running off. It took its attention off of me and went to look for him.

    Finally, I took hold of my broadsword and concentrated on it. Gliding it across the floor, I created enough friction for sparks to ignite it and swung it around horizontally, sending the heat gathered into the fiend to create a scar in its hide, pulsing with energy. Within moment, the energy rippled through it and it collapsed into a billow of pyreflies.

    Immediately, the other tonberries disappeared and we were bathed in pyreflies. A few moments later, I swore I heard a shrill laughter. Soon after that, I could hear a tapping sound echo across the cloister and another wave of dread flooded my senses.

    While the pyreflies began to clear, I made out a little girl in the distance, idly bouncing a ball with both her hands. Looking up from it, she tilted her head and smiled at me, catching the ball and offering it to me. Suddenly, she was right in front of me, ball still held out for me.

    Who are you?” I asked her.

    Come play with me!”

    You shouldn't be down here. It isn't safe!”

    They didn't play with me. They were mean to me.” She said, pulling the ball back down toward her and looking at it.

    What's your name, sweetie?”

    I like you. Come play with me!”

    Before I could say any more, she disappeared again as did every single pyrefly. Gippal would yell about my zoning out in the middle of the battle, which had apparently continued with one additional tonberry while I had been speaking with the girl.

    Quickly, I sliced through it, targeting the scars on its head left by the others' attacks. Gippal and the others moved on, but I stayed for a while to think and that's where we are.

    Taking a deep breath, I jumped down to Cloister 5.


    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    Nikki cursed to herself as the arrow just seeming did no damage to the Jumbo Cactuar and just clattered to the floor, Nikki quickly looked around as she predicted earlier most of them had little experience of working in a big team, “This is a ****ing mess” she thought to herself. “How the **** am I meant to organise this many people into one big fighting group?” She questioned this to herself. Noting that she would be no good in this battle with just her arrows she noticed three mages at the back of the Cactuar all scared stiff of the size of the thing, all having poor aim. “Focus!” Shouted Nikki to them, she rolled out the way as the Jumbo Cactuar slammed its fist to the ground. Nikki felt a rumble from the aftershock. She looked back up at the three mages, they needed hope and encouragement. “Hey all of you, stand together damn it!” Okay so she needed to work on her people skills a bit more. But she didn’t ask to be the unspoken leader, Gippal sort of looked at her to say that she was to lead them. Nikki tried again in a more softer tone, and in a more enlightening way. “You have back attack advantage! Don’t waste it!” she called to them. The three mages then seemed to nod to each other and were finally working together and they aimed water spells that hit their mark.

    “Fire should be its standard weakness! Exploit it!” said a female voice, Nikki didn’t know who it was but that was wrong. Sure by rights it should be fire but it was actually water.

    “IT’S NOT A ****ING PLANT!” yelled Nikki alerting everyone that perhaps fire isn’t the best option. “Okay maybe yelling at them isn’t best way” thought Nikki but it made her feel better. Nikki pulled up another arrow, trying desperately to learn Water arrow, she concentrated on the way the water flows and dances, and then she focused on her arrow, her arrow glowed a blue, but it wasn’t strong enough so it faded. “**** still not enough AP” thought Nikki. AP was a magical source of power gained through defeating fiends, it was used to learn new abilities.

    “Cyan look” said a male voice, a voice Nikki recognised belonging to Val, Nikki looked up as well, she could see that the fiend was weakening but also that there was something weird about its eyes, at that moment the fiend looked right down at Nikki and brought it’s foot right down on top of her. Fortunately Nikki at that moment was surrounded by a red aura with a clock underneath her spinning very fast. Nikki felt much faster and lighter on her feet, and she back flipped out of the way and landed with her legs apart and one hand down on the ground, someone had casted Haste on her.

    “Shooters Aim for its eyes!” yelled Cyan Nikki being much too busy was flipping and dodging out of the way of its attack; it seemed to be fond of squishing Nikki into a pulp. Nikki breathed heavily; she couldn’t keep this up for long. Nikki tried being polite for once.

    “Uhhh... Sure Just wait until...” Nikki looked up to see the Cactuar suddenly shaking very wildly about. “Ahh ****! What’s it doing now!?” Shouted Nikki as the Jumbo Cactuar suddenly stopped thrashing about, it stood very still only making very gross and weird noises. The Pryeflies hummed very loudly as the bumps appeared on the Cactuar. “****” was all Nikki thought. “Gazzilion Spikes! Everyone watch out!” called Nikki her being the one with little armour dived for the floor and lay down flat hoping they would harmlessly pass over. She heard Cyan call out to some members around her but didn’t hear what she said. Nikki didn’t need to dive to the floor though, as that moment the three mages from earlier rushed to her aid.

    “Protect!”

    “Protect!”

    “Reflect!” The mages were releasing spells randomly and Nikki stood up, perfectly safe behind the spells. Although she did sigh inwardly at the stupidity of using reflect.

    “Reflect why would anybody...” Nikki was distracted by this as Cyan yelled.

    “Take Cover!” Spikes hit Nikki right leg she mentally cursed herself for getting distracted. It was extremely painful but she could also hear her comrades shout out in pain and the many spikes bouncing off armour.

    “Nikki!” yelled one of the mages she was in a black cloak, her hood covering many of her features but she had light skin and she rushed to Nikki’s aid as Nikki crouched down in pain. Nikki reached quickly into her bag for the high potion that she was given earlier; she felt the mage supporting her back as she did this. There was no time to pull out the needles but she could numb the pain. She pulled the cork and drank the liquid she then let the bottle clang on the ground, as she felt the pain ease away she stood up.

    “Thank you Sakura” whispered Nikki to her. Nikki had taken shelter behind Cyan but the noise was so deafening from the amount of spikes that Val and Cyan hadn’t noticed that Nikki was in pain nor had they heard the Mage cry out in worry. Nikki made sure they hadn’t noticed anything by immediately loading another arrow as the spikes stopped. Her leg wouldn’t be noticed unless they looked down at her.

    “You’re still no fun” huffed the little girl’s voice. Nikki wondered who she was still, the unsent had chosen to appear in the form of a child but why? And Nikki being Nikki getting sick of this pulled back her arrow to her cheek and launched it right into the Cactuar’s eye. This time it hit its mark and brought a stop to it.

    “What’s happening?” Someone asked out loud. Nikki hoped that was the end of it. The Jumbo Cactuar burst into Pryeflies which hummed loudly and echoed through the Via Infinito, and they formed loads of Mini Cactuars. Nikki at this point was severely pissed off and asked herself what she had done to deserve this bad day. She then loaded her arrow keeping her distance her bow glowed a light red aura casting the spell boost on her arrow, it would now be much stronger. She then fired the arrow at a nearby Cactuar. She fired arrow after arrow, but being severely pissed off she was much too close to them. She suddenly heard the cry of a Cactuar behind her. She instantly turned around and saw a swordsman in a navy cloak who had cut down the Cactuar.

    “Thanks who...”

    “Name’s Joseph” He replied as he cut down a Cactuar . Nikki fired three arrows in one go having some respect for him,

    “Good,” She thought “everyone is starting to work together.”

    “Cyan this isn’t looking good” said Val and he was right Nikki knew they wouldn’t win unless they got together and formed some kind of strategy to take them down.

    “That’s an understatement” She replied. Nikki narrowed her eyes at the fiends, it was her fault that they weren’t organised, She silently took a step back away from the others and tried again. Once again she closed her eyes and thought about how the water flowed her arrow glowed a blue aura, and suddenly the element water surrounded the arrow as she let go of it and it slammed into the Cactuar killing it instantly.

    “**** yeah” triumphed Nikki, she had learnt water arrow. But then Nikki saw that the Cactuars were wriggling weirdly.

    “Watch out! 1000 needles!” cried out Joseph.
    “Everyone get down!” Exclaimed Cyan Nikki rushed behind her, and she planted her oversized sword in the ground.

    “Yevon that thing is big!” thought Nikki. Many others were struck by the needles and many more feel to the ground. Nikki cursed herself once again, she was responsible for these people and she had failed them again. What was worse that the hi potion was starting to wear off and her leg was beginning to feel the spikes in her leg. Trying to block it out of her mind she stood up once the attack had ended, just focusing on her own attacks she blocked all outside distraction from her mind. Adrenaline now pumping through her Nikki just released attack after attack of Water Arrows, letting the water flow gracefully over her arrows as she attacked, aware of only the fiends and herself.

    Finally the Cactuars began to thin and disperse into Pryeflies, and Nikki took her time to look at the damage. Many had fallen, it was the worse place to die in, if their bodies still lay on the ground then they will turn into fiends quickly, they didn’t have much time as many more were injured. She noticed that Cyan was already rushing to each of the injured and trying to heal them. Those that had minor injuries could be healed here quickly and move on, but the rest they needed to get to the teleport. Nikki limped over to Val and Joseph on what they needed to do. “This isn’t good. Around half of our forces are injured critically and require treatment at the surface” Two Albehd twins seemingly full of energy bounded up to them, jumping up and down on the spot, Nikki raised an eyebrow at them.

    “Hi we’re” began the girl.


    “Yuki and Yuubou” continued the boy.

    Followed by the girl again, “and we’d like to join”

    Which the boy finished with “your group”. They both smiled at them.

    “They have the energy of Kai, but are more annoying... My worst nightmare.” Thought Nikki. “Fine” Nikki answered them.

    “We need to continue on. Those that aren’t that seriously injured can rest on this level till they’ve regained their strength. Those that need to, take the portal back to the surface. The rest lets continue on,” said Joseph as he was about to walk off.

    “****ing no way!” thought Nikki. The Via Infinito wasn’t a place to rest She pulled out some of the needles from her leg and hissed through her teeth in pain. She noticed this caught Cyan’s attention and she looked almost worried for her.

    Nikki stood up after she took some out to hear that Val was about to move on too. Nikki mentally sighed inside of her, she wished she was with some of her comrades she worked with at the Youth League, they had a much better understanding of teamwork at least. Nikki was about to raise her voice at them but she didn’t need to. Because Gippal bellowed at them at that moment. Which she was grateful for, she was starting to lose control of the team.

    “Are you looking around? This is the VIA INFINITO! PAY ATTENTION!” he bellowed at them. Nikki took this opportunity to sit down and take out the rest of the needles from her leg. She bit her lip in pain has she did one swoop and grabbed all of them.

    “****” she whispered the pain was excruciating but the relief afterwards was a blessing to her. She dug into her bag finding another Hi potion she popped the cork and chugged it down. Her leg immediately began to heal itself and it was as good as new. Nikki stood up just in time to hear Gippal shout at the rest of the group.

    “I said get these people out of here! NOW!” The three mages rushed off one of them was Sakura who had helped her earlier. Nikki helped up a nearby boy to their feet. He was only 15 and seem to be shaking from the carnage he had seen. Nikki shook her head he was much too young to be here. Nikki then went over to the group. The Guado looked over to her who she now learnt was Mishka.

    “Okay, take care of them um... archer?! I guess they are with you now.” Nikki narrowed her eyes at her, this is exactly wanted what she wanted to avoid earlier, that was why she made everyone introduce themselves.

    “What the **** do you mean, archer?! I had everyone introduce themselves already! I’m ****ing Nikki!” She nodded to herself “That told her” she thought.

    “Nikki then...” Mishka then grinned. “I wasn’t ****ing at your ****ing group counselling, okay?!There’s no need to ***** at me! I was trying to tell you of your new party. I think Gippal and I could take them, though” she pointed at two others. Nikki smiled and then nodded.

    “ Uh... sure...” One of them said, walking over.

    “ Take care of yourselves, okay?” said Mishka to the twins with a smile, “It's unfortunate you won't be with us anymore.” Nikki just thought that it was going to be a long day and that nothing, nothing could get any worse, that was until she heard a voice.

    “ It's okay. I'll take care of you, hottie.” A voice echoed from behind. Anger and rage at that voice entered Nikki

    “He was meant to ****ing stay outside” She thought as she turned around to face him. Kai was in the Bevelle guards uniform for some protection and as an extra disguise. “You little bastard! I’ll ****ing kill you! The fiends wont get their chance! Come here you little bastard!” But Kai just cheekily grinned at her. But before she could do anything she felt a hand being placed on her, it was Mishka.

    “This place is dangerous. You shouldn't have come. Do you see those guys over there lifting the dead bodies out? This is no place for a kid.”

    “ Feh! You're one to talk! You can't be much older than me. What are you? Seventeen?” He exclaimed.

    “Okay now someone in Farplane definitely hates me” thought Nikki. Nikki watched Mishka’s raction she was taken aback.

    “ Hehe, got it in one, eh? Nikki hates that about me.”

    “You're damn right I do!” Nikki responded, she was always very good and seeing the true person, he was an observant person but also very annoyingly always nosy about your life.

    “And you can really sneak around. Well, if she consents, I guess you could tag along.” Replied Mishka

    “You're not ****ing serious! No way! I'm not letting this dumbass stay down here! His mother would kill me!” Nikki liked Kyley and she was very good to her Kyley would only get very worried she was his only son. Something told Nikki that this was a very bad idea. Nikki sighed into herself

    “Like that would stop him.” Mishka mused with a shrug, “So, how about it? You ready to kick some ass and **** up some fiends?”

    “ Yea!” He shouted, running to Gippal and the others, “Oh, and I'm an excellent thief, by the way.”

    Nikki smacked her hand to her forehead at that moment. “I can’t believe this is happening!” She thought, “Why couldn’t he have Blitzball today”

    Nikki jumped down to Cloister 2 following everyone else along with Kai. “You better do everything they tell them for you do, no pissing about!” She said sternly to Kai.

    “Awww Nikkster, I didn’t know you cared can I get a date after this?” he asked cheekily. Nikki smacked him round the head.

    “I’m ****ing serious” she angrily told him Kai rubbed his head, he could be a pain at times but she’d rather deliver him to his mother alive.

    “Jeez okay...” Nikki went up to Mishka for a private word with her. One Kai was way too young in her opinion to be here, two, Kyley is going to be worried sick. It was imperative that Nikki knew he was going to be perfectly safe.

    “Otherwise I’m going to drag him up by the ear to his mum” she thought. “Hey, you know your way around a good swear.” She whispered to Mishka

    “ I've been around a rowdy gang of adolescent ronso men. I think I know a few things.” Mishka said with a smile.

    “About Kai... take care of him, okay? I know I freaked before, but he can help you. Uh... that's all I want to say.” Nikki said, “****” she thought "I really need to work on my people skills” That really didn’t convey the urgency to protect Kai for Nikki, she took out her anger by firing her arrow at the nearest Coyote. It was instantly slayed, as Nikki walked on she noticed Gippal had lagged behind from his group. Nikki raised an eyebrow at him.

    “He’ll be okay” said Gippal to her, “I’ve seen you looking worriedly at what Mishka decided, but I trust her judgement. If he turns out to be a pain I’ll send him to the teleport no problem.” Nikki sighed at that.

    “Thank you, his mum has only got him left”

    “No worries” said Gippal and took off to catch up with his group. Nikki began shooting arrows at the divebeaks, they were easily taken down by her arrows.

    “Anyone with magic and long ranged weapons, aim for the Divebeaks, the rest of you go for the Coyoto’s” commanded Nikki, now getting more used to her role. Nikki looked around, they looked less of a mob now and more of a team. The fiends were soon dispatched with. “We should check any corner Rikku could be laying unconscience or even dead” There was no point in pretending, she had to prepare them for the worst possible outcome. She continued “We have to be quick” With that she ran through the level with the others following her, it was important that they kept together. She look down one corridor which had a dead end but many levels, they had to go down there and check every nook and cranny, good thing was that it was short corridor it was easy to yell for help, At the rate they were going they would all die for being down here too long and since the corridor as short Nikki made a desision to split the group, she noticed Cyan and Val and the tins love to stick to their own partners to work with. This wouldn’t do as in a big battle they all needed to trust each other as much as they trusted their closest friends. “Right Cyan me and Yuki and this half” She motioned to the right side of the group “Will go down and climb up there and check it out Joseph, Yuubou and Val, and the rest of you will check out the left hand corridor, they are both small so it should take long to check out then we’ll meet here and carry on as a team, Yuubou you will lead your group” She looked at a twin, both Joseph and Val showed that they were willing to leave team members behind, beside this might quieten the twin down.

    “But” Said Yuri.

    “We’re so much better” carried on Yuubou.

    “Together” finished Yuri.

    “Why split us up?” asked Val.

    “Because if you noticed the corridors are small it would be much quicker to split up and look, get into trouble send a member of your group to us for backup, it’s most likely we wont bump into that girl yet again” With that Nikki led her separate group down the right hand corridor.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Joseph

    “Why split us up?” Val asked Nikki. I just rolled my eyes and refrained from saying the obvious.

    “Because if you noticed the corridors are small, it would be much quicker to split up and look. Get into trouble, send a member from your group for backup. It’s most likely we won’t bump that girl yet again,” Nikki explained before leading her group down one corridor.

    “Worried about Cyan?” I asked Val. He shook his head.

    “Nah. She can take care of herself,” he replied, turning and going down the corridor we’re meant to search.

    “You seem to know her quite well,” I said, jogging a bit to catch up.

    “We met in the Youth League,” he replied. I expected an explanation, but he gave none so I didn’t ask about it.

    “Hurry up you two!” Yuubou yelled. He was already half way down so we jogged to catch up.

    This corridor was deserted, no fiends or even pyreflies. A thorough search turned up nothing. With that, we began to climb back up to the main floor. I hoped that the other group’s search was more fruitful.

  5. #5
    Valvaris
    "Why split us up?" Val asked, upon hearing Nikki's orders.
    “Because if you noticed the corridors are small, it would be much quicker to split up and look. Get into trouble, send a member from your group for backup. It’s most likely we won’t bump that girl yet again." Nikki explained.

    "Reasonable." Val thought, and he looked on for awhile as Nikki, Cyan and Yuki, along with the rest of the group walk down the right corridor.

    "Worried about Cyan?" Joseph asked.
    "Nah. She can take care of herself," replied Val after shaking his head. He then turned to the left corridor and began walking towards it.
    "You seem to know her quite well." Joseph continued.
    "We met in the Youth League." Val replied, once again, "Further explanation is unnecessary." he continued, in his mind.

    "Hurry up you two!" yelled Yuubou, the Nikki-appointed leader of the group. Val picked up his pace.

    Val looked around as he walks down the corridor. "Not even one fiend..." he thought, "Not even pyreflies... Something is wrong." After walking for a good 10 minutes, the group reached an oval looking room with nothing in it. The room was absolutely empty. Many of the warriors began knocking their weapons on the wall and on the floor, seemingly searching for triggers to secret rooms. Val stood at the center of the room and observed.

    "There is nothing here." said one of the men.
    "No trick-rooms either." said another.

    "If there's nothing here, then lets head back." said Joseph. It seems that Yuubou was silent at first, and then said something, seemingly conversing with the others. But Val couldn't hear anything, because he was focusing on the environment. He knew something was wrong, but he didn't know what. He regained his senses when most of the people have already left the room.

    They all walk back through the long corridor. Val is in the middle of the crowd of about 11 people, including himself. As the entrance to the corridor came into their sight, Val stopped in his steps. He looked towards the entrance and frowned. There are some pyreflies not too far in front of them.

    "Prepare yourselves!" exclaimed Val. Joseph and Yuubou are among the first to stop in their steps, and got into their battle stance.
    "What's happening?" one of the men asked.
    "Incoming." Val said.

    A group of pyreflies gather in the air and formed the shape of a bird. A large bird. The pyreflies began to take form. "A Zuu." Val thought.

    "It's just a Zuu, take it down together!" said one of the white mages in the group.
    "Hold!" commanded Joseph, "Look behind it!"

    Behind the flying Zuu, several silhouettes are seen charging towards the group. There are about 20 divebeaks and 20 nashorns coming their way, and they have the Zuu to worry about.

    "Aside from me and Joseph, I do not know the other's ability. Yuubou looks capable. This is probably too much for the rests, though." thought Val.
    "They are trying to trap us in this corridor." says Yuubou.
    "White mages, cover us." exclaimed Val as he dashed forward, "And stay away from the fiends."

    The fiends seem to be rather organized as well, like they were commanded by someone. They split into groups and went after the warriors. The Zuu, strangely, stayed behind, as if it is the boss of the group. At least 3 divebeaks and 2 nashorns came Val's way.

    "Impertinent." muttered Val, as he fired multiple shots at the 3 divebeaks while avoiding the charges by the nashorns. 2 of the divebeaks manage to glide around the shots, avoiding them; but one of the divebeaks perished into pyreflies after it got hit by three consecutive shots.

    The two divebeaks den flew high and began diving onto Val. One of the nashorns began gathering energy at its mouth. The other is preparing to make a huge charge onto him. "Troublesome." Val thought. He projected himself sideways to avoid the birds. As he turned around, he fired 8 times at his original position, turning the two divebeaks, which couldn't alter their direction in time, to pyreflies. Val then leaned against the wall. He then aimed his left gun at the energy-gathering nashorn; and the right at the charging nashorn. Blue magic circles appeared in front of both guns. The left nashorn fired its Fire Blast at Val, and the right nashorn began charging at him, too.

    "Suidan." said Val, as he fired the left gun towards the incoming fireball; and he triggered the right gun slightly in front of the charging nashorn. As the right nashorn runs over the part of land which came in contact with the water missle, a gush of water sent it up into the sky, encircles and drowns it. The left water missle which came into contact with the water ball combusts into water and destroyed the fire ball. Val used the chance to prepare another attack. In front of both guns, this time, yellow magic circles appeared in front of them. "Raidan." muttered Val, as he pulled the triggers. Yellow-colored rocks are shot out of the magic circles. The right rock came into contact with the nashorn which is falling down from the attack before. The left rock hit the nashorn who fired at Val. As the rocks came into contact with the nashorns, they combusted in hundreds of yellow thunderwaves. The waves travel away from the nashorns for about 0.3 seconds before halting, and turned back at the nashorns, causing a severe electrocution effect on the nashorns. All these happened in an instant. The two nashorns turn into pyreflies.

    Valvaris raised his head to see Joseph and Yuubou finishing off the fiends attacking them, too. Yuubou gave an order to close in on the Zuu. Joseph brandished his katana and began running towards the Zuu. Val turned to the others and said, "Warriors, defend the Mages. Try to stay out of our way." and he dashes forward to face the Zuu as well.

    Yuubou and Joseph has already engaged the Zuu. Valvaris joined in as a ranged fighter. He fired multiple shots at the Zuu, but to no effect. The Zuu only responds to the Yuubou and Joseph. Val then raised his right gun and charged a white magic circle in front of him. "Hyousha." and a white flare is fired at the Zuu. Upon contact, a sizeable piece of hexagon-looking ice is formed above the Zuu, dropping down on it, dealing icy damage as it shatters. The Zuu responded by blowing a gust of wind at Val, which he evaded. "Effective." thought Val, "Yuubou! Joseph! I'm going to weaken it! Finish it off after!" They probably responded, but Val couldn't see or hear. That's because Val proceeded to launch his attack. A large, purple-colored triangle magic pattern appeared beneath his feet and as it fades to transparency, it is replaced by a large white-colored magic circle. He then leaped into the air and said, "Chain-cast: Hyousha." As he is falling onto the floor, he pressed on the triggers of the guns, five times for each gun. 10 white flares are shot out from Val's guns and flew towards the Zuu. Blocks and blocks of hexagon ice appears above the Zuu, knocking the large bird down with every hit. After 10 blocks of ice, Val landed on the floor, obviously tired from that ability he just used.

    "Take it down!"

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Joseph
    “If there’s nothing here, the let’s head back,” I said. Everyone seemed to agree and began to walk back to the main chamber. There was absolutely nothing in this area which I found a bit odd. None the less, I began to lead the group back to down the corridor.

    The walk back was boring till we reached the entrance to the corridor. There were pyreflies in front of them. I stopped and drew my sword.

    “Prepare yourselves,” Val shouted. Some of the people were confused.

    “What’s happening?” one asked.

    “Incoming!” Val shouted as the pyreflies began to take the shape of a giant bird.

    “It’s just a Zuu. Take it down together,” One man suggested. However, I saw some silhouettes behind it. The others didn’t seem to see the real danger.

    “Hold! Look behind it!” I shouted. Just then, around 20 divebeaks and nashorns charged out from behind the Zuu.

    “They are trying to trap us in this corridor,” Yuubou said, preparing to charge forward.

    “White mages, cover us. And stay away from the fiends,” Val commanded.

    We charged to meet the fiends head on, the white mages stayed back to cover us. I charged at around 3 divebeaks. I jumped and sliced through one of them. The other 2 flew just a bit higher, out of my range. I stood my ground and waited. One of them dove at me, I sidestepped at the last second and chopped its head off. Just then, a nashorn fired its Fire Blast at me. I just barely dodged it, charring my cloak slightly. I growled and charged the offending nashorn. However, the divebeak dove at me as well. I dodged it but it put a cut on my left arm. It was a minor wound but still hurt a bit. I continued my charge at the nashorn as it charged up for another Fire Blast. I reached it and instead of killing it like most people would do, I jumped onto its head and used it to springboard me to the divebeak. One slice took its wing off and caused it to plummet to the ground. I turned in mid-air and threw my katana at the nashorn. It went straight through the head, killing it. I landed and grabbed my sword as the nashorn turned to pyreflies.

    I took a moment to survey my surroundings. The others seem to hold their own. But what was interesting was that the Zuu keeping back from the battle, almost like it was observing us.

    “Get close to that Zuu!” Yuubou ordered. I already began my dash to the Zuu.

    “Warriors, defend the mages. Try to stay out of our way,” Val shouted, before join me and Yuubou.

    The Zuu tried to hit me with its beak but I dodged it. Hitting it with my sword, it didn’t seem to do much damage. Suddenly it flapped it wings and sent a pressure wave at up. It knocked me down. A large chunk of ice suddenly impacted it, causing it to shift target to Val. I used this moment and jumped at it. A wave if dark covered my blade as I struck its eyes, Blinding it.

    “Yuubou! Joseph! I’m going to weaken it! Finish it off after!” Val shouted.

    “Alright then!” I replied. I watched as Val cast a magic circle and then leaped into the air.

    “Chain-cast. Hyousha.” And with that large blocks of ice appeared and hit the Zuu, knocking it out of the air. Val landed and stumbled, obviously tired from what he did.

    “Take it down!” he shouted. I nodded and faced the giant bird.

    “Yuubou, keep it busy for a second,” I said. I held my sword up and concentrated. I ignored everything around me except the Zuu in front of me. Yuubou kept it busy for a few moments which is what I needed. I charged towards it just as Yuubou got knocked back. I ran past him and jumped at the Zuu.

    “It’s OVER!” and brought down my sword. The cut was so instant that some people didn’t even see it. I turned and shed my sword. Just as the habaki locked my katana in the scabbard, the Zuu split in half and dissolved into pyreflies. I looked around, it seems that the others took care of the rest of the fiends. I sighed and fell onto my butt, feeling tried.

    “Hey man you ok?” Yuubou asked, worry in his voice.

    “Yeah I’m good. Just tired,” I replied, pulling out a potion and drinking it. I let it heal my wounds before getting up and checking on the others.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    As Nikki went down the corridor down with her comrades, she saw that the twin Yuki had a cheeky smile upon her face as they walked. Nikki raised an eyebrow at her.

    “Please say she’s not somehow communicating with her twin” she thought, “They would have to be telepathic to do that!” She shook her head. The group climbed up and Nikki saw another dive beak ahead of them. It hadn’t spotted them so Nikki silently fired the arrow at it and it dropped to the ground. “It’s quiet” said Nikki. She looked around there were only a few fiends down here and already her group were dispatching them. Nikki jumped down to the other side her boots echoed as she hit the ground. “Well... looks like that there’s nothing here either” Nikki sighed in relief.

    “Yuubou!” Yuki suddenly exclaimed out loud. Nikki could hear battle cries from the other group back down the other corridor. Nikki would question later why Yuki how she knew they needed help later.

    “Quickly! To the others!” exclaimed Nikki, heart pounding in her chest as she climbed back up, she wondered whether she made the right move of splitting up the group.

    As they caught up to them she could see Joseph taking down a large Zu and it dissolving into Pryeflies, Nikki smiled at everyone there seemed to be no casualties. “Good work everyone. Yuubou, anything to report?” she asked him. But as she turned around to face him, he was busy jumping up and down in victory with Yuki. “Yevon what am I going to do with them” She thought. “YUUBOU DID YOU ****ING FIND ANYTHING!?” Nikki exclaimed angry at not being heard the first time.

    “Oh ummm... Sorry no we didn’t”

    “Find anything” Yuki finished for him.

    “You two are possibly going to give me a headache” Nikki smiled at them and shook her head. “Let’s go” she added to the rest.

    “Oh so you are the leader?” asked a girl’s voice before the group could continue. A cluster of Pryeflies floated towards them and the little unsent girl once again appeared before them. She giggled as everyone immediately got on the defensive with her. “Jumpy aren’t we!” she stated tilting her head to one side. She seemed to be looking at Cyan’s weapon. “Oh what a big sword you have Mr Wolf” she giggled at her own joke. She put her hands behind her back and swayed letting her dress flow. “So, want to play now?”

    “We’re not here for games” stated Nikki to her.

    “Aw you’re no fun” she pouted as she then sat on the ground right in front of them and seemed to be sulking. Some people around her seemed to think this was their chance to go past her.

    “No one move” stated Nikki sternly, she knew that even if she acted like a little harmless girl she was still unsent. The little girl brought her head up quickly and looked at Nikki straight in the eyes and stood.

    “You’re stopping them from playing with me!” she exclaimed Pryeflies now whizzing around her, “Well if you don’t want to play then go away!” She summoned a moogle toy by her side, which then seemed to take a life on its own. Nikki didn’t have time to get away as the moogle used bad breath on her, Nikki could hardly breathe as she collapsed to the ground, she looked up as she heard the girl giggle and then fade away. Nikki’s energy was being sapped away by the second. She knew people were rushing to her aid and speaking to her, but she couldn’t quite make out the voices. She was very dizzy but felt someone help her up by the arm, her vision was blurry.

    “**** I’ve been poisoned” She had completely forgotten to protect herself against poison, it was urgent for her to get to the surface as soon as possible.“Val... lead” she croaked out as she staggered towards the teleport with help, her headache feeling like a chocobo rammed into her, as the teleport’s light engulfed her she blacked out.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Valvaris
    “Val... lead” croaked Nikki, as she staggered towards the teleport with the help of some of the others.

    "And you are coming with me." the little girl's voice echoes through the cloister.

    Pyreflies appear all over, around the group of warriors. Everyone felt nervous and began to look around, turning their heads and bodies left and right.

    "Stand guard!" Joseph said.

    A thick portion of the pyreflies began closing in on the warriors, some of the mages began to shriek. Suddenly, the pyreflies all instantly travels to Cyan. They surround her and compress as she tries to shoo them away. The rest tried to help her. "Cyan!" Val was shoving the pyreflies away, too. The pyreflies kept on compressing until Cyan cannot be seen anymore, and finally, they disperse and disappears.

    Val stood there, shocked. The rest, speechless. Cyan wasn't there.

    "Where did she go?" asked one of the mages.

    "Somewhere." a voice appeared from behind the group. They turned around, to find the little girl behind them, "Now, you ALL have to play with me." she smiled.

    "Where did you took her to?" asked Val.

    "She is somewhere in this place. This game is called Hide and Seek." the little girl said, "You know this place is where fiends roam, so find her fast!" she said with loads of excitement, "Begin!" she exclaimed, and disappears into the pyreflies.

    "Let's go""to find Cyan!""And Rikku, too!"
    "Nikki'll catch up soon after she gets healed. We must move on." said Joseph as he walks toward the entrance to Cloister 3.
    "We move on." said Val. The whole group jumped into Cloister 3.

    "We search" says Val, "Thoroughly. Yuki and Joseph, lead half the group and search the left portion of this cloister. The rest, Yuubou and I will take the right." he continued as he gestured to show the others which way they would be going.

    "Why split us""again?"
    "You two have telepathy." said Val, as he noticed how Yuki responded as they arrived to their aid in Cloister 2.
    The twins excitedly said, "You knew""that we had""telepathy! You are""so cool!"
    "Began the search." Val said.
    "Make sure to check for secret rooms." reminded Joseph.

    The group began splitting up.

    "Cyan, Rikku, wait for me! I'm coming!"

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Name: Kyra

    “HALT!”
    Kyra stopped in mid stride. She didn’t notice she had run past the 2 guards at the entrance to Bevelle.

    She turned around and said,
    “Sorry, I need to see Baralai, it is very important”

    “You need an escort. The location on the flyer is wrong.” He sighed as if he had explained that same line many times before.

    “Before you leave,” the other guard said, “may I ask you what type of weapon that is? I’ve never seen one like that before.”

    “It’s a Gunblade, part gun, part blade. It’s my personal favourite when it comes to effectively killing my target.”

    “Oh, are they new?” He asked, “Where can I get one”

    Before she spoke again, she remembered where she was.
    Spira. How did I get here?She thought. Her Gunblade was a gift from President Laguna. It was one of the many things he had found on his travels and he had given it to her before she left for the space station.

    “Its custom made. It’s not from around here.” She had to say something. She didn’t want to have another confusing conversation like she had with Cid.

    *FLASHBACK*


    “ATTENTION ALL PERSONELL: EVACUATE THE SPACE STATION IMMEDITELY. I REPEAT EVACUATE IMMEDITLY. WE ARE ON A CRASH COURSE TO THE LUNAR CRY. EVACUATE IMMEDITLY”

    I must make it to an escape pod before it’s too late.She thought.

    She was 2 months away from being able to live on earth again. Her dream was almost complete.
    Why did this happen? Was Rinoa possessed by Edea? Or was it Ultimicea? Damn it I can’t think about that now, I must make it to an escape pod.

    She arrived at the escape pods and there was only one left. She hopped in, pressed the release button and hoped for the best. Once she had already taken off she realised she had forgotten to set the coordinates in order to get back to earth.
    Damn it all. Why did I have to miss that last emergency drill? They were never any fun anyway. I was sure if the real thing actually happened I would remember. Damn everything... Damn Squall for ruining my dream. Maybe I can talk to Ellone.

    “Ellone? What’s going on? I need help! ELLONE!?” She focused her power to try and speak to her. She knew she might have been busy. Squall was always her top priority. But there must have been a reason why I could talk to her too.

    “Kyra? Where are you?” Ellone answered.

    “I’m not sure. I forgot to set the coordinates in order to get back to earth-” She tried to explain, but Ellone cut her off.

    “Hold on. I’m very busy now. Time compression is about to start. Try thinking of a place at home. I’m not sure if it’s going to work but try. Okay?” Ellone said before terminating the connection.

    I have to try, She thought.But I haven’t been home in so long, how long should this take? Oh ****...

    There was a blinding light. She wasn’t thinking of home. In fact she wasn’t thinking of anything. She hadn’t been home in almost 4 years. The space station had become her life. Her family was killed in the sorceress war when Adel was in power. She can barely remember their faces now. Ellone was the closest thing she had to family. She grew up with the White SeeDs. She left them when she decided that life wasn’t for her. Ellone had taught her how to communicate with her in case she had ever gotten lost or felt allone. Now of course she was too busy with helping Squall, Kyra was put on the backburner. She felt abandoned. All she wanted to do was get away now. Far far away.

    *CRASH*

    The escape pod landed. It wasn’t a soft landing, but she seemed to have survived. Her body hurt everywhere. She couldn’t move or even call for help. She felt so tired. She began to drift off. She then began to see figures in front of her, but couldn’t understand what they were saying. She passed out.

    When she awoke, there were people looking at her from above trying to speak to her in a different language.

    “Are you okay?” One of the men said in English.

    Finally, someone who I can understand.She thought. “Yes, I think I’m fine now. Where am I?

    “This is home.” The man said. He seemed very proud when he said that too, as if he had built it himself. “This is where the Al Behd live. My name is Cid.”

    “Home? Al Behd? This isn’t home. What are Al Behd?” She was very confused. This was in the middle of a desert. Her home was Esthar.

    “This is our home. I can see you’re not from around here. Were you in contact with sin?” Cid asked.

    Nothing was making sense to her.
    What was Sin? Am I even on the same planet?

    “I come from Esthar; do you know how I can get there from here?” She asked, hoping for an answer.

    Everyone in the room started to look very confused. Looking at each other to see if they knew what Esthar was, or even where.

    “Where in Spira are you from?” Cid asked. He started to sound very concerned. “Were you hit by Sin’s toxin? There is no such thing as Esthar.”

    No Esthar? What happened in the last 4 years? I couldn’t have been THAT far out of the loop could I? She began to think Ellone had something to do with it. She did say something about time compression. She had only read about it from one of Doctor Odine’s studies. Since she only knew of 2 sorceress of that time, she didn’t think it could be possible. Rinoa? A sorceress? Maybe that’s why she was acting all funny on the space station. Everything’s all screwy now anyway, might as well play along until I can get answers another way.
    “Is it possible to stay here until I can figure everything out?” She asked.

    “Sure, why not? The more the merrier right? Welcome Aboard” Said Cid. Everyone nodded.


    *END FLASHBACK*


    “Oh, alright then. He’ll take you to Baralai.” The other guard said.

    “Don’t mind him. He’s always like that. He should really start to look for things for himself.” The escort said. “Here you are Miss. I hope you can help them find Rikku.”

    “I’ll try thanks.” Although that wasn’t exactly what she was looking for, she might as well help because that seemed to be the task at hand.
    She had only known Rikku for a short period of time. Shortly after she had landed in Spira, Rikku had to take off in order to save Yuna from an impending doom. At least that’s what she had called it. She just didn’t make too much of a plan. She just picked up one of their Machina and left. Rikku was a nice girl though. Nothing like anyone from the White SeeDs though. Everything was different here. Almost primitive, as if this was the past.

    “Baralai? I know that briefing was already over, but I’m here about the Rikku Situation.”

    “Do you know anything about the Via Inferno?” He asked.

    “Not really, I’m not from around here. I do know that it is the complete opposite from the Farplane. It feeds off negative energy. I’m sure one of the sorceresses would love to get their hands on this type of power.” She said

    “Sorceress?” Baralai gave her a confused and concerned look.
    **** did I say that out loud?

    “We can talk about that after I help Rikku okay?” She said quickly changing the subject.

    “Alright.” He said. “Just follow that corridor and in that room you should find the teleport. There are some injured people up there, try asking them where those groups left off. I don’t want anyone travelling alone in there.”

    “Thank you” She said making her way to the Via Inferno. When she got to the room with the teleport, she found many of whom were injured. This wasn’t going to be her average walk in the park. There must be something down there; something big.

    “HEEEEY, that ****ing hurts, you moron, I’ll do it myself.” Someone said quite loudly that caught Kyra’s attention.

    “OWWW. **** me. I can’t go anywhere in this condition. HEEEY, what are you staring at?”

    Is she talking to me? Who does she think she is? “Can you give me any information of what went on down there?” She asked

    “There is this little annoying unsent girl causing a whole bunch of **** down there and it isn’t helping. Now if you don’t mind I need to heal myself before going anywhere.” She said as if she wanted privacy. If anything isn’t helping it’s her attitude.

    This is going to be harder than I thought. What is unsent?Does it mean it wasn’t sent to the Farplane? This is going to be a lot larder then I first thought. That’s why he doesn’t want anyone to go in alone.She thought.

    “Can anyone please tell me what’s going on down there? I’m here to help.” She asked praying that someone was actually out there that could tell he r something and didn’t have to pull out this poor girl’s teeth as well as everything else.

    “I can help.” A red headed girl said. “My name is Sakura. That one there is Nikki. She isn’t in the greatest of conditions right now.”

    “I figured that. My name is Kyra. Send my regards to that poor girl over there.” She said giving Nikki a look. “If she was nicer I might actually be able to do something for her. For now, that will have to wait. Can you tell me what went on down there and what I can do to help?

    “There is an unsent girl causing the most trouble and making sure we don’t get past her without a fight.” Sakura explains, “All she wants to do is play, but with this task at hand, all that we want to is find Rikku and get out. The Via Inferno isn’t the smartest place to get lost in. Before this had happened, everyone was split up. The little unsent girl said she wanted to play again, but Nikki wasn’t into those games, so the little girl got angry and summoned something that poisoned her. The group that is down there now could really use your help though. From the looks of your sword, you mean business.”

    “So that little girl can summon fiends? What kind of magical power does she have? Is she some sort of sorceress?” Kyra asked forgetting where she was again.

    “Sorceress? Those are only in books and fairy tales.” She explains, “This girl is unsent. It means she hasn’t really accepted her death yet. Since the time of summoners has passed and no one has the ability to send them to the Farplane, So they wander and sometimes end up in the Via Inferno.”

    Damn it I did it again. This information does help though. Maybe I am in the past now. It looks like I won’t be going back anytime soon either. Damn it, damn it, damn it!

    “Thank you Sakura. Is there any way you can send me down there instead of having to go there alone?” Kyra asks.

    “Yes” Sakura said excitedly, “I can teleport you to the place they last left off. I’m pretty sure it was Cloister 3. Are you ready?”

    Before Kyra answered that question, she turned around and gave a Nikki an X-potion.
    “This will help. I hope it makes you feel better. The name is Kyra.”

    “Thanks. Maybe we’ll see each other again.” Nikki said. “It is really dangerous down there. That ****ing little girl is ruining everything. I hope they take care of her soon.”

    “I’ll do my best to help.”Kyra turns back around to Sakura. “I’m ready.”

    “Okay, you’ll be there in 2 shakes.” Sakura said and teleported Kyra to Cloister 3.

  6. #6

    Alright, let her rip!” One of the volunteers called out.

    Others detonated the explosive charges we had set up near a hitch in a rocky chasm around the northern area of the desert. The first day was coming to a close, but a few of the volunteers were quite eager on something they had found and wanted to investigate. It felt odd to watch them so focused and determined to seek a discovery, but I had no argument to make. In life, I had been the same way and I still was, only daunted by the fact I could be aiding in heathen activity.

    Even so, of particular interest to me became a few select volunteers. They showed intelligence and promise. From my recent conversations with them, I deduced their education to be of superior prowess, the content of the conversations telling me the higher learning had been self-induced. My eyes scanned them as I worked, darting from one to the next. One, a girl who's purity of thought I had come to admire was having trouble clearing some rubble left following the explosion. Using my gravity gun, I focused it on the looser pieces and lifted them further into previously explored desert sands. She turned to me, wiping some sweat off her forehead before stepping over towards me. We spoke of the regions already explored and swept clean, but the tone in her voice told me she had doubts we were making much progress. I would reassure her, in turn reassuring myself that the tour here in the sands would really be of use, if even just for the sake of hindering further machina development.

    Later on, I would come upon the same heathen boy from before. In his exosuit, he had begun drilling deeper into the widened chasm, taking care not to jar loose any rocks essential to the structural integrity. It was for that purpose that he had chosen to board the suit rather than guide it remotely. However, from the appearance, the suit was malfunctioning and he was having difficulty maintaining a firm position. As the drills swayed slightly, I noticed the sides scrape against a very loose yet very important protrusion in the chasm wall. He would notice it shortly after, shutting down the drills, but too late. The stone crumbled from the prior abuse, giving way for the other broken sediments to begin collapsing in on itself. Again with the gun, I focused it upon the wall and pushed them back as much as the gun's power would allow. Hunter would understand immediately and begin melting and fusing them together with the molten plates of the exosuit's other arms.

    Thank you for that. My equipment's been acting up.” He said, coming down from the dreadful thing.

    You should have contacted me sooner. I could have lent you some of my assistance before we nearly had a mess on our hands.I replied, slightly scolding him though his failure would have been profitable.

    I know. Sorry. Not used to calling for help in mission.”

    In mission?I asked him.

    I used to roam around Spira to collect intel on what the Yevonites might be planning for us. It keeps us Al Bhed one step ahead since Spira wasn't very welcoming to us after Sin.”

    I see.

    Of course Spira wouldn't be welcoming, you urchin. You Al Bhed were the cause and promoters for everything that ailed Spira. This generation had been blinded to it with the revelation of Bevelle's treachery, but I knew better. Despite the corruptions of a mortal regime, the principles behind the Yevon teachings were set by an immortal being, set to teach us the error of our ways, created to be our salvation and to be a warning for generations to come. Finally being rid of Sin should have proven that we had risen above our lust for luxurious machinations. The end of Sin's reign should have come at a time when Spira's people knew to protect the planet rather than destroy it, but instead, the grand scheme was fouled by a mutt-blooded harlot. Her victory ushered in the downfall of the truth and the light, destroyed countless years of hard work and slow but evolving progress.

    You know, Sin's gone now, but there's still something to think about.” Hunter suddenly spoke, driving me away from my reverie.

    What do you mean?

    Sin came up because of the Machina War, right? Well, I know Yevon's a bunch of bull, but there's gotta be some truth to the stories, right? Maybe Sin really did come out from the machina. I don't know what Rin's plan is, but whatever we achieve this time with the machina, we had better be more careful about it. If Sin came once because of a Machina War, there's no telling what might come up from a second one.” He explained, looking at the setting sun in the distance.

    I was taken aback quite a bit at those words. To think a creature such as himself, of a race that tainted Spira, would make note of the dangers of machina. It had me utterly baffled. I looked upon him without being able to mutter a word, lost in scattering thoughts on what to make of his revelation.


    Finally, calming my swirling emotions, I responded, From my understanding, it was believed machina was the cause for Sin's wrath. Our Lord, Yu Yevon, believed people had become indulgent in their use, accented by the war. But that was all disproven by Yuna's victory, was it not?

    “Don't get me wrong. I think we're doing something good here, trying to get things back to the old days before Sin destroyed it all, but there's gotta be a reason it was destroyed before and I don't want all this hard work to just cause another Age of Sin, you know what I mean?”

    Rin seems to believe we won't. You doubt him?I answered, hoping he would, though not knowing why.

    Was I actually invested in anything this heathen child had to mention? In the end, he was still a machina hording demon who spread heresy and destruction about him.

    “Rin... hah! Gippal and I know all too well about Rin. Sure, he seems all nice on the outside, but he's a cut-throat business tycoon underneath. You should be careful about him, Iezak. Don't let his pretty words get to you. He's up to something with this mission of his. I'm only in it because it may turn up some good even if he's playing his own agenda.”

    What good might that be?

    “Improving the world, of course. You can't honestly say you like Spira the way it is. We come from a world filled with vast cities and healthy natural landscapes. You've been keeping up, right? They say the Macalania Woods are fading. I wonder why? Why now when the woods should be clear of any artificial crap that might screw it up? Why now when Spira should be at its natural height?” He replied.

    You bring up a good point. What do you think it could be?I said, actually curious about it myself.

    I had heard the woods were dying, but why? The excavations and new machina technology had been slow if advancing at all. For the moment, Spira should have been overgrown with nature's wonders, but it seemed weaker.

    “I think the oldest Machina Cities maintained them. I don't know how and I can't even say the theory's right, but why take the chance now that we've got the option to research into it?” Hunter exclaimed, raising a fist, “If we could bring back one of those cities, maybe we could even save the woods. After all, if they survived since those days all the way to now, then chances are it was the Age of Sin that caused them to weaken in the first place and the only difference between then and now is no more Machina Cities.”

    You make a good observation, Hunter. Let's work towards this goal while we find the machina needed to create Rin's wonderland.I suggested, noting that Hunter's theory, while flawed, could make the difference between friend or foe.

    I'd want a helping hand if I was to bring salvation to this pitiful generation. In the meantime, with him working towards my ends, I could work more devils into the intended mission and stunt those heathens from further polluting the world.


    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Joseph
    I lead my group down the left corridor, its path spiraled downwards to another room. There were fiends in the way, but nothing very strong and were quickly brought down. When we reached the cavern, I turned to instruct the group.

    “Alright, just like last time. We search this place for any clues. Anything that may lead us to either Cyan or Rikku. Got it?” I said. The group started to spread out, looking for anything out of the ordinary.

    I began to look on the floor for any indication of activity. Footprints, cuts, anything that is out of place. My search seems fruitless as nothing seems abnormal. I turned to ask the others but I stepped on something that didn’t sound like gravel. I lift my boot to find a piece of metal right underneath where I stepped, partially buried. I knelt down and picked it up. The metal was the tip of a blade, around 3cm long and red in color. I was quite knowledgeable with swords but this wasn’t from any sword that I knew of.

    “Hey Yuki, come over here for a second,” I called out. She jogged to me.

    “What did you find?” she asked. I showed her the metal tip.

    “Do you know where this came from? It doesn’t seem to be from a sword,” I said, holding it out for her to examine. She studied it for a moment.

    “Looks like the tip of a thief blade. Wait a moment. You don’t think that…..,” she started. I smirked a bit.

    “Yeah I do think so. This may be a piece of Rikku’s blade. She may have been down here looking for something. Tell Yuukou and Val that we’ve found something and that we’re heading back to the portal,” I instructed. She nodded and I headed to the entrance of this cavern, hoping for more clues.

    Suddenly, pyreflies began to gather. I instinctively drew my sword. The others turned to look, also seeing the gathering of pyreflies. They took out their respective weapons as well. The pyreflies gathered and formed a fiend. A Great Malboro formed in front of me. My eyes widen at this sudden foe. More pyreflies gathered to form Evil Eyes, around 20 or so. The Malboro effectively trapped us in this cavern.

    “EVERYBODY STAY BACK! STAY…..” was all I managed to say before the Malboro began to inhale a bit. I cursed a bit and tried to jump back. However I was still hit by the Bad Breath, Blinding me. I landed off balance and fell, using my sword to steady me. The others seem occupied with the Evil Eyes. I knew that I didn't bring eye drops with me.

    “Yuki, you better tell Val and the others to get here quickly,” I shouted behind me. With that I faced the Malboro and prepared to attack.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    As Nikki awoke she immediately thought that people were stupid number one she seemed to have awoken just outside the teleport just leaned against the hard wall, number 2 no one had given her a bed, and number 3 no one had given her a bed! “Oh wait... That’s still two” she thought as she tried to push herself off the floor and started to head back towards the teleport, ”Well if they aint going to give me a bed I’m more useful in there,”. One of the guards hastily grabbed at her arm to stop her from going any further.

    “You’re in no condition” he simply said to her. She roughly pulled her arm off him. And turned around but as she did her legs give way and she felt the hands of the guard catch her. She then stood up holding her head

    “You’re right” a priest then came by and roughly poured some potion into the wound on her arm. “Hey that ****ing hurts you moron, I’ll do it myself!” she exclaimed while snatching the bottle from him and gently rubbing in the potion onto her arm herself.

    “She needs a bed!” squealed a girls voice and Nikki heard more footsteps come over to her and hastily pull her up.

    “Ow! **** me I can’t go anywhere in this condition!” She exclaimed as she was pulled to her feet. She looked over to see a girl with blonde hair staring at her; she had the most extraordinary weapon on her though, so she guessed she was looking for the Rikku mission. “Hey! What are you looking at?!” She exclaimed. She hated people staring at her especially when she was feeling sick to the stomach. She was feeling worse than for wear so really politeness has gone out of the window.

    “Can you give me any information of what went on down there?” replied the girl. Nikki then remembered it was that unsent that caused her this pain and had put her into this situation.

    “I hate that unsent” she thought. “There is this little annoying unsent girl causing a whole bunch of **** down there and it isn’t helping. Now if you don’t mind I need to heal myself before going anywhere.” But at that moment Nikki felt dizzy again and sat down on the floor. “Floor is good for now” she thought. She just held her head in her hands as she hears Sakura’s voice ramble on about the situation. She looked up as the girl spoke to her, announcing herself as Kyra while she handed her what looked like an X-Potion. Nikki smiled at her. “Thanks. Maybe we’ll see each other again.” Nikki said. “It is really dangerous down there. That ****ing little girl is ruining everything. I hope they take care of her soon.” As she saw the girl leave Nikki passed out again on the floor feeling very dizzy and slightly sick, but before she did she heard comrades who had been brought up call out her name in worry.

    There was darkness, complete and utter black, with no light in sight.
    “Hello?” called out Nikki but there was so reply.

    “Play with me!”

    “Oh **** it’s the girl again!” she thought, she heard a giggle but couldn’t see her.

    “I want to play!” “Come! Play with me!”

    “Hey NIKKSTER lets play a game!” That was definitely Kai.

    “Nikki play with the young girl” that was definitely Kyley’s voice.

    “There’s something odd here” she thought, as more and more voices started to tell her to play, along with the girl’s giggling drove her insane, it got faster and faster until suddenly...

    “AHHHHHHH” exclaimed Nikki sitting up in bed with sweat dripping down her. Her heart pumping fast she could see she was still in the temple. She then laid herself back down onto the soft bed letting herself catch her breath. “Just a dream” she thought, she calmed herself down. She turned over in the bed to see that her bow and arrows were leaning against the wall. “How long had I slept? 1? 2 hours?” Feeling pleasantly healed she sat up and grabbed her bow and arrows and strapped the case to her back and kicked open the door. She then headed to Baralai’s office.

    As Nikki walked she saw Kyley speaking to one of the guards.

    “Sir have you seen a 14 year old boy dripping wet come around here?”

    “Hmm... Oh yeah that kid don’t worry mam we sent him home” He nodded to himself as Nikki approached. “Ah you feeling better?” He asked. Nikki nodded. Kyley turned to face her beaming.

    “Ah Nikki thank goodness, Kai hasn’t come home and I’m getting worried.” Nikki sighed and took in a deep breath. She really didn’t want to have to tell her this, but she had to she was his mother and she had every right to know.

    “Kyley... Kai followed me down to the Via Infinito” She lowered her ashamed to admit it, she had failed to protect him.

    “The Via... Oh no not Kai! Stupid boy! Stupid, stupid, stupid boy!” she turned hastily around to the guards. “You should have stopped him! He’s only 14!”

    “But mam... I sent him home I swear!” he said putting up his hands in defence.

    “Is there a problem?” Nikki heard Baralia’s voice. She turned to see him come over.

    “Ah Praetor please my boy! Please” Kyley was nearly in tears. Nikki turned to face him.

    “Kai her son is only 14, and the little twerp snuck in. He’s now with Mishka and Gippal” Baralai nodded and bent down to Kyley.

    “I promise I will do everything in my power to have your son returned to you unharmed. I shall get into contact with Shinra and he can send a commsphere down to contact Gippal. I am truly sorry about this”

    “Besides Kai can hold his own, as much as I hate to admit it. He’s a pretty good fighter against fiends, and Mishka and Gippal won’t let anything happen to them. I’ll crush them otherwise”

    “BARAILAI!” Echoed a voice across the temple before anyone can do anything there was a sudden burst of speed and Barailai was been held again the wall by a female fighter. Nikki recognised her immediately as Paine, one of the Gullwings. The guards immediately pointed their gun at her, but Barailai seem to give the word for them to lower their guns. “Why didn’t you tell me! Why didn’t you tell me Rikku was missing!” Nikki smiled at her style she immediately had a liking towards her ruthlessness.

    “Paine... Rikku told me to not to tell. She made me promise. But we already have fighters down there looking for her, including Gippal.” Paine lowered him down and off the wall. She crossed her arms.

    “Is someone with Gippal?”

    “Mishka is. She is a strong fighter and seems to keep Gippal focused on what’s important” replied Nikki. Paine nodded at her and turned to Barailai.

    “How did you find out?” he asked.

    “How else?” She said seeming to state it was obvious. “You tell Nooj, Nooj tells Le Blanc, Le Blanc tells everyone in Spira” She paused for a bit. “I just wish you had told me, you know it won’t be long till Yuna finds out, her and Tidus will head straight for Bevelle when they do.” Nikki groaned. She heard that Sir Tidus was a bit of an airhead, she swore she already had too many in her group.

    “But by then hopefully we would have found Rikku,” Said Nikki. “We’ve got another problem though...”

    “The girl... Yes I heard about that.” Said Baralai.

    “She seems to be able to summon fiends at will, so she’s not any normal unsent. Also I think she’s still just a girl and isn’t really aware of the damage she is causing. This just makes her even more dangerous.”

    “I see...” Said Barailai deep in thought.

    “What now?” asked Paine. Nikki smirked.

    “I’m going to head back to my group and keep those twins in order”

    “I’m coming too.” Stated Paine.

    “Thought she would say that” thought Nikki.

    “Paine...”

    “No Barailai, me and Yuna are the only ones that possible know the Via Infinito the best, if I go I can aid the group” Nikki nodded towards her.

    “Any good at leading?” asked Nikki as they both walked towards the teleport.

    “No I was always the one recording”

    “Well I can tell you now a lot of them are going to turn to you” Paine shook her head.

    “They know you much better” said Paine with a smile, “Via Infinito has changed since I’ve been, I don’t expect to lead, but to aid. I’ll have your back though”

    “... ****ing great...” thought Nikki “Why am I always leader?” she thought as they stepped through the teleport onto cloister 3.

    “Flametounge!” shouted out Paine as they immediate stepped out Nikki could see that Joseph’s group was in trouble, Nikki fired her arrow at the nearest fiend.

    “Good, you’re here” said Joseph to Nikki.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Valvaris

    Valvaris and Yuubou are leading the group down the right path, looking around, and tapping the ground and walls as they go. They couldn't find or see anything down this path. Val frowned, "Nothing again. Not another trap, could it be?"

    At the end of the path, is an empty square-shaped room. Still nothing. Val sighed. He turned around one last time, looking around, hoping some clues would pop out in the room. The brown-colored rocks, still stationary; the room, still quiet. Only slight bickerings are heard by members of the group. Yuubou is just smiling and jumping around the room, muttering, "Empty! Empty! Empty!"

    "There's nothing here. Let's head back." said Val.

    The group began retracing their footsteps back towards the entrance of Cloister 3. Halfway through, Val noticed Yuubou's movements slowed for a moment. Before he could ask what happened, Yuubou exclaimed, "Yuki's in danger!" and began speeding off into the direction of Yuki and Joseph.

    "I'll be rushing there, too. You guys follow suit, but be careful; signal if there's emergency." Val said before leaping away, tailing Yuubou.

    Yuubou's speed is astonishing. Val moved forward by concentrating his energy into his legs, and projecting himself forward with the help of the ground and the wall; but he still could not catch up with Yuubou. As they arrive at the entrance of the path, Val reaches for his waist and pulled out his guns. From their location, they can clearly see a giant Marlboro in front of them. Yuubou dashed towards the Marlboro; but Val stopped at the entrance to the left path. He scanned the place, fearing there might be more ambushes. As his eyes move around the room, it stopped at two silhouettes to the front and one figure on his left. He first set his eyes upon this figure of his left.

    The blonde girl, with a strange looking sword-like weapon hanging by her waist, is running towards the Marlboro, as well.

    "Friend? or Foe?" thought Val. But he knew he does not have much time to worry about that now. He continued forward alongside the girl towards the two silhouette in front of them. As he got closer, Val clearly sees who are they. "Nikki!" Val exclaimed. He was definitely happy to see her unharmed by the ordeal earlier. Nikki was saying something he didn't manage to catch. He was busy figuring out the person standing beside Nikki, "Paine? Why's she here?". Val recognizes Paine as he does follow Rikku's news from time to time. The Gullwings, comprised of Rikku, Lady Summoner Yuna and Paine, how could he not recognize her. He was thrilled to see them, but at the same time worried about Joseph and Yuki. When he arrived, Nikki is already attacking the fiends around the Marlboro, with the help of Paine.

    "I'll help." said the girl with the strange weapon.

    Val nodded and began casting his spells, "I'll focus on the Marlboro." Nikki and Paine both gave a slight nod, preparing their attacks. The other girl were cutting away at fiends near her as well.

    Val concentrated his energy and leaped into the air. After making a flip mid-air, he aimed both his guns at the Marlboro, and a big, bright, red magic circle appears in front of the guns. "Charge-cast: Hohou." Sparkles of flames gathered around the center of the magic circle, while a small flame circle with about 15cm diameter began to form in the middle. A large, red beam is then fired at the Marlboro. When the beam came into contact with the Marlboro, it seemingly got "absorbed" into it, and the Marlboro began glowing red, and parts of it began to burn with mini flames. After a while, its body exploded and a large fire pillar is formed around it, burning it and the Evil Eyes around it. As the fire pillar dissipates, a fairly weakened Marlboro with black, burnt patches on it emerges. The evil eyes around it got reduced to ashes.

    As Val touches down on the ground, he raises his head to watch his teammates take down the huge fiend.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Kyra
    “I’m ready”

    The next thing Kyra knew, she was surrounded by a white almost blinding light. She was then transported to Cloister 3. Kyra really didn’t know what to expect. She hadn’t been through this kind of training before. Although she did come from Esthar and had travelled the Esthar planes enough times that she almost knew what was around the next corner, she didn’t quite know what to expect from this.

    What a horrible smell. It smells like death, and dying. What happened in this place?


    “EVERYBODY STAY BACK! STAY…..”


    Hmm, sounds like trouble already. Better go check it out before I get caught in here alone.


    Kyra started to run over when she noticed another group of people coming her way. One of them looked at her kind of strangely, but had become accustomed to that already. He must be looking at my blade.

    She began to run with them and said “I’ll help”

    He nodded and said "I'll focus on the Marlboro."

    Understanding the current situation, she remembered she had met many of these types of monsters in the past. Her past. The best way to defeat these types of monsters is to not fall under its confusion spell. A few remedies should help. There were also bunches of flying monsters around too. Not knowing exactly what they were called, she took a swing at one. She pulled the trigger on her Gunblade, but it didn’t seem to faze this monster. Damn I missed. Better blind it to see what happens.

    “Cast: Blind!”
    The monster now surrounded with darkness, she took another swing. Haha, I got it this time. It fell to the ground and dispersed into pyreflies. Looks like I’ll have to get used to all of these new things in a hurry.

    She looked up and saw another bunch of flying fiends come towards her. There’s so many...She thought taking another swing at the closest one before it hit her. This one got angry. It was about ready to charge an attack when an arrow hit the fiend before it could hit her.

    “Thanks-“
    She realized who it was. So that one is Nikki but who are these other people I’m working with here? I guess we’ll have more introductions later.

    “Just keep attacking them before they hit you.”
    Nikki explained. “By the way, thanks for the X-potion.”

    “No Problem”
    She said before she took another swing at another monster. This could take some getting used to.

    Kyra began to focus on her speed as well as accuracy. The faster she hit them, they faster they might disappear. The more she focused; she was able to bring down a bunch of them, but not all. When will it end?

    ZZAPP!! Damn I’ve been hit. She turned around and took a swing at the attacker making sure to pull the trigger on the blade. She did this a few more times again. This seems to be working, just have to keep at it.

    She noticed a few more arrows come her way. They hit their target and they were knocked out one at a time. Before she knew it, all that was left was this Malboro. Noticing that the monster was already weakened by the magic that came from the guy with the guns, all she could do was watch.

    There was a more experienced person with kind of grey hair. She kind of reminds me of Squall, but not quite. She has more personality that’s for sure.There was also a warrior with a samurai sword. I don’t see too many of those where I come from. There were two other people over there that looked like twins. Very energetic.

    As the Malboro was brought down, Kyra figured she might as well join the group.

    “Hey, my name is Kyra. I’m here to help.”

  7. #7
    Joseph

    Damn, this is going badly,” I thought. The others were busy with the Evil Eyes, leaving just me against the Great Malboro. My eyes were blinded by the Bad Breath attack and though I could see a bit, everything and everyone was a black blob with no definition. The only reason I knew where the Malboro was is the sound it made.

    I already tried to attack several times, but I keep missing and the Malboro kept hitting me, causing a number of wounds. I knelt down, trying in vain to whip the darkness from my eyes. I heard the Malboro moving closer to me. Suddenly, I heard a flutter of a bow and the sound of an arrow hitting the Malboro. It came from the entrance and I recognized the footfall. I smiled a bit.

    “Good you’re here,” I said to Nikki. I also heard several other footsteps and knew that reinforcements have arrived.

    “Anyone have Eye Drops with them?” I asked. I heard Nikki run to me.

    “Here Joseph,” Nikki said, handing me some Eye Drops. I let the fluid wash the darkness out of my eyes, allowing me to finally see for the first time since the battle began.

    Valvaris and Yuubou were battling the Malboro, along with Paine and a blonde girl. I was a little shocked that Paine was here but she was part of The Gullwings along with Rikku and Lady Yuna so it made some sense that she would come.

    “Charge-cast: Hohou,” Val casted, firing a beam of fire at the Malboro. It absorbed it before erupting into a column of flames, burning some of the nearby fiends away. It died down to reveal a weakened Malboro. I smirked and approached the Malboro. I held my blade at my side, causing a light yellow mist to rise from my blade.

    “This is payback for what you did. Now fear magic!” I shouted, jumping and hitting it, breaking down its resistance.

    “Finish it!” I commanded. I saw Paine take this opportunity to close in with the Malboro, her sword on fire.

    “Flametounge!” as Paine brought her sword down, cutting the Malboro in half and causing it to dissolve back to pyreflies. I looked around to see all the fiends taken care of. I finally took the time to check my wounds. There were several deep ones but nothing too bad. I took an X-potion to heal all my wounds as joined the group. The blond girl joined us as I arrived. I noted the strange blade that she wielded.

    “Hey, my name is Kyra. I’m here to help,” she said. I nodded and everyone introduced themselves to her.

    “Joseph, Yuki said that you may have found a clue,” Yuubou said. I nodded and showed them the blade shard.

    “This might be from Rikku’s thief blades,” I said, giving the shard to Paine for closer examination. “She may have been here are one point. This shard however is a bad sign. I don’t know how many dresspheres she brought down with her but if she broke one this far down, she may be in deep trouble further down. So we need to hurry if there’s a chance to find her alive.”

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    Nikki smirked to herself “Evil Eyes, Magic uses and anyone with long distance techniques aim for them. The rest go for the...” she looked around at the great Marlboro. “JUST TAKE IT ****ING DOWN!”

    “I’ll focus on the Marlboro” Nikki nodded towards him and faced the Evil Eyes, she brought up her arrow and began firing taking down each one quite easily, while keeping her distance and firing she smiled to herself, it was good to see that people were working together. She looked around to see that Kyra was about to be attacked, noticing it was much too far even for her. Nikki ran towards the fiend noticing it charging its attack, and the girl being completely oblivious to what was going on behind her. It almost happened in slow motion and Nikki felt her heartbeat pound as she pulled the arrow back against her cheek and then fired. The fiend let out a cry of pain as it collapsed to the floor with a burst of Pyreflies.

    “Just keep attacking them before they hit you. By the way thanks for the X potion” Nikki said to her while keeping her back protected by firing more arrows at the fiends. High on adrenaline she slew on after another and for once this was one of the easier fights for her.

    “Anyone have eye drops with them?” Nikki noticed Joseph was nearby and seemed to fighting blindly. She mentally sighed in ward to herself but didn’t judge; after all she had forgotten to get antidotes. She ran over to him

    “Here, Joseph” He nodded his thanks to her, as Nikki turned around Kyra seem to be well... Overcome by the fiends once again. Nikki concentrated in on her magic she gracefully pulled out three arrows and lined them up on the bow, “Triple arrow” whispered Nikki and she let go with the magic guiding them towards three targets which instantly fell to the floor and dispersed in Pyreflies. She ran over to Kyra, and once more protected her back. “She should have gone after the big one” she thought to herself as she killed the last of the flying fiends.

    She looked around. Noticing it was only the Great Marlboro left, she thought she could hang back and actually take the opportunity to watch the others in action. It had already been weakened by Valaris earliar. She was very impressed by Joseph’s technique as she watched on. “A hard hitter” she thought. After Paine had finished it everyone began to gather.

    “Hey my name is Kyra, I’m here to help.” Nikki smiled at her, the twins seemed to be very excited to have two new additions join their group, in that they annoyed her immensely by jumping up and down!

    He’s Yuubou and I’m...”

    “Yuki” Nikki smiled at the fact that the girl seemed confused by this.

    “Don’t worry you learn to keep up with them” Both the twins seemed to smile at this.

    “Joseph”

    “Valvaris,” Nikki noticed his mind was elsewhere, but decided to question that later.

    “And you know who that obviously is” said the twins in unison looking at Paine.

    “Uhhh...” Kyra from what Nikki could see looked blankly at Paine. Nikki.

    “Yep she has no clue,” Paine smiled at that and uncrossed her arms.

    “Paine, nice to meet you.” Nikki chuckled at the twins gobsmacked faces that Kyra didn’t seem to know who Paine was. Nikki then felt a pit in a stomach weren’t they missing someone? She looked around, the three mages had returned to the group along with Sakura so it wasn’t them. Sakura gave a small smile to her as Nikki looked around at her direction. Nikki smiled and nodded back.

    “Joseph, Yuki said that you may had found a clue?” Nikki immediately turned attention towards the conversation.

    “What clue?” she asked.

    “This might have come from Rikku’s thief blades” said Joseph as he passed the tiniest piece of metal Nikki had seen to Paine. Nikki rose an eye brow at that but didn’t question it. “She may have been here are one point. This shard however is a bad sign. I don’t know how many dresspheres she brought down with her but if she broke one this far down, she may be in deep trouble further down. So we need to hurry if there’s a chance to find her alive.” Nikki slapped her forehead and sighed.

    “You find the tiniest piece of metal and call that her dressphere MUST be broken?”

    “We all leave tiny shards of metal behinds from our battles, this doesn’t prove anything. All it tells us that Rikku has been fighting and that’s a good sign.” Said Paine as she handed the shard back to him. Nikki looked around now finally realising she had seen Cyan in ages. “But I do agree we have to make haste nether less”

    “Hey where the **** did Cyan go?” Nikki asked she looked around at the others.

    “Cyan she...” began Val but the twins interrupted.

    “All these pyreflies were like!”

    “Whizzing around and”

    “Cyan went poof! And we’re playing”

    “Hide and Seek!” Nikki groaned.

    “Basically the girl took her.” Said Joseph. Nikki paused as she took this in.

    “SHE DID WHAT?!” she thought to herself. She went over to Val and look at him in the eye. “I promise we’ll get her back” Val nodded to her. “Lets go” she said to the rest of the group she led them running though the cloister and jumping down to cloister 4.

    They immediately ran into water flans. “Don’t bother with all of them, just cut down the ones in front, we’ll run to the intersection and then split up again.” Shout Nikki to them. Immediately Nikki could see the Mages aiming lightning spell at them. Nikki ran on dodging water spells, looking back every now and then to see if everyone was keeping up. “Right me Val and the twins will take the left corridor, Paine you lead the rest down the right.” "She has to lead now" thought Nikki with a smirk.

    “And as leader of my group I appoint Joseph as leader.” Nikki heard Paine say as they split up.

    As Nikki predicted they found nothing and as they joined up again the other group had found nothing as well. Nikki groaned she then ran on with the group following down to cloister 5.

    As they all got to cloister 5 the little girl’s voice echoed through the corridors.

    “Mary, Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row.” she sang as loads of Pryeflies gathered and revealed her to the group. “Do you know where she is yet?” she innocently asked. Val looked like he was going to attack her but Nikki stepped in front of him.

    “So this is the girl” said Paine, the unsent looked at Paine and smiled.

    “I know you, you and two other girls came and played with my friends. You were mean to them” She said.

    “Where’s Cyan?” said Nikki plainly

    “I can’t tell you! Its part of the game” She smiled, and then vanished is a burst of Pryeflies while giggling. Lord Ochu then appeared. “Play nice” echoed her voice.

    “Everyone! This guy is easy attack with fire based attacks” Nikki exclaimed, Nikki could already see Paine sphere changing into a Black Mage poised for battle.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Valvaris

    "Hey my name is Kyra, I'm here to help." said the weird-sword girl.

    The team members are introducing themselves one by one, but Val couldn't pay attention.

    "Another ambush?" he thought, "Is she trying to stall time? That wretched girl."

    He then realizes that it is his turn to introduce himself, "Valvaris".

    A series of conversation ensues regarding Paine and Rikku's dagger shard. When Nikki mentioned Cyan, Val jolted back to reality.

    "Cyan, she..." Val begin, but he got interrupted by the twins, as they go on explaining about how Cyan went missing. But Nikki couldn't capture their words at all. Joseph finally summarized it with a simple sentence.

    Val was all worried about Cyan and Rikku. He felt that the conversation was a waste of time.

    "I promise we’ll get her back" Val nodded.
    "Finally!" He thought.

    They all went through Cloister 4 with haste. But still no signs of anything. They immediately press on towards Cloister 5, where they hear the girl's voice again.

    “Mary, Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row.” she sang as loads of Pryeflies gathered and revealed her to the group. “Do you know where she is yet?” she innocently asked. Val looked like he was going to attack her but Nikki stepped in front of him.

    “So this is the girl” said Paine, the unsent looked at Paine and smiled.

    “I know you, you and two other girls came and played with my friends. You were mean to them” She said.

    “Where’s Cyan?” said Nikki plainly

    “I can’t tell you! Its part of the game” She smiled, and then vanished is a burst of Pryeflies while giggling. Lord Ochu then appeared. “Play nice” echoed her voice.

    “Everyone! This guy is easy attack with fire based attacks” Nikki exclaimed, Nikki could already see Paine sphere changing into a Black Mage poised for battle.

    "En Garde," Val said, while he caught a glimpse of Paine changing into her Black Mage dress sphere, "Fire away."

    Paine heeded the signal. She began casting her Firaga while Joseph launches a Mental Break on the Lord Ochu. Nikki repeatedly fires arrows at the fiend's tentacles, obstructing it from successfully attacking the magic casters. Yuki telekinetically moved rocks and boulders, aiming them at the fiend's leg to throw it off balance, while Yuubou is fending off tentacles that manage to break through Nikki's arrow's defenses and are attacking the white mages.

    "I'll combo my attack with yours, Paine."
    "Firaga!" Paine unleashed a large explosion of flame on the Lord Ochu.

    Val immediately aimed both his guns at the fiend and a large, red magic circle appeared in front of him. "Charge-cast: Hodan". A large, red block of rock is then launched at the Lord Ochu, as the fire explosion from Paine's spell took effect, the rock is ignited by the fire of that spell. An even larger explosion happened, absolutely decimating the fiend. As the smoke subsides, pyreflies are seen floating out from the glowing corpse of the fiend.

    "Let's go," Val said as he keeps his guns and walks toward the left of Cloister 5.
    "There's no time to waste." Paine muttered as she walks towards the right. The group split themselves accordingly and followed.

    The search resulted in nothing as well. Several sighs were heard. They all move towards the warp and entered Cloister 6.

    Cloister 6 is as empty as the previous cloisters. They split up to search each and every inch of the cloister. There is still nothing. The group kept pressing on towards Cloister 7.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Mishka.png

    At Cloister 5, we fought a few Geckos, but with Gippal's poise and Kai's adept mastery at being a nuisance, we were down to Cloister 6 in no time at all. Six featured much of the same, more geckos to pester us. This time, the mages that were with us erupted in fury, hurling Black Magics every which way. Weakened, the fiends that weren't already defeated fell prey to my sword and Gippal's missiles. Cloister 7, however was mysteriously empty but for the sound of periodic rumbling that grew louder as we neared the next level. As we ascended a large step, I found the source of the rumbling. A large fiend shaped in the form of a wingless red dragon was occupying itself with charging headfirst into the opposite wall. As we were a small distance away, I knew we could bypass it if we took the proper precautions and timed its charges. Once Gippal had figured it out, he signaled for us to move quickly and each of us made it past until...

    “Wah!” Kai screamed, losing his footing when the dragon struck.

    The force sucked his light form back into the path of the fiend who was ready for another advance.

    About Kai... take care of him, okay? I know I freaked before, but he can help you. Uh... that's all I want to say.”

    Quickly, I rolled into the path and sliced at the dragon's haunches as it charged. This caused it to stutter in its step and let me have enough time to snatch Kai and roll away with him, back to the other side of the cloister. The next step would fall on Gippal and the mages who recognized my plan immediately, launching a heavy attack on it the moment it turned its attention to me. As it began to become disoriented over who to prioritize first, I ran with Kai under it and signaled for everyone to head to the next cloister.

    The fiend would follow us, though, and in Cloister 8, a small scale war raged. The floor was littered with fiends, but the dragon trampled over all of them to get to us. The massive dispersion of pyreflies from those Takoubas and White Elementals, unfortunately, attracted stronger fiends and we found ourselves confronted with another army of Tonberries. Gippal's missiles were barely having an effect on any of them, especially dispersed on such a scale. The mages' scattered multi-casts were also proving useless, but none of them could do otherwise or we'd be swamped immediately. I distracted the ones nearest those shooters along with Kai, arrows and kunai mixing with the horde of Black Magics and missiles in the air, but we all knew we were doomed. In a last ditch effort, I had Kai move near the warp pad I located and hit him with the broad side of my sword to send him into it before striking the controls with an arrow to take him back to the surface. When I turned back to the battle, however, the entire scene seemed frozen in mid combat.

    “Come play with us.” The voice of the little girl beckoned.

    “Where are you?” I asked, reading my sword.

    “Silly, you don't need a sword yet.” She replied, “Come have tea with us at our tea party! It'll be so bunches of fun!”

    “... our tea party?” I asked, showing a little worry in my voice.

    The area abruptly turned completely white and all my allies faded with the enemies. I was brought before an empty cloister like Cloister 0, but with no floor. The girl appeared amidst the vacant white space in the center before a floor formed beneath her feet, the blankness dissolving in splotches all around until a Cloister 0-like stage was revealed, the center of which held a child's table, Cyan bound and gagged at one of its seats while decaying dolls occupied the others.

    “Cyan!” I shouted, rushing to her side.

    Pyreflies burst from the girl, acting almost as a barrier between Cyan and I and the girl chirped, “Silly, can't you see she's having tea? You would be drinking with us, too, but you came too late so you can't have any.”

    “Let her go!” I screamed.

    “Uh-uh, you're being too loud. Naughty girls get spanked.”

    After she said this, she floated herself high into the air, about midway between the stage and the ceiling. The surrounding walls began to glow and glyphs appeared upon them, one set in particular imbuing me and Cyan afar with dread. They spelled out an archaic term for Cherubim, a fabled celestial being. As the glyphs' glow began to die down, the unsent's own body began to shine brighter, the light forming a translucent orb around her until they started separating into thinner sheets, then feathered sheets, until finally, the girl revealed them as two sets of pearly wings, another set decorating the sides of her head like a wreath of feathers.

    The first thing she did following her transformation was to reach for one of those wings above her ears, pulling it out of her hair like a pin and moving to throw it.

    “Dart of Conviction...” A mechanical voice alerted from behind the table and I saw the sentry we'd been searching for.

    Taking my eyes back to the girl, she launched the wing/pin at me, a trail of pyreflies flowing from it as it soared. I just barely dodged it, but the following explosion sent me into the side wall. Reacting quickly, I stabbed my sword into it to prevent from falling into the next Cloister and launched a lightning arrow at her.

    “I don't like your magic.” The girl simply said, her eyes flashing white and my arrow withered away.

    Flipping myself over the sword to plant my feet into the wall, I plucked it out as my feet pushed me across the gap back toward the platform. I spun myself sideways with my sword held out and took a few feathers of one wing with me as I fell, but when I landed, she was already upon me, a baton swiping me across the face. I crashed and slid against the metal floor, coming to a stop at the warp.

    “Instance.” The machina blurted.

    “You're funny. I like you.” The girl said.

    “That's... great...” I grumbled, trying to pick myself up.

    My own popped blood vessels blinded me with my blood, but as the only unsent in the cloister and emitting a large presence with her transformation, I could rely solely on my olfaction to divulge her location. With my sword in hand, I ran forward, knowing she was above me. As I predicted, that led her to a false sense of advantage and she dove in behind me just in time to take my overhead strike.

    “Sneaky. Naughty girl. Naughty Mishka...” She purred demurely having caught my blade with something.

    I gasped and couldn't withdraw my weapon or sense her next move. It was then that she giggled lightly and I felt her presence inside me for a split second before my body was lifted into the air and thrust down into the metallic platform headfirst. My consciousness was waning fast, but I couldn't relent. Perhaps if I were to draw my impending death out further, Cyan could escape to the next cloister or, better yet, reach the warp on this floor back to the surface. With that in mind, I picked myself back up and fired arrows at wherever I smelled her scent. As it was before, she only melted them away, but she was being herded toward me in a hopefully advantageous position for me. As luck would have it, I was successful and struck her with the same attack I used on the tonberry in Cloister 4. I could feel the energy bubbling inside her, but that would be all. Instead of detonating her body, it was only absorbed and I felt myself pounded into the ground once again.

    “... Judgement Bolt...” The sentry's voice bellowed and I knew what was coming.

    As I felt the power of the unsent in the distance, the end had come. She was done “playing” with me and this was her idea of stopping the game. After taking all her other brutal assaults, I was hardly capable of doing anything but lying there to wait for her finishing blow.

    “I'M OUT OF TEA!” I suddenly heard Cyan shriek, obviously having used the battle to free herself from at least the gag.

    Though still blinded until I could clean my eyes and helplessly incapacitated by the girl's power, I remained conscious, most likely by the good graces and sadistic nature of her muse, but it allowed me to take part in the following event.

    “Oh, you should have said something sooner, silly!” I heard the girl say, my olfactory notifying me of her return to normal.

    “Thank you, little one.” Cyan spoke to her, using a tone similar to that of an older sister or young aunt.

    “You're very welcome!” The girl replied, my ear upon the metal floor telling me she started skipping in joy.

    “So, what should we talk about?” Cyan continued, though I wasn't sure where she was going with this.

    “Anything you want!”

    “Mm, okay then. I wanted to ask if other girls have been down here. Maybe you've seen a friend of mine? She's blonde and...”

    “Oh yes! I know who you mean! We played for a little while, but she was busy and left...”

    Rikku?! Rikku had encountered this unsent? How was she now given what had happened to me.

    “Do you know where she left to?”

    “Mostly down. I wanted to have tea with her, too, but I knew she was too busy.”

    “Well, that was considerate of you. You're such a good girl!” Cyan noted sweetly, so much so that even I was starting to believe her performance.

    “Thank you!” The girl said.

    Cyan's short gasp after the girl's exclamation implied that she was hugged by the unsent for me, but I still couldn't be sure and I was hesitant to make any moves.

    “Oh, big sis is all dirty, isn't she?”

    “Uh... yea. What do you-”

    “We should get her cleaned up for supper!”

    Fear pooling over me, I felt the girl slowly lift me up and place my head gently on her lap. As I stared blindly upward, I felt her hands rub away the dried blood smears from my eyes, a sweet smile greeting me once my vision focused.

    “Hi there!”

    I admit that I was too frightened by her to try and attempt something like Cyan, but I was too exhausted for speech anyway and the excuse brought me some solace. Giggling, the girl brushed some Salvia Dill away from my face.

    “The silly girl. I think she's too knackered from your games before.”

    “Oh poopie. Well, I guess that can't be helped. I guess big sis just needs some rest, then, huh?”

    “Right!” Cyan replied, her footsteps echoing across the entire room.

    I felt her kneel down next to me, taking me from the girl and lifting me up. The girl continued to brush my hair and then turned her attention back to Cyan when she proceeded with the conversation.

    “You're such a good girl... Why is such a good girl here in this place?”

    I felt the temperature of the cloister drop several degrees after Cyan's words and I shuddered in wait for something terrible to come out of it. The scent coming from the girl was something foul and potent, spreading throughout the area.

    “... they hurt me...” She muttered.

    Looking at her together with Cyan, we both noticed that she was trembling with her face cast downward, tears streaming down her cheeks and dripping onto the floor.

    Taking her eyes back up to look at both of us, she continued with a, “Will you hurt me, too?” and then she was gone.

    “I want to be in a big tub with bubbles and drink lots and lots of alcohol.”

    “You and me both.” Cyan sighed, “Let's get you healed up.”

  8. #8
    Keema

    “Keema stop pacing up and down you’re making me nervous just looking at you” said Keema’s friend Fyra, a female Guado with blue robes on. Keema looked at her, noticing that her green eyes looking worriedly at her. She stopped pacing.


    “Oh I’m sorry” she replied. “Now look at what I’ve done I made her worry”. Both the Guado were in the Mansion where Leblanc was moving out. The Syndicate were scurrying in and out with boxes. Keema was waiting for their leader to return with news about the Farplane. Fyra smiled at her as she walked behind her and dusted her robe off.


    “You worry too much, Lord Tromell will be here soon. I’m sure the Farplane is fine and that you did a good job of keeping it stable”


    “I hope so” said Keema. Her eyes wondered around the room watching the members of the Syndicate come in and out with boxes. When suddenly a male and female weren’t watching where they were going and both crashed into each other.


    “Hey watch where you going you idiot!” cried out the female in pink.


    “Me!? What about you!” The male in green responded back.


    “Humans are very loud creatures” thought Keema. Just then Tromell came through the door and Keema immediately bowed her head.


    “My Lord” Both the Guado said in unison.


    “Ah there is no need for this, why I simply just guide our race. Please call me Tromell we are in a new age.” Keema lifted her head.


    “As you wish L... Uhhh Tromell” replied Keema.


    “Now I’m very happy to say Keema that the Farplane seems to be stabilising, because of your work after the incident with that unsent. Thankfully the Lady Yuna took care of that” Both the female Guado smiled at that. Trema continued. “Keema I must also request something from you”


    “Anything sir, Uhhh... Sorry old habits die hard” Trema just smiled at her. “I must remember that he doesn’t want a title” thought Keema.


    “We have a request from an Albehd named Rin, he wants to research the Farplane and use its energy to repair this world. Including the forest. I have suggested that he can go in under one condition. That they take you with them. Keema I know you will prevent them from doing any damage.” Keema bowed her head.


    “I would be honoured to go sir” Tromell smiled warmly at her.


    “Good, now Fyra can I have a word with you?” he asked. Keema nodded to her friend that she would be just outside and with that she walked through the doors to find...


    “Oh dear we seem to have a lot of loud humans today” Keema thought as she walked over to the group of Syndicates members and huddle of Guado, to find in the middle was Le Blanc who looks like she was telling a loud story.


    “As you know loves, Noojie is going to go to Bevelle. I’m going too after all I want that sphere.” Said the woman with a look of greed in her eyes. Keema sighed.


    “I never got the joy in sphere hunting” thought Keema.


    “What sphere?” said a female voice from behind Keema, Keema just watched Leblanc’s reaction.


    “Like I’m going to tell you! One of the Dullwings!” Keema looked behind her to see it was that silver haired woman that she couldn’t remember the name of. The woman in black crossed her arms. “Anyway aren’t you more concerned about your friend. Afterall everyone is looking for Rikku. Did you hear she went into the Via Infinito looking for the sphere.”


    “Rikku...” Keema heard the woman whisper to herself, she then seemed to take off pretty quickly. Leblanc then began to fan herself. Keema shook her head and turned away she did hope that the Rikku girl was alright, if she remembered rightly she was one of Lady Yuna’s guardians.


    She went up near the doorway of the Farplane. And looked around for the Albehd. She immediately spotted him by the doorway clad in yellow and went up to him.


    “Hello sir my name is Keema you must be Rin”


    “Ah yes, hello there” Keema didn’t like how he held himself something was a little creepy about him, but nether less she must guide him.


    “Shall we go then” Rin nodded.


    As soon as they entered Keema felt at peace and at one with the Farplane, feeling the happy and peaceful emotions of the Pryeflies hit her almost immediately. It was pretty uneventful, the Albehd seemed to mutter to himself and he seemed to have some kind of glint in his eye. Keema watched him thoughtfully as he explored the platform and tried to reach out to grab a Pryefly, but obviously it just slipped through his fingers with a hum. “It’s like he’s never seen the Farplane before” thought Keema with wonder.


    As soon as he was done exploring they were back outside.


    “May I ask, to bring a friend next time along? It would help the research immensely” said Rin Keema smiled at him.


    “A harmless enough request,” she thought. “Of course you can sir, you can always find me by this entrance” She said to him smiling.


    “Then I bid you farewell, until next time.” They then parted. As Keema walked down she saw the whole of the Syndicate race off towards Bevelle, with a bubble of excitement.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    “What's wrong? What's happened?” An appointed superior asked of one of the lab technicians.

    It had been several weeks and the excavations teams were finding a plethora of broken parts and severed remains of old machines. While none were functional, Rin had extended a branch of the volunteers into his analysis team under suggestion from Shinra. They had begun testing the wrecked and shattered, taking careful notes as to what each nut and bolt could potentially offer in the original machination. I arrived just in time with Hunter to see their database crash, deleting every piece of uncovered information they'd found.

    Such a shame.”I remarked, walking over to them as Hunter tried to stop me.

    To think that machina would fail us.”

    “This is a terrible loss. Do we have any backups?” The same official asked.

    “Yes... but they've shorted as well. We can't recover any information.” The technician answered.

    Be there any way to replace the data perhaps?” I asked, hoping for a particular answer.

    “Sadly no.” That being it. “The data spheres aren't stable enough of a storage measure, but we don't have a better medium besides hard copy, which we were foolish enough not to use.”

    Well, that can't be helped. No one would have thought the computers would malfunction and the spheres expire. The team did the best they could and we can always start over.”

    “Yea, and besides, it wasn't like there was any conclusive data. It was just bits and pieces, nothing we really could've used anyway. It's probably not even worth keeping around.” Hunter added, walking up beside me.

    “I would have to disagree.” An arrogant accented voice hollered, alerting us all around to the left.

    Rin himself had arrived with entourage in tow. He would reveal to us that he wanted to expand further, opening a branch of excavations to the Calm Lands and to the Farplane itself. While I could be of some use in the Calm Lands and I knew after all the battles against Sin that were held there, the troubling thoughts revolved around the new branch in Guadosalam. Something deep inside me almost forbade me from approaching that area. It seemed as though my new form was frightened of it, almost hostile of it. Perhaps I could persuade Hunter to go in my stead, but I hadn't turned him along far enough to truly trust him.

    “So, in the next twenty-four hours, please assemble a few leaders to be relocated to those two outlets. My people will be waiting for them there, hopefully with more personnel.” Rin finished with delighted smile and left.

    Hunter and I spoke on this new turn of events afterward, noting that the new locations were excellent choices that could open new fronts of research for the team. While I agreed, I was still haunted by my limitations, which could jeopardise my self-appointed mission. If I were to trust Hunter, he could stray back to the hedonism that brought Sin to Spira, but if I didn't, the Farplane branch would be closed off to me and I would have no method of intervention. That could prove disastrous, particularly considering the point to Rin's madness had originally been to uncover ways to harness the Farplane's life force.

    The next day, bright and early, I wandered about the Bikanel site. Despite becoming an unsent and inheriting powers beyond my imaginings, I felt helpless again. I became a researcher to find a way to end the Age of Sin in the name of Yevon. Instead, I was only devoured by the noxious miasma of the beast Angra Mainyu. I had held on to my beliefs and used my desire to save this world to cling to the living domain. I felt incredible new senses and gained the ability to change the course of Spira's future; I felt worthwhile again. I indulged in this power through death so much, I felt unstoppable. Now, I found my poison. I found it in the very heart of what I wished to save.

    There has to be something I can do.” I whispered to myself.

    “Hey, you're up early. Butterflies?” Hunter asked, coming up from behind.

    As he placed a hand on my shoulder, I felt something jar loose within me. The pyreflies that allowed my person into being suddenly wavered, a few slipping through my shoulder out into... no, not out, but rather through his contact, straight into Hunter's body.

    “Hey, you okay?” He asked of me, noticing my momentary shock.

    On his end, it merely seemed as though I jolted from his touch in surprise. For me, it was a different matter. While he asked me in such a typical way, I sensed those words coming from me and even saw myself in distant eyes. However, in the same period, I was looking at Hunter and hearing the words he'd spoken to me. It was as if I had become two people with one mind and it threatened my perception of reality.

    “Hey, you don't look too good. Let's get to back to base so you can sit.” Again from his mouth, my mouth, but they were his words and I was saying them for him or he was saying the for me?

    When we reached the camp, I had become slightly more oriented with the situation. My pyreflies had hitched themselves with Hunter, their presence inside his body allowing me sight and awareness through his consciousness. Meanwhile, I still had my own wit about me, which had caused a split view of reality that I was only just learning to comprehend. I felt as if a fly with its compound eyes, several images aligned askew, but interpreted by a single mind to form some sort of logical unified product. At first, it was overwhelming, but I'd managed to segregate the new image enough so that I was now aware of Hunter's actions while focused on my own.

    I'm ready.”I muttered to myself, glowing with excitement.

    “That's good! You're coming with me to the Calm Lands then!” One of the upbeat women from our group exclaimed, pulling me to my feet with a firm tug.

    What of Hunter?”


    “I don't think the final verdict is out yet, but I know I want to get out of this baking sun and I know I want you to come with! If you want, we can hunt down Hunter.... hee hee, hunt down Hunter... and get him to come along, too!”

    No no, that's alright. I will accompany you to the Calm Lands, but I'll see to Hunter myself.”

    With that, I located my friend, which was simple at this point. I needed merely to see where “I” was off to and seek out the same destination myself. When I reached him, I asked what his thoughts were in regards to the separation of rosters to which he replied he really didn't know and would rather wait to be assigned. The answer was splendid and well-serving as I suggested he seek to relocate to the Farplane under justification that Rin seemed particularly interested in that branch. It would be poignant to keep a watchful eye on that man and his scheming. Hunter agreed and I informed him that we'd be distanced as I would undertake the other new branch as a precaution in case Rin's interest shifted. Again, Hunter agreed it was a good decision and we were off. When the deadline came, I entered the transport with the enthusiastic girl to the Calm Lands and I entered again with several of the heathens and other volunteers to the heart of Spira.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Joseph

    Cloister 7 was empty when our group got there. This was very strange; usually there would be some fiends by now but nothing, not even pyreflies. We split up and searched the side rooms and any secret passageways but our search turned up nothing.


    “Nothing again,” Val said, meeting up with us. “I’m starting to suspect that we’ll find nothing for a while.”


    “Don’t be a ****ing pessimist Val,” Nikki growled. Apparently, she wanted to find Cyan quickly. I sighed and began to head to the next Cloister. As I approached the exit, my senses told me something was wrong. I stopped and looked around, finally seeing what was bothering me. A set of tracks lead to the exit. The footprints suggest that someone was running away from something. The obvious suspect was Gippal and his team, but the tracks of a large fiend was of even more concern. It led straight to the exit, suggesting the fiend followed them in. I stood up and readied my weapon.


    “Guys, get ready going to the next Cloister,” I said. The others looked back at me, confused.


    "What’s wrong Joseph?” Yuki asked.


    “Let’s just say my senses are telling me something’s wrong,” I replied back, walking into the next portal.


    I arrived at Cloister 8 to find pandemonium. There was a huge army of Tonberries and a giant dragon fiend. Backed up to a corner was Gippal’s group. The others warped in just behind me.


    “Holy ****! Quick, get to Gippal!” Nikki exclaimed. I already began to fight my way to them, trying to clear a path to them. I tried to kill a Tonberry but I had to back off as another almost stabbed me, resulting in a cut on my arm. I knew we’ll never make it to them in time.


    “Guys, hold them off for a minute. I’m gonna kill them all,” I yelled out. I ignored all responses and returned my sword to the sheath and concentrated. This was the tricky part, if this failed; Gippal and his group were dead. I kept concentrating, feeling the build of power in me.


    “Whatever you’re doing, you better do it now!” Kyra yelled, getting knocked back.


    I yelled out and dashed towards the fiend army. I ran past the others and in an instant drew my sword. I slashed into the air just in front of the army. I could practically hear the others gasp as I seemed to miss but it was on purpose. Using the centrifugal force from the swing, I swung my body around in preparation for the real strike. The fiends began to slide forward due to the vacuum created from my first swing displacing the air. I completed my full turn and struck the entire fiend army. It seemed quiet for just a moment before the Tonberries and dragon began to dissolve into pyreflies. I fell forward, catching myself just in time. I growled as pain flared up in my right arm.


    “You alright?” Yuukou asked.


    “No I’m not. That dislocated my shoulder as well as damaged my ligaments. So I can’t use this arm for awhile,” I replied, slowly opening a potion to drink. I let it sooth my pain.


    “So what now? We can’t have someone who’s ****ing useless on the team,” Nikki said, walking up to us.


    “I’m ambidextrous so I can use my left just as well as my right,” I replied, grabbing my sword with my left hand, giving it a few practice swings. “Just don’t expect me to use that again for a while.”

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    “Did you like my game?” said the little girl’s voice, and image of the others being in trouble faded in a burst of Pryeflies and in its place was the same little girl in the pink dress.

    “A ****ing trap, that is ****ing retarded” growled Nikki. The young girl skipped around Joseph.

    “Awww did my game hurt? You should know not to play so rough with my pretend friends.” She wagged her finger at him, like a mother would do to a child.

    “But the marks on the ground...” said Joseph. The girl giggled.

    “Well my friend did want to play tag, they tried to cheat but... cheaters never prosper” she giggled some more.

    “No Kai...” thought Nikki. “What the **** happened to them?!” growled Nikki at her.

    “You’re being mean now!” and she burst into Pryeflies and floated away.

    “You might want to take another approach with her, rather than just shouting insults.” Said Paine crossing her arms. Nikki sighed.

    “Hmmm... I wonder what she meant by “cheaters never prosper”?” Nikki heard Kyra question.

    “****ing girl is trying to mess with our heads” growled Nikki.

    “Even so we should move on” said Val and with that the whole group went down to cloister 8.

    As soon as Nikki dropped down to Cloister 8 with the others she looked around, the temperature seemed to get colder as they went down. “Wierd, not a fiend in sight” said Nikki frowning. “There should be loads around here where have they all gone?” She thought. “Keep on your guard and keep together” she instructed to them as they walked slowly through. The only sounds were of the Pryaflies humming.

    “Wow there sure”

    “Is alot of”

    “Pryeflies here” stated the twins, Nikki nodded, she had noticed that they were a major increase of Pyreflies. As they got to middle they came to a dead end.

    “Just great...” Whispered Nikki, before the group could turn around to go back though a blur of pink and green came down from above and surrounded the group.

    “Oh no...” Nikki heard Paine say. Nikki looked at the people who surrounded them and back at Paine.

    “Please tell me it’s not what I think they are”

    “It’s not what you think they are!” Exclaimed the twins cheekily to her.

    “So they got rid of the fiends” said Joseph. One of the female goons stepped forward.

    “Hmph, it wasn’t a service you know!” she exclaimed. The other female goon put her hands on her hips.

    “Look just tell us where the sphere is and we’ll be on our way”

    “Yeah if we don’t find it, Leblanc will give us the heel!” exclaimed the third female goon.

    “We don’t have time for this!” Exclaimed Val, Nikki nodded.

    “We have no interest in spheres, and I really don’t want to waste time in fighting” Nikki then gave the nod to one of the time mages. A clock appeared beneath the whole group which seemed to spin really fast, everyone glowed a red aura.

    “Hastega” Nikki heard the mage cry out.

    “Follow” Nikki said calmly to the group, with a burst of speed she took off, Paine was right beside her and she cut down one of the goons in front of them to get by. The goons didn’t seem to know what had hit them as multiples of spells and attacks happened in a matter of minutes and the group whizzed by. Nikki led the group round the corner and with the help of the spell leaped across to gap across the floor, she then jumped down to cloister 9.

    Thump, thump, thump, heard Nikki as she landed. Nikki paled, that could only mean one thing. “The Pryeflies that made up the levels had made one of the worst of all...” her thoughts were interrupted by a thump, thump, thump from the other side of the cloister and that sound was getting closer. Nikki rolled to the side and put her body flat against the wall, Nikki noticed that Yuri was first to jump down from above. Nikki put her finger to her lips and motioned to the thump, thump, thump. Yuri hurried over to her and seemed to be concentrating. “Probably contacting her brother to get him to tell the others to not to jump down yet” Nikki peered round the wall to see an Elder Drake walk by, the fiend was walking up and down and from what Nikki could hear the other was probably jumping from side to side.

    After the Elder Drake had gone to the other side of the cloister, Nikki noticed that the group jumped down one by one.

    We can take them both down” whispered the twins in unsion.

    “They are two Elder Drakes, they are not like the fiends we have faced so far” whispered Paine.

    “Should we try exiting and then coming back?” asked Kyra. Joseph shook his head.

    “The Via Infinito is a living thing, it would know we were stuck here and just simply recreate it” he whispered back.

    “It was a good plan though” encouraged Nikki. She turned to Paine. “You’ve been here before, what did you do?” she asked.

    “When there was one we sneaked by it, of course Rikku being miss “I can take on the world” didn’t want to sneak by...” Paine looked at everyone. “In the end she realised it was too strong and we ran for it, but it was only one, now there are two”

    “I could distract it and...” began Val.

    “Oh no you don’t, Cyan would have me on a platter and serve me to the fiends if I let you carry that out.” Nikki turned to everyone. “We’re going to sneak by that one while the other is at the other...” she was interrupted by the thump, thump, thump of the Elder Drake as it came down their end, everyone got against the wall as it turned and growled. It seemed to be sniffing for something. Then the second Elder Drake came other and Nikki heard that one sniffing too.

    Nikki didn’t actually understand what happened next but it seemed one had pissed the other off and they began to fight. “RUN!” exclaimed Nikki as she ran past the two fiends who were distracted by their fight, Nikki heart pounded in her chest as she ran, hoping that the others were following, hoping that they were going to be alright. She then jumped down to Cloister 10 and tumbled into a roll as she landed.

    After a minute Nikki sat up and saw the rest of her group safe but completely exhausted on the floor.

    “Next time warn me when you’re going to do that again,” said Paine as she offered her hand to help her up. Nikki took it and stood up smiling.

    “I think the group might be rubbing off on me,” said Nikki.

    “CYAN!” Val suddenly shouted, Nikki turned around to see, Mishka and Gippal’s group including Cyan huddled in a group. The girl looked up and smiled.

    “Wow she doesn’t look so good” thought Nikki as she walked over, she saw that Mishka was looking in pretty bad shape too. “Wow what happened to you?”

    “Lets just say a small unsent girl thought I was a toy” Nikki groaned. Nikki saw Paine walk over to Gippal. Who seemed to be working on a piece of machina. Gippal stood up.

    “Hey Dr. P” Nikki didn’t hear the rest of the conversation though she turned her attention back to Mishka.

    “So you guys found the Machina?”

    “Yeah it was smashed up in the corner over there. We’ve been here for about two hours now protecting Gippal while he fixes it. Still this level gives me the chills.”

    “Why, did the girl attack you here?”
    “Yes, she seems to be able to transform into powerful fiends, and then take up the form of a little girl again. I also found Cyan here. Gippal then caught up with us with the rest of the group.” Nikki looked around she couldn’t see Kai. Mishka immediately smiled. “Ah I know what you’re worried about, Kai is perfectly safe, and I kicked his ass back to the teleport before any harm could come to him” Nikki smiled

    “Good, his mum is worried sick”

    “How did you know about the girl anyway?”

    “We’ve also been paid a few visits from her. She can set traps and summon fiends.” Nikki replied. Mishka then smiled seemingly to remember an important detail.

    “Oh we’ve also found out that Rikku is still alive”

    to be continued dun dun dun...

  9. #9
    Valvaris

    Valvaris' eyes widened, "She is?!"
    Cyan nodded,"The unsent hinted us."
    "She could be lying."
    "Could be, but we would still have to search." Paine responded.

    Gippal stood up with the watcher in his hand, "Fixed. The watcher will move ahead of us, I will be observing what it sees from here." He then released the watcher into the air, and it slowly travels into the next level of the dungeon.

    "We move." Val said.
    "Yes! We find Rikku and destroy the ****ing unsent b****!" Nikki exclaimed.

    The rest nodded their heads and they stepped into Cloister 11.

    Yuki and Yuubou hopped into the Cloister, and then paused in their steps.
    "Look at those pyreflies!" They began pointing and hopping.

    The rest of the team looked forward to find pyreflies floating around the cloister. A few fiends are seen screaming in agony, and dispersing into more pyreflies. The group walked forward cautiously, brandishing their weapons, in case some fiends decide to appear. Or worse, the unsent. To their surprise, the storm of pyreflies seem to begin to 'move' towards the entrance to the next cloister.

    "They are moving!?" Nikki exclaimed.
    "No. More like, being sucked." Mishka said, "Something is absorbing them."
    "There seems to be a large fiend down the next level. The pyreflies are too abundant. I can't get a clear picture through the watcher." Gippal said.
    "Get ready. We go. We fight." Val said as he walks towards the next level.

    The group got their weapons ready and dashed forward, following Val into the next Cloister. Upon entering, they can only see the pyreflies being pulled down into Cloister 13. Into the distance, a large tail can be seen sliding into the next cloister.

    "That tail. Probably an adamantoise." said Val, as he moves forward.
    "Adamantoises HERE absorbs things?" asked Kyra.
    "Not at all," Cyan said, "Probably another toy of the unsent."

    As they enter Cloister 13, the adamantoise is seen standing at the center of the cloister, which is merely a large, round room. It is facing them, as if knowing they would arrive. A surge of pyreflies appear above the adamantoise's shell.

    "It's the ****king unsent again!"
    "Meet my pwetty little toy turtle!" she said, "This is another game! I call it 'Dream Pet'. It had absorbed an amount of pyreflies, so definitely stronger than most fiends you fought earlier. Play with it for a while. It is bored." The girl laughed and begin turning away. She suddenly stopped and look back at the group, "But I guess one fiend is too boring for all of you." She snapped her fingers and some pyreflies emerged in the room and begin forming groups of Evil Eyesm, about 50 of them. "Enjoy the game and oh! Don't die!" She giggled and dispersed into pyreflies.

    The adamantoise roared. It stood on its hind legs and launched a breath attack on the group. The group dispersed into all directions into the room.

    "Adamantoise is hard enough. A pyrefly powered-up one? Worse than oversouls..." Mishka said.
    "And those ****ing eyes. Try to take them down while we distract the adamantoise!" Nikki said to the warriors behind her.
    "This is rather troublesome." Joseph said, as he brandishes his sword with his left hand.
    "Try all we can." Val said, as he leaps to his right, evading a swipe attack from the fiend.

    Val aimed both his guns at the fiend and a white magic circle appear in front of him. "Charge-cast: Hyousha". A white flare emerges and hits the fiend. A block of ice appeared above the head of the adamantoise and slam on it. The fiend reacted with an angry roar.

    "I think Magic is not the key here. Warriors, take over!" he shouted.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Yuubou & Yuki

    Via Infinito - Cloister 13
    "I think Magic is not the key here. Warriors, take over!" Valvaris ordered, as his magic shots failed to even leave any scratch marks on the shell of Adamantoise. Adamantoise growled and howled as it felt the magic that was damaging it, or lack thereof, apparently. It swung its tail towards the source of nuisance, attempting to wipe the floor with some flesh. Valvaris gracefully jumped away in the nick of the time, eliciting another angry roar from the Adamantoise.

    Mishka, recovered from the breath attack, shot a few crossbow shots from where she was at, and in large strides, closed in with the Adamantoise and start hacking at it. Each slash dispersed a little pyreflies from the fiend, but it doesn't hurt Adamantoise that much. Cyan, on the other side, ordered some mage to buff her while she prepares her holy elemental attacks to the eyes. Nikki, having addicted to shooting the Eyes in their eye, shouted something vulgar this poster shan't mention. Joseph, while still cutting down the eyes, inched closer to a group of them and shin-zantetsu-ed them all to beautiful pyreflyness.

    "Woo hoo!" Yuubou, whom with Yuki blasted a portion of the Eyes out of the way, literally flies towards the giant turtle with the help of his little sister, while apparently preparing some attack that makes his knuckles glow yellowish-purple. "Pumd vnus dra Pmia Bolt from the Blue!" In excitement, Yuubou yelled in his native tongue while flipping over to the dorsal side of the Adamantoise, and slashed down with his glowing palms. Expecting retaliation, Yuubou used the shell as a jumping board and did a somersault to land safely behind the Adamantoise with Yuki teleporting in.

    "Let's get""confounding, shalt we?" Yuubou and Yuki nodded to each other, and with a graceful disappearance, reappeared on top of the giant tortoise's shell. Adamantoise doesn't seem like be really hurt, but it howled and roared just as loudly. It tried, unsuccessfully, to fling the twins off its shell. The twins laughed and started dancing on the shell while somehow maintaining their balance. "Neocortex, frontal lobe,""Brain stem, brain stem.""Hippocampus, neural node""Right hemisphere." As they sang, they took turns to hit the corresponding parts of Adamantoise's brain in its head. And before the writer forget, they had fun.

    The Adamantoise growled again, more out of frustration than damage. It uses Tremor, which is more like an earthquake to the other people due to its enhanced state of fiendship. The twins yelped and teleported back to the people further away, knocking over a few Eyes, in the relief of the falling mages. Val was in the air again, repeatedly shooting coloured balls to the Eyes, which are more susceptible to elemental attacks. Seeing people started falling here and there, Yuki and Yuubou decided not to attack the big bad first. "We should""make the Eyes there go""KABOOM!" And they did. Combining Aura Sphere and Overheat, Yuki and Yuubou blasted the Eyes preparing to use the Halting Gaze on the poor mages to Farplane.

    "Back to""the tortoise giant!" They teleported back in range of the Adamantoise, and started using Psycho Bomb and Falling Leaves Palm on it. The others were doing their expertise at the same time, slowly but steadily reducing Adamantoise to a whimpering giant baby tortoise. Val went airborne, again, to fire two blitz ball sized reddish bubbles from his gun, dispersing an intense amount of pyreflies to the farplane, and making all the other Eyes disappear.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Joseph

    I cut down the final Evil Eye and turn to see the Adamantoise finally being downed by Val. I slipped my katana back into the scabbard, before checking my wounds. They were all minor, nothing a hi-potion couldn’t take care of. I also looked at my right arm again to make sure that it hasn’t been injured any further than it was. Looking around, I noted that the others looked alright if exhausted. Nikki also noticed how drained most of the others looked, a look of concern present on her face.

    “Joseph, do you think that it’s a good time to call it a day?” she whispered to me. I was a bit surprised, she rarely asked for advice.

    “Personally? Yeah I think it would be a good time,” I whispered back. She nodded before facing the crowd.

    “People, let’s head back to the surface and rest up,” she said.

    “Are you telling us to abandon our search for Rikku? Because I’m not doing that. Even if it’s just for some time to rest, it means our chances of finding her alive gets slimmer!” Valvaris argued. My temper finally getting the better of me, I walked up to him and grabbed him by the shoulder.

    “Have you even looked around? Half of our group looks like they’re gonna drop in exhaustion as it is. The other half don’t look any better. I know you’re concerned about Rikku but marching further along with exhaustion isn’t gonna do any good. Even you look tired as it is,” I yelled at him, shaking him a bit. Valvaris looked around at the others before finally sighing, a sign that he’d given up arguing with us.

    “We rest for around 8 hours then we head back in alright?” Nikki said. Everyone agreed on it before heading back.

    The group took the portal back to the surface. My first priority was to get someone to look at my right arm. The white mage and medic looked at it carefully.

    “How did you get your arm in such a state?” she asked. I shrugged with my other shoulder.

    “It doesn’t matter. Can you heal it before we need to head back down?” I asked.

    “Yes but it’s going to take a few of hours to repair it properly so just lie down and don’t move,” she instructed. I did as I was told as she began to repair the damage.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Kyra

    Finally. Rest. When was the last time I took some time to sleep?Kyra’s thoughts were racing through her head like a buzzing bee. She was exhausted. That oversized Adamantoise took a lot out of the whole crew.

    As everyone headed back through the portal, Kyra felt a small feeling of relief throughout the whole group. Including Val; who had tried to keep trucking although he was completely exhausted. This voyage meant so much to everyone. No one really wanted to stop, but it needed to be done.

    The first thing Kyra wanted to do was figure out who Paine was. It was obvious she was a good friend of Rikku’s, but that was it. Who are the Gullwings? Who can I ask these questions? Do I ask Nikki and get yelled at? Do I ask Yuki and Yuubou and get pounced on? Joseph is busy looking after his arm. He’s so strong. So muscular...Hmmm...

    She looked over to where Joseph was. The nurse that was with him was dumbfounded at the state of his arm. The nurse asked him “How did you get your arm in such a state?”

    “It doesn’t matter. Can you heal it before we need to head back down?”
    He said in such a manly voice.

    Snap out of it. He wouldn’t go for you.
    She thought to herself. She never really had a serious relationship before. Living between a city that pretended like it never existed to the rest of the world, to living on a space station, she had never really had the time. Maybe a few guys here and there, but it never lasted. Someone hotter would walk by and that was the end of that. She tried not to let it bother her. It had happened so many times she had just gotten used to it after a while. She had never thought of herself as a pretty girl. She didn’t bother with the make-up and accessories. Not her style. Although she had lived a pretty lonely life; she always thought her time would come eventually, as for when, who knew.

    Nikki walked toward the exit.

    “Hey Nikki? Where are you going?”
    Kyra asked.

    “To bed. My house isn’t far from here. I have a few free beds there if you’d like. My doors always open. Just don’t bug me when I’m asleep. If you do: Someone gunna get a hurt real bad”
    She warned. And with that she was gone.

    “So much for that idea. Who do I talk to now?”


    Cyan and Val looked like they were in deep conversation. They were probably talking about what happened when Cyan was kidnapped. Kyra thought of joining them, but thought if she joined them, she might be intruding.

    “You seem troubled. Can I help you with something? I am Mishka. We haven’t quite met yet” The Guado said.

    “My name is Kyra. I’m not from around here. I could use your help.”
    Kyra said nervously.

    “Don’t be nervous. You haven’t seen anything like me have you? I am a Guado. I have an understanding that you aren’t from our time?”

    “I’m not exactly sure. How can you tell?”


    “Just a feeling. There was a pod found in the Bikanel Desert a few years back. It was said that a girl came from it asking for a land called Esthar. Might that have been you?”

    “Yes that was me. I wonder who knows about that. I thought the Albehd kept that a secret”


    “Yes that might have been true, but word gets around fast, especially when Rin finds out. I am also a friend of Gippal’s who is a friend of Rikku’s and whose father is Cid. Not exactly a direct connection, but word does get around.”

    “I see. I have lived here for over a year, but I haven’t done much travelling. I guess I am a little behind in the times. I know there was a being named Sin, and a summoner came along and killed the monster as well as it’s never ending cycle of death then rebirth. I’m not sure of her name though...”


    “Are you Serious? You don’t know High Summoner Yuna? The only living High Summoner? Well you did fall out of the sky after all of that happened so that is okay I guess. Let me tell you what you need to know. Where do I start?....”

    Mishka told her everything from the history of Spira, to what might have happened to Rikku at present time. She had also told her about Paine and the adventures of Yuna as a summoner and so on and so forth.

    “Oh wow. What a life. I wish I could meet this person. She sounds really amazing.”


    “Well that should be enough for now. You should get some rest. I’d imagine the next time we go down there won’t be too easy. We still have a long way to go. If you have any questions don’t be afraid to ask.”

    “Thanks for your help Mishka.”
    Kyra said. Finally someone I can talk to.
    With that, Mishka went her own way and Kyra set out to find Nikki’s house.

    She stepped outside of the temple. Although Nikki hasn’t told her where she lived, she didn’t have a hard time finding it. It was the only one that was snoring. Kyra opened the door quietly and carefully. If she had accidentally woke her up, who knows what could happen. Kyra quickly found a bed and made herself comfortable. I hope she doesn’t mind that I completely just stole this bed. She did say it was okay...She thought. Her thoughts drifted off into a deep slumber.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Mishka.png

    Are you telling us to abandon our search for Rikku? Because I’m not doing that. Even if it’s just for some time to rest, it means our chances of finding her alive gets slimmer!”

    Val roared at the rest of us. He was incredibly stern about the quest and despite my own desire to find Rikku before the girl got to her, I also was sore and broken from my bout and needed the rest.

    “Have you even looked around? Half of our group looks like they’re gonna drop in exhaustion as it is. The other half don’t look any better. I know you’re concerned about Rikku but marching further along with exhaustion isn’t gonna do any good. Even you look tired as it is.”

    I could have kissed him right then. Together, we headed for the warp, Cyan coming to my side again the moment she saw that I was having some difficulty walking. My second wind helped me with the fight earlier, but I was out of combat now and the little girl's playtime was taking its toll. Nikki allotted us an eight hour leave and immediately headed for home. As I had been traveling alone the entire time, I felt it unnecessary to trouble her for a bed and suggested Cyan follow instead who took to inviting Val and the two would strike up a conversation while I readied myself for further travel.

    I stretched a bit and loosened my aching muscles to the best of my ability and I managed to regain enough composure to continue. That was when...

    “So much for that idea. Who do I talk to now?”


    “You seem troubled. Can I help you with something? I am Mishka. We haven’t quite met yet” I said, introducing myself.


    If memory served, this was the girl I had heard about from Bikanel. Her story was an odd one. As I recalled, Gippal was called into a meeting with Cid and they began talking about her. Gippal had allowed me to partake in their conversation, but I had no idea who they were talking about, particularly since they were telling that she was of Esthar, some strange name I hadn't heard of until then.

    “My name is Kyra. I’m not from around here. I could use your help.”


    Kyra was a rather shy girl, but I knew a lot of it came from her being in foreign lands. To be honest, when I was young, I felt Guadosalam was much the same because my family didn't act in accordance with their traditional customs. It all felt uncomfortable and I remember keeping to myself during the better portion of my childhood.


    Don’t be nervous. You haven’t seen anything like me have you? I am a Guado. I have an understanding that you aren’t from our time?” I told her, hoping to soften her rigid disposition.

    “I’m not exactly sure. How can you tell?”


    The following was my explaining everything about Spira to her. The poor girl didn't even know about the High Summoner that saved us all... twice. Well, naturally, not everyone knew the specific details about the latter, but again with Gippal as a major contact, I was kept informed of the little details left out during the congratulatory note in their speech a few months ago. Of course, I tried to keep the flow of information at a minimal seeing as Kyra was still new to everything and there was no sense in complicating things too much for her and also because Gippal wasn't supposed to have told me what he did, but you get enough alcohol in him and you can get just about anything. Unfortunately, he also starts to believe he can get anything from you, but a good stiff kick to important areas does the trick just fine.


    Well that should be enough for now. You should get some rest. I’d imagine the next time we go down there won’t be too easy. We still have a long way to go. If you have any questions don’t be afraid to ask.” I said to finish up.

    “Thanks for your help Mishka.”
    She replied, setting off for Nikki's home.

    The trek to the inn was torturous. Every part of my body wanted me to stop and they were all kindly gesturing for me to do so every step I made. It became clear I'd need to find some support so I ended up leaning and sliding across the sides of the buildings on the way. When I reached a red tinted wall for one of Bevelle's “trendy” outlet centers, that's when my body utterly failed and I felt myself plummet to the ground. As the ground drew nearer, though, a force cradled me from below and my eyes opened wide with a gasp.


    "That doesn't"

    "look very fun." Yuubou added, lifting me into his arms.

    It isn't.” I groaned, “Thank you.”

    "It's no"

    "problem, Mishka. We know"

    "you're tired from all that"

    "fighting we did before."

    It wasn't from the Adamantoise actually, but thanks. Still, you should get to Nikki's before she runs out of beds.” I told them, trying to get out of Yuubou's arms.

    A pressure from above pressed me back into them and I knew they wouldn't let me be alone. I gave a sigh, but took to leaning into Yuubou, relaxing myself as they took me to Nikki's house.

    Although, I was just going to stay at the inn.” I whimpered when I realized where they were heading.

    "Shush, you're"

    "babbling in your exhaustion."

    No, they have good rooms here in Bevelle and...”

    Before I could say any more, Yuki used her telekinesis to keep my mouth shut before teleporting the three of us right outside... Then right inside... Then above Nikki as she slept... Bodies colliding didn't help my injuries. Also, having Nikki's waking reflex to slap anything near her didn't either.

    OW!” I screamed, collapsing on the floor next to the bed.

    "Ooops, I guess"

    "she got a little"

    "carried away... BYE!"

    They were gone before Nikki could untangle herself from her blanket, but that didn't stop her fury. Instead, in her blind rage, she took to lifting my limp form off the ground and shaking me for answers on why we had woken her. Even if I had understood the other points in her rant through the obscenities, my mouth could only produce two sounds by this point: a gasp and a whimper, neither of which was helpful now.

    Hey! Get your hands off my woman!” The shrill voice of Kai blasted across the room.

    Immediately, Nikki stopped shaking me and both of us eyed the kid and shook our heads.

    Nikki, I think I really need to rest right now.” I groaned, looking back at her.

    At this point, she finally realized just what she had been doing to me and quickly let go, also resulting poorly for me as I fell once more to the floor with a thud. By then, Cyan, Val, and Kyra arrived to inspect the commotion and Kyra immediately came to my rescue... except that my equipment was too heavy so she couldn't lift me completely so Cyan stepped in. Of course, typically at this interval, you'd assume I'd relax myself or faint so that my body could rest.

    'And thankfully, that was the one part of this episode that worked right. GOOD NIGHT!'

  10. #10
    Joseph

    “There. The medicine has applied and should be working, just don’t move your arm for now. We’ll examine it again before you go back into the Via Infinito,” the nurse explained, wrapping my arm in bandages.

    “Thank you,” I said, carefully slipping my arm back into my jacket before heading out of the tent.

    Walking out, I began to head to Nikki’s flat. After all, she did invite anyone to stay at her place from what I overheard. However, my mind was on other things, more specifically about Kyra. I had overheard the conversation between her and Mishka which happen just outside the tent.

    So she’s actually not from this place. I’ve heard a rumor about the Al Bhed finding someone in a pod quite a few years back but I never paid much attention to it. Must be such a change from where she came from,’ I though, walking down the high bridge. Shrugging my left shoulder, I picked up my pace, wanting some rest.

    I arrived at a Nikki’s place, taking a moment to observe the place before walking though her front door. I was mildly surprised to see Kyra and Cyan holding up Mishka with Val just behind them. Mishka looked like she took a pounding outside the Via Infinito.

    “The hell happened here?” I asked.

    “Not exactly sure but it involved Mishka, Yuukou, Yuki and waking Nikki up,” Kyra explained. I scratched my head as Kyra and Cyan moved Mishka to an available bed.

    “Don’t blame her. I wouldn’t be too happy being woken up when I’m in need of some rest. But actually assaulting a person? Isn’t that taking it too far?” I asked. However before someone could answer, something hard hit me on the back of head. I looked down to see a CommSphere rolling to a stop. I turned around to see Nikki.

    “Was that absolutely necessary?” I calmly asked, rubbing the impact spot on my head. Kyra and Cyan were giggling a bit while Val smirked.

    “If it gets you to shut up then yeah it was,” she replied, turning around and heading back to her room.

    “Women. Just don’t get them sometimes. Maybe it’s her time of the month,” I muttered. Unfortunately for me, Nikki actually heard my comment and so threw a heavy book. By luck, a very good aim or fate having a cruel sense of humor, it nailed me on the exact same spot the CommSphere did. That book almost knocked me off my feet and left me kneeling while clutching my head in pain. The others just started laughing at the turn of event.

    “NIKKI! WHAT THE HELL!?!?!?!?!” I roared, turning to see her grinning like an idiot. Even I cracked a smile despite the pain and loss of dignity.

    “Man you should’ve seen the look on your face,” Val managed to choke out in between his bouts of laughter. Cyan and Kyra were just as incapacitated by laughter as he was. I shook my head, careful not to overdo it due to the pain.

    “Whatever. I see you guys later,” I sighed, turning and heading to get some sleep.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    Nikki looked around at everyone, that Adamantoise from before, had totally sucked up everyone’s energy and to Nikki despair she hadn’t learned any new abilities, she only had enough energy to learn the basic elements, but even then she hadn’t learnt all of them. She still had to learn Thunder Arrow and Blizzard Arrow. She growled in frustration. “The unsent must be taking the AP for herself somehow” she thought to herself. Nikki sighed, everyone was worn out they had to rest, she noticed Joseph standing nearby, she rubbed her forward. “Well I have to ask...” she thought as her stomach got into a knot as she walked up to him. “This is ridiculous I’m just asking a ****ing question,” Nikki wasn’t the best at asking for help, she hated it. She tapped him on the shoulder and he turned to face her. “Joseph, do you think it’s a good time to call it a day?” she whispered to him. He seemed shocked at first and then slightly smiled.

    “Personally? Yeah I think it would be a good time,” he whispered back, Nikki nodded to him as she turned to the others.

    “People, lets head back up to the surface and rest up” she said. “Hey maybe this leader thing isn’t too bad, I’m getting better... I think” She thought.

    “Are you telling us to abandon our search for Rikku? Because I’m not doing that. Even if it’s just for some time to rest, it means our chances of finding her alive gets slimmer!”

    I’m going to knock him out and drag him to the surface if I have to!” thought Nikki as she clenched her fists. But she didn’t need to as Joseph was at that moment yelling at Val, Nikki relaxed not really paying attention to what he was saying because as she looked around she could see that a lot were hurt. “It was the best choice.” She thought. “We rest for 8 hours and the head straight back in alright?” She noticed that everyone looked gratefully at her for the rest and people began to move towards the exit. Paine walked along side Nikki.

    “I’m going to go on ahead, I’m worried that Gippal is going to stupidly work through the night” said Paine.

    “Do you have anywhere to stay?” She asked, after all she had enough beds, she sometimes wondered why she brought a place with so many beds with a crappy door. Paine nodded.

    “I have a few places in mind, I’ll see you in the morning.” Paine smiled.

    “You seem perky considering it’s your friend in here.”

    “Rikku can look after herself, there’s a reason she hasn’t come up to rest at night. I trust her.” With that Paine ran on ahead. Nikki stopped and rubbed her forward head as she went through the portal and the light engulfed her. As she walked into the main temple, she heard footsteps running behind her, Nikki turned around to see the new girl Kyra running up to her.

    “Hey Nikki where are you going?” she asked, Nikki sighed.

    “To bed. My house isn’t far from here. I have a few free beds there if you’d like. My doors always open. Just don’t bug me when I was asleep. If you do: Someone’s going to get hurt real bad” She had a tiring day and all she wanted now was her own comfy bed. She then continued to walk home.

    When she got there she noticed that the damn door was open! “That’s it! I’m getting a new door!” she growled she then went inside, she didn’t bother assigning rooms. “Find your own rooms!” she said she then went to her own room and then simply collapsed on her warm bed and drifted off to sleep.

    Next thing she knew something had attacked her and her fist came into contact with it, sending whatever it was flying off her bed. I was all very quick she heard a very loud...
    “OW!” This alerted Nikki that this wasn’t a dream and she immediately woke up to find the twins running out of her room and Mishka on the floor. Fury just entered Nikki and she grabbed Mishka lifted her up and shook her.

    “WTF ARE YOU DOING WAKING ME UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT?! DID YOU THINK IT WOULD BE FUNNY TO LAND ON ME, IT’S NOT ****ING FUNNY YOU RETARD! WHO THE HELL COMES INTO SOMEONE ELSE’S ROOM AT NIGHT WE HAVE TO BE UP EARLY IN THE MORNING!”

    “Hey, get your hands off my woman!” Nikki immediately stopped shaking Mishka and turned to see the brat standing there with a smirk on his face.

    “What the hell...” thought Nikki, “How did he get in?”

    “Nikki, I think I really need to rest right now.” But Nikki wasn’t really listening and she let go of Mishka who fell to the floor with a thud. Nikki stormed over to Kai and grabbed his arm, and dragged him literally out of her room and into the lounge where she heard the others talking.

    “...actually assaulting a person? Isn’t that taking it too far?” said Joseph.

    “Assaulting?! I didn’t god damn assault her! She’s the one that landed on my bed! I’ll show him assaulting!” she thought, she let go of Kai and grabbed a nearby Sphere and threw it at him. Kai whistled.

    “Good aim there Nikkster.” Joseph turned to face her while rubbing his head.

    “Was that absolutely necessary?”

    “If it gets you to shut up, then yeah it was.” Nikki then turned to Kai, she had to take him home.

    “Women. Just don’t get them sometimes. Maybe it’s her time of the month?” On hearing this Nikki clearly saw he didn’t learn his lesson the first time and so she picked up a near by book and threw it at his head, and it landed SMACK right in the same spot. Everyone giggled around her and Nikki couldn’t help but smirk and giggle with them.

    “NIKKI! WHAT THE HELL!?!?!?!?!?!?” Shouted Joseph at Nikki but she could see he was smiling too.

    “Man you should’ve seen the look on your face.” Said Val, Nikki smiled he was actually laughing and smiling, that was definitely good to see, because if he was going to mope any more she was going to have to knock some sense into him. Not that it wasn’t his fault Cyan had been captured but they had successfully retrieved her.

    “Whatever, I see you guys later,” Said Joseph with that Nikki saw Joseph go into a spare room. Everyone else was still giggling, Nikki grabbed Kai by the ear.

    “HEY, OW NIKKI!” moaned Kai.

    “I’m taking you home, this invitation to stay WASN’T extended to you!” said Nikki she dragged him out of the door.

    When Nikki came back, the flat was quiet, she assumed everyone had gone to bed and so she headed to her small kitchen. The moonlight had flooded the kitchen, Nikki liked the night it made her feel calm. Her kitchen was tiny there was a wooden floor, a high cream table in the middle with stools around it, there were cream tiles on the white walls and on the window...

    “Dammit my plant died!” thought Nikki as she looked at the window ledge. She then sighed and strode over to the sink took a glass and got some water from the tap and then went to sit at the table. Sipping her water she heard a bedroom door creak open and footsteps head to the kitchen.

    Kyra was standing at the door. "Oh sorry Nikki I didn’t know anyone was here.” She was about to turn to leave, when Nikki stopped her.

    “No it’s okay, can’t sleep?” asked Nikki.

    “Yeah, it’s hard to sleep with what’s just happened.” Nikki nodded as she took a seat next to her. Nikki set her glass down.

    “Look, I’m sorry about how I’ve reacted towards you. Our meeting wasn’t in the best circumstance” Nikki smiled at that. The girl smiled back.

    “That’s okay.”

    “You know I wasn’t always like this...” trailed off Nikki “Should I tell her more, I haven’t thought about them for years, does she really want to hear my boring story.” Thought Nikki.

    “What happened?” she asked perking up.

    “Sin, it took away my parents and sister when I was young. I thought by not making any more friends, I wouldn’t get hurt. I haven’t had people round at my flat... well for a long time.” Kyra looked sympathetically at her.

    “I’m sorry.” Nikki shook her ahead.

    “Nah long time ago, what about you? I heard you come from another planet, what was it like?” With that Kyra seemed to really get excited and began to tell her all about her home, the wonders about it all she had seen the people she met.

    “Woah” thought Nikki, “Sounds awesome.” Nikki smiled at her. “So what’s that weapon called then?” she asked motioning to her weapon by the door. Kyra smiled and walked over to it and a brought it over.

    “It’s called a Gunblade!” She exclaimed in excitement. Nikki raised her eyebrow.

    “Seriously? What a ****ing lame name!” Nikki smirked, “May I?” asked Nikki motioning that she wanted a closer look. “Wonder how it works?” she thought as Kyra laid it out on the table. Nikki traced her hand along it. “I’ve never seen anything like this, this is one awesome weapon, light...” said Nikki as she lifted it up a bit to feel the weight, she then carefully laid it back down. “Also made of a very strong metal, I don’t think we even have this metal in Spira. You’ve looked after it well.” Excitement bubbled in Nikki, if there was one thing in the world she got excited about it was weapons and armour.

    “Wow Nikki you sure know your stuff.” Said Kyra, Nikki turned to see she was observing her closely with a smile on her face.

    “I... Errr” Nikki was not used to compliments. “Time for bed!” exclaimed Nikki as she hastily went to her room and slammed the door. She then slid down to the floor with her back against the door.

    “What the hell am I doing?! I’m getting too comfortable; they are your comrades nothing more!”Very early next morning Nikki was in her dead front garden shooting at the targets she had set up. She let go of the arrows one by one with a ping each time, and each time they hit the bulls’ eye. Normally Nikki would do this every morning for about 15 minutes but this morning she had already done half an hour. Joseph had come out to observe.

    “Why the **** did I have to tell her all that stuff last night?” thought Nikki as with a ping three more arrows hit the bulls eye.

    “Nikki shouldn’t you stop?” questioned Joseph, Nikki lowered her arrow and turned to see everyone at the door, she could tell they had been talking about her,

    “Oh sorry didn’t realise the time, better do breakfast.” Said Nikki as she went inside past everyone she headed to the kitchen, all the time feeling disappointed in herself that she had let her guard down and had actually let people in. She could hear them whispering to each other, something about someone trying to talk to her to find out what’s wrong. But she paid no attention as she went to the cupboard to get out some eggs and then went to about frying the chocobo eggs, she suddenly heard the twins shout out.

    “Nikki is there something”

    “wrong?”
    asked the twins, Nikki shook her head.

    “Nah it’s fine” she replied. “How can I tell them it’s because I can’t make friends?! What a stupid reason is that!” she thought.

    “Yes so if there is nothing wrong, why are you burning our eggs?” Nikki could hear the smile in Mishka’s voice.

    “What?” asked Nikki she looked down at the burnt eggs, “OH ****!” Everyone laughed around her, Nikki grinned despite burning breakfast, she served them up and put them on the table. Everyone soon stopped laughing when they saw that was indeed what they were going to eat. “And this is why you don’t laugh at my cooking” grinned Nikki at everyone. The twins were the only ones smiling at the food and to the surprise of everyone they were the first ones to help themselves.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Joseph

    The sunlight streaming in from the window woke me from my slumber. I sat up on the bed and looked around for a few moments, confused because the room looked unfamiliar to me.

    Oh right, Nikki’s place,’ I thought, slowly getting up and stretching. I grabbed my toothbrush and walked out of my room, heading into the bathroom. After relieving myself and brushing my teeth, I walked back my room. On the way, a door opened and Kyra walked out. She looked at me and blushed. I couldn’t figure out why till I looked down. In my haste to relieve myself, I forgot that I took my shirt off and was walking around only in my pants. I scratched my head and grinned a bit before walking back to my room. Inside, I carefully put my shirt back on, followed by my jacket. I heard the flutter of arrows and after doing up my boots and grabbing my sword, went to investigate.

    Outside, Nikki was shooting at targets set up on her garden. I watch as she shot the targets with great accuracy. It seems that despite the accurate shots, something was bothering her. I continued to watch her for 20 minutes. During that time, the others gathered outside to watch Nikki shoot.

    “Nikki, shouldn’t you stop?” when I decided to intervene. She blushed a bit, seeing the crowd that gathered.

    “Oh sorry, didn’t realize the time. Better do breakfast,” she said, finally putting down her bow. We followed her in as she began to make something to eat. I put a kettle on the stove to heat some water while observing the others. The others seem to get along just fine, the only problem being Nikki. Since seeing her this morning she practically ignored the others even when asked a question.

    ‘Could it be something to do with us?’ I thought, pouring some hot water into a cup before adding some tea leaves I bought with me. The scent of burning eggs became heavy in the air. I turned back to see Nikki burning the eggs but she apparently didn’t notice it, being too wrapped up in her thoughts.

    “Nikki is there something wrong?” I heard the twins asked.

    “Nah, its fine.”

    “Yes so if there is nothing wrong, why are you burning the eggs?” Mishka asked. I grinned a bit as Nikki realized her mistake. I just shook my head and grabbed a piece of toast from the toaster.

    “I’m heading to grab a couple of things from the shop and to the medical tent. I’ll see you guys outside the Via Infinito in 30 minutes,” I announced, walking out the door. Walking back to Beville, I went to the pharmacy and stocked up on potions and more importantly eye drops. After that, I walked back to the medical tent where the nurse looked at my arm once again. After 10 minutes, she finally took off the bandages.

    “It’s healed but please be careful next time,” she said. I thanked her and walked out. I grabbed a potion from my stash and threw it up. Using my right arm, I drew my sword and slashed off the stem of the bottle and grabbed it out of the air.

    Finally, I can use this arm,’ I thought, drinking the potion. At the entrance of the Via Infinito, the others have gathered to go back in.

    “Alright, everyone’s here. Let’s go,” Val said. I nodded as we entered the dungeon once again.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    “Wicked you’ve made fried chocobo’s eggs!” exclaimed a voice Nikki felt a gust of air come in through the door and heard the squeak of the stool being pulled back, she quickly turned around to find Kai sat down on the stool quickly digging into breakfast with a cheeky grin on his face.

    “Kai, why aren’t you having breakfast with your mum?”

    “She’s gone out, I was still hungry and smelt the eggs” He poked them with his fork and scraped off the burnt bits, and continued to eat. Nikki sighed she didn’t need Kai this morning to do this. The others seemed to be in a state of shock that he just barged in once again. Mishka seemed to quietly chuckle at the situation while Val and Cyan were busy in a conversation between themselves.

    “Don’t you ever knock?” asked Kyra. Nikki didn’t hear his reply though as she walked out of the kitchen grabbed her bow and arrows and went outside to clear her head.

    “MORNING NIKKI!” exclaimed a young voice, Nikki groaned but smiled inward to herself as she turned to her right and saw a little girl of about 8 years of age with blonde hair in a plait with blue eyes peep over the fence into her garden. Nikki walked over to the girl she could never remember her name but she found the young girl quiet likable at times.

    “Morning,” Nikki nodded to her as she approached the fence she could see that the young girl was wearing a black shirt and a t shirt that said I love chocobos on it, with a chocobo in the background on it. The girl smiled brightly at her with her blue eyes.

    “I saw some people in your house, are they your friends?”

    “No just some people I know.” The girl screwed her face up in confusion.

    “But people only have sleepover with friends. Mummy said she heard people last night in your house.” Nikki gave a little chuckle at the girl’s theory.

    “It’s complicated, you’ll understand when you’re older” The girl gave a pout and put her hands on her hips.

    “OOOOOOOOOOh why do grownups always say that!?” Nikki then heard her mother call her from inside the house and the little girl ran off. Nikki shook her head and headed towards the Via Infinito. Nikki was still wrapped up in her thoughts as she got there, when everyone assembled Val spoke but Nikki wasn’t really listening. Her mind had drawn a complete and utter blank, all she knew was that she was worried, she was worried about getting too close and about what would happen if the unsent girl succeeded.

    “Halt!”Nikki snapped out of her thoughts to find a guard blocking their way.

    “It’s okay we’re here to rescue Rikku.”

    “Or what’s left of her...” mumbled Val who also seemed to be trapped within his own thoughts.

    “I’m sorry you are to go in, when the night team return.”

    “Night?”

    “Team?” questioned the twins. The guard nodded at them.

    “Nooj arrived last night and gave the order that a team should be in 24/7, if we have any chance of finding Rikku...” the guard was interrupted by a flash of light from the teleport a girl staggered leaning on her staff she drew in gulp of air. She had long black hair brown eyes was wearing a red crop top, red shorts and red sandals. She held her head and Nikki immediately recognised her as Mayu, one of her comrades she worked with in the youth league, she rushed over to her. She saw she was going to collapse so she caught her.

    “Ughhh... my head...” Mayu said.

    “Let’s just get you to a bed” said Nikki as she began to lead her over to one of the rooms, she just looked at the others but Cyan was already helping as she grabbed Mayu’s other arm. The others just seemed to be gawking. “Either stop ****ing gawking or help!”

    “Heh... you don’t change Nikki” mumbled Mayu as they lead her inside a bedroom and laid her gently down. “No... Wait I need to report!” she sat up but then held her head again “Ow...” Nikki noticed that Val had entered the room too.

    “You need to rest.” Said Nikki Mayu looked down, the girl seemed to be struggling with her thoughts.

    “Hello Mayu” smiled Cyan at her, Nikki looked at her and didn’t realise she also knew Mayu. Mayu looked up and smiled at them.

    “It’s good to see you again, Cyan, Val.”

    “Mayu what happened in there?” asked Val. Nikki turned her attention to Mayu, she was a social girl so she probably met them at the Youth League, and made friends outside their own squadrons. Well that was Nikki though, she didn’t actually know, but the important thing was to find out what happened. Mayu bowed her head she seemed to have trouble to find any words.

    “I couldn’t save them...”

    “I think it would be better if you three join the others and go over to the computer. Mayu is too worn out to say anything.” Nikki turned around to see Nooj had entered the room Nikki nodded and silently went out the room and down where the others first had their briefing. On the way Nikki heard arguing, she noticed it was between two Albehd one had tattoes all over his chest and the other one seemed to be older and bold. Nikki didn’t stop though as they were arguing in Albehd she only caught the word “Rikku” being spoken.

    She got to the room and approached the others who were huddled around the computer, Gippal at the centre Baralai next to him, Nikki also noticed that Paine was also there. She wondered what the hell they were doing but went with it anyway.

    “Okay this is the footage we got from the watcher who was following the night team.” Gippal then pressed a few buttons on the computer and the footage played.

    “Okay people, we are making good progress. We’ll just check out level 20 and then we can go to bed.” Nikku heard Mayu’s voice say, there were cheers from the others.

    “Where are they?!” said a familiar voice, the footages showed the unsent girl appear in front of the group.

    “Careful! She’s unsent!” exclaimed Mayu

    “Where are they?!” the unsent asked again.

    “Where are who?” asked a male voice.

    “My friends! Only my friends can play here! Where are they?”

    “... Hunny your friends are in the Farplane, do you want to see them?” said Mayu trying to calm the situation.

    “NO! They’re not in the Farplane! They came down here today! You took them away! You took my FRIENDS!” Nikki then noticed that a more grown up voice seemed to overlap the girl’s own voice, in a more menacing tone. “YOU WILL PAY I WILL SAVE THEM!” There were screams as people died and suddenly the footage went dead.

    “Mayu was the only survivor,” Nikki turned around to see Nooj had entered the room he walked to the front, Nikki watched him her whole attention was on him a sense of dread came to her, she could predict what was going to happen next, and she was going to go with it, after all she knew she was in no state to go back in.

    “Nooj it’s only one unsent...” said Gippal. Baralai shook his head.

    “I’m sorry Gippal, Paine and anyone else that knew Rikku, but we cannot allow you to go back in. Rikku would have never survived in there for long. If you go on in you won’t survive.”

    “But the girl said she was looking for her friends, she’ll be calmer with us in there.” Said Mishka.

    “Even so those are you orders, we can’t take that risk” said Nooj, alot of people seemed to talk at that point. Noise... It was all just noise to Nikki, she began to leave. But Val stepped in front of her.

    “So that’s it then! You’re just going to leave!”

    “There is nothing more we can do.” Said Nikki simply she began to walk past Val but stopped at the sound of Paine’s voice.

    “I thought you were better than that.”

    “... I’m sorry” said Nikki she went out the door, “it was probably for the best anyway, they can’t get hurt now. I can’t... No, she... I mean them I want nothing more to do with anyone.” Thought Nikki feeling very withdrawn from the world she headed to the only place she felt good Macalania Woods.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Joseph


    I watched as Nikki left the room, ignoring the chatter around me. I turned to Baralai, angry at what he said.

    “So that’s it? Letting a person die down there just because of one unsent?! That person being someone who save you and everyone on Spira twice?!?!!” I yelled in his face. My statement pretty much caused everyone else to shut up in the room.

    “I’m sorry, but it’s just too risky. That unsent is much more powerful than…” Baralai started but he didn’t say anymore when I punched him hard across the jaw. He fell into the table behind him as the guards rushed in to restrain me. However, just by my glare, they had second thoughts about doing that and backed away. I turned to address the crowd gathered.

    “I never abandon a person when they’re in danger. I don’t run from a situation when a friend is in need. So I’m not abandoning the search for Rikku until I either find her alive or a corpse. That is the least I could do for a person who’s saved us twice. If any of you disagree, feel free to walk out now,” I said. The others thought for a moment, then Cyan stepped forward.

    “I think I speak for all of us when I say: to hell with the danger,” she responded. I nodded as the others began to cheer a bit.

    “Right, get the equipment ready to go and wait till I return,” I said, heading out the door.

    “Where are you going Joseph?” Kyra asked. I turned to face her.

    “I’m going to find Nikki. We need her back regardless of where she went,” I told her.

    “We’re going with you,” Val said, the others gathering up. “She’s our comrade and she needs some sense put into her.”

    “…..She would’ve gone to Macalania Woods,” I heard Mayu say. “She always goes there to think or calm down. Just follow the wave of destruction.”

    I was confused at the last part but I thanked her anyways, We quickly ran to the Woods. Despite the Woods slowly dying, they are still beautiful. It wasn’t hard to understand what Mayu said. There were fiend corpses slowly fading back into pyreflies, all down by an arrow fired by an expert archer. Soon we found Nikki firing and killing some more fiends. She heard us entering the area and fired at us, mistaking us for a fiend. I drew my sword and cut the arrow out of the air.

    “What the hell are you doing here?” she asked angrily. I kept hold of my sword in case of more shots.

    “Trying to convince you to come back with us to the Via Infinito,” I calmly replied.

    “They told us to say on the surface. I’m going to do just that,” she replied, nocking an arrow.

    “So that’s it huh? Running away from a problem you couldn’t solve. Are you really the person who led us down there? She was made of much sterner stuff than that. I think you’re afraid of something. Most likely of losing one of us. That way you don’t have to take any responsibility for it,” I said, taunting and using logical deductions in it. It worked as she fired the arrow at me.

    “Don’t you dare judge me Joseph!” she screamed, as I cut down the arrow. The others readied themselves in case they were attacked by her, but her anger was focused on me. I smirked as she began to fire wildly at me.

    Let’s hope this works,’ I though, dodging the arrows.

  11. #11
    Kyra
    Nikki left without another word.

    Better leave her be. She’s got something pretty heavy on her mind. She’ll be back I hope.

    What do we do? Asked Val

    No, we can’t just give up. Not now. Rikku would never give up. Said Cyan

    Something was going through Kyra’s mind as the group kept talking.
    What in the world could be wrong with Nikki? Why would she run away like that saying there is nothing more we can do? I thought she really wanted to help Rikku. What in the world is going on?

    She snapped out of her thoughts and realized the group was onto something.

    Right, get the equipment ready to go and wait till I return,” He said, heading out the door.

    Where are you going Joseph?” Kyra asked

    I’m going to find Nikki. We need her back regardless of where she went,” He told me

    We’re going with you,” Val said, the others gathering up. She’s our comrade and she needs some sense put into her.”

    “…..She would’ve gone to Macalania Woods,” I heard Mayu say. “She always goes there to think or calm down. Just follow the wave of destruction.”

    Wave of destruction? Could there be something more going on here then just not being able to save Rikku? Thoughts like this raced through Kyra’s mind. Still not sure of what is actually going, but curious to find out what Nikki is really thinking about. She’s been so distracted since that talk...Could it be?I wonder.

    Mayu was right about the wave of destruction. Arrows were scattered among the trees, in the pathway, and there were fiend corpse’s slowly fading back into pyreflies. Nikki was not hard to spot after that. She heard us enter the area and fired at us, mistaking us for a fiend. She fired at Joseph, but he blocked it with his sword.

    What the hell are you doing here?” She asked in an angry tone.

    Joseph stepped up and said
    Trying to convince you to come back with us to the Via Infinito,” He used a calm tone to try not to spark anything.

    They told us to say on the surface. I’m going to do just that,” She replied readying another arrow.

    Oh no, this doesn’t look good. I thought.

    So that’s it huh? Running away from a problem you couldn’t solve. Are you really the person who led us down there? She was made of much sterner stuff than that. I think you’re afraid of something. Most likely of losing one of us. That way you don’t have to take any responsibility for it,” He said in a taunting manner. She then fired an arrow at him.

    I knew it...

    Don’t you dare judge me Joseph!” she screamed.

    At the moment, her anger was focused on Joseph. The others readied themselves for battle, but that wasn’t what I was here for. She started to fire wildly at Joseph. He seemed to get her distracted enough so that she would only focus on him. I worked my way to the other side careful not to make a single noise.

    WAIT! Nikki, stop. What are you doing?” I asked hoping she would stop.

    She stopped. She looked over at me and almost started to blush. She still had her bow up and ready to fire as if she didn’t want to be caught off guard again.

    ...I...” She didn’t know what to say.

    It’s okay, just put the bow down and we’ll talk.” I said trying to calm her down. The last thing I want is a fight. It doesn’t have to be this way”

    She put the bow down and turned around. I didn’t know what she was doing, but it look like she was hiding her face. Moments later, she started to run away.

    This is going to be harder than I thought.” I said out loud to myself.

    The others looked at me with confusion.


    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Kane

    Walking across the final stretch of the Calm Lands, before entering what was left of the Macalania Forest, Kane had a look at the flyer Kimahri gave him before he left. "Now lets see here..." he read to himself, "Rikku lost....Via Infinito? What's that? Research teams.....no chance.....combat...perfect. Perfect way to hone my skills."

    Putting the flyer away again, he looked up and saw the entrance to the Macalania Forest. "Well," he said out loud, "This place has seen better days. I wonder if there are still fiends in here." Slowly he entered, keeping a steady hand on the hilt of his GunBlade, listening out for any anomalies in the sound of the forest.

    About a quarter way though the extremely quiet forest, he stopped... "What is this? Something is running this way?" He tightened his grip on his blade, and stood waiting for whatever it was to come through into the open.

    A girl suddenly burst through the undergrowth, nearly knocking Kane over. "What the......?" he exclaimed. "Who the hell are you, and why are you running," he glanced over her, "Armed as if for a fight?"

    Raising the bow, she ordered, "Who the hell are you? Why do you bar my way?" Kane dropped back a few paces, and unsheathing his gunblade, held it up in a defensive posture. "Lower your bow, and I will talk. I do not talk to people who aim little bows and arrows at me," Kane wasn't sure who this girl was, but he wasn't in the mood for games, so with his voice getting more commanding, "So I say again, Lower. Your. Weapon. Now!"

    Seconds later more people shot throught the undergrowth behind her, one with also armed with a gunblade, which Kane could see quite clearly. "This girl with you lot?" Kane asked. "If so, get her to cease and desist now! I will not hesitate to defend myself fully, should she fire one arrow!"

    Kane made sure that the other people could see his gunblade, to show he wasn't messing around, and that he meant business. Just as he altered his stance, his flyer came loose from where it was kept, and floated down to the feet of the girl with the other gunblade. Picking it up she saw that he was on his way to Bevelle to join in the fight, and that he wasn't going there to dig around, then focused her attention on the bow wielding girl.

    Nikki, please, calm down. None of us are here to harm you. Not even the one in front of you.” she told the girl. Then turning to Kane, she asked, “Please lower your blade. It will only make matters worse.”. Nodding his head towards the one speaking to him, he slowly sheathed the gunblade, but keeping a watchful eye on the one with the bow.

    Nikki, please listen to me. I know what you are going through. We are here to help you. Please come back with us. Come back to help us rescue Rikku.” she said as she slowly walked towards the one she was talking to. Then just as she was near to the girl, she asked, “Will you please come back with us? Let us give you help?

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Mishka.png

    Nikki, please listen to me. I know what you are going through. We are here to help you. Please come back with us. Come back to help us rescue Rikku. Will you please come back with us? Let us give you help?” The moment those words came out of her mouth, I knew we were in trouble.

    The last time Nikki was reclusive like this, it took a tough and apathetic attitude to get through to her. This time, she'd been confused further by the mission we no longer had an option in. We had an obligation to save Rikku and I knew Nikki knew this, but she also saw what that unsent did. To be completely honest, even I was apprehensive about returning to Via Infinito, but I knew we had to as honorable warriors.

    Still, I had never known Nikki to shy away from a bout, be it verbal or physical. Why would she accept defeat so quickly with Nooj and Baralai's orders? Even if she was terrified by the girl, she hadn't directly suffered her wrath like I had and I was still willing to fight the order. Was it really fear that was driving Nikki away?

    After a little while, I saw that she was trying to escape again so I readied myself. At this point, Cyan had gone to attend to the new arrival while Joseph and Val were trying to cut off Nikki's possible escape routes, though defending exit points wasn't going to be as effective as...

    Not so fast!” I yelled as I leaped into Nikki just as she made her first move to run again.

    Get the **** off me, you bed-pouncing **********!”She retorted with typical tact.

    Always a pleasure to engage in idle chat with you.” I commented, Nikki struggling under my form.

    Nikki, what's the matter? Please talk to us.” Kyra added, coming over to us.

    Slowly, I felt Nikki cease her struggling and waited for her to take a few calming breaths. When she looked up at me with the usual “get off me or I'll kick your ****ing head in” look, I helped her to her feet and made sure Kyra had her secure, arm in arm.

    If you're going to recover Rikku, I'd suggest you group with us. Thus far, we've discovered an unsent being which has rattled us, but we're actually the fortunate ones.” I heard Cyan say to the newcomer when I approached.

    He seemed distant and hardened, almost forcefully standalone but for his slight interest in what I could only imagine to be Nikki. Despite his withdrawal, I knew we could use all the able-bodied personnel at hand to deal with the girl. From our experiences with her, we knew she had lingered on in life due to loneliness and its resultant fear. To defeat her, we'd need both approaches: Cyan's calm and compassionate sisterly goading along with the harsh physical onslaught typical of besting any unsent. While Kyra and Cyan were good enough soothe the restless spiritual energy of the girl, we needed all the able-bodied hands we could get to defeat her physically. It was true that unsents were born from their powerful emotions, but it was those same emotions that manifested them into entities by
    drawing wayward pyreflies to itself, constructing an awkward creature caught between this world and the next.

    Good call with the jump, but how'd you know she'd run again?” Joseph asked.

    I guess you can just call it women's intuition.” I told him, moving on to seek out the new arrival for proper introductions while he turned to check on Nikki's condition.

    Mishka, this is Kane. I think he's from the same place Kyra is from.” Cyan informed me the moment she noticed my presence.

    Kane seemed aloof and disinterested for the most part. His personality was designed to keep others away on the surface, but it was obvious there was something else underneath, hidden well from prying minds. His attention, however, was easy to decipher. His eyes tracked those behind us, which I would only assume to be Nikki.

    It's nice to meet you then, Kane.” I replied, turning from him back to Cyan, What is his stand on our mission?”

    Well, I was just about to ask him. We could use your help and you don't seem to have other prospects.” She said, returning her attention to the soldier.

    Seeing that he wasn't responding, I tried one of my old tactics to settle my team, This may have nothing to do with you, but I see the same flyer in your possession. I can only guess that you had chosen to take part and despite our dysfunctional appearance, you must understand the importance of the mission at hand.”

    One of Lady Yuna's guardians during her pilgrimage, right? I'm just unsure if I really need to team with anyone. I work best on my own.” He bluntly stated, trying to take his leave.

    You wouldn't say that had you known the reason for Nikki's outburst.” Cyan hinted, taking a hold of Kane's arm.

    After a few more lines of conversation, Kane had decided he would remain until further notice. A while later, Nikki returned though slightly more somber and wary than she had been even at the beginning. She retracted a step from recent events, but we couldn't worry about that at the moment. Nooj and Baralai barred our path back to rescuing Rikku and Gippal wouldn't deny both his colleagues regardless of his own personal desires. Naturally, I knew what he'd want of me and so I suggested to the group that we regroup and discuss methods of re-entry without detection.

    "We could" Yuubou began.

    "but that wouldn't work."

    "You're right."

    "Oh, but there's also"

    "which would blow up in our faces. Hey, then"

    "there's always that approach, but shouldn't we"

    "save that for"

    "a final resort. Yes, you're right. What was I"

    "thinking. Okay,"

    "we don't have any ideas."

    While the rest of us blinked at their surprisingly private vocal input, Nikki and Kyra decided not to take part while Joseph decided to keep to himself, mimicked by Kane as they each took places at respective window sills. It left Cyan, Val, and I to honestly attempt a solution. Eventually, Val decided he needed a drink so I traded thoughts with the warrior who saved my life. Unfortunately, all that was entering my mind was her piercing and focused stare and the notion that she had saved me from certain death.

    I don't know. Lest we go in blunt force, I don't see another way for us to enter, but that will attract a bit too much unwanted attention, don't you think?”

    I think we're just... looking at this a little close.” I told her as she drew nearer, more than likely as a side-effect of her concentration.

    I couldn't explain why, but I began feeling cold around my shoulders and my pulse noticeably accelerated alongside a few short gasps. Looking at Cyan brought me a strange discomfort that I think I can only explain as a sense of debt owed to the warrior for saving my life. It was an uncommon and uncomfortable emotion for me to feel as though I'm dependent on another person. Back when I was leader of the Fangtastic!, I had the same problems when one of the team came to my rescue. Though I never wanted to admit it to myself, having been a forward-thinker living amongst the traditional guado forced me into social seclusion most of my childhood and I only had the opportunity to regain some sense of supportive community when I became a Sphere Hunter.

    Are you okay, Mishka? You're starting to sweat a bit.”

    Unconsciously, I jumped up and went to wipe the sweat from my face, but Cyan had been exaggerating and there were only a few little drops that were just starting to form near my temples. Noticing a small group of bar-goers staring at me for my abrupt action, I sank back into my seat and tried not looking forward at the curious gaze of the blonde before me.

    Mishka?”

    I'm... okay. I was just surprised to be sweating and I don't like having condensation on my face.”

    There's a cute side to the dark and focused warrior princess, I see.”

    Looking up at her, I saw that she had pulled in really close to wipe away what sweat she could find on my face, but her proximity only worsened my nerves, Uh... I'm fine. I can do that.”

    I didn't understand why I was feeling so strangely. There had only been one other occasion a saviour of mine incited such awkwardness from my usual detached demeanor. I actually hadn't thought too much about...

    Teraan, drink here for you!” A loud voice bellowed.

    Pulling Cyan's hand away from my cheek, I looked up to find the source only to see a large blue-furred giant, his yellow eyes blinking a few times as I felt a smile form on my features.

    Norin!” I hollered, running over to him and throwing myself into his massive arms.

    Mishka! It has been long time since Norin see you last!”

    It has!” I returned, turning around just in time to give an arriving black and yellow-furred Teraan a hug, too, Teraan! I missed you. What have you guys been up to?”

    The ronso pair had been part of the Fangtastic! Sphere Hunting group and Teraan was even an old flame. I remembered the various schemes we concocted to get through some of our quests for spheres. We hadn't been quite as good as the fabled Gullwings, but we definitely played a major role in stunting the spread of the “dumb ronso” concept. Norin, in particular, was excellent at coming up with simple to execute, difficult to trace infiltration plots.

    Just then, the idea occurred to me, Cyan, come here. I think we might just have a plan.”

    Cyan had been drawing blanks about the entire scene playing before her, but she immediately gathered her accessories and began introductions. I would then ask about the rest of the team, to which I was delightfully surprised that most of them had come to Bevelle recently in hopes of helping in the Rikku effort. The ronso had noted Yuna and her guardians to being kin thanks to their brave actions and the Ronso Elder having been one of the guardians. However, they had arrived too late after peace talks almost broke down again between their tribes and the guado. At that mention, Teraan gave me a nudge in the arm and hugged me close, musing about how they could complain over a race that could produce girls like me. Unlike many ronso, Teraan was actually quite a smooth talker, one of the qualities that attracted me to him.

    So, that's why I was hoping you could come up with an idea for us. Nooj and Baralai have closed off all access to Via Infinito and any sorties are sure to trigger more hunting parties and, in-turn, more casualties.”

    Mishka correct. Norin contemplate this matter. Perhaps Giruun help Norin. Norin go find Giruun, but Norin promise to form a plan for you.”

    Thanks!” I said, hugging him one more time.

    Wow, I had been keep my guard up. I head off to freshen up and get a drink and suddenly both my women are taken by ronso.”Val interjected, making his presence known.
    I introduced the Fangtastic! to Val and we mingled for a bit, mostly having me and Teraan reminisce about old times. This kept up until Joseph and Kyra returned.

    Nikki wants to have a few words with Kane first. I'm going to go back there, soon. She's still a little confused, but I think she will come back down to the Via Infinito if we choose to go. Do we have a plan of attack yet?”

    For the moment, we discussed possibles, but I knew we'd need Norin to have a final and worthwhile solution. Throughout the time, I still felt Cyan's presence nearby and it still confused me as to why I was being so sensitive to it, but Teraan's chatter was almost good enough to completely distract me from it so I tried my best to let it.

    "Do we"

    "have a"

    "plan yet? Because maybe we could"

    "try a ... no no we couldn't. That"

    "wouldn't work too well. Never mind."

    Again... blank stares...“Let's just wait on Norin and Giruun. I'm sure they'll have something for us and we can't rush this anyway. Nikki is still on the brink and she's still our leader in this.”

    Together, we deliberated further and into the night.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    Nikki walked silently on calmly to the Macalania woods, at the moment all her mind could think of was getting to her destination, it was in a state of confusion on what to do, and what was best for her. Slaying fiends was calming to her it made her brain get focused, but still something was bothering her in the back of her mind, the voices of her comrades from a few moments ago still rang through her head, and to be honest she hated it. It was best for everyone, there was no way that they could get back in and still come out alive, it was just plain suicide to go in. No way she could go through that again the pain of losing people was too great, so there was only one way to cope, one way to deal. That was: to not care at all.

    Before Nikki knew it she had arrived at Macalania Woods, the floor crunched with each step she took, she knew this forest like the back of her hand, but it was slowly dying, with every passing day she came to visit she could see the shine slowly fade from the crystals. Yet this environment still seemed to be able to comfort her and take away her sorrows if only for a moment. She stopped as she heard rustling behind her, this was it. She would not think only shoot, keeping the fiends number down in this forest was important, to make sure this environment kept it’s peaceful atmosphere up until the end is of the up most importance to her. It began.

    After the wave of fiends Nikki looked around her, the hum of the woods replaced the battle cries from both the fiends and Nikki only just moments ago. She continued to walk carefully taking her arrows out of the tree trunks and retrieving any on the floor. She still didn’t feel any better, but then again this was just a usual problem of being ticked off. Nikki sat down with her back against the tree, but before she could think further she heard rustling she suddenly stood up and instantly fired at the sound.

    It was as if it was in slow motion she looked up to see Joseph standing there blocking the arrow that had been fired at him only two words entered Nikki’s mind. “Oh ****!” “What the hell are you doing here?” she asked angry that the whole group had followed her minus Paine. She wanted to be alone, didn’t they get that? She didn’t care. Maybe if she fired another arrow at him but aimed a little beside him he’d get the picture.

    “Trying to convince you to come back with us to the Via Infinito,”

    “Yes the suicide trap wonderful. I don’t want to die thank you” she thought but she knew it wasn’t that but she didn’t want to face it, couldn’t face it and wouldn’t allow herself to face it. So she told herself lies. She narrowed her eyes at him. “They told us to stay on the surface. I’m going to do just that.” She loaded another arrow and raised her bow.

    “So that’s it huh? Running away from a problem you couldn’t solve. Are you really the person who led us down there? She was made of much sterner stuff than that. I think you’re afraid of something. Most likely of losing one of us. That way you don’t have to take any responsibility for it,” Anger entered Nikki, he didn’t know the first thing about her or her life, or what she had been through. She wasn’t running away, didn’t they realise this was for the best, it was futile to go back in there when Rikku was probably already dead. But this man was judging her, summarising what she thought as though as it meant nothing that angered her and she released her arrow deliberately not aiming for his body, but a few centimetres away.

    “Don’t you DARE judge me Joseph!” she yelled at him. She began to fire arrows aiming for his clothing so at least she could pin him to the ****ing tree. But then she heard a voice in her distress a very worried and feminine voice.

    “WAIT! Nikki, stop what are you doing?” Nikki snapped her head round to find a worried Kyra standing close to her, her body for some reason seemed to obey and relax a little. Confused at why her cheeks were heating up she began to speak.

    “...I...” Why was she doing this? She thought she knew a couple of moments ago, she saw Kyra give a reassuring smile, she saw her speak but her mind was a in a whirl of thoughts to really comprehend on what actually she was saying, Nikki notice Kyra laid a hand on a bow and helped her lower it. “I can always pin Joseph to a tree later, and then poke his eyes out.” She thought. Kyra said something about not turning this into a fight, although technically Nikki thought she wasn’t fighting as she didn’t aim for Joseph. If she had he would be dead by now. “But still I can’t tell them, I could never tell them why” Nikki lowered her head, seeing an opening she made a run for it.

    Unfortunately she then bumped into a guy with a gunblade, angry that she was stopped and that he was ****ing yelling at her she raised her bow at him. Now this guy on the other hand she could easily injure for being a jerk and a bastard, and well do you really want to know the list of things she was calling him in her head. She asked him to move but he refused and the last thing she heard was:

    “Lower. Your. Weapon. Now.”

    “Kiss. My. Ass. You ****ing retarded prat!” thought Nikki and amongst other things, Kyra was still pleading with her, her soft voice ringing through her ears, Nikki shook her head and made another run for it but Mishka tackled her to the ground with a triumph written on her face. “FOR ****S SAKE!” she thought. Nikki swore some more at her using the first words that literally popped into her head.

    “Always a pleasure in engaging in idle chat with you.”

    “Nikki, what's the matter? Please talk to us.” Kyra soft voice finally ringing through to Nikki, Nikki just stared at Mishka thinking if she shoved her arrow up her butt would she then move? Finally Nikki was released though and she just groaned while sitting up holding her head. Nikki notice Mishka walk over to the others, she swore that girl could be a bloody pain in the ****ing butt. Mostly because she reminded her of Kai who could read people too well and react accordingly. She noticed Kyra had sat down next to her and the others had given them some space. Silence followed as Nikki tried to find the words to explain her actions. “Nikki, you kinda scared us back there.” Said Kyra finally speaking to break the silence, Nikki looked over at her to find the girl bringing her knees up to her chin.

    “... I know I’m sorry for that.” Said Nikki plainly, Kyra sighed. Nikki felt herself to be at peace now. “I come here to sort out my head if I’m confused or lost. I have trouble... talking to people these woods help me with my problems.”

    “Why did you attack Joseph?” Kyra asked, Nikki could see she had a look of sadness.

    “I wasn’t aiming for him... I was aiming to at least pin him to the tree, not injuring him in anyway” Nikki took a look around and saw the new guy and motioned her head to him. “Him however I’ll gladly scar, who the hell stops a pissed off female anyway?”

    “Friends do.” Replied Kyra with a gentle smile. Nikki wasn’t afraid anymore to share, it was as though being in the woods were helping her to share her problems.

    “Friends huh? I’ve never really had friends... They were either killed by Sin or they moved away, left me on my own. To be honest last night I was scared, scared of getting too close to you guys.”

    “We’re not going anywhere though.”

    “No, you don’t understand if you guys go in there is a chance that we will lose some, I can’t go through that again”

    “But... The Rikku girl needs our help.” She said she putting her hand on Nikki’s shoulder. “We need you there to lead us Nikki” she said with a smile.

    “I don’t know if I can, I just need some time on my own to think.” Kyra nodded to her, got up and went over to the others, the new guy then came over Nikki looked up at him. “Come any nearer and my fist will connect to your jaw.” Nikki heard giggling from the twins nearby who seemed to have heard this and they bounced over.

    “So much for the”

    “Few words”

    “But even so”

    “Not really”

    “The best time”

    “To go over”

    “And talk to Nikki” interrupted the twin before Kane could get a word in edge ways he looked from the twins and then to Nikki seemingly to contemplate whether to react to Nikki’s remark. The twins bounced over back to Mishka who seem to talk about plans on how to get in. Nikki shook her head and walked over to the Spring she heard Joseph say whether she was running off again but she heard Kyra’s voice to leave her. Nikki silently thanked her as she continued on her walk.

    Midnight had come and Nikki couldn’t sleep, actually Nikki couldn’t understand why everyone had decided to camp here including the new guy. “They’re ****ing crazy” she said to herself. A realisation had come to her throughout the night though. She was more likely to lose her comrades at the start if she didn’t go with them, if she went with them at least she could protect them. Maybe she could even start to call them friends, just maybe. But still just sitting around coming up with plans wasn’t going to help. She ran back to where the others were, but she heard rustling behind her she was about to raise her bow and fire when a familiar face popped up behind the tree.

    “Yevon! Paine I thought you were a ****ing fiend.”

    “Nice to see you too” said Paine bluntly, Nikki peered behind her to see another shadowy female figure approach, as she got closer Nikki recognised the brunette to be the Lady Yuna. Nikki widened her eyes.

    “Uhh....” she began lost for words, even Nikki can get star struck you know. Yuna put her guns in her hoisters.

    “No time to explain we came to get the others.”

    “Rikku is alive, I just know it. Please we need help!” Yuna exclaimed. Nikki smiled.

    “Was going to just wake them up myself actually” said Nikki as she casually strolled over to where Mishka was sleeping peacefully and kicked her to wake up.

    “OW!” said Mishka as she blinked.

    “Wake the others, we leave now!” She sat up, still seeming to trying to wake herself up. Nikki then repeated what she did to Joseph who was angrier about being woken up this way.

    “NIKKI YOU DON’T KICK PEOPLE TO WAKE THEM UP!” well this in turn woke the others up anyway, not that she was going to kick all of them, only Joseph and Mishka because Joseph was the one that had taunt her and Mishka was the one that tackled her to the ground. Kane she was hoping just to leave him here, but that plan failed as he woke up too.

    “Woah hey it’s the Lady Yuna” exclaimed Val slightly in awe, the others were staring too.

    “Stop gawking and grab your weapons” said Nikki.

    “You’ll do it then, you’ll come with us?”asked Kyra with a smile.

    “Yeah only because you guys will probably die as soon as you walk in without me” said Nikki as she strolled towards Bevelle. Kyra smiled Nikki had a feeling she didn’t believe a word of that but she didn’t really mind.

    “So Lady”

    “Yuna where’s Sir”

    “Tidus?” asked the twins.

    “Well I... I needed to leave him behind, I couldn’t lose him again.” Nikki heard the twins about to ask why but Nikki quickly interrupted.

    “Mind your own business otherwise I’ll feed you two to the fiends myself.”

    “So got a plan?” asked Mishka.

    “We fight our way in, that’s the plan.” Ok it was a very basic plan but that was all she had.

    “Norin like the plan” said the Ronso.

    “That’s a good plan, but Yuna already spoke to Baralai and Nooj” replied Paine.

    "Yes we shouldn't have any trouble from them now." said Yuna

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Kyra

    Kyra felt a lot better after talking to Nikki. Making sure she was okay was the first thing on her mind.

    Maybe she’ll stop running. I hope she’ll stop running. I don’t know what I’ll so if I lose her too. I’ve already lost everyone from home. I can’t lose these people too. Running won’t solve anything. She thought to herself.

    Kyra noticed Nikki started to walk over to the Springs. Joseph noticed as well and tried to walk over to her.

    It’s okay, she just needs some time alone” She told Joseph

    Are you sure she won’t run away?” He asked.

    Yes I’m sure.” She looked at Joseph and gave him a reassuring look. He backed off and rejoined with the rest of the group.

    She looked over at the recent new comer to the group. Something was a little off about him, but she felt better if she just stay out of it and focus on Nikki. Kyra probably still wouldn’t be here without her.

    Kyra couldn’t help but notice the sword that was sheathed on the mysterious man’s back. A Gunblade? How on Spira did he get a hold of that?That can’t be possible. I’ve never seen this person in my life. I thought there were only a lucky few in my world that could wield a Gunblade. She couldn’t help but wonder where he was really from. It wasn’t possible he was on the space station at the same time she was. Where could he be from? I can’t let this bother me. I’ll try and stay away from him for a bit.

    She noticed the others were trying to find out new ways to go about returning to the Via Infinito if that were to ever happen. To be honest, she didn’t really want to go back in. But she couldn’t let those thoughts be known to anyone.

    Night time rolled around and Kyra eventually drifted off to sleep. What felt like moments later, she heard noises coming from the group. It was Nikki. Was she finally feeling better?

    NIKKI YOU DON’T KICK PEOPLE TO WAKE THEM UP!” Joseph said angrily. Yep. We have our Nikki back.

    Woah hey it’s the Lady Yuna” exclaimed Val.

    So this is the one that saved Spira. Twice. Should be fun working alongside her. Seeing Yuna gave Kyra a bit of reassurance. Having someone with experience and the will to help the group and hopefully get Rikku out of this mess and solve everything. One could only hope.

    Stop gawking and grab your weapons” said Nikki.

    “You’ll do it then, you’ll come with us?”Asked Kyra with a smile.

    “Yeah only because you guys will probably die as soon as you walk in without me” Said Nikki.
    With that they all started to walk towards Bevelle. The twins started to ask the Lady Yuna questions that Kyra had no idea what they were talking about. It was better she didn’t know about that either.

    Mind your own business otherwise I’ll feed you two to the fiends myself.” She heard Nikki snap.

    How long could she keep up with the mean routine? I wonder Kyra thought to herself with a smile.

  12. #12
    Joseph

    A boot to the back of the head would wake up anyone, so it was no surprise that I was woken up by that. I turned back to find the source of the kick to be Nikki.

    “NIKKI! YOU DON’T KICK PEOPLE TO WAKE THEM UP!” I yelled, rubbing the back of my head. She was apparently back to her old self which was an improvement.

    “Woah hey, it’s the Lady Yuna!” Val exclaimed. I turned around to find her with Paine. I bowed a bit, expressing respect for the person who saved Spira twice.

    “Stop gawking and grab your weapons,” Nikki said.

    “You’ll do it then? You’ll come with us?” Kyra asked with a smile.

    “Yeah, only because you guys will probably die as soon as you walk in without me,” responded Nikki. I could only shake my head as we headed to Beville.

    Typical Nikki,’ I thought, smiling a bit now that she’s back to her old self. The twins asked Lady Yuna something and though I couldn’t hear the question or answer, judging by the body language it had to something about Sir Tidus. Nikki snapped at the twins for asking that.

    “So, got a plan?” Mishka asked.

    “We fight our way in, that’s the plan,” Nikki replied. That defiantly wasn’t a good plan and I was about to argue but several others beat me to it.

    “Norin like the plan,” said the Ronso.

    “That’s a good plan, but Yuna already spoke to Baralai and Nooj,” replied Paine.

    “Yes, we shouldn't have any trouble from them now,” said Yuna.

    The walk to the Via Infinito entrance was short and pleasant. Arriving at the entrance, Baralai and Nooj were waiting for us. Baralai glared at me but I held his glare as I watched Lady Yuna talk to them again. After a few moments, Nooj nodded and looked at us.

    “I defiantly don’t like that this group is going back down there with that unsent, but since you are, I wish you guys good luck and come back safely,” he said. I nodded and stepped onto the portal. A bright flash later, I found myself down at Cloister 19, where most of the night team perished. I offered a small prayer as the rest of the team including Lady Yuna warped in.

    “Baralai mentioned an unsent down here. What is it?” Yuna asked.

    “It’s a young girl. I don’t think any of us know who she is but she’s powerful,” Cyan replied.

    “This is Cloister 19 isn’t it? There was an unsent in Cloister 20. I don’t know if it’s still there but we better proceed with caution,” Yuna said, pulling out her pistols. I readied my katana as the group strolled to the portal for the next level.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    Kane followed everyone into the portal to Cloister 20, though he was distracted by how the inside of the Via Infinito look, with all the pyreflies floating around. He knew inside that he was walking through a place of great evil. Thought that could've just been Nikki's anger from their first encounter.

    Once they came onto the platform of the entrance to the Cloister, a familiar figure came to view of the team, the unsent girl. "You're back. Yay!" she exclaimed. "Now we will have fun again." Then looking around she spotted Kane, "Oooh. Your new. You've come to play too?" she said. "I hope you don't play rough."

    Looking at the girl, Kane just looked up at Joseph, who was nearest to him, Who let this little girl in here? It's not a playground.". Quickly, Joseph replied "Careful mate. This isn't just a little girl. The night team was killed by her. You don't want to make her angry."

    Looking back at the girl, Kane noticed pyreflies flying through her, "So this is that unsent one you were on about? Ok. Didn't know all the details." He said as he turned to face Joseph and the team.

    You've probably already ****ed her off." Nikki said to Kane. Then the girl suddenly pointed at Kane, "I know who you look like. You look like a friend of mine." She said. Looking at everyone, Kane worried thought "Your friend? I don't know of anyone who had armour like this before." Then replying to the girl "Ok. That's....nice..."

    Then, as as the girl started to disappear, what looked like four members of the night team, started to come from the darkness of the Cloister around them. As they got closer, Kane could tell something was up, and got ready for hand-to-hand combat.

    As the lead member of the "team" fully came into view, they could see that he was very grey, and struggled to walk, sliding his left leg behind him, as he walked over towards them. "He" came to a halt about 15 meters away from Kane, who was the closest, and straightened up to his full height. As he stood up, and his companions came into view, it could be seen that he was not of the living plain. His clothing was torn to shreds, hanging limply off his body. His body rend with slashes, that could have only come from either a sharp clawed fiend, or a powerful sword. No blood dripped from the slashes, but his clothes and skin was stained with blood.

    Kane guessed that this one was a sort of "leader" as it was the only one, whose fingers were down to the bone, and super sharp. After seeing this, Kane unsheathed both his Gunblade, and short sword, and dropped into a defensive stance, awaiting the inevitable attack, and the rest of the team did similar. Then, with a moan, both he, and the rest of the zombies, attacked.

    Kane brought up both of his blades in a cross formation in front of himself, to block the lead zombie, as it swiped for Kane's head. Countering the attack, Kane slashed the zombie back with his sword, cutting in deep, and pushing the zombie back a few steps. Kane's sword came out dark red in colour, as though he had slashed through the head, and yet the zombie still lived. Before the zombie had a chance of attacking a second time, Kane hit the zombie in the head with his Gunblade, and activated the blade's shooting sequence, which fired both of its barrels with a Firaga spell, making the zombie's head explode into pieces, scattering bits behind it. The now dead body dropped to the floor, with pyreflies flooding from it, started to disappear slowly, as though the zombie was resisting it's inevitable death.

    As Kane rose from his kill, his blades dripping with dark red blood, he looked around to see how the others were coping. They had all been split into smaller groups by the remaining 3 zombies. Nikki could be heard very plainly cursing the zombie attacking her little group, while filling it with arrows, the twins attacking and Kyra hacking at it with her Gunblade, but with little progress. Joseph was with Mishka and Teraan, and the remaining members were defending Yuna and Paine.

    Kane hurried over to assist Nikki's group, just as the zombie attacking Joseph's group attacked him with such force, that it knocked him over, and then jumped for Mishka, as though to rip into her and feed. Teraan however caught the zombie mid-jump, and broke the neck of the zombie, before throwing it off the edge of the cloister platform.

    Just before Kane got to aid Nikki's group, he heard a multitude of moans, and looking around saw wave after wave of zombies staggering towards them. Taking a quick breath, he turned back towards Kyra and the remaining combatants, and shouted "Attack the Head. Destroying the head is the only way to kill these things!"

    Then turning towards the incoming horde, he stood up beside Joseph, and nodding as though to create a fighting partnership between them for this fight, sheathed his short sword, and with his Gunblade in hand, started to walk with Joseph towards the incoming zombies. An evil grin appearing on his face, though hidden by his armour, "Time for a BloodBath!"

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Keema

    This last few days went by in a blur for Keema, she was currently on foot to Djose temple, with both Shinra and Rin. She remember it was just a few days ago she was in the Farplane.

    The hum of the Pryeflies greeted her as she walked up the stairs and through the barrier; she closed her eyes and listened to the Farplane. From what she could gather the energy flow was a little slower than normal, but normally that is not something to worry about since the energy flow can change slightly day to day. “Still...” she thought to herself, “It wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye on it” She opened her eyes to the sound of squeaking boots behind her. She turned around and looked down to see an Albehd child, she recognised him from the Gullwings. Rin then approached her.

    “Ah Miss Keema it’s good to see you again”

    “Likewise” she said smiling, Rin motioned to the boy.

    “This is Shinra, he shall be helping us with our work,” Shinra looked up at her.

    “Nice to meet you” Shinra said, Keema smiled at him.

    “I heard only good things about you from Rin, he told me you could record the energy flow of the Farplane, is that true?” she asked thinking that they could help each other. Shinra nodded.

    “With a little time and work, yes I believe I could” said Shinra. Keema smiled.

    “I’ve just noticed that the Farplane has a slower energy flow than normal if you could do that for me I would like to take a look.”

    “It will take a week though”

    “That’s fine, in the meantime I think we should head to the heart of the Farplane.” Suggested Keema, she wanted to check if it was the same there and also she believed that it would benefit both Rin and Shinra in their research.

    “An excellent idea,” said Rin agreeing. “I heard that the ruins of Vegnagun are still down there and I would be most interested to see them for myself”


    So here they were walking right up to the temple and into it, Keema was distracted by her own thoughts.

    “Surely it can’t be anything to worry about, there have been a decrease in deaths since Sin, so it would only be natural that the Farplane would have a slower energy flow.” As they walked silently to the chamber of the Fayth, more thoughts began to worry her. “But what if it’s something more? The Via Infinito is connected to Farplane, maybe it would be a good idea to see what the energy is like in there?” But then again the thought of going into that place made her shudder, and she didn’t feel like going there unless she felt she absolutely had to. Plus listening to the Via Infinito was nothing like listening to the Farplane, while the Farplane was pleasant to listen to the Via Infinito was painful. To even to be able to start to listen to the Via Infinito you needed to stay a few days down there and to Keema’s knowledge she hadn’t heard of any Guado go down there recently. Keema snapped out of her thoughts as she saw Rin and Shinra watch her. She noticed they had stopped at the hole. “Oh, I’m sorry” she apologised. “We must be careful when we enter there are fiends on the road to the Farplane, but we should have too much of a problem, I can summon my own fiends if needed.” Although summoning fiends herself wasn’t pleasant she knew it had to be done. Even if she had to cope with thoughts of hate and revenge running through her head while controlling the fiend.

    “We understand Miss Keema, lead the way” said Rin, with that they all jumped down. As they walked Keema was surprised to find that no fiends were about, they walked some more until they got to the Farplane Glen.

    “Hmmm... Strange at least one fiend should have attacked us,” said Keema worriedly.

    “It could be possible that the fiends were linked to Shuyin and Vegnagun,” suggested Shinra.

    “Yes, I’m sure that’s it, it could be nothing” said Keema, but still she was worried fiends just don’t disappear, the scent of the Farplane being nearby would of made them linger. Keema sighed and looked around there was teleport nearby to take them to the heart of the Farplane, but first.... Keema closed her eyes, listening the Farplane she got the same sense as before it felt slightly slower with activity. As she opened her eyes she saw the Pryeflies come together to make an outline of a person, with a flicker of red the Pryeflies quickly dispersed. Keema frowned. “Now I wonder what that was all about?” she questioned. Rin walked up to her.

    “I believe that was Sir Auron, I wonder about him and I hear the Pryeflies react to our memories.” Keema nodded but still thought to herself.

    “Yeah but it’s never anything like that,” They all then proceeded to the heart of the Farplane.

    Keema looked on sadly as they entered. “Maybe this is the problem?” she thought “This machina doesn’t belong here” said to them sadly.

    “Would you like us to remove it for you?” Rin asked Keema suddenly looked at him.

    “Would you?” asked Keema hopefully.

    “Yes we can send some diggers here to remove it and at the same time research the energy here.” Rin gave a smile to her.

    “We can also record the energy for you so we can improve it” said Shinra, Keema smiled at that. It seemed like a win win situation, just as long as they didn’t hurt the Farplane everything would be fine and she could stop worrying.

    “Thank you that would be wonderful,” she said she also thought to herself that would also give her some time to question people about the Via Infinito in Bevelle.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Joseph

    This is defiantly going badly,’ I thought, cutting the unsent again. It didn’t have any effect as it just continued attacking like it doesn’t feel any pain. It suddenly hit me hard enough to knock me down and jumped at Mishka. However, Teraan managed to catch it in mid-air and broke its neck before hurling it off the platform.

    Just then, a multitude of moans sent a shiver up my spine. I turned to find waves of the unsent slowly shuffling towards us. This was going from bad to worse.

    “Attack the head. Destroying the head is the only way to kill these things!” Kane told the others. He walked and stopped beside me just as I got up. He looked at me and nodded. In that instant, I knew what he wanted to do and also wanted my help. I nodded back at him and we began a walk towards the unsent.

    “Time for a bloodbath,” Kane commented. I could almost hear the grin under that armor.

    “Indeed,” I said, readying my sword at my side as I readied a spell.

    “Hayate,” I said, casting the speed enhancing spell on me and Kane. With that complete, we both ran head first into the crowd of unsent.

    I swung my sword, aiming for the neck and decapitating the unsent in front of me. Kane took out his Gunblade and began to do the exact same thing. I heard the others aiming and destroying the heads on the unsent. The unsent tried to hit me or Kane but under the influence of Hayate, we managed to dodge and avoid most of them. Several managed to connect but left only small scrapes at best. I reversed my katana and killed another unsent before spinning and killing another three.

    Even though many of the unsent fell, there seemed to be an endless amount of them. For every one I killed, another 2 seemed to take its place. Even the small amount of scrapes I took began to become open cuts. Kane was also becoming tired from the exertion.

    “Kane, we need to fall back and regroup with the others,” I shouted. He nodded and we began to fight our way back to the others. As we neared them, an unsent appeared and took a swipe at me. I dodged just in time but it tore a hole in my jacket and a potion dropped out. I spun and kicked it into its face, hoping to distract it long enough to run around it. But then I noticed something very weird, instead of healing the unsent, the potion seemed to burn it.

    That sight triggered a memory. My sensei once told me about a time he went to the Zanarkand ruins. He talked about an unsent type that seemed invincible till one in his group accidently threw an elixir at it. It burned and severely damaged it. He threw a Phoenix down at it and it killed it outright.

    Could these things be those from Zanarkand ruins?’ I thought. I quickly dashed back to the others.

    “Nikki! Do you have a Phoenix down?” I asked. She looked at me with a confused look on her face.

    “Why the **** do you need one?” she replied, aiming and hitting another unsent in the head.

    “No time to explain! Just give me one!” I shouted back. She quickly gave me one and I threw it at an approaching unsent.

    “Joseph! What the….” Nikki began but stopped when the Phoenix down killed the unsent. I smirked and turned to the others.

    “Guys! These things are weak to healing magic! Either hit it with a Phoenix down or white magic!” I shouted, throwing a hi-potion at another unsent. The others began to do so when they saw it burn and kill it. Within minutes, we’d cleared the Cloister.

    “Damn that was close,” Val commented, collapsing onto his back. I chucked a bit. This wasn’t the first time I thought that I was finished.

    “Look on the bright side, we’re still alive even after that,” Cyan replied. I took a potion to heal my cuts just as Lady Yuna began walking to the next portal.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Mishka.png

    After Kyra took off after Nikki, the rest of us decided to rest before the return and some felt a nap would be best. Cyan and I had chosen to sit by the entrance with Norin who eventually chose to rest, as well, not coming up with any worthwhile course of action.

    “NIKKI! YOU DON’T KICK PEOPLE TO WAKE THEM UP!” Cyan and I both heard further in the distance.

    Nikki had come back and Joseph was unfortunately the closest body to assault. As she approached, Val greeted Lady Yuna who had arrived, but this only gained him Nikki's sharp tongue.

    “Stop gawking and grab your weapons,”

    “You’ll do it then? You’ll come with us?” Kyra asked her, knowing what answer she was about to receive.

    “Yeah, only because you guys will probably die as soon as you walk in without me,”

    Looking at Cyan, we shared a giggle before Nikki arrived. Standing, I yawned a bit before asking,
    “So, got a plan?”

    “We fight our way in, that’s the plan,”

    For the moment I rolled my eyes, noting that Nikki was back to being her cold and tactless self, though it was even more a front than it had been before. Kyra seemed to have had an impact. Cyan only giggled further, coming over to my side of the hall to wake up Norin, but he already was, had heard the “plan”... and... accepted it. I must say I was and still am shocked at his response, but perhaps he had motives behind it. Norin wasn't known for the straight approach, this gaining him a lot of chagrin and opposition from Teraan, though always giving him the praise in the end, also much to Teraan's chagrin. Deciding on a brutish attack just didn't fit.

    “That’s a good plan, but Yuna already spoke to Baralai and Nooj,” Paine noted, bringing a sly grin to Norin's features.

    “Yes, we shouldn't have any trouble from them now,” Yuna added.

    Shortly after, we headed for the telepad to Via Infinito, Norin leading our group of four, Teraan and I taking the rear. The rest of them were about us, but my attention was at the calculating ronso's back, second guessing his previous reactions and responses. I had always had trouble dealing with his wit considering how it always seemed to be on a different wavelength than the rest of ours. Cyan seemed to be doing much the same, though Teraan behind me was only grunting his annoyance. It was like before in Fangtastic! Teraan never could understand Norin's intricate and oftentimes bizarre strategies, failing at at least ten of the minor tasks appointed to him in the earlier missions. Eventually, Norin would only issue him simple roles in our hunts, but that only hurt his pride and furthered the tension between the two.

    Taking the larger ronso by the arm, I hugged close to him and petted his long yellow fur. Smiling, he nudged me a bit in mock annoyance before standing back tall and confident. Further on, at the portal was Giruun who walked to Norin and started conversation, Teraan moving forward to add join in. This left me free with Cyan to look to the rest of our group. Cyan decided to approach the newest of them, the Lady High Summoner having retired from active duty in her own spherehunting group and thus, most likely out of practice.

    “Baralai mentioned an unsent down here. What is it?” Yuna asked.

    “It’s a young girl. I don’t think any of us know who she is but she’s powerful,” Cyan informed her.

    “This is Cloister 19 isn’t it? There was an unsent in Cloister 20. I don’t know if it’s still there but we better proceed with caution,” Yuna replied.

    Before reaching the portal, I came to Yuna's side, deciding to quickly get her up to speed lest she wander down into harsh territory without being fully informed.

    Lady Yuna, you should know the current cloisters won't the same ones from your last visit.I told her.

    “How do you know about my last visit?”

    Well, Fangtastic! were about to enter it when you came up and Gippal showed me some footage of it before I started this mission.”

    “Can you tell me about this unsent you all seem so worried about?” She asked.

    Do you see these wounds?I said, pointing to the as yet unhealed injuries I had attained from my last fight, Almost all caused by her.”

    Yuna gasped at my words, but I would then explain that her typical actions seemed more lighthearted and posed only a moderate nuisance than the direct confrontation I had with her. Her motives were unclear and her actions erratic, but I made sure to stress to Yuna not to underestimate her either.


    Right from the start, the girl appeared before us, Norin in the distance scanning her with his equipment as she commented about Kane. It seemed strange why she wouldn't note the ronso of Fangtastic! as they should also have been new, but I let the detail pass once I heard the awkward footsteps of the approaching night team. At first no one knew what to make of it, reports having said the night team all perished in their last encounter with the unsent. Upon further investigation, it became clear the night team were reanimated corpses, brought some speck of life by the girl's will. Kane acted first, assaulting the one in the lead. After trading several shots with his gunblade and clashing sword against claw, he took his gunblade to the corpse's temple and fired an incendiary bolt into its skull.

    In the meantime, Cyan and I were back to back eliminating the others, though even slicing through their bodies lengthwise didn't seem to fell them. In the distance, I could see Yuna having trouble and Paine struggling with the many hording her so I turned to Cyan and, nodding her approval, sent her upward over the corpses crowding us so she could help. She would alert Norin and Giruun who also moved to aid the Lady High Summoner. Meanwhile, without her help, the decaying creatures began slowly overtaking me. Teraan would save me before Joseph arrived, forming a group of three, which was holding them off more successfully, but the broken pieces of the enemy bodies kept coming back, slowly exhausting us.

    Kane's form suddenly crashed before me, causing me to flinch in my attack. Just then, I noticed a less damaged corpse dropping down from above, my current position not in any advantageous form to counter it. As it neared, I hoped I would be able to remove it before any serious wounds could be sustained, but I knew from its gaping jaw filled with jagged teeth, if it touched me, it would only release me after tearing out a sizable portion of my neck.

    “No biting!” Teraan abruptly growled, catching the creature by the neck and snapping it like a splinter.

    Looking over to me, he asked if I was alright. I could only swoon, blushing as soon as I realized what I was doing and looking away. Cyan's form stood before my eyes, the way she was holding her blade informing me that she was also coming to my rescue. Nodding, she left to take on other enemies and I, too, recollected myself to continue the fight.

    "
    Attack the Head. Destroying the head is the only way to kill these things!" Kane exclaimed, alerting all of us to his discovery.

    Nodding to Teraan, we went back to back and started going for decapitating shots. Teraan's aggressive nature allowed him to pluck the heads off several of them while my swordplay beheaded only a few before I needed time to recover from my maneuvers. With their lunges, it became difficult to target just the head. The fact that cutting them into pieces only allowed those pieces to attack separately only made it harder. There were many times I only severed a hand, which would then land on me and start crawling about, trying to claw into my flesh. The pieces we made earlier were also slithering upon the ground, also making it difficult to get at the head.
    Nikki! Do you have a Phoenix down?” Joseph screamed, having gone to find Nikki.

    “Why the **** do you need one?”

    “No time to explain! Just give me one!”

    “Joseph! What the….”

    “Guys! These things are weak to healing magic! Either hit it with a Phoenix down or white magic!”


    I had to admit, Joseph's move had been seen as strange, but after viewing the outcome, we all started reaching for our pouches or casting magic. Myself, personally, I had absolutely no curative magics nor did I carry restorative items, having always depended on Norin to be our Alchemist support even now with the group disbanded. However, I new the concept behind using the restorative items against them and I had arrows armed with single Holy spheres that should accomplish the same task. Loading one into my crossbow, I fired it into a group, managing to strike one near the center. The sphere erupted in light, swallowing the creature and disintegrating it. I would continue with this attack, taking up a position side by side with Nikki as our white magic arrows felled a great deal of them.

    The **** is that arrow?” Nikki screamed at me sometime during our shooting spree.

    It's just called a Holy arrow. The tip is made of a single orb of Holy magic.” I yelled.

    The **** does that mean?”

    Well, what kind do you have?”

    Cure arrows.”

    What the **** is a cure spell doing on an arrow? Are you a ****ing cherub or something?” I mused.

    Hearing that, Nikki exploded into an indignant rant, throwing down her bow and completely ignoring the battle at hand, but we were about finished with them anyway.

    “Damn that was close,” Val sighed, falling onto his back.

    “Look on the bright side, wee still alive even after that,Cyan replied, walking over to me.

    Teraan put a hand on my shoulder, his breathing rather heavy to show his fatigue. Patting his hand, I walked with him to Cyan before we all shared a sigh and followed Yuna to the next cloister.

    At the next level, the walls squirmed with remnant pyreflies from the enemies we had just beaten. The night team's wails of pain and despair filled the cloister. Taking out her Garment Grid, Lady Yuna changed into a classical White Mage hood and equipped her staff. Recalling her former training, she began the sending, allowing the night team to return to rest, sent to the Farplane. As the pyreflies faded into the darkness, a wave of cherry blossoms took their place and Yuna gasped, turning around to face us.

    Do you feel that?” She asked us.

    “What is it, Lady Yuna?” Cyan asked.

    “There's a scent in the air, something like cherry blossoms. I feel as though I'm in the presence of a true samurai.” I said, my mind drifting as my olifactory senses took control of my person.

    “Samurai? Does the little girl have that ability?” Yuna asked.

    Ignoring her, I left Cyan to answer as I continued on, further into the darkness where the scent seemed stronger. After a while, the scent began to fade, but I heard a distinct growl coming from up ahead. Getting closer, I felt the putrid breath of an Gemini-class Iron Giant against my nape and quickly sidestepped its hook and charge. Unleashing my sword, I found the others already bounding for me, defending themselves against a swarm of Flan Blancos and Skinks. Yuna tried to come to my aid, but the Gemini's growl deepened and pyreflies were pulled to it, flaring it into an enraged red state.

    “Oversoul!” Yuna gasped, pulling behind me and taking hold of her Garment Grid.

    “What are you doing?”

    Geminis are drawn to violence when they sense White Magic. They lash out at White Mages.”

    “What? Why?”

    “We don't know. Shinra investigated that, but couldn't find the details behind it. He just noted that Geminis seemed to oversoul more consistently in the presence of White Magic and then go after them.”

    Yuna reverted to her Gunner state before pulling her weapons out and holding her position behind me. The next step was to allow the oversouled creature to charge at me, this time loosing Skullcracker to shatter me. I braced myself for it and used its own momentum to push it further toward Yuna as I flipped over it, using my sword to slice into the sides of its helmet, giving Yuna a better shot at its pyrefly core. Yuna activated her Trigger Happy and fired several rounds into the beast's skull, unsteadying it. As it stumbled, Teraan rammed it with his massive shoulder and tore off the helmet completely, freeing the bound pyreflies and defeating the fiend. Meanwhile, the others had felled all the Skinks and Flan.

    “My hero.” I said to Teraan as Yuna and Paine proceeded to Cloister 21.

    “A title fit for Teraan, my lady.” He replied with a wink.

    Linking my arm into his, we traded idle chatter, heading for the cloister after Joseph, Val, and Kane.

  13. #13

    Nikki shook her head to herself, she must admit in that battle with the zombie freaks that was a smart move from Joseph, the zombie status was always weak to healing items, Mishka however had just pissed her off further. The cure arrows were only used against the foes with Zombie status, they were of no use otherwise. Nikki frowned as they walked though, ignoring the conversation around her, that girl was becoming more powerful as time went on. She began to wonder where her power came from.“It can’t be revenge she was only a child when she died, revenge is normally for the adults who died, someone or something must be helping her”she thought to herself.
    “Nikki what do you think?”said a voice, Nikki was snapped out of her thoughts and looked up to find the group had stopped to discuss about something. The twins seemed to entertain themselves by trying to catch the Pryeflies that floated around them. Nikki sighed inwardly at this and just turned to the others.
    “About what?”
    “Yuna just commented that she’s noticed that there has been a lot more Pryeflies than when we last came here. I must admit I had noticed it too but I thought that was just me” Paine explained, Yuna took a step forward and nodded.

    “I wonder what this could mean?” Yuna questioned with a worried expression.

    “Just means more fiends for us to kill, nothing too bad we’ll worry if this increases.”“Are you always this blunt?”asked Kane.“Look if we start worrying now, we lose our focus. Which is to get Rikku and to get the hell out of here.”With that Nikki turned and went on to jump down to Cloister 22.

    As she landed with the others she frowned and turned them.
    “Is it just me or shouldn’t Cloister 21 have been harder than that!”she exclaimed.“We did go through pretty...” said Mishka but she was cut off as a cloud of Pryeflies whizzed passed them from above then hovered in front of them.

    “Mummy...”

    The whole group got in their battle stance and on guard when they heard that voice, the spooky girl formed in front of them but she didn’t seem to notice their presence, She clutched a moogle toy to her tightly, her blue eyes wide with fright. She turned around and slowly walked on ahead. “Mummy?” the girl questioned as she stopped. “Mummy where are you?” She then walked on again. Nikki lowered her weapon.
    “What the ****, she didn’t even notice us!”She said.
    “There’s so many Pryeflies here, it must be making that girl’s memories real.”Yuna gasped.

    “Just like the Zanarkand Ruins, it’s like one big sphere.”
    “Exactly”said Mishka.“Let’s follow”said Nikki,“If we find out what happened we might know how to get her to the Farplane.” Said Nikki not waiting for an answer she went on to follow the girl. “I have to know what happened!”she thought to herself.

    “Mummy I’m scared.” Nikki heard the voice say, Nikki rounded the corner and skidded to a halt only to find the girl looking up at her with a smile. She rocked back and forth on her toes seemingly to be waiting for something, her blonde pigtails bobbed as she did so. Soon enough though the others caught up. The girl beamed at all of them, but it sent a shiver down Nikki’s spine. “Nah uh uh uh!” she said in a tune waggling her finger at them. “It’s not nice looking in my memories. My sisters should know better” she pointed at Mishka and Cyan.

    “We’re sorry we just wanted to know what happened to help you find your mummy.”The little girl looked down to the floor.

    “Mummy isn’t here, you can’t find her.” She then snapped her head up at them and gave them a chilling smile. “I’m bored let’s play a game of hide and seek.”
    “I really don’t like her games”thought Nikki she looked over to Mishka and Cyan who looked pale, and with good reason too, the last hide and seek they played Cyan got kidnapped and Nikki got injured.

    “The Guardian is hiding, first one to find him gets to play with him.” Everyone widened their eyes at that.

    “What Guardian?” asked Yuna softly to the child. The child smiled at her.

    “Yours silly, Okay 1 2 3 GO!” Exclaimed the child in excitement and then suddenly she dispersed in a cloud of Pryeflies. The cloud then zoomed off down the corridor. In her place appeared three Behemoth Kings.

    “She cheats.”Said Nikki as she began to pull back on her arrows and began firing.

    “There’s no time!” exclaimed Yuna who sounded clearly distressed that one of her Guardians could be in danger.
    “There’s no way out!” Exclaimed Val“They’ve surrounded us!” Said Cyan. Nikki growled one Behemoth King itself was hard to taken down but three! There was no way they could win this, but still she would not go down without a fight!

    “We canchargeateleportspelljustbuyussome time!” exclaimed the twins, with that they began to close their eyes and began to whisper the spell.

    “Right” said Nikki“White Mages protect the twins”She felt the familiar sensation of the haste spell being cast on her , next to her Paine and Yuna were sphere changing but she didn’t look to see what into as a Behemoth tried to take swipe at her Nikki flipped backwards. “Everyone focus all of your energy on taking this first one down.” She said, with that she then just fired arrow after arrow, until she noticed that a beam of light came down upon it, it howled in pain as petals surrounded it. “What the...”Began Nikki she turned to see that Yuna seemed to be in some flowery outfit which looked very powerful. “****!” Exclaimed Nikki when she saw it, but then she heard the Behemoth King roar, she turned to see the Behemoth King unless a Meteor attack, she heard screams from her comrades, but in amongst that she suddenly had hope as the twins cried out.

    "TELEPORT!” Nikki was engulfed in a blue light and suddenly landed on the hard surface to a wide space in the Via Infinito. Nikki held her head and she stood up and looked at her comrades some of them were injured, Nikki must have admit her head did not feel good, as she began to count she noticed she only had half her team, the realisation hit her that half her team must have died in that attack. She paled, she couldn’t see Sakura, the white mage that she had grown fond of, who had healed her leg.

    “Where’s Sakura?”Kyra gasped as she put her hand up to her mouth.

    “No, not her.”
    “She diedprotectingus”said the twins solemnly, Nikki clenched her fists.

    “You’re death will be revenged”
    thought Nikki, she went over to Kyra and put a hand on her back. “We’ll have time to mourn after the mission”Kyra looked up at her and wiped her tears and nodded. Nikki didn’t like seeing her like this, she didn’t know why, she just didn’t.

    “How far down are we?” said Paine

    "Cloister
    30!”said the twins Nikki sighed.“Great we just skipped 8!” but suddenly Yuna cried out in astonishment.

    “Sir Auron!” Nikki turned to see a faint image of the legendary Guardian there, he was trying to speak but no voice came out. Yuna rushed over to him.

    “I can’t hear you.” She said.

    “Too late, I get to play with him” said the girl’s voice with that the Pryeflies surrounded him and Auron fully materialised and drew his sword.


    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    The moment that Kane saw Auron materialise, he knew why the girl said that he looked like a friend of hers, as his short sword was forged based on Auron's Masamune.

    Knowing that battle was inevitable, and although still being injured and shook up from the previous onslaught, Kane stepped forward and said to Auron, "Sir, I know you may not be able to hear me, but I want you to know because of your legendary status through being the Guardian of both Lord Braska and Lady Yuna, I chose to follow in your footsteps, and become a Warrior. Also because of you I forged this sword," Kane lifted up short sword showing that it was a small version of Masanume sword that Auron wielded. "and also this other blade which i call a Shotgunblade, which is made up of a blade like the one Jecht used, and a shotgun. Although I may not like it, I will fight you, if only to allow you to sleep in peace.

    Then with one movement, his resheathed his Gunblade, and brought his short sword to bare in front on him, as though to give anyone attacking a backhand with it, and started to walk with intent to fight 1-on-1 with the Legend himself.

    Although handicapped by experience, his current injuries, and the weapons range of the Masanume, Kane boldly took on Auron. As the first swipe by the guardian came at him, Kane stood still, bringing his left arm up as though he was wearing a shield, allowed the sword to hit his armour, trusting in it's power and strength.

    The great strength of Auron caused Kane to be thrown across the cloister floor, but just as Nikki bent her bow to strike Auron, as Kane got to his feet, he said with a loud commanding voice, “Nikki, Do NOT fire. This fight is mine, and mine alone!” Then as he past her, her eyes filled with rage at Kane for ordering her around, he quietly said to her and the others, “Please allow me the honour of fighting my “role model” 1 on 1. Do not worry, I will call on your aid, as I cannot defeat him on my own. Just give me time.” “Humph. You have 10 minutes, Kane! After that........” Nikki's words paled into nothingness as Kane psyched himself up for the battle with his Rolemodel.

    Sheathing his short sword, he walked up, and remembering the fighting moves he had learnt from reading about Auron, and seeing rare footage of his fighting powerful Fiends, he started to concentrate on the battle. The next attack by Auron would not succeed.

    Auron used Shooting Star on Kane next, and although he wasn't expecting it, he recognised the moveset and evaded it, allowing him to unsheath his gunblade, and slash it down hard on Auron's right shoulder, activating the barrels of his blade, and with an explosion of Firaga, causes the mighty warrior to fall to the floor, stunned by the furiouscity of the attack. He was not down for long though, as 5 secs later, the body of Auron moved and started to rise, his left hand gripping his sword, ready to swing it around, and take out Kane in one fell blow.

    Just then, the whistles could be heard, as arrows rained down onto Auron, as Nikki refused to wait on the sidelines, watching Kane get all the action, though as she got closer with her bow, the whistling of the arrows got quieter, as Nikki's “polite manner” could be easily heard every time she fired an arrow.

    I....Will......*******.....Not.....*******......wa it......while......*******.....you....*******..... fight.....*******......Auron!!!

    This distraction to Auron, as he re focussed his mind on Nikki allowed Kane to unsheath his short sword and start using both blades to hack at the legend's legs and shoulders. Joseph came forward to help Kane hack at Auron, and cast his “hayate” spell on all combatants allowing us to fully take advantage of the warrior's slow speed.

    Just as Auron started to falter under the attacks, he mouthed what looked to Yuna like a name, and then in the next moment, a large explosion threw Kane, Nikki, and Joseph almost off the end of the cloister floor. As the smoke cleared Auron could be seen standing unscarred, with the small silloette of the little girl standing in front of him.

    “You meanie! You hurt my Auron.” She said, with what looked to be tears streaming down her face, her gaze focused on Kane, and she pointed at him, “It's all your fault. If you hadn't have come we could still be having fun. However, now....” her voice changing from a small girl's one, to the deep voice of a Sorceress, “You will pay for what you have done. You will pay for what you have done to Auron.” Kane was unmoving...his eyes closed, unable to hear what was happening. "And now," she said, with the her voice back to one of a little girl, "the rest of you can play with my Auron. Play nicely now.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Joseph

    Damn that unsent. Now we got to do this all over again,’ I thought, kneeling to check on Kane. He had a pulse so I knew he was still alive. I nodded at a white mage and got back up, turning to face Auron. I dashed at him, closing the distance quickly due to my “Hayate” spell. He blocked my strike and we locked swords for a moment. He quickly overpowered me and launched me back.

    “Sir Auron! Please stop this!” Lady Yuna pleaded.

    “I’m afraid that will not work Lady Yuna. That unsent is practically controlling him. Only defeating him would he be set free,” I solemnly replied.

    “Sir Auron! I know that you’ve been summoned here unwillingly. I will set you free with my sword,” I declared. Auron simply nodded, taking a stance to indicate he was ready to fight. Kyra and Mishka stood next to me, ready to charge in.

    “Have no fear and charge into battle and you’ll emerge victorious,” I chanted, casting “No Fear” on myself, Kyra and Mishka. The moment that spell was placed, we charged in. Arrows and spells whizzed past us, causing Auron to shift into a defensive stance. I reached him first, locking swords with him. Kyra and Mishka flanked him, taking advantage of the moment. Auron used his power to throw me back and managed to block Kyra’s strike. Mishka landed a blow, but Auron was unfazed. He whirled around, trying to attack Mishka. She jumped back a moment later. Kyra and I struck him the moment he turned his back to us.

    The attack on three sides along with the support from arrows and spells began to take its toll on Auron. Every time he blocked one attack, several others will hit him. He suddenly swung his sword in a 360° arc, knocking us back. Auron then jumped up with his sword on fire. I realized he was using his Dragon Fang attack just as he stabbed the ground. I managed to shift into a defense stance just as fire erupted from underneath me. Others were not so lucky, being caught completely off guard. Auron’s attack had knocked out around a third of our remaining members. I rushed in alongside Kyra who managed to get to her feet. She locked her sword with Auron, keeping him stationary. I jumped up high, my sword glowing with a white aura.

    “You’ll pay for striking down our comrades! Now fear everything!” I shouted, hitting Auron with a Full Break. Auron growled seemingly unfazed by the attack. He used his strength and knocked Kyra and me back, but Cyan was right behind Kyra and used the opportunity to attack. Auron and Cyan traded blows for a bit while Kyra and I got back up. Auron knocked Cyan off guard and used a Shooting Star attack to knock her back. She flew though the air and straight into the cloisters wall. I rushed back in, using my speed to deal damage while the mages began another barrage of spells. Auron was forced to defend again as the combined assault began to wear him down.

    However, Auron didn’t seem to give in. He suddenly swung his sword in another 360° arc, again knocking the warriors onto their backs. He held his sword low, parallel to the ground. Loose dirt and debris began to circle the guardian, as though wind was circling him.

    What the hell is he….. OH DAMN!!’ as I got up. He was going to use his Tornado attack. That attack would most likely injure if not kill all of us. I looked back, trying to find Cyan. She was too far back to help, not to mention taking this attack would most likely kill her. I turned back to see that the wind was gathering strength. I stepped in front of the group, shifting my stance to a defensive one.

    “You want me!?!?! COME ON!!!!!!” I shouted, effectively turning me into the target. Auron swung his sword around, sending the now developed tornado at me.

    “Joseph! What the hell are you doing?!?!” Kyra screamed, as the tornado approached me.

    “EVERYBODY DOWN!!!!” I managed to shout before being swept into the vortex. I hoped that no one else was caught in this vortex. Debris flew all around me, cutting and stabbing at me. I kept in a defense position just as the entire vortex suddenly became fire. All I could remember was the fire burning me and hearing my own screams. The next thing I could remember was hitting the ground, as the vortex died out. I was covered in cuts and burns. My jacket was burn off and shirt had large rips in it. I could hear someone clashing with Auron as another came to check on me.

    “Sorry. That was the best I could do. The rest is up to you guys,” I whispered to Kyra.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Valvaris

    "Damn, this is tough...", Val thought to himself, "Auron is one tough fighter, and after being powered up by that freakish unsent girl, the going gets tougher.", Val knew that the revival to perfect condition of Auron was done by that unsent.

    While thinking, Val side steps, avoiding arrows that may have been deflected by Auron, or the combustion of spells, while trying to backstab Auron with his spells. He fired multiple spells one after another, only to be deflected by Auron. A few of his spells got through, but it does not harm Auron as much as he had expected.

    "Gonna run out of energy if I keep on firing like this.", he thought.

    Val stopped moving, and picked a place to stabilize his feet. Streams of energy floats around him, a large yellow magic circle appears in front of him. He raises both of his guns and points them at the magic circle.

    "Charge Cast: Raihou!"

    A large, yellow cannon-ball like energy fires from the magic circle. As it comes to contact with Auron, it seeps into Auron's body, and a large, yellow magic circle appears beneath his legs. Auron, immediately, stiffens and shivers, as electric currents overtook his body and right after, a large thunderbolt fires itself from Val's magic circle at Auron. The spell ends, and Auron lies there black.

    More pyreflies appear around him and dissipates into nothingness.

    "It's not over yet.", thought Val.

    Everyone looked left and right, and unknown to Val, the pyreflies are gathering behind him.

    "Behind you!", screamed Kyra.

    But it was too late, Auron swung his sword and Val was projected forward, and slams into the ground. He charges, and Cyan engaged with him to divert his attention. Val slowly stood up and lean against the wall behind him.

    "This is neverending.", he said.

    There was no reply. Val knew that his teammates heard him, but he knew that they did not know what to do either. Similarly, Val is also, out of ideas.

    "How's your wound?", Kyra moved closer to Val.
    "I'm fine, tend to Joseph.", I took out a bottle of potion from my pocket and drank it. I felt the bleeding on my back stopped, and the wound closed up.

    "This body won't last long if I keep on sustaining injuries."

    Val knows someone is thinking of a method to end this, but it's not gonna come now. He'd better just play safe and stall time, if he could last till Auron's down, then everything would be better.

    He took out another bottle, this time a bottle of ether.

    "As uncommon as this may be, I'm depending on you now, Ethers."

    Val steps away and further from Auron, blasting spells at him again. He keeps his distance, and pays attention to the surronding. If he could reduce the chances of his teammates getting injured, the higher the chances for their vicory.
    *** To Be Continued ***

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    Nikki looked around her this was not good Kane was unconscious; the idiot had tried to take on Auron on his own, and in returned got knocked back by the girl. Joseph had took on Auron’s tornado attack and was now unconscious as well with Kyra attending to his wounds, Nikki turned to see Val being backed into a corner by Auron, this was her chance his back was turned she ran towards him firing arrows at him but they hit a blue barrier, the little girl had cast a protect spell around him. ****” thought Nikki This is impossible with her protecting him as well”. Then the little girl appeared between Auron and Val.

    “Stop” said the girl simply and before Auron could attack, the moogle floated before her and exploded sending Auron flying backwards and Val into the wall, a mage ran over to Val to see if he was alright but he wasn’t moving. Auron meanwhile got off from the ground and could see him now targeting her, Nikki raised her bow, the arrowed turned to flames as she fired.

    “Fire arrow” said Nikki as she released her attack but Auron easily dodged it.

    “I said stop!” said the girl now distressed, it seemed the girl had lost control. But how? Wasn’t she the one controlling him? Wasn’t it the girl that was in charge of all these occurrences? But then Nikki noticed something an insignia had appeared on Auron’s upper arm, it looked like a brand or something, it was black and of unusual design. As Auron charged with his sword drawn Nikki fired again but her aim as now getting more clumsy due to the fatigue, she raised her bow up to protect herself but Auron cut right through.

    “****” said Nikki as the bow splintered right in front of her eyes.

    “Leave them alone I want to play with them”

    “Sir Auron please stop” she heard Yuna plead. Nikki rolled out the way as Auron brought down his sword. Nikki heard a clash of swords after rolling and looked to see Paine’s sword pressed against Auron’s, but Nikki could see that Paine was slipping, Nikki knew that they were going to lose, there was no way that they could win, they were much to weak after the previous battle and now Nikki was defenceless, Paine was thrown back like a puppet, Yuna started to shoot at him but he seemed to easily block any bullet that came at him. Kane was nearby Nikki on the ground unconscious, she saw his weapon the Gunblade and took it.

    “Nikki what are you doing? You don’t even know how to use that thing?!” exclaimed Kyra.

    “I have to try!” exclaimed Nikki but as she picked it up she found it heavier than expected but still she charged at Auron her heart beating her chest, she cried out in a rage but Auron easily blocked her attack and knocked the weapon out of her hands. Nikki paled as she heard the weapon clang on the ground, Auron striked her left upper arm, it tore through her clothes and skin and this immense pain came to Nikki as she cried out holding her arm, feeling the blood come through her fingers she looked up see Auron about to strike again when the unsent girl cried out.

    “No I said stop BAD TOY!” Before Nikki knew it there was bright light she felt herself being lifted off the ground and she fell back onto the floor on her backside, she looked up to find the whole group were in the Bevelle temple again, she felt herself being tackle hugged by the twins who exclaimed.

    “Yay Nikki you’re alright. We thought you were a gonna.”

    “Get. Off. Me. Now.” Said Nikki The twins giggled and then went around to hug others who had survived. Nikki shook her head and slightly smiled. She then sucked in air at the pain through her teeth as she felt someone rap her up in a make shift bandage. She turned to see it was Kyra, who seemed to have tears in her eyes. But she quickly wiped them away when she saw Nikki looking at her. Could she possibly been worried about me?” thought Nikki.

    “I’m fine” said Kyra, “I just... I just couldn’t bare it if I lost you too today. Not you, we’ve already lost Sakura today.” Began Kyra Nikki looked up at her, it had been a long time since anyone had actually cared for her, or made to feel that someone cared.

    “Look I’m alive, you don’t need to worry.” Kyra nodded at her and smiled she then tied off the bandage and went to attend to the others, Nikki her sound of footsteps and looked up to see Mayu flopped down beside her on the floor, she raised an eyebrow at her, but still it was good to see she was up and about.

    “And what, Nikki was the hell was that?”

    “What was what?” Nikki asked

    “A pretty girl comes up to you and heals you, shared some of her feelings and you go in response “I’m alive.”” Said Mayu. Nikki just looked at her.

    What the hell is that girl thinking?” thought Nikki Mayu just sighed, shook her head and smiled. Mishka came over hearing the conversation and gave a grin.

    “I think one day she will know what you are talking about, but it’s not today.”

    Hold on what is Mishka talking about? Mental note Mishka is wierd too.”

    “Anyway I do believe we should find some beds for our comrades, I don’t want to go back in their til we’ve healed.” Nikki stood up.

    “Yeah but what I want to know is who teleported us out?”

    “I think it was the girl.” Said Cyan coming over to the group. “I heard her saying she wanted Auron to stop.” Nikki nodded as she saw the group stand up, she saw Kyra help carry Joseph and it kind of bothered her. She didn’t know why though Nikki went over the unconscious Val tried to pick him up but found she couldn’t because of her arm.

    “Don’t even try it, we want your wound to get better not worse.” Stated Mishka. She then took Val and walked with the others to the beds in the temple.

  14. #14
    Kyra

    What the heck was that? Could this be true?
    Kyra couldn’t get her mind off the voice she heard in the Via Infinito. There was something about it that seemed familiar, but she couldn’t put her finger on it.

    I can’t be thinking about this right now. We’re all safe for the most part. Damn all this violence. Why did Sakura have to die? If it weren’t for her I wouldn’t be here with everyone. Four other people could have died. Nikki, Joseph, Val, and Kane. Is it really worth going back?

    Kyra put Joseph into one of the beds in the temple. She started to wonder if she should just fall asleep or just tend to everyone else to make sure they’re all okay. She saw Mishka make her way over to where Kyra was standing.

    “You should get some rest too.”

    “Is everyone okay? What about Kane? Or Val? Or...”

    “Don’t worry about them. The nurses will tend to their wounds. You need to get some rest.”

    “What about you...?”

    “What about me?"

    Kyra looked around at everyone. All of their faces were sad, their bodies full of pain. “How do you deal with all of the death and dying? Everyone’s in so much pain. Is there a way to make everyone happy again?” She asked.

    Mishka looked at her with soft eyes. “Kyra, the best way is to keep your own spirits up. Once they realize your confidence and light heartedness, everyone will have the same confidence to keep moving on.”

    Kyra looked over to where Joseph was lying, and then over to Nikki, then she looked to the ground. A lump started to form in her throat, but she managed to keep her composure. “Thanks Mishka, but everything is happening so fast.” She looked up at Mishka and said “I don’t want any more people to die. I won’t have it.” Tears started to form in her eyes.

    “I know.” Mishka responded with a soft voice. “Keep your chin up. Support those who mean the most to you.”

    Kyra looked up at Mishka and smiled, then back down to the ground. “Thanks again Mishka.”

    Mishka walked over to the Fangtastic! group then walked with them out of the temple.

    Kyra couldn’t help but let the tears fall from her eyes. She didn’t know what to do. All of these feelings started to arise; sleep wasn’t going to make them go away. Kyra looked up at the temple exit and counted in her head how many steps it would take to get there. She contemplated on staying or leaving.

    Maybe a walk will help sort things out... Next thing she knew she was walking toward the exit. She kept walking toward the exit of Bevelle. To the calm lands...I need to learn to protect everyone. I won’t let anyone else die. Not anymore...

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Joseph

    Slowly, the dark comfort of unconscious began to lighten as I began to wake up. Instead of seeing the dark cavern walls of the Via Infinito, I saw the walls of a temple. It confused me quite a bit so I decided to get up and look around. My body felt very stiff as I tried to get up from the bed. Looking at my body, I saw my arms and most of my torso were wrapped in bandages. The thoughts of my last fight suddenly flooded my mind and I looked around. Kane was occupying one of the beds, the others were nowhere in sight. I was trying to sit up just when a nurse walked in.

    “Hey. Take it easy. You’re lucky to have survived with all those burns and cuts,” she said, quickly getting to my bedside and helping me sit up.

    “How long was I out for?” I asked, slowly rising my hand to wipe the sweat from my forehead.

    “Around an hour or so,” she replied, handing me a glass of water. I was surprised that so little time has passed.

    “Only? How did we get here anyways?” I asked.

    “I’m not sure. You lot just suddenly appeared in the temple. Now I need to attend to others, please just rest and recover,” the nurse said, walking out to attend to others. Ignoring her advice, I slowly got up and out of bed. Looking at the chair next to my bed, I found my sword, item pouch and what’s left of my shirt. I grabbed my sword and pouch, leaving the shirt and headed out. Though my burns and cuts were wrapped and tended to, it still caused me some pain when I walked. I walked out of the temple and bumped into Val and Nikki who were also just walking out.

    “Joseph! What the **** are you doing out of bed already?” Nikki asked, a little stunned that I was already on my feet.

    “I don’t like laying around in a bed except for sleep. Anyways what the hell happened down there anyways? I didn’t think we’d be back up so soon,” I asked. Val and Nikki gave me a simple rundown of what happened after I took the Tornado attack.

    “And that’s basically what happened. I don’t know what the unsent girl is doing but it cannot be good. Anyways, what do we do now?” Val asked, as we headed towards the market.

    “We need time to rest and get organized I think. I don’t think we’ll be going in again anytime soon,” I said.

    “That’s a good idea. I need a new bow anyways. Damn Auron and his damn sword. I’ll ****ing stick an arrow up his ass the next time we fight,” Nikki muttered. I smirked a bit before heading off in my own direction. I bought a new shirt and jacket from the market, keeping the jacket open because it felt like I couldn’t breathe with it zipped up. Just as I exited the market, someone called me by name. I turned to find Mishka walking towards me with her group.

    “You should be in bed at the temple you know,” she said, stopping in front of me.

    “I hate laying around doing nothing. How are the rest of survivors anyways?” I asked.

    “They’re fine. I should thank you by the way. If you hadn’t taken Auron’s attack, I doubt anyone would’ve made it back to the surface,”

    “Don’t worry about it. Though next time, I’ll be sure not to take an overdrive attack without proper armor,” I joked a bit. She snickered a bit before becoming serious again.

    “I probably shouldn’t tell anyone this but I think that you’re trustworthy. But you should go talk to Kyra,” Mishka said. I looked at her with a puzzled expression.

    “Kyra? Well I haven’t seen her around. Did something happen when I was out?” I asked, concern evident in my voice.

    “I think that she needs someone to talk to. Go find her,” Mishka said, turning around and walking away. I was a bit confused but decided to do what she asked me to do. I walked back to the market to find Nikki carrying a new bow. I told her what Mishka asked me to do.

    “Why the hell should I come along anyways?” Nikki said. I sighed a bit.

    “Because I think we both may be the only people who could talk to her so let’s go find her,” I said. Nikki nodded and we headed to the temple. We asked people around if they had seen her anywhere. Some people said that they saw her heading to Bevelle. We headed that way but no one saw her when we got there till I asked a guard.

    “I think I saw someone that fits your description. I saw her heading to the Calm Lands,” the guard said. I thanked him and signaled Nikki to follow me as we headed to the Calm Lands.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    As Nikki watched the others take the injured to the beds she saw that Yuna fall to her knees in dismay, and heard her say.

    “Rikku...”

    “She’ll be okay” Nikki heard Paine say. Nikki wanted to say something but she didn’t know what. In Nikki’s eyes Rikku was dead. There was no way she could survive for this long with the girl down there and not come up to the surface even once. She knew Yuna was only clinging onto the fact that because they hadn’t found anything that there was hope that Rikku was still alive. But Nikki doubted it. Nikki walked away, she needed to focus on getting herself healed and find herself a clean pair of clothes, since the attack ripped through her jacket and was now bloody it would be now use to her now. So she began to walk home.

    It didn’t take her long to get home as it was only ten minutes away, as she went in, she went over to the cupboard her kitchen and grabbed the hi potion, she then sat herself down on the stool, took off her green and brown jacket and put it on the stool next to her. She unravelled the make shift bandage on her arm, the cut had stopped bleeding now which was good. She then began to rub in the potion in her cut. She hissed as she did so, the potion made the cut sting. But she still kept at it until it looked like the cut wasn’t even there anymore. She picked up her jacked at popped it in the washing basket in the kitchen and went to her room to get changed.

    When she came out of her room she was wearing a strapless green top, long green gloves, a black and white striped skirt and white boots. The small brown that bag that she used to wear on her hip, she kept as it was useful for carrying items. The brown case that she uses to carry the arrows she still has strapped to her back. She walked out of her room and headed back up to the temple.

    When she got to temple she was surprised to see Val up and walking about.

    “And what the hell are you doing up!?” Said Nikki storming up to him, Val widened his eyes at Nikki when he saw her, noticing that she had changed her outfit.

    “Uhhh... You changed?”

    “Don’t avoid the question, what are you are doing up?”

    “I feel better” He said simply Nikki just raised an eyebrow at him but right at that moment Nikki also saw Joseph walk up to them.

    “Joseph what the **** are you doing out of bed already?!” she exclaimed at him, if she had to she would knock both of them out again.

    “I don’t like laying around in a bed except for sleep. Anyways what the hell happened down there anyways? I didn’t think we’d be back up so soon,” Nikki sighed as Val exclaimed what he remembered but of course he got knocked out too so he didn’t really know what had happened after he got knocked out so Nikki stepped in to finish the story.

    “We were teleported out to the surface, we think it was the unsent that teleported us.” Val then stepped in with.

    “And that’s basically what happened. I don’t know what the unsent girl is doing but it cannot be good. Anyways, what do we do now?”

    Men,” thought Nikki They always want the last word, he was knocked out for Yevon’s sake.” They began then to walk back to market.

    We need time to rest and get organized I think. I don’t think we’ll be going in again anytime soon,” replied Joseph to his question. Nikki then remembered she needed a new bow.

    “That’s a good idea. I need a new bow anyways. Damn Auron and his damn sword. I’ll ****ing stick an arrow up his ass the next time we fight,” Her bow in the Via Infinito had shattered, and she rather fond of that bow it was like losing an old friend. Nikki then walked through the market, there was a specific shop she wanted to go to. She looked at the stalls as she glanced by, the market was busy and bustling with people. Why are people always in my way?” thought Nikki. Nikki then noticed the twins about to buy some potions from a stall, from a guy in a ponytail. Nikki walked up to them.

    “So all in all that’s 2000 gil!” Nikki heard the man say.

    “2000 gil!” exclaimed the twins.

    “You don’t want to buy from here.” Said Nikki, the twins turned and greeted Nikki with a smile.

    “But Nikki this is the only stall that does items.”

    “I know another...” suddenly she was interrupted by the man.

    “HEY! What are you doing driving my customers away!” Nikki then looked at the man this time. He was a large man blue eyes, rounded face black long hair in a pony tail, he wasn’t wearing a shirt but he was wearing black trousers.

    “You’re charging 2000 gil for two hi-potions.”

    “Yeah so, that’s what everyone charges lady!” Nikki popped the cork of one and invited the twins to look inside.

    “See how runny it is? That means it’s been watered down, it would hardly work. People don’t come to complain though because you scare them.” Nikki looked up directing that last part at him, narrowing her eyes at him.

    “So we were going to get scammed?!” Nikki nodded looking at the twins turning her back towards the saleman.

    “I know another store, come on lets go there.”

    “YOU *****!” she heard the salesman say but before she could do anything the twins were glowing a purple aura. Nikki turned just to see the man been thrown back by a spell straight into his stock. Nikki turned to the twins who were just jumping up and down and smiling at her cheekily.

    “Okay you two can have that, thank you.” Nikki then lead the way to the shop she always visited.

    “Did you hear that?”

    “I think I did”

    “Nikki said”

    “Thank you”

    “OKAY you two can shut up now!” said Nikki, Nikki was thankful that they had arrived she lead the way inside.

    Inside was a small little shop, the floor and walls had wooden planks on them, which were covered in a dark varnish. There was little light in the shop but still there was enough to see what you were looking at. Behind the front desk was an old man with small brown eyes and a long pointed grey beard, he was wearing a dark blue robe and black sandals. Another customer was also talking to the man Nikki could only see the back of his spikey brown haired head, but he was wearing the Bevelle guard uniform.

    “... wondering if you could fix this?” she heard him say.

    “This is the fifth time this week boy!” The old man then looked up to see Nikki walk up. “Now here’s a customer that looks after her weapon.” Nikki saw a broken sword on the table looked and looked to her left to see the customer who had turned to look at her, he had green eyes a narrow face and he gave her a cheeky grin, which she just ignored and turned to the old man.

    “I need a new bow and the twins need some items.” She said motioning to the twins who were jumping up and down and twirling around trying to take everything in. The old man sighed.

    “You young uns these days... Well you know where the bows are so you are free to look at them. I’ll just get the box of items for you two.” Said the man. Nikki then nodded she rounded the corner to look at the bows hung up on the wall. Now with Nikki it takes her a very long time to choose a weapon, she has to test the weight and see how strong it is. While she was doing this she heard a voice say.

    “You sure you know how to use that, a pretty thing like you?” Nikki answered by testing one of her arrows on it and firing at a target set up, with a ping she let go of the arrow and got a bullseye. But she wasn’t satisfied it was too heavy. She carefully put it back on the wall. All the bows so far have either been too weak, too heavy or they didn’t fit with her current arrows. The old man walked by and looked up when Nikki asked.

    “Do you have anything else?” The old man smiled.

    “I think I may have something” The old man then disappeared into the backroom, Nikki walked round to the desk, the male customer was still looking at her, but she ignored him.

    A minute later the old man came back with a handmade bow, as he laid it down for Nikki to examine, she noticed the unusual swirly design engraved into it, it had been painted with a thin line of gold down one side while the rest had been varnished and polished, Nikki trace her hand along it and picked it up. “Not too heavy” mumbled Nikki.

    “Yes it has been made with the finest materials that Spira has to offer, also it has critical protect on it.” Nikki was surprised to hear that, a bow like this was rare to find. She walked up to the target and fired at it with a ping it was successful again. Nikki smiled to herself.

    “I’ll take it” as she paid the old man she noticed that twins must have left ages ago, so she was about to leave when the Bevelle Guard blocked her way. He grinned at her as he leaned against the door frame.

    “Hello sweet cheeks”

    What the ****?” thought Nikki. Is this still the guy who was here, I thought someone was watching me...” she thought.

    “Let her go boy, for your own safety” said the old man, after all he knew what Nikki was like with any man.

    “Out of my way.” Said Nikki.

    “Okay but first a question...” Nikki interrupted him.

    “I don’t have time.” She simply said, she knew he was doing this because she hadn’t even given him the time of day, she didn’t have the time or the patience for any man, so why would she start now. She carefully put her bow down and grabbed his arm and flung him over her shoulder. The man groaned as Nikki picked up her bow and headed out she heard the old man say.

    “I told you so boy, but you didn’t listen.”

    When she got outside she bumped into Joseph who told her that Kyra was missing, and that they should look for her. Oh joy...” thought Nikki. “Why the hell should I come along anyways?”

    “Because I think we both may be the only people who could talk to her so let’s go find her,”

    The girl probably needed some time alone, and probably doesn’t want us going after her” thought Nikki. Joseph got them lost and it was only when Nikki insisted they ask someone where Kyra was that he asked a guard who pointed to the Calm Lands. As they walked Nikki said. “Joseph you do realise there a very big chance that she will not want to go back in.”

    “She’ll go in. I believe in her.”

    “What, you’re going to hit her like you hit Barailai if she doesn’t go in?”

    “What the **** Nikki?! Baralai was stopping all of us from going in!”

    Actually technically it was Nooj aswell” thought Nikki but she didn’t need to go into that. “Don’t you get it yet what people were afraid of happening did happen half the team are DEAD! Including Sakura, probably Kyra’s closest friends died in there. And you want her to go back in! For ****s sake she doesn’t even know hardly who Rikku is. Rikku is likely to already be dead!”

    “What so you’re saying that we abandon the search, just like that!”

    “No I’m saying if Kyra decides to stay up on the surface then we respect her decision. I don’t want you going into hero mode and giving this great speech on how we should band together to save Rikku. Besides if she does decide to stay up here I wont stop her, she’ll be safer here.”

    The two then found that while they were arguing they had taken a wrong turn and had gotten lost in the woods.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Kyra

    Kyra left Bevelle and proceeded into Macalania Woods. The Woods were still dark and slowly withering. It reminded her of inside of the Via Infinito. Not the place she really wanted to be at that time, so she killed the fiends in her path and carried on into the Calm Lands. Once she arrived a smile appeared on her face. This place never changes. She let out a sigh of relief. It made her feel happy that there was at least one place where she could always return to and it would never change.

    She seated herself at the edge of the cliff and admired the view. She let the breeze flow through her hair. She watched the birds fly through the sky chasing each other in a playful manner. These were the types of things she would watch while at the Orphanage as a child. It was one of the only things that could calm her emotions. She was beginning to miss home and how things were then. She was forced to assume a new life in a world she had never been in before.

    Then new thoughts came into her head. She thought of what it would be like if she returned. What if Squall actually saved the world? All of the publicity... It kind of made her sick. Sure the world needed saving, but it would still be the same as before if Squall had just stayed in bed and stopped sticking his nose in places it didn’t belong. He had obviously forgotten about Ellone. Those Guardian Forces took up parts of your memory. But Ellone had a problem. She couldn’t live with the fact that that stupid kid had forgotten about his own father. She wouldn’t stop talking about it. Her plan to get him to see that he wasn’t alone in the world. Her emotions began to rise again. She had just realized something. What did she have to go back to? The ‘amazing’ Squall who saved the world? Would the White SeeDs be disbanded? Ellone wouldn’t have a need for them anymore. She would just go and live with Laguna. Where does that leave me? I don’t have much of anything to go back to now do I...?

    Something tapped her back and made her jump. She drew her sword and assumed the position of attack. She looked at her target and noticed it was a Chocobo.

    “Kweh?” It said softly.

    ”Oh you, I should have known. I missed you.” She smiled. It was the chocobo she always used to travel the vast Calm Lands. She jumped on and travelled to the Shop. New armour was what was on her mind. She also stocked up on potions and the odd Phoenix Down just in case. She decided to make her way over to the old beastry just to see what had happened to it. She knew that after she left it the old man fell ill and couldn’t take care of it.

    Is it worth going back? She thought

    She decided against it. Some things are better left unknown. She headed back up into the Macalania Woods. She tried to take the chocobo with her, but he cowered away.

    “I don’t blame you. I’m not fond of this place either.” She let the chocobo go, and walked back into the woods.

    As she walked in she heard voices. One was loud, and the other trying to reason with the loud one, but was rather unsuccessful. That could only be two people: Nikki and Joseph.

    Could they be looking for me? Could Nikki possibly be worried about me? How would they know where I am? They aren’t even going the right way. Should I follow or go back to Bevelle?

    The answer was simple in her mind. If she went back those two would be lost forever. She decided to follow close enough to hear the conversation, but not too close as to warrant an arrow between the eyes.

    “What so you’re saying that we abandon the search, just like that!” Joseph said in a worried voice.

    “No I’m saying if Kyra decides to stay up on the surface then we respect her decision. I don’t want you going into hero mode and giving this great speech on how we should band together to save Rikku. Besides if she does decide to stay up here I won’t stop her, she’ll be safer here.”

    Wait a sec, why would I want to stay on the surface? I wouldn’t be able to protect anything from up there. Let alone watch over everyone. Heaven knows they might need me in there... Which means Nikki IS worried...

    Kyra got carried away with her thoughts and stopped listening to the two bicker back and forth. She lost track of her footing and stepped on a fallen branch. Both turned around weapons at the ready. Kyra put her arms up and said, “...Hey guys”

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    Kane awoke to find himself lying on a bed in the temple, full of aches and pains. He knew he should probably rest a while longer, but he wanted to get up and look around. Looking around the room, he suddenly found he was no longer wearing his armour. Instead he was in a jacket and trousers, like some of the other men around Bevelle he had seen were wearing. "at least it is comfortable" he thought.

    Then as he looked around the room, he saw the Lady Yuna on her knees near to Paine. He wondered why she was so upset...then remembered why he was unconscious in the first place...."Auron." he said out loud. Realising he had attracted the attention of Lady Yuna and Paine, as well as everyone else who was conscious. Then looking right at Yuna and Paine he said "The next time we fight Auron, I promise: I WILL be ready for him, and if need me, kill him!" At that, he turned around, put his armour on, held his helmet underneath his arm, and walked out of the temple, on a search for a certain shop.

    After exiting the temple, he took a deep breath, and although it hurt him to breathe, it seemed to relax him enough to take on the non-combative environment around him. Putting on his helmet, so his identity was again hidden from view, he walked into the first shop he saw.

    The shopkeeper smiled as he saw enter, remove his helmet and put it on the counter, "You know, you should think about not wearing your helmet as much,", Kane just shrugged his shoulders. Laughing, the shopkeeper walked from behind the counter, and shaking his head, said "You are still the same, even after you have grown up."

    "It's good to see you again Adrian. How long as it been now?" Thinking a bit, Adrian replied, "about 6yrs since you left Bevelle for Mt Gagazet for training. Do the team you are with know about you yet?" Kane shook his head, "No. And at this moment in time i do not intend for them to find out."

    Adrian sighed as though disappointed, "You and your so-called "hard-man" routine. It won't bring you friends, or bring back Yvette." Kane's fists clenched as he heard his mothers name. "Who needs friends when they will just turn on you at a moments notice? I am only in this team because I haven't got a choice! As for mother, it was her so-called friends and husband who got her killed in the first place." Kane said furiously.

    "Calm down Gideon. Save your anger for the fiends. As for Yvette, there was nothing anyone could do to save her from the Via Infinito. Something you were never told, Kane. Vyron, your father as well as Jin, Koith, and Wyeth all died a month ago trying to go back to save your mother in Via Infinito. It was their 5th try that year, and the 40th try since you left. So you see, the ones you termed as "so-called friends" really did care about Yvette." Adrian explained. Kane felt his body go weak as his heard the news, and stumbled into the counter. "What? I....I...I never knew." Taking Kane by the arm, Adrian carefully helped him to his feet, and into a nearby chair. "But one thing they told me before they left a month ago. They hold no ill feelings towards you. They knew one day, you would come back from your intensive training at Mt Gagazet, when they were no more, you would take your revenge on whatever took the lives of your mother, father, Jin, Koith, and Wyeth........ It was as though they knew that they were not going to come back from that last journey into Via Infinito." Adrian's voice trailed off as he reflected on what happened in the past.

    Then, coming back to the present he asked "But what I want to know, Gideon, is why you took the on the name of "Kane". There is no one I know past or present around here in Bevelle who was called Kane."

    Regaining his composure, his look becoming sterner, and more determined, Kane answered "Kane was a powerful Ronso warrior, who was killed by the so-called Maester Seymour. I came upon him too late. That Maester had already left, taking the lives of all 50 Ronso who had tried to stop him from following the Lady Yuna. Just before he died, I vowed to Kane that I would get my revenge for him. At that point, Gideon the lame fighter died, and Kane was born. No longer will I back down from a fight."

    "Even if it means you getting critically injured? I know what injuries you got from that last fight. Who do you think paid for all the healing done for you, and your team? It wasn't just the temple. I told your father and mother before that fateful day, that should anything happen to them, I would look after you like a son. So don't go killing yourself, because you think no one would care if you died. I would be upset, and so would the Lady Yuna, and I expect, your team too. Every single one of them." Replied Adrian.

    Then, going into the backroom of the shop, he came back with several items that Kane hadn't seen for nearly a decade. "Your father wanted you to have these, and I reckon that now is the best time for you to use them. Take them." Adrian said.

    On the counter there was a longer version of his short sword, a ranged weapon, that can only be described as a longbow, a shield. Picking each of these items up, Kane found that each item slotted into his armour perfectly, making them hidden from view, until the need arose. "Now," explained Adrian, "each of these items have an enchantment on them. The shield has auto shell and protect, which activates when you use it. The sword if I remember rightly, has blindstrike, or whatever Vryon called it. And finally the bow.....Now what was it's ability....I can't remember. You will have to use it to find out. But I promise you it is a very good one."

    "Adrian....these were my father's weapons? I...don't know what to say." Kane said. "Just promise me, that the first moment you get, you will tell your team who you are, what your story is, and DON'T get killed." He asked.

    Smiling, Kane nodded, and after giving Adrian a hug of appreciation, took his helmet off the counter, and putting it under his arm, walked back to the temple to wait for the others to return, his heart feeling lighter, knowing that his father didn't die in vain.

  15. #15
    Valvaris

    “And that’s basically what happened. I don’t know what the unsent girl is doing but it cannot be good. Anyways, what do we do now?”


    Nikki and Joseph began to walk back to market.

    "Guess I'll just do my own things, then.", Val thought.

    He walked behind the two into the market, and then made a left turn at one of the junctions past a stall. Val intends to upgrade his pair of Machina Magic-Powered Guns, the Vibrant Vische. However, Bevelle is not a place for Machina. They cannot be sold out in the open, but for those who dwells upon the beauty of the machines, they have a way to seek good Machina-s for themselves.

    Hidden in one of the alley blocks is a Machina-shop, functioning as a place to upgrade, modify, maintain, repair and create new Machinas. Upon travelling through his younger lives, he found a sphere which talks about this hidden shop, which one could only enter when he knocks on the wall in a specific pattern, and speaks the password: "A Hidden Bevelle".

    Shopkeepers from the inside will open up the secret door to the wall that allows him to enter or exit. The door will immediately close right after.

    Val entered the hidden shop, and is greeted by a warm and gentle woman, presumably the wife of the shopkeeper.

    "Welcome!! What do you need, dear customer?"
    "I need to upgrade and modify my guns, Machina MP Guns."

    The man at the counter who was reading a book looked up, "How do you wanna upgrade it?"

    I plan to do my own upgrading. I just came here to buy some materials and borrow the workroom. I could pay."

    The couple looked at Val, "You can upgrade them yourselves?", the man asked.
    "Yes.. and rather good at it."
    "If you allow us to look at you working on it, we'll let you us the workroom for free."
    "Deal."

    Val chose a few materials and proceeded into the workroom guided by the couple. He work on his guns, dismantling them and adding in materials in the process, before assembling them together again. Val does it with such speed, accuracy and prowess that the couple stared in admiration.

    "For someone so young to have such great ability in dealing with the Machinas, you are a talented young man."
    "I've just been through a lot to learn these skills."

    After an hour or more, Val complete his upgrade. The new pair of Vibrant Vische has a dark green outlook with red amoeba-like designs on it.

    "You've seem to make the pair of guns more functional and effective in combat."
    "Yes, I've decreased the cooldown time needed for the guns between fires, allowing faster firing. It could also sustain higher levels of my spells, as I think I would need to use them very often from today onwards."
    "Hmmm, I don't know what you face or what you do. But I've learnt a lot from what you have done today. I thank you for allowing me to observe, and perhaps just the workroom is not enough. I would like to give you this."

    The man handed a capsule-like item to Val.

    "This is a Metal-Gear Barrier. Just press the button on the capsule and throw it wherever, the capsule will enact a metal barrier to protect you from almost anything. Pressing the button on the protected side of the barrier will return it into capsule form. It could be reused anytime, until, well, it malfunctions."

    "Thank you very much."

    Val exited the shop. He walked over to the Macalania woods in order to test his new pairs of guns.

    "Hmm.. I've walked too far away.", Val thought.

    Just as he was about to walk back to Bevelle, he heard bickerings between two people, from another path of the forest.

    "Definitely sounds like Nikki and Joseph."

    As he walked towards that area, he saw Kyra, who then stepped on a fallen branch, causing the two noisy ones to turn around, with their weapons ready.

    "...Hey guys", Kyra said with her hands up.
    "You guys are so noisy I could hear you from another path..."
    "Why on earth are you doing here?"
    "Testing my new upgraded guns.", Val said as he pulled out his new Vibrant Vische.

    "Looks cool."
    "Thanks. So... you guys done? I'm heading back to Bevelle now... how bout you?"


    ***To Be Continued***

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Joseph

    Why does it seem that everything has gone wrong today?’ I thought, as Val suddenly appeared. Though it was partially our fault for being loud.

    “Yeah. Now that we’ve found Kyra, we should probably head back,” I said.

    “Why were you looking for me anyways?” Kyra asked. I decided to tell the truth.

    “Mishka asked me to talk to you. She said something about needing to talk to someone,” I said. Kyra looked at me for a moment, trying to decide if she wanted to talk. However, she looked a bit uncomfortable, as if it was a personal issue.

    “If you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine. I guess I was just more worried than I should’ve been,” I said, turning to head back to Bevelle.

    “Why…” Kyra began, causing me to stop and turn. “Why did they need to die? Is it really worth going back into that dungeon?” Kyra said, as tears began to roll down her face.

    “Almost everyone thinks Rikku is dead anyways. Why do we go back in anyways? What did Sakura sacrifice herself for?!? WHAT DID THEY DIE FOR?!?!” she screamed, before dissolving back into tears. I walked to Kyra and hugged her, feeling her pain and her self-loathing.

    “I’m not sure of your reasons but I do know mines. I feel that I owe Rikku and so this is my way of repaying her,” I said softly.

    “You never met her in person. Why the hell do you owe her?” Nikki asked angrily. I turned to her with a dark look on my face.

    “Don’t you? May I remind you what she did? She helped save Spira twice already! I feel that we all owe her for that! I feel that I could save her, even if the odds are slim. This is my way for doing just that!” I sneered.

    “So what? You’re just going back to that ****ing deathtrap and try to find her?!? You’re just gonna kill yourself! Do you not treasure your own damn life?!?!?” Nikki yelled. I got really fed up with her.

    “I DO TREAURE MY DAMN LIFE!!!! I’VE TREASURED IT SINCE MY PARENTS AND BROTHER DIED!!!! YOU WERE ALIVE WHEN SIN WAS AROUND!!! YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT LIVING WHEN MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY WERE DYING!!!!! DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT WAS LIKE WHEN I SAW MY PARENTS PERISHED DUE TO SIN???? AND AGAIN WHEN MY BROTHER PERISHED IN THE SAME PLACE WHERE THEY FELL?!?!?! I ALMOST WANTED TO KILL MYSELF JUST TO JOIN THEM!!! I FELT THAT LIFE WAS NOT WORTH LIVING WITH THAT MUCH ANGUISH!!!! BUT I THOUGH THAT IF I DID DO THAT, I WAS WASTING THE CHANCE THAT THEY GAVE ME!!!!! MY PARENTS WOULD NEVER FORGIVE ME IF I TOOK MY LIFE WITHOUT LIVING IT!!!!!! AND NOW ONE FACTOR OF WHY I AM ALIVE NOW IS IN DANGER!!!! THAT IS WHY I MUST GO DOWN THERE AGAIN!!!!” I roared. Nikki, Kyra and Valvaris were taken aback, having never seen me lose control before.

    “Call me what you want but I must do this. Even if Rikku is dead, I must know why and avenge her. I feel that as a person who lived though the period of Sin, that we owe her that much,” I said quietly.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Keema

    It didn’t take long for Keema to get to Macalania woods the light from the setting sun was peaking through the dead trees, Keema felt a sadness looking at them, to think that something so beautiful was dying, she hoped the research would succeed and that somehow this beautiful forest would survive. As she walked she noticed the crystals had lost their sparkle. Then she heard arguing in the distance.

    Humans...” thought Keema “They have no respect for where they are, none at all.” As she grew closer she began to make out what they were saying.

    “Almost everyone thinks Rikku is dead anyways. Why do we go back in anyways? What did Sakura sacrifice herself for?!? WHAT DID THEY DIE FOR?!?!” Exclaimed a distressed female voice Keema heard mumblings from a male voice seemingly trying to calm her down, and then another female voice snapped back.

    “You never met her in person. Why the hell do you owe her?”

    “Don’t you? May I remind you what she did? She helped save Spira twice already! I feel that we all owe her for that! I feel that I could save her, even if the odds are slim. This is my way for doing just that!”

    Oh my! Haven’t they still found her?” thought Keema. As she walked she could see the figures ahead of her arguing, there were four of them, two females and two males, the blonde girl with the bow replied harshly.

    “So what? You’re just going back to that ****ing deathtrap and try to find her?!? You’re just gonna kill yourself! Do you not treasure your own damn life?!?!?” Keema put her hand to her mouth not believing what she heard, such forbiddon and vulgar words were used by the girl. There really was no respect, but what happened next shocked her even more.

    "I DO TREAURE MY DAMN LIFE!!!! I’VE TREASURED IT SINCE MY PARENTS AND BROTHER DIED!!!! YOU WERE ALIVE WHEN SIN WAS AROUND!!! YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT LIVING WHEN MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY WERE DYING!!!!! DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT WAS LIKE WHEN I SAW MY PARENTS PERISHED DUE TO SIN???? AND AGAIN WHEN MY BROTHER PERISHED IN THE SAME PLACE WHERE THEY FELL?!?!?! I ALMOST WANTED TO KILL MYSELF JUST TO JOIN THEM!!! I FELT THAT LIFE WAS NOT WORTH LIVING WITH THAT MUCH ANGUISH!!!! BUT I THOUGH THAT IF I DID DO THAT, I WAS WASTING THE CHANCE THAT THEY GAVE ME!!!!! MY PARENTS WOULD NEVER FORGIVE ME IF I TOOK MY LIFE WITHOUT LIVING IT!!!!!! AND NOW ONE FACTOR OF WHY I AM ALIVE NOW IS IN DANGER!!!! THAT IS WHY I MUST GO DOWN THERE AGAIN!!!!” Shouted the man in the blue coat at the girl, Keema could sense that the woods were quivering in fear from the volume and the anger that the people had brought here. The woods had a right to die peacefully and to be respected, even though there was little energy left she could sense the woods were in pain. As she walked up the man continued to say something else. “Call me what you want but I must do this. Even if Rikku is dead, I must know why and avenge her. I feel that as a person who lived though the period of Sin, that we owe her that much,”

    “Why must you humans insist on being so loud?” asked Keema to the group as she approached them. “Do you have any idea the pain you have brought to the woods here? They are dying and therefore have a right to die peacefully, it is painful enough having to see these woods die, without coming across arguing humans who seem to have no respect to where they are.” She said looking at them all; the girl with the unusual weapon took a step forward.

    “We’re so sorry”

    “We’ll leave,” said the blonde female with the bow. Noticing the group were turning to Bevelle Keema said.

    “I am also heading to Bevelle I shall accompany you,”

    “Sure fine,” said the blonde. Keema noticed a silence among the group as they walked, she wanted to speak of Miss Rikku but decided to wait til they got out of the woods to avoid the humans from disrupting the environment again. You had to be careful with humans they had less control over their emotions.

    As soon as they got to the high bridge Keema spoke.

    “Surely you know why Miss Rikku has indeed died?” asked Keema. The group stopped walking and turned to her.

    “Well if we knew, we wouldn’t be going back in now.” Snapped the blonde girl.

    “Nikki...” said the other female looking over to her.

    “So her name is Nikki,” thought Keema. “Funny creature...” “Miss Rikku was consumed by the Via Infinito, what I don’t understand is your human’s thirst for revenge? It is hopeless to take revenge against the Via Infinito, it would just consume you too. The Via Infinito is a part of Spira and is what keeps us here, do not anger it.”

    “WHAT DO YOU MEAN DON’T ****ING ANGER IT?! IT WAS THE ONE THAT KILLED HALF MY TEAM, IT WAS THE ONE THAT KILLED SAKURA IT WAS THE ONE THAT SCARED MY TEAM SO MUCH THAT MOST OF THEM ARE AFRAID TO GO BACK, AND YOU’RE WORRIED THAT WE WILL ANGER IT?!” Said the Nikki girl in a rage.

    “You were seen as trespassers, only the Guado may enter safely. The Via Infinito was protecting itself.” Keema was glad she brought this up after they had entered Bevelle. She already could see the humans weren’t taking this well. The brunette male stepped forward.

    “Exactly who are you anyway?”

    “Oh I’m sorry” Keema bowed and then straightened. “I am Keema Guado the guardian and keeper of the Farplane, I have come to Bevelle today to investigate the Via Infinito, and you are?” As the humans introduced themselves she could see that the blonde and the man in the blue coat didn’t like her that much. Keema sighed as they continued to walk, she felt a bit uncomfortable to be with them to be honest.

    When they got to the temple Keema saw someone she recognised, well barely recognised. She hardly knew her, but any familiar face was a comfort to her. “Now what was her name...” thought Keema as she walked over to the other Guado, she then smiled remembering. “Mishka, it’s good to see you again.” Mishka looked up seeing Keema, she looked puzzled at first as if she couldn’t remember who she was, but then the Guado smiled.

    “Ah Keema it’s good to see you too, what are you doing all the way here?”

    “I need to see the Praetor, any idea where I need to go?” Mishka pointed to the corridor and directed her on where she needed to go, but before she could she noticed a group were making a fuss at the entrance of the Via Infinito.

    “Out of the way! We need to go in!” shouted Val, there was agreement among the group.

    I must hurry” thought Keema

    “You can’t it has been ordered that you all need to rest fully.” Said a guard.

    The humans are blinded by their grief, poor things.” Thought Keema she then made her voice heard to the group. “You can’t go in, the Via Infinito is under investigation, you are all trespassers there you wouldn’t last five minutes in the state you are in.” Said Keema trying to sound forceful.

    “Keema is right.” Said Mishka. “We all need to rest still, we’ll sort this out in the morning.”

    “Excuse me who died and made you ****ing leader?” asked Nikki. Keema sensed that the girl was unstable and she knew Mishka could sense it too. Grief was a powerful emotion one hard to control but the Guado did it successfully, humans however can never control it, it just blinds their decisions.

    “You disagree?”

    “Fine for ****s sake all of you bloody rest before I ****ing take you all on and shove arrows up your butt while you are not looking!” Keema then headed over to Praetor’s office and knocked.

    “Come in” she heard the Praetor’s voice say so she carefully opened the door to reveal a small office, with a desk a few wooden chairs dotted around, a computer a plant on the desk with a bookcase behind the desk. The Praetor was at the desk, Gippal was at the computer as well as the Meyvin Nooj, the Lady Yuna was drinking some tea in the corner with her friend Paine next to her. It looked like the Lady had been crying so Keema bowed her respect to her.

    “There is always hope M’lady” Hoping that her words were a comfort.

    “Ah Keema Guado what can we do for you” said the Praetor standing up Keema turned to look at the Praetor and bowed.

    “I have come for information about the Via Infinito, I wondered if there have been any odd occurrences lately, you’ve had a group go in there lately, did they experience anything unusual?”

    “Where do you want to start?” said Paine, Keema looked round they were worried.

    “Oh dear, I think you need to start at the beginning, like what took out half of your team?” Keema took a seat figuring this would be a long story. The lady Yuna put down her tea.

    “There were three King Behemoths that appeared, they all summoned meteor... And Sir Auron he appeared and started to attack us. It was hard to see an old friend do that to people.”

    “That is interesting. Anything else?”

    “An unsent girl is down there, we don’t know who she is or anything about her, but it seems she teleported everyone out.”

    “Ah ha, so now she has decided to show herself.” Said Keema calmly. The Meyvin looked at her.

    “You know about her?”

    “Yes although like you we Guado do not know much about her, but for about ten years now there have been reports from the Guado sensing a young unsent down in the Via Infinito laying dormant but gathering energy.”

    “Ten years? That’s it?!” Exclaimed Gippal. “There goes the theory she’s a thousand years old then...”

    “Well she could been down longer than that, it’s harder to sense unsent in the Via Infinito, the unsent can hide their presense there, it was only from ten years ago that we started to get reports.”

    “Then how come we didn’t see her when we went down? She claimed she saw us?” asked Paine.

    “She could have deliberately been hiding from you and watching you from afar, it’s only now she has decided to show herself now. But why?” Keema questioned generally. “Can I ask what form does she choose to take when she appears?”

    “She’s young possibly 5 - 7 year old would look like.” said Gippal.

    “Interesting, it’s possible you might have some records of her, she might not realise she is dead.”

    “Right we’ll do that” Said the Meyvin.

    Also about Sir Auron,” She turned to the Lady Yuna. “I know this is difficult for you m’lady did he have a mark anywhere on him?”

    “I think he had an insignia on his upper arm, I noticed.”

    “We think the unsent summoned him but lost control when he wouldn’t do what she said.” Said Paine, Keema shook her head.

    “This is old ancient magic, I thought it was only a myth, but it seems the Via Infinito has actually summoned its own guardian with the help of the Farplane. I don’t know why. It seems the Via Infinito is as I feared has increased its energy flow.” Yuna gasped.

    “What does this mean for Spira?” Keema gently smiled at her.

    “It is fine m’lady, this is normal activity, there is no big change it’s only slight. But it does mean that someone needs to go to floor 100 and just decrease the energy flow at the heart of the Via Infinito, just to make sure it doesn’t increase anymore. It’s like weeding a garden you have to look after both the Via Infinito and the Farplane for this world to blossom.”

    “What do you mean decrease the energy flow?” asked Paine

    “Decreasing the energy flow can be done by defeating the fiends the Pryeflies will head to the Farplane and balance off the energy flow in both. But this is important, whoever goes down must not engage in combat until the 100th level. You must show you are not here to harm the Via Infinito.”

    “Pshhh with Sir Auron down there that’s going to be difficult.”

    “I know, and I’m sorry I really truly don’t know why the Via Infinito would summon a guardian.”

    “Please... Can you tell me... Is there any chance that Rikku is alive.”

    “M’lady in all honesty I do not think so, unless the Via Infinito saw fit to keep her alive, there is no chance. The only reason that the Gullwings lived through I believe was to deal with the wondering unsent down there, who did not belong.”

    “I see...” said the Lady Yuna Keema bowed her head.

    “I am sorry” she stood up. “I feel rather tired now so I take my leave” she bowed and left the room while the others thanked her for her input.

    When she got out she noticed Mishka was waiting for her. “She must have been waiting for me” thought Keema.

    “You look tired come on we can stay at Nikki’s place and then you can head back” Keema was a bit shocked by that.

    “Oh dear the noisy foul mouthed human? I do believe she hates me. And humans are so noisy I wont be able to sleep.”

    Mishka chuckled “They aren’t that bad, besides if Nikki bothers you I can calm her like you calm fiends”

    “Hmm I suppose” said Keema as they walked. “But how do you learn to work with such creatures, all they do is seem to destroy things.”

    “Yeah but that’s where the fun lies, we can teach them how to be more calm, sure they don’t have our senses but that doesn’t mean that can’t learn to understand about nature and emotions.” Keema smiled at that.

    “Yes of course you are right, after all they are a young race still and have much to learn.” Said Keema with that they both arrived at Nikki’s house and went inside.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Joseph

    I watched as Keema walked into the temple, still fuming at what Nikki did in the forest. Just then, I saw the nurse who was tending me earlier run up to me.

    “There you are! What did I say about resting and healing?” she asked, seeming furious about me leaving all of a sudden.

    “Sorry about that. But I needed a new shirt and I already have another place to sleep anyways,” I replied. She looked at me before sighing.

    “I don’t understand you men sometimes. Come on, we need to change the bandages before you get some rest,” she said, pulling me into the temple. It took half an hour for them to apply ointment onto my burns and change my bandages.

    “Now we need to check this in the morning. Please come back at your convenience,” she said, disposing the used bandages. I got up and headed out. The group seemed to have left for rest. I walked though the market, which was the shortest path to Nikki’s house. During my walk, I passed by a music shop selling instruments. I stopped to look at a guitar. It was similar to the one I played when I was living with my uncle. I plucked the strings, listening to the sounds it produced. I turned to the shopkeeper.

    “How much for the guitar?”

    “Well it’s made from the finest wood in Spira. There’re few like it so it’ll be 4000 gil,” he said. I paid the sum and slung it on my back for the rest of the trip to Nikki’s place.

    Arriving at Nikki’s place all seemed quiet. I walked in to confirm that everyone went to bed. I shrugged and went to my room. I placed the guitar down before taking my jacket and shirt off. I slipped into bed, quickly falling asleep to allow my body to heal.

    Dream Sequence

    I was running. From what I wasn’t sure. Every time I looked back, all I could see was darkness. The fear kept me running. I ran till I tripped on something and fell to the ground. I quickly tried to get up but I couldn’t I looked at my legs to find that I had none. They disappeared like they didn’t exist. I turned around as the fear got stronger. I could hear a shuffle as something got closer. I could finally see something. A human was slowly shuffling towards me. He was hideously mutilated, most of his left arm was hanging by his side. Finally I could see the face. It was my brother Jason. He was repeating the same thing over and over.

    “You left me to die. How could you do this to your brother?”

    He got closer and closer, reaching out to me with his right hand. I couldn’t scream as he finally reached me.

    End Dream Sequence


    I bolted up, looking around wildly for any threat. When my mind finally caught up, I sighed, wiping the sweat from my forehead while taking deep breaths to calm myself.

    Why am I having that nightmare again? It’s been years since I’ve had that nightmare,’ I thought, looking around. It was still dark so I haven’t been sleeping for long. Since I couldn’t go back to sleep now, I grabbed the guitar and headed downstairs. As expected, no one was up at this time. I walked to the balcony door and slid it open. I sat down on the porch, leaning back onto a wooden beam. I began to play a song on the guitar. Even though it’s been a long time since I’ve played, I still haven’t forgot how to. The song was written from when Jason was still alive. The song seemed to calm my heart and also cleared my thoughts. As I finished my song, I sighed and though about the things that had happened so far. I shrugged and just as I thought of the next song to play, I heard a creak on the floorboards. I turned to see who it was.

    “Kyra? What are you doing up at this time?” I asked.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Kyra

    The silence was almost deafening. After Joseph spoke, no one really knew what to say. Whether they could actually relate to his words and experiences or not, they still hit a spot.

    A guado came out from what seemed like nowhere. She was concerned about the noise that was made earlier.

    “Why must you humans insist on being so loud?” The guado said in a calm voice. “Do you have any idea the pain you have brought to the woods here? They are dying and therefore have a right to die peacefully, it is painful enough having to see these woods die, without coming across arguing humans who seem to have no respect to where they are.”

    Kyra took a step forward “We’re so sorry”

    The group decided to make their way back to Bevelle. The walk was silent. So many lost thoughts running through everyone’s head; this was exactly what Kyra wanted to avoid.

    As they reached the high bridge, the guado said something.

    “Surely you know why Miss Rikku has indeed died?” asked Keema. The group stopped walking and turned to her.

    “Well if we knew, we wouldn’t be going back in now.” Snapped Nikki

    “Nikki...”

    “Miss Rikku was consumed by the Via Infinito, what I don’t understand is your human’s thirst for revenge? It is hopeless to take revenge against the Via Infinito; it would just consume you too. The Via Infinito is a part of Spira and is what keeps us here, do not anger it.”

    “WHAT DO YOU MEAN DON’T ****ING ANGER IT?! IT WAS THE ONE THAT KILLED HALF MY TEAM, IT WAS THE ONE THAT KILLED SAKURA IT WAS THE ONE THAT SCARED MY TEAM SO MUCH THAT MOST OF THEM ARE AFRAID TO GO BACK, AND YOU’RE WORRIED THAT WE WILL ANGER IT?!” Nikki said in a rage

    “You were seen as trespassers, only the Guado may enter safely. The Via Infinito was protecting itself.”

    Val stepped forward

    “Exactly who are you anyway?”

    “Oh I’m sorry” She bowed “I am Keema Guado the guardian and keeper of the Farplane, I have come to Bevelle today to investigate the Via Infinito, and you are?” Everyone introduced themselves one after the other.

    So she knows about the Farplane. Might I be able to actually go home after this? What if I don’t want to go home...these people are almost like family. A family I never had... Kyra went into a deep thought again. The group carried on into the temple. Kyra decided not to follow. They won’t be going in; no one has even rested yet. Might as just go to Nikki’s house.

    She made her way to Nikki’s house and found a bed. The same one she went to the first time. She sat down and began to think again. When was the last time I was able to sleep? It seemed so long ago... She laid down and was out as soon as she hit the pillow.

    "Ellone! Ellone? Where are you? Where am I...? I’m scared Sis, what do I do?"

    It was dark. No one was around. She seemed to be walking endlessly. The place was unfamiliar to her. Nothing she had ever seen before. She kept walking just to see if she would get anywhere. Every step she took was almost painful. She had been walking for so long. She felt so alone. She was filled with sadness. She reached a cliff and collapsed. This is hopeless, what am I doing?

    The scene changed. Everything was bright and colourful. She felt happy again. She saw everyone: Val, Kane, Nikki, Joseph, Mishka, Cyan, Yuukou and Yuki. Everyone was so happy. Kyra came out from the distance and joined the group. I get it, this is where I belong. I don’t know if this is you Elle, but thanks. I have found my place.

    Kyra woke up. It was still dark outside, but she felt rested. She heard music, but it was faint. She got up to investigate. It seemed to be coming from the balcony. She was careful not to wake anyone, but made a small creak in the floor. Joseph looked around the corner.

    ”Kyra, what are you doing up at this time?”

    ”Nothing really. I just woke up and heard a little music. It was nice." She smiled.

    "Thanks. Did you want to hear another?" He asked

    Kyra nodded softly. He played was another beautiful song. He had a certain talent with the guitar. It made Kyra feel happy. It was a chance to not think about everything that was going on. All of the anger that seemed to come from the Via Infinito was temporarily washed away. As he finished the song she silently clapped.

    "You play very well. It’s been a while since I heard a guitar."

    "Thanks Kyra" He said.

    "Can I ask something?"

    "Sure, what is it?"

    "Why did you come looking for me?"

    "I just wanted to see if you were okay. I didn’t want the same thing as what happened to Nikki the last time."

    "I see. I just needed to clear my mind. It’s been a while since we were actually able to relax"

    Joseph nodded.

    "Do you think Nikki was worried?"

    Joseph looked at Kyra with a smirk. "I can’t really tell for sure. No one really knows what she’s thinking, but I think she just wants to do what’s best for the group, even though it doesn’t seem like it."

    I see. Kyra paused. There was a small spot of silence, then Kyra asked, "Do you mind playing another song?"

    Joseph smiled and nodded. He played a few songs and the two sat together for the rest of the night.

  16. #16
    Just then Nikki heard a noise behind them.What fiend is stupid enough to attack us?” thought Nikki as she turned at the sound and raised her bow, but it was Kyra who came out and had put her hands up, she was sheepishly smiling.

    “...Hey guys.”

    **** did she hear what I had said?” Thought Nikki as she lowered her bow, she turned away as she felt some heat in her cheeks. She then looked up to see Val walking towards them. What the **** is he doing here?! Are they all stalking us today?!” thought Nikki as she put her hand up to her head and closed her blue eyes.

    “You guys are so noisy; I could hear you from another path...” Nikki sighed and opened her eyes and turned to him.

    “What on earth are you doing here?” She meant Spira but she Earth just came out of her mouth. What the **** is Earth anyway?” she thought to herself.

    “Testing my new upgraded guns” he replied with a smile waving his new “toys” about.

    “Looks cool.”

    “Thanks so... You guys done? I’m heading back to Bevelle now... How bout you?”

    “Yeah. Now that we’ve found Kyra, we should probably head back,” said Joseph to all of them.

    “No ****.” Thought Nikki, she would be glad to get back, it seemed that Kyra didn’t need them to go after her anyway. “Why did men always seem to think that they need to chase after people, I knew she just wanted some space.” thought Nikki.

    “Why were you looking for me anyways?” said Kyra the confusion was clear in her blue eyes. Nikki sympathised with her, personal space was important it wasn’t needed to go and chase after her.

    “Mishka asked me to talk to you. She said something about needing to talk to someone,”

    And why would she want to talk to you exactly?” thought Nikki, She’s not likely to come out with what’s troubling her with a whole group of us here...” She sighed as they walked along. Nikki then stopped as Kyra spoke.

    “Why... Why did they need to die? Is it really worth going back into that dungeon?” Nikki felt a pang of sadness as she saw her cry. “Almost everyone thinks Rikku is dead anyways. Why do we go back in anyways? What did Sakura sacrifice herself for?!? WHAT DID THEY DIE FOR?!?!” Nikki was frozen to the spot, she wanted to do something anything to comfort the girl, maybe hug her, but she found she was helpless at these sorts of things and instead Joseph went over to hug her. She narrowed her eyes at him.

    What are these feelings? Why should I care that he is hugging her?” Her thoughts were interrupted when Joseph replied with.

    “I’m not sure of your reasons but I do know mines. I feel that I owe Rikku and so this is my way of repaying her,” This resulted in Nikki getting angry.

    One girl is not worth the lives of half of my team, not only that the deaths of the team will affect many other people, family and friends. Simply feeling that he owes her is not a good enough reason for going back in!” thought Nikki angrily, she snapped back at him. “You never met her in person. Why the hell do you owe her?” She saw a cold look in his eyes, but she stood her ground, it was essential that he knew exactly why he was going in, feeling that you owe Rikku in Nikki’s opinion was a hazy answer.

    “Don’t you? May I remind you what she did? She helped save Spira twice already! I feel that we all owe her for that! I feel that I could save her, even if the odds are slim. This is my way for doing just that!” Still Nikki wasn’t satisfied, sure she was grateful to the Gullwings and the Lady Yuna for saving them but that doesn’t mean you should carelessly through your life away for them, and Nikki was worried that Joseph was going to do just that, she had to dig deeper.

    “So what? You’re just going back to that ****ing deathtrap and try to find her?!? You’re just gonna kill yourself! Do you not treasure your own damn life?!?!?”

    “I DO TREAURE MY DAMN LIFE!!!! I’VE TREASURED IT SINCE MY PARENTS AND BROTHER DIED!!!! YOU WERE ALIVE WHEN SIN WAS AROUND!!! YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT LIVING WHEN MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY WERE DYING!!!!! DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT WAS LIKE WHEN I SAW MY PARENTS PERISHED DUE TO SIN???? AND AGAIN WHEN MY BROTHER PERISHED IN THE SAME PLACE WHERE THEY FELL?!?!?! I ALMOST WANTED TO KILL MYSELF JUST TO JOIN THEM!!! I FELT THAT LIFE WAS NOT WORTH LIVING WITH THAT MUCH ANGUISH!!!! BUT I THOUGH THAT IF I DID DO THAT, I WAS WASTING THE CHANCE THAT THEY GAVE ME!!!!! MY PARENTS WOULD NEVER FORGIVE ME IF I TOOK MY LIFE WITHOUT LIVING IT!!!!!! AND NOW ONE FACTOR OF WHY I AM ALIVE NOW IS IN DANGER!!!! THAT IS WHY I MUST GO DOWN THERE AGAIN!!!!”

    That’s the sort of answer I wanted to hear at least now I know he won’t do anything stupid down there.” It gave her some peace in her mind to know he wouldn’t throw it away, although she must admit she was taken aback to see him lose it like that. He’ll get over it” thought Nikki. After all she was only testing him, she herself had every intention of going back down, but people needed solid reasons, not having a solid reason gets you killed, and Nikki wasn’t going to allow that.

    “Call me what you want but I must do this. Even if Rikku is dead, I must know why and avenge her. I feel that as a person who lived though the period of Sin, that we owe her that much,”

    Just then Nikki heard rustling and turned around to see a robed Guado stride towards them, looking saddened.

    “Why must you humans insist on being so loud?” said the Guado Nikki crossed her arms but stayed silent. “Do you have any idea the pain you have brought to the woods here? They are dying and therefore have a right to die peacefully, it is painful enough having to see these woods die, without coming across arguing humans who seem to have no respect to where they are.” Nikki found the Guado to be quite weird.

    As if trees can feel pain” thought Nikki, but in some senses the Guado did make some sense. The woods were important to Nikki it was disrespectful to argue here. Kyra took a step forward.

    “We’re so sorry”

    “We’ll leave,” said Nikki as she began to turn and head back to Bevelle the Guado spoke again.

    “I am also heading to Bevelle I shall accompany you,”

    “Sure fine,” replied Nikki. As they walked Nikki began to feel saddened by the fact that she let her team down, she was the leader she shouldn’t have let half of them die. But then again what else could have she done in that situation, she knew no one blamed her but... She looked to see that Joseph was glaring at her at times still. OH for ****s sake he should just get over it!” thought Nikki.

    As they walked along the high bridge The Guado spoke causing everyone to stop and look at her.

    “Surely you know why Miss Rikku has indeed died?”

    “Well if we knew, we wouldn’t be going back in now.”

    “Nikki...” said Kyra Nikki turned to her to see that she was looking worriedly at her, Nikki tried to calm herself down.

    “Miss Rikku was consumed by the Via Infinito, what I don’t understand is your human’s thirst for revenge? It is hopeless to take revenge against the Via Infinito, it would just consume you too. The Via Infinito is a part of Spira and is what keeps us here, do not anger it.”

    “WHAT DO YOU MEAN DON’T ****ING ANGER IT?! IT WAS THE ONE THAT KILLED HALF MY TEAM, IT WAS THE ONE THAT KILLED SAKURA IT WAS THE ONE THAT SCARED MY TEAM SO MUCH THAT MOST OF THEM ARE AFRAID TO GO BACK, AND YOU’RE WORRIED THAT WE WILL ANGER IT?!”

    “You were seen as trespassers, only the Guado may enter safely. The Via Infinito was protecting itself.”

    What the **** is this Guado on!? Who the hell is she anyway?!” thought Nikki, angry at the Guado for not understanding that people had died in there, making out that the Via Infinito was innocent when it wasn’t.

    “Exactly who are you anyway?”

    “Oh I’m sorry” The Guado bowed and then straightened. “I am Keema Guado the guardian and keeper of the Farplane, I have come to Bevelle today to investigate the Via Infinito, and you are?”

    So she’s here about the Via Infinito, about bloody time someone came down, we’ve been in there what? For TWO days finding nothing and no one on the surface does a thing!” thought Nikki as everyone introduced themselves.

    Finally they got to the temple Nikki was fired up ready to go back in, she walked over to the entrance with a small group.

    “Halt” said the guard.

    “For ****s sake what now? I’m ready to kick Auron’s butt back to the Farplane!” She clenched her fists, “The team will be avenged and Sakura!” She heard agreement among the small group, she looked round to see that actually the twins, Kyra and Joseph and Cyan and Mishka were missing. “And WHERE are the rest of them!?” Nikki then looked up at the sound of footsteps rushing over to them, it was Mishka and the Keema.

    “Out of the way! We need to go in!”

    “You can’t it has been ordered that you all need to rest fully.” said the guard. Nikki watched Keema as she briskly walked in the front of the group.

    “You can’t go in, the Via Infinito is under investigation, you are all trespassers there you wouldn’t last five minutes in the state you are in.”

    WHAT THE ****! NO ****ING GUADO PONCEY FARPLANE GATEWAY FREAK IS GOING TO GET IN MY WAY OF GETTING MY REVENGE!” thought Nikki.

    "Keema is right.” Said Mishka. “We all need to rest still, we’ll sort this out in the morning.”

    “Excuse me who died and made you ****ing leader?” asked Nikki.

    “You disagree?” Nikki sighed.

    I guess she’s right we are all still tired and I don’t want to let the team down again!” She then replied to Mishka after some thought and sighed. “Fine for ****s sake all of you bloody rest before I ****ing take you all on and shove arrows up your butt while you are not looking!” Nikki then headed over to her place, she was still feeling angry, angry that she had to wait. No one spoke to her as she went in and slammed the doors as she made her way through the house. She slammed the backdoor as she went into the back garden she went to sit in the deck chair and sank her head in her hands.

    Next thing she knew a voice shouted over to her. “HEY NIKKSTER!” Nikki looked up to see Kai next door grinning at her. She just glared at him.

    “What do you ****ing want?”

    “Okay...” Kai backed off a little and went inside the house only to hear him yell inside. “MUM NIKKSTER IS IN A MOOD!” Nikki heard his mum reply in a quieter voice but she could make it out.

    “And what did you do this time eh? I keep telling you Kai that the girl is too old for you, and that you should stop bothering her.”

    “I ONLY SAID HI!” Nikki heard the opening of the door and someone walking towards the fence.

    “Nikki dear would you like to come over for a cup of tea?” asked Kyley, Nikki looked up at the large woman her hazel eyes full of concern for her. Nikki slightly smiled she was still wearing the cream apron on. She nodded to her in response, Nikki leapt over the fence and Kyley directed her to a white metal chair on the patio with a matching table. “Now you make yourself comfortable dear, while I go and get you that tea.” Nikki scanned her eyes around the garden as she left. The garden was beautiful; it was bustling and full of life, and very colourful. There were flower beds all around the edge and a very trim lawn in the centre.

    My garden just looks like it was mauled by fiends” thought Nikki, then Kyley came out with a cup of tea and put it on the table in front of her, Kyley brushed a stray strand of black curly hair away from her face as she sat down. Nikki took a sip of her tea immediately calming her.

    “Now dear, tell me what’s on your mind?” Nikki sighed.

    “What’s not on my mind...” Nikki took another sip.
    “Is it to the Via Infinito?” Nikki put the tea down sighed and rubbed her forehead, she had been getting a few headaches recently, she wondered why that was...

    “You know dear, you should talk to someone. What about your friends?”

    “They’re not my friends, they’re just comrades nothing more.” Kyley sadly smiled at her, it almost looked like pity.

    “Are you sure dear?” Nikki raised an eyebrow at her. “It’s just this is the second time you have had people over in a very short time, and you haven’t had anyone over in years. Not even when you were in the Youth League.”

    They needed somewhere to sleep though that was all, wasn’t it?” thought Nikki. Kyley seemed to take the silence as permission to carry on so she did.

    “Nikki it seems to me that they are your friends, you are just too scared to see it. You’ve been through so much, and yes I know losing people is hard, but coping with it on your own is even harder. Let other people in.”

    “Maybe...” Kyley didn’t actually know how close to the truth she was, she didn’t know that people had died in the Via Infinito she had been referring to the people Nikki had lost as she was growing up. “...I’m afraid of letting them down... Them all down. I’m scared I’ll make the wrong decision down there.” Kyley smiled to her.

    “This is why you need to talk to them dear. And then maybe they can help you if you opened up more you might be able to remember your family dear.” It was true Nikki had kept herself to herself ever since in the incident, since then she couldn’t remember who her family were, all she remembered that she did have a mother and father but didn’t know if she had any siblings. Nikki thanked Kyley for the tea and headed back inside her house. She then bumped into Keema in the lounge.

    “Hello, I’m looking for Mishka do you know where she went?” Nikki was still angry at the Guado so she barked back at her.

    “How would I know, do I look like I carry a leash on her?! I’m going to bed!” with that Nikki went upstairs to her room and went to sleep where she slept through till morning.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Valvaris

    Joseph and Nikki expressed their agreement, and I just took a step towards Bevelle.

    Just then, Kyra started speaking, and it ended with Nikki and Joseph arguing as if words were their weapon to slaughter each other.

    I tapped my fingers on my forehead, with my palm covering my face, and shook my head, "And there they go again."

    After a few screamings, a Guado walked out of the woods, "Why must you humans insist on being so loud?” said the Guado Nikki crossed her arms but stayed silent. “Do you have any idea the pain you have brought to the woods here? They are dying and therefore have a right to die peacefully, it is painful enough having to see these woods die, without coming across arguing humans who seem to have no respect to where they are.”

    Kyra apologized and Nikki proposed that we leave. The guado noticed that we are heading for Bevelle, and decided to follow suit. During the journey, the Guado spoke, talking about Rikku and the Via Infinito, about how it is defending itself.

    “Exactly who are you anyway?”, I asked, as I couldn't bear the comments she made. It is either that I do not realize the true nature of Via Infinito, or that the Guado has gone insane trying to defend that wretched place.

    “Oh I’m sorry” The Guado bowed and then straightened. “I am Keema Guado the guardian and keeper of the Farplane, I have come to Bevelle today to investigate the Via Infinito, and you are?”

    We introduced ourselves, and as the conversation came to an end, we arrived at Bevelle's entrance to the Via Infinito.

    Nikki was all fired up, ready to go down and fight again. However, we were halted by the guards. Mishka and Keema appeared before us too.

    “Out of the way! We need to go in!”, I was blinded by my rage as well.

    “You can’t! It has been ordered that you all need to rest fully.” said the guard. Nikki watched Keema as she briskly walked in the front of the group.

    “You can’t go in, the Via Infinito is under investigation, you are all trespassers there you wouldn’t last five minutes in the state you are in.”

    Nikki then began throwing a fit, Mishka advised us to take a rest. Nikki gave in after a few more arguments, and we all decided to head off and dispersed.

    As usual, I was alone. Cyan is not anywhere to be seen. Nikki was too angry to be bothered, and so is Joseph. Kyra was being very emotional, for whatever reasons that trouble her.

    I was walking alone in the streets, and soon it was dark. The streets were pitched black and there were nobody on it soon after. I leaped up a roof, and sat on it. The moon was shining so brightly in the night.

    I reached into my cloak and took out an Emblem. It is about 5 times the size of a dice, hexagon in shape and has a dark green symbol on it. The symbol looks like two pistols crossing, forming an X.

    "The Emblem of the Exquisivor.", I muttered. The emblem is a symbol that I am a full-fledged Exquisivor, able to summon even the strongest of the elementals that I possess. Cid once told me, "There are yet other unexplored regions of an Exquisivor, some areas that contain stronger skills. If you come to a place where this emblem would shine, then you may have gained an opportunity to gain skills where Exquisivors in the past could not obtain."

    I grabbed onto the emblem, and put it back into my cloak, "If only by getting stronger I could journey through the whole of Via Infinito to find Rikku, then I will."

    I lied on the roof for some time, before leaping down, and started walking towards Nikki's house. From a distance I hear some music being strummed, coming from the Balcony. And then I hear voices, Kyra's and Joseph's. I decided not to intrude, but as I turn away, I kicked a stone on the path.

    Immediately, I turned over to the house and walked into Joseph's and Kyra's sight.

    "Valvaris?? What are you doing out so late?"
    "Just... enjoying my solitude in silence. You guys are pretty late yourselves. I'm gonna go get some sleep. Nights."
    "Good night!"
    I walked up the stairs and went into the room. I dozed off without realizing it.

    ************************

    As I opened my eyes, I realize that the sunlight is already trying to breakthrough the curtains.

    "Energy... Overwhelming. Time for a short journey...."

    ***To Be Continued***

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Mishka.png

    Back in the darkness, but what was my madness for coming back here? I knew exactly why, but everything in my mind told me to run back to the telepad. After the battle with Sir Auron, sensing the warped scent about him, and seeing the survivors scatter so disheartened, I wondered just how I could have returned.

    How do you deal with all of the death and dying?”

    Deal with it? Right, I deal with it. Still, I managed to pull a good enough line to give to Kyra.


    Kyra, the best way is to keep your own spirits up. Once they realize your confidence and light heartedness, everyone will have the same confidence to keep moving on.”

    Hopefully those guys get it together and come back to this place when they're ready. I wasn't sure if I was going to be with them with the stunt I wanted to pull. Unfortunately, I just couldn't let the chance pass. The little girl had shown us a lot of her personality. At first, she just seemed like any other violent unsent, but before, when she had every opportunity to kill me, Cyan was able to stop her by just playing along as her sister. Now, with her new “toy” Sir Auron almost offing all of us, she actually went back and safeguarded us against him. Someone had to check it out.


    Walking down the latest cloister, I found the entire area wrecked. Pieces of the wall were peeling off, and behind it was the true form of the Via Infinito, a testament to what the girl saved us from. By the scents I could smell, the lingering traces of Sir Auron remained and, just as before, they were strange. I had sensed his presence before the girl revealed him to us. Instead of sensing his pyreflies directly, it seemed as though the entire Via Infinito teemed with his existence. Later on, in direct conflict with him, even then his presence wasn't there like an unsent I'd ever sensed. His pyreflies were whole and keeping his form completely intact, more a sign of the living rather than the dead. Furthermore, the aura a guado could easily detect surrounding denizens of the Farplane, the instability of their form wasn't at all a part of Sir Auron. He had to be an unsent; records showed that he was sent to the Farplane at the conclusion of Lady Yuna's pilgrimage, during her battle with Sin. However, everything that was guado in me told me there wasn't anything different between Sir Auron and any of the people tending to their wounds back up top.

    Hi!” It was her.

    Hello.” I said in as calm a voice I could muster, “You saved us before, didn't you? Was Sir Auron being bad?”

    Yes he was. He wasn't playing fair anymore. He didn't want to listen to me.”

    So you punished him, did you?”

    No, he just ran off after doing this to the floor. Why is he being such a meanie?!”

    Sir Auron did this? The girl was unable to stop him or regain her control over him? What sort of creature had she created that was so powerful, even she couldn't tame it? Could it be that she wasn't the only consciousness in this place? I had heard stories long ago from the elders of the guado that both the Farplane and the Via Infinito weren't just locations on Spira, they were living entities, but that was preposterous. However, the truth I did accept from those fairy tales was that there was a mysterious power about this area. It produced the powerful fiends that rose from the bottom of it. Perhaps it was the same power that morphed with the girl's unsent ability and was strong enough to resurrect Sir Auron. However, that didn't explain his feral nature.


    Oh, sissy, let me introduce you to my new friend.” The girl suddenly blurted, taking me away from my theories.

    In the distance, I found a cloud of pyreflies, though this one benevolent in nature. Out of it came a middle-aged woman.

    Hoping to use this development to my advantage, I chanced a guess at her identity seeing as we found memories of the girl playing earlier, Oh, is this your mummy?”

    No silly, but she is someone's mummy. She came to me before I went all floaty and invisiable.”

    Oh, hello then. So you were there for her when she passed?”

    Of course, in my mind, I was thinking more along the lines of,
    'She made another one?!'

    Yes, and I've been watching you, too, Mishka Guado. Do not be alarmed. I believe you know my son.”

    At first, I didn't understand what she meant. I had never seen this woman before in my life and it could have easily been an unsent trick, but then I remembered something I overheard before entering the Via Infinito.

    I had just decided on my plan after hearing my old friend, Keema's, words and was re-entering the temple. As soon as I stepped in through the doors, I heard Kane's voice and saw him in the distance talking with Lady Yuna and Paine.


    "The next time we fight Auron, I promise: I WILL be ready for him, and if need me, kill him!"

    After that, he turned around to gather his armor, his helmet sitting next to it. Deciding to see the scene through, I leaned behind one of the doors. He knelt to pick up the helmet and began walking out of the temple where the rays of sunlight illuminated his handsome, though solemn face. Taking a fews breaths, I could see that he was still injured, but despite the pain, he seemed to enjoy no longer being in a life-threatening environment. Without a moment wasted, he would put on his helmet and departed for a nearby shop.

    Kane? Kane is your son? But you're an unsent. I'm so sorry.”

    Gideon. I'm afraid he's lived those following years in regret and anxiety. He believed he could have saved me and was the only one who would, thus leading him into a life kept alone and miserable.”

    You felt us, our different personalities as we permeated the skin between the Via Infinito and the surface.”

    Yes.”

    Then, what do you need of me? Kane's rather isolated. I hardly believe I can help him.”

    This is boring.” The girl whined, pouting and crossing her arms.

    I'm terribly sorry, dear, but sissy and I will be done shortly. Can you be a good girl and wait just a little longer?” Kane's mother asked.

    Oh, alright. If you promise it won't take too much longer.”

    I promise.” She said, turning back to me, “It isn't my son I am concerned with. He will come back in time and you have all helped him tremendously to have faith and trust in others again. However, I worry about her.” She whispered, focusing me on the girl, “I was with her when her light faded. I comforted her as best I could, but she could not pass on into the Farplane. I fear something dark has crept inside, which should bring only a blighted future to this poor girl. Please, look after her for me.”

    What am I expected to do? If there is a negative influence on her, she has to have long since given into it.” I said in retort.

    Can you not sense it in the walls? There is a devious design being developed in this dark den.” She said, her alliteration carrying her warning in a desperate air, “Surely, you must seek the same.”

    I thought on the unsent woman's words and recounted the moments before seeing Kane. Kyra's group had been arguing loudly with a new addition, someone I hadn't seen in quite a long time.

    Mishka, it’s good to see you again.” My childhood friend, Keema, greeted, separating from the rest.

    Ah Keema it’s good to see you too, what are you doing all the way here?”

    I need to see the Praetor, any idea where I need to go?” She said.

    I pointed it out to her, but I found intrigue in what appeared to be my friend's mission. I would follow her and fend off the others who wanted to return to the Via Infinito in a rage. Knowing that their anger was at quite a volatile level and having already hoped for them to resolve their grief elsewhere, I catered to Keema's feeble ploys, attaining my goal all the same.

    Fine for ****s sake all of you bloody rest before I ****ing take you all on and shove arrows up your butt while you are not looking!”Uh, I just threw that one in there because Nikki's funny when she's upset. ^^;;

    Once we were clear, I stayed back to allow Keema the chance to feel the security of solitude, hiding along the walls to evade her senses from noticing my presence.

    Come in” Baralai told her as she approached the door.

    Once she was inside, I inched my way closer and peeked slightly through the small crack left by the ajar door. From what I would see, each of the faction leaders were present along with both Lady Yuna and Paine.

    I have come for information about the Via Infinito, I wondered if there have been any odd occurrences lately, you’ve had a group go in there lately, did they experience anything unusual?”

    Lady Yuna and Paine would recount our disastrous bouts down in the Via Infinito, the former lady summoner drawn to tears at the mentioning of Sir Auron. However, while I felt their grief and remorse even at my distance, Keema showed very little emotion, having taken to her impassive guado culture. As a species, we only had true sympathies for our own and the natural world that birthed us. All other ties had to be personally made and kept strong.

    For instance, after their words, while one might think to comfort, my good friend would only say, “That is interesting. Anything else?” and move on.

    They eventually fell upon the subject of the girl and Keema would note that, “Yes although like you we Guado do not know much about her, but for about ten years now there have been reports from the Guado sensing a young unsent down in the Via Infinito laying dormant but gathering energy.”

    'I could've used that information!' I hissed mentally, pouting from my spot.

    They went on to discuss a few other things that had become redundant for us, but a few key points I picked up on were these words from Keema:

    This is old ancient magic, I thought it was only a myth, but it seems the Via Infinito has actually summoned its own guardian with the help of the Farplane. I don’t know why. It seems the Via Infinito is as I feared has increased its energy flow.”

    M’lady in all honesty I do not think so, unless the Via Infinito saw fit to keep her alive, there is no chance. The only reason that the Gullwings lived through I believe was to deal with the wondering unsent down there, who did not belong.”

    From that, I remembered that the tales about the living Farplane and Via Infinito delved into a conscious balancing of its spiritual energies. It wasn't something I focused my studies on as Keema had, but I knew enough what she meant and when she noted that a conscious Via Infinito would have reasons to keep one alive, I knew she meant that, for humans, it would view them as a threat immediately, but us guado may be capable of bypassing those safeguards. My successful chase was proof enough that only foreign objects within the Via Infinito were hazardous to me.

    Very well. I will try my best to protect her. However, my friends are still more valuable to me. If I am forced to choose, my decision will be obvious.”

    Only as you are.” And with that, she burst into pyreflies and soared away through me.

    Where did she go?” The girl asked.

    Walking to the girl in keeping with my promise, I knelt down beside her and ran my fingers through her hair, saying, “I think she's accepted her death and is going on to the Farplane.”

    No not the Farplane! But she'll disappear! We have to stop her!” She cried.

    'So she fears the Farplane. This could be a clue to uncovering what malignant force Kane's mother wanted me to rid this young one of.' I thought, saying aloud to her, “What horrors lie in the Farplane?”

    Sissy, don't you know?” She exclaimed, “It calls to you and when you get too close, it pulls away your sparklies!”

    How terrible!” I followed suit, hoping to see where she was going with that.

    Whatever happens, promise you won't let my sparklies get pulled away.”

    What could I say? “I promise. Sissy will never let the bad Farplane hurt you.”

    Thank you! I knew...” The girl replied happily, about to start a hop when she suddenly shifted her attention toward the darkness ahead, “Oh no. No no no.”

    What is it?”

    The broken toy is coming.”

    I knew she had to have meant Sir Auron, the “toy” with whom she had difficulty in reprimanding. For a moment, I contemplated just what could be done in this situation to be used as an advantage. Kane's mother wanted me to save this girl and, from what I had gathered during each of the meetings with her, she was really only a small child whose final thoughts were probably confused, scared, and searching for someone in this harsh atmosphere she was forced to reside in. Her methods were juvenile and it was clear now that she didn't have truly harmful goals, the vicious “games” she wanted to play most likely a coupling of her simplistic concepts and a immensely powerful form. Perhaps if she were capable of controlling that power, honing it to her will would make her an ally in our mission to find Rikku instead of an obstacle. If she felt that I was like a sister to her, then maybe...

    Let's go to him.” She gazed at me horrified, “Sissy promised she wouldn't let even the Farplane hurt you. I won't sit by and watch your toys be mean.”

    The glow in her eyes showed how much she trusted me and it hurt my conscience to know I was lying to her and manipulating her for my own ends, but I reasoned with myself that there was no other choice. Jumping down to the next cloister with her floating down beside me, I swallowed my doubt and decided to move forth with my plan.

    Sir Auron, as much respect as I have for you and all you have done, you bring harm to this little one. You must be stopped.” I exclaimed loudly at the dark.

    Sissy, don't make him mad. Last time everybody was here, he was so terrible. You might not be...”

    Don't worry about me. Remember, he's just a broken toy. I'll fix him up or we'll just throw him out.” I said with a smile.

    Before the girl had the chance to offer me any reaction, Sir Auron struck, his blade nearly slicing off my left arm. She had seen it coming and used the same power as before to push me away, letting only a few strands of Salvia Dill get cut. I tucked into a roll and unsheathed my broadsword as soon as I came out of it. As I looked up readying my own attack, I saw that he was already in front of me, his Blurry Moon bearing down at me. Using the hard edge of my broadsword, I let his sword hook into my blade and push me under him, the smooth metal floor letting me slide between his legs. Standing up, I swung horizontally and managed to block a similar strike to my middle. His power was impossible and I found that even with all my weight thrown into my swing, his attack sent me flying several feet away. Fortunately, I recovered mid-air and cartwheeled the remaining distance, guessing that he was on me again. My heel connected with something and, as I finished my cartwheel, I noticed there was broken glass and a twisted metal frame at his feet. Looking up at his face, I saw him glaring at me with his good eye as he positioned the Blurry Moon into an offensive stance.

    Rushing me, I tried to block his quick attack, but the strength of it not only disarmed me, it shattered my blade into jagged shards that flew directly into me. Holding only a hilt, I threw it at him to slow his advancement before flipping back and arming my crossbow with a lightning arrow.


    Sissy! This doesn't look like a fun game anymore.”

    It's harder than I thought. There isn't much more I can do, but I know someone who can.” I said, firing my arrows and dodging as best I could.

    Who?”

    You. I know you can do it. Just remember that you made this toy. He's your toy and you can control him!”

    I knew how ridiculous I sounded, but if the message got through, I just might accomplish my goals. Sidestepping another strike, I noticed that she was considering whether or not to send me back up again. Making my way closer to her, I somersaulted and clipped Sir Auron's chin and turned my attention to her.

    Run from what scares you now and you won't ever stop running.” I told her, “Sissy can only protect you, but there are things only y-”

    Just then, Sir Auron's blade struck me in the back, a bolt of energy striking my throat from within. When I recovered, I found I was no longer capable of speech, something that destroyed any further chances to coerce the girl into taking hold of her power.

    With my ploy fouled, I shifted to surviving instead, knowing that the last thing my foe allowed me to say effectively stopped the girl from saving my bloody hide and forcing me to complete this battle. I had assumed my dying was inevitable with this plan, but I didn't count on success being so close. Everything just happened...


    ...so fast.”Kyra said to me with tear-filled eyes, “I don’t want any more people to die. I won’t have it.”

    I had looked upon her with false confidence and offered her what I knew to be my last words to her, “Keep your chin up. Support those who mean the most to you.”

    Sir Auron's Blurry Moon struck my gauntlets, shattering my crossbow and planting me into the ground. My mind screamed loudly for help, for someone to save me, and I remembered the one who had stepped in to save us before.

    I probably shouldn’t tell anyone this but I think that you’re trustworthy.”I had told Joseph, showing my respect for what he had done for us.

    Sliding his weapon against my gauntlets, he dragged me a short distance before lifting and throwing me into the wall at the far end of the cloister. Without my sword, I had nothing to keep me from falling and entering the next cloister. As I hit the ground, I rolled away just in time to bypass the worst of Sir Auron's Dragon Fang overdrive. The pulsating energy in the floor tossed me and took my stamina from me, further hindering my capacity for evasion. Staggering to my feet, my vision focused just in time to catch another overhead strike into my shoulder, cracking the guard and slicing half an inch into my acromion. I dropped down as fast as I could and rolled to the side to gain some distance, but found that my movement slowed even further, inhibited by Slowstrike.


    With all my stamina wasted and anything else I could have done effectively disabled by Sir Auron's status breaks, I simply stood and waited for the end. Sir Auron raised the Blurry Moon and stalked towards me for the killing blow. As the katana came down, I felt a tear slide down my cheek, but the girl suddenly appeared before me and held her arms out.

    You won't hurt my sissy!” She screamed, the seraphic wings spreading out in a dazzling explosion of light.

    Her sheer power disintegrated the Blurry Moon, its shards swirling about us in the vortex resulting from it. Sir Auron and I were both pushed away in opposite directions, his form tearing apart back into pyreflies as I hit fell down towards the next cloister. When I recovered, I noticed the cloister I found myself in was unusually bright, all sides of the cylindrical space coated in vibrant white light save several patches of darkness moving across them. For a moment, I felt as though they were stalking me, staring out at me in wait.

    Sissy? Are you okay? Did I make a boo boo?” The girl said, her eyes on the verge of tears.

    As difficult as it was, I held in my jubilation to address her as her big sister, “No sis, you did great. I'm so proud of you.”

    Really? But I hurt you.”

    If you didn't do what you did, I would've been beheaded. I think I'll take a fall to that any day. Thank you, sis. You saved me.” I told her, thankful to be honest with her this time.

    But we're in the bad place. I hurt you and now we're in the bad place.”

    You mean the Farplane?”

    No, much worse. This is the where the quiet screamers are.”

    I had no idea what she meant, but her term for whatever scared her here certainly didn't sound good. My suspicions didn't take long to find an answer. From the center of the cloister rose a column emanating a similar light as the rest of the room. As one of the shadows roared throught it, a dark spot remained close to the top to reveal a jagged artifact, blades and hooks aligning every inch of its surface. I could sense it, the silent wails of souls impaled upon it, of generations caught in its iron vice.


    What is that?” I asked in horror.

    That's the quiet screamers. We have to go now. We have to run and run and run! The darkness is coming! The never-ending darkness.”

    With that said, she used the same power as before, taking me further downward past the shadows to a tremendous field of autumn flowers. I could feel her good intentions, to save us from the quiet screamers, but in the end, it was the Farplane she brought me to that added vision to what had been only sound. She took me further once she saw that the Farplane had granted no solace. I found myself waking in a dank cave, strewn upon the ground.

    There now, Sissy. You protected me from the broken toy. Now, it's my turn to protect you.” She cooed, hovering over my fallen form.

    Putting her hand on my chest, she began letting loose several of the pyreflies that made up her unsent body, sending them into me. Her pyreflies, at least some of them, they were in me. They... the quiet screamers... Guys... What's happening?

    You look tired come on we can stay at Nikki’s place and then you can head back”

    Oh dear the noisy foul mouthed human? I do believe she hates me. And humans are so noisy I wont be able to sleep.”

    They aren’t that bad, besides if Nikki bothers you I can calm her like you calm fiends”

    Hmm I suppose” said Keema while we walked. “But how do you learn to work with such creatures, all they do is seem to destroy things.”

    Yeah but that’s where the fun lies, we can teach them how to be more calm, sure they don’t have our senses but that doesn’t mean that can’t learn to understand about nature and emotions.”

    Yes of course you are right, after all they are a young race still and have much to learn.”

    'So much to learn.'

    "Try all we can.”

    'Keep your guard up.'


    One of Lady Yuna's guardians during her pilgrimage, right? I'm just unsure if I really need to team with anyone. I work best on my own.”

    'Kane, one day they'll break you free from your solitude.'


    ... next time, I’ll be sure not to take an overdrive attack without proper armor.”
    'Joesph, take care of them.'
    "It's no"
    "problem, Mishka. We know"
    "you're tired from all that"
    "fighting we did before."
    'Am I tired...'

    My name is Kyra. I’m not from around here. I could use your help.”

    'The girl from far away.'
    Thanks again Mishka.”

    'What will become of me?'

    About Kai... take care of him, okay? I know I freaked before, but he can help you. Uh... that's all I want to say.”

    'I guess I won't get to see how it ends.'
    The silly girl. I think she's too knackered from your games before.”

    '...'


    There's a cute side to the dark and focused warrior princess, I see.”

    Cyan...”



    My my, what do we have here?

  17. #17

    Where are Cyan and Mishka?

    Joseph

    The sunlight from the rising sun woke me from my slumber. I was confused for a moment as to why I was on the porch, leaning on a wooden support beam and lightly holding on a guitar. Looking down, I saw Kyra curled up on the floor, sleeping and using my leg as a pillow. The events from last night finally caught up with my brain. Kyra finally fell asleep after some time and I followed not long after.

    She looks rather cute sleeping like that. Well, better get her up to her bed. I don’t think she’d want to wake up like this,’ I thought, slowly shifting the guitar so it would hang on my back. I gathered Kyra in my arms as gently as I could as not to wake her up and proceeded into the house. Moving slowly, I managed to get up the stairs and to the corridor where our rooms were. Finding Kyra’s room was easy as it was the only door open. I proceeded in and gently laid her on the bed, covering her with a blanket. She whimpered slightly, as if the loss of heat bothered her but she still didn’t wake up.

    I turned around and was startled to find Nikki looking in with a strange look on her face. I quietly walked out and shut the door. I looked at Nikki, still having that look on her face like she was unsure of the situation she just witnessed. I simply walked back to my room and after putting down the guitar, dressed back in my shirt and walked downstairs, getting something to eat.

    I made some scrambled eggs and toast with tea just as Nikki also walked downstairs. She began to make herself something to eat as I began to eat. Afterwards, I simply watched her, noting her actions. She was bothered by something. It was similar to when we all had breakfast a couple of days ago. I decided to wait, sipping on my tea till she had finished eating before saying something.

    “Alright Nikki, what the hell is bothering you?” I asked casually.

    “Nothing,” she replied angrily, almost like an automated response.

    “Now that’s bull and you know that as well. I’ve noticed that something it bothering you but you obviously don’t say it to us. Now most of the time, that’s ok but I wonder if it’s connected with your anger. You purposely angered me yesterday to understand what I wanted to do and not many people would do that unless they wanted to make sure that we’re set on our path. Now judging by the answer just now, I could say that it’s your natural response if they ask you about anything you don’t want to talk about. So talk already. I’m going to constantly ask you about it otherwise,” I said, sipping more tea. Nikki gave me a very cold stare. I held her stare, not backing down from the challenge. This continued for a good minute or so. It was Nikki that finally broke the silence.

    “You’re not going to let it go are you?” she asked, her voice softening just a bit.

    “No I’m not. So talk. What the hell’s bothering you?” I said. Nikki looked as though she was trying to find the correct way of telling me. I simply continued to drink my tea till after a minute, she began to talk.

    “I’m afraid,” she said, looking down at the floor, as if ashamed of admitting it.

    “We’re all afraid of something. That doesn’t make you any less of a person,” I causally replied, leaning back on the chair.

    “I’m afraid that I’ll make the wrong choice down there and it’ll cause more deaths. I’m afraid of getting to know people because of becoming more emotionally scarred. I’ve always avoided making friends because of simply losing them to chance. But now, I don’t know what to do. You guys are obviously getting to know me better and vice versa but I’m afraid that if one of you guys dies, it’ll be more than I could take. I don’t want to be weak but I don’t know how to be strong either,” she confessed, tears slowly appearing as her barriers came down. I felt it down in my heart, so I got up went to her side. I gently leaned her head onto my chest, allowing her to cry as I held her there.

    “I understand how frightening it must be to place trust in people when death and destruction happens all around. I know the emotional scars that happen when people are killed in front of you. It is easier to retreat into solitude than to trust other people. But there is a time where you alone are not strong enough for the challenges ahead. I’ll admit that it was tough for me to place my trust in people after what happened to my family but a very wise person one said that bonds between people make a person stronger because no matter how badly a person falls, people that they trust will help them back up,” I said.

    “But what about decisions as a leader? I’m afraid that my decision will get some of you killed. That’ll devastate me even more knowing that I caused your deaths,” Nikki sobbed.

    “The fact that you worry means that you’re a good leader. We have trust in the decisions you make. You trust our abilities, we trust your leadership. That’s what makes a good team. Besides, if one of us dies, you’ll go to the Farplanes and kick our butts for dying,” I said. She chuckled at the last bit, her tears subsiding. It was good to see her smile. We both heard the rest of the occupants stir and awaken. I grabbed my jacket and headed to the door.

    “Where are you headed?” Nikki asked.

    “I need to go to the hospital again. The nurse needs to check my wounds,” I replied, lacing up my boots.

    “What should I tell them?” Nikki asked, nervously fidgeting a bit.

    “What you said to me. It’s not a rare case anyways. They’ll understand,” I said. “Oh yeah, I forgot to do something.” I added.

    “What?” Nikki asked. I held up my hand and flicked Nikki on the forehead. “What the hell was that for?” she asked, a little furious about what I did to her.

    “Just because,” I replied with a grin on my face before walking out, heading to the temple.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    Morning came and the feeling of guilt still hadn’t left Nikki, Nikki sat up she tried to think back to how she dealt the death of her parents, but her mind drew a blank and there as a slight thumping in her head. The harder she tried to remember the bigger the headache got. She held her head in her hands and sighed.

    After a while of sitting there deep in her thoughts, she swung her legs round and got out of the bed. She had slept in her clothes, and she went to the bathroom to freshen up and then went out onto the landing. She then noticed that Joseph had come out of KYRA’S room!

    What the fuck!?” thought Nikki. Why was he in HER room? What fuck has he been doing...? Wait a minute... WHY THE FUCK DO I CARE?!... Maybe... WHAT THE FUCK? NO!” Nikki then headed down the stairs and into the kitchen, here she just poured herself a glass a shoopuff milk and sat down on the stool while staring into the distance in thought. What can I do to make sure no one else dies? Half the team died. They trusted me to make the right decisions. We don’t have enough to go back in; our numbers are few and far between now.” As she thought she went over to make some toast and brought it over to her milk. She took a bite and thought some more. Not to mention that Auron is down there more powerful than he has ever been, we could have all died down there. And that girl... Who the hell is she? She dangerous herself” She finished off her milk and toast when Joseph, who she didn’t realise was there, spoke to her.

    “Alright Nikki, what the hell is bothering you?”

    Mind your own business” thought Nikki. “Nothing!” snapped Nikki back at him, hoping he would just leave it.

    “Now that’s bull and you know that as well. I’ve noticed that something is bothering you but you obviously don’t say it to us. Now most of the time, that’s ok but I wonder if it’s connected with your anger. You purposely angered me yesterday to understand what I wanted to do and not many people would do that unless they wanted to make sure that we’re set on our path. Now judging by the answer just now, I could say that it’s your natural response if they ask you about anything you don’t want to talk about. So talk already. I’m going to constantly ask you about it otherwise,”

    Well at least he understands why I did that...” thought Nikki. “You’re not going to let it go are you?” she said.

    “No I’m not. So talk. What the hell’s bothering you?” Nikki took a moment to gather her thoughts.

    She did say that I should talk more.” Thought Nikki. After a while Nikki finally said “I’m afraid.”

    “We’re all afraid of something. That doesn’t make you any less of a person,”

    “I’m afraid that I’ll make the wrong choice down there and it’ll cause more deaths. I’m afraid of getting to know people because of becoming more emotionally scarred. I’ve always avoided making friends because of simply losing them to chance. But now, I don’t know what to do. You guys are obviously getting to know me better and vice versa but I’m afraid that if one of you guys dies, it’ll be more than I could take. I don’t want to be weak but I don’t know how to be strong either,” Then it happened some tears began to fall and she couldn’t stop them, remembering the pain from her past, it was too hurtful. So she had blocked it out of her mind from an early age. The result was in the end this other persona she had made up, she lost some memories of her family as well, she had even changed her name. She remembered herself screaming when she saw on the TV what had happened, herself running out of her friends house, running through the streets only to see the carnage that Sin left behind... Her parents... Dead. She felt Joseph hold her as she cried, it had been a long time since she had this sort of contact with people, but this only brought on more tears.

    “I understand how frightening it must be to place trust in people when death and destruction happens all around. I know the emotional scars that happen when people are killed in front of you. It is easier to retreat into solitude than to trust other people. But there is a time where you alone are not strong enough for the challenges ahead. I’ll admit that it was tough for me to place my trust in people after what happened to my family but a very wise person one said that bonds between people make a person stronger because no matter how badly a person falls, people that they trust will help them back up,”

    “But what about decisions as a leader? I’m afraid that my decision will get some of you killed. That’ll devastate me even more knowing that I caused your deaths,”

    “The fact that you worry means that you’re a good leader. We have trust in the decisions you make. You trust our abilities, we trust your leadership. That’s what makes a good team. Besides, if one of us dies, you’ll go to the Farplane and kick our butts for dying,” Nikki laughed at that her tears now dried up, she heard some movement from upstairs and Joseph got up.

    “Where are you headed?” She felt a little bit better, a little ashamed that the tears had fallen, but overall her mood felt better.

    “I need to go to the hospital again. The nurse needs to check my wounds,” he said while lacing up his own shoes.

    Great...” thought Nikki, Don’t tell me I need to repeat my story to the others...” Nikki rubbed her forehead with her finger. “What should I tell them?” she asked.

    “What you said to me. It’s not a rare case anyways. They’ll understand,”

    Fuck...” thought Nikki.

    “Oh yeah, I forgot to do something.”

    “What?” she asked. Joseph walked right up to her and flicked her on the forehead. There was a pause as it took a moment to sink what had actually happened, until Nikki shouted at him. “What the hell was that for?!” Furious that he had flicked her.

    “Just because,” he replied with a cheeky grin.

    “Alright he’s dead man walking,” thought Nikki as he went out the door the twins skipped into the kitchen bouncing up and down.

    “So...” said the twins in unison. Nikki ignored them and to went into the living room and collapsed on the nearby sofa. Her living room was tatty. The cream wallpaper was peeling off the walls and her brown sofas weren’t that comfortable, but she did own a sphere screen in the corner, she has a wooden floor and a bookcase in the other corner. She noticed that Keema was rubbing her eyes as she sat up from the sofa.

    Must have slept on it”

    “You and Joseph,”

    “Seemed very,”

    “Comfortable” giggled the twins, the eyes sparkled with delight as Nikki slumped down on the nearby sofa next to Keema.

    “Who seemed comfortable?” asked Kyra as she entered to room yawning with her bowl of cereal.

    “Nikki and Joseph” giggled the twins.

    “Really...” said Kyra deep in thought as she sat down. Nikki groaned and threw a cushion at the twins, who giggled and yelped.

    “Nothing. Is. Going. On.” Said Nikki as she threw a cushion after every word and then realised she ran out of cushions so she ceased fire. “He just helped me get some shit off my mind.” Kyra giggled at that, seemly amused at the way Nikki had bluntly put her sentence.

    “Do you have to use that language, it’s too early.” Stated Keema. Nikki just ignored her as Kyra spoke as Val came into the living room with a piece of toast in his hand.

    “So want to tell us what was on your mind?”

    “Well... It’s just...” said Nikki trying to find the words from earlier, she looked downward at the floor. “I’m afraid of letting you guys down. As leader your lives are in my hands, I’ve been fighting against myself to not get too close to your guys, so that if I did lose you it wouldn’t hurt. But like it or not I have got close to my team, and I’m afraid... I’m afraid of losing you guys, I can’t go through that pain again on my own.”

    “Silly Nikki,”

    "You’re not,”

    “On your,”

    “Own!” Exclaimed the twins. Nikki was fighting against the tears to fall again, this time being a bit more successful, but still she wiped away the one that did escape, fighting against the lump in her throat. Kyra put her bowl down and walked over to her bending down and holding her hands in her own. Nikki’s body jumped at her touch as Kyra smiled at her.

    “That’s right, we’re all here with you. When are you going to finally realise that we are your friends? You can’t get rid of us that easily you know.” Nikki felt her cheeks heat up and smiled.

    “Hmm...”

    “Yes you see too...”

    “It’s not Joseph that Nikki likes, it’s Kyra!” exclaimed the twins giggling. It took a moment for Nikki to register what they had said. Nikki suddenly let go of Kyra’s hand leapt over the sofa and chased after the twins while shouting out.

    “That’s it you're dead!” She chased them through the hallway, out the front door, around the house.

    “Morning Nikki” called her neighbour.

    Into the back garden, into the back door and back into the living room, where the trio were just running around the room.

    “Anyone seen Mishka?” asked Keema. Nikki stopped in her tracks, letting her revenge go she turned and focused her attention on Keema.

    “You didn’t find her?” Keema shook her head.

    “No she brought me here and then went off somewhere. I do worry about her she tends to jump into things first without thinking.” Keema took a sip of her tea that she had gotten herself probably when Nikki was out chasing the twins.

    “Come to think of it I haven’t seen Cyan either.” Said Val.

    “Ooooh, maybe...” the twins began in unison and then giggled.

    “What is it with you two today?!” exclaimed Nikki. The twins giggled some more. Just then Joseph walked in.

    “Hey, what did I miss?”

    “Just Nikki chasing the twins round the house for finding out that she has a crush on Kyra.” Said Val bluntly.

    “WHAT!?” Exclaimed Nikki. Val grinned seemingly he wanted to join in on the teasing too. Whether he fully believed what he was saying she didn’t know. Nor did she know why she was reacting so badly to it as well, she didn’t have feelings, she never has feelings! So why did she care? She looked over to Kyra who looked like she wanted the floor to swallow her right now. She felt sorry for her.

    “I see... So anyway,” began Joseph who Nikki noticed changed the subject which she was glad for. “Any idea when we are going back in?”

    “Oh oops... Breakfast!” exclaimed the twins as they zoomed off, Nikki could hear clattering in the kitchen. Nikki shook her head.

    “So I guess that means after their breakfast,” said Joseph as the twins came in with bowls of cereal, Nikki heard them greedily munch as she spoke.

    “The problem we have is our numbers, we don’t have enough to go back in.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “I mean we now only have a quarter of what we started with, we won’t last two levels. Plus Rikku is dead, if you had any hope of seeing her alive, there is none. I want you all clear on that she hasn’t come up to the surface once.”

    “There is always hope” Said Keema. Nikki turned to her as the Guado sipped some more tea. “There is one thing, the Via Infinito might be keeping her alive for a purpose, unknown to us.”

    “Okay...” said Nikki rolling her eyes. Crazy Guado” thought Nikki.

    “So where do you guys come from? Does anyone have any siblings?” asked the twins, as everyone else answered in turn Nikki tried to think if she had any, but as soon as she tied to think she found a headache coming to her and she held her head.

    When it came to her turn to answer Nikki just answered with “Bevelle, and I don’t think so.”

    After breakfast was finally over everyone headed back to the temple, where they met up with Kain and that’s when Nikki heard the voice.

    “What do you mean you’re giving up!? Rikku is in there! And she is still alive! Nikki looked ahead to see the ”Sir Tidus” arguing with the Meyvin Nooj and Praetor Baralai.

    Oh no” thought Nikki, her worse nightmare would be to have him tag along with them. She raised her arrow.

    “Uhhh... Nikki that is Sir Tidus you are pointing at,” said Joseph.

    “Yeah so?” Joseph just raised his hands, they were quite a distance away. Nikki whispered “Sleep,” as she let go of the arrow it pinned his jacket to the wall and let out a sleep dust which made him collapse on the floor fast asleep. Kyra couldn’t help but look confused, Joseph filled her in.

    “That is Sir Tidus, Lady Yuna’s Guardian.”

    “Do I want to know why she put him to sleep?”

    “Probably not.”

    “Ah Nikki, you really need to find better ways of announcing yourself.” Said the Meyvin as the group approached.

    “Sorry sir, but I don’t think I could cope if he came too.” Someone giggled and Nikki turned to see it was Mayu.

    “Ah don’t worry, I’ll take him to the temple beds and let the Lady Yuna know, she can’t go in the state she is in anyway.” With that Mayu took Tidus while the others went into the room where they all first met.

    “So what’s the damage Nikki?” asked Meyvin, Nikki saluted.

    “About three quarters of our team are gone sir.”

    “Your professional opinion?”

    “Well at the moment sir, we won’t survive with our numbers” Suddenly an Albehd old man burst in.

    “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU ARE NOT GOING TO FIND HER.”

    Baralai stood up to address the man. “Cid please, we are in a meeting.”

    “GOD DAMMIT DOES IT LOOK LIKE I CARE?! I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO TO BRING HER BACK!”

    “We still have Machines down there searching for her Cid.” Said Gippal calmly, although he looked worried too, it was never a good sign when the leaders looked worried in Nikki’s opinion.

    “Well I don’t care I have 200 men on call ready to go down, with or without your permission to get her back!” he exclaimed now calmly.

    “Did you say 200?” asked Nikki. Cid nodded, Nikki turned to the leader. “Sir that would replace our numbers sufficiently,”

    “Well then...” Said Cid trying to hurry things along, Paine then entered and Keema went to the front of the group.

    She turned to face them “We have a new mission for you. The Via Infinito is slowly gaining more energy, you must go to the hundredth floor and reduce the energy by killing the source. If left untreated then the world will be unbalanced, try and not fight until you have to, this way you will let the Via Infinito know you are not there to hurt it, only to help it.”

    "That doesn't mean on the the way you can't look for Rikku," said the Meyvin. Nikki saw now. There was no way they could let them look for Rikku since it was too dangerous now, but if they had a new mission and were down there anyway, then there was no harm to look. Nikki smiled to herself, it looked like Paine and Gippal would be joining them down there too.

    "But where are Cyan and Mishka?"

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Kyra

    Kyra woke up and noticed she wasn’t out on the porch anymore. She was nicely tucked into her bed. Hmmm, must have been Joseph. He’s so kind. She got out of bed and made her way to the kitchen. Some of the others have already started to chat in the living room. She poured herself a bowl of cereal and made her way to where the others were talking.

    “Seemed very,”

    “Comfortable” The twins’ giggled one after the other.
    The way those twins spoke confused Kyra, but she decided to join the conversation.

    “Who seemed comfortable?”

    “Nikki and Joseph” giggled the twins.

    “Really...” She said.Well there goes that idea. What are those twins trying to say?

    “Nothing. Is. Going. On.” Nikki said as she threw pillows at the twins “He just helped me get some shit off my mind.” Kyra giggled at that. She was amused at how Nikki said what she said. Man, she’s blunt.

    Keema piped up and stated, “Do you have to use that language, it’s too early.”

    “Oh, Hey Val.” Kyra said to the groggy boy who walked into the living room with a piece of toast. She noticed Nikki was staring, but tried not to show it. What is on her mind this time?

    Kyra decided to turn the attention back to Nikki and said, “So want to tell us what was on your mind?”

    “Well... It’s just...”Nikki paused and looked down toward the floor. “I’m afraid of letting you guys down. As leader your lives are in my hands, I’ve been fighting against myself to not get too close to your guys, so that if I did lose you it wouldn’t hurt. But like it or not I have got close to my team, and I’m afraid... I’m afraid of losing you guys; I can’t go through that pain again on my own.”

    She thinks she’s alone...She didn’t come from a whole other timeline. Kyra thought as the twins spoke.

    “Silly Nikki,”

    "You’re not,”

    “On your,”

    “Own!” Exclaimed the twins.

    Kyra set her bowl down on the side table and walked over to the emotional Nikki and tried to comfort her. Nikki jumped at the action but Kyra carried on.

    “That’s right, we’re all here with you. When are you going to finally realise that we are your friends? You can’t get rid of us that easily you know.” She noticed Nikki’s cheeks started to redden as she let out a smile.

    “Hmm...”

    “Yes you see too...”

    “It’s not Joseph that Nikki likes, it’s Kyra!” exclaimed the twins giggling. It took a moment for the words to register. Nikki suddenly let go of Kyra’s hand leapt over the sofa and chased after the twins while shouting out.

    “That’s it you're dead!”

    Kyra watched the events unfold in front of her. She took a seat in the spot last occupied by Nikki.

    What just happened? What? Nikki? Really?

    Thoughts raced through Kyra’s head. Thoughts she hadn’t had in years. All those years at the space station made her forget. That’s why she went there in the first place. Memories started to flood in again. Memories she fought so hard to forget. She let out a sigh and made her way outside to get some air. She ignored everything that was going on.What is with that girl? She tries so hard to hide her feelings. I was like that once. Not as bad as she, but I suppose I can relate. She lost her entire family. I just ran away. I wonder if they worry. I doubt it; they probably think I’m dead. That’s probably for the better.

    “Hey Kyra.” Joseph said. He broke Kyra’s train of thought as he walked into the house. She didn’t get the chance to say ‘hi’ back. She just stood there.I thought she didn’t care...I guess this is her way of showing she does. But Joseph! Was he in on this too? They seem to have gotten close. All I know is that this will make for a really awkward future. She smiled to herself.Maybe this is the thing that will calm Nikki.

    Kyra walked back into the house as the twins were asking where everybody was from. Kyra thought hard about the answer, but she didn’t know what to say. The White SeeDs were her family. Ellone, Laguna...Matron...The best answer she could come up with was: “An Orphanage”. Only Nikki and Mishka knew the real answer but Nikki was lost in thought and Mishka was nowhere to be seen.

    After breakfast they made their way back to the temple.I guess that whole ordeal will be put on hold.

    When they arrived, Kane was ready and waiting. Another man that Kyra had never seen was there as well. He was loud, kind of annoying, but he seemed worried about Rikku. He wore the weirdest clothes that Kyra had ever seen. He didn’t look like he was from around here either, but different. Way different.

    Uhhh... Nikki that is Sir Tidus you are pointing at,” Said Joseph

    “Yeah so?” Nikki said as bluntly as ever.

    She put a sleep spell on the weird man for whatever reason. Kyra was beyond confused.

    Joseph turned to Kyra and said, “That is Sir Tidus, Lady Yuna’s Guardian.”

    “Do I want to know why she put him to sleep?”

    “Probably not.”

    Right...Really really awkward future. Gotta remind myself to never annoy Nikki. Ever.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Valvaris

    I walked into the room where everyone is, with my toast in hand, "This early, and there's already a commotion."

    I sighed and walked to a corner of the room, staying silent as the commotion goes on.

    “Anyone seen Mishka?” asked Keema. Nikki stopped in her tracks, letting her revenge go she turned and focused her attention on Keema.

    “You didn’t find her?” Keema shook her head.

    “No she brought me here and then went off somewhere. I do worry about her she tends to jump into things first without thinking.” Keema took a sip of her tea that she had gotten herself probably when Nikki was out chasing the twins.

    “Come to think of it I haven’t seen Cyan either.” I said.

    “Ooooh, maybe...” the twins began in unison and then giggled.

    “What is it with you two today?!” exclaimed Nikki. The twins giggled some more. Just then Joseph walked in.

    Hey, what did I miss?”

    “Just Nikki chasing the twins round the house for finding out that she has a crush on Kyra.” I said.

    I couldn't hold it back. I feel that I have become part of this... family. Even though what they do always leaves me speechless, and embarrassed, sometimes, but I feel that this is the fun times. I have slowly changed, but I believe it is for the better.

    “WHAT!?” Exclaimed Nikki.

    I grinned. I believe it was one of the few times I have smiled with such sincerity.

    Joseph broke the light atmosphere by asking when are we going back into Via Infinito. The twins immediately dashed off for their breakfast, and we concluded that we would go after breakfast. Nikki mentioned that our number is not enough to traverse through the levels, a thought which I hold in my head, but couldn't bear to think it over.

    The twins walked into the room asking where is everybody from. When everyone looked at me, I spoke, "I'm from Kilika. I... do not have any siblings."

    "Though I could regard you guys as mine.", but then I shook it off.

    After breakfast, we all headed towards the temple, only to see Sir Tidus making harsh advances at the entrance. Nikki put a sleep spell in him, and Kyra was obviously shocked of the whole ordeal.

    The Meyvin and Nikki then begin their discussion, which all of us are listening closely to. Then came a familiar voice shouting, questioning why aren't we going down to look for 'her'.

    "Cid!", my heart skipped a beat. I turned around to see Cid behind me, it had been so long since I last saw him!

    “Well I don’t care I have 200 men on call ready to go down, with or without your permission to get her back!” he exclaimed now calmly.

    “Did you say 200?” asked Nikki. Cid nodded, Nikki turned to the leader. “Sir that would replace our numbers sufficiently,”

    “Well then...” Said Cid trying to hurry things along, Paine then entered and Keema went to the front of the group.

    She turned to face them “We have a new mission for you. The Via Infinito is slowly gaining more energy, you must go to the hundredth floor and reduce the energy by killing the source. If left untreated then the world will be unbalanced, try and not fight until you have to, this way you will let the Via Infinito know you are not there to hurt it, only to help it.”

    "That doesn't mean on the the way you can't look for Rikku," said the Meyvin.

    "But where are Cyan and Mishka?"

    I ignored the question and dashed towards Cid. I gave Cid a hug and Cid gave me a pat on the back, "How've you been, boy?"

    "Better than ever."
    "So you are in the search and rescue group to find Rikku, too, huh?"
    "Yes! I will do my best to look for her, I believe she is alive in there... some where."
    "Alright boy, that's the spirit! We'll save the talking for later, aight?"
    "Yes!"

    I turned around to see some of the team members looking at me strangely, I could read the message in their eyes. It is as if they haven't seen me acting like a small boy, since I was always the cool and stern person, even for a 17-year-old.

    "I'm sure the topic was, where are Cyan and Mishka? Come to think of it, I haven't seen Cyan around, either..."

    ***To Be Continued***

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    Being awoken by a lot of talking, Kane walked into where the noise was coming from, his helmet under his arm still, with his father's weapons on show around his waist, but without wearing armour, except for the shield that was his father's.

    Just outside the door to the room, he hesitated and debated on weather he should've put his armour and helmet on fully, then remembering Adrian's words, he put it on the floor outside, near to where his armour was, and then returned and, with a deep breath, entered.

    Just as he entered, he was nearly knocked down by the the twins, who were being chased by Nikki. "What the....?" he exclaimed. Then after looking back at them, feeling confused, shrugged his shoulders and saying in his mind "[color=redFine. If she wants to act like a kid, let her. I just don't want want to be here when she catches them.[/i][/color].

    A little while later, when Nikki had calmed down, and returned to the main room, he saw Joseph enter and speak to Valvaris. After a little while longer, everyone else had decided to go back to Via Infinito after we had all had something to eat for breakfast, just then the twins entered the room and asked where we were all from.

    After each person had said where they were from, Kane noted it in his mind for what he thought would be useful info.

    "Lets see....." he thought, "Kyra is from some kind of orphanage, though.....something tells me that it isn't one here, going off the weapon she has....and the lack of knowledge she has of Spira. Valvaris is from Kilika.....different.” Then realising that everyone was now looking at him, waiting for him to say his place of origin he decided that it was time they knew, as Adrian had suggested.

    Time for my story then? Well, you might want to hang around for a bit, as my “story” is a lengthy one, but, before anyone complains” He looked at Nikki as he said this, “It is one you need to know.” He took a deep breath to calm himself before he started.

    Although when I first met all of you, I said I was from Mt Gagazet, that isn't exactly 100% true. Originally I was born here in Bevelle. My name then wasn't Kane. My real name is Gideon, son of Yvette and Vryon. Now, my father was a shopkeeper here, he also was a master swordsman, and before the Great Calm set in he gave the shop over to his nephew, Adrian, and went to help the guards who worked to guard the Via Infinito. My mother....” he paused to regain control of his rising emotions, as he thought about his mother.

    Then putting up his hand, to say he was fine, he carried on, “My mother also worked in the shop, and at the same time as my father started his guard duty, being a mage, she took up a post just inside the entrance to Via Infinito, doing research on it, to help the few Guado there. I believe she knew Mishka and that other Guado that has arrived recently, just don't hold me to that.”

    Anyway, shortly after, there was an accident, where several researchers, including my mother were attacked by a few of the fiends who were residing inside. The thing is, although the guards were there, including my father, and although it was Cloister 0, where no fiends reside, they were attacked there, and there were reports of a little girl who was.......giggling, as though she found it funny for semi-defenceless people to be attacked. Only my father and 3 other guards got out alive. The rest of the guards and researchers.....no one knows what happened to them.

    It was then that I left Bevelle and headed to Mt Gagazet to to some heavy training with the Ronso's up there, and get used to that armour you see me wear. That was 6yrs ago. A lot has happened. I found out from Adrian that my father, and the 3 other guards, Jin, Koith, and Wyeth tried 40 times to rescue my mother. With the 40th time they went there........


    He stopped to compose himself a 2nd time, though longer this time.....his fists clenching tightly, “They never returned. I don't know how far they got, or if they ever managed to find my mother. All I know, is that my father told Adrian to give me his custom built weapons and shield when I returned. So you see, I have my own reasons for going into Via Infinito. I know this vengeance has also isolated me from everyone....even though I am the new-comer, and should expect it anyway. As for my name, it was while I was training on Mt Gagazet. Kane was a powerful Ronso warrior, who was killed by the so-called “Maester Seymour”. I came upon him too late. That “Maester” had already left, taking the lives of all 50 Ronso who had tried to stop him from following the Lady Yuna. Just before he died, I vowed to Kane that I would get my revenge for him. At that point, Gideon the lame fighter died, and Kane was born. No longer will I back down from a fight. I may not have been able to get my revenge on Seymour, but I now use that anger from not gaining my revenge for Kane, inside Via Infinito.

    The room fell to silence, as all the listeners took the information in. Even the twins, who had been bouncing around had fallen to silence.

    Then, breaking the silence, Kane said Anyway, enough about my crap life, shouldn't we be getting ready to head to Via Infinito?

    After breakfast, everyone headed towards the temple, Kane saw a young lad with outlandish clothes going berserk in front of the temple gate, “Someone's been eating the coffee again I see.” Then seeing him suddenly fall asleep, Kane looked around, and saw the remnants of a sleep spell fall from Nikki's finger. At this, he decided not to ask, and continued to follow everyone into the temple, his armour glistening in the sunlight, with a renewed vigour, from telling the team why he was there.

    Then he suddenly realized....Where were Cyan and Mishka?

  18. #18
    Joseph

    I wonder how long my sanity will hold up being with this group of people. Guess I’m a fool for joining them,’ I thought, a small smile on face as I watched Nikki put Sir Tidus to sleep. I noticed the confused look on Kyra’s face.

    “That is Sir Tidus, Lady Yuna’s Guardian,” I explained.

    “Do I want to know why she put him to sleep?”

    “Probably not,” I replied, watching as two guards pick him up. I began to follow the others in when I heard someone calling for me.

    “Master Joseph!” I turned to find the source of the voice and was quite surprised to find Karl, who was one of my students, running towards me. He ran and stopped in front of me, panting to catch his breath.

    “Karl? What are you doing here?” I asked. It was still relatively early in the morning so very few people are out. I then noticed something hanging out from the bag on his back. It looked very familiar to me. It then hit me what he had brought with him.

    “Master asked me to deliver this to you. He said to give it to you in person,” Karl said, grabbing the object and holding it out for me. I numbly took it from him. It was in a long bag, designed to store bladed weapons. I removed the bag to stare at another katana in its scabbard. It was the exact same design as my katana.

    “Master said that the name …..” Karl began.

    “Tiger Pierce,” I said numbly. This weapon was the weapon my brother had when he died. It was the only other thing he recovered from his brother along with the rosary which was around his neck. I had since stored this weapon away, the memories still painful to this day.

    “Did…..did Master explain for delivering this to me?” I asked Karl.

    “He said that you would need this in your battles to come. That was all he told me,” Karl replied. I stared at the Tiger Pierce for a moment before facing Karl again.

    “Thank you for your effort,” I said. Karl nodded and turned around, running towards the airship docks.

    I still stood on the spot, starring at the katana that was my brother’s. I gripped it and grabbed the hilt, trying to unsheathe the sword. However, every time I tried, I couldn’t do it. Although it was not held in by anything, I simply couldn’t draw the sword out. Part of me doesn’t want to but I could never understand why. I sighed and slipped the sword into my belt, alongside Gerbera Straight, its companion sword. I walked into the room where the others when. As I entered, I heard Valvaris say something.

    “I'm sure the topic was, where are Cyan and Mishka? Come to think of it, I haven't seen Cyan around, either...” he said. I looked at the people currently present. It was strange that two people were absent.

    That’s a good point, where are they?’ I thought, heading outside to see if they were anywhere in the area. I quick look confirmed them to be currently missing. I began to ask around to see if anyone has seen them.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Keema Guado

    In the morning Keema opened her eyes and sat up on the sofa, it took a moment for her to gather her thoughts about where she was. She remembered she hadn’t found Mishka last night and so decided to just get some rest as she might arrive back in the morning, her eyes scanned the tatty room, she wasn’t here. She watched as the blonde girl, Nikki, sit down on the sofa next to her. She gave her a warm smile only to be met with a scowl.

    Oh dear, I don’t like this girl.” Thought Keema as a pair of Albehd twins seem to skip into the room immediately questioning the girl with statements. As this was going on Keema watched as the girl Kyra walked in and questioned more about the conversation. Her, Keema liked, the girl didn’t ignore Keema and smiled at her as a sign of “good morning”, which Keema returned. Keema then jumped when she saw Nikki throw cushions at the twins out of frustration. “This is not healthy,” thought Keema. Nikki then swore, which Keema sighed at and stated. “Do you have to use that language, it’s too early.”

    Then something surprised Keema as she watched the events unfold as Kyra asked what was wrong, Keema thought she saw a tear roll down Nikki’s cheek as she revealed her feelings. Her heart went out to the girl, she was troubled girl. Keema understood now, that this girl had troubles in how to express herself, this girl kept her anger and her troubles bottled up until it exploded. This girl Nikki had no natural release. Humans were it seemed more complicated than she had initially thought. Keema snapped out of her thoughts though when she felt the sofa move as Nikki leapt over it and chased after the twins, Keema blinked a little shocked at this outburst and decided to head over to the kitchen and make herself a cup of tea.

    As she made the tea she began to think about possibly where Mishka could be, she had left in a hurry saying that she had something important to do, but hadn’t given anything much more than that. The kettle whistled and Keema poured in the water and stirred as she walked back to the other room as she sat down she noticed that someone else had come in while she was in the kitchen, he was clad in metal and Keema was a little bit intimidated by him. She wondered why this human hid himself in within his armour. As Nikki came back with the twins Keema spoke up unable to keep it to herself anymore she asked. “Anyone seen Mishka?” The Nikki girl then seemed to at last acknowledge her presence, and she turned to her which looked like to be a worried expression.

    “You didn’t find her?” Keema shook her head.

    “No she brought me here and then went off somewhere. I do worry about her she tends to jump into things first without thinking.” She had hoped that she hadn’t done anything stupid this time, last time she had a great idea was to try and clear the Farplane of fiends. This was when Mishka was visiting Guadosalem, Keema had tried telling her that clearing the farplane of fiends wasn’t necessary...

    Keema shook her head she just hoped and prayed that this time Mishka knew what she was doing.

    “Come to think of it I haven’t seen Cyan either.” Said Val.

    I don’t know a Cyan...” thought Keema, this was troubling. “Had Mishka seeked help?” she asked herself, she began to worry more then. “Is it possible she explored the Via Infinito on her own?” Even though Via Infinito wasn’t there to hurt the Guado, the Guado needed to first to be a specific mind frame before they entered. They needed to connect their mind with the Via Infinto in order to not be hurt by it, and Mishka hadn’t been trained in how to handle the Via Infinito. Even if she knew she had to connect her mind, she would probably go mad in trying. Only the most experienced could be successful. It was a place that was unforgiving to the living, seeing the living as a disease to the planet, if the Farplane grew weaker then the Via Infinito could have the power to wipe out all the living things on Spira. The Guado were both the keepers to the Farplane and the Via Infinito, making sure for centuries that the balance was always kept level. However there is always hope. Keema then listened back into the conversation here Nikki was now talking.

    “...we now only have a quarter of what we started with, we won’t last two levels. Plus Rikku is dead, if you had any hope of seeing her alive, there is none. I want you all clear on that she hasn’t come up to the surface once.”

    “There is always hope.” Keema took a sip of her tea which was now cool enough to drink. “There is one thing, the Via Infinito might be keeping her alive for a purpose unknown to us.”

    “Okay...” It looked like the girl didn’t believe her, but Keema had heard of instances of where the Via Infinito kept people alive for its own means of survival. The thing was Keema couldn’t think of why the Via Infinto would keep her alive though, with the Gullwings it was simple, there were unsent down there which didn’t belong and the Gullwings were there to get rid of them. But she would find out, she planned to accompany the group for a short while down, to make sure that Mishka was alright and that also some of questions would be answered.

    Keema had to wait a while though before she could do that, she decided to go ahead to the room where everyone was going to wait, as she went she seemed to have walked in on a discussion between the three leaders, the Lady Yuna, Paine and Sir Tidus. The Lady Yuna seemed to be adamant on going back in to help with the search of Miss Rikku. A search that the humans were losing hope in succeeding in anymore, there were more pressing matters now though. If the Via Infinito was left untreated then it could become a problem for Spira. Keema walked over to the group.

    “Excuse me, Lady Yuna?” The Lady Yuna turned with puffy eyes, Keema sa her force a smile.

    “Yes?”

    “With all due respect, I think it would be a good idea if you didn’t go back in. Your emotions will cloud your judgement, and the Via Infinito will take advantage of that.”

    “But...” Paine put a comforting hand on her shoulder, while Keema watched the Sir Tidus follow the Meyvin outside.

    “Yuna I’ll go in and carry on searching for Rikku, as well as this new mission. It doesn’t mean we have to stop.” The Lady Yuna nodded and agreed it was best for her to stay here.

    A little while later the group arrived, Keema hoped that they would accept the new mission, it was very important for the survival of Spira that they accepted that searching for Miss Rikku was now secondary and that the maintenance of the Via Infinito’s energy levels were now of more pressing matters. Keema ignored the arguments as an old Albehd man burst into the room, she realised that Miss Rikku was important but they didn’t realise the consequences if this problem that has arisen was left untreated. At last after people had settled down Keema was able to explain the new mission. “We have a new mission for you. The Via Infinito is slowly gaining more energy, you must go to the hundredth floor and reduce the energy by killing the source. If left untreated then the world will be unbalanced, try and not fight until you have to, this way you will let the Via Infinito know you are not there to hurt it, only to help it.”

    "That doesn't mean on the way you can't look for Rikku," added the Meyvin

    “But where are Mishka and Cyan?” Keema noticed at the mention of the question no one seemed to answer straight away, they were more carefree about it.

    Wasn’t this the same group that got nearly wiped out in the Via Infinito? Shouldn’t they be at least a little bit concerned about what is happening?” The boy that introduced himself as Val yesterday seemed to ignore the question and go over to Cid, Keema scanned the room and saw that Nikki was getting agitated at this and seemed to have trouble at containing her rage. Keema watched with interest when Val suddenly came round to the topic again which then Nikki seemed to bark back at him again.

    “Yes exactly, it’s not fucking reunion day!”

    “Someone said that they saw her go into the Via Infinito last night,” Keema heard a voice say, Keema looked up to see that it was Paine. Keema saw that while everyone had been arguing or not taking notice Paine had took the initive to ask around as soon as Nikki had asked where the two were.

    “WHAT THE FUCK IS SHE THINK SHE IS DOING!?” It was as Keema had feared she had gone in. The group then agreed to go back in as they walked Keema suggested something.

    “We should ask the unsent girl, she seems to have a good knowledge now about what goes down there.”

    “We?”

    “Yes I shall accompany you until I get the answers I need.”

    “Well she doesn’t fucking tell us anything, and how do you know she isn’t going to tell us lies?” Keema just smiled.

    “I’m sure she only tells the truth, just because she’s an unsent doesn’t mean she will lie, I trust in her innocence that I’ve heard about.”

    When they got inside Keema immediately sat down and crossed her legs and closed her eyes.

    “Uh... What are you doing?” asked a male voice Keema didn’t know who though.

    “I’m connecting my mind with the Via Infinito.” She could start to feel the pain of the undead in the Via Infinito, it was sharp and painful, more painful that she remembered, but she needed to get past the pain, if she got past the pain she could get to the information that she needed. She concerntated more, she could feel the energy around her it was powerful but her head hurt. She was at a block, the block started to visualise around her, she could feel the Pryeflies hum around her. The group gasped around her, they had probably not seen how a Guado connected its mind before. She could hear the fiends growl behind her, but she waved her arm to dismiss them again, it was no use she was only summoning fiends, something was blocking her from connecting to the Via Infinito. “This is strange I connect seem to connect my mind.”

    “You might want to open your eyes...” there was fear in the girl’s voice.

    “Hello!” said a child’s voice. Keema opened her eyes to see an unsent girl looking at her smiling while clutching a moogle, she was wearing a pink dress with pink sandles. Her blonde pigtails seemed to bounce as she swayed on the spot and Keema could see that her blue eyes held some innocence about her.

    “Hello there my name is Keema Guado.” She said as she smiled. The girl smiled.

    “Hello Keema, you look like sissy!” she exclaimed.

    She might mean Mishka...” “Oh we’re looking for sissy, did she come here?”

    “Yep she beat my nasty toy and we threw him away” She giggled.

    “And where is she now?” questioned Keema.

    “Oh I took her somewhere safe, I fixed her first.” She yawned.

    “Are you bored?” asked Keema.

    “Yes sissy came in here asking the same questions, I told her I took sissy to a cave... I think.”

    “Was that another person?”

    “Yes she had a big sword.” Keema smiled.

    “Well then let’s talk about something more interesting. What’s your name?”

    “Can’t remember, my head hurts when I try to think.”

    “How old are you?”

    “I don’t like these boring questions...” Keema then smiled at her.

    “It’s only a few more, I’ll give you a sweet if you are good.”

    “A sweet? Oh YAY I like sweets! Okay... I’m...” She started to count on her fingers and held up eight.

    “Is that in real life?” Keema knew that children liked to pretend, it wasn’t lying, they just loved to do role play.

    “Oh... In real life I’m...” She finally held up four fingers.

    “You’re four, that’s a lovely age. Why do you want to look like eight?” The unsent seemed to smile at that.

    “Because I want to be older than big sissy.”

    “Do you remember your big sister?”

    “Nope... I think her sparklies were taken away” Keema smiled at her.

    “Well it was very nice to meet you, I need to go now. But here.” With that Keema brought out a strawberry flavoured lollypop which the girl seemed to squeal in delight and then dispersed into Pryeflies while a “Thank you” echoed through the halls.

    “Okay how did you do that?”

    “With a lot of training, you need try and understand her side, she’s scared and alone. I must leave” with the knowledge that Mishka was okay Keema left to head back to where Rin was.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Joseph

    And all this has happened before lunch,’ I thought, slowly rubbing my forehead to relieve the building pressure on my head, No wonder I get headaches so easily lately.’

    “So now what? How the hell are we going to make it down without fighting? It’s not like the Via Infinito will let us walk though it without incident,” Val asked, echoing my own thoughts. The Via Infinito sees us as an enemy so it wouldn’t just let us walk though. Nikki was thinking hard since we entered here, probably trying to come up with a solution with this problem.

    “We obviously need to run quickly though the remaining Cloisters to avoid combat. But it still leaves us a problem with this place spawning more fiends to intercept us running straight though,” Kyra said out loud. She made a good point. The Via Infinito would most likely do that to slow us down.

    “What about a scouting party that runs ahead of the main group? Use them to report on the Cloisters ahead and as a quick distraction that allows the others to run on by?” Kane suggested.

    “It may work but if they run too far ahead, they could be trapped without reinforcements. That’s not exactly an ideal situation,” Val argued.

    “Hmm…. That may be the only solution right now. Don’t think we have a choice but to do it. But no one from Cid’s people will be skilled enough to do that. We need… ” Nikki began but I cut her off.

    “I’ll go then,” I said, causing people to look at me like I’m crazy. “I have the speed and strength to do it. You’ve seen me in combat. It’s the most logical choice right now.”

    Nikki though hard for a moment, probably weighing every single choice. Finally she nodded in approval.

    “That may be the case but you’re not going alone,” she said. I was about to protest but she cut me off.

    “No fucking buts Joseph. You are not going in alone. What the hell happens if you have to fight a fiend that’s immune to attack or if you suddenly get surrounded? We already have enough deaths already and I don’t need someone running off like they’re the fucking Immortal Warrior and getting killed. You’re going with at least 2 more people or we all run together,” Nikki stated, making her decision final.

    I already have my choices in mind when Nikki was speaking.

    “Alright. I’ll bring Kyra, Valvaris and Yuki with me. Is that enough oh great leader?” I replied with a touch of sarcasm in my voice. Nikki wacked me on the side of head.

    “Watch it Joseph or I’ll shove my fucking bow so far up your ass that you’ll never get it out,” she growled. I smirked while gathering the mentioned members in front of the Cloister exit.

    “Follow us after 15 seconds. If there’s a problem, Yuukou will know,” I said. Nikki nodded and I turned to face the portal.

    “Speed is my life. Grant me strength to run faster than the winds,” I chanted, casting Hayate on myself and the others. With that done, we ran into the portal.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    What are you then?” Lina squealed, her usual upbeat nature long since buried by the fear inside, “What did you do?”

    How regrettable. You should have been more cautious with your activities.I replied lowly, part of the digger hanging off my partially ethereal body.

    “I'm... sorry...”

    Quite right, but it's already too late.I said, lifting my hand, Like many others on this site, your body's been infested by foreign pyreflies.

    “F-foreign?”

    Yes, to you anyway. For me, they're my budding seeds. I'm learning so much lately. I guess, in that sense, I must thank Rin. In trying so hard to prevent him from learning of the sins committed in the past, I've educated myself in the power of death.I began saying, looking at my hand.

    “What are you talking about?”

    You're in luck, at least in essence. I'll be needing people to keep an eye on things. We'll see just how well I'm capable of this.I said to her, moving close as she squirmed.

    “What are you do-”

    With a flick of my hand, I forced the pyreflies I had hidden inside her to twist her neck, breaking it. Once she was dead, I used those pyreflies to heal the injury and had the rest lift her to her feet. However, walking for a corpse was quite the task and I found it hardly worth the effort. I opted to remove my lingering pyreflies from her, ignite the body by pushing it into the engine of one of the excavations machina.

    The days had been dragging, but that was a beam of light for me. Yevon left Rin's excavation plans cursed and I took care of the remainder of our troubles. Lina had been one of the clumsiest to ever set foot into research, but that same clumsiness led her to uncovering my true existence as an unsent. The others I had touched, while competent, did not come nearly so close. It saved me from having to cause more harm to my own mission by creating a trail of bodies. The Calm Lands, while it did bear many items from the Age of Sin, seemed devoid of hints to the technology guzzlers of the past. Praise be to Yevon.

    “What is the report for today?” Telos, the crew chief of our band enquired of us.

    “Nothing, same as every day.” One of the others, Kanrin, grumbled, tossing his gravity gun away.

    “It doesn't make sense. Back in the day, the Machina War ran all through here. What could possibly be wrong?” Another, Eryv, interjected.

    Perhaps Sin did away with those weapons long ago, during one thousand years of penance .I suggested, wondering how they'd take those words.

    “Doesn't make sense. There should be some rubble. Sin ain't that powerful.” One more added, this one being one of my unknowing peons, Zachariah.

    “Iezak does have a point, though. Rubble or not, Sin smashed everything to bits. If a whole city couldn't survive, what are the chances some bits of machinery did?” A girl, one more peon named Haruka, added.

    “Are you saying we should've stayed in Bikanel?” Eryv asked.

    Nothing says we won't discover anything in the future, but the current statistics look bleak. However, Bikanel didn't show that much promise either.

    “At least we got something out of it.” He grunted.

    In the end, I was quite pleased with the turn of events. My many eyes about the Calm Lands side of the mission showed that there was no progress at all and eventually, the morale would dissipate and the sinful prospectors hoping to be a part of a brand new Spira would rescind their steadfast promises of finding results. However, on the other spectrum things were going a bit awry.

    It appeared from my perspective in Hunter's eyes that Rin and the heathen boy were allowed access to the blessed Farplane and granted the lost behemoth inside. Though it had been discarded there by one of my fellows, that unsent had only wanted the world to be destroyed, his reasoning foreign and illogical to me. There was no point in ending life due to erroneous thinking. Yevon had set this world right by teaching us in the rites to salvation. Some will fight the truth and the light, some weak ones will question the difficult path, but in the end, it is part of the quest for Elysium to leave the weak ones to their fate so the just can live in a better world.

    The Vegnagun machina weapon was now my major concern and a great threat to that better world of Yevon. Hunter shouldn't allow them too many freedoms with that monstrosity, but I doubted he had enough control in the matter. For days now, I saw through his eyes how much they had acquired from the giant menace, disassembling it piece by piece for further analysis. If they were to reverse engineer a Machina City from the broken parts of one simple lump of metal, they obviously had some form of a plan for it. From what I knew, Rin wanted to pull the very essence of the Farplane's life force and process it into usable energy, which they theorised was how they powered those wretched structures back then. The weapon, likewise, should have had the same sort of generator inside so I needed to hope Hunter would lead me to it. Then, perhaps I could use some of my other abilities.

    The following day, the excavations in the Calm Lands had intensified. Many of them were losing hope so the others who prayed for some progress began working harder to find anything they could. So far, they had spread so far that there was at least one digger for every square foot of the entire plain. I, myself, had taken to adventuring. For the longest moment in time, I feared they'd discover the horrid machina tools of Spira's diseased past, that they'd use those weapons to advance this new world of theirs, only poisoning the planet further. However, seeing as progress had come to a standstill, I felt released to recount old journeys I'd taken to find something useful that was lost to history.

    My traveling took me to a small cave beside the Gagazet Mountain, known to us as the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth. At first, I had merely hoped it would lead me to something abandoned while the fiends fed, but interestingly, the thing abandoned was a dainty dove.

    My my, what do we have here?

    She was of the guado race, a warrior by the armaments she wore. It struck me as odd that she would lie down against the cold rocky surface, and next to the chasm left when the Fayth Stone was destroyed by my fellow. As such, I scanned her, sensing her injuries and memories. She was acquainted with another guado, the same one that had allowed the bastard Rin to claim Vegnagun. Also of interest, she had seen something, something of immense power and thrall. Part of it had remained with her and drew my pyreflies to it. My first thought was to be frightened by this, losing control of my pyreflies. Yet, this presence within the girl strengthened me like nothing imaginable. I hoped she would eventually lead me to that power and so I sent those pyreflies that sought it to stay within her, residing inside until the time was right.

    In the meantime, I began browsing her memories, those I could, in search for compatibility. I found in my sessions that those who had goals similar to mine were much more readily available than those who were complete heretics. From what this girl showed me, I could see she had no intention of helping Rin, nor did she care. Her mission was a different one, something running simultaneously with our task. The Via Infinito, a pathway into oblivion, had stirred and they were going to investigate. It would seem that the Via Infinito and the Farplane were linked and maintained a balance which was being disturbed. No doubt, Rin's unholy schemes had a role in it. If that was to be the case, I knew I had to keep a part of myself within this girl. She and I, along with her friends, were kindred to me and those under Yevon. For now, she had my protection.

    “What are you doing to her?” A feminine voice enquired of me, the cold steel of her blade sliding against its scabbard as she drew her weapon against me.

    Worry not. I found this one lying comatose here while searching the area for machina. She seems fine.I told her.

    “Why were you just standing in front of her then?” She said, narrowing her eyes at me.

    Now is not the time. Your friend needs shelter for rest. It appears she's been through some ordeal.I told her, pointing out the girl's wounds.

    “Mishka, are you alright?” She asked, going to the girl's side.

    Waking at the sound of her companion's voice, the guado girl, Mishka, looked up at her and said,
    “Cyan, I never thought I'd see you again.”

    “I wouldn't let you get away that easily.”

    “But how?”

    “I knew you were bound to go back into the Via Infinito. I've been asking around and it seems the balance between the Via Infinito and the Farplane is causing this. I went down to check and you know who arrived to greet me.”

    “She's innocent, Cyan. At least, she used to be. W-we have to h-help-”

    “Be at ease. We'll talk more about this later. For now, I want to get you back to Nikki's house.”

    “Nikki... I didn't think I'd see any of them, either.”

    Might I suggest you make haste. The sun will be setting soon and her condition won't improve should she remain here.

    Thank you.”She quickly replied, lifting the girl's arm onto her shoulder and walking with her out of the cave.

    'No, thank you.'

    For the moment, I found myself with another direction towards saving this dying world from its sin. Perhaps Yevon's light shall shine upon us yet.


    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    What the fuck did they not even hear me?” thought Nikki. She had asked the group only moments before about the absence of both Mishka and Cyan, both strong companions. Mishka was a pain, yes. But she considered her a good friend now. She guess she could consider them all her friends. But what was going on around her was plain stupid, Val was more interested in his reunion with Cid, which as you may expect got Nikki even angrier, and everyone and turned to watch them, rather than ask her question. When Val finally finished Nikki had a hard time at trying to contain herself. She marched right up to him and yelled. “Yes exactly, it’s not fucking reunion day!”

    “Someone said that they saw her go into the Via Infinito last night” interrupted Paine. Nikki spun her head round to look at Paine and had a moment to let the information sink in.

    “WHAT THE FUCK IS SHE THINK SHE IS DOING!” She was pissed off that Mishka had gone in on her own, anything could happen to her. “Even after what happened to Rikku she still went in on her own!” she thought. “We leave, now!” As Nikki said this she noticed the twins run on ahead to translate to the Al behd outside. As they walked she heard a suggestion from the crazy Guado.

    “We should ask the unsent girl, she seems to have a good knowledge now about what goes on down there.”

    “We?” Nikki raised an eyebrow at her.

    “Yes I shall accompany you until I get the answers I need” Nikki didn’t know what the Guado wanted to find out, but she didn’t really care that much to ask, instead she decided to ask exactly how the Guado was going to get the information.

    “Well she doesn’t fucking tell us anything, and how do you know she isn’t going to tell us lies.”

    “I’m sure she only tells the truth, just because she’s an unsent doesn’t mean she will lie, I trust in her innocence that I’ve heard about.”

    “This Guado really is delusional.” Thought Nikki.
    When Nikki step through the portal to the Via Infinito they were back at floor 30, she excepted Auron to jump right out straight away, but he wasn’t there. “Okay... So where is he?” she thought just then the stupid crazy Guado sat down on the floor and began to murmur to herself. “WHAT THE FUCK!” Everyone had turned to look at the Guado, who was behaving weirdly. Well... People generally did not just decide to sit down in a dangerous place. Val then spoke up.

    “Uh... What are you doing?”

    “I’m connecting my mind with the Via Infinito.”

    “Like we were meant to know that” she thought while rolling her eyes. Nikki then watched as Pryeflies began to float around the Guado they gathered speed as they went faster and faster around the Guado, they then clustered behind her to form a King Behemoth. The Guado waved her hand at the fiend dispersed back into the Pryeflies, they again circled her and finally clustered in front of her to form...

    “SHIT!” thought Nikki. The little unsent girl had appeared in front of the Guado, the little girl looked around her, her eyes held some confusion. It was as if she didn’t know how she had got there. “Did the Guado bring her here? Is it possible that the girl didn’t come here of her own accord this time but was actually summoned? Like that fiend?” thought Nikki The Little girl peered down on the Guado and smiled.

    “You might want to open your eyes...” said Kyra, Nikki could hear the fear in her voice and she had every right to be fearful, Nikki could hardly say that the meeting with the girl were pleasant. The Guado them opened her eyes, Nikki just hoped that she knew what she was doing, Nikki could feel a light headache, it was slight, hardly noticeable but it happened every time she entered the Via Infinito this headache would come.

    “Hello there my name is Keema Guado.”

    “I bet the girl summons a fiend and then we have to clear it up.” Thought Nikki.

    “Hello Keema you look like sissy!” she exclaimed in delight.

    “MISHKA! What has that brat done to you!” thought Nikki clenching her fists, it took all her might to just stand there and let the Guado deal with her, but Keema seemed to be... smiling?

    “Oh we’re looking for sissy, did she come here?”

    “Yep she beat my nasty toy and we threw him away,” she giggled.

    “Toy? Does she mean that Auron is gone now?”

    “And where is she now?”

    Oh I took her somewhere safe, I fixed her first.” The girl then yawned.

    “Safe?! I don’t like her version of safe!”

    “Are you bored?”

    “Yes sissy came in here asking the same questions, I told her I took sissy to a cave... I think.”

    “Maybe...” thought Nikki.

    “Was that another person?”

    “Yes she had a big sword.”

    “Cyan... She’s gone after Mishka! The only cave I know of is at the Calm Lands. She could have transported her there, like she did with all of us at the entrance of the Via Infinito.”

    “Well then let’s talk about something more interesting. What’s your name?”

    “Can’t remember, my head hurts when I try to think.”

    “Great...”

    “How old are you?”

    “I don’t like these boring questions...”

    “SHIT!”

    “It’s only a few more I’ll give you a sweet if you are good.”

    “A sweet? Oh YAY I like sweets! Okay... I’m...” The unsent counted on her fingers and held up eight.

    “I can’t believe what I am seeing...”

    “Is that in real life?”

    “What the heck does that Guado mean?” But it seemed that the unsent had understood her.

    “Oh... In real life... I’m...” The unsent held up four fingers.

    “What the fuck, the girl is four and looks like an eight year old!”

    “You’re four, that’s a lovely age. Why do you want to look like eight?”

    “Because I want to look older that big sissy.”

    “So... She has a big sister. Hope we don’t have to deal with her too down here...”

    “Do you remember your big sister?”

    “Nope... I think her sparklies were taken away.”

    “Well it was very nice to meet you, I need to go now. But here.” The Guado handed the unsent a red lollipop which the girl seemed to squeal in delight and then dispersed into Pryeflies while a Thank you echoed through the halls. As soon as she had gone Joseph then asked the Guado.

    “Okay how did you do that?”

    “That’s what I would like to know” thought Nikki. They had met up with the girl and yet they weren’t attacked.

    “With a lot of training, you need to try and understand her side, she’s scared and alone. I must leave.”

    “She didn’t look scared to me...” thought Nikki as she watched the Guado make her exit.

    “So now what? How the hell are we going to make it down without fighting? It’s not like the Via Infinito will let us walk through it without incident,” exclaimed Val, Nikki turned to the group and noticed that the twins were translating what was being said to the Albehd who didn’t know the language.

    “That’s a good question, how do we go through? It’s virtually impossible to not fight down here. WHAT THE HELL ARE WE MEANT TO DO!?”

    “We obviously need to run quickly through the remaining Cloisters to avoid combat. But it still leaves us a problem with this place spawning more fiends to intercept us running straight through.”

    “If we just run through though, there would be no way we would have the time to look for Rikku as well. I know Rikku is now a secondary mission, but it’s still a mission.”

    “What about a scouting party that runs ahead of the main group? Use them to report on the Cloisters ahead and as a quick distraction that allows the others to run on by?”

    “Ah yes, and then the scouting party would be served up to the little girl, excellent!” Nikki rolled her eyes, at the stupidity of the suggestion. “And yet it may be the only thing we have...”

    “It may work but if they run on too far ahead, they could be trapped without reinforcements . That’s not likely an ideal situation.”

    “If this is the wrong decision then there will be consequences, dire ones...” “Hmm…. That may be the only solution right now. Don’t think we have a choice but to do it. But no one from Cid’s people will be skilled enough to do that. We need… ” Joseph cut Nikki off.

    “I’ll go then,”

    “WHAT THE FUCK!”

    “I have the speed and strength to do it. You’ve seen me in combat. It’s the most logical choice right now.”

    Nikki rubbed her forehead. “He wants to play hero AGAIN! There’s no way he’s doing that again alone!” “That may be the case but you’re not going alone,” Joseph was about to protest but Nikki cut him off before he had the chance. “No fucking buts Joseph. You are not going in alone. What the hell happens if you have to fight a fiend that’s immune to attack or if you suddenly get surrounded? We already have enough deaths already and I don’t need someone running off like they’re the fucking Immortal Warrior and getting killed. You’re going with at least 2 more people or we all run together,” Nikki turned to the rest of the group. The twins were still translating what had been said. “The rest of you search around this level for signs on Rikku, it’s quite clear here since Auron is now gone quickly to a search and then follow me to level 31.” “I have a bad feeling about this...” Nikki thought. But she didn’t know what else to do , she was so confused at the moment half of her was shouting out that this was the wrong choice, that they should ignore the Guado and fight through, it surely was the only way to survive wasn’t it?

    “Alright. I’ll bring Kyra, Valvaris and Yuki with me. Is that enough oh great leader?” Nikki wacked him.

    “Watch it Joseph or I’ll shove my fucking bow so far up your ass that you’ll never get it out,” she growled.

    “Follow us after 15 seconds. If there’s a problem, Yuukou will know,” Nikki nodded and then Joseph said “Speed is my life. Grant me strength to run faster than the winds,” casting Hayate on his team, they were about to jump down to the next level when someone yelled out.

    “WAIT!” Mayu ran towards them and leaned on her staff for support as she gathered her breath.

    “Mayu? What are you doing down here? Aren’t you meant to be helping on the surface?” She then suddenly slapped Nikki.

    “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!?” Nikki felt her cheek sting as she held it.

    “What the...”

    “DON’T YOU DARE NIKKI! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING LETTING PEOPLE SEPERATE FROM THE MAIN GROUP! DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT’S IN HERE! THE VIA INFINITO TOOK MY WHOLE TEAM! THAT’S ABOUT 300 LIVES WASTED! AND YOU...” She put her hand up to her face trying to calm herself down. “Even now I can still hear the screams you know... I failed them Nikki, I don’t want to see you do the same just because of grief clouding your judgment.”

    “She’s right what was I thinking? But it still leaves us the problem of how to get through the Via Infinito” Nikki held her head a groaned she was so confused. “Damn why does everything have to be so complicated? We’ve been told not to engage in battle too.”

    “Listen, according to the Guado you have to not engage in battle as soon as you enter in order to have a safe journey. Hate to break it to ya Nikki, but with the Via Infinito here that only works with the Guado. The only way is to fight. I was sent down here to tell you that by Nooj. Plus you’ve already engaged in battle down here.” Everyone groaned around her and Nikki sat down to let everything sink in. Suddenly there was a giggle and everyone turned to see the little girl arrive but Nikki just kept her head down.

    “Ooh you all look moody today, I finished my lollipop it was nice!” she heard the little girl say. There was a pause and then the little girl spoke again. “Are you ill?” Nikki looked up to see that the little girl was extremely close to her bending down to her. Nikki heart started to beat quickly out of fear. The girl just smiled. “Let’s see what’s wrong, open wide!” The little girl suddenly was replaced with a cloud of Pyreflies which went straight into Nikki, Nikki suddenly clutched her head and cried out in pain. “Now let’s see what’s in here” Nikki could see her memories flash before her all of them blurry and her head hurt even more. Nikki heard her comrades cry out for her.

    “Leave her alone!”

    “I only want to help.” Then suddenly a specific memory was being pulled at. “Ok lets see what this is.” The Pryeflies then danced in front of Nikki revealing her memory to everyone. “NO NOT THAT ONE! I WANT THE BLURRY ONE! Oh well, I’ll watch this one”, and then the memory formed itself in front of her.

    There was Bevelle in a rubble, the south side had been attacked by Sin and among the rubble were children kicking a Blitzball around, there was one child though alone crying with her knees up sitting in the rubble.

    “Is that Nikki?” asked the twins, that alerted Nikki that they could see what she could see this was no longer in her own mind.

    “No these are private memories!” cried out Mayu.

    “But I want to see.” Giggled the girl. The lonely girl was a five year old Nikki. She was covered in dirt wearing a black skirt and I light blue t shirt she was wearing no shoes. Another child approached her but before anything happened the memory disappeared and Nikki yelled out in pain as the Pryeflies suddenly flooded out of her body and girl seemed to tumble out of her, as if she was pulled out by some unknown force. Nikki felt relief as the pain vanished. The little girl held her head. “Not fair! I wanted to help you, but something stopped me!” She then smiled at her “No matter,” a voice overlapped her own and she turned to Kyra, “I’ll help you instead!” With that the Pryeflies then flooded into Kyra and showed her memory instead.

    “NO!” shouted out Nikki.

  19. #19
    Kyra

    Kyra watched the events unfold in front of her. She felt helpless. Nikki was in so much pain and all she could do is watch. Kyra was afraid to approach Nikki and the girl. What would she do to me? She stayed back for the moment. The memory that the girl showed hit home for Kyra. She was crying. Is that where her parents died? But who is that beside her? The memory stopped suddenly and the girl was forced out. Kyra ran to help Nikki, but the girl seemed to have other plans.

    The girl turned to Kyra “I’ll help you instead.” With that Kyra was taken over. She didn’t feel the type of pain that Nikki did. In fact all she could feel was sadness. Kyra fought the girl purging through her memories and got the strength to ask the girl: “Am I the one that needs help, or are you?” The girl ignored the question and found what she was looking for.

    She was back on Earth. The White SeeD’s had sent Kyra for her training session outside Esthar. She was wearing black pants, a white tank top with a black over shirt. She also had her Gunblade at her side ready to fight. She was about 16 at the time. She was with her partner, Aiko. She had brown hair with blonde streaks wearing a light blue patterned shirt with black pants. They were sent into the forest for the night.

    Kyra fought the girl another time and asked: “Why do they need to see this?”

    “Is something the matter? She’s pretty” The girl said

    A tear fell from Kyra’s eye. This particular memory had played over and over for weeks after the incident and now to be played again by a silly little girl.

    “Shall we continue?”

    Neither of them were familiar with the area they were sent to, but their leader, Hsin, said it was good to travel unknown territory. However, this was different. It was dark and it was just the two of them. Aiko was not only a close friend to Kyra, but also Kyra’s lover. They had been through some awful times together. This was one of them.

    “Aiko, we’ll get through this right?” Kyra said with fear in her voice.

    Aiko looked at her with those loving eyes “We always do”

    Kyra nodded

    The girl chimed in and said, “Let’s fast forward”

    Kyra couldn’t help but watch, just as she did that night.

    During the night, the both of them had lost track of where they were going. Between killing monsters and healing each other, they hadn’t had time to check the map.

    “Don’t tell me we’re lost again Aiko.”

    Aiko turned to Kyra, “We’ll get through this, alright? Just stay close”

    Something wasn’t right. After Aiko turned back around, there was a monster in front of her. It was very large and vicious. Nothing they had ever seen before. Neither of them had the time to deduct what it actually was. If Aiko hadn’t let her guard down for those two seconds....The next thing that was shown was a lifeless Aiko and a helpless Kyra. Kyra didn’t leave her side for the rest of the night.

    “Damnit Aiko. You’d still be here if I hadn't spoken...”

    “Listen little girl, I don’t know why you just showed that to everyone, but that is in the past. You can’t change the past...” Another tear fell from Kyra’s eye. “Even if you want to so badly, you would do anything”

    “You’re no fun” The girl said. Kyra thought the girl would leave her body after that, but she didn’t. She began to walk around the room. She was wobbly at first, almost like she had never done this before.

    “You know, it isn’t nice to walk around in other peoples’ body.”

    The girl started to giggle. The girl started to lift Kyra’s left arm. The one with the Gunblade. “I like your sword”

    “You do? Have you seen it before?”

    “Hmm, I can’t remember. Maybe”

    With that the girl left Kyra’s body. She looked at the rest of the group and asked “What’s next?”

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Valvaris

    I kept my hand on my guns, ready to deal with anything dangerous that may appear. The little girl went through Nikki's memory and then Kyra's.

    "What's next?", her voice resounded, "You are being too cautious big bro!"

    A wave of pyreflies floats around me. My arms are locked onto the guns, unable to pull them out, and then the pyreflies disappear. A hologram-like projection appeared in front of me, the numbness rendered my immobile and disabled to react.

    Projected in the hologram was Sin, and a very familiar-looking place.... It was Kilika, 13 years ago.

    "RUNNNNN!"
    "SIN IS ATTACKING!"
    "ARHHHHH!!"

    Screams of fear are heard, and destruction hails from each and every part of the village. There was a little boy in the middle of the scene, holding onto a wooden pillar.

    "MOM! DAD!", the little boy screamed, he grabbed hold of a pillar, that is cracking, getting uprooted by Sin's attack.
    "Hold on, son!" a man ran towards the boy and held onto him before he flew away along with the pillar into the sea.
    "Look out!" a woman shouted to the man, as Sin's attack came raining down around them.

    The man carried the boy, and while avoiding the attacks, ran towards the woman, "We must leave here!". The woman nodded in agreement.

    They ran passed waves of attacks, the broken woods which are flying around, and the pillars which are falling, towards the land. They intend to escape into the forest.

    Suddenly, a huge splashing sound is heard. The couple and the boy, who nearly reached the land, saw a large shadow behind them. They turned around to see a large tsunami hovering above their head. The huge wave of water came splashing down on them, and then forcefully dragging them towards the ocean.

    The man inevitably released the boy he was holding, and the boy reflexively held onto a large stone that was in front of him, while he fell into the water. The water level went down as the waves travel back into the ocean. The boy is seen out of the water, still holding onto the stone.

    Sin has disappeared into the ocean, but so had the couple.

    "MOM??? DAD???? Where are you??"

    And then there was silence....

    And then there was darkness....

    "That was so sad...", the little girl sobbed, "That boy.... that boy was you wasn't it big bro?"

    I could not speak. I did not react. I took a deep breathe and stood up, freed from the numbness before.

    "What was the necessity in this, girl?"

    She didn't answer. I felt her left my body, and I believe she's going into the next one, just about now....

    ***To Be Continued***

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Nikki watched helplessly as the girl turned to Kyra and swept herself inside, but Kyra didn’t seem to cry out in any sort of pain like Nikki had. Nikki saw the shocked expression on her face, she presumed the girl was doing the same thing, going through the memories until she found what she wanted, the Pryeflies danced all around them revealing a private memory. It looked like a training squad, Nikki noted that Kyra looked younger here and perhaps more innocent. She didn’t recognise the surroundings but then she remembered that Kyra came from a different world and hadn’t originally lived in Spira. The armour that the squad was wearing was foreign to her too. Nikki turned to look at Kyra and noticed a tear run down her cheek. Nikki got off the ground and was about to go for her but someone grabbed her shoulder.

    “You can’t do anything! If you do she might hurt Kyra!” exclaimed Joseph, Nikki just growled and shook her shoulder out of his hand.

    “He’s right” she thought. “If I do anything she might get her do something worse.” "The little bitch” Nikki mumbled under her breath. She didn’t like to feel helpless, she didn’t want the people she was close to be put into a situation where they could do nothing to help them.

    The memory rolled on “Let’s fast forward.” She heard the girl’s voice echo.

    “She’s not a toy!” Nikki clenched her fists in anger. She could see this was painful for Kyra to watch, the poor girl began shake with emotion, she had closed her eyes not wanting to watch, but Nikki knew she could still hear it and still picture it in her mind, there was no running from it as far as the girl was concerned. Aiko Nikki noticed was probably a past lover, Nikki could guess what was coming they were both lost and running low on energy. Aiko died and Nikki guessed that Kyra blamed herself for it. No one could have done anything; it wasn’t her fault a fiend that powerful is hard to stop. Nikki watched the young Kyra cry next to the lifeless body, as Nikki looked up she could see that the present Kyra was crying and shaking with emotion. Suddenly the memory ended and the Pryeflies gathered around her and danced around her. Kyra suddenly stopped crying and shakily started to walk around, her eyes were blank.

    “Watch out, I’ve seen this before she’s being possessed!” shouted out Paine.

    “AH WHAT DO WE DO?!” cried out the twins, Kyra’s voice was overlapped by the little girl and a giggle came from both voices.

    “I like your sword.” The possessed Kyra held out the sword in fascination. Suddenly then the Pryeflies drifted out of her body and the girl appeared next to Kyra. Kyra’s eyes returned to normal and she wrapped her arms around herself. The little girl looked at everyone and smiled.
    “What’s next?” she asked everyone. Nikki growled under breath, she was very pissed off with her. The fact that the girl was looking innocently around just made her even more pissed off than before, but then seeing Kyra so distressed about what had happened, Nikki knew that she needed her more. Nikki ran over to her.

    “Are you alright?” she said automatically put a hand on her shoulder to comfort her.

    “I’m fine now.” Said Kyra but Nikki could tell she wasn’t, the girl was still shaking from what had happened.

    “That’s good to hear, what do you suppose she is looking for?” asked Joseph who had also come over to Kyra.

    “You are being too cautious big bro!!!” said the little girl’s voice. Nikki quickly turned to see her heading towards Val’s way.

    “Oh no watch out!” shouted out Mayu. But there was something different this time, the little girl did not enter him, just a few Pryeflies seemed to dance around him. The little girl turned to the others as Val shut his eyes. She put her finger to her lips.

    “Hush now, sissy is here. We shall only pretend.” Val meanwhile seemed to reliving a painful memory in his head, but the girl did not show it, perhaps it was because she hadn’t entered him. Nikki thought maybe she had used the Pryeflies to only make him relive the memory. The girl giggled. Dancing around him like he was some kind of birthday present she had just unwrapped. “It must be something sad” Nikki heard the girl mumble, the girl stopped skipping. The Pryeflies the stray Pryeflies then returned to her and circled around her making her levitate off the ground.

    “That was so sad...” an older voice once again overlapped the little girl’s own. “That boy... That was you wasn’t it big bro!?”

    "What was the necessity in this, girl?" The girl ignored this.

    “Why did I call you big bro? I don’t want a brother. Boys bully. She didn’t like boys either, boys hurt girls I WILL DESTROY YOU!” the innocent voice seemed to fade as this older powerful voice filled with magic boomed at Val the Pryeflies screamed louder as they surrounded the girl lifting her higher and higher.”

    “SHIT!” cried out Nikki as everyone rushed over to Val with weapons drawn. But then two voices cried out.

    “LET’S PLAY TIG!” cried out the twins. The girl lowered herself as she quickly appeared in front of the twins. She smiled sweetly at them.

    “She’s not here to play anymore.” Said the older voice of the girl.

    “This is... just like before!” cried out Mayu her voice full of fear.

    Nikki heard Kyra take a gulp and saw her step forward. Nikki had her bow raised all this time at the girl and questioned what Kyra was going to do.

    “Don’t worry.” She simply said. She stepped forward walking slowly towards the girl who had possessed her. “Shhh, calm down. do you want your sister? I agree boys are not nice are they?” Nikki didn’t know what she was planning, but she hoped she knew what she was doing. The girl lowered herself down and turned to Kyra, the mass of Pryeflies seemed to have calmed down as the girl turned to her. The girl pointed to her knee where a scratched suddenly appeared.

    “A boy pushed me! But sissy saved me!” The innocent voice had returned again.

    “That was nice of her.” Nikki could still hear the slight fear in your voice.

    “I need sissy to come back, it’s scary.” The little girl wrapped her arms around herself.

    “Yes it is here, why don’t you leave?”

    “I can’t, I’m waiting for mummy and daddy to come and find me!”

    “Do you know where your mummy and daddy are?” The girl shook her head.

    “You people want to find Rikku?” Nikki lowered her bow and rushed over.

    “You know where Rikku is?”

    “You’re funny!” the girl giggled. Nikki felt a hand on her shoulder and looked up to see it was Paine.

    “You can’t force her to tell us.”

    Nikki mumbled. “But I bet I can try.”

    “But I found this for my friends!” The girl handed over a sphere to Nikki and then left giggling as she went down the corridor.

    “OH MY YEVON! MY HEART WAS POUNDING! I THOUGHT SHE WAS GOING TO KILL US ALL!” Cried out Mayu Nikki looked over to see that Mayu was shaking, this had been her first encounter with the girl since her team got wiped out. Nikki sighed.

    “She seems to be mentally unstable.” Stated a male voice. Nikki looked over to see that it had came from the male that she despised for stopping her in Macalania. A person she would gladly leave her behind, for some reason he pissed her off more than Kai!

    “Thank you Captain Obvious!”

    “Your insults are getting more childish.” He simply replied. Nikki ignored him and walked over to Mayu.

    “I think you should go back to the surface and rest some more.”

    “But...”

    “That’s an order!” Mayu sighed. And then smiled and saluted.

    “Yes mam!” Nikki groaned. Mayu’s smile grew wider. She turned to the rest of the group.

    “Okay I’m off back, and Kyra you make sure you look after her and make sure she doesn’t jump into trouble. I don’t want to come back down and slap her again.” She said with a smile.

    “WHAT!” Mayu giggled as well as did the others Mayu then rushed back off.

    “So let’s see what is in this sphere.” Said Joseph, Nikki nodded and she pressed play.

    “Hey! Hey! Is this thing working?! Rikku‘s face appeared in the sphere, she then turned at the sound of a growl and Rikku shouted. “HEY I’M MAKING A SPHERE RECORDING HERE! She then went off screen and Nikki could hear her battle fiends, she then came back a little sweaty and sat down in front of the camera. Well it’s uhh... Day uhhh... 5? I think. But anyway the sphere hunt is coming on well. I haven’t found anything but I’ve covored loads of gound in here. I’m on floor forty right now. And if you are watching this then BARALAI BROKE HIS PROMISE! I’m fine don’t come and find me. I am going to find this sphere! I’ve been able to dodge most of the fiends, which sounds weird but, I feel like I’ve been given some sort of permission to come in here. But it’s been feeling creepy lately. I think someone’s watching me...” Rikku nervously laughed well scratching her head “Well gotta go, see ya!”

    As soon as the sphere finished Nikki heard a growl behind them.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    “But I found this for my friends!” The girl handed over a sphere to Nikki and then left giggling as she went down the corridor.

    She seems to be mentally unstable.” Kane said, then seeing Nikki looking over at him, he knew she wasn't too pleased.

    Thank you Captain Obvious!

    Your insults are getting more childish.” He replied. Nikki ignored him and walked off to the member from the surface, who was visibly distraught from seeing the little girl.

    As she left, Joseph said to Nikki “So let’s see what is in this sphere.” Who promptly started the Sphere playing.

    Kane noted just one part of the Sphere message. "I’ve been able to dodge most of the fiends, which sounds weird but, I feel like I’ve been given some sort of permission to come in here. But it’s been feeling creepy lately. I think someone’s watching me...” Rikku nervously laughed while scratching her head “Well gotta go, see ya!”

    At the end of the Sphere message, he heard a growl from behind them, looking behind, he could see glowing red eyes in the darkness, and as the growls got nearer, the eyes turned from mysterious shapes to what looked like wolves.

    "This could be fun.....I have seen this type of fiend before." Kane said to everyone, "They are called Cerberus'. They are more vicious than you angry, Nikki, and they like to pounce on their prey." Kane went for his weapons, but before he could react, the Cerberus' started attacking everyone.

    Nikki managed to skewer the ones attacking her with her bow and arrows, and looking over could see both Kane and Kyra struggling with their attackers. Not being able to see Kyra, Kane looked at and shouted to her "Could do with some help here!"

    She just sarcastically shouted back "Do it ****ing yourself, oh Mighty Warrior!" at that she turned away to help Kyra. At this Kane's own anger erupted, and he said to himself "Spoilt Brat. I'll teach you the meaning of......!" His thoughts were interupted by a Cerberus clamping its jaws onto his left arm, as it tried to bite through his armour.

    Filled with anger and pain, Kane punched the Cerberus on his arm as hard as he could continuously as though berserked, till it left go of his arm, then taking hold of hia father's sword, which Kane had named Vryon, after his father, he hacked the Cerberus' neck, decapitating it in one stroke. The remaining 2 Cerberus' circled around him, as though stalking their prey. Then one of them pounced at Kane, aiming at at his neck. Anticipating this, he took a step sideways, and thrust his sword upwards, to meet the attacker, impaling the Cerberus on the sword completely. Letting go of the sword, he turned around, even more angry, just in time for the 2nd Cerberus to pounce on him.

    The pounce brought Kane to the floor, with the Cerberus trying to clamp onto his neck, to suffocate him. At this Kane punched the side of of the creatures head, and at the moment the punch connected, the secret blade in his wrist activated, and shot out, piercing the skull and coming out the other side of it. Throwing the now dead body of the Cerberus aside, Kane slowly stood up, "Never! Ever! Treat Me! With less respect as anyone else in the team!"

    As he turned to see how the others were doing, he saw Joseph working with the twins, and Val as a team to defeat their attackers, and Nikki trying to help Kyra to defeat the ones attacking her. Then seeing one Cerberus sneaking up behind Nikki and Kyra, as though to pounce on one of them to aid it's pack. "You might not help me, but I will still help you, Nikki!" He shouted, as he got his father's longbow out, and carefully aimed and fired an arrow at the Cerberus, which piercing it straight through it's heart making it drop down dead.

    As the last of the fiends were dealt with, everyone looked at each other to make sure they were okay, then at Kane, as they had heard him fight, and saw him slump to the floor through extreme exhaustion, as the anger drained from his body, the blood from the Cerberus killed by his wrist blade, sliding slowly down his arm onto the floor. Looking up, Kane just stared at Nikki as though telling her off for not offering any aid or trusting in him, then at that, the exhaustion of the fight overcame him, and he passed out onto the floor.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    Nikki turned at the sound of the growl and quickly put away the sphere. She saw a pack of wolves come towards them but they weren’t just any old Spirian wolves. They had a light red fur coat, with thin white stripes down the side. It had green fangs coming down the sides of its face. Piercing yellow eyes that could be spotted from a mile away and small pointed ears. What was frightening however and the most striking about the fiend was that it had two horns. One small one, while sat on the top of its head and curved downwards. The other was below and was long and thin and curved upwards. The most distinctive feature however was that this horn was alight with fire.

    Staying near Kyra who was still wobbly from her experience with the unsent Nikki began to fire arrows at the fiends, she couldn’t hear what Kane had said being that he was quite a distance away, but she catch that they were called Cerberus, a kind of fiend she had only heard in stories. Their flame surrounding the horn on their head only affected people who had sinned and could sometimes reveal images in the flame to any that came near.

    The wolves already had the advantage in number, and with a quick look around she could already see that the group was already split up into groups, Nikki herself was battling with Joseph and Kyra and some nearby Albehd. The twins had their own group to deal with and Kane was taking charge of his group, the feeling of the haste spell over came Nikki, with a nod to Joseph she flipped over the wolves, providing some distance between her and the wolves and began firing, mostly taking out any that attempted to strike Kyra from behind. One came in close to her and she could see herself in the flame, from the past, fighting gangs. She gave the fiend a kick and it skidded backwards she then fired water arrows at it to finish it off.

    [COLOUR=red]“Could do with some help over here!” shouted out Kane, Nikki thought she was just shouting out for his group to support him, but when she looked up after firing an arrow she found he was looking directly at her.

    “Do it your fucking self, oh Mighty Warrior!” Her hands were full just dealing with the fiends around her, plus Kyra needed her more than he did. Hoping that he got the message she then focused on the three that had decided to charge at her. Just as one jumped she skidded underneath and shot an arrow, slaying it instantly, she jumped up and fired water arrows at the other two. They fell, Nikki heard shouts from the twins indicating that they were done with their group of fiends and had come to help out Kyra. Which meant that Nikki could help out someone else. Nikki ran over and shot arrows at the fiends who were about to pounce on Val, he had got separated from his own group and was having difficulty trying to fend them off, Nikki noticed his group trying to slay the fiends that were dividing them, trying to gain some ground. Suddenly as Nikki jumped out of the way of the fiend behind her, she heard Kane shout.

    “Never! Ever! Treat Me! With less respect than anyone on the team!”

    “Focus on the bloody fight!” she thought, this was no time for him to have issues with her. “Joseph, Val when you’re done go and help out Kane’s group” she called out to the two, she had noticed that Kane’s group was ones of the smaller one and were struggling, she was however too far away to help and she battled her way to Kyra again, there was nothing they can do to go and help Kane’s group until more of the fiends were destroyed. The twins were busy healing Kyra as Nikki fired more arrows protecting them

    “You might not help me, but I will still help you Nikki,” Nikki quickly turned to see that Kane had cut down a fiend behind her an arrow had pierced it, Nikki looked to see that he had come separated from his own group. After seeing that they had taken care of the fiends around them they then headed to Kane’s group, Nikki quickly fired water arrows and slayed the last of them.

    As she put away her bow her anger filled her up as Kane laid unconscious.

    “WHAT THE FUCK WAS THE IDIOT THINK HE WAS DOING?!” Nikki looked over to see that his group was injured and needed help. He probably was focusing so much on the fact that Nikki wasn’t helping him, for reasons that she couldn’t possible fire from that distance and he separated from the group, putting the group and himself in more danger without realising it. Nikki angrily took a feather of the phoenix down out of her pocket. “He has to see this!” she thought as she let the feather float down towards him. A bright light shone and Kane opened his eyes and sat up looking angrily at Nikki. Nikki took a few deep breaths and then spoke. “You do that again, and I’ll drag you to the surface” She then pointed. “Because you were so interested in me you neglected your own group, got separated from them and then put yourself and them in even more danger. Don’t ever try and prove a personal point in battle! That’s a one way ticket to getting killed, people have to earn respect not demand it! They were the smallest group! Ask help from your group not someone who has already got their hands full you fucking idiot!” Kane stayed silent deep in his own thoughts, Nikki just sighed and walked over to the injured, some Albehd were going around already handing out x-potions. She looked around to see the Albehd reloading their guns. Seeing that everyone was ready, the group then moved on.

    As Nikki jumped down, it was very cold at Cloister 31. Nikki noticed blood splattered on the walls. “Be on your guard” she said as they slowly made their way with not a fiend insight, She heard crying in the distance which echoed in the halls, the group turned a corner to see a dead body on the floor.

    “No...” said Paine Nikki walked over and gently turned the body, she recognised this woman. It was Leblanc, and if she remembered correctly her group was looking for the legendary lost sphere down here. She felt her pulse but shook her head as she looked up to the group. She got up and walked over to Paine.

    “I’m sorry,” but before Nikki could say anything more the crying got louder and Nikki turned to see that the unsent girl had appeared she was sat opposite the body with her knees up, crying. Before anyone can do anything Kyra walked over and quietly said to Nikki.

    “I’m going to talk to her, I think she will talk to me” Nikki could tell she was still scared from her, but also that she showed courage to carry through with this. Nikki nodded. Kyra went over and bent down to her. “Hey, what’s wrong?” The little unsent girl looked up at her with tears in her eyes and suddenly grabbed onto Kyra and cried into her chest. Nikki could see that she looked shocked, but then slowly put her arms around the girl.

    “I’m sorry sissy, I didn’t mean it. We were only playing but she wanted your sphere, but it’s not hers I said. And then, the dolly stopped working and, I don’t think she will move again. I don’t know what happened.”

    “What about Rikku!” Paine suddenly cried out anger was evident in her voice.

    “I can’t say!” said the girl in tears she then dispersed into Pryeflies and began to go down the corridor.

    “No we are going to get those answers!” cried out Nikki she then led her group after the Pryeflies.

    “Oh are we playing tag!?” echoed the girl’s voice as they ran through, they then dropped down to Cloister 32.

    “Dammit!” Said Nikki, she looked around the girl had gone and now they had a maze to deal with on this floor.

  20. #20
    Joseph

    “Kyra!” I shouted as the unsent and Kyra suddenly became Pyreflies and flew down the corridor.

    “No, we are going to get those answers!” shouted Nikki as she began to chase down the Pyreflies. I’d almost forgotten about them asking about Rikku. I followed Nikki, chasing the Pyreflies at my fastest speed.

    “Oh, are we playing tag!?” echoed the girl’s voice as we entered Cloister 32. The trail suddenly went cold as we dropped in.

    “Damnit!” shouted Nikki. I wasn’t off cursing out load as well. However, I saw a mass of Pyreflies coming on our location. We readied our weapons as fiends began to materialize.

    “Oh shit,” Kane muttered as Lacertas and Tindalos materialized all around us. I rushed the closest fiend, cutting its head off. Other fiends ran at me, but I cut one in half before punching another away. However, after we killed a fiend, it dissolved back to Pyreflies and reformed back into the fiend.

    “This is endless! We’re getting nowhere at this rate!” Val shouted, shooting another fiend.

    “I know that! Everyone, head to the exit now!” Nikki commanded. I turned and ran towards the exit. The fiends however surrounded all of us.

    “Just hit the ones in front of us and run!” I shouted, slicing though the fiends. The dissolving fiends gave us enough room to run though while the rest chased us. I ran ahead, occasionally killing a fiend to clear a path. As I approached the next Clositer entrance, a Gug suddenly appeared in front of me. It went Oversoul and began to attack. I knew that we didn’t have the time to take it out so I took a gamble.

    “YOU WILL NOT MOVE!!” I shouted, Threatening it. It worked as it stopped of a moment. I stood there as the others caught up.

    “Move it!!” I shouted to them. They ran around it and towards the exit. I didn’t move till they were clear from this fiend. The moment I moved, the Gug began to attack me. I dodged its attack and tried to run around it, but it punched me back and I landed on my back. I looked back to see the pack of Lacertas and Tindalos approaching me rapidly. I couldn’t take them on with the Gug in front of me.

    ‘Is this where I will die? Down here in this damn place?’ I though, getting up again. Just then an arrow and a spell hit the Gug in the back. I looked behind to see Nikki and Val shooting at the Gug, distracting it. The Gug turned around to face them, just before Nikki shot him in the eyes.

    “Move your damn ass Joseph!” she shouted. I ran around the fiend and straight to the exit. Nikki and Val ran in just as I reached it as well. We all spilled into the next Cloister, away from all the fiends.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Valvaris

    I landed on the floor, with Nikki on my side.

    "You alright?" I gestured at Joseph.
    "Nothing's broken, I s'pose."

    I stood up and looked around the area, 'This doesn't look... right...' I thought.

    The area looks like there isn't any difference from the last Cloister level that we escaped the massive Pyreflies swarm from. It looks like a small room, but the green moss-filled walls surrounding us don't look like they are reaching the ceiling of the room.

    "We're still in the same Cloister level." I said as I looked around.
    "What do you mean?"
    "The surroundings are not any different from the last one we were in. Besides... these walls don't seem to be reaching the top, it feels like they are built to be a maze. I notice the same patterns in the last Cloister, but the pyreflies attacks took my chance to observe."
    "I didn't know you were that observant." Nikki smirked.
    "Well, now you do."

    There was only one pathway in the area leading to another room, "Stay here." I said to the rest of group, as they are recovering from the last attack. I took a few steps into the pathway, and I saw a bunch of strong fiends in the room. I immediately backtracked into the original room.

    "That room is filled with fiends. With our current condition, we cannot take them down."
    "But that's the only way out? And what about Kyra?! We can't just stay here!"
    "Calm. I'll see if there's another way."

    I took a walk around the room, checking the moss on the wall. As I approached the southern wall of moss, I noticed that there's a difference between the moss of the walls. The southern one seems to be a little bit out of place, as if the moss should not be there in the first place. I gave the wall a slight knock here and there. Then, I went over to the other sides of the walls to knock on them as well.

    'Hmmm, hollow on the other side of the southern wall.'
    "Found anything?" Joseph asked.
    "Probably. The southern wall seems to be hollow on the other side, probably a trick room, but it may be just two rooms beside each other."
    "This tag game is making me sick." Nikki complained.
    "I could say the same."

    Just then I noticed a vine hanging down on the southern wall. Its color was so in harmony with the wall and the moss, that it blended so well with them. I leaped onto the wall and gave the vine a slight pull. The southern wall begins to break into two vertically, revealing another path into another room. I took a few steps into the path to ensure that the path and the room are safe.

    "Seems like this path leads to a safer room, are you all well?"
    "Yes, the rest was enough. We need to get out of this maze as soon as possible."
    "We need to save Kyra, too!"

    "Let's go."

    We ventured through the maze, taking pathways after pathways, and turning back at dead ends. We avoided battles as we can, taking paths which have lesser or no fiends. Surprisingly, the paths which are continuous and are not of a dead end, are those with lesser fiends.

    'Is this the nature of the maze? Or...'

    "Val, fiend on our tail." Joseph suddenly spoke.

    I turned around to see pyreflies gathering into one, forming the outline of a large fiend.

    "How uncouth." I armed myself.

    ***To Be Continued***

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    Nikki couldn’t believe it Kyra had actually been taken by the girl, the unsent girl had done it so quickly it had taken her brain quite a while to get a hold of what was actually happening. The unsent girl had many secrets about her and all Kyra was trying to do was understand her, and now she had been taken right from the group. Nikki wondered whether that was how Cyan was taken at the time. Unfortuneately they didn’t have Mishka or Cyan to help them with the girl, what was worse that while they had been chasing after the girl they had lost her and had also got lost themselves on the cloister floor.

    "What is she thinking? I should have... Dammit! I should have fucking said to Kyra no, what was I thinking letting her try and contact with her. The girl is hostile and should be treated as so!” thought Nikki. “I’m in no mood for this” stated Nikki as the group turned to see that a Jumbo Cactuar had formed behind them.

    “Uh oh!” said the twins.

    “That would be an understatement”

    “Pity we don’t have the aid of Cyan’s sword this time.” Said Nikki as she got out an arrow.

    “You’ve face this fiend before then?”

    “No shit!” Then the battle began with Albehd firing off their Machines, with the feeling of the haste spell still on her from the previous battle Nikki rushed forward and skidded under the fiend and let loose her arrows from behind, Nikki knew they had to finish this battle quickly before it used its 1000 needles attack. Nikki quickly scanned the room to see that Paine had changed in to the Full Throttle dressphere and was busy attacking the fiend directly. “Aim for its eyes!” Called out Nikki, just then Nikki noticed the fiend trying to stamp on her, Nikki quickly rolled to the side as she felt the floor vibrate from the fiends foots coming down on her. She quickly stood up and concentrated on the arrow she was loading, it began to glow a purple aura then as she let go she said, “Holy arrow.” She let go of the arrow with white beams of light following it, it then hits its mark.

    During this time Nikki noticed that her comrades had done as she asked and had blinded the fiend, after Nikki attack it shook around in a fit of rage and prepared for its next attack. With a roar it let loose 1000 needles going at high speeds, but suddenly the attack was stopped and the needles froze in mid air while some kept coming at them Nikki dived for the floor dodging the needles, the ones that were frozen dropped to the floor. Nikki could only here a few moans, which meant not many were struck, but one single voice rang in her ears.

    “Aaaah!” One of the twins was struck. Nikki got up, the twins were much too far away to go and see how they were, so Nikki began firing at the Jumbo Cactuar again to draw away its attention from the twins, not that it could see anything because it was thrashing blindly about. It was getting weaker and with one last roar it let loose another 1000 needles which Nikki had worked out by now that the twins had stopped part of its attack. The exact same thing happened but this time Nikki struck on the arm

    “SHIT!” But it was taken down by the Albehd soon after. Nikki ignoring the pain in her arm quickly ran over to the twins while pulling out the needles from her arm: which she hissed at. She went to see where they were alright. Yuubou was sat on the floor grabbing his leg while his sister was bent over him.

    “Want me to”

    “Pull it out? Are you”

    “Crazy? Yes so”

    “I’m fine I don’t need”

    “You need it pulling out.”

    Nikki sighed and bent down on her knees, “Hold still.” Nikki with one quick swoop pulled out the needles.

    “OW!” cried out Yuubou. Nikki then handed him an X potion, which he drank. Then when everyone was healed they moved on.

    The wall in front of burst in a cloud of Pryeflies showing the group the exit. “Finally” said Nikki with that everyone ran through and dropped down to Cloister 33.

    “FUCKING HELL NOT ANOTHER BLOODY MAZE!” Nikki punched the wall in anger.

    “If it’s any consolation this is definitely the next floor.” Said Val. The group appeared to have dropped down at an intersection. Nikki looked up, either path could be a route to go down, but the problem was which, was the right one and which was the one that would take them to Kyra the quickest. Nikki walked a little way down one path and examined it closely.

    “I think it might be this way” said both Nikki and Joseph at the same time, Nikki turned at the sound of Joseph’s voice and saw that he had pointed at the opposite path, neither one knowing and the other one had looked at the opposite path at the time.

    “For fuck’s sake” thought Nikki. She was more irritable than normal due to the fact that Kyra was taken and they were wasting time, the two of them walked back down the paths and back to the group.

    “Oh!”

    “How interesting!”


    “Joseph has an interest in Kyra too!” said the twins excitedly.

    “This is not the time!” barked back Nikki at them, the twins immediately quietened down. Suddenly a wall rose up from the ground, the group dodges out of the way to find that they were split, Nikki looked to see that she had Yuki and Kane and some Albehd with her while the rest were on the other side of the wall.

    “I call Joseph as leader for our mini group” Nikki heard Yuubou say from the other side.

    “Get to the exit as quickly as you can we’ll meet you guys up there.” Called Nikki hoping that they heard them.

    “Right.” Nikki heard Joseph respond. Nikki turned to see that Kane was still silent and was probably still pondering over what he did last time.

    “You made a mistake, now get over it.” She would have whack his over the head to get some sense into him, but it wasn’t possible since he was wearing a helmet. Nikki fumbled in her brown bag strapped to her hip and pulled out a chocobo feather. “Here use this next time you do something stupid.” Nikki gave him the feather which can be used for a haste spell to those who don’t know how to cast it. He accepted it silently, Nikki then turned and walked on with the group.

    “Nikki!” He called out, she turned.

    “What now!” She thought.

    “Sorry about before. Past experiences have made me not trust others.” Kane held up the feather like it was some kind of trophy. “I will use this to remind me that, some people can be trusted. Even ones who I may initially dislike for.” Yuki clapped and jumped up and down, as if she was listening to a speech of a hero.

    “Yay! Go for it!” Nikki raised an eyebrow.

    “Give a guy a feather and they become soppy,” Nikki thought. “Look before we go any further, you need to understand you are part of a team. That means trusting everyone in the group with your life. I may not respect everyone, but I trust everyone with my life, like everyone else does. Now lets get out of here before we waste any more time.” Said Nikki with that the group headed off down the corridor.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    After realising that Kyra had been taken by the unsent girl, his thoughts went back to the team that his parents were apart of, as though past events were repeating. Unbeknownst to him, a hatred of this girl began to develop in his heart.

    Then turning around he saw the outline of what looked like a over-sized Cactuar. “I’m in no mood for this” said Nikki as the rest group turned around to see what had formed behind them.

    Uh oh!” said the twins.

    That would be an understatement

    Pity we don’t have the aid of Cyan’s sword this time.” replied Nikki as she got out an arrow.

    You’ve faced this fiend before then?” asked Kane

    No ****!” Then the battle began with Al Bhed firing off their Machina, “Aim for its eyes!” Called out Nikki, Kane then brought out his father's longbow, and as he fitted an basic arrow into it, he noticed that the bow was glowing, as though it knew the exact type of arrow for the job. At this, he carefully took aim, and fired. The arrow hit the oversized Cactuar in the head, and immediately a dark cloud encircled the fiend, causing it to be blinded.

    Amazed at what had happened with his shot, Kane was distracted by the roar of the Cactuar as it let loose it's 1000 needles attack. It wasn't until he felt some of the needles hit his armour that he was aware of what happened. Fearing the worst, he brought up his arm to protect his head from further needles, then realised that the attack had been stopped.

    Before the creature died, it let loose another 1000 needles of which only half of the attack reached it's targets, not just because it had been blinded, but also because some of the needles were being stopped by something or someone, which Kane could not work out.

    After everyone had healed up, and Kane had managed to clear all of the needles that had embedded themselves in his armour, then the group continued their descent.

    After seeing that the team had group come to junction of which there was a choice of two paths. Nikki and Joseph looked down each path and in unison said “I think it might be this way.

    Joseph has an interest in Kyra too!” Kane heard the twins say with much enthusiasm. “I don't think it is that kind of interest, but with this lot, who knows” thought Kane.

    On seeing a wall start to arise out of the ground, the group jumped different ways to avoid getting crushed by it. On getting to his feet, Kane saw that they had been separated into two groups. On looking around to see who was on his side of the wall, he saw Yuki, some of the Al Bhed, and Nikki.

    Still trying to work out in his head about what had just happened, he was suddenly aware of someone talking to him. “Here use this next time you do something stupid.” Looking up he saw Nikki holding out a Chocobo feather. After taking it, Kane looked down at the feather, and after thinking a lot about recent events, he decided he would use it as a warning to not "drop the team into trouble" as it were again. He still didn't trust Nikki completely, but after re-calling the words Adrian spoke to him "You think no one would care if you died. I would be upset, and so would the Lady Yuna, and I expect, your team too. Every single one of them" he decided to try to trust them, even the stuck up one, namely Nikki.

    Then getting up, he looked at the retreating Nikki, and said with a loud voice, to make sure the remaining team heard, "Nikki!" ....He took a breath to calm his thoughts, as she turned around expecting a nasty reply, "Sorry about before. Past experiences have made me not trust others." Then holding the feather up, he continued "I will use this to remind me that, some people can be trusted. Even ones who I may initially have a dislike for."

    Yuki clapped and jumped up and down. “Yay! Go for it!

    Then putting the feather in the strap holding his sword, Vryon onto his back, he slowly walked past her towards the wall.

    “Look,” Kane stopped as Nikki spoke to him, “before we go any further, you need to understand you are part of a team. That means trusting everyone in the group with your life. I may not respect everyone, but I trust everyone with my life, like everyone else does. Now lets get out of here before we waste any more time.” she said, and with headed off with the rest of the team down the corridor.

    As he watched her walk down the corridor, he said to himself “Looks like I might be able to see her good side once in my life.” Then as he slowly started off behind them, he continued talking under his breath, “But.....seeing that there aren't many of us left, I think......it might be a good idea to see if I can be her “Knight”.” Then chuckling to himself he continued “Heh. Listen to me. Talking about being her Knight when we both know we pretty much hate each other....... Fine, lets just play with it, and see what happens.” He hurried to catch up to the others down the corridor, keeping himself ready for any more fiends.

    After he had caught up with the remaining group on this side of the wall, Yuki walked next to him and asked “Why don't you trust people?

    Looking down at the Al Bhed twin, he said “Remember how I told you and everyone else a little about my back story? Well, when I had found out about my mother dying here, I reckon my dis-trust of people started there. True I trusted the Ronso on Mt Gagazet, but....I don't know.....they seemed different. Honourable.” He glanced up at Nikki, who, although he wasn't sure, may have been listening, “Though, of all the regular “humans” I think there is only a handful of people I trust. One being Adrian, back in my parents shop in Bevelle, and another being Joseph. Him being a fellow Warrior, but with a lot more experience than me.

    Don't you trust me or anyone other than Joseph?” came the reply. Kane could hear a slight sadness, as though Yuki was going to cry, then looking down at him, “Don't worry. The only person here, of whom I trust the least, isn't you or your sister. Though, this feather that Nikki gave me, has reminded me that I have to put what happened in my past, out of my mind, and begin to trust everyone who I fight with, even if it means giving my life for them.” Then with an unseen grin, he said in Nikki's direction “You never know, I might even begin to to gain your favour, Nikki.

    This just got him a wave, as though to shut up and hurry up, as pyreflies were gathering around them, as though making fun of them being split up from the other team.

    Just then childish giggling was heard, Kane and the rest of the team turned around to find the little girl in front of pyreflies which were starting to merge together. "Look, I made some dolls for you to play with"

    "Have fun!" the girl then disappeared, leaving the team looking at the 3 figures, which to everyone's amazement it turned into copies of the other team members, 3 of them. Each “member” appeared in front of each of the original team member. Nikki had “Val”, Yuki had her brother, and Kane had “Joseph”. The Al Bhed were left alone by the pyreflies, save for a load of them blocking the way for them to assist.

    Crap. And it's only us. The other Ah Bhed have been blocked.” Said Kane, tightning his grip on Vryon. The Al Bhed could be heard from behind the pyrefly wall, though Kane couldn't understand what was being said.

    Immediately Nikki said “**** this!” and fired an arrow straight at “Val's” head, “They are ****ing Mimics!” “Val” instantly shot down the arrow with his guns, and continued to fire at Nikki causing her to have to attempt to evade the shots. A “******” and a whole load more expletives were plainly heard from Nikki as she was forced to put her bow back on her shoulder to stop it getting destroyed by the barrage of bullets being fired by “Val”.

    In the meantime, Kane was struggling to fight against “Joseph” each time Kane attacked with his swords, he was blocked, and whacked back. Feigning an attack, causing “Joseph” to attempt to block and attack, Kane was able to bring the full power of his Shotgunblade onto Joseph, with a shot to the back of the head, flooring him instantly.

    Looking at Yuki and his sister, he could see that he didn't have the skills to aid them without backup, so while “Joseph” was out for the duration, he turned his attention to Nikki. he could see that “Val” had her cornered, defenceless, and was about to be to fire off a “killing shot”. Running over he took aim, and swung both Vryon and the Shotgunblade at “Val's” neck, decapitating him in one slash, and causing him to burst into pyreflies.

    Walking over to Nikki, Kane looked down and held out his hand as to help her get up. Suddenly, Yuki shouted “Behind you!” Kane threw himself down towards Nikki, just as the great sword of “Joseph” came down. “If Yuki hadn't shouted out, I could've been given a severe head injury by the power behind that attack, I think.

    Rolling away from Nikki, he said saying “Go help Yuki! I can handle this one!” Then getting up, he had to bring up his arm, to defend himself from another blow from “Joseph”, which this time, nicked his armour down to the undershirt, and caused the sword to be wedged in the armour. Using this to his advantage, Kane yanked the sword, bringing his opponent with it, and plunged Vryon right into the gut of the Mimic, which burst into pyreflies at that moment.

    Breathing a heavy sigh of relief, Kane looked up to see that Nikki and Yuki had managed to defeat the remaining Mimic. Walking over to Kane, who was checking the damage to his armour, and was attempting to made repairs to it, Nikki put her hand to her forehead and says "You have a long way to go to learn about teamwork if Yuki hadn't called out you would have been made mincemeat by the Joseph double. You should have concentrated on him and not worried about me. There are no heroes, it was unnecessary to help me. If someone needs help they call out."

    Kane just looked at Nikki, annoyed, “True, I am not a hero. But I am a warrior. No matter what the consequence, it is my job to put myself in danger to aid others. That is also why I wear heavy armour.” Continuing on in his thoughts And if you are going to be like that every time I aid someone, especially yourself, I will remember to not bother next time.” then looking back, he saw that the pyrefly wall was disintegrating, and after their entire team had regrouped, they continued down the corridor to another crossroads, just in time to see the other team come down the other corridor.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Mishka.png

    I’ll have you know he scored five points in that game.”


    Must have been a different game because I saw him fumble at least two times.”



    We had been traveling together across the Calm Lands to return to Bevelle where Nikki’s house awaited, but having seen my condition decline, Cyan took to idle conversation to keep me in spirits. I remembered using a similar tactic once when the Fangtastic! were stranded in Sanubia Sands during a mission. It was a sentiment I greatly appreciated in Cyan and so took to receiving its intentions. That’s where we were, brushing against the foliage of the dying Macalania Wood while comparing notes on the latest tournament’s blitz. Cyan had cleverly guessed that my favorite team was the Ronso Rage, to which she began insulting by recalling their last encounter with the reigning Besaid Aurochs team. While there was no arguing that the Aurochs were a stronger team than my ronsos in that tournament, when we began discussing the famed match that brought them back to glory, there was a list of discrepancies between us.


    Hah, Nimrook couldn’t handle the Sphere Shot.”


    Right, that’s why be successfully blocked three of them.”


    How about the fourth one that won the game?”


    You can’t expect him to do everything!”


    Precisely, as only former Captain Wakka could.” She purred with a wink.


    Rrrrr, if I wasn’t seeing ten of you dancing about in a circle, POW!” I lazily retorted, lifting a weak fist before collapsing back onto her.


    Alright, well, you can pound on me in the morning.” She said, hugging me close.


    Cyan?I said, my voice breaking.


    Yes?”


    You’ve got your knee against my naughty bits.


    Oh, well look at that... Um, well, that’s one way to keep you up, isn’t it?” She giggled awkwardly as she repositioned me and walked on.


    Cyan?I said again.


    Oh, c’mon now! I’ve none of my parts on your naughty bits this time!”


    Without another word, I kissed her on the cheek, “Thank you for rescuing me.”


    Curiouser and curiouser.” She noted.


    When we arrived at Nikki’s house, it was quite empty, though Kai was there to greet us the moment Cyan knocked on the door. As expected, his first statement was about beating the sod who injured me, or rather his Mishka, to a quivering pulp, but a light pat to his noggin’ got him off it. It seemed the others had gone back to the Via Infinito, as well. The only one left behind was Lady Yuna, but she had departed back for Besaid while Paine took on the responsibility of bringing Rikku back safely.


    So you’re saying the former High Summoner’s no longer here? What of her former guardian, Sir Tidus?”


    He came by a short while back to take Lady Yuna away.” Kai told us.


    Cyan, we need to head back out to the Via Infinito. The others...


    ...can wait until you recover.


    Cyan, you don’t understand. What I saw...


    The girl won’t harm them if Keema is with them. You said that she could calm her.

    That’s not what I mean. What I saw... I meant what I saw after. In the dark and the cold, even though I knew I was only in a cave, there were voices, silent voices, and I listened to their pleas, but I couldn’t hear them.”


    I had tried this before, tried telling Cyan the horrible thing that I felt when I was in the bizarre cloister with the unspeakable thing inside, but I couldn’t bring myself to form the coherent statements I needed for her to understand me.


    Hush now. You can tell me in the morning just as the others can handle another night without us. We’ll be no use to them exhausted and restless as we are now.


    Cyan didn’t understand. How could she? Even I didn’t fully know what it was I was seeing. After the shock of being pulled from the Via Infinito to the Farplane, my guado senses that allowed me to distinguish the dead and the living were struck with phantoms inside my head that distorted anything comprehensible in it. What followed no longer took shape in my memories. I could only recall thinking that I’d never see any of my friends again, that I’d never see Cyan again, but even after she came for me, the phantasms continuing haunting me as if they were imprinted onto my mind.


    As it was nightfall, the darkness before my eyes let the dancing shades take better form and let me focus on them. What were they? I remembered the girl calling the artifact inside that cloister the “quiet screamers” and I felt awful wounds spreading across my body. Even then, I knew full well that they weren’t mine because of the screaming I heard inside, but whose had it been? The scent of death was all around the room where I lay, but obviously there were no unsent about. I told myself that it was only in my mind, some form of stress-related psychosis I was suffering from my latest ordeal. But, I could smell it. I sensed them crawling beside Cyan as she slept, almost see them hovering over her, but it was absurd. And yet it was worse. The wraiths were talking to me, telling me all sorts of wretched things I wouldn’t dare to think, but if they were only in my head, was I thinking it? Why, how could I have such ideas in my head?


    Finally, the phantoms began to dissolve and the voices faded away to the din of midnight and I was allowed to rest. I reasoned with myself that the trauma had passed and the effects had run their course. I was safe again and given yet some hours to recover my strength, which I was all too happy to indulge. Sleep was satisfyingly dreamless and the morning came to wash the stains of the night away. I was the first to arise and began a casual review of myself to see where my injuries were. Turned out, I was only stricken by fatigue and there was no physical injury anywhere on my person.



    Shouldn’t you be resting?asked a weary Cyan, wiping her eyes while she yawned.

    No rest for the wicked. As you can see, I’m fine.” I said, doing a slight twirl for her, “Besides, we have friends waiting for us.”


    Before I let enough time elapse for her to build a retort, I rushed out the door. It didn’t take long to reach the Via Infinito’s entrance, but the injured count outside and the official personnel decorating the walls made it quite clear how dangerous this search and rescue operation had become. Mevyn Nooj was the closest official to the portal so we made our way to him. Once he noticed us, he greeted us and informed us that the others had gone ahead. They had a new mission in figuring out what was destabilizing the Farplane and making the Via Infinito more volatile. Seeking out Rikku was turned into a secondary objective on Keema’s suggestion. Also, the surveillance systems of Gippal’s machina were still operational up to that point, where they captured a few glimpses of what looked to be a ball of light reforming before taking some sort of shape that the camera could no longer define. Whatever it was, its first move was to destroy it. However, after Gippal froze all the frames, one clear shot just before it was destroyed showed that it was a blade and one that caught their attention.


    If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was Rikku’s, love.” Leblanc said, coming over to us as Nooj finished his remarks.


    Did the others see this?” I asked.


    No, they haven’t surfaced at all and we’ve received no reports.” Nooj replied.


    How far is the machina?Cyan asked, calculating the time difference the others had before encountering the enemy.


    By our last reading, about Cloister 40, but it’s hard to know how accurate that was due to the Via Infinito’s design.”


    We should hurry then, shouldn’t we?” I noted, making my way to the portal.


    Wait Mishka! It will do no one any good if we throw ourselves down there without a plan.


    She’s right you know.” Gippal’s voice suddenly broke into our discussion, his usual swagger greeting us as he approached, “Just because you’ve got yourself some shell-shock doesn’t mean you need to prove anything. Hold off a bit, okay? Nooj, can I get a minute?”


    After they left, Cyan turned to me and began a long speech about taking my time to heal and regain my composure, all of which felt increasingly condescending due to the fact that I had already healed. My concern was more on the others who had gone headfirst into another run of the Via Infinito, but now with Sir Auron acting as the mythical Minotaur in the labyrinth. I had dealt with Sir Auron face to face already and I knew the only thing down in those depths that could stop him was that little girl, but she was far off from a reliable countermeasure. Since only I was ready to go back in, I knew I needed to be the one to make the first move.


    Slowly, while Cyan continued to deter me from it, I inched my way to the portal, “I understand you, Cyan, but...”


    Before she could react, I grabbed her hard and pulled her in front of me before ramming her in the direction of the portal. The plan would have worked perfectly if not for one small hitch: we had an additional party member. Actually, make that two hitches. Even with the extra weight, we had toppled into the portal and activated it, which should then have returned us to the last cloister reached. However, as I would learn, none of us three had reached the same level cloister. Worse still, I had been tainted by that one strange cloister the last time I was here. For a while, I hoped we wouldn’t be separated, but after seeing the result, I should have clarified my prayers.


    Ow, and here I thought I would try to stop you from going in, love.” Leblanc groaned, kicking and pushing us aside.


    As I’ve learned, it seems impossible to get through to this one once her mind’s set.Cyan growled, standing up and brushing herself off.


    I thought I was acting in the best interest of the others.” I admitted, knowing that we weren’t going to find them this way.


    Never mind that. Which cloister are we on and how do we leave, loves?”


    I’m hoping somewhere before 40? As for an exit, I’d say we better set off to go find it.”


    Marvelous. Now I won’t get my lunch date with Noojie!”


    You can make it up to him at dinner.


    Oh, let’s just find that portal. I’m getting a headache just standing here, love!”


    We walked about the cloister for a while, our search for the exit portal not nearly as successful as finding the way to the next cloister. A few minor fiends attacked us, most likely due to Leblanc’s malicious emotion to the environment, but they were no match for our team. However, it became steadily more noticeable that the cloister was darkening the longer we were there and the next cloister seemed a much more likely path than getting to the exit. Still, as Cyan would agree, we both wanted to return to the surface and try to reach a better cloister to get to the others and further exploration of the Via Infinito wasn’t going to help.


    It was at this time that Cyan decided to confirm a few of the facts, “That object that destroyed Gippal’s machina sentry, you said it looked like Rikku’s?”


    Looked as much, love. I remember she had something like that in one of her dresspheres.”


    Do you think Rikku destroyed the sentry?”


    No, but if there are still bits of her about, I don’t think it’s hopeless to find her.”


    I think that depends on what claimed it.”


    Would you two mind theorising later? I don’t wan-”


    Leblanc’s sudden stop in speech alerted us and we turned to see what had happened. The gash in her was terrible. A large and decorated dachi carved deeply into her left side, nearly bisecting her. As her assailant removed the blade and she collapsed onto the floor, he came into view, the former guardian of Lord Braska and Lady Yuna. However, this time he appeared craven. His eyes glared madly and he had a far from character grin almost snarling at us as he readied another advance.


    G-go. H-hurry. T-take c-c-care of m-my boys... love.” Leblanc uttered, her final statement to us before she passed.


    Even though my head screamed for me to run, there was something else that horrified me further. Cyan immediately grabbed my arm and pulled me to run with her, jumping down to the next cloister.


    Free from attack for the moment, I began mouthing my concerns, “I’m not sensing him.”


    What?”


    Even though this is the Via Infinito, I was able to sense that Sir Auron wasn’t normal. He had a unique scent to him and I knew he wasn’t alive, but I no longer sense it.”


    What does that mean?”


    Could he be... alive?”


    Dead or alive, he’s gone totally mad so we have to keep moving.” She replied, pulling me along.


    We have to find that exit and reach the others or-”


    That idea was quickly cut short as two enormous Red Drakes appeared. In our haste to escape, we accidentally ran into a lower path that held the two powerful fiends. Quickly, I pulled on Cyan and began to run back to where the paths diverged, but as we turned, Sir Auron’s presence showed us that we only had a single option remaining. Cyan released Calibur and stood before me to defend against the unsent guardian. With the impending assault by two Red Drake fiends behind us, she recklessly charged the warrior monk and, as to be expected, was subdued quickly, her lunge parried to his right and waiting for a killing blow.


    In the moment, I had forgotten that my sword was destroyed in my last confrontation with Sir Auron, but when I moved to draw the broadsword, I successfully drew another weapon to clash against his odachi. My eyes grew wide at the sight as the weapon I had drawn was almost identical to the one he wielded against me before, the Blurry Moon. My surprise would be his opening as he shifted and set me off balance before sending his knee into my middle and propelling me back towards the awaiting fiends. Cyan recovered in that time and came to my rescue again and we stood back to back against our three adversaries.

  21. #21
    Kyra

    How did she- How did I get here? Pyreflies?
    Kyra was beyond confused as to how the girl turned her into pyreflies and brought her to another place. I thought only unsent could do that...unless she’s something else entirely, I shouldn’t have been able to transport with her...

    A headache began to arise. She didn’t want to think about it anymore. Or anything for that matter...

    She found herself in an empty room. No mazes or the like. Much like every level she found to be at every tenth floor.
    This must be cloister 40, but why am I here?

    The girl materialized right in front of Kyra. Being in the Via Infinito already freaked Kyra out, now that she’s alone with the girl she was beyond terrified. She knew what she had done to the others. Was it Kyra’s turn to get pummelled?

    The girl starts to wave her arms and the pyreflies begin to spread beneath the both of them to create a circular patch of flowers. It reminded Kyra of ‘home’. She would never forget the orphanage. Although there was still a bit of darkness behind the girl’s creation, but the Via Infinito always had that dark aura about it.

    "Did you like my trick? It took me a really long time to learn it. It's quieter here so you can play with me without anyone stopping us."

    Kyra didn’t know what to say. What could she say?Might as well play along; what can go wrong?

    She smiled and said, “It’s really pretty.”

    The girl then picks a flower and gives it to Kyra "Let’s make daisy chains!"

    Kyra let out a happy sigh and sat in the patch of flowers along with the girl. At the same time, so many possibilities were running through Kyra’s head. She knew something wasn’t right, but she didn’t want to alarm the girl.

    “You used to do this with your sister?”

    The girl looked up at Kyra, then back down to the pattern she was making. “Yeah, I miss her”

    “I miss my friend too...” Her voice drifted off

    “Was she like your sister?”

    “Kind of, she was my best friend. She was everything to me. She made me who I am today. I’m not angry about that day. Not anymore. She wouldn’t like that.” Kyra didn’t know why she was telling the girl this. She wasn’t even sure if the girl even understood what she was talking about.

    “Do you need a friend?” Kyra asked the question trying to change the subject.

    “I have friends.” She looked up and pointed to Kyra.

    Kyra let out a sigh, “It isn’t nice to hurt your friends. Or hide other friends away...”

    “But its fun” The girl giggled and stood up.

    Oh god, this is impossible...Kyra stood up just as the girl started to skip away to the other side of the room. The flowers were still covering the whole floor of the room.

    Kyra slowly walked over to the girl. She could feel her heart racing. She knew something still wasn’t right.

    The girl started to spin around. “Do you like my dress? My mum made it.”

    “It’s very pretty. Do you know where your mum is?”

    “I have a headache”

    Kyra made her way over to the girl and asked, “Are you okay?”

    “NO, GO AWAY!” She yelled. The flowers disappeared back into pyreflies and surrounded the girl.

    Oh shit, what did I do? Kyra started to run in the opposite direction.

    “Are you scared?” said a voice.

    Was that the girl? I’ve heard that voice before. How does she know what I’m feeling? I know the Via Infinito can sense fear, but can she...GAH, Why am I thinking?

    Kyra readied her Gunblade and prepared for the fight of a lifetime. She turned around to see there wasn’t a little girl trying to attack her; it was a girl with pearly white wings on her back, and another smaller set around her head like a wreath. Kyra wasn’t sure what to think of it, so she didn’t think at all. She just attacked. A tactic she had learned from the White SeeDs. When in battle, it’s safer if you don’t think at all; just let instinct take over.

    “Don’t be scared,” Said the voice. It was from her past, a comforting voice; not from the girl. It was Aiko’s voice. The mass amounts of pyreflies were triggering memories. “I’ll be here every step of the way”

    Thanks Aiko.

    There was an explosion on the other side of the room. Kyra couldn’t tell what the girl was aiming for. All she knew was that’s what she had to avoid, or use it to her advantage. She cast haste on herself and ran towards the girl.

    The girl reached behind her ear with one of the wings around her head and pulled out a pin. She aimed it toward Kyra this time. The pin landed just behind Kyra and exploded, sending Kyra toward the girl. A bit of the explosion caught the girl, but it didn’t faze her. Kyra landed on her side under the girl.

    “You’re a smart one, but that won’t work.”

    The girl sent another pin toward Kyra, this one sending her to the other side of the room. Kyra was in so much pain, she thought she would die, right there. This really is impossible.

    “Kyra! Get up! Don’t just lie there, you can do it!” said Aiko.

    It hurts like hell....

    “Come on, you’re better then that...”

    Kyra mustered all of the strength she had and slowly got to her feet, using her Gunblade for support.

    “You know....It isn’t nice.....To hurt...your....friends......” As she said the last word, she collapsed again.

    The girl realized what she had done and transformed back into the innocent girl and ran to Kyra’s side.

    “I’m so sorry sissy” She began to cry and dispersed into pyreflies.

    It isn’t nice to leave your friend lying there either...

    Kyra could feel herself losing consciousness. “I tried Aiko, I failed again...Nikki, Joseph, Kane....Everyone, I failed...I’m sorry.”

    Kyra could see a blurry figure running toward her. She tried to see who or what it was, but the strain hurt too much. She saw a bright light, felt slightly better, but passed out from sheer exhaustion.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Joseph


    “Come on people, let’s get to the next cloister,” I commanded, staring down the path. The others followed me closely. I wasn’t worried about the others on the other side of the wall. After all, they had around half of the total forces and that should be more than enough to deal with anything that comes their way.

    Just then, a mass of Pyreflies descended on us. Then the giggles from the girl can be heard.

    “Look, I made some dolls for you to play with. Have fun,” I heard as the Pyreflies condensed into copies of the other team. “Nikki”, “Kane”, and “Yuki” appeared in front of us. The Al-Bheds were blocked by a wall of Pyreflies, unable to assist us.

    “Looks like we’re on our own for this,” I muttered, readying my sword. “Kane” charged at me while Val had “Nikki” and Yuukou fought “Yuki”. I blocked “Kane” and tried to attack back, but he would always block with his armor. I kept the pressure on “Kane” but he would simply tank the attack and attack me, forcing me to dodge. I knocked “Kane” off balance just long enough to use Armor Break on him. The spell broke though and destroyed his armor. Now with the tide turning, I began to hit “Kane” constantly, scoring hit after hit.

    Just when I thought about finishing this fight off, I heard a cry of pain from Val. I looked back to see that he was knocked down by “Nikki” and she was closing in for the kill. I threw my sword at “Nikki”. It caused her to jump back, but gave enough time for Val to get up and attack. I however, was rammed by “Kane” and was sent into a wall. I saw that “Kane” was trying to finish me off. I rested my hands on Tiger Pierce but I still couldn’t draw it out. I thought I was finished but an idea suddenly struck me. I waited till “Kane” was in close and about to swing when I sprang into action. I grabbed Tiger Pierce by the scabbard and rammed the hilt into his chin. It resulted in “Kane” toppling backwards onto the ground.

    “Joseph! Catch!” Yuukou shouted. I looked to see my katana being thrown at me. Yuukou managed to finish “Yuki” off and get to my sword in record time. I grabbed it in mid-air and stabbed “Kane” though the torso. “Kane” dissolved back into Pyrefiles just as Val finished off “Nikki” as well. The wall that blocked the Al-Bheds also disappeared.

    “Thanks for the throw Joseph. Though I was finished,” Val said, checking over himself.

    “Don’t mention it. Come on, we need to move,” I said, heading down the corridor. The others also followed. Soon enough, we came to an intersection just as the other team also came out. I instantly drew my katana and pointed it into Nikki’s face.

    “Joseph! What the hell?!” she shouted, not expecting this.

    “Prove to me you’re Nikki,” I demanded. It could be another trick by the girl. I know I was being paranoid but I need to be 100% sure.

    “Joseph, if you don’t lower that fucking sword, I’m gonna shove it and my bow up your ass so far that it’ll take a fucking lifetime to get them out! Now lower that fucking thing before I jab enough arrows in your fucking gut to make you a human pin cushion!” she demanded. I instantly returned my katana to its scabbard.

    “Sorry but I had to be sure,” I shrugged. She growled a bit before heading to the Cloister exit, the rest of us following in tow.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~


    “Why don't you trust anyone?” Nikki heard Yuki ask Kane, Nikki didn't need to listen it was always linked to the same thing, always the same story. Sin. A monster that caused so much chaos that even after 2 and a half years of peace, people were still affected by it. Nikki began to think about Kyra.

    I hope she's okay, who knows what that girl is doing to her. I hope she can keep her calm enough until we arrive to help her.” Nikki clenched her fists just thinking about the little girl now made her mad. What is she doing down here anyway? What does she want? Why do I get these headaches when I look at her?” Nikki could hear talking between Kane and Yuki still going on, the worst of all was that the little girl reminded Nikki of the orphans on the surface. The children that Nikki for years tried to protect their innocence because she didn't want them turning into her. Nikki knew that people saw her as a bitch, and she accepted that, she had created that. But recently she found that persona to be bothersome, it got in the way to express how she was really feeling at times. Now that Kyra was taken she might not even get to have that chance. Nikki was brought out of her thoughts when she heard Kane say.

    “You never know I might even begin to gain your favour, Nikki” Little did Kane know though that Nikki didn't hate him. She just found him to be a twat, but she needed him alive and she hoped he would improve in his ability to work together as a team. As Nikki saw it Kane seemed to have little experience in working in a group. Nikki just hoped he had listened to the advice she gave him, otherwise he would really have to be sent back up to the surface, for the safety of himself and the team. Kane had a long way to go. Just then giggling was heard from the girl, Nikki turned to look behind her to find that the whole team had been blocked.

    Shit I was too wrapped up in my thoughts” thought Nikki.

    “Look I made some dolls for you to play with.” said the girl as three people materialised in front of them with weapons drawn. Nikki was taken aback as she saw them.

    HOLY MOTHER FUCKING SHIT” thought Nikki as the people were revealed to be Val, Joseph and Yubou.

    “Crap. And it's only us. The other Albhed have been blocked.” said Kane, Nikki rolled her eyes at the obvious statement.

    “Fuck this” said Nikki she then aimed an arrow at Val's head and let go after realising it wasn't really them. “They are fucking mimics!”. But Val easily shot the arrow down leading to Nikki shouting out curses in frustration that her arrows were useless. For now she would have to put her bow away. Clipping it to her back she flipped backwards to dodges the bullets coming at her. She continues to go backwards, the plan was to use the wall as a momentum to powerfully come back at the copy and stun him, long enough for herself to get behind him and shoot him down.

    Once at the wall Nikki notice the copy smile, Nikki grinned to herself noting that the copy was in a false sense of security of having the upper hand, Nikki was about to attack when out of nowhere Kane struck him down.

    What the fuck!” thought Nikki, the surprise of the attack made Nikki fall to the floor, but as Kane held out his hand to her, Nikki noticed the copy of Joseph coming from behind, which just got the girl more angry as she rolled out the way. Don't tell me, he just left him, that IDIOT!” she thought as Yuki shouted out a warning to Kane.”He's not learning about making the right judgements, he has no clue to what he is actually meant to be doing in a group!” thought Nikki.

    “Go help Yuki! I can handle this one!” Nikki looked over to see that Yuki was actually doing pretty well the copy only seemed to have half the physic power that Yuki had, and Yuki seemed to be having fun, the only reason she had been struggling at the beginning was because Nikki gathered she thought she was fighting her real brother. So there wasn't really much to help with since Yuki finished him off as Nikki approached. Nikki was still seething with anger though at Kane's mistakes, he hadn't learned a thing, and when Nikki turned to see that he finished off the Joseph double this time, she wanted some answers.

    "You have a long way to go to learn about teamwork if Yuki hadn't called out you would have been made mincemeat by the Joseph double. You should have concentrated on him and not worried about me. There are no heroes, it was unnecessary to help me. If someone needs help they call out." She said putting her hand to her forehead, trying to keep her anger under control. The last bit was technically not true she didn't mean to say that, people don't call out for help but a team that works well together should instantly know if a team mate needs help or not. It was difficult skill to master, in the heat of battle you need to not also be aware of what you are doing but also what others are doing and need to be able to analyse their status in a split second. Making the wrong move to help someone when they don't need it could cost them their own life unnecessarily. It was Nikki's job to make sure that all team members were on the ball, stupid mistakes like this could come a great cost, a cost that Nikki wasn't prepared to gamble on. Kane then argued back at her, making her even more furious that he was ignorant to his inexperience within a team and mistake.

    “True, I am not a hero. But I am a warrior. No matter what the consequence, it is my job to put myself in danger to aid others. That is also why I wear heavy armour.”

    “NO! It is not your fucking job to put yourself in danger while down here RISKS are NOT to be taken down here! It is your job to make sure you are safe as well as the others around you! And it's my job to make sure that my whole team works as a team, you are not working as a team member, you are ignorant of the mistake you just pulled and of your inexperience of working in a team!”

    “But, Nikki, he'll learn. He just thought you were in danger and tried to help,” Yuki began to explain, Nikki knew this already but the Via Infinito wasn't the place for a training ground, it was unforgiving to the weak.

    I have to calm down he's just inexperienced, but still I can't keep worrying about him, about what he might do next that could get himself killed.” thought Nikki “I know Yuki, but he nearly got himself killed, if I had been in danger it would have been different, that judgement would have paid off.” That's right it's the only way, I can't ask anyone to teach him down here, it would only be a burden, and we don't need that right now.” thought Nikki. She looked up to see a machina hovering towards them. Just in time.” thought Nikki.

    “Hey we found you guys!” said Gippal via the hovering machina.

    “Sir, I have a request.” said Nikki The Meyvin's voice came through the machina next.

    “Go on.”

    “I want to send someone back up to the surface for more training on being part of a team. He's endangering himself and others around him with his inexperience.” Nikki could hear protests from Kane but ignored them.

    “I don't know if we have the resources at the moment to train him quickly. Did you have a trainer in mind?”

    “I do sir.”

    “Well then you don't need my permission. You are the leader you do what you feel is necessary to keep your team alive. We'll expect to see you return to the surface soon to report”

    “Yes sir.” with that the Machina hovered off. Nikki strode over to Kane. “I want you to go to the surface and find a man called Tomoya,(Maybe he can knock some sense into you, you idiot!) you'll like him he's an experienced warrior himself, and knows many exercises about being part of a team. (Which you fucking showed me none of!) He helped me so he can help you.(If you can be helped) You'll find him on the east side of Bevelle, it's a rough area go into the pub called the Lankey bar, (There's a lot of bastards down there! Some owe me money!) ask the barman for him. Don't mention to anyone in there my name, when you are alone with Tomoya then mention my name and say that I need a favour from him. (He owes me!)”

    “I don't need any training!” said Kane very angrily and he strode off ahead.

    FUCKING UNGRATEFUL BASTARD!” Thought Nikki, she breathed out heavily to calm herself down and turned to Yuki. “Teleport him out, and let the guards know he can't come back in until his training is complete,” Yuki looked up at her, Nikki noticed the sadness in her eyes.

    “But Nikki he's already angry, he's an experienced warrior. Please is there no other way? He likes Joseph...”

    “No there isn't he would be a burden on Joseph, just teleport him, don't worry Tomoya is an experienced warrior. He'll train him quickly.” Yuki looked at the floor in sadness, she tried to say something Nikki noticed but then noticed thought better of it. Nikki watched her run up to catch up with Kane and heard her say.

    “I'm sorry,” A bright light glowed around them and Nikki heard her shout out “TELEPORT!” and then they were gone. Nikki for a moment felt a sadness and just for a moment questioned herself on whether she as an leader made the right decision. Of course it was the only decision.

    Funny, so that idiot did break through some of my barriers.” thought Nikki. Kyra I'm sorry we stopped, but we're coming now” There was a bright light and Yuki appeared again looking like she was almost going to cry.

    “He was... so angry, I felt so bad.” Nikki went over to her and gave her a tissue which Yuki took and blew her nose. Nikki then said.

    “It's okay, Tomoyo will calm his rage and look after him” the group began walking again.

    Yuki sniffed in between each word as she asked. “Who... Is... Tomoya?”

    “He's my old mentor, I was going through some very bad shit during my teems, I got into fights. He helped me.”

    “Will Kane go to him?”

    “I don't know, a part of him will be saying no while the other part will just try to find him just so he can get back in to kick my ass.”

    “How do you know that?”

    “Because that's what I would be thinking. Now lets pick up the pace!” With that the group went into a run and finally they reached the exit, and the other half of the group were already there waiting for them. And that when Joseph put a sword to her face. SHIT WHAT IS HE DOING!?” “Jospeh what the hell?!”

    “Prove to me you're Nikki,”

    “Joseph, if you don't lower that fucking sword, I'm gonna shove it and my bow up your ass so far that it'll take a fucking lifetime to get them out! Now lower that fucking thing before I jab enough arrows in your fucking gut to make you a human pin cushion!” she demanded, thankfully he seemed to be pleased with the response and lowered the weapon.

    “Sorry but I had to be sure,”

    “So you made it.” said Paine Nikki nodded to them.

    “Wasn't Kane with you guys?” asked Val.

    “That's correct I sent him up because he wasn't fucking listening to any advice that I gave him.” Nikki anger finally took control, she couldn't keep it in any more. Yuki stepped forward trying to explain.

    “What Nikki means is that he was making too many mistakes, and Nikki sent him up for more training with a man called...”

    “Tomoya,” Yuubou finished for her.

    “Was it absolutely necessary Nikki? We all know you don't like the guy.” Joseph questioned further, Nikki knew why he just wanted to make sure that she didn't make an decisions based on her emotions.

    “You saw that he did when we were fucking together he left his own group and when I fucking didn't need any help he comes to help me, thinking I'm fucking in danger when I'm not.”

    “I think we need Mishka to translate.” said Val.

    “Look Tomoya is an old mentor he'll train him quickly and get him back to us. Kane has problems with keeping his emotions outside the battlefield.”

    “Okay Nikki we trust you, just making sure that's all. We need to get Kyra back now.”

    “Yeah” With that the group jumped down to Cloister 34

    As soon they jumped down Nikki heard clashes and war cries.

    “RIKKU!” said Paine she dashed on ahead and the group followed close behind with Nikki cursing that she was going to throttle Rikku when she got a hold of her, just ahead they could two Red Drakes and Sir Auron, but it wasn't Rikku fighting them it was Cyan and Mishka!

    “Fuck this shit, I can't believe he is fucking back!”

    “Just fucking shoot!” said Mishka but Nikki could see she was smirking.

    “Fuck you bitch!” With that the battle began.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Valvaris

    “Look, I made some dolls for you to play with. Have fun,” I heard as the Pyreflies condensed into copies of the other team. “Nikki”, “Kane”, and “Yuki” appeared in front of us. The Al-Bheds were blocked by a wall of Pyreflies, unable to assist us.

    "Looks like we’re on our own for this,” Joseph muttered. He brandished his sword and parried the Kane-double's attack. I shot a few shots at Nikki-double, drawing her towards me, while Yuubou took on the Yuki-double.

    I fired a few Hosha and Suisha to take down Nikki-double.

    "She's just a double," I thought, "should be quite easy."

    I dodged a few of her arrows and stood up straight, charging a magic-hexagon below my feet. I raised both my guns to my side and two white magic circles appear in front of the guns. "Rain-cast: Hyousha!" I said as I pulled the triggers on both the guns, and two white flares emerged from the circles, five from each, and all of them headed towards the Nikki-double.

    As each flare hits, a human-sized iceberg forms midair, slamming down on the spot the flares hit. Dusts and smoke came up soon after, and I thought I won.

    I was wrong.

    An arrow flew out of the smokes and barely grazed my shoulder, "Damn!" I shouted as I dodged sideways to the sudden attack. Before I could react, Nikki-double stepped out from the smokes and readied another arrow to fire.

    Suddenly, a sword came flying towards Nikki-double and she jumped back to dodge it. I got back on my feet and shot two Raidan towards Nikki-double, sending her further back. I turned my head to see Joseph being subdued by Kane-double, but Yuubou easily defeated Yuki-double.

    "Yuubou!" I screamed, kicking the sword out of the ground it was piercing into, and Yuubou used his telekinesis to send the sword back to Joseph.

    "Time to end this." I said. I dashed towards Nikki-double, who managed to get back on her feet from my attack. She tried firing arrows at me, but I dodged all of it. I leaped onto the wall, kept a gun back into its holster, and made a back flip to land behind her. As she began to turn around, I grabbed her shoulder and did a leg sweep to pin her onto the floor. I point the other gun at her head pulled the trigger. She began to disperse into pyreflies.

    “Thanks for the throw Joseph. Thought I was finished,” I said.
    “Don’t mention it. Come on, we need to move.”


    We continued down the pathway and met up with the other group. Joseph, thinking that it might be another set up, pointed his sword at Nikki, which made her lost it right there.

    I giggled behind them, feeling that it's a blessing to have them around. I looked around and realize Kane was not there.

    “Wasn't Kane with you guys?” I asked.
    “That's correct I sent him up because he wasn't fucking listening to any advice that I gave him.”
    “What Nikki means is that he was making too many mistakes, and Nikki sent him up for more training with a man called...”
    “Tomoya.”
    “Was it absolutely necessary Nikki? We all know you don't like the guy.”
    “You saw that he did when we were fucking together he left his own group and when I fucking didn't need any help he comes to help me, thinking I'm fucking in danger when I'm not.”
    “I think we need Mishka to translate.” I said.

    Nikki went on to explain about Tomoya being her mentor, as we slowly moved towards Cloister 34. Clashes and war cries were heard as we set foot on the Cloister floor. Paine, thinking it was Rikku, dashed forward, as the others followed suit.

    Two red drakes were there, and to their horror, so is Sir Auron. The people fighting against them are Cyan and Mishka!

    Nikki exchanged some words with Mishka before she began firing arrows to distract the drakes.

    "I'll take on Sir Auron." Joseph said as he engages Auron.
    "I'll help." I said, and gestured the others to handle the Red Drakes.
    "Make sure he does not end up like last time." Nikki said to me before she proceeded towards the two fiends.

    Joseph parried many of Auron's attacks. It is noticeable that he had improved lots since the last encounter with Auron. However, I think Auron's swordsmanship cannot be so easily overthrown. I looked for openings to blast a few spells on him, but he could evade or parry them while dealing with Joseph's continuous attacks.

    "How skillful." I thought.

    Joseph took a step back, and I recognize his stance. Immediately, I fired consecutively to make sure Auron spends time parrying my attacks. Joseph then leaps forward, swinging his sword at Auron, "Magic Break!". Auron took a sidestep to avoid my bullets and swung his sword up to parry Joseph's. Joseph's sword hits Auron's and he continued slashing downwards. An ethereal form of Auron and his sword appeared, overlapping slightly with the real figure, and then shatters like glasses. Auron took a step backwards from the attack, and I instantly took this opportunity to attack.

    I pointed both guns at Auron and a large, yellow magic circle appear in front of me. I pulled the trigger saying, "Charge-cast: Raihou!", and a yellow color cannonball emerged from the center of the magic circle. The cannonball heads towards Auron, and as it made contact, a smaller, yellow magic circle appeared above Auron's head. From the magic circle, a yellow thunderbolt came striking down at him, causing severe electrocution to him.

    "Did we get him?" I asked, exhausted.
    "I don't know."
    ***To be continued***
    -----------------------------------------
    Hosha - Fire Shot
    Suisha - Water Shot
    Hyousha - Blizzard Shot
    Raidan - Thunder Missle
    New Skills:

    Raihou 雷砲- Thunder Cannon (-aga spell for Thunder)
    Rain-cast - Casting 10 shots at once, each at 20% of the original power, uses more energy, but doubles the damage if all 10 shots hit.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Joseph

    “I’ll take on Sir Auron,”
    I declared, rushing forward to engage him.

    “I’ll help,” I heard Val said. I also saw Nikki mutter something to him but I took no note of it as I began to fight Auron.

    The fight was more intense than last time. Though I had learned some of Auron’s moves during our last encounter, it made it no less difficult. I tried to keep him busy while Val shot him from other angles, but Auron managed to either dodge or parry despite the continuous attacks.

    Alright then, time to even the odds a bit,’ I thought, readying a stance that I hoped Val knew. He did notice and began to shoot Auron repeatedly, keeping Auron distracted. I rushed forward, raising my sword which was covered in a green aura.

    “Magic Break!” as the sword came down on him. The spell hit him and immediately took effect. I kept battling Auron till I heard the clicks of Val’s gun being ready to fire. I ducked just as Val fired.

    “Charge-cast: Raihou!” I could almost feel the electricity on the hairs of my skin as the spell traveled over me and into Auron. I got up as the spell hit Auron and began to electrocute him. The final bolt of lightning threw up a cloud of dust.

    “Did we get him?” Val asked exhaustion clear in his voice.

    “I don’t know,” I replied, watching the smoke cloud intently. Suddenly, Auron burst though the cloud and swung at Val. Being exhausted and caught off guard, he took the full brunt of the sword which sent him flying.

    “YOU GOD DAMN BASTARD!!!” I roared, swinging my sword at Auron recklessly. He seemed to be caught off guard by the sudden barrage of attacks. I kept up the attacks, not giving Auron a moment to attack and keeping him on the defense.

    Suddenly, an arrow struck the legendary guardian in the back. I looked to see that the rest of the group had managed to kill the Red Drakes.

    “Come on Joseph! We’re leaving this Cloister now!” Nikki shouted, releasing another arrow. I noticed then that they Al-Bhed and around half the group are already at the cloister exit. I began to rush towards the cloister exit but Auron saw what we were doing and also began to run towards the exit. Nikki fired more arrows to slow down the guardian. I ran past Nikki and when I was halfway to the exit, she turned and ran.

    I was close to the exit when I heard a cry of pain behind me. I turned to see that Auron used a ranged attack the caught Nikki in the back. Since we were the only ones left in the cloister, I rushed to where Nikki was. However, Auron was also closing in on her. I reached her just a second before Auron did, rising my sword to defect the attack. Auron swung and the two swords clashed. However, my haste to defend Nikki and the weight of Auron’s sword, he managed to push past my defense and bury the sword in my side. I gasped in pain as blood began to leak onto my shirt and jacket. I growled and kicked Auron, loosening his grip on the sword. I pulled the sword out with a might heave and scooped up Nikki into my arms in an instant. With that done, I ran to the cloister exit. I made it though just and collapsed on the other side, dropping Nikki on the ground.

  22. #22
    "I do not need any further training, and by the way, YOU fight like a cow!" Kane said angrily, after hearing her words of sending him back to the surface with regards to teamwork training. "And if you can't accept my efforts within the team, then I am better off without any of you lot!" Turning away from everyone, he marched towards the next Cloister, unsheathing his Shotgunblade, which was glowing as though on fire, and readying his wrist-blades for combat.

    Kane heard footsteps running up behind him, and to his surprise it was Yuki, with a sad look on her face, she said "Sorry Kane, but I am under orders", then she shouted out "TELEPORT!" Before he had a chance to react, he found himself just outside the temple, with the guards in front of him, barring his way back in. Gippal came out to meet him, saying "Now Kane, I know you must feel very angry but...." Kane interrupted and said "You bet I am. If that so-called "leader" throws out everyone who tries to help her out, saying they are not working as a team, I am surprised how any of them got to whatever Cloister we were on."

    "That aside, I am afraid I can't let you back into the temple, without you being calm, and after also going to see Tomoya." Gippal continued, still as calmly as before. "I have done some investigation, and have found he is residing at "The Aeon's Rest". I advise you go and calm down, and then go see him. After which you can come back here, and ask for me, as I am the main person who is stopping you from re-entering Via Infinito. At least, put away your weapons."

    Kane just looked at him, his blade, glowing as though about to burst into flame, then turning away, sheathing his blade, he walked away from the temple, in the direction of Adrian's shop. In his head he said, as though making an oath "Just you wait Nikki. I WILL have my revenge on you."

    As he entered Adrian's shop, he almost bumped into an old man coming out, "In a hurry young man? Why don't you calm down and enjoy life? There is no danger from Sin anymore." In reply Kane said "no just had a bad day", as the old man held the door open for him, Kane nodded thanks and went in the shop. As the shop door closed, he heard the old man mutter, "What is with the youngsters today? Impatient and always so stressed out."

    Adrian looked at Kane, and just shook his head "I didn't expect you out so early." He said as Kane took off his helmet, "Gideon, did your anger get you thrown out?" "No, this time it wasn't my anger it was our so-called "leader". With her way of teamwork, I would be better off on my own, seeing as every time I tried to act as a team player, she just came down on me as though I had killed someone who was close to her. I can't work with someone like that." Kane sat on the counter and continued, "and now she had sent me topside in order to be "retrained" in the art of teamwork by some weird guy called Tomoya."

    At hearing this, Adrian said " that old man you bumped into was Tomoya. He also helped train your father. He is also good friend of mine, and if you have been told to train under him, then you had better come with me." Adrian took hold of Kane's arm and ignoring the protests, escorted him to The Aeon's Rest where after a little search, Adrian introduced him to Tomoya, at which the reply came " both of you had better come with me." Tomoya took them upstairs into what appeared to be his room, whereby he said, " So you are Vryon's son. You have the same temper as him. Who told you to seek me out?" He asked Kane. "Some daft girl who thinks herself a born leader who reckoned she trained underneath you called Nikki. I however reckon that she just wanted me out of the so-called team."

    Chuckling to himself, Tomoya smiled. "What's so funny?" Asked Gideon, who was now completely confused. "Nikki was a student of mine, a few years ago. Though, you wouldn't think it, when looking at her now. When she came to me, she was a very troubled child." He said. Gideon thought to himself, "She still acts like a child." Tomoya continued by saying, "What anger you may have seen her use against either yourself, or others, was nowhere near what she used to be like. You would have less anger and aggression by fighting a Behemoth King with Berserk cast on it. Yes, she was a little powderkeg, now however, she is just a little grenade."

    "So, in retrospect, you and Nikki are very alike. You both are passionate warriors, but you let your anger get the best of you too quickly. Which is probably why you have these strong emotions of anger towards her, you two are very similiar. However, I would like to help you my boy, whatever you may think of the girl in the past she would never care as much as to send someone to me, from what I hear from you she is now leading a team again and has sent you to me in both your best interests and the teams. She only has sent one other person to me in the past and that was a young girl."

    He chuckled, and after seeing that Kane wasn't convinced, continued "Now, I know what you are thinking. Your pride as a warrior is hurt and that is what fuels your anger. But what if I told you Nikki didn't send you to me for training?" Kane, just replied "I would find that very hard to believe." Tomoyo replied "Well, you have been sent here as an equal. You don't need more training, you just need someone to unload on, to try and find a way to control your emotions and by using this time with me, you can to reflect on what went wrong in your group. Don't you see my boy? Nikki has not sent you to me because she wants rid of you, or that she feels you are a rival. She has sent you to me because she is worried, but....I can see she still has trouble communicating how she feels. I offer my services to you if you want. I cannot work with someone if they do not first want the help. But I would advise you to give me a chance, to show you what I can do."

    The room went silent as Kane thought about what he had just heard from the old man. "She didn't get rid of me because she thought I needed training, or was a danger to myself???" he thought to himself.
    He took a breath as though he was going to ask something, then paused again, as something came to mind, as though it was a repressed memory. Something his father said long before the Via Infinito incident.

    "Gideon, my son, the path I am on, is one of the Paladin. You however....although you were on the training for that path. What you did today....you cannot follow that path no more. You show too much aggression. But do not be sad. There is another path. The path of the Fallen Paladin. Now, at this moment in time, you are not ready to start that path. You need to take control of your emotions more. When you are ready, seek out a man called Tomoya. He will help you to further train your emotions. Also, when you are ready, talk to Adrian, he will add a little "bonus" to your armour. Remember, even if me or your mother should be killed by Sin, we will always love you. My son."

    Adrian saw that Kane's thoughts were elsewhere, and knew exactly what he was thinking about. So he asked "You're remembering what Vryon told you about the way of the Fallen Paladin, right?" Kane nodded, then carrying on he said "Well, it looks like the fates have brought you topside at the right time. Tomoya.....will you help to show him the way, while i get his armour ready?" Tomoya replied "I will. For Vyron."

    Then as Adrian left for his shop, Tomoya and Kane sat at the table, and looking at Kane, Tomoya started to speak "Now, for the way of the Fallen Paladin, you need to do a few things. For one, free yourself from your emotions. From today, you are using a clean slate. Whatever happened before you came here doesn't matter. It is in the past now. What is important now, is what you do now in the present and in the future. You should be able to recall at least some of the skills you had when you were a Paladin. Tell me what you remember."

    "Well.....I remember I had some kind of weak healing spell, though I could only cast it on others. I couldn't cast it on myself, no matter how I tried. Apparantly, I could cast Holy.....I just.....could never get it right, and usually ended up casting ....Bio on myself.....Oh yes, any weapons I used, instantly became....Holy Weapons. Though ever since I "left the way" I lost all of them abilities. The only thing I noticed I could do was make my melee weapons burn as though they were on fire. I don't know if they were "fireblades", as I never got the chance to find out, but they put the wind up a lot my enemies." Kane reminised.

    Tomoya nodded "The reason you lost the ability to use both the spell Holy and to wield holy weaponry is because of your intense anger, though I have never heard of a Fallen Paladin being able to cast Bio, and not just on himself." Then getting up, he retrieved a dark red book from a nearby shelf, and giving it to Kane he said, "read this. It will help you to focus your remaining Paladin spells, including the Fire spell you use for your ranged blade. But one thing I must insist on." Taking the book Kane asked, "What is that?"

    Tomoya continued "You can no longer call yourself Kane. That name is in the past....Now I know you called yourself that to avenge fallen Ronso, but to be a Paladin, even a Fallen one you have to go by your given name. The name of Gideon Wyeth. Now what is your name?"

    Looking down, Kane thought of Kane the Ronso for a minute or two, then standing to attention he looked straight at Tomoya with a serious expression on his face, and answered with an equally serious tone, "I am Gideon Wyeth, son of Vryon and Yvette Wyeth." Tomoya asked again "Gideon Wyeth, what is your class?" Again with a serious tone to his voice Gideon replied, "I am a Fallen Paladin." Tomoya asked again, "What is your conviction for what happens after you leave here?" Gideon replied still with the serious tone "To enter into Via Infinito and aid the team within to find Rikku, one of Lady Yuna's Guardians."

    Smiling, Tomoya now said to him "Well done. I welcome to the ranks of the Fallen Paladin. Now go to Adrian for your armour upgrade, and read the book I have given you. After which, return to me, and we will have a discussion about the Via Infinito and Nikki's leadership, as we need to see if you can reflect on and see if you understand another person's side. I will then determine if you are fully ready for redeployment, if you are, I will then give you clearance to go back into the Via Infinito."

    At this, Gideon nodded, as though he was an army officer, and turning around walked to the door, and out to Adrian's shop.

    ~ AUTO-MERGED POSTS ~

    Mishka.png

    “Fuck you bitch!”

    Then, Nikki was off. It had been a tense standoff between those Drakes and Sir Auron, none of us willing to make the opening gambit, but the sudden twist having Nikki's group catch up to us turned everything into chaos, much better for the losing side. Nikki's arrows dug into the closest Drake, which made it flinch in confusion. The other was hesitant over which target to focus on, having nearly decided on either Cyan or me only moments before.

    While most of us dealt with them, Joseph and Val took on the task of facing Sir Auron, which I knew would be folly. For me, I began calculating angles in the battle formation. If we could force ourselves behind the two dragons or parry Sir Auron into them, perhaps the mindless fiends would stall him long enough to get us to the next cloister. While going deeper into a fiend-filled chasm with a pursuer as strong as the former guardian wasn't something I'd normally choose, Cyan and I had seen the little girl again, with a passenger, and we knew nothing good would come of it. We needed to give chase ourselves, to secure Kyra and escape back to the surface. Losing Leblanc was something unexpected and impossible to avoid, but having seen Kyra being taken further down, I knew I couldn't let her undergo the same things that little girl showed me. I couldn't let her be exposed to the Quiet Screamers.

    “Kane's heavy suit of armor might be useful about now, wouldn't it?” I called out to Nikki, noticing that the ironclad warrior was no longer with her group.

    “Piss off! That fucking tart's temper issues would've bloody cost us all our fucking lives.”

    “So he's safe? Good, all I wanted to know.” I replied with a wink, moving forward with other plans.

    Nikki serenaded me with another slew of her lovely “poetry” and I turned to the twins to do their worst on our enemies. Given their capacity to evade and pose a nuisance, I had them teleport about the two dragons while Cyan attacked from varying sides. Then, taking my new Blurry Moon, I waited for them to make their attempts at regaining footing and hooked into their toes, pushing or pulling a little to keep them off their step. The annoyance left Nikki a plethora of time to launch accurate shots from her bow.

    A few moments later, Cyan would point out some jagged marks within the walls, built there purposely for the trigger mechanisms that would activate them. We had failed to trigger them when we first entered the cloister, having been chased down by Sir Auron, however, Cyan had seen my tactic of hooking their feet to keep them off balance and noted these structural “hooks” would make excellent permanent distractions for the dragons, leaving me and Cyan free to attack.

    Whistling for the twins, I alerted them to our targets and they nodded their understanding immediately, bouncing lower and farther forward to draw the Drakes in. For our part, Cyan and I also began dashing between sides, luring the Drakes into one another and causing them