This was not supposed to happen.
Off the coast of Crete.
Mitsuru. Yukari. Naoto. Adachi. Elizabeth.
Fuuka was providing support from Japan. The others are providing waiting in backup in the TV world.
~ "Everyone ready?" ~ Yosuke asked, his voice relayed via Fuuka.
I looked around the deck, and the others nodded.
~ "Begin the operation." ~ Yosuke ordered, and the white fangs rose and consumed those around us. Elizabeth opened the scroll, and weapons flew into the air. Adachi caught two magnums, Mitsuru a katana and rapier, Naoto a shortsword and revolver, Yukari a shortbow and a pair of hatchets.
We slung our secondary weapons over our shoulders and turned around and attacked the Shadows that formed on the ship. This was just the preliminary wave, the main event would be later.
I leapt forward, spinning as I kicked the middle head out of a Hierophant totem out into the sea, but the remaining heads became Haberdasheries- quickly picked off by Yukari who jumped over a group of Mayas, bounced off the ship wall and launched three more arrows into some wyvern Shadows I'd never seen before.
Naoto and Adachi danced around each other, firing bullets like they had practiced for this. Truth was we'd only got Adachi out the week before, and only by Naoto and a certain Interpol agent (probably me) pulling a LOT of strings as bringing him to help out of the Cypher case. Which Naoto is only pretending to chase up now, since she knows it's me.
Elizabeth had rose into the air, casting spells from her tome to provide an aerial bombardment upon the Shadows, Mitsuru flying through the Shadows like a hot bullet through so many watermelons.
~"Chad, Yukari, starboard!"~
Yukari and I turned and opened fire on the octopus Shadows that began to leap from the water. Aquatic Shadows suck, since you can't attack them the usual way. I flipped up Yukari's skirt to grab one of her evokers while she launched arrow after arrow into the sea. "MEDUSA!" I shouted, pulling the trigger against my head and summoning the snake witch to bombard the Shadows with stones from above.
~"BEHIND YOU!" ~
Yukari twisted and launched an arrow right through the mask of a monkey Shadow that leapt down from the deck above us. The black mist fell straight through me as I ran up the white ship wall. "Thanks Rise!"
~"No problem,"~ Rise replied, ~"But you've got a large group of Shadows gathering to your left!"~
I followed her instructions and hurled a deck chair across the surfing pool to disperse the black cloud that was gathering atop the rock climbing wall. It'd been like this for months- Akihiko would show up a week before a large attack and tell us when and where, and we would have to travel and fight. The hard part was not using up everyone's vacation time on surprise trips to Toronto, or Shanghai.
We lucked out on the Cruise, since Mitsuru and I had actually booked it by happy coincidence. Getting another two cabins wasn't that hard, just meant I had to share with Adachi.
Also kinda ruined the romantic getaway we planned, since technically I am her fiancé. At least, that's the cover I have for the fake identity she cooked up for me. Funny how a jape at a party game escalates like that.
~"Here it comes, get ready!"~
I leapt into the air as a twelve-foot silverback of a hierophant roared, banging its chest as I smacked it portside and into the path of Naoto and Adachi's bullets. Flesh scattered the sky, and I launched a fireball to finish it off before I even hit the deck.
The Shadow exploded, and I rolled to punch through another, fist cracking through armour as my new opponent struggled for breath. Elizabeth dropping lighting all around me to fry some others that I missed. Gripping the armor plating of the Samurai Shadow I just killed, I threw it through the neck of a rising sea serpent Shadow that Mitsuru finished off with a rising vertical slash.
"Nicely done!" I shouted, grinning as I jogged towards the main tower of the ship. The boss Shadow was standing on the top, between the radio and satellite dishes, and he was getting bigger. I used to know the technical terms for these things, but since becoming human, omniscience doesn't come naturally anymore.
~"I got its weakness!"~ Rise told me, since Fuuka and Yosuke were tending to the others. ~"Use fire attacks!"~
Evoker spinning in my hand as I ran up the glass-plated walls, I shifted Persona. "RAGNAROK!" I shouted, blowing my brains out.
Something appeared, dropping doomsday flames upon the ship. It vaguely occured to me that I wasn't carrying a Persona that knew Ragnarok, yet here it was.
I think I'm getting somewhere with this theory of mine.
"HERE!" Yukari shouted below me, tossing one of her hatchets. I caught it, spinning it into a reverse grip as I backflipped up the top, clipping the burning Shadow's chin with my foot, then its torso with the axe, and launched the Hierophant down onto the deck, where Aigis finished it off with a chainsaw blade that came from her wrist.
"Nice of you to join us." I commented, landing beside the mechanical maiden. "Anyone else coming?"
"Junpei and Seta are getting ready." She commented, looking me over. "You're bleeding."
I touched my forehead. Sweaty, but no trauma scars. I followed her gaze to by shins, which were quite badly burnt. Adrenaline wearing off, they REALLY HURT LIKE CRAP "DAMMIT WOMAN!" I shouted at Aigis, hopping as I clutched one of my legs. "DON'T TELL ME THESE THINGS!"
"Don't be such a baby then." Yukari replied as Isis healed my wounds. "We done for now?"
~" That's the first wave." ~ Fuuka explained as Mitsuru, Adachi, Naoto and Elizabeth regrouped around us. ~"The main Shadow hasn't appeared yet, but we're making good time- GET DOWN!" ~
We did, and my blood ran cold as an RPG flew over our heads and collided with the control tower. Elizabeth created a barrier above us, shielding us from the falling glass and steel as I rolled over and surveyed the damage.
This is a luxury cruise liner. It's designed to deal with things like staying upright in storms, not defending itself from attackers. If one of those hits the hull, this thing is going down with around 3000 passengers and crew.
I stood up, looking into the floodlights that shone from the port side.
Three boats- a dozen or so people on each, everyone with assault rifles and that guy is holding a Persona card.
"MOVE!" I shouted, ushering everyone to the other side of the ship as Joan of Arc leapt down from above, spinning her sword around her as she unleashed Garu spells upon us. Yukari charged her, changing Persona to Cybele as she loaded her bow, firing one arrow that turned into a thousand to quell the gunfire that riddled the ship.
"What happened?" Mitsuru asked.
~"I-I don't know!"~ Fuuka replied. ~"They covered their traces somehow, I couldn't detect them!"~
Dammit. Did they know Chidori and Rio were both seven and eight months pregnant? How would they? Is it just coincidence that they attacked on the FIRST mission they both sat out on?
Yukari slid down the wall, healing the holes in her shoulder, ribs and leg as she picked a bullet out of her cheek. "Dammit..." She swore. "I don't know how you put up with it." She added, slapping her new skin as Adachi and Naoto fired back at out attackers.
Click, Click. "That's it." Adachi said, sliding down as Naoto loaded some more bullets into her revolver. "I'm out."
Damn. "Prepare Oracle." Naoto ordered, getting back up to fire. "I have three shots left."
I nodded. "Aigis, you and me are going to charge on three." I told her, and she nodded.
BLAM. "One." I counted as Naoto fired.
BLAM "Two." Aigis nodded, and Naoto turned the gun on herself. "THREE!"
SMASH! The two of us and Naoto's Persona charged through the storm of bullets, each of us launching attacks right back at our enemies as we got closer. The persona fizzled out, and Aigis and I vaulted over the fence, landing on two of our gunmen before turning back to back to each other. I kicked a gun into my hand and opened fire, Aigis doing the same from her fingers as our enemies turned their guns on us.
Elizabeth kept the barriers high, deflecting most of the bullets from us, but I still felt my back get wet from Aigis's blood as hot lead punched into my torso. They were avoiding head shots, meaning they knew how to fight against Persona users, but we still got a dozen or so of them before they took cover and rolled a grenade at us.
I switched to Surtr and stamped on the grenade, only for it to explode into ice shards, which sent me flying into the air. I grunted in pain, switching Persona to something self-healing as I rolled in the air beginning my descent as I launched a Garu Spell behind me, rocketing myself back to the melee.
Yukari and Mitsuru had flanked one side of the deck, Naoto and Adachi taking the other. Adachi swung the katana through heads and Naoto stabbed, Mitsuru thrusting her rapier into body after body as Yukari cut a path with her hatchet and cast a MaDiarahan to heal Aigis and me.
We sure as hell needed it.
~"Oracle ready!"~ Fuuka shouted, and an explosion of light devoured the remaining ships. I quickly counted the souls that were consumed in the energy, and there must've been a small army of fifty mercenaries who came to attack us.
And then it was over.
I collapsed, landing on my backside as everyone panted for breath. We were spent, energy and ammunition. We did not need a surprise attack from a group of Persona using Pirates right now.
"Excellent work." Mitsuru managed, clutching her side as the red stained her blouse. "Fuuka, is the Shadow incoming?"
"Fuuka, respond." Mitsuru stated. "Fuuka, do you read me?"
My head felt empty.
"They've cut the link somehow." Naoto deducted. "They spent our ammunition, distracted us, and cut our link with the others, giving their lives in the process. Why?" She asked, looking around for clues.
"No identification here." Adachi said, dropping a wallet onto the deck. "Could be suicide bombers."
"But why didn't they use Persona..?" I snarled, kicking a corpse as I tried to think.
That movement wasn't right.
I bent down, sniffing. I grabbed a hand, looked at it, then licked it, dropping it instantly.
"Demonata." I realised. "When the hell have there been human demons?"
"Not the Jakkai?" Mitsuru asked, Adachi checking the teeth while Naoto and Aigis caught up with where we were getting at.
"No, they're humanoid demons." I explained, Adachi silently agreeing with me. "These are humans that were created through demonic fusion."
"Previous Persona users battled against Hitler and his army." Naoto suggested. "Is this the same principle?"
"No clue..." I replied, looking down at the demon spawn. "Our main problem, however, is our sudden lack of Support. How're they blocking-?"
I felt a spike of energy behind us. Turning around, I saw it.
No, above. Big. Hierophant. Dressed in scarlet robes and covered in gold. Dozens of massive snake tails came from his waist, instead of legs, and each finger was a snake's head. Black beard. Massive muscles under that red robe.
Typhon. The father of all monsters.
Fire erupted from his fingers as he raised the soldiers back to life. None of us wasted any time, Naoto, Adachi and I taking guns and ripping our enemies to shreds with their own bullets while Aigis, Yukari and Mitsuru hacked with their blades, Elizabeth slamming her tome into heads to clear a path so she could cast.
"GEDDEM OVERBOARD!" Adachi shouted, elbowing a gun upwards as he rammed the butt of his own rifle into a soldier's jawbone, firing on another. We walked right into this one, literally stood in the midst of our enemies and assumed we were safe.
When we heard the roar behind us, and saw the coming wave, we knew we were anything but.
Mitsuru leapt, dragging rapiers through demon flesh as she charged towards the oncoming wave, drawing her Evoker. "THIS ENDS NOW!" She shouted, pulling the trigger multiple times to summon her personae repeatedly to freeze the oncoming water.
But it was warm. It was salty, it was too big.
Whatever caused this, it was too big.
~ "GET OUT OF THERE NOW!" ~
YES! "Fuuka, I have never been happier to hear your voice." I announced with a smile, gripping two demon heads and hurling them into the sea.
~ "GET TO THE LAND! YOU CAN'T FIGHT THAT THING!" ~
I looked at Typhon, then at the wave that Elizabeth had joined Mitsuru in attempting to freeze.
I moved my point of vision closer to whatever caused that wave.
Oh hell no.
"ABORT THE MISSION!" I shouted, grabbing Naoto and running towards Mitsuru, hoping Yukari, Aigis and Adachi caught on. "WE NEED A TV AND FAST!"
Then it screeched.
Deep enough that you might think it was thunder, except it wailed and pierced the ears like nails on a chalkboard.
Fire erupted from behind the wave, a crimson plume rising into the sky as Typhon laughed.
"Fuuka, what is that-" Mitsuru began, only to get pulled on the shoulder by me as I let Naoto down.
~ "Three hundred kilometres long is what that thing is!" ~ Fuuka shouted. ~ "I lost connection when it jumped over the Spanish-French border! The west half of Sardina is GONE!" ~
Sardina was a large island between Spain and Italy.
"Leviathan..." I whispered, pulling on Mitsuru's shoulder. "We gotta MOVE!"
"Didn't you kill Sandaphalon a few years ago?" Adachi asked. "You can handle-"
"I had an army and a large planet to smack it with."I snapped, tugging on Mitsuru's shoulder one more time. "LET'S MOVE!"
She relented, turning away from the tide and following the rest of us inside the deck. Elizabeth launched a few Infinity barriers to break up the surf, but joined us in the retreat as we ran below, searching for a TV.
Are the rest of the passengers going to die?
I can't do this.
Not without orbital bombardment.
Swords only cut so deep.
We need Naoki for this one, at least.
The floor came up, the wall ahead of us went down.
"DEEP BREATH!" I shouted, holding my mouth and nose as the water burst through the glass doors behind us.
I curled up in a ball, holding my head and bouncing off walls with my knees and shoulders.
yes open, Yukari.
I reached out and grabbed her, pulling her tight as I looked for the others.
Elizabeth surged past me, blood and bubbles streaming from her mouth. I grabbed her ankle with my free hand, exposing my head, but allowing Yukari to shove some dia into her.
We hit something, then curved out of the current and towards some stairs that had frozen over. We slid up (Down?) them, coming out into an air pocket.
Elizabeth coughed, and I dragged her and Yukari up to meet a drenched Mitsuru, Naoto and Adachi. Our connection to Fuuka's been cut again too.
"Aigis..?" I asked, drinking the air as the blonde in question broke out of the water. "Huzzah..."
"This boat is going down." Adachi said. "The passengers-"
"Are on their own." I interrupted, minds eye flashing through the young kids I saw getting ice cream earlier today. That honeymooning couple Mitsuru and I sunbathed next to yesterday.
Cutting them loose.
"Find us a TV." I ordered, getting up as Mitsuru closed the passage behind us. Only realizing now that we're standing on the wall, and that staircase was just around a corner that's now a ramp.
We need to get out of here before the Leviathan tears this thing in two.
"Not in this corridor." Adachi said, looking around. "The TV's in these cabins are tiny. There's no way we'd squeeze through something that tiny."
I clenched my fist. "Where else?"
"Here." Nat announced, pointing at a dimly lit map of the ship. "There are flat screens here and here on each floor, but at these locations they would have been crushed by the water pressure."
"That's twenty four in total." Mitsuru noted. "What about the theatre?"
There was a cinema towards the back of the ship, yes. We could make it.
The ship would be filled with aquatic shadows and demonata, but we could make it.
We were wet, weaponless, and had half an hour before this ship would be filled with water and these teeth would become corpses.
We're leaving them behind.
Minato could figure something out.
I'm not that psychotic.
"We'll take the Cinema." I decided. "Aigis, Elizabeth, get up here and memorise the route in case we get separated. We'll split into two groups-"
The ship lurched left, starboard? I don't know, but we were rolling. I heard the cranking from all around.
"Is it coiling around us?" Yukari asked.
"No, it's too big for that." I told her. "Leviathan's a mile wide, three hundred long. Ship isn't even half a mile in length. That was just a love tap."
Water splashed, and an ink-black octopus wearing a Hierophant mask burst from the water.
"And we're leaving." Adachi announced, watching a few dozen of its mates crawl out of the water.
DELAYS AND TIME SKIPS AND LACK OF MOTIVATIONS BATMAN!
Yeah, I suck. I blame Fire Emblem. And Skyrim. And Metal Gear Solid. And all other things to place the blame firmly away from me.
At Uni now, studying Psychology and Crime. I can't promise a decent update schedule, but I'll post something occasionally.
Once I play Pokemon Y though, Pokegeass will take off like you won't believe though. I hope to promise that much.
Next chapter will come when I figure it out.