In which the gang arrives at Palmacosta

The gang, since I think they qualify as one now, assembled on the boat, and Max set sail for the city of Palmacosta, their next destination.

Well, I think that's obvious from the title of the chapter, isn't it?

Davin slowly removed his gun from its compartment on his cloud-chair and surreptitiously glanced around for the critic. He'd caused the author too many problems, and he was going to get rid of him once and for all now. He kept typing with one hand, and because of this, the world moved in slow motion.

The characters were aware of this, and Mithos was amusing himself by walking exaggeratedly, like a burglar in a cartoon. He started jumping with his long steps, and was floating above the deck, laughing distortedly.

Davin set the gun down within easy reach and resumed typing with both hands. The story resumed, though spelling, grammar, and continuity errors began to leak through, since he was distracted.

Kratos turned to Sheena. "Does it feel like we have been on this boat for a long time?"

Sheena, who had switched roles with Anna and was now the mobster of the group, pushed her wide-brimmed hat back on her head and frowned around her cigar. "Ya know, I think youse is right. It seems like we've been on dis boat for months."

"Estimated duration of ocean journey approximately five months." said Presea robotically. "Time passed inconsistent with distance to Palmacosta." She turned to face the others. "I believe we are lost."

Max, the owner of the boat, drew himself up indignantly. "We are not lost. If it's anybody's fault, it's his!" He pointed up at Davin, floating overhead in his cloud-chair. "Isn't he responsible for advancing the story?"

Kratos frowned up at the author, who was searching more for the critic than he was paying attention to the fact that the characters were aware of him again. "Perhaps he got distracted. I believe he is writing other stories, also."

Davin heard this, and looked down at Kratos. "You know you're just a character in a story?"

He nodded. "I am, and have been for quite some time."

"And that doesn't bother you?" the author asked.

Kratos shrugged minutely. "Not especially."

Davin adjusted his glasses. "Huh." He looked back down at his magic laptop and resolved to be nicer to Kratos from now on. Then he realized what had just happened and sighed angrily at his inability to keep the characters from knowing he was there. Perhaps his laptop was defective.

The rest of the trip was fairly pleasant, save when Mithos and Sheena simultaneously discovered the other was cheating at Cribbage and a fight almost broke out. Kratos was able to soothe tempers by chucking the Cribbage board over the side and forcing them to play Go Fish instead. This irritated Max, who was the (former) owner of the Cribbage board.

Anna, now being the main character while Sheena was the mobster, leaned against the railing of Max's boat and breathed in the sea air. It smelled like salt and dead fish.

Sheena, having tired of Go Fish, sidled up to her and took off her jacket. Anna noticed Sheena was wearing a shoulder holster with a revolver in it. Anna briefly wondered where she had gotten it, but then remembered that the mobster character had a plot-hole at their disposal. Lucky.

"So, uh, youse wanna buy a Rolex?"

"Sheena, Mobsters don't sell fake Rolexes. You're thinking of a hustler."

"Oh, sorry. I'm still kinda new ta dis whole Mobster ting." She dropped the watches back into the plot-hole. Maybe she'd sell them when they got to Palmacosta.

Speaking of Palmacosta, it was on the horizon. They arrived and got off the boat. Wow, Davin's really going overboard on the descriptions, isn't he? Shut up, I'm bored and want to get to the funny part.

The group strolled down the street without a heading in mind. Today's weather was fairly nice. It was sunny and warm, the kind of day that made you want to lie on the grass and do nothing. Colette was heading off to do just that, when she crashed into somebody. Big surprise.

"...!" said the person she had crashed into. Mithos snickered.

"Ahh! The Palma potion we just received!" said another person in an annoyingly high-pitched voice.

Anna surveyed the other group of people. They consisted of: A skinny, stringy-haired young man dressed like Kratos, who Colette had bumped into, a tall woman that looked vaguely like Mithos, a midget(sorry, 'little person') that was dressed like Presea, and finally, most bizarrely, a man who was dressed like Anna was at the moment, albeit slightly more masculinely.

Overhead, on his cloud, Davin glared at his laptop's screen. That last sentence had been terribly run-on, but since it was already out there, there was nothing he could do about it. He shrugged and resumed his typing.

The woman that looked like Mithos shook her fist at them. "You inferior beings better get us another Palma potion, or we'll have to hurt you!"

Mithos put his hand in front of his doppelganger's(Davin stared at the word. Had he spelled it wrong?) forehead and made the OK sign. She copied the gesture. Mithos released his index finger and the woman went flying. He did not. Go flying, that is.

He cast Judgment, and the impostor group troubled them no more until the next time it would be funny to bring them into the plot.

"Hey, where's Sheena?" This from Colette, who was attempting to get the Palma potion stains out of her shirt.

Anna closed her eyes and crossed her fingers. "Please, Martel, if you have any mercy in your soul, don't let her be doing what I think she's doing."

Her hopes were dashed by the sound of a few shots from the tommy gun.

They rushed towards the sound of the gunfire and came across what Anna had hoped was not happening. Sheena was threatening a man with long hair and a beard with her tommy gun while a curly-haired little girl watched.

"Da union dues! Gimme da union dues or you're gonna sleep wit da fishes!"

"I told you, I don't know what you're talking about! Guards! Arrest this maniac!"

The guards, unfortunately, had a few more holes in their bodies than they were born with and wouldn't be arresting anybody any time soon.

Anna cursed. Loudly. So loudly that everyone within a hundred feet turned to look at who would say a word only sailors used when a cannon slipped loose and landed on their foot.

"Oh, excuse me." She started turning bright red.

Sheena waved her gun under Dorr's nose. "Oh, good, you guys is here. I was tellin' dis mug ta gimme da union dues, an' he won' do it! Help me beat it outta him!"

Yggdrasill, for reasons known only to him, decided to be reasonable and stepped between Sheena and her intended victim. "Sheena, I'm positive this inferior being doesn't know what you are talking about. I don't even know what you're talking about. So put the gun away, and we'll have a reasonable discussion with this man, and resolve our differences peacefully."

Immediately, Kratos drew his sword and knocked his brother to the ground. "Who are you?"

Mithos struggled to get Kratos off of him, but he was securely pinned, Kratos' sword an inch from his throat. "Get off me, you idiot! What are you doing?"

Kratos lowered his sword to rest on Mithos' Adam's apple. "I'm not going to ask you again. Who are you, really?"

"Um, Mr. Kratos, you did ask him again." This from Colette, who promptly received an elbow in the side from Anna. "Well, I'm just saying-"

"Shut up!" Anna hissed.

Mithos took advantage of his brother's momentary distraction to flip him off. Quit giggling, he didn't make an obscene gesture. He tossed him to the side, would be a better way of putting it.

Kratos sprang to his feet and grabbed his brother in a headlock. "Now answer me! The Mithos Yggdrasill I know would never say the words 'reasonable discussion' in the same sentence. Where is my brother?"

"Let go of me, you foolish inferior being! I was tired and didn't feel like fighting that guy, so I said all that boring crap to get Sheena to put her gun away! Now release me, before I blast your scrawny hide into the stratosphere!"

"That's more like it." Kratos let him go, but resolved to watch him closely for further strange behavior. There was still the possibility that he was an impostor.

Mithos dusted himself off. "Now, before I was so rudely interrupted, I was about to ask you your name. Who are you?"

The long-haired man straightened his dress(sorry, 'robe') and glared angrily at Sheena before answering. "My name is Dorr, and I am the governor of this city."

Anna, who had assigned the task of restraining Sheena to Presea, stepped forward and bowed. "Governor Dorr, we seek the next seal. We were told that you possessed a record of Spiritua's journey, and we would like to look at it."

"First, you must answer me these questions three!"

Davin hurled a lightning bolt of character modification at Dorr, who wasn't supposed to say that. He checked the battery on his laptop, and discovered it was running low. He shrugged and decided to let the story write itself for a few minutes while he found a new battery.

This turned out to be a bad move.

Dorr repeated the offending line.

Anna stepped forward. "All right, what are your questions?"

"What... is your name?"

"Anna Irving."

"What... is your favorite color?"

"Purple."

"What... is the square root of 487?"

"I... How am I supposed to know?"

"Wrong! You are the weakest link, goodbye!"

Right about then, Davin borrowed Sheena's plot-hole for moment, rummaged around in it while Dorr asked his questions, and found a freshly charged battery, which he rammed into his computer. He then proceeded to beat the wayward story back into submission, and before long, it had returned to his control.

It was quite disconcerting for the characters as the whole world moved backwards for a few seconds, then resumed.

"We were told that you possessed a record of Spiritua's journey, and we would like to look at it."

Struggling mightily to say something else, Dorr said: "You are the Chosen's group? I thought those guys with the midget- sorry, 'little person', were the Chosen's group. I gave the book to them."

Yggdrasill broke free. "You idiot! You gave the book to some random peon who claimed to be the Chosen? Do you use your eyes at all or are they just there for decoration?!" Before Kratos could stop him, Mithos cast Holy Lance, and since Dorr wasn't leveled up enough to withstand it, he flopped to the ground, lifeless.

"Great! Youse killed him! Now how's am I s'posed to get da union dues?" Sheena waved her tommy gun in the air in frustration. She accidentally squeezed the trigger, and a bird crashed to the ground at her feet.

For some reason, everyone ignored this and decided to check out the rest of the city. That's right, they left a giant mess in the town square(it was actually circular, but who cares), killed the governor and an innocent bird, and now they're going to go stroll around the rest of the city like a bunch of tourists. Mithos' psychotic tendencies are definitely contagious.

They eventually came to a gigantic docked warship, which a sea monster was cheerfully attempting to destroy. The sailors were equally cheerfully firing the cannons at her/him/it/whatever it was.

A sailor explained some stuff about how the ship worked, and Genis, who was still stalking Presea, decided to make a snide comment about the warship. The group of maniacs were about to fight him again, when the sea monster made a sound that sounded suspiciously like a Godzilla roar. Come to think of it, the monster looked suspiciously like Godzilla anyway. Genis took advantage of their distraction to escape.

One of sailors had managed to hit the sea monster with a cannonball, and it sank beneath the waves with another Godzilla roar. Colette immediately ran to Kratos and sobbed into his shoulder. He looked up at Davin, who shrugged.

Mithos disgustedly wiped the monster blood off of his jumpsuit and the others followed him back into the city, stepping around the corpses of their victims as they made their way to an inn.

Up in their room(which they had not paid for, but had instead threatened the clerk into giving them. Well, it was Mithos who did the threatening, but the others didn't stop him. You know-

"GET ON WITH IT!!"

Yes, they were all gathered in their room at the inn, deciding what to do next.

You know, you forgot to put the other parenthese on the end of that sentence up there.

Davin whipped out his gun, determined to finish off the critic once and for all. He let the characters do whatever they wanted while he hunted for whoever kept making snide comments about his mistakes. Nobody's perfect, you know.

"I am." said Mithos.

"Shut up." said the author.

You shouldn't be so rude to your charact- AAAAGGHH!!

(BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!)

"Ha! Got him!" Davin floated his cloud-chair over to where the critic lay on the floor, clutching a laptop in one hand and his chest with the other. "You know, according to my spell-checker, 'parenthese' isn't a word. What do you have to say about that?"

"How else...was I...supposed...to describe...it?" And with those moving last words, the critic troubled the story no more, which was a relief to the readers, who were growing quite tired of his interruptions, as well as all the other stupid things that kept happening while they were just trying to read the story of the heroes on their journey to save Sylvarant, and all the characters weren't acting anything like their counterparts from the actual game and this was really a terrible story, so terrible that the readers were beginning to wonder why they were reading it in the first place, and-

The readers froze as Davin slowly aimed his gun at the fourth wall. "You'll read this, and you'll laugh, understand?"

The readers nodded slowly, terrified of the obviously unbalanced author, who clearly had no qualms about shooting people.

He put away his gun and turned back to the story, finding that the characters had decided to follow the impostor group, who had snuck out of the city following their beating by Mithos. They knew they were headed to Hakonesia Peak, which was a bit of a plot-hole, as none of them had heard the impostors discussing this.

The gang made their way out of the city and walked to Hakonesia Peak, horses apparently being nonexistent here. They kept up their habit of killing anything that came within range, and this included perfectly innocent animals such as ladybugs, rabbits, hawks, snakes, wolves, giant chicken-things, monstrous half-man, half-pterodactyl creatures, and other perfectly harmless animals that were just minding their own business.

Hakonesia Peak gradually drew closer, and, impatient to get the book so they could move on to the next part of the story, the gang barged into the old man's hut and demanded that he give it to them.

"No." he said.

"C'mon, please?" said Colette.

"Only if you give me a kiss."

Mithos yawned and casually blasted the old man out of the hut, taking out a good portion of the wall behind him. "Weirdo." he said, stepping over to where the record of Spiritua sat. "Why would anybody want to kiss Colette?"

The mercenary who wasn't really a mercenary took no notice of this, as she was busy attempting to patch the hole in the wall.

The rest of them read though the book, and figured out that they needed to get over the mountains and go to Asgard.

"I wonder if they have unions in Asgard? I gotta collect union dues from somebody, or else I gotta give 'em cement overshoes." Sheena cocked her gun, patting the barrel.

Mithos had also decided that he was tired of Sheena's mobster accent, and delivered a solid smack to the back of her head, causing her to stumble into Colette and the two of them to fall through the hole in the wall of the hut. He gestured at the door. "Let's go." he said.

Anna went through the hole to see if Sheena and Colette were okay, and they were, so they went back outside. The others had decided to go to Thoda Geyser instead, for reasons none of them were later able to remember. Davin, who was again getting impatient, ignored the fact the story was getting even more holes in it than usual.

Since Sheena was now back to her normal self, Anna, who was now freed from her role as the mobster, mulled over whether she should become the mercenary of the group, since Colette wasn't doing that very well right now.

"That was a horribly written sentence." Mithos was saying to Davin. Davin told Mithos to shut up.

Anna decided to take on the role of healer, since Mithos was supposed to be the teacher, who was normally the healer, but come on, can you see Mithos healing anybody on purpose? Me neither.

Mithos raised an eyebrow at the terrible sentence structure, but otherwise ignored it.

Anna reached into her handy-dandy plot-hole and pulled out a staff. It was wooden, with a white crystal set into the top. "You shall not pass!" she randomly shouted, slamming the staff into the ground.

Everyone turned around to look at her. "Hehe, sorry." she said, quickly tossing a blue pointed hat behind a bush.

Sheena, who was now back to her normal self, had decided that she liked the hat from the Mobster outfit, and was wearing it with her normal clothes. She considered using the tommy gun, also, but Davin decided that joke was way over-used and put the thought right out of her head.

They eventually got to the House of Salvation and headed inside. Mithos walked over to a priest, who immediately fell to the ground in obeisance. Mithos smiled, but then produced the script and showed it to the priest. The priest jumped up, dusted himself off, and explained that he had dropped the statue in the geyser.

Sheena thought for a moment. "I'll go get it. We just have Kratos freeze the geyser with ice magic, I run over and get the statue, and we give it to the old guy on Hakonesia Peak."

"Wait a minute, Mithos probably killed the old guy, and we've already seen the book anyway." said Anna, who had mysteriously acquired an orange coat and white boots. Her hair was now shorter and swept to the side in front.

"Quiet!" hissed Yggdrasill.

"So, there's really no point in getting the statue, is there?" said Sheena

"No." said Kratos.

Anna discovered she now also had an urge to kick people for the slightest provocation to go with her new outfit, but ignored it. "Well, we have to break the water seal anyway, so let's go to Thoda Geyser."

So off they went. Along the way, Presea pondered all the strange things that had just happened, and came close to breaking the fourth wall when she thought that if anybody was watching this, they would probably only understand it if they were already familiar with the original story, since this one made no sense.

--

When they finally arrived at the Thoda dock, they were all tired from all the fighting they had done, both with animals and each other, and so they stayed the night at the inn there.

The group awoke the next day bright and early at ten o'clock. Sheena was the first to awaken. She swung her legs out of bed and frowned when she saw a pair of boots in front of her. Thinking they were someone else's that had been left there, she reached out to grab them, and jumped when they moved of their own accord. They turned out to be connected to someone, and she looked up to see Botta standing there with his sword pointed at her.

"Yaah! What are you doing here? Were you watching me sleep?" Sheena armed her pervert-smacking hand.

"No. I am here because my master, Lord Zelos, wishes to speak to you."

Sheena started to move toward her clothes, which were tossed at the foot of the bed, but Botta stopped her. "I'm afraid Master Zelos' wishes were for you to come as you are."

"Lucky I wear pajamas then, aren't I?"

"I suppose. Come along, then."

Sheena yawned and stretched, then buttoned her pajamas all the way up to the neck. Zelos might be hoping for some skin, but he sure wasn't getting any! Pervert.

Slipping into some slippers, she followed Botta down the stairs and outside, to the beach off to the side of the dock. Zelos was there, reclining in a beach chair and wearing a purple speedo and a pair of sunglasses.

He sat up as he saw her coming and smiled widely. "Hello again, my well-endowed hunny!"

Sheena scowled. "What do you want, Zelos?"

He favored her with a salacious grin. "Well, for one thing, I want you to take off those pajamas, but, seeing as how you probably aren't going to do that, I need you to tell me something."

If he wasn't the leader of a powerful organization with who knows how many minions waiting nearby, she would have smacked him. Hard. "What do want to know?"

Zelos sat up and took off his sunglasses. His expression became serious. "How much do you really know about Colette?"

Sheena smirked. "Why, you want me to ask her out for you?"

"I'm serious. How much do you actually know about her?"

Sheena crossed her arms and thought for a minute. "Well, she's a mercenary, though we haven't paid her anything yet, she's kinda stupid, but pretty nice. Let's see, what else? She falls down a lot, she likes Kratos and Mithos, for some weird reason, and if you say something mean to her, she'll probably cry. That's about it."

"Has she ever brought out her wings?" Zelos stood up, and Botta handed him a robe, which, to Sheena's irritation, he did not close.

"Hmm. She might have; I've lost track of the story. How did you know Colette had wings?"

"Be warned, Sheena. Colette may not be who she says she is. I think you should watch her closely from now on."

"Why should we be suspicious of Colette? And why should I listen to you?"

Zelos grinned his lecher's grin and winked at her. "That's for me to know, hunny, and for you to find out." He, Botta, the beach chair, and his ghastly speedo were all beamed away, leaving Sheena feeling confused and slightly dirty.

She also got the nagging feeling that what had just happened wasn't in keeping with the original story, but since Davin had erased her memory of the original story, she didn't give it much more thought than that.

She went back inside, woke everybody up, and they all went out to the dock. Mithos expressed his disapproval of their method of transportation, a bunch of washtubs.

"I'm not getting into that leaky thing."

Kratos, ever the reasonable member of the group, attempted to change his brother's mind.

Mithos was persuaded. He spent the entire trip to the geyser glaring at his brother and wringing out his jumpsuit.

Finally, they arrived. They got out of the washtubs, and the group wandered around until they found the oracle stone. Presea put her hand on it, and they went inside.

Since the Water Temple is really boring(in Davin's opinion, anyway), they skipped to the interesting part and beat the guts out of the giant fish-thing that guarded the seal.

Remiel appeared, floating majestically down on a column of light. An angelic chorus could be heard. He stopped and a microphone appeared in his hand. "All right, everybody, give it up for Ted and the Worthless Peons! Aren't they great? Today's their last day, due to budget cuts." An "Awww, man!" in perfect four-part harmony was heard.

"Anyway, Presea Combatir, come on down! You've won... A BRAND NEW RHEAIRD!!"

"Yay." she said in her usual monotone.

"No, I'm just kidding with you. Genis already got the Rheairds. We do have some lovely parting gifts for you, in the form of more angelic power from Cruxis. Here you go." He tossed some pixie dust at her. She learned... one of them powers that makes lots of big glowy lights and doesn't really do a whole lot other than that.

Davin decided that enough had happened, and it was time to bring the chapter to a close. He also decided that it would likely not be so long before he started up again next time.

--

Yes, I know it was much too long since I last updated this, but I hadn't felt like writing it until today. I was stuck on how to keep the story going, too, as I'm quickly going to run out of material I wrote for 'Different Jobs' to base the chapters on. I have stuff I can do until they go to the Tower of Salvation for the first time, but I've got nothing after that. I'll get to that when I come to it, I suppose. The next update will be whenever I feel like writing more.