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A Day At The Beach With Fair Weather
(2013-04-13 - 2013-04-13)
Zack goes to retrieve a sword from a volcano in Hawaii, along with the New Zodiac Braves. It turns into a beach party as they celebrate...being on a beach.
Zack Fair Swords are hard.

It's only been very recently that Zack Fair, the man from another world, recovered. The injuries that covered his body were extensive and severe; bullets, blades, burns, and stranger had adorned him like hard-won medals, rewards for his faithful service to the ShinRa company. Though he has said little about his past since arriving in Ivalice's section of the World of Ruin, Zack has nonetheless found himself in fine company.

It's good to be up and moving about again. Zack is an enthusiastic, energetic guy; sitting around healing all day really wasn't his style. Yes, he'd accepted that it was necessary - he was still a trained soldier, after all - but that didn't mean Zack had to enjoy it. Being bed-ridden was just...boring. Especially here; they didn't even have TV or anything! How dull is that? He could either /read/ or /sleep/, and if he wasn't reading, he was probably sleeping! Ugh. At least the cot was comfortable and the Braves were nice people.

But now he's back up and running, and the first thing Zack had said to Ramza after getting out of bed was that he needed a /sword/.

Broadswords, rapiers, greatswords, longswords, hand-and-a-half swords, cutlasses, katanas - none of them were what he sought. Oh, sure, he could use all of them - he demonstrated that in short order, testing the balance and craftsmanship of each of them carefully in the middle of the Heretic camp - but none of them were quite *right*. None of them had what he was looking for, that special /something/ that made a sword and its owner unite. They just...didn't, that's all.

Although he probably scared the crap out of quite a few people when he one-handed a greatsword with ease.

So Zack had given very explicit instructions to look for a sword of a very specific design to some people. A little over a day later, the message came back - rumors about a tremendous blade suddenly appearing in Mt. Kilauea, reported by a local vulcanologist who'd been studying the soil or something.

It was good enough for Zack.

So here he is now, climbing the volcano bare-handed, a scarf wrapped around his mouth and nose. A few of the locals had offered him safety equipment, but as Zack had exactly no cash on him, he'd politely declined; when they offered it to him for free, he'd declined twice as hard. He wasn't the kind of guy to rely on charity from other people, even when it was charity to keep him from dying up a volcano.


"Man, it's a great day!" Zack crows as he climbs onto a plateau and exhales, stretching his arms to the sky. "The sun, the surf, the chicks in bikinis - today is an awesome day. If those rumors are right, the sword should be just a bit further up...can't wait."

Zack rolls his arm experimentally. He was glad to see he was still in good shape despite the injuries; what would he have done if he ended up a cripple? World's first wheelchair mercenary?
Ramza Beoulve Between Ramza and Sheryl's white magic, it had taken several weeks before they had managed to stabilize Zack's injuries enough to move him. He had become the subject of some debate in that time, for most in Ramza's company believed he wouldn't survive. Was it truly worth risking so much, wasting so much time and so many resources to save a man who had one foot in the grave?

It was never in any real doubt, what decision Ramza would make.

Even once he was stable, he still spent a period of time where he was conscious only for a few minutes, several times a day. And given his feverish statements, they all wondered if his mind needed convalescence more than his body. Once he was awake for the better part of the day, Sheryl had not been unsympathetic to his plight, Ramza and the Braves were people out of time, from a land where the only hints of modern technology came from the shadows of past glory in Goug Machine City. Luckily they had a prodigy of an engineer, and were slowly starting to adapt to this new world they lived in. As soon as she was able to, she gave him a radio so that he might listen to the strange playlists of music that the merger of worlds had created in various radio stations and more of the world they lived in through the news stations and DJ Zero.

But no, no television yet.

Once Zack was up and about, they were all immediately suprised by his titanic strength that he showed by wielding a greatsword with a single hand. Hadn't he just convalesced for the better part of a month? Shouldn't his muscles at least be slightly atrophied? There was more to Zack Fair that met the eye, and they knew it.

When the rumors came of a tremendous blade that had been found at Mt. Kilauea, Ramza acquiesced immediately, which brought cheers to most members of the group. While they had down time, they rarely had it in locations as beautiful as the beaches of the Island of Hawaii. Still, they were all on edge, the Church had been so quiescent as of late that Ramza was waiting for the other boot to drop, and soon.

Ramza had been suprised by Zack's declination of the climbing equipment, and while he normally wasn't such a proud man that he'd turn it down, he decided to regard it as a challenge of himself, to himself. Removing his armor, and leaving it in the camp, he began to climb with Zack He was strong, but not as strong as Zack, and at times he had to use some Kunai as pitons, to ease the climb.

When they reached the top, Zack arriving a full ten minutes before himself, Ramza couldn't help but smile, he was humble by nature, and didn't mind that he'd been beaten by a man who was at death's door a short time ago. Then there was the man's enthusiasm, it was infectious. So when he reached the plateau on the edge of the Volcano, he takes some time to catch his breath staring at the amazing view, before grinning affably at the man. "It is an incredible land, this Hawaii. Who'd have thought a place of such beauty existed? We might have to linger a while longer. The Church will keep."

He didn't know what a bikini was, yet. That would likely change soon, knowing Artemis. Ramza was passing bashful when it came to the fairer sex.

Once he felt as if his lungs were no longer bellows, he'd stand up. "What's special about this sword, you're looking for again?"
Zack Fair The radio was way better than just reading all day. Zack wasn't much of a reader; the technical manuals from ShinRa were bad enough back in the day! But music? Zack loved music. The weird music of the worlds was hard to get used to at first, but pretty soon Zack was tuning into DJ Zero and the other stations as a matter of habit. He enjoyed them thoroughly. Maybe he'd wanted to play music once upon a time, but he was pretty sure he had no talent for that, for some reason. Oh well.

"It's pretty amazing, that's for sure." Zack's hand settles on his hip as he looks out over the island, a wide grin on his face. "It's all natural, too. Even the buildings just look like they belong here, you know? Like they deserve to be here." He dusts off his hands after a moment, then folds them behind his head.

"Hey, you need a break? Not like we're in a hurry or anything. Let's take five, huh?" Zack sits down, dangling his legs off the plateau helpfully. "The sword's not going anywhere, unless swords can get up and walk in this crazy new world we're in!"

It was kind of hard to swallow, the idea that all the worlds had been...swallowed up. At first, Zack had been about to argue, but something about that memory of the darkness, the all-consuming /nothing/, rang true with him. Something about those events told him that, yes, in fact, his world was gone - something beyond just showing up in Ivalice. It was a gut feeling...but Zack had learned to trust his gut feelings some time ago.

Zack stretches out on the plateau after a minute, grinning pointlessly up at the sky. The warm rock felt good; the tropical sun, the volcanic heat, the heat-absorbing properties of the rock, they all came together in a beautiful panoply of musical warmth that Zack couldn't help but appreciate. Briefly, he wishes he had the radio up here, but that wasn't going to happen. And his model of PHS didn't play music, either. Oh well!

"Nothing's special about it, I don't think," Zack replies after a long silence, laying like a lizard on the stone. "I mean, it's not magical or anything, if that's what you're asking. It's just a sword...but if the guy who found it is right, it's a really big sword. Like, really big. I don't think you'd be able to hold it, let alone swing'll see what I mean if it's real. This kind of sword is my specialty, I guess you could say."
Ramza Beoulve "Not like Goug, at least." That was a sore point for Ramza. He'd been to Goug on numerous occasions before his world fell, he'd discovered that he had enjoyed the decidedly eccentric atmosphere with the city being full of archaeologists and engineers. And despite it being two parts junk pile to one part inhabitable districts, there was something about its merger with Midgar that just felt, wrong. It didn't help when he went on a rescue mission in China he discovered that there was a Mako reactor there, marring the beauty of the land's skyline, as well as the individuals he sought to rescue having been forced into a contract which was pure exploitation on Shinra's part. "I think you're on to something there, Ser. Its just so serene. Everything feels /right/."

When he offered to give Ramza a break, the young man would lean backwards, supporting himself on his palms. He'd chuckle at his statement. "You'd be suprised. Some of what I've seen in my travels... a blade that ambulates would not be all that suprising."

It had been just as difficult for Ramza to get used to the idea that Ivalice was gone, that only two cities remained as representations of its past glory. Given that his sister was consumed by it as well.. he wondered if Goug and Mullonde were Ivalice's tombstones, rather than hope for the future. It was a macabre thought, one that he didn't dwell on for long.

For Ramza, while the heat of the volcano was sweltering, especially when combined with the tropical sun blazing down on them, he didn't mind all that much. While he was catching his breath, he used a simple Geomancer's trick to direct a cool breeze their way, just long enough for him to recover. He'd look Zack's way as he splayed himself out on the ledge.

"Probably not. Artemis might be able to though. She once carried me, and another man simultaneously in a retreat." Ramza does not mind sharing that rather emasculating moment with him at all. "When we spar, if she decides to use all of her strength, then I can't even come close to matching her. You should join us sometime, in our morning sessions, I think she'd enjoy the challenge."
Artemis Eurus Artemis had apparently deemed that Ramza and Zack needed just a bit of 'dude time' or something of the sort, so she had started climbing a bit behind them. Perhaps she's stopped for a fruity cocktail. She would absolutely inside on spending some time at the beach while they were here.

As of now though, she's still dressed in her armor, hiking up the mountain like it is a pleasant walk down a country lane, enjoying the warmth of the sun on what little skin she has showing, the golden rays setting her hair ablaze with light.

The warrior reaches them as they are taking a rest, smiling pleasantly as she reaches to the wineskin at her belt and tosses it to Zack. "Mead," she informs, giving Ramza a quick, teasing grin. "Indeed, you could certainly join us so long as you do not mind early mornings and many bruises--which I assume you do not," she says to Zack. "--and Ramza flatters me," she adds with a glance his way.

It is bloody hot, hotter now as they draw closer to the volcano. Rolling her shoulders, Artemis thinks for a moment, then begins to remove her armor.
Zack Fair Ha ha ha, Mako Reactors. Oh, Zack's gonna have some problems in China, that's for sure.

Zack nods at Ramza. Then he reaches back to scratch the back of his head, tilting his neck upwards just a bit. "Yeah...although, tell you the truth, it's kinda weird to be in such a peaceful place."

Zack finally stands back up a few moments later, proving his inability to sit still correct, and bounces from foot to foot like a boxer, jabbing out briefly. Being in SOLDIER had left him with all kinds of great skills, mostly related on how to kill things really really dead. "Yeah?" Zack asks as he boxes the air, "What kinda things've you seen that'd make a walking sword normal?" He finishes off his little swift punching spree with an uppercut, then stretches again.

In truth, it was Zack's acceptance of his vanished world that probably made him strangest. When they'd broken the news to him, his response had been a simple 'huh' and little else. He'd said very little about it, and had just carried on with his recovery. It wasn't even lingering on his mind.

"Hey," Zack replies, holding a hand up as Artemis arrives. "Yeah, sounds like fun! I gotta warn you, though, I'm way tougher than I look."

Well, obviously, since *no one could have survived those wounds*.

"Alright, you guys ready to get back to climbing? I'm about ready to get going! Can't wait to have a real weapon in my hands."
Ramza Beoulve "It is. But its a refreshing change of pace." He'd offer a smile to the man at the display of his hyperactive enthusiasm, rising to his feet. As mentioned before, it was infectious. Artemis may regret giving the two /dude time/ together in the future, that's for sure.

"Mirrors which show you different versions of your life, had different choices been made. Walking wooden /gods/ known as Tikis. Stones which can turn men into demons. A duck that walks as a man, and set explosives in anticipation of his own defeat when he invades. A man who can literally see the very fiber of your being, your fate, everything about you with a glance. Just to name a few.." When his world fell, Ramza's reaction was the opposite. He was melancholic for quite some time. The loss of his sister had been such a blow that most people thought he'd never recover, and yet he had. Zack's simple acceptance had suprised him, but he didn't think too much upon it. Mercenaries didn't often have too many personal attachments after all, even if the man didn't seem like a typical mercenary.

He'd grin as the man warned Artemis of his own strength. "So is she." He totally didn't even include himself as being even on their level.

"Certainly. I think I'd like to see this sword which has captured your imagination so."
Artemis Eurus Artemis laughs, nodding to Zack. "I see the way you move, warrior," she replies. Of course, then Ramza steps in to inform Zack that he should be cautious of Artemis' strength as well. As Art doesn't know anything about Zack's world, she does not know if it normal for a woman to be a warrior there. He may have notions of chivalry she will have to beat out of him.

Like /someone/.

Now that Artemis has stripped of most of her armor, she packs it into a sack and places it on her back, now wearing only a pair of black shorts and--a bikini top. "Yes, by all means, let us continue," she says, then strides forward to take the lead.
Zack Fair "It's definitely a change of pace, that's for sure," Zack agrees as he rubs his hands together, looking up at the volcano. It was huge. It was really huge. It was the first big thing he's had to do, physically, since recovery; he'd been eager to find out if he could climb it, and he wasn't disappointed. The New Zodiac Braves had done a damn good job repairing him, apparently! He was back to full strength and everything.

Zack grabs onto the next set of rocks and starts climbing again. He's not even bothered by the heat; unlike Artemis and Ramza, Zack just leaves his clothes on, unimpeded. Rocks and handholds are easy to find, and if they aren't, he's strong enough to make a dent in the rock to climb anyway (one of the major reasons he beat Ramza here was that he could do that). "Thanks for this, you guys. Most people wouldn't come climbing up a live volcano with a total stranger to find a sword that may not even be there, y'know? I appreciate it."

"And I appreciate you guys saving me, too. Uh, actually, I appreciate that way more than the climbing thing!" He adds hurriedly, laughing.

It's a bit more of a climb before they reach the next plateau. Zack takes a moment to double-check his position stealthily on his PHS - just to make sure - and then nods. "This should be the cave. The rumor said the guy was exploring and then all of a sudden he saw a light in this, I can't wait!"

He doesn't bother waiting. Zack runs on in; danger is nothing to a SOLDIER, especially not when one's excited about something!

That's totally not in the manual, but it's definitely scribbled into the corners of Zack's manual back home.
Ramza Beoulve Sheryl and Ramza definitely had a lot of experience in putting people back together from horrific injuries. Still, Zack's case was far worse than anything they'd ever seen. It was a miracle, to put it bluntly, even given Zack's strength and durability. Either fortune smiled upon him, or despised him more than most men. The fact that he was back to full strength so soon was testament to that.

As Zack started to climb, he'd follow, though first he'd take a surreptitious glance at Artemis with her armor off. What was that that she was wearing? Already the young man's cheeks were flushed, and not from the heat of the Volcano.

He'd chuckle lightheartedly at his statement on climbing the volcano. "I think we all needed some time to just.. live. There are few better ways to do that, than helping you find something important to you, on an island paradise." And then on saving his life. "Think nothing of it, Ser. You'd have done the same for any of us, I'm sure." Zack did seem like a decent sort, Ramza didn't doubt that he would.

He'd not be able to reach one ledge above him, so he'd reach into a pouch, using a Kunai again as a piton, to bridge the gap, before continuing the climb. He lagged behind Artemis and Zack certainly, but not by too much. Eventually he reached the next plateau as well, peering into the darkness of the cave. "A light you say? The sword must be magical then. Or at least, special, in some way." And then with a wry tone of voice. "Maybe it does walk." Ramza didn't run after him immediately, he had a feeling that Artemis would be upset with him if he tried. So instead he follows behind Zack at a brisk pace. As he followed, he'd conjure a small flame in his hand, just enough to provide illumination to them as they went, as he looked around for something that might serve as a torch in the meanwhile.
Artemis Eurus "I'd have done this for fun," she replies to Zack. "I like to climb," she replies, making it look easy between her strength and flexibility.

Artemis glances toward Zack, grinning as she watches him go, nodding her head some. Yes, he's certainly strong. "Any decent person would have done the same--healing you that is. You were in the military of a sorts, yes?" she asks, glancing down to Ramza then to see how he was faring, only to find his cheeks red.

Artemis laughs softly, then calls down. "Admiring the view Ramza?" she asks, then keeps climbing, reaching the platform and giving a languid stretch before she takes her sword in hand, still sheathed, to follow the men into the cave, sticking close to Ramza.

"A walking sword. I would think that would be rather troublesome. Things with legs always seem to wander off to places they should not," she comments.
Zack Fair "Actually, if it's the sword I'm betting it is, it's just the volcano's light!" Zack shouts as he runs inside. He immediately thinks better of it; it's almost too dark to see, but fortunately, Zack's tremendously distinctive eyes help illuminate the area immediately before him. The shadows aren't quite as dark for SOLDIER.

Zack is immediately corrected of the idea that the sword is not glowing as he rounds the corner; a thin blue light pulsing just around the corner. He knows that light, too he knows it quite well. He knows that there is also no way that that sword is actually magic; the moment he sees the light, he knows what it is beyond a shadow of a doubt.


Zack whistles as he slides into the cave. It's a tight fit; promptly getting thinner. "Wall must've moved a bit since the scientist saw it!" He calls; his voice echoes through the crater, rebounding through the area. "I bet there's been some activity or something! D'ya know if this volcano's live or anything?"

"Gotta be," Zack says after a moment.

Zack squeezes through finally and exhales. He could probably have moved it, but he didn't want to risk moving anything else up there, and it wasn't enough ofa problem that he felt he needed to. Nobody in the group was wearing super-bulky armor anyway.

"I was in a military of sorts, yeah," Zack finally calls once he's through the gap. He's been kind of close-lipped about ShinRa especially; he didn't know what might have survived into this world, and if ShinRa had come following him, he didn't want to involve these nice people in his troubles. He could take care of himself. Heck, the best ShinRa had thrown at him, he'd survived! What were they gonna do now? Bring it on!

Zack moves into the cave proper, and he is not disappointed. There's a hole in the roof, a thin sliver of light shining down on the colossal sword - but the sword itself is much more interesting than the light surrounding it. An angelic glow pulses from the slots set into the massive blade - the glow of real materia. Zack whistles.

"Guess it wasn't just a rumor."
Ramza Beoulve Artemis' comment on the view, only served to renew the flush of Ramza's cheeks. But he was smiling at least. A secret smile. He'd murmur to himself as he climbed. "Mayhaps I am."

As they trailed further, and further into the cave, Ramza would actually withdraw a tourist's guide to Hawaii, reading it by firelight. But then he found that he didn't /need/ the light anymore, and he snuffed the flames. The ethereal azure light of pure Mako energy danced all around them. He didn't know what Mako was, precisely, he'd only seen the light atop of Shinra's generators. He found it.. beautiful in its natural form. "Its.. yes, I'd say its a safe assumption that its an active volcano." It was just like him, to walk right into the fire.

As Artemis comments on the walking sword, he'd allow himself to grin. "I suppose, unless the sword was loyal. Then it might return to its owner, rather than cause mischief all the time."

He'd press himself against the wall and start to slide through the narrow pass, without his armor, Ramza was rather slight of build, and managed to squeeze through even more easily than Zack. Ramza didn't even follow up on his experiences in a military. Everyone who lived their sort of lifestyle typically had some sort of military background, and he was no exception. His desertion was one of the unhappier moments in his life, even if he did it for all the right reasons. He figured that Zack would tell them more about himself in time, once he was ready.

Once within the cave proper, he'd actually gawk momentarily at the massive sword. No kidding he'd never be able to even lift that, even with two hands. Zack certainly wasn't an ordinary mercenary, just as Artemis wasn't an ordinary Samurai. He'd grin at Zack, clasping a hand upon his shoulder in a show of comraderie. "Well what are you waiting for? Let's see you wield /that/."
Artemis Eurus Artemis nods at Zack's response, not pressing. She senses there is more, as he deliberately skips on any details. Perhaps in time he would talk about it. Artemis isn't exactly the sort of woman to begrudge anyone their secrets, after all.

When the area gets tight she leaves her armor behind, just taking her sword with her as she squeezes through the crack with a bit more easy than the more bulky men, not that either of them was especially 'beefy' or anything. Someone like Artyom would never have fit through there, though judging by what she'd seen him do he would have simply made the earth accommodate him.

Artemis stops before the sword, letting Zack more forward alone, as it was obviously of great significance to him. It was quite a large sword, though she had seen bigger. Granted, not wielded by a man Zack's size (ie. fairly normal). The glow is something she does not recognize, though she assumes it is magic. "Indeed Zack...go forth," she says, gesturing. She'll stand beside Ramza watching. She thinks she could certainly wield the blade, though certainly without much in the way of finesse!
Zack Fair Hilariously, it isn't terribly special to Zack. It's just a sword - just a /thing/. What's important is that it's a /thing/ that he knew how to use, better than normal swords by far. It wasn't that the sword was emotionally special, it was just a hunk of metal, but it was a hunk of metal sized and shaped the way his old sword had been.

Which is to say, big, heavy, square, and sharp. A sword that big didn't need an edge, per se - it could probably cut blunt with nothing but weight and force. Physics would ensure that blade did real damage to pretty damn near anything if it was just swung.

Zack's fingers wrap around the hilt, and he rips it out of the rock like it's nothing. He swings it once, experimentally, a grin spreading across his face; then he spins it around between his fingers, the light flashing around as he does so. Then he swings it once more and nods. Yeah. This was a good sword. This was a perfect sword.

"I have no clue how this got here, but I'm real happy it did," Zack observes as he raises the sword and slings it over his shoulder like it's nothing. "It's the right make, too. Real nice balance; all the weight's in the blade, so it takes like no force to swing."

He holds it out to Ramza with a grin. "Here, wanna try it?"

He knows full well that Ramza won't be able to hold it without both hands, if even then; Zack's just messing with him. This is definitely not a sword made for ordinary, normal people.
Ramza Beoulve And Ramza found himself grinning like a fool. It was the simple things in life that tended to make him happy. Seeing Zack wield the oversized sword, /that/ is one of those moments.

To the young warrior, his mind analyzed the weapon, and found it /incredibly/ impractical. If you were wielding something that large, it seemed like you'd be better off using a greatsword, and wielding it with far more speed and finesse. But the way Zack handled it, it was obvious that it was suitable for his /style/ of combat. He could appreciate that. Wielding a sword like that is what Zack is good at.

And then Zack offered for him to wield it. At first he thought about just laughing it off, but perhaps somewhere deep down, he did have some measure of foolish pride. And so he closed his eyes for a moment, then reached out with a single hand, taking it from Zack.

Suprisingly, it appears as if Ramza is able to hold it, one-handed even. But that's naught but sleight of hand, smoke and mirrors on his part. It was a monk's trick he learned long ago, to channel the body's natural energy, its chi, into strengthening blows whether unarmed or armed. The more strength he brought to bear, the faster he tended to tire. And so he was able to hold the sword, one-handed....

For all of five seconds.

And then they would notice that he'd clasp his other hand against the hilt, and start to offer it back to Zack, when he stumbled forward, nearly losing his grip on the thing outright. It took all of his control just to lower it slowly back down to the ground just softly enough that he wouldn't accidentally damage it. Then he'd give Zack a sheepish look, handing the hilt back to him of the lowered blade to deliberately. "No, I definitely don't think its meant for me."
Artemis Eurus Artemis hides a smile when Ramza steps out to take the blade. No doubt about it, Ramza is a fine warrior in his own right. Great, in fact, especially considering his age...but that sword looked about as big as he was.

"Yes, I believe you should stick with the longsword," she comments with a smile, stepping toward the men and walking a slow circle around them. "I would like to see how you move with it Zack. I wonder--we'll have to have a wooden one made if you are to practice with us," she says, reaching up to touch a finger to her lip in thought.

Artemis is fairly sure she could heft the thing, but really feels no need to do so. After running with fully armored Ramza on one shoulder and Will Sherman on the other, she's pretty sure Ramza is emmasculated enough.
Emi Dennou Omi Dennou has been assigned to 'keep tabs' on Ramza but naturally as matters have progressed, the needs to investigate his sincerity have been less neccessary and it's more to lend a hand now and then. They don't seem to want to make an enemy of the Church just yet and has largely helped in matters not associated with them--one shouldn't make the Church an enemy carelessly. Maybe Omi is waiting for a priest to suddenly become a demon before her very eyes.

But she is convinced of his sincerity enough to head on in, even if it's a sweaty sweaty volcano situation here.

She looks around for a moment, focusing on Zack first--whom she gives a nod--and her eyes widen faintly when she sees the sword, but she doesn't comment or offer to hold it. She would probably cheat anyway, so it's just as well.

"Artemis," Omi nods to her. "Keeping him from killing himself?, The Network establishes roles."
Zack Fair Zack laughs as Ramza stumbles, but it's not a mocking, snide laugh - it's the laugh of the guy who's letting you in on the joke, who thinks it's genuinely funny. He takes the sword back from Ramza and slings it back onto his shoulder calmly, straightening up. "Hey, you held it longer than I though you would!" He whacks Ramza on the back (GENTLY).

"You'd need a pretty heavy hunk of wood for this thing; it's not good for practicing with. Even that much wood'll really hurt...even if it's as light as you can make it, it'll hurt a lot. Probably better if I just bare-hands it." Zack holds up his hand like a boxer and makes a punching motion at the air again. "I'm pretty good with my hands, too, y'know! If I had to rely on just one kinda weapon I'd be way dead."

Omi arrives, and Zack blinks. He holds up his hand in a light wave. "...yo. We were just about to head back down, what we came for!"
Ramza Beoulve He'd laugh in a self-depreciating sort of way. "Best I could do. I think I could train for the rest of my days and I still wouldn't be comfortable wielding it!"

He considers the matter of a practice blade for a time, before nodding in acquiescence. "We could still make the attempt. Mayhaps if we attached a wooden door to a stout staff.." He'd grin again at Zack. "Ah good. My recommendation is not to let her catch you in a hold if you fight her unarmed. We'll put you through it tomorrow morning.." He'd chuckle as he looked at Artemis, it was more like 'she'll' put him through it.

When Omi arrived, he'd nod, giving her an affable smile. "Well met." He didn't use Omi's name, as per her preference. "She's doing a fine job of it too. How are you finding Hawaii? Is it to your liking?"

He'd clap Zack on the back. "I'm not sure if you've seen him since his convalescence, but meet Ser Fair. The man who we've been tending to all this time."
Artemis Eurus Artemis snickers lightly at Zack and Ramza's interplay. Indeed, she's rather pleased to have Zack around. He was a cheerful sort and may help keep Ramza from sagging beneath all the pressure he takes on. Goodness knows he'd probably be happy to have someone more conversational than she generally was.

Blinking, Artemis turns toward Omi, letting out a short laugh. "Yes, that is generally the way it goes," she replies.

Artemis looks back to Zack then. "Yes, we generally practice hand to hand and practice blades. I'd be all too happy to spar you," she replies, then rolls her eyes at Ramza again, smiling. "Oh now are you still sore about that, Ramza? If I recall that seemed to go fairly well for you in the end," she laughs, just to make him blush. Because she can.

"If we are to head down, we should go for a swim. I wouldn't want to leave without enjoying the ocean," she remarks, placing a hand on her hip.
Emi Dennou Omi smiles at Artemis. Dedication is something she approves of. Nevertheless, Omi nods. "Good, this volcano erupts frequently, some would even say constantly. It's best to not stay any longer than neccessary, The Network of course is uncertain of the wisdom of going in at all but this is an irrelevent digression."

She glances back to Zack, then to his weapon. "...Seems unwieldy." She admits. "As for Hawaii, it is a very beautiful land, even this one must admit that."
Zack Fair "Hahaha! Man, you're gonna make me fight with a door and a stick? Harsh!" Zack laughs some more, then starts walking for the exit. It's a loooong way down, and the climb was gonna be a bit tougher without a proper scabbard for this thing. Then again, he could just run's not like he hadn't run across tougher things than a downhill slope! Granted, it was pretty vertical, but hey, he'd jumped out of helicopters before.

"I think I'll do okay," he adds at Ramza and Artemis before turning to give his attention to Omi. "Hey there. Nice to meet you. Name's Zack; Zack Fair. It's a pretty unwieldy sword if you don't know what you're doin', but the stopping power on this baby is incredible. It's at least as good as my old one. Cut right through solid metal if I have to."

Zack studiously avoids mentioning that he could do that with a regular sword; the point was that this one could with just its weight, without his strength behind it!

"So! Let's get the heck outta here and go hit the beach!"

Zack shows them how to run down an active Volcano. The rest of them climbing down the traditional, less awesome way.


Heretic Beach party! Their camp was just beyond the beach. They'd built a new fire pit on the sands, and were heating up the remainder of the boar meat from one of Artemis' hunts. While many of the /Braves/ from Ivalice, in particular the ladies, had purchased more modest, modern swimsuits, some had embraced the tropical atmosphere whole-heartedly and were wearing Bikinis. Perhaps it was due to Artemis' example.

Ramza hadn't purchased a swim suit for himself, but he was at least shirtless. His breeches had just been rolled up above the knees instead.

One does not rid Ramza of his pants so easily.

One of the Braves, perhaps Marlowe, had purchased a keg and tapped it. The whole idea of one being a touch more familiar to them than fruity tropical drinks with little umbrellas. Some of them still indulged in that, nevertheless. Someone had set up a radio on the beach to DJ Zero's greatest hits, and there was even some impromptu dancing going on at times, in-between the swimming, and the drinking.

It sure was nice to unwind.
Emi Dennou "Nice to meet you. Officially." Omi tells Zack. "This one observed you while you were comatose."


"This one supposes there is something to the philosophy of finishing a fight in one strike." She pauses as--the beach? They're going to the beach. "Wait a min--"


Omi is in a black one-piece that seems to have been selected to be as plain as possible. She is sitting at one of the tables with a fruity tropical drink in hand. There are two empty glasses of fruity tropical drinks next to the one she is presently nursing.

"Zero huh...Even here..."
Artemis Eurus Oh yes, this was lovely indeed. Artemis is lounging in a beach chair, all stretched out and holding a cold cup of beer in one hand, sipping occasionally as she lets her skin see the glorious sun. "I believe we should do this more often," she remarks to no on in particular, opening one eye to glance toward Ramza, who is still in his pants. Well, whatever. He'd better be careful not to loose them in the waves if he decides to go for a swim however!

Speaking of swimming, it was time to cool off a bit. Artemis downs the rest of her drink then stands. "Well I'm going in," she reports, then begins to jog down toward the water, her eyes on those who are surfing. Oh yes, she'll have to try that. That looks like a great deal of fun.
Zack Fair >MENU

When Zack returns to the party, he is dressed in nothing more than an (open) hawaiian shirt and shorts, and the bandages wrapped around his arms and legs (protective, not healing). He has a pair of black sunglasses on his head, a huge grin on his face, and he is totally living it up with a fruity drink in his hand. He's put the Materia Blade somewhere else, because it didn't really need to be here right now, and he is *living la vida Zacka*. Oh yeah. This was the kind of relaxation Zack needed. Not serenity, not peace and quiet - he'd had way more than enough of lying still to last him a lifetime in the medical tents. No no my friends, now it is time for the party to end only long after the sun has come up and everyone who is partying is passed out drunk or exhausted or drunk *and* exhausted from the sheer enormous /magnitude/ of the partying. Zack is celebrating life itself right now, ladies and gentlemen, and that is *clear* from the way he's dancing with whichever girl is closest, cup in his hand. This is a *good day*.

"WOOOOOOOO! Zack Fair, back in action, heck yeah!" Fistpump. He does cast a glance at Artemis running off into the water; when he's done dancing with whichever member of the Zodiac Braves has decided to dance with him, he's gonna go *diving* headlong into that surf, and nobody's gonna stop him.
Ramza Beoulve Adela even saw fit to dance with him. He was pretty attractive after all!

Ramza was laughing. Again, Zack's infectious enthusiasm had washed over the Braves like the waves crashing against the beach. No, he didn't regret the sacrifices he had to make to keep the man alive, not even for a second.

He'd pass by Omi on the way, giving her drink a look that implied he'd never seen anything of its like. "What are you imbibing, Omi?" Not that Ramza drank anything anyhow. It was a running gag around the camp that he just couldn't handle his liquor. He didn't even /try/.

And then Artemis would go swimming! And Ramza would watch her for a while, before he decided that he might as well have some fun. He wasn't a stick in the mud /ALL THE TIME/ folks. So he would follow her, running out to the ocean at a brisk pace, before wading in, then swimming after her.
Emi Dennou Omi is doing her best to be antisocial. However the main issue she ends up having is that it's been an hour since she found out about the beach party in Hawaii, plenty of time for The Network to respond accordingly, we mean Umi.

Omi's eyes widen long before Umi actually arrives to be problematic however and she quickly finishes her beverage and stands up. "Tch." She says before realizing Ramza has started asking her questions. "Ah--sorry, not you, This One is--" HEY HE JUST USED THE NAME. Well anyway. "...drinking soda and fruit concentrate mixed together for a pleasing taste." Yeah it's not even alcoholic on her own part.

"Dancing." She says, setting her drink aside. "This one's sister is coming. Evasion of pursuit is not possible." She looks towards Zack. "But before she comes. That one... his behavior does not match what I anticipated. Someone like that taking on such injuries...practically seems contradictory."
Artemis Eurus Artemis laughs, Zack not far behind her. He is rather enthusiastic, isn't he? She could appreciate that, even if she doesn't necessarily share that same /zest/. She is enjoying herself however. Before she dives right in she reaches up to make sure her mask is well attached, then resumes her run in order to dive gracefully into the curve of the wave just before it broke.

She surfaces eventually, a good ways out now, and looks toward the shore to see Ramza is actually coming to join them. She waves an arm, beckoning him to come deeper.
Zack Fair Adel is pretty cute. Zack enjoys the dance thoroughly; when she finally tires of it, he winks at her, then peels off to go do something else.

"Yeah? Haha, I bet you thought I'd be all grim and serious and stuff. Nah, I'm not that kinda guy! Just a mercenary, y'know, from a long way away." He certainly had the skills and the strength for it, if not the attitude. Zack stretches, then looks over at the water.

That was so damn tempting right there.

What the heck. Zack takes off for the water; he strips off the hawaiian shirt, tossing it to the side, and then dives in eagerly. The water is *awesome*.

Zack swims out a bit, then waves. "HEY! C'mon, everybody! The water's totally awesome! It's nice and warm cause of the volcano and everything! Look, even Ramza's doin' it!"

Ramza Beoulve Before he ran out to the sea, he'd respond to Omi. He couldn't help using her name from time to time, it was /reflex/. He'd nod in turn as she spoke, looking at Zack with a sort of distant expression "He has his secrets, certainly. Eventually he might even share them with us. But give him time, the man just survived the impossible. Even if he came out out of it unscathed /physically/, I imagine what happened still haunts him, and I can scarce blame him for wanting to live his life to the fullest to drown out the crushing despair."

He'd grin at Omi, placing a hand upon her shoulder when she spoke of her sister. "She's welcome here. Don't be so morose, a visit from your sister should be a happy occasion." It was almost like Ramza was saying /at least yours is still with you/.

After he'd ran out to the sea, he'd swim out even further to Artemis.

And then suddenly, everyone else was doing it, as inspired by Zack, and neither Artemis and him were alone any longer. He was still in good spirits though. There was no need to be a buzzkill. And then the obligatory giant splash suddenly reached them and splashed both him and Artemis. Why? Because it was SUPER STRONG!
Emi Dennou 'I imagine what happened still haunts him'.

Omi looks towards Zack.

'HEY! C'mon, everybody! The water's totally awesome! It's nice and warm cause of the volcano and everything!'.

Omi turns her gaze back to Ramza. "...He does not seem haunted to this one, but nevertheless, you have a point." She stands herself up. "Let us go into the water."


She walks on over to the water, stepping back a bit to avoid the HUGE SPLASH. She breathes a sigh of relief when--

Umi runs through her and leaps through the air,

"CANNONBALL MK II!!!" She screams before plummeting into its depths, dragging Omi into the water along with her @_@.
Zack Fair "Hahaha!" Zack's laugh reaches them just as the water drains from their ear; he shakes himself a little bit, his mass of black hair all over the place in the water, and then splashes again. The young man dives underwater to avoid any return barrages, swimming over behind the group.

Ramza was right, though. What happened to Zack did still bother him. It was easy to pretend like it didn't, because it seemed like it had happened to someone else, some stranger a long time ago. It seemed like it was a thing that happened to another person. It bothered him...because of that, really. It wasn't the event - it was the *detachment* that bothered him. Zack was a tremendously emotional guy; he wore his heart on his sleeves all the time. To be so detached and unemotional about his own near-death...

Well...that was unnerving for a guy who was at emotion's mercy.

Then Omi and Umi come splashing into the water, and Zack is caught off guard by the sudden splash of water in his face! He waves it away from himself and coughs.

"Mark II, huh...? I'll have to trump that, then! Time for Super Zack Cannonball Attack!"
Artemis Eurus Artemis will admit, that was an impressive splash. Artemis however, is not likely to try to trump it. Now that she is past the breaking point of the waves she lays back, floating on her back and looking at the sky, simply floating up and down over the rolling waves to the tune of the ocean's lullaby.

This she would do food a good long time, until she was water logged and her fingers wrinkled--her soul temporarily at peace.
Ramza Beoulve Ramza was frequently seen as a somber stick in the mud. He had a sense of humor certainly, but he didn't drink, he didn't wench, and he rarely seemed to take time for fun. It was one of the burdens of leadership. But despite that, he didn't moralize, or discourage others from doing it on their own unless they took it to such extremes that it made them lose sight of their goals.

He enjoyed watching everyone else have fun, and as he wiped the salt water out of his eyes from the consecutive splashes, he just smiled. He wished that every day could be like this, in a time where it wouldn't be necessary for them to fight any longer. Given the mess that the world was in, that time seemed long in coming, but days like this gave him hope. After a time, he found himself floating on his back near Artemis. He didn't speak to her knowing she'd understand as he just stayed nearby, letting the song of the ocean lull him as well.

Eventually he would leave the waters and join the others for an evening of tales, fine repast, and perhaps even a newfangled game that some of them had learned about post-merger of the worlds called volleyball.

It had been a day he would long remember.

This scene contained 36 poses. The players who were present were: Emi Dennou, Ramza Beoulve, Artemis Eurus, Zack Fair