CoWR - Saving Terra
Chapter 1: The one...the only...
DISCLAIMER: As much as I'd like to own any of the FF characters, I can't, because Square Enix owns them
The Nautilus arrives at its final destination, the expanse of plains known as the Veldt.
Cid looks out one of the many windows "Amazing... You say that every monster in your world lives there?"
"Every single one... So it might contain every monster in all the worlds now..."
"I'm still not sure how you knew of this place..." Sara mumbles
"... Me neither. But..."
The Nautilus lands outside what was once Mobliz.
"... Who did this...? Is this... what Chaos does to those that oppose him?" He clutches his fist tight, and for a moment, his eyes flash red before returning to their normal green. He cups his hands over his mouth. "HELLO? IS THERE ANYONE THERE? ANYONE?"
A young girl takes a peak outside from the cellar, which is what's left of one of the houses. She's pulled back under as a boy peaks up right after. He's armed with a crossbow, and aiming it at this stranger. "YOU! STAY RIGHT THERE! MOVE AND I'LL PUT MORE ARROWS INTO YOU THAN Uh... THAN I CAN COUNT TO!"
Sun decides to play along, mindful of the fact that Sara and Cid can't shrug off arrows like they were mere annoyances. "Hey, easy, easy! I'm not here to hurt you... and neither are these other two! I'm looking for a girl called Terra... I was wondering if you could tell me if you saw what happened to her...You're all her orphans right? If you help me, I can help get her back..."
"...Mama?" The boy lowers his crossbow. "..." He then goes back into the cellar to discuss things with the others.
A young man, though older than the others comes up from the Cellar. "You can help us find Terra?"
The Falcon arrives as well. "TERRA, ARE YOU THERE?" Setzer yelled.
The young man looks at the gambler. "Mr. Gabbani? No, she... was kidnapped."
He pouts as he says this. "...We don't know where she went... we do know who she fought though!"
He looks up at Sun and Setzer. "A cloaked woman who used two blackened blades. She wore blackened bandages and armor plating to match. Her chest plate had a demon relief on it. Her hair was blood red, and her hair was a deep purple. Her skin was really pale, and her voice... it sounded like ice. She... was chilling. We're used to hiding, that's how we managed to escape so quickly but..."
He turns his head to the cellar where a badly wounded kid laid resting. "One of the younger ones got hurt real bad. I'm afraid he's..." The young man sighs heavily, not wanting to say that the child won't make it through the night.
They absorb all the information.
"We can help. We have cure spells.." Caro said as Setzer nodded.
"In the flesh. We also have Mog and Gau."
The young man sighs. "You probably don't remember me. I'm Duane. Katarin's down below, tending to our child." He opens the cellar door and waves for the others to quickly follow.
Caro takes lead and follows, Mog and Setzer behind him.
"I've got most of it. Magicite implants y'know."
"Yeah, yeah yeah, horrible story, blah blah blah. We know." Setzer said, waving his hand.
The wounded kid rests on a bed, heavily bandaged, and gasping for breath. A red and pink haired girl tends to the bandages, applying healing solution whenever she changes them. She hears the group walk in and turns to face them after changing bandages. "Are you a doctor, mister?" The young one asks.
Sun considers for a moment, and then realizes all his abilities and spells are offensive in nature. "I don't really have any healing magic..."
"Here, let me take a look at him..." Sara walks up to the child and begins an examination. "I know some White Magic, so perhaps there is something I can do for him..."
Caro grins. "I'll help as well."
The young girl stands aside, letting Caro and Sara get to work. She waits in anticipation as the two new faces set upon helping her orphaned sibling.
Sun leaves Sara to it, and considers what the orphans have told him. "... Sounds like a real piece of work did this. ... Peh. Like that's going to stop me." 'The real issue is that barrier around the Fortress... If what that Cosmos woman said is true, and if Terra is correct in saying that's where she is... then I can't get in there.'
"... Maybe I can draw them out though. But for that..." He shakes his head, his face in his hand. "... I'm going to need help. More importantly, I'm going to need HIS help."
Sara puts her hands on the child, and begins concentrating her magical energy to him. "Cure..." The magic seeps out through her hands and begins patching up wounds on his body, and concentrating on any internal wounds.
Caro, too, focuses on Cure, but he goes for outside wounds. "Holy light, bathe and bless... Cure!"
The child's wounds lessened, he manages to breathe easier, than and without as much pain as before. He goes back to sleep.
The girl looks at him, and back at Sara. "Wow! You got momma's power?"
Duane continues to watch the exit, crossbow in hand.
"So... who are you people?" The young girl curiously asks.
"Hm... I guess Returners. Long story short, I went through the same process as Celes." Caro said with a grin.
This young one, not understanding the ordeals the Gestahlian Empire put their elites through, just stares at the group.
"We're good guys, and his magic was given to him by the bad guy." Setzer said, shooting Caro a look.
"Oh. Okay. So is he a bad guy? He don't look like a bad guy..." The young girl stands up and grabs the broom out of the corner. She pretends to swing it like a weapon. "I wish I was bigger... then maybe Momma wouldn't have gotten taken by the badguys..."
Meanwhile, Sun talks to Cid.
"I doubt that the enemy will come back here for a group of Orphans... but on the off chance that they do..."
"You'd like me to stay here and look after the kids and Sara?"
"Right. You have a better chance of escaping from them in the Nautilus."
"... For Sara and those kids, anything. You be careful, alright?"
"Oh trust me... I'm going to need all the good luck I can get." Sun then turns and begins walking out onto the Veldt. He goes over what he knows about his enemy. 'Sounds like someone who lives for fighting... someone who does what they do not for any cause, but to fight the strongest of strong enemies...
... Well fine. I'll just have to lure them out with a strong enough challenge.'
"Sometimes, gifts are not wanted." Caro said darkly.
Setzer grinned. "Well, keep eating what you need. Eventually, you can."
"And we'll get your momma back, I promise, kupo."
"Thanks Mog." She says quickly, while "training" using the broom.
"It's what I do, kupo." He said, beaming.
Sara just looks down at the child, glad that he appears to be getting better. "In my land, we all have magic like this. Is it so rare for someone to possess it in this world?"
Meanwhile, Sun looks out over the Veldt, or rather, to the massive stretch of water which used to contain the Veldt.
The Mad God Kefka had used his awesome power in the previous war to break the Veldt from its position outside of Mobliz and send it adrift on the water to form a new island. Why? Who could phantom such a person's motivations?
And that, more than anything was the motivation behind what he was doing. If he left anyone, much less a person like Terra in the hands of someone as deranged as Kefka or this person who destroyed a helpless village... he could never live with himself.
"If something is in my power to change... then I have to give it my all. No one deserves to be the last of their race."
But to reach the place where she was contained would require a power greater than his. If the Goddess was to be believed, even his Trance powers would not allow him to bypass the barrier. It was maintained by forces far beyond his understanding.
Therefore, if there was an obstacle that was undestroyable... the only method remaining was to bypass it.
And that would require the help of one being. One being who might possess the only method of bypassing the will of Gods and divine creatures.
... Too bad that one person would not be easy to get a hold of.
He returned to the village, and looked into the group, to make sure that the child was getting better. "Cid, would it be alright if I borrowed the Nautilus for a while?"
The engineer considered for a moment, before realizing that technically, it was not his ship to loan. But still, he assented. "Bring her back in one piece, alright?"
"Don't worry. The place I'm going is just a jump over the water." He turns to the rest of Terra's friends. There was a dilemma. If he went alone, he'd feel much better about it. Risks to himself were far more desirable than risks to other people. But there was a good chance that if he did that, they would follow anyway. Terra seemed to be the kind of person that everyone would rush to help. ... It had to be nice to have such companions.
"If you want to come with me, I won't force you. I'm making one stop at the Dragon's Neck Coliseum. Then... It's straight to the enemy's lair." With that said, he left and walked towards the Nautilus, flying straight for the arena.
The young girl wanted to follow Sun, but Duane held her back. "Best stay here."
Duane shakes his head. "Go help Katarin."
"For Terra." Caro and Setzer said, getting on the Falcon.
Mog hugs the girl. "We'll be back soon, with your mama, kupo." Releasing the girl, he hurried to the ship.
"We've got your tail." Setzer announced with a grin.
At the Fortress of Bedlam...
"This place feels so empty..."
"Yer imagining things. Now quit dawdling." Jecht stops and massages his neck like he always does. "...Wasn't there a... tunnel this way?"
"...Perhaps..." A familiar voice responds in reply. Rose steps forward. "And where are you taking the girl this fine day, Jecht?"
Jecht turns to face her. 'Yuh-Oh.'"Well uhh... you know. This place is a dump. Thought I'd put her to work, sprucing it up."
Terra sees Rose as well, and rushes to attack. Jecht grapples her, subduing the young lady. "Hey! You sure that whatever it is working?"
"Let ME GO!"
"Not if someone removed it." She sighs. "Only one thing to do now." And with that, Rose brandishes one of her blades, and walks towards Terra with a vicious smile. She raises it, and swings it down on Terra...
...only to have it blocked by Jecht's forearm. "Hey now. No need for that. I'll see that the girl behaves."
Rose glares at him. "Hmph. I strongly doubt that." After some consideration, she sheathes her blade. "Do as you will. I've no time for your folly, Jecht. Your folly is your downfall, Jecht. Yet sadly, I've no time to enjoy watching it." She brushes by the two coldly.
"I think I will... uh... do as I will. Whatever." Jecht, like the brute he is, throws Terra to the ground. "Look Missy. You don't want that crown back on your head right? Try not to stand out so much."
Terra gets off of the ground, glaring at Jecht. "She's the one who destroyed my home! My family!"
"Hoo boy. Hell-bent on revenge, are ya?"
Terra looks off to her side and back at Jecht again, speaking with a voice of anger and sadness. "She has to answer for what she did..."
"So you kill her here. In the middle of the enemy's stronghold. What happens next, huh? Just gonna walk on out?"
"The right time'll come. Trust me. Until then, just keep doing as I say, got it?"
Terra nods and follows Jecht.
Sun walks into the Dragon's Neck Coliseum, and heads straight for the main desk. For ages, the desk manager was a strange octopus like creature, but he had recently paid off his debts to the owner and left with his... companion. Best not even to get into that.
The new person on the desk had been doing his job for over a year now, and had seen the Esper come in more than once. So he was well accustomed to the routine. "The usual wager Sun?"
The Esper nods, and the man leans down into the box below the desk and withdraws an intricate looking blade. If one were to look at it in first glance, they would be sure that it was one of the greatest blades of legend, the Sword of Kings Excalibur.
Sun and the man both knew full well that it was a replica. A very, very good replica, but as ornamental as the original blade was deadly. The blade was all but worthless in combat, but here, it had a very, very useful purpose, which was why Sun left it there.
"You know the drill, he'll pop up after you beat your first opponent. Dunno why he doesn't just make himself part of the lineup..."
"... You ever have seen him around here if I don't wager this blade?"
"... Now that you mention it... where does he appear from?"
Sun considers a moment. "Ask no questions, and I'll tell you no lies."
In other words, he has no clue, but it is this precise skill of his that Sun needs right now. The gate opens, and Sun walks through the arena gates and into the central area. "... Right then. Wonder what today's fare is?" He draws both his blades, spinning them in his hands once before facing whatever opponent wants to challenge him.
The Dragon Neck Coliseum, pretty much Zozo's own "opera house". And who would revel in the violence and bloodshed more than Rose herself, who thought she'd kick back and have a little fun at the expense of the lives of others. Of course, there was that little rule that if the foe was clearly unable to continue the fight, she would have to stand down. An irksome rule that she always reluctantly would follow.
Sun is quite surprised when the red haired opponent appears before him. Previously, he would have fought an annoying little enemy who looked like he was wearing an onion shaped helmet. Though, the description of his foe easily sets off alarm bells.
"Let's see. Long red hair, dark armour, purple eyes, cloaked blades, and a general demeanour that just screams 'Freudian Excuse'. Either you're the woman from Mobliz, or that end of the world cult is on the recruitment drive again. Well. I was in a rush before... but I guess I can settle down and take my time now."
He spins both his blades, waiting for the official start of the match.
The woman grins slightly, and then spreads that grin to a vicious, inhuman sneer of a grin as she draws one of her blackened sabers.
"... Only one? Meh, I coulda sworn I merited two blades." He takes his stance, then looks to the official announcer.
Sun immediately decides to test the waters, solidifying a number of icicle spears in the air, then launches them at random intervals towards Rose.
Rose decided to start off easy. She blocked one or two ice shards flying her way, but took a cut across her arm. "Hmph." She went for counter attack, but Sun was ready.
Caro, Mog, and Setzer are in the stands.
"Hm. Not the usual fight..." Caro commented.
"Maybe today's special, kupo." Mog said, watching with interest.
"I doubt it. The die is always fixed in the arena."
"Apparently not." Caro said, glancing down at the fight.
Sun shifts to the right as Rose charges her attack forward and brings both blades in a horizontal slash to her torso, dodging like a bullfighter. "Ole! ... Or however that goes. Taking me lightly will come back to haunt you." In a swift movement, the red blade ignites with Flame. Sun launches a rapid slash which sends a wave of flame towards her.
Rose didn't expect the blades to be charged with flame, and wash pushed back into a skid from the surge of power. That was two hits he managed on her. "I see you're one I might need to try against..."
Sun only has a moment to enjoy this reversal of fortune before Rose launches into a series of slashing blows. Though he brings his guard up, the blows seem to curve around his guard, and strike him, sending him flying. He pulls himself up against the wall, and is sent flying by a second slash. His sword lands in the ground and Sun grabs onto it to prevent him flying further.
"Now... I'm kinda annoyed." His eyes flash and turn red as he says this. With a single bound, he crosses the new distance to Rose and launches into a spinning slash, as both blades light up with their respective elements.
Rose reads this easily and blocks the attack one handed, pivots into an overhead flip, and twirls her blade into a slash at Sun's back.
Sun does not have time to bring his blades to bear against Rose's attack, but then, he does not need to. As his glare, a pillar of ice rises from the ground to intercept her attack. Sun swings round and strikes the pillar with a full powered slash, launching blocks of ice towards her.
In the heat of battle, Rose weaves between the chunks of ice, now more familiar with this attack and leaps skyward where she unsheathes her second blade and launches cutting winds down towards Sun.
Rose's bombardment of cutting winds strike home on an unprepared Sun, smashing him into the ground with ferocious power. "... Hard to see how you can have all this power... and still get your kicks from burning down Orphanages."
As he stands, his eyes, now red, begin to glow. "Let's... quit playing around."
EX-Mode - Trance
A blaze of light engulfs him, and where he once stood, a fiery creature now stands. Both swords levitate at his sides, emitting casual bursts of ice and flames.
"Now then... how about this?" He throws both blades forward, scything in towards Rose's position, then fires off a burst of flames to meet her position.
Rose's twisted smile widens as she meets each attack with a swift parry, and manages to only become singed by the burst of flame. "So glad you chose to fight rather than stay on the ground. I prefer the ones who let me kill them..." She then goes in for her counter, performing a series of flips and forward somersaults until she gets close enough to twirl her blades into an 'X' slash.
Sun swings both blades back in to clash with the oncoming slash, but his limited telekinetic control is overwhelmed by the ferocity of the slash. Both blades go flying into the distance, crashing into the ground nearby.
Sun leaps back, his energy worn.
'Tch... I can't keep this up. She's good... And besides, the more time I waste here... the more danger Terra might be in.'
He closes his eyes, and takes a deep breath. "It looks like I'll have to let everything go... well." He stretches out his hands and calls the swords back to him, erupting out of the ground and flying out to his outstretched hands.
"It's a shame that I'll have to deprive the crowd of a show... but I need every advantage I can get. For someone like you... I don't have the luxury of holding back."
He then closes his eyes, and faces his foe head on. The words light up in his head, as he has rehearsed them for every occasion he might have to use them. His path is clear.
"I am the..."
That laugh. That laugh. That laugh. There is one, and only one person that it could possibly belong to. The very person he came to see, who has appeared at what might be the worst possible time.
As Sun looks up, a red cloaked figure leaps from the top of the coliseum, and glides down towards the ongoing fight. Sun knows however, that this supposed show of grace, dexterity, and awe is doomed to have a singular conclusion. It always does.
To his, and perhaps the entire cosmological order's surprise however, not only does the red cloaked man successfully glide down and land, he manages to draw all of his six swords in a surprisingly competent manner.
Deep in the depths of space, this otherwise benign incident serves to draw the attention of a supreme cosmological force, who quickly acts to right the balance of the entire universe.
In the coliseum, the red cloaked man revels in the applause of the crowd, before being subsequently knocked over and sent flying into a wall by the entrance of a large wolf like creature, who is supposedly his companion.
The deed done, the chaos rightened, the being returns to its duty of creating a new universe.
Sun looks over to where the red cloaked man has crashed, and is almost tempted to ask if he's alright. ... Almost.
... But with a bound and a leap, the man regains his footing!
"Foul harpy who preys on the innocent! Now we FIGHT!"
"Y'know I was doing... Not bad..."
Sun Tzu: Sun, Sarah, Cid, Red Cloaked Man who is totally not Gilgamesh,
WhiteLycan: Rose, Terra, Jecht, Duane, Pink haired orphan who totally isn't named Leona...and all the other orphans too.
Spitz: Caro, Mog, Setzer,