Jump to content
Phoenix

Return of the Emblem Chapter Twelve: Divergent Paths

Recommended Posts

Dining Hall

"The cathedral ..." Amon echoed thoughtfully. "You know, she was curious about Nyx's offer. Maybe she decided to go for it."

<"Of course she did,"> Malik hissed, <"What better, faster way to free herself from Lady Aisha?">

"I don't want to jump to any conclusions yet. We'll just have to assume she's not available for this mission," Amon decided.

<"Or any others,"> Malik amended bitterly.

Reign thought back to the time just prior to his desertion, then the desertion itself, and the incidents leading up to his trip down to Rex-Avaz. It wasn't easy being a fugitive even when people weren't actively looking for him. "Her name was Chestnut ... for some reason. I didn't name her myself. She was just a warhorse I used just before leaving the army ... aand she was stolen from me while I was trying to get out of Ursium," he lazily explained, his voice heavily muffled by his arms. "Just as well; I'm no expert in horse care." Memories of Sandrock getting hurt the previous evening thoroughly convinced him of that much. To Faatina, he said, "I'm still alive ... that's something."

Study

Weyland let the prince matter be since he didn't really foresee any problems other than agitated royal guards ... and they always seemed to be a little on edge these days. The Joanna matter, though ... "They've been going after fragments of the Fire Emblem. Don't put it past them to try and apprehend anyone they even suspect has one."

"Is that legal?" Steinn squinted at them both, genuinely curious. Humans had an abundance of 'rights' in these parts and so to see something more akin to what his own people would do was certainly interesting.

"I'm sure they've got some angle at work for them here," Weyland shrugged.

Training Room

"I'd rather try a fake one because if I run into one still on its hinges and I can't get through it I'm going to be too hurt and paranoid to try this during the actual mission," Raquel frowned. "I at least need something that'll give if I can't get around it any other way ... give without breaking I mean."

Stables

Vivian frowned for a split second before suppressing it when Norbert changed his mind about having her along. That wasn't what she expected, though it sounded like she would be searching from the sky while he searched on foot, or both of them from the sky. Either way she wasn't too fond of that idea. It was still raining and they'd barely reached the stables before being forced down. The instant Sunshine's feathers got too heavy from the rain, she could come crashing down hard. Depending on how high up they were at the time, it could be a serious injury or just outright fatal fall for both of them.

Before she could voice her dislike of the sky search approach, he noted that he was indentured to Weyland and already had a monetary debt of some kind. "So you're like Gabbi-err ... DW. Anyway, I don't think searching from the air right now is a good idea. Sunshine's already soaking wet. Too much more of this and we might crash. I'll help you, I guess, but I'd rather stick to searching on foot. It's only been a few minutes so she probably hasn't left the estate grounds." That was still a lot of ground to cover on foot, but it was better than search all of Europa's northwestern outskirts. They'd be out there til nightfall if that was the case.

The Archives

"Y-yeah ... sure," Shadrak replied, fatigue in his voice. He'd been tense for so long that relaxing his muscles nearly caused him to collapse right there on the spot. He'd soon find, though, that it wasn't time to relax just yet.

"You won't forget anything," Nyx shook her head. Right after she said this, her head raised slightly and she looked past Eva and Shadrak. "And she's made her decision. Pardon me one moment ..."

"Wait, Tia?!" Shadrak's tension came right back. He barely stopped himself from running for the entrance to try and stop whatever was going on out there, but given what happened to him ... this was inevitable. "Urgh ... please don't. Whatever she decided, please don't."

Nadine finally looked up from her book again to see a thick black aura surrounding Nyx and what's more, four sharp looking objects beginning to protrude from her lower back. As they grew bigger and began to fan out into a wide 'X' shape, she realized that all four of them were wings. Suddenly the trimming on her dress and the insignias she was giving away earlier made sense.

"You are still alive and so is she. You both still have the ability to pursue your goals. After the way you've conducted yourselves ... everything you still have is something to be grateful for," Nyx said, looking oddly tranquil as the energy surrounding her began to collect around her wings.

"I'm sure she's learned her lesson already," Shadrak desperately called out one last time.

Nyx smiled gently as the rest of the dark energy surrounding her disappeared into her wings, leaving only a strange glow on them. "That vile creature hasn't learned anything ... and I don't expect her to. Now be quiet; your only concern here is for yourself."

Outer Chamber

The rune knight's grip on Tia increased threefold; she couldn't speak again or even breathe for the moment. Suddenly the knight's body began to give off a great deal of dark energy. Some of it eventually took a shape resembling Nyx's wings. One after another, Tia's memories came under relentless assault. Everything she knew of magic was being corrupted and worn away by darkness leaving behind incomplete experiences. Within a few seconds, everything she could have possibly looked to for understanding was gone, her memories corrupted beyond measure, and that wasn't all that was targeted. What was left in the end was a ravaged mind that couldn't even control magic subconsciously. As a direct result of this, Tia's aura slowly dispersed along with the rune knight's as it released her. "It is done. Accept the gift ... of your life, vile creature." With that, the rune knight turned around and started back for its post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Come on now, that's no outlook to have... do you need me to help you to your room?" Faatina asked... Reign's current condition was surprising, to say the least.

***

"You know I can't help but feel more and more each moment that you're a pretty bitter fellow, Malik... or atleast too damn devoted for your own, or anyone else's for that matter, good." Angelica noted... this guy sure got defensive whenever Aisha came up, huh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Norbert shook his head. "If you're not going to be able to be of any real help, then forget it; at this point, you're only wasting my time. Go ahead and tend to your pegasus and get inside; it's not going to be any faster finding her if we're both on foot." Maybe she left tracks or something... Bah, what am I thinking? These are the stables! Her hoofprint's going to look just about the same as all the others, and they'll be confused around here anyway...

The mountless rider didn't waste any more time in the stables, having begin to head out again after his first sentence in reply to Vivian. It wasn't too long before he was in the rain. There was something rather impossible to ignore nearby, too, and he was a bit startled at the sight of it: sitting in the rain was a massive wyvern. It took a moment, but Norbert managed to recognize it as that big one that had been traveling with them before, and sure enough, the guy who rode it was right by his mount.

Merz, don't tell me she caught sight of that thing when she was already spooked... "Hey, you!" Norbert couldn't quite remember the Rexian's name. "Did you see which way my pegasus went?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The Avatar of Wrath placed the link on me, at my request, so that he can supervise this group's mission against the organization," Blake said, looking away. "If it's appearing in my spirit, that explains why he said about it not being noticeable makes sense. Well, aside from your noticing it, anyways."

***

"Desmond Langley, the current head of the Order of Wrath, claims to be speaking for Wrath himself. They've been treating his recent directives as law," Evelyn explained, with distaste. "But this has gone too far. Arresting any member of the Order of Mercy, let alone our Icon, isn't acceptable. Especially not for the Emblem, which, even if its' abilities live up to the myths, will only bring about more conflict if it's brought together. If anyone in the order knows, Langley's going to get into a real mess this time."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Ulp..." Eva said when Nyx walked herself towards the door. The announcent that Tia had made her choice was enough of a downer for her. Hopefully it would be the choice of least resistance; standing up against this power anymore wouldn't result in anything good. "I'll just, uhm... Wait here, until you're done. I'm A-OK with the deal now, by the way, now that I know I won't forget anything. Go ahead and...eat my experience? Whenever you're ready." She didn't exactly know how it happened, or how exactly Nyx accessed memories, or the like. Not worth thinking about. Might give myself a headache.

Shadrak looked pretty grim over what was happening to Tia. "Hey, hey hey, just... It's not your fault, alright? I know Gar will try to spin it like that; he seems to really hate you, but you've plenty of witnesses that Tia did this to herself and you had no part in it. I mean, you brought her, but you didn't make her say anything. I'll back you up," she said, looking away from him, "if that's worth anything."

Edited by I have opinions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hallway

"So uh, is having an Avatar of Wrath in your spirit bad for your health or anything?" Veronika asked Blake, unsure of how to phrase a question about such odd magical things. It'll be hard dscussing anything about the Wrathites around Blake- they're definitely not our allies even if they're not our enemies...

Dining Hall

"No problem," Nadya responded to Anna with a nod, before the sound of her native tongue attracted her over to Amon's table.

"What mission are y'all talkin' about anyway? I didn't think ya would be gettin' involved in this whole Raquel rescuin' her father thing," Nadya asked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Man Called Gar

Gar scoffed at sword-guy's Wrath thing. Did anyone here have the slightest idea what they were getting into with anything? Did the concept of privacy just suddenly stop existing when he skipped out on the ball? He should leave the flowers—crap he left the flowers! Eh... not like anyone's gonna take'em, or they were gonna go ride off into town this instant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dining Hall

Malik replied to Angelica's comment with a glare. "I don't really owe you an explanation, but since you aren't here to complicate things ... as far as I can tell ... ... The last time we found an emblem piece, Amon ended up protecting Raquel instead of doing his job. This is starting to look eerily similar and that has me worried. Not a one of you cares if Lady Aisha gets what she wants. That's fine; I understand that ... but I care. It's my job to care. It's Amon's job to care, but here we are, about to try this again, and while I do think we should try to get this emblem piece, I really doubt Amon has the wherewithal to follow through when it really matters."

Amon sighed, not really wanting to get into that again. It was true, he wasn't going to rob someone who wasn't an enemy for it; that was why he agreed to go after Valdimarr's emblem piece, because there weren't any circumstances where he'd be an ally, so taking it from him was reasonable. Now of course, there was an emblem piece right within reach, but it did belong to someone. "Can we just deal with this one step at a time? We'll worry about this after we find a way to get her out of there."

And then Malik sighed, more heavily than Amon.

"No, I'm fine," Reign mumbled. Then, about a second and a half later, a thought occurred. He slowly raised his head from its hiding place. "Oh, sorry, did you want me to take care of our little agreement before another battle breaks out?" Somehow he not only remembered that he owed her a massage but even kept quiet about the details. Then again, he didn't forget that he owed some noblewoman/child a pegasus either. Since Ursium was the best place to come by a pegasus, he figured he wouldn't actually manage to get one until they were in a completely different country or something. Irony and all that.

Study

"Oh dear," Weyland said, Evelyn's reply making him realize just how bad the situation really was. Steinn read him like an open book and sighed with a thin smile. "I don't know why you're so amused," Weyland scowled at him, "your people have the most to lose by the wrathites taking that angle."

"Perhaps. We'll see, though."

"Still ... beforehand they might have claimed the emblem was property of the gods and they were seizing all the pieces on his behalf ... and that might have flown with some people ... the rest may have just been indifferent if they were unaffected by the situation. However, now that we're at war on two fronts, one being the Neviskotian Empire and the other being the Corvian Empire, they can also approach this more patriotically and decide that 'uniting the emblem will secure Ursium's victory.' Even if that's true they're stepping on a lot of toes to get their way."

"That's the only method that seems to work in this country, at least when one isn't quite so prosperous," Steinn said, leaning back in his seat. The Fire Emblem. It was certainly something, though ... a dire threat, and also a temptation like nothing he or his people had ever faced before.

Hallway

"It shouldn't affect him physically," Gabbie tried to explain. What she was worried about was that possession thing Blake had mentioned awhile back. At first she doubted that was possible unless Wrath himself decided to try something like that. Understanding the mechanics or not, she wouldn't put it past a god to take control of a simple fleshy body. By itself, though, this thing shouldn't be able to do anything but relay Blake's senses. "For all our sakes, though ... I'm ..." she paused, going over how she was going to approach this in her head, "I'm gonna look into this. And soon."

Stables

"He is ... really rude," Vivian mused aloud. She decided not to think too badly of him if only because his pegasus had just broken out of her stall, saddling him with the bill, and running off into a thunderstorm. Who wouldn't be a little upset? It wasn't much longer before Sunshine was taken care of and eating from her feed bag. Making a mental note to come back shortly to check on her again, Vivian headed inside the main building.

Outside the Stables

<"Hmm?"> Haythem looked up from his musing to see that it was Norbert talking to him. So that was his pegasus that went running off? He pointed in the general direction the pegasus he saw ran off in, not knowing if anyone was going to catch it on foot. Then again, while a lot of animals, equines especially, beat humans in terms of speed, a patient and strong person could still track them for days and eventually catch them. Too bad it was raining, though.

The Archives

Shadrak was surprised that Eva was, seemingly, on his side. No one was ever--again, seemingly--on his side. "It's worth more than you think," he said, still looking tired and desperate but slowly coming around.

"... and we're finished," Nyx said, her wings shrinking away into her back. That could only mean ...

"What happened? What'd you do to her?" Shadrak asked, taking a step toward her.

"She made her choice and is no longer a mage. Unless I decide otherwise, that's how it's going to stay. Let's continue from where we left off ..." With that, she approached Eva and slowly raised her hand, leaving it quite close to the wyvern rider's forehead.

No longer a mage?! Why would she ... maybe the other 'choice' was just that bad, Shadrak mused. He wasn't sure what he'd find once he went back out there.

"That will do," Nyx said, her hand still hovering close to Eva. "Takeoffs ... ... landings ... ..." a smile crept up onto her face, her eyes firmly closed. "You really should be off practicing, but if you want a shortcut ..." her eyes slowly opened as her hand came down to rest at her side, "you have it. Practice anyway ... the earlier you hone your skills, the better."

That just leaves me ... and the information for the prosthetic arm, Shadrak winced. He just hoped that one way or another he could make use of this information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"That's good, then," Eva said, trying to perk up. Whatever had happened to Tia could wait. Eva had to stand herself up, as Nyx was coming back. Her hand came near, and Eva flinched again. But suddenly, certain experiences and memories started forming in her mind, and not just suddenly appearing, but being there, as if she'd just not been paying attention to them. It was certainly not a mountain of information, and it didn't leave her stunned or at a loss for words, but it was definitely an incredibly odd feeling. "Wow... Thanks, I-I will! I had no plans to stop praciticing, ever. That's for sure." Now that that was over, she was, admittedly, curious about Tia. "Uh... If I can ask... What did you do to her? Or, rather, what did she choose for you to do?" Gotta watch your words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Thank you," Norbert replied with a nod before dashing off in the indicated direction. He didn't know how far Rizen had run, but as far as he knew, she didn't have any specific safe havens to retreat to. That meant, in all likelihood, he'd eventually find her if he just ran in a straight line. He was soaked through in no time, and being in full gear, it made running that much harder, but he didn't want to waste any more time. The sooner he found Rizen, the sooner he could get her situated in her stall again and the sooner they'd both be out of this storm. Besides that, the exertion was helping him to burn away his anger. He also viewed it as both a necessary means to an end, and some extra training. He couldn't just keep his head down and run, though, and kept a sharp eye out for the wayward pegasus, though he doubted he'd see her this soon into the search.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Well, I can't say I really know what she wants, if I'm honest... it's some sort of political thing for Sanctuary no doubt, if I had to wager a guess it involves all of the anti-Aisha factions floating about... the fate of most of the Southern lands is a pretty big deal so I might be inclined to care, who can say? But if she put Amon in charge instead of you, she must have some reason, no? Maybe she values that bit of rebellious spirit... after all, not just swiping the first one you come across seems kind of benevolent, don't you think?" Angelica replied with a sigh, meeting Malik's glare with a lazy gaze.

"Atleast you answered my question decently enough... wayyy too damn devoted."

***

"Infighting between the Orders, huh? It has to have been a few decades since something came up to cause a stir, but I can't remember anything on this scale... well, as far back as my history lessons went anyway..." Arietta noted somewhat pensively... this could get really messy really quickly.

***

Oh, right... that was still a thing, wasn't it? Faatina had almost forgotten about that little deal of theirs, mostly a joke on her part that had been taken upon by Reign and that she hadn't had the gusto to retract... though it was an excuse to get him out of the public eye... and away from more alcohol, hopefully that would help him not do something he would regret later... and besides, the whole point of going along with it had been to quell her nerves anyway, after all. With that in mind, there was really only one reasonable response for the paladin.

"Of course, I'd love to take you up on that, Reign." Faatina replied with a light smile... atleast he still had the tact to not blurt out what it was the agreement had been.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lumi raised an eyebrow at the two. "Well, seems like you two have something interesting to talk about then. Have fun with that you two, and I hope that your horse is ok, Reign."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Magical Mayhem

Whatever... Stupid woman, getting to do whatever she wants. I doubt this'll even be that bad. I'll just find my master and-- "Hrk!" Tia's bravado at all previous encounters disappeared all too quickly. As the dark magic made its way into her mind, her eyes went wide, and she attempted to shout, but the Rune Knight's clasped hand stopped any noise coming out of her. She began looking around the room, searching for something to get this to stop, clambering hands at the Rune's Knight's own. It was over quickly, though, and she collapsed to the floor, eyes wide and breathing heavy. She began to shake a bit, slowly going to hold herself, eyes darting left and right rather quickly. She tried, immediately, to remember magic, how to use it, how she learned it; all attempts met with painful twinges in her head. Her arms slowly went up to hold her head, trying to stop herself from trying to access these broken memories as to not hurt herself anymore. With a newfound fear in her mind, she raised her head a little, but didn't dare to look up at the knight. "I-If... I-If I s-started over," she quietly began, voice shaking along with her, "if I s-s-s-started with the b-basics...again. W-Would I e-ever be able...t-to learn magic...again?" She ended up coughing after that., still desperately trying to get a stable hold on her breath.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Well that's good to know. It might be an issue if it ended up killing me in a month or so," Blake said, deadpan, as they continued down the hall. "And by all means, look into it, though I doubt it will be to of any effect. It's here to stay." It had to. For her sake.

***

"Worst possible time for in-fighting to occur," Evelyn said, glancing at the guard. She seemed familiar... Maybe she had been at one of the social events a couple years back? "Anyways even if he hides behind patriotism, the fact of the matter is Joanna wouldn't hurt a soul. She'd probably give up the emblem, or whatever she had, if asked. Arresting her was crossing the line. But, back to why I brought this up. What was your response to whatever they came here for? I imagine it was to help free Joanna, but perhaps not."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aneda rushed to help Tia, helping the poor girl balance by grabbing her by the shoulders. "Are you alright?!" she asked barely below a shout, knowing the obvious answer she'd get. She couldn't help the slight shaking that overcame her, nervousness seeping into her being at the display of outright unnecessary punishment. Looking back to the knight, she scowled, nothing really else she could do here. That familiar helpless feeling sank in again and made her reach a new level of frustration that brought a tear to her eye, forcing her scowl to the ground with a deep heaving breath. God dammit...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dining Hall

"I'm pretty sure the reason she put him in charge is because he was out here the longest. I've spent my whole life guarding Sanctuary. Amon's spent his delivering messages on foot. The only reason he is even 'qualified' is because he spent months away from home and is more familiar with outsiders," Malik explained his point of view while Amon tried to iron out the plan more in his head. So far, it was still a little silly for a rescue mission; waltz in, find Joanna and the emblem, grab them both, and then get the hell out as quickly as possible. It wasn't very clever, even with the pre-planned discord they were going to sow. "Yes, of course, anyone who puts their leader's needs first is too devoted," Malik muttered sarcastically, looking off in some other direction and shaking his head at Angelica's last comment.

Reign swiftly rose from his seat, still decently coordinated despite the half dead look on his face. "Yeah, I hope she's okay, too," he replied to Lumi before cracking his neck a couple of times. "Okay let's get going."

Study

"Actually they did," Weyland confirmed it. "They aren't fans of the diplomatic approach, but no one's going to bully the Order of Wrath into doing anything, not while they're on a mission. Whatever they want from Joanna ... they're likely going to get it. Nonetheless, when I have time, I still plan to try and speed up her release."

"It's a waste of time," Steinn chimed in. "She'll live either way; better not to give more attention to a situation than it warrants and focus on the matter at hand."

Hallway

"Hmph." I doubt it can't be removed but ... that thing is completely different from what I'm used to seeing. I can't ask him to try and remove it, but maybe I can figure out what it is and how to work around it, Gabbie thought to herself as they came up on the training room door. "Two more guys and two more gals, I wonder what's goin' on in there," she muttered before opening the door.

Training Room

"Gabbie?" They hadn't set up the obstacles yet, so Raquel was just standing around waiting when the door opened. Time to give them some of the few bits of good news any of them would be getting prior to the mission, she decided. "I'm making a lot of progress; I can definitely disarm people or just 'leave' things they're holding behind, but I can still only warp one other person at a time right now." She wasn't sure how to explain her strange warping queue, that strange phenomenon that occurred when she tried to warp a second person at the same time as the first, so she opted not to for now.

The Archives

"Between losing her power, her voice, and all but one of her years, she chose her power," Nyx answered with closed eyes.

"Those are some weird choices," Shadrak quietly muttered. Tia's response was even weirder, so Shadrak assumed he was missing a bit of context. "So she really isn't a mage anymore?" he spoke up, more audible this time. He was too curious not to.

"Go see for yourselves. I'm done talking about that one ... but first," she turned toward Shadrak, her eyes opening up again and meeting his. Their fierceness caught him off guard and he froze where he was standing as she reached out to him. It was over within a few seconds. Shadrak grimaced at the information. It was everything he needed to know; he knew that, but now he realized why Nyx had offered to make the base for the arm herself during the first deal and that realization was about half as agonizing for him as it would be for Mushirah if they were going to give her a properly mounted prosthetic arm. "Yes, good luck with the base, Shadrak. You're going to need it."

"Urgh ..." He was a mage, not a surgeon. This was way out of his league. Thoughts of Mushirah writhing in agony, restrained by several others, and unable to call the whole thing off were too much right now and he shook his head to try and get rid of them.

Desmond's Office

The Head Wrathite himself was seated at his desk again and staring down at a strange pale blue ornate box. The index finger of his left hand tapped repeatedly beside the box as he stared down at it. His patience hadn't worn out yet, after all, he still hadn't had time to question its owner.

The door to his office gave off couple of solid knocks and then a voice came through. "Sir, we have her."

"Come in," Desmond replied, indifference in his voice, but something bordering on desperation in his heart. The more he thought about it, the more he realized the avians weren't so stupid as to just send a pacifist guardian straight into their hands without a second thought. Even Joanna might not be the key to opening this box. As he looked up, Charles Witt, his second in command, and two other wrathites dressed for battle escorted Joanna into the room. The last man in shut the door behind them and locked it.

"Can you tell me what sort of device this is?" Desmond asked Joanna, almost casually. "You needn't think too hard about your answer; I already know what's inside it. That's why you're here ... well, that's one of the reasons ...."

"You won't be able to open it," Joanna explained, though that only raised more questions.

"We can always break it open, girl," Charles hissed in Joanna's ear.

"No," Desmond shook his head, "Whoever designed this box is a genius, the likes of which we have never seen. We can't apply enough force to this box to breach it without annihilating whatever is inside, and while a Fire Emblem fragment is no ordinary piece of matter, we still don't have the means."

"Don't have the means?" Charles repeated in disbelief. "What sort of force would it take to smash it open?"

"You might have to drop this entire building onto it to destroy it," Joanna quietly and somberly explained.

"That sounds about right," Desmond slowly nodded as his listless gaze fell back onto the box. He tapped it again. "It isn't so much the material as the way in which it's being used. It has to be unlocked. There is no other alternative at this point."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright

Was she alright? Was there any way to tell if she'd ever be alright again? Even thinking regularly was beginning to become taxing, and Tia wanted nothing other than to turn back time and shut herself up; avoid this awful event in some manner. She knew that would be impossible, and getting no response from the knight immediately got her thinking that, no, she never would be able to use magic again. She leaned back and braced herself against Aneda, instead of supporting herself anymore, the realization of what she'd lost beginning to well up inside of her. She started to cry but still kept mostly quiet, not knowing if Nyx would shut her up permanently at the sounds of her bawling. "No, Aneda," she coughed through her tears, "I'm not alright..."

Indifference

Eva was curious about Tia as well, once again not enough to question Nyx further. She simply waited while Shadrak was given his new information, going over her own a few times in her head. It still felt weird to have these experiences now, especially with how normal they felt, but she was definitely excited about them. "So, uh... Shall we go collect everyone, and fly back? Don't want to push you if you've stuff left to do, but we should get back before Raquel runs off to do her plan alone." Eva still had a few concerns about Raquel. She could've left already, gone on a suicide mission, but part of her continued to hold on a bit of faith that Raquel would wait for everyone to be ready. "Whenever we leave, at least the ride back should be more comfortable now."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"When they willingly blind themselves to everything else, yeah, they are." Angelica retorted with a light laugh, before continuing.

"Still, I have to give her credit for choosing people skills over absolute loyalty... most people wouldn't have the vision to look past the surface."

***

"Sure... are you okay walking or do you want some help?" Faatina asked... he seemed coordinated enough but...

***

"They sure like causing trouble. huh? Damn zealots..." Arietta muttered under her breath.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Man Called Gar

"Some good news before the relentless barrage of bad," Gar mused at Raquel's delivery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"That's excellent. But we're going to need to talk about the plan again," Blake said, ignoring Gar for the time being. "The organization knows we've found them. They'll be ready for an attack, if they haven't already begun to flee."

***

"Let me know if there's any way I can help them, regardless," Evelyn said, frowning. "If it can spare Joanna even a moment of suffering, then I'll help."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She wasn't alright. As if it wasn't obvious from every other thing going on, she did elect to answer Aneda's question and it stung her into silence. Her grip tightened for only a moment as Tia leaned in, not wanting to crush the poor girl's shoulders. Even if the rider wanted to console her and tell her everything was going to be alright, Aneda couldn't find the voice for it through the rushes of anger and muddled fury with confusion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dining Hall

"I'm pretty sure myself and the other Sancturans have thought this through," Malik said, even more seriously than usual. "Amon's skills aren't going to amount to anything if he can't start looking at the bigger picture. Who is Joanna, for starters? Does she really matter where our goals and future are concerned? Does any goodwill toward outsiders in general really do us any good when the most we will ever get back from them is a 'thank you'? No," he shook his head resolutely, "We look out for ourselves because we are the only people who will." He then glanced sideways at Amon. "And just once, I hope you put your people and your queen before some random woman."

Amon avoided eye contact after that, sensing way more hostility from Malik than was showing up on the surface. No wonder Malik didn't consider him a Sancturan, Amon thought. It wasn't just because he was born somewhere else, but because he was interpreting the situation with Raquel as borderline treason. He was surprised he wasn't dodging the guy's fists at this point, but maybe that was just because he was giving him another chance to prove himself. Perhaps that or respecting Aisha's decision to put him in charge of the tiny expedition. "Raquel and Joanna may both be outsiders, but we shouldn't treat them any worse than our own people. They aren't our enemies, and just because they aren't necessarily going to help us in return ..." He had some thought after that ... some way to finish that sentence, but he lost a hold of it. "It doesn't matter. No matter what happens, I'll make sure we complete our mission, even if it takes a little longer," he concluded.

"Sure you will," Malik muttered.

"You people are from Sanctuary?" Glen finally spoke up.

"It isn't important," Malik said, though it still sounded rather important to Glen thanks to that lecture a moment ago.

Reign raised an eyebrow at Faatina. "This wouldn't really be a good time if I couldn't even walk straight. Come on, let's go," he said, almost chuckling as he started off. His balance seemed pretty normal, though his head had a somewhat depressing sway to it. He had a lot on his mind right now, perhaps too much.

Robin sighed. This wasn't helping. Just talking about it wasn't helping. She missed the days when she didn't have to talk at all, when the only sounds she made was her breathing, and when the only things she had to listen for were the sounds of her prey. She longed for that, almost desperately at this point. Standing up straight, she said, "Fine, then. I will go and track down Bert and help him." Her resolve wavered visibly as she added, "and I will ... confess." Again.

Study

"Some might say the same about your employer, here," Steinn noted casually, almost smiling. "The king himself, even, hmhmhm."

Weyland did some serious thinking about Evelyn's offer for a moment. Normally such offers were useless but in a situation like this, where even a little interference could affect the opposition's plans ... "Well, any pressure that can be placed on them will make securing her release much easier. In fact ... do you think Prince Athrun would be willing to have a word with Langley? Perhaps keep them from interviewing her from the privacy of their own building? House arrest and Mercinic supervision, perhaps?"

Training Room

"What?!"

"There's a little more good news," Gabbie glared. "Sardis is probably out of the foight. Anna may have lost us the element of surproise ... assuming we ever had it to begin with, but she hit Sardis with a Visceral bolt. Kaboom."

"... I don't know what that is," Raquel squinted at Gabbie. "Did he survive, though? Could you check?" And suddenly her eyes widened when she recalled images of a very long crossbow that fired explosive bolts. How could Sardis have survived that?

Gabbie's glare turned into something even more displeased when yet another seeking request came ... and so casually, too. "Yes he survoived, but we're pretty sure he's out of the foight. That just leaves the grunts, who are rarely a problem, the lieutenants, who'd rather chat with us than kill us, and that bastard who nearly took out the Dauntless." Thinking back on the matter, he did take out the Dauntless, really. It was going to be upgraded and modified once it was returned and some questions were answered, but given how easily it was damaged and how easily it could have been obliterated, an entirely new transport was needed. The Dauntless was going to have to be retired thanks to those gaping holes in its metal frame. "Don't bring a transport into the foight this toime ...."

The Archives

"Yyyeah ..." Shadrak began the slow process of breaking off eye contact with Nyx and shifting toward the entrance. "Alright," he said, once he was facing the exit, "let's grab Tia and get out of here before anything else happens."

"Would you like me to lead you out this time?" Io asked.

"We sort of know the way back out, but sure," Shadrak shrugged, still suspicious of Io but not really having any idea of how to deal with that anymore.

"Never forget what happens in a god's presence ... what happens to the humble ... and what happens to the stupid. Never forget," Nyx said some parting words before turning away from them.

I won't, Shadrak thought to himself.

The Outer Chamber

The second Io, Shadrak, and Eva were outside of the Archives, the doors closed, sealing them outside. Shadrak slowly approached Tia and Aneda. "What happened?" he asked in a somber tone. Io just stood by patiently, minding the surroundings.

Desmond's Office

"What material could possibly resist such tremendous force?!" Charles exclaimed in disbelief.

"I already told you," Desmond gave Charles a bored look, "it's not the material, but how that material is being used. From what I can tell, this box has been locked through light magic, in a way normal men cannot comprehend and even a mage might struggle with. As for how the material is being used ... that too may be a bit much for you, but it suffices to say that this is not one box but well over a thousand. They have been phased into a single, nearly indestructible object. While I can't tell you why it only bears the weight of a single box, I can tell you that it holds the strength of all of them. We will never breach it without the proper means."

"Why do you want to open it if you already know what's inside?" Joanna asked. "Are you planning to use it?"

"An extremely irritating question coming from you," Desmond glared at her, "but I'll answer it. I have no real reason for wanting it opened right at this moment. I am already more powerful than any emblem wielder will ever be, and the Order will not rely on any power other than that which is bestowed upon us by Lord Wrath himself. The last thing we need right now is an emblem fragment responding to the will of others and complicating matters further. When our Lord does come, this box must be cast aside and its contents brought before him. I require the means to open it, so when that day comes, I can present it to him. Are you going to cooperate with us or not?"

"What is Lord Wrath going to do with it?"

"Whatever he pleases, though I suspect that one way or another these wars will all come to a spectacular end and we will at last have peace."

"Peace through bloodshed," Joanna winced.

"Joanna," Desmond shook his head and rose from his seat, "If merely one person had to die in order to put an end to all pain and suffering in this world ... would that still be too high a price? If that person was you, would you still refuse to make that sacrifice for the benefit of everyone else? Some people must always come to great harm and even death for true peace to be established. It is because people and nations are steeped so deeply in their sense of entitlement that they will never welcome a world that would deny them their right to lust after, steal from, and murder others. Lord Wrath ... will make certain that those who are destroyed on the path to peace, are destroyed in righteousness."

"But only exemplars lead lives without ever giving into those kinds of carnal urges," she protested. Fearing that Desmond was casting too wide a net.

"If only the exemplars are worthy to live in a world of peace, then so be it. Everyone else will die, and Lord Wrath will be right in destroying them. It's that simple. Tell me how to open the box. I am certain Lord Wrath can still reach the fragment inside, but the least we can do is save him the trouble ... given the great work ahead."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dining Hall

Nadya decided to keep her nose out of this business between Malik and Amon- this was some kind of Aisha servitude thing. She did manage to glean at least most of what they were trying to do from what everyone was saying.

"If y'all want to rescue some prisoner of the Wrathites for one reason or another, we're gonna have to be sneaky and move quickly. If they manage to alert the barracks here about what we're doin', we're done for. I'd highly recommend a quick escape plan," Nadya offered.

Training Room

He could die from this? This can't just be swept under the rug, Veronika thought to herself at Blake's revelation, but then it was as they reached the training room and began talking over what had happened with Raquel. I'm going to bring this up again later...

"We may need to act sooner than originally anticipated. If they escape, we may have difficulty tracking them down," Veronika added.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I don't know how much it means coming from me, but I admire your gusto, Amon. It takes a real man to follow through with what he believes in that kind of situation." Angelica chimed in once again... Malik was showing his hand way too openly, there had to be... something else to him aside from fanatical belief in Aisha.

***

"Alright, if you're sure." Faatina replied, following along behind Reign... atleast he seemed well enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Man Called Gar

He needed to get working on his harness the second this was over. "If he's that badly injured it'll take time or care to get him moving." Which meant he wasn't a worry for Gar's plan. Pushing time back meant he could have gone for his guy... but dammit... Whatever, deal with what you got. "If they got crossbow-bombed like this they probably don't have extensive warp capabilities. If they aren't warping they'll be foot-slogging. If they try and trickle out I won't be able to catch everyone but it'll be less dangerous. If they wait and move as one whole then I can just catch'em all in the blast. Might even be a better idea that." Either way...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...